Down the home stretch we come with our last 3 non-ME division teams. Let’s jump right in with this group of contenders starting with:
Team Dylan – De La Soul
The Rise of Steph Curry
Live by the three, die by the three. Steph Curry and Dylan are tied at the hip. He’s suffered through his ankle injury plagued season – and also reaped the reward of owning a mostly healthy deadeye shooter and point guard combo that has taken the league by storm.
At Davidson Curry was a special player for sure – but it’s amazing that his ball handling, passing and ability to create his own shot have carried over so well in the NBA. Depending how you value 3’s it was arguable that Curry was the most valuable fantasy player in 2013-14.
In any case Curry basically wins you the 3 category as well as providing significant contributions to points, assists and steals – and he doesn’t even hurt your FG%…
All that’s necessary to a winning formula is to find some bigs to build around Curry.
DE LA MARCUS ANDRE
DeAndre Jordan and Lamarcus Aldridge lead the rest of the roster – and while both have flaws – they perhaps fit together to form a great statistical combo. Aldridge provides a consistent and top flight scorer and rebounder while Jordan adds in blocks, more boards and a solid FG% since he rarely shoots unless he’s dunking.
Together they form a solid base of big man stats necessary in CHIBA.
An astute collection of cheaper players is what makes this team dangerous. If you had to surround Curry, Jordan and Aldridge with NBA chattel you’d be in trouble and working the waiver wire furiously (doing desperate things like going all in for random SFs or Imam Shumpert…)
Instead a solid pair of guards in Joe Johnson and Alec Burks. SGs are undervalued but both Burks and Johnson provide some assist support and both can of course – score and shoot. Both are also off to good starts providing Dylan needed depth and production. George Hill unfortunately started off the season with an injury but Dylan has a potential PG who may have a great opportunity on a depleted Indiana roster later in the year.
Markieff Morris has been a nice player in Phoenix with an all around game. Trevor Ariza has made the transition from Chandler Parsons relatively easy and painless so far in Houston – providing defense and spacing for the Rockets Big 2 and chipping in with his own scoring. Taj Gibson is stuck in a deep frontcourt in CHI but all he does is good things when he gets a chance to play – not as good a player in fantasy as in real life but a solid contributor. Gorgui Dieng is a stash and hope with alot of potential – could just be a matter of time before the TWolves move on from Pekovic to their young big man.
BENCH WHO NEEDS A BENCH?
Not much to talk about here – Olynyk may be a borderline starter – but the rest of the reserves – Gordon is a stash and wait, Stuckey was waived and Turner is garbage – well at least there’s easy decisions to make as to what to waive (or it has been easy). A good auction but a poor reserve draft – could come back to haunt down the road.
HARD TO CRITICIZE A FIRST PLACE TEAM…
This is a contending team on the strength of it’s core and the cheap complements that should provide solid production. Indeed as of the week 3 this is the first place team (with some competition). Of course – any bumps and bruises on Curry will be felt – but the same can be said for any team with a pricy superstar. The waiver wire will be the key – injuries will happen and will Dylan be able to fill the gaps that will inevitably occur. Hill coming back as a starting and productive PG is a key otherwise one adjustment that may need to be made is looking for a average PG to add to this team.
This team looks like a contender (duh) and a good bet to be in the hunt for the title.
The formula for winning CHIBA used to be pretty simple. Get a high enough pick to secure one of the top players. Get lucky and have that top player stay healthy and even potentially have a career year. Build the rest of the roster around that player and collect winnings.
Of course – not every attempt at this formula has worked and the introduction of an auction format has made it much more difficult. The nominating rights rule has also thrown a monkey wrench into valuation by leading to variance and a bit of randomness to when players are made available.
Any team with Lebron James starts and ends their conversation with said player. Given the publicity surrounding his move and the remake of the CLE roster – this is a most interesting year to own the King. But Andy didn’t just buy Lebron but also his running mate and current nemesis Kyrie Irving.
The drama in Cleveland alone is probably worth the price – and if the young PG and the seasoned MVP are able to figure it out – it could be something amazing both in fantasy and in real life. As of right now LBJ hasn’t been QUITE worth his price – but it’s early and I’m sure James will get his soon enough.
Rondo and Bledsoe
Rondo has been a great gamble and a huge win for this team at $24. He’s still not 100% but pumping out assists and steals like the Rondo of old. Trade or no trade – he’s going to return a heady profit and is the kind of gamble that wins titles when combined with Lebron James. Bledsoe got a max contract and a good size investment from Andy but has been inconsistent in PHO so far. His scoring is up and down as well as his other numbers – it’s been a big surprise that Isaiah Thomas has been the most consistent of the 3 PHO PGs.
Self – Center(ed)s
Ty Chandler and Marcin Gortat make a up a pair of very servicable centers for a low price – providing FG%, Blocks and Boards from the pivot. Chandler for one has looked energized now removed from the Melo-drama at the Garden and the burden of being a selfless team player and the only one even remotely concerned about defense (which remains half the game last I checked) on a team dominated by a ball hogging self-centered wannabe superstar who is only interested in winning on his own terms. (Melo rant over for now…). It’s good to be in Dallas for Tyson and we wish him the best.
Early in the year Andy dealt David Lee and Kyle Korver for Tim Duncan and Vince Carter. On paper a pretty even deal – and so far Irving has been able to carry the team in 3’s while Duncan provides a real big in the forward rotation and even has played the 2nd game of a few back to backs so far this year. Too early to tell – but so far aside from Korver’s hot start – a pretty even deal and a beneficial one for Andy’s team. Ain’t no one Andy gave up gonna end up on the cover of a Wheaties Box after all.
Lack of Depth
If there’s a weakness to this team it’s depth. Beyond the stars and starters – there are few reliable sources of replacement. Affalo has been a major disappointment as has everything in Denver. Green and Mayo are one dimensional and streaky players. Teletovic, MKG, and Adams are barely startable. Waiver Wire Roulette is a key for this team.
NEVER count out a team with Lebron. At any point in time he can elevate his game and take any squad on his back and to the top of the standings. Rondo and Irving are legitimate stars to complement LBJ and the rest of the starting roster is contention worthy. There is NO BENCH whatsoever and any injury to the key players will leave a gaping hole in the team. Can Andy’s 7 beat team’s of 8? With LBJ all things are possible.
Glenn’s Insert Medical Terminology Here
League PASS MVP
When your the LPMVP damn right you have an 11 minute highlight reel!
Every once in a while a player comes along worth the price of admission to an NBA game. Welcome Anthony Davis to a short list of players worth watching alone – (MJ, Dr. J, The Bird, Magic, Shaq, Lebron, Kobe, Durant, VC (for a short span), Iverson, Yao, Lin)
We wondered where Davis had room to grow – well he’s so far setting career highs in pts, rebs, steals, blocks and and FG%. He’s clearly the best player in fantasy and the most interesting collection of skills and body type to come around in a long time. Who do you compare Davis to? He’s a super athletic 7 Footer with guard like agility, incredible shot blocking, and shooting range out to an unfair distance. He can post guys athletic enough to guard him on the perimeter and face up and go around guys big enough to defend him in the post.
I mean you’d really have to work hard to NOT win the league with a healthy Anthony Davis on your roster this year…
Klay Thompson has been a revelation and surprising steal so far. In addition to upgrading his scoring he’s chipped in with assists and steals and has been dropping 3’s and shooting the ball. Still his peripherals remain subpar – but he looks to be a solid source or pts and 3’s. John Wall is a great complement to Davis and Klay should cover for his lack of the three ball – holding it down with elite PG numbers. Dragic has been an enigma so far this year (and by enigma I mean NIGHTMARE) – the least of the 3 PGs in PHO – (Andy don’t complain anymore about Bledsoe) we think he’ll come around – but so far a disappointing start. Wiggins has potential but should not be starting on an NBA or fantasy roster as of yet.
Luol Deng provides some solid stats though no longer the all around fantasy utility man he once was. Ryan Anderson is back and a great complement for 3’s to Davis getting plenty of opportunities with AD going wild.
And Then there was the wasteland. Ilyasova needs out of MIL bad. Ersanity is a distant distant memory. KG should have retired rather than leave Boston – basically a shell of his former self and no longer even a locker room contributor because of his ineffectiveness on the court. Spencer Hawes was supposed to provide versatility in LA – but has been underwhelming as have the Clippers – even the best teams need to shake things up every year.
The Bench is pretty underwhelming unfortunately though Kevin Martin is still scoring and making 3’s at least. After that – Jameer Nelson should be better but has been marginalized in DAL. Stauskas and Harkless bench picks have been waived as Glenn tries to mine the waiver wire for help. So far unsuccessfully… All three teams here will face some challenges filling out their roster – but as long as their stars stay healthy – they should all be fine. Benches only matter when someone gets hurt after all.. But then, this IS the NBA – where EVERYONE gets hurt…
Look – I’m NOT counting out ANY team with the best player in fantasy hoops by FAR. But if there was a way to NOT win with a god like Anthony Davis – this is probably one of the rare combinations. Davis will at least provide relevance in almost every category – but perhaps one of the 3 balling Forwards (Anderson/Klay) should be dealt for help – another big – or a 2 for 1 for Wall…
Something needs to be shaken up – to keep AD from being a mere highlight rather than contender in CHIBA! It just ain’t right! Save AD!
And with that I leave you with a completely unrelated and yet hilarious link that I highly recommend you click on so that when I yell BUH-LAH-KE or AY_AY-RON at next year’s auction we can all laugh.