1. BEN GORDON-PG/SG-Pistons- The 28 year old Gordon has slowed over the past two seasons averaging 13.8 pts-1.9 reb.-2.7 assts two years ago and 11.2/2.4/2.1/1.2 last year. Not very fantasy friendly. He’ll back up Ronald Stuckey and will see his minutes remain about the same at 25-27 per game. The former 1st round pick of the Chicago Bulls out of UCONN becomes viable only through an injury to Stuckey. Gordon is currently going 132 ADP. At This position, we would suggest picking up Jeff Teague 137 ADP or George Hill 135 ADP, as both have more fantasy upside.
2. JOE JOHNSON-SG/SF-Hawks- We know you’re all rolling your eyes at this point, but remember, we’re not saying that you shouldn’t draft these players, just don’t take them so early, consider your options, and temper your expectations. That said, Joe Johnson, like Ben Gordon above, has been on the decline for several years. Clearly he is still very much fantasy relevant but consider this: In the last 5 seasons his points have dropped from 25 to 18.2, 3’s almost in half 2.1 to 1.2, FT’s 4.1 to 2.7 and steals 1.1 to 0.7. Johnson is going 49 ADP. Two other options you could consider taking before him are Ray Allen 52 ADP or even James Harden currently at 70 ADP.
3. DANNY GRANGER-SF/PF-Pacers- Granger’s points have declined over the last three years from 25.8 to 20.5. With the addition of David West, a clear upgrade from Josh McRoberts, and the addition of George Hill, who came over from the Spurs, Granager will be yielding some looks and points. Throw in the anticipated emergence of Paul George, and the Pacer offense is much more spread out among the new adds. Again, Granger should be drafted but be mindful that his numbers will take a hit.
4. DAVID WEST-PF-Pacers- West was the leading scorer on the Hornets and had an assist machine in tow with Chris Paul ‘dishing and swishing’ to him on a regular basis. Now he’ll have Darren Collison to rely on which will be a considerable drop-off to say the least. He will, as stated above, have to share his looks with Danny Granger which will in turn cut into his numbers as well. Remember too that West is coming off a torn ACL which forced him to sit for the final 10 games of last season as well as the playoffs. He’s currently going off the boards at ADP 48 which seems a bit early with all the uncertainty surrounding his health and new team’s dynamic.
5. BROOK LOPEZ-C-Nets- As we’re sure all you team managers have heard by now, Center Brook Lopez fractured his foot playing against the Knicks in their pre-season game this week. He’s scheduled for surgery on Friday and could miss 2-3 months. This is a major blow to the Nets as Lopez was their leading scorer at 20.6 points per game. Backup Center Johan Petro will take his place unless the Nets go out and get a more worthy replacement. Unfortunately, Lopez going down has ruined any possible chance of the Nets securing Dwight Howard… Some options you may consider instead of Petro would be Kendrick Perkins, Brendan Heyward, or Brandon Bass with Heyward, Tyson Chandler’s replacement in Dallas, having the greatest uptick.