Fantasy Sports Fix: Basketball is back | CraigDailyPress.com

Fantasy Sports Fix: Basketball is back

Chris Gingrich/For the Craig Daily Press

Chris Gingrich

The NBA season begins Oct. 27, and the Golden State Warriors will be on the path to defend their title against all challengers. One of the Warriors' potential challengers, the Cleveland Cavaliers, are poised once again to make a serious run at the finals and it looks as if there is little in their way in the Eastern Conference to stop them.

There’s also the matter of another season of fantasy basketball at hand. It should be a great season as there are new stars in the league shining bright like Anthony Davis, Stephen Curry and James Harden.

LeBron James is out of top five on ESPN rankings, replaced by James Harden. Kevin Durant is still hanging in at No. 4 overall. Personally, I’d keep LBJ in the top five along with KD. The other top 3 spots were Stephen Curry, Anthony Davis and James Harden. There were some guys who were ranked quite a lot higher than they were last year at this time. One of those guys was Draymond Green. He had a stellar season last year and became one of the best two-way players in the league. One that I thought was ranked a little too low as Blake Griffin. A player that averages nearly 20 points and over 10 rebounds a game should be ranked a few spots higher than ESPN's ranking of 18.

I participated in a mock draft and I lucked out and got the first pick. I took Stephen Curry because of the sheer volume of threes and assists, plus a nice handful of steals. Second round, I selected Gordon Hayward. Hayward has an all-around game for a small forward. He can also hit threes and come up with a steal every so often to help boost his stats. In the third round, my back-to-back pick, I picked up Blake Griffin of the Clippers. It was a little late in the draft I thought to be picking up Griffin since he regularly puts up double-doubles and always ranked in the top 15 overall. Maybe the rankings are reflecting the new additions to the Clippers that come in the form of Paul Pierce and Lance Stephenson.

There were also a few underrated and unheralded players that I think could be steals in upcoming drafts. These guys might not be on anyone’s radar right now, so name recognition is close to nothing, but that won’t stop these guys from making an impact.

Elfrid Payton, point guard, Orlando Magic — The 21-year-old averaged 11 points, eight assists, five rebounds and two steals per game after the All-Star Break last season. His only downfall is that he doesn’t shoot a high percentage.

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Nick Batum, small forward, Charlotte Hornets — With his wrist injury behind him, look for a bounce-back season from Batum. He is only two seasons removed from putting up 13 points, seven boards, five assists and nearly a steal and a block per game.

Jarret Jack, point guard, Brooklyn Nets — Now is the time for Jack to put up superb numbers like he did last season after Derron Williams departed for Dallas.

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