9/10/12

DNB's Fantasy Guru: Southeast Division Depth Charts

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Southeast Division

We are moving at a snails pace on the road to the pre-season in September.  But, here at the DNB, we are going strong with a continued look at Fantasy Basketball’s depth charts.  This week we will look at the Southeast division:

Miami Heat

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
C. Bosh
J. Anthony
R. Turiaf

PF
S. Battier
U. Haslem


SF
L. James
R. Lewis


SG
D. Wade
R. Allen
M. Miller

PG
M. Chalmers
N. Cole



This years reigning champions have a fairly straightforward depth chart.  With James, Wade and Bosh all guaranteed to clock their regular minutes, it leaves only two positions (PG, PF) with playing time up for grabs.  

Look for the battle of the three-ball to heat up during the regular season.  Spoelstra will have new additions Ray Allen, and Rashard Lewis in the line-up.  Both vets have been brought in to hit those open looks, and should see a boost in FG%.  The odd-man out is Mike Miller.  His minutes will significantly decrease and he should be passed on in most leagues and formats.  Allen should get some quality time and Rashard Lewis will definitely have a chance to redeem the last few lackluster years of his career.

Second year point guard Norris Cole should get plenty of burn behind Chalmers and should look to improve.  Chalmers is an intriguing mid-round selection with his decent 3FG%. 

Sure bets: LeBron (early), Wade (early), Bosh (early), Chalmers (mid)
Sleepers: Allen, Cole, Battier
Pass on: Miller, Anthony, Turiaf


Atlanta Hawks

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
Z. Pachulia
J. Williams


PF
A. Horford
I. Johnson


SF
J. Smith
K. Korver


SG
L. Williams
A. Morrow


PG
J. Teague
D. Harris



The Hawks have some intriguing sleepers in their line-up.   Zaza Pachulia, Lou Williams, and Devin Harris all could have great fantasy seasons with the Hawks. 

This would have to be Jeff Teague’s final season to prove that he is a NBA starter and not just a rotation player.  He will have Devin Harris breathing down his neck just itching to take over the coveted role, as this will be a contract season for the 8th year guard.  Harris had a troubled year with the Jazz after being traded from the Nets.  However, the Jazz and their bigs weren’t the ideal situation for Harris and Atlanta’s free flowing offense may give Harris a boost in production and play into his strengths. 

Lou Williams should finally have a starting job in the NBA.  He played fairly well coming off the bench with the Sixers and this boost in minutes can only do well for his FGAs and his PPG average. 

With Horford moving down to PF, Zaza should get some solid minutes on a weak frontcourt.  There really is no real competition for Pachulia even though he may not be the best bet center the Hawks should be relying on. 

Frankly, the Hawks are in a conundrum of a situation with Joe Johnson out of the picture.  The team’s bets player, Josh Smith, wants out, and their only real bet after Smith is Horford, who surely can’t carry a team by himself. 

The Hawks are loaded with late round sleepers and should be followed throughout your fantasy basketball season for great waiver wire pick-ups and stop-gaps.

Sure bets: Horford (early), Smith (early)
Sleepers: Harris, Teague, Williams, Pachulia, Johnson
Pass on: Korver, Williams


Orlando Magic

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
G. Ayon
N. Vucevic
K. O’Quinn
A. Nicholson
PF
G. Davis
A, Harrington
J. McRoberts
J. Harper
SF
H. Turkoglu
Q. Richardson
M. Harkless

SG
A. Afflalo
J. J. Reddick
C. Eyenga

PG
J. Nelson
I. Smith



The post-Howard Magic line-up is the most difficult to decipher.   They are loaded with question marks and the minutes are hardly set in stone.  The only sure fire starter is Jameer Nelson.  The Magic have no real candidates to overtake Nelson so consider him a solid guard option in the mid-rounds.   

The real quandary is the C and the PF positions.  Gustavo Ayon and Nicola Vucevic should have a solid battle for the starting spot and there is no clear indication that either will win.  Ayon looks like the best option to start, pre-training camp, but that could change easily. 

Davis, Harrington and McRoberts will be battling each other for PF minutes on this hapless team of have-nots.  Look for Davis to comfortably find himself in the starter spot since he finished at a near double-double average when Howard sat out with an injury at the end of last season.  However, Harrington and the young guys will be eager to take on extra playing time.  Davis won’t be able to stay comfortable for too long.

Turkoglu can be a stat line stuffer with decent averages in assists and boards.  However, he is old, and without a Dwight Howard in the middle, becomes a defensive liability.  There really is no incentive to play the aging vet.  Harkless has a real chance to get some solid minutes if he shows some potential early on in training camp.

The Magic will be adjusting, and re-adjusting their line-up the entire season.  As they tread along in their first losing season in a few years, they will be testing out what they have in their young guys.  Once the season is lost, look for a youth revolt in terms of minutes passed around.  There should be some solid waiver wire pick-ups coming out of the Magic Roster in February. 

Sure bets: Nelson (mid), Davis (mid)
Sleepers: Ayon, Vucevic, Harkless
Pass on: Turkoglu


Washington Wizards

Player
Position
Position
Position
Position
C
E. Okafor
K. Seraphin


PF
Nene
T. Booker


SF
T. Ariza
J. Vesely
J. Singleton

SG
J. Crawford
B. Beal


PG
J. Wall
A.J. Price



Washington made a big off-season trade by flipping Rashard Lewis and his monster contract for Okafor and Ariza.  The Wizards look to be trying to please John Wall by acquiring pieces (including Nene) that may give them a chance to be in the playoff hunt.  This team has been in constant transition, and although they were able to draft Wall with the number one pick two years ago, they still don’t have a clear picture moving forward. 

The front-court seems to have some question marks surrounding whether they put Nene at the center position or slide him to PF.  If Okafor can stay healthy, his defensive presence could actually be a great pairing alongside the offensive Nene.  However, there are a few young players that may surprise and steal some solid minutes down low.

Trevor Ariza should see some quality minutes and his defense always leaves him on the court.  Unfortunatley, his low shooting percentage leaves him as a liability.  Look for Vesely to earn more minutes and give us an idea whether he is an NBA caliber player or not. 

Another great battle will be at the two spot.  Crawford and Beal should both get their minutes but the starter position is definitely not set in stone.  Beal could easily take Crawford’s spot, if Crawford slips up early to mid-season. 

The main point for this team is that they want to win.  Line-ups could be shaken up early on to find the right group that has the best on court chemistry; so, tread lightly.

Sure bets: Wall (early), Nene (early)
Sleepers: Okafor, Crawford, Beal, Vesely, Seraphin
Pass on: Ariza


Charlotte Bobcats

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
B. Biyambo
B Haywood
B. Mullens

PF
B. Mullens
T. Thomas


SF
M. Kidd-Gilchrist
R. Williams


SG
G. Henderson
B. Gordon
C. Higgins

PG
K. Walker
R. Sessions
M. Carroll


These lowly Bobcats have received a glimmer of hope after losing the lottery to New Orleans.  Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is an excellent young prospect and should give the franchise some steam moving forward. 

The main concern with this team is how they plan on distributing minutes among their guards.  By trading Maggette for Gordon the Bobcats received a pure shooter that probably won’t play well with second year guard Kemba Walker.  Both Walker and Gordon love to shoot and will have high FGAs when on the court.  The Cats also brought in Ramon Sessions, who is a pass first guard that can also score when needed.  It certainly looks as if Henderson and Walker will be paired up with Sessions and Gordon coming off the bench.  The pairings make sense on paper so what truly determines the starting line-ups will be what Mike Dunlap will see in training camp.

Bismack Biyombo will surely get more minutes this season.  You can certainly expect an increase of blocks and rebounds from the second year center.  He is still fairly raw on the offensive end but he is part of the future on this team with MKG and Kemba Walker.


Sure bets: Kidd-Gilchrist
Sleepers: Henderson, Walker, Sessions, Mullens, Biyambo
Pass on: Gordon, Thomas

It seems as if the Miami Heat are light years ahead of every team in their division.  Yet, from a fantasy perspective, this division resembles an untapped gold-mine of fantasy wealth.  There will be countless opportunities to pick up some late-round talent that may look like fantasy trash but may in fact turn into fantasy gold and win you a title.  Keep an eye on those positional battles and see who is outperforming whom by comparing per36 stats and PER.  Many players in this division will be passed on so a lot of these guys will be available when needed.   

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