10/11/12

DNB's: Fantasy Guru: Pacific Division Depth Chart


Before we start off, here are the links to the Eastern Conference depth charts:





Pacific Division

Los Angeles Lakers

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
D. Howard
J. Hill
R. Sacre

PF
P. Gasol
A. Jamison
E. Clark

SF
M. World Peace
D. Ebanks



SG
K. Bryant
J. Meeks
A. Goudelock

PG
S. Nash
S. Blake
C. Duhon


The Los Angeles Lakers have a straightforward chart to deal with.  Barring any serious injuries four out of the five positions have solid starters.  However, the aging Nash and Bryant may be rested more or less throughout the regular season.  That leaves some openings for minutes at the one and two spot.

Meeks has never really been a substantial threat or even a marginal sleeper throughout his career with the Sixers.  I see him as much of the same on this squad.  He may be useful for the odd three but the more athletic Goudelock may push for back-up minutes to Bryant.

At the PG, Nash will be rested plenty throughout the regular season and that gives Blake some minutes to play with.  However, Blake has really been the same old story in Los Angeles.  He has had all the opportunity to shine but with a few young bodies in there, we may see him sparsely used.  I’d avoid him in most cases; unless you are completely desperate for a couple three pointers and decent percentages.

Howard missed some time in Orlando last season and word out of camp has been good in terms of his health.  He was not expected to play in the season opener but look for the management team to push for him to play as it will create much hype for their first game.

Sure bets: Howard (early), Gasol (early), Bryant (early), Nash (early)
Sleepers:  Jamison, Goudelock, Ebanks
Pass on: Blake, Meeks, Clark, Sacre

Los Angeles Clippers

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
D. Jordan
R. Turiaf
R. Hollins

PF
B. Griffin
L. Odom
T. Thompkins

SF
C. Butler
G. Hill

M. Barnes
T. Leslie
SG
C. Billups
J. Crawford
W. Green

PG
C. Paul
E. Bledsoe



The Los Angeles Clippers have have a solidified starting line-up.  On top of that, they have one of the best second units in the league with new additions Lamar Odom and Jamaal Crawford.  Both of these guys are comfortable coming off the bench and both have collected the 6th man award in recent years (Crawford in ’09 and Odom in ’10). 

It doesn’t end there.  The Clippers have picked up Matt Barnes and Grant Hill to bolster their perimeter.  However, all these second unit guys should lose some production value.  In particular, Barnes and Hill will most likely depreciate in fantasy value.  You may be able to count on Barnes for some steals and threes, but it is unlikely that he will get any significant minutes on this team.

Another interesting second unit player is Odom.  He is coming off of a disastrous season with the Mavericks.  His year ended in embarrassment as he was called out by former teammate Dirk Nowitzki, which led to his removal from the team.  Well, Lamar is back in lala land and will look to bounce back with the other NBA team in Los Angeles.  Lamar is a versatile big man that can handle the ball.  This gives him an edge over some of the other guys he is competing with for minutes.  If he does get his act together, there is no doubt he will be utilized fully.

Sure bets: Griffin (early), Jordan (mid to late), Paul (early)
Sleepers: Odom, Crawford, Bledsoe
Pass on: Hill, Barnes, Turiaf

Golden State Warriors

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
A. Bogut
F. Ezeli
A. Biedrins

PF
D. Lee
C. Landry
D. Green
J. Tyler
SF
H. Barnes
B. Rush

R. Jefferson

SG
K. Thompson
B. Rush
J. Jack

PG
S. Curry
J. Jack
C. Jenkins


There is an interesting battle for the Small Forward position brewing in the bay area.  Rookie Harrison Barnes has been impressive in camp but Brandon Rush has been right with him in the thick of things.  Aging vet Richard Jefferson seems to be the odd man out here. 

The Warriors have an interesting bunch of players to look at here.  David Lee will most likely give fantasy owners more of the same solid value that he has given since New York.  Bogut when healthy will have plenty of touches and rebounds.  Landry is also another nice piece to consider in the late rounds for some good percentages and rebounds.  You will want to avoid Biedrins completely this season.  Fantasy owners gave him one last chance for redemption and Biedrins failed miserably.  He is a black mark on your free throw percentage and does not cover that issue up in any other category.  He is a must pass.

Klay Thompson should give fantasy owners some good value as he is slated to start at the two.  There should be some caution hovering around Stephen Curry at this stage.  Although word out of camp regarding his ankle is positive, he is a chronic case and will have issues throughout his career.  That being said, Curry is still a solid PG moving forward.  If he stays healthy for long stretches of the season, he will give more than enough value in many categories.

Sure bets: Lee (early), Bogut (early to mid), Curry (early to mid), Thompson (mid)
Sleepers: Rush, Landry, Jack
Pass on: Jefferson, Biedrins

Sacramento Kings

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
D. Cousins
C. Hayes


PF
J. Thomspon
T. Robinson
T. Outlaw

SF
T. Evans
J. Johnson

J. Salmons
F. Garcia
SG
M. Thornton
J. Fredette


PG
I. Thomas
A. Brooks



Sacramento is in a serious situation at the three.  At this stage they have been experimenting with Evans moving to small forward to make room for Thornton at the two.  In their first preseason game, Evans was able to put up a nice stat line for 20 minutes.  However, I just see Evans as a little undersized for this role.  He will have difficulty covering some of the bigger SFs in the league.  Look for the Kings to experiment a great deal with their rotation. 

At this stage the bigs in Sacramento are set.  Cousins and Thompson should start the season in the starting lineup.  However, rookie Thomas Robinson is breathing down the inconsistent Thompson’s neck.  If this is another lost season for Sacramento, Robinson will surely end up starting at some point. 

The glut of small forwards on this team includes a bunch of has beens that should be devalued in the context of fantasy basketball no matter what comes out of camp.  Salmons, Outlaw, Garcia and former Raptor James Johnson will all be battling for minutes.  I give the edge to James Johnson since he is young, athletic and isn’t a defensive liability. 

Thomas and Brooks should go into the season battling to start at PG.  Brooks had a couple of stellar seasons in Houston before he fell out of favour.  A year in China may have revamped his attitude.  Look for Brooks to prove that he is worthy of his former role as lead QB on the floor.

Sure bets: Cousins (early), Evans (mid), Thornton (mid)
Sleepers: Thompson, Robinson, Thomas, Brooks
Pass on: Outlaw, Salmons, Garcia, Johnson, Fredette

Phoenix Suns

Position
Player
Player
Player
Player
C
M. Gortat
J. O’Neal
C. Frye

PF
L. Scola
M. Morris


SF
M. Beasley
J. Dudley

P.J. Tucker

SG
J. Dudley
W. Johnson
S. Brown

PG
G. Dragic
K. Marshall
S. Telfair


The new look Phoenix Suns come into this pre-season with a lot of question marks and position battles.  The only real sure bets to give fantasy owners good value are Marcin Gortat and Luis Scola. 

The real battles on this team begin at the two and three.  Michael Beasley seems like a good bet to start at the three since he is by far the most talented of the bunch.  He should be set to receive a lot of looks. 

Competing with Beasley, we have Nash era perimeter player Jared Dudley looking to stay relevant.  He has been shooting the lights out in camp and should get his minutes on this team.  Dudley’s shooting touch and his experience with Alvin Genrty gives him the edge to beat out Wesley Johnson and Shannon Brown for the shooting guard position. 

Sure bets: Gortat (early), Scola (mid), Beasley (mid) Dragic (mid)
Sleepers: Dudley, Johnson
Pass on: Frye, O’Neal, Brown

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