Dynasty Battle – Tyus Jones vs. Dejounte Murray

Tom will be battling in favor of Tyus Jones and Alex in favor of Dejounte Murray.

Round 1:

I thought you were going to pick a player that would be harder for me to argue against. Dejounte Murray? The tall “point guard” with an 18 percent assist rate?

My man Tyus Jones has a 39.2% assist rate! 3-9 point 2, bro. That would be higher than CP3’s career high of 38% in 2010-2011.

Tom 1. Alex 0.

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Digging for Diamonds – Chris McCullough and Yogi Ferrell

Chris McCullough, who turned 22 on February 5th, was drafted by the Brooklyn Nets at the end of the first round in 2015 and has not cracked their pathetic rotation, so I understand if anyone is skeptical about his fantasy upside. However, right now he will cost you almost nothing besides a roster spot and he has the ability to be a standout in multiple categories.

In a small sample in 2015, McCullough stole or blocked the ball on almost 7% of possessions. Nerlens Noel is the standard bearer in that regard, registering a steal or block on 7.2% of possessions in 2015-2016. For reference, Draymond Green’s combined rate was 5.2%. In other words, even with significant regression in those categories (and there will be regression), all McCullough needs to do to turn a profit on your investment is get on the court.

So can McCullough develop the rest of his game enough to the point that he’s earning the playing time necessary for him to become a start-worthy fantasy contributor?

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The Dynasty Guru Podcast: Episode 3 (Basketball Rankings)

The Dynasty Guru Podcast: Ep. 3 is live and available here and on iTunes.

This is the first episode in which we discuss dynasty basketball. Tom Trudeau and TDG Hoops Contributor Andrew Ressler discuss the February Dynasty 200 fantasy basketball rankings.

Topics include:

  • The dynasty stock of Nikola Jokic, D’Angelo Russell, Kristaps Porzingis
  • ACL injuries to Zach Lavine and Jabari Parker
  • Analysis of Khris Middleton, Tyus Jones and Yogi Ferrell.

Digging for Diamonds – Juan Hernangomez and Thon Maker

In recent months I’ve examined hoops prospects I find interesting that may be worth acquiring or picking up on the waiver wire, depending on the size of your league. In yet another International Men of Mystery version of Digging for Diamonds, I’ll focus on 2016 1st round picks, Juan Hernangomez and Thon Maker.

Let me state off the top – for first round picks, we have very limited information on these two. Information is good – it’s what allowed some to recognize Nikola Jokic as bonafied with confidence where others may have been skeptical. With a larger data set to work with, dynasty owners may have known to avoid someone like bust-in-the-making, Dante Exuum, who had played in very few professional games when the Utah Jazz selected him in the lottery back in 2014.

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Top 200 Dynasty Basketball Rankings, February 2017

A quick primer on these #Dynasty200 ranks for newcomers:

  • These are designed with 9-category, H2H leagues in mind.
  • If you play in a roto league, I recommend fading the category ruiners like Dwight Howard.
  • If you play in an 8-category league, you can give a bump to volume guys with massive turnover problems such as James Harden and Westbrook.
  • I try to keep a healthy balance between present value and upside, but I tend to prefer sustainable periods of contention in dynasty instead of the “go-for-broke” style.

The site is entirely free and supported by Viewers Like You. Please consider donating by finding the “donate” Paypal button along the right side of the page and sharing these ranks on social media or with your league-mates (it can actually help facilitate trades). Follow The Dynasty Guru on Twitter and join our Facebook group

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Digging for Diamonds: Ivica Zubac and Ante Zizic

After riding the bench for most of the season, Lakers’ rookie center Ivica Zubac has posted three double-doubles in the last ten days despite playing fewer than 30 minutes in each contest. Born in a country that definitely exists – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Zubac played against top competition in Serbia before declaring for the 2016 NBA draft.Don’t let his second round pedigree fool you into thinking Zubac lacks upside. He had a rookie WARP projection of 1.7, which is more commonly found among lottery selections, (Marquese Chriss had a 1.9 projection).  My working theory is there’s a lingering bias among NBA GM’s against Euro bigs, particularly those seen as unable to help right away (e.g. the Knicks selected “NBA ready” Cleanthony Early over Nikola Jokic and his 3.1 rookie WARP projection in 2014).

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Digging for Diamonds: Caris LeVert and Montrezl Harrell

In the last edition of Digging for Diamonds I wrote up Willy Hernangomez and Richaun Holmes, a couple of intriguing “per minute darlings “that have yet to find consistent playing time. This time around, I’ll look at two prospects who have recently benefitted from more playing time – Caris LeVert and Montrezl Harrell.

Based entirely on his age, college stats and size, LeVert’s preseason CARMELO projections defined him as an “OK prospect” with his top ten NBA player comparisons including score-first combo guards Reggie Jackson and Brandon Roy (that’s good!)… and a whole bunch of fringe rotation players (that’s bad). Given his combination of size, shooting and playmaking ability the dream is indeed Brandon Roy, who represents a plausible, if highly unlikely best case scenario. Unlike most combo guard prospects, LeVert showed legitimate playmaking skills as a collegiate athlete.  In fact, his 28% assist rate in college ranks around the 90th percentile. His 22% assist rate as a pro (albeit in a small sample) suggests he can at least fake point guard duties, particularly in a league that is more flexible about what a primary ball-handler is asked to do (e.g. Giannis and Harden). (For reference, Brandon Roy had an assist rate just below 20% for his career.)

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The 2014 and 2015 NBA Draft Classes: Buy, Sell, Hold, or Drop

Disregarding the big names who have already broken out and become established stars. These players are ones to target now before they firmly establish their value.
TJ Warren: Started off the season hot, went down with an injury, and has been up and down since his return. What he showed in the beginning of the season was no fluke. He may only excel in one category, but he’s scoring 20 points per forty minutes which makes him a relatively cheap, reliable source of points.
Elfrid Payton: Struggles to shoot the basketball, but the only thing keeping him from being a double digit assist player is his supporting cast. When Serge Ibaka is currently leading your team in 3PT%, it’s going to be difficult to rack up assists. On the season, Payton has a 16.01 PER and a 3.1 A/T ratio. He is only scratching the surface of his potential at 22 years of age.
Cristiano Felicio: Taj Gibson is a free agent at the end of the year and is rumored to be on the trading block, Mirotic has struggled, and Robin Lopez is Robin Lopez. Felicio may not be an all-star talent, but it may be wise to acquire him now as there is a potential minutes increase coming his way as soon as February. Granted, it is a small sample size, but this season Felicio is averaging 10.9 points and 13.9 rebounds per 36 minutes so he could prove to be an asset down the stretch.
Others to consider: Rodney Hood

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Digging for Diamonds: Richaun Holmes and Willy Hernangomez

I’m a sucker for two things when it comes to dynasty basketball prospects – efficiency and sexy defensive stats. If players are efficient, they’re more likely to get playing time and put up stats. Sexy defensive stats make for a high floor, because the player can be deployed as a useful specialist at minimum.

That’s why when I saw the ease and versatility with which Willy Hernangomez scores and the pace with which Richaun Holmes blocks shots and steals basketballs, I new I had to rip off the baseball writer’s “Digging for Diamonds” column.

Indeed, it does require some digging to find these two on anyones watch list. They only average about 30 minutes per game combined right now, but both have flashed per minute numbers that have piqued my interest.

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Dynasty Hoops Breakouts: Buy, Sell or Hold

When a blue chip prospect such as Karl Anthony Towns plays well, we can be reasonably sure that his production is a legitimate reflection of his true talent. On the other hand, when less heralded prospects break out it can be harder to trust their production will hold long term. Here’s my take on some recent lottery picks without the “can’t miss” tag attached to them enjoying career years.

  1. Myles Turner 

Age: 20 (21 in March)

PER: 21.23

Rookie WARP projection: 2.6 (8th in 2015-2016 draft class)

CARMELO 5-Year forecast: $50.7M (“Up-And-Comer”)

9-Cat Fantasy Ranking: 12th

Turner had a solid if unspectacular rookie year in 2015-2016, flashing a fantasy friendly skill set including a 95th percentile block rate. Despite falling to 11th overall in the draft, there had been a consensus view among scouts and the stat heads that he was an easy top ten pick in a top heavy draft. I ranked Turner 54th in my inaugural #Dynasty200 back in October. I thought that was aggressive at the time, but Turner has since broken out, hitting the high end of his potential outcomes.

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