So is your draft day around the corner? You’ve got your sleepers, busts, and sure-things lined up and ready to go? NOT SO FAST. Before you pull the trigger and draft these players, take a step back and think about their values.
The big man in the middle was projected to go top-5 in pretty much every league out there. But in some kind of freak accident he broke his hand just weeks before the regular season was slated to start. Love was a fantasy stud last year until he completely dropped the ball and sat out the end of the regular season. A regular 20/12 guy with 3’s to boot.
Now he is slated to miss 6-8 weeks for his hand to fully recover which means that most fantasy owners won’t be getting anything out of him till mid-December to early January. If you think he still warrants a first-round pick… then you better rethink your draft strategy buddy. Although he will still come back and produce like he usually does it isn’t worth crippling your team for almost half of the regular fantasy season.
First on Deck: Derrick Williams
Williams will most likely shoulder the load during Love’s absence for the first two months of the season. HE has shown flashes of offensive talent and expect him to live up to being the 2nd pick of the 2011-2012 NBA Draft. With the ability to catch and shoot the 3-pointer as well as create his own shot he is going to be a solid fantasy option going forward. There is a void in Minnesota right now and without their two franchise players someone will need to step up in order to keep the Wolves in play-off contention. Hopefully Williams will be able to pick it up on offense and grab a solid number of rebounds.
Let’s not forget that the Timberwolves have also signed Andrei Kirilenko and Brandon Roy during the off-season. Roy looks to be a great pick-up and to be honest it wouldn’t be that suprising if he came back and performed like he did in his rookie year, he seems healthy in his pre-season games. Without Love and Rubio to create on the offensive end, Roy will be called upon to distribute and score every night.
Kirilenko was a statiscal beast in Utah until Deron Williams showed up. He is the only player to have ever recorded a 5×5 (5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, 5 blocks) since 2006. After a deflating career with the Utah Jazz, AK-47 has looked energized in his preseason games and also looked great in the 2012 London Olympics (playing for Russia). He isn’t going to be the AK of old but he’ll definitely be a multi-stat contributor on a nightly basis