The Talented Mr. Roto
April 19 - So… how’d I do? Again?
Last fantasy basketball column of the season kids for the TMR although I’ll be doing one for the NBA Playoff Fantasy Game soon….But this is the final fantasy hoops column of the year. And, with only three days left in the season, I am looking back at my pre-season predictions.
Here’s what I wrote last week:
When you are an “Expert” – that is to say, when you are paid for your writing and predictions – especially in fantasy sports, you are only as good as your prognostications. Every year, no matter what the sport, I see folks put out their sleeper lists, their busts lists, their projections and rankings.
Then the season ends and everyone forgets. But not me. I’m like whatever animal has really good memories. Elephant? Hippo? Mo Vaughn? It’s one of those. Anyways, the point is… I like to put my money where my mouth is. As far as I have seen, I am the only columnist who grades himself after the season on his ENTIRE list, not just selected ones to make themselves look good.
So with the season closing down, I am going to print my “LOVE / HATE” list from the pre-season. This week my “LOVE” list, next week the “HATE” list and see how I did. The idea of the list was that players I “LOVED” were players that I thought would exceed their expectations. Whether those expectations were two points or 20 points a game.
So here it is. Written on Saturday, October 8th, 2006 here’s the list, completely unedited, for better or worse. The projections I am basing this on are the ones listed in the NBA.com Fantasy Basketball Draft Magazine. And here we go. I am not going to re-write all the projections and all of the final stats – you can look them up yourself if you care. Or you can trust me. Either way, my new comments have a “***” next to them.
Back to present day now and last week was the love list. By my own self-grading, I scored 29 out of 46 for 63% correct.
Among the email reactions I got was two different emails from reader Jim which totaled over 1000 words. Basically, it was a lot of numbers explaining why I suck, but here’s an edited version of one of his notes…
TMR: 29 out of 46 ain't bad. However, you're going to score well when you're grading your own exam. Why not create a poll and let the readers decide how you well you did in each instance. Also, if you put guys like Stoudamire, Harris, Perkins on your list of guys you love, then aren't you saying that you expect him to do better than 'not projected to do much'? In that case, the fact that he didn't do much wouldn't qualify as a push. Otherwise, why'd you put them on your list in the first place? …Calling Hinrich (elite point guard), Baron (this is the year he stays healthy), Manu (next level), Peja, TJ Ford (healthy) and Dwight Howard (next Amare's) are each a stretch as pushes or wins based on the reason you listed for including them. And calling Darko (232nd rated player based on per game stats), Pietrus (246th), Miles (163rd), and especially Desmond Mason (282nd) wins is also stretching it. Jim Colton
Back to me now and I thought it was fairly clear on a few things. One, that the original point of the list is for leagues of all sizes. Guys like Kendrick Perkins may not have value in most leagues but I have readers that are in 20 team 15 man roster leagues and Perkins is a valuable commodity. So someone projected for 5 points that gets 8 is of value. I guess I could have been more clear about how I graded though.
It’s based on season totals, not per game averages and it is based on the standard eight rotisserie categories. If a guy was above projections in 5 or more of 8 categories, he was a win. 3 or less, he was a loss. I don’t pay attention to the reason I wrote. First, most of them are jokes and do you really care if a guy goes nuts because another guy on his team got injured or because he got traded? We care only about numbers and if you are going to penalize me for the fact that my one line quips were not exactly right as to why a guy exceeded or did not (as you’ll see below) then… I don’t know. You’re nuts. Find yourself a new fantasy columnist.
I also used common sense in what the worth of a player is. If T.J Ford didn’t surpass his blocks projections, who cares? The number were negligible. In other words, no turnovers. You can’t predict injury of course so a “LOVE” player that went down I took a pass on, like Miles. Specifically, guys like Mason, Darko, Pietrus and Miles DID exceed their projected season totals.
Anyways, if you have a problem (or agree) with my grading, feel free to drop me a line at the email address at the end of the column. And with that, let’s get to it.
GUYS I HATE:
AL HARRINGTON/SF/ATL: For a small forward to play for me, he needs to shoot the three or block something. Harrington does neither.
ERICK DAMPIER/C/DAL: They say everything is bigger in Texas. That include stiffs?
KEITH VAN HORN/F/DAL: On the plus side, when he’s sitting on the bench in his sweats we don’t have to see his high socks.
JAMAAL TINSLEY/G/IND: The extra “a” stands for “a turnover machine.”
STEPHEN JACKSON/SG/IND: Gonna be a lot tougher with everyone not suspended.
MARCUS BANKS/G/BOS: Not sure who will win starting PG job, just know who won’t.
CARMELO ANTHONY/F/DEN: Better name than fantasy player. Typical response: “Yeah, same thing said about ‘Talented Mr. Roto.’
MARCUS CAMBY/C/DEN: Think he stays healthy three years in a row? Then you are braver than I. And stupider. Or, uh, more handsome. Yeah, more handsome. Don’t ask for your money back!
BREVIN KNIGHT/G/CHA: Do not - I repeat - do not - look at last year’s stats.
TAYSHAUN PRINCE/F/DET: On the plus side, I really liked Purple Rain.
RICHARD HAMILTON/G/DET: See Anthony, Carmelo.
RASHEED WALLACE/C/DET: I’ve never liked him. He’s never liked me. Legally, I am not allowed to talk about it except to say it involves, as most of these things do, an awkward night with Lindsay Lohan.
TIM THOMAS/F/CHI: The problem with Thomas in Chicago is that they already have versions of Tim Thomas and they’re all better and younger.
MIKE DUNLEAVY/F/GS: So sue me, but I’ve never been a fan of 4th options on offense.
EDDIE JONES/G/MEM: A while ago, there was a movie called “Eddie.” It starred Whoopi Goldberg as a loud mouth fan of the Knicks who ends up getting the head coaching job by being, I don’t know, loud. Lacking in humor, a believable plot and, sadly, the best acting in the movie is by Rick Fox, this movie is, as we say in the film industry, shitty. So the connection between the name Eddie and Pro Basketball was already soured in my mind BEFORE Mr. Jones got traded to a team that already has three other guys that can play the two.
LORENZEN WRIGHT/C/MEM: Unless you’re cool with getting no blocks from your center.
BOB SURA/G/HOU: The Rafer Alston trade? Not a vote of confidence.
DEREK ANDERSON/G/HOU: Once a Clipper, Always a Clipper. There. I said it.
ANTOINE WALKER/F/MIA: The killing of your FG%, the fact that he won’t see the rock in Miami, the poor attitude… there are many reasons to hate Employee #8, but how’s about I just choose the shimmy and we leave it at that?
SHAQUILLE O’ NEAL/C/MIA: He was on good behavior last year, but this year, he’s got reinforcements and another year on his belt. No more than 67 games. Three of the last four years. Not enough games for a guy you’ll take in round one, but enough to kill your FT%.
BOBBY SIMMONS/F/MIL: It’s as true in fantasy as it is in real life: Never pay for a career year.
GRANT HILL/G/ORL: Death. Taxes. Grant getting injured. The only three things in this crazy life you can count on….
TIM DUNCAN/F/SA: I have two words for you. MAN. NU. It’s no longer Duncan’s team and I have no interest in my team’s 1st round fortunes riding on those knees.
MICHAEL FINLEY/F/SA: How the mighty have fallen.
MARKO JARIC/G/MINN: Marko? Polo! Marko? Polo!! Marko?? POLO!!! … Oh, sorry. Just playing a game with my friends where we close our eyes and see if we can find Marko’s shot.
MICHAEL OLOWOKANDI/C/MINN: See Anderson, Derek.
CHRIS WEBBER/F/PHI: He’s seen Tyra naked. If that’s not enough reason to hate him, I don’t know what is.
MORRIS PETERSON/G/TOR: Remember how I mentioned the dope mad rhyming skillz? Well check this out: If you draft this guy Mo’ Pete, your team, brother, will be dead meat. Ah, snap. Hot, right? Like the end of 8 mile, you’re just stunned at how I brought it, right? That’s what I thought. *** Actually, he stepped it up this year. 19 of 25.
P.J. BROWN/F/NO: See Hamilton, Richard.
CARON BUTLER/F/WSH: I would just like to point out that I am at the end of the column, dog tired and yet, do I do an obvious “The Butler Did It” type joke? No, I do not. You’re welcome.
BRENDAN HAYWOOD/C/WSH: His nickname is Brenda. Need I say more?
AARON McKIE/G/LAL: Word out of Laker camp is that he’s just shot. Not literally mind you, it’s not like he was driving in LA traffic or anything - but that physically he just doesn’t have it anymore. Pass.
AMARE STOUDEMIRE/C-F/PHX: You did hear about the injury, right? And I think he’s done for the year, by the way.
SHAUN LIVINGSTON/G/LAC: Also adhering to the NBA Dress Code from Day 1.
ANDREW BOGUT/C/MIL: The trade for Magloire tells me the Bucks have NO confidence in Bogut. So why should you?
So there you have it. “Hate” turned out much better than “Love.” Wonder if that means I have too much inner anger.
FINAL “LOVE” SCORE: 29 of 46. 63%
FINAL “HATE” SCORE: 25 of 33. 76%.
FINAL TOTAL SCORE: 54 of 79. 68%.
Not bad. Not bad at all. Hope you had a great season and thanks for reading. Even you, Jim. See you next season!