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Fantasy Basketball Roundtable: Our most shameful draft picks

by on Dec.02, 2010, under Other

Rashard Lewis

A scarlet number for Lewis and his shameful cohorts in this post. (Flickr/Keith Allison)

This week I have the distinct pleasure of hosting the Fantasy Basketball Roundtable. My prediction for this week’s discussion? In the words of the great Clubber Lang, “Pain.”

Since all the respondents are devoted fantasy basketball bloggers and supposed “experts” in this wonderful field of study, I thought it would be nice for our readers to get a glimpse into our amateur moments — to humanize us and make us more relatable, if we weren’t already. Little did I know how afflicted the answers would turn out to be. They read like a series of tear-soaked letters from spurned lovers recounting regrettable romances that have all gone awry and ended in soul-crushing heartbreaks. Without further ado, here is the pointed question I put to our panel of fantasy basketball authorities:

Who has turned out to be your most shameful draft pick?

Get those handkerchiefs ready. Here are the dismal responses, with the shameful players’ names in red:

  • Jeff Andriesse, Damn Lies & Statistics:
    Shame on me for going down the Rashard Lewis road again. My thinking was to grab him in the middle to late rounds as a cheap source of threes, but all I’ve gotten has been a cheap source of nausea. Lewis was terrible last year, just brutal. He had to be better, right? Well, he is worse, if that is possible. There aren’t enough rebounds to go around for Lewis playing with Dwight Howard, but just 4.4 per game? At 6-foot-10? And the threes – 1.8 per game through Tuesday – don’t make up for his anemic numbers across the board. This is a man making $19 million per year and he can’t use his skills to take advantage of mismatches against either smaller or bigger opponents. The basketball equivalent of a wallflower, he remains one of those players who you can’t quite drop but are loathe to count on as a starter. Never again, Rashard. Never again.
  • Ryan Lester, LestersLegends.com:
    Without a question, J.R. Smith has been my most shameful draft pick. I figured if Carmelo Anthony was dealt, Smith would be in line for a big scoring boost. If nothing else, he’d be good for around 15 points a game, along with a couple of three-pointers.  I did not anticipate a swan dive in minutes and virtually every category. Aside from his recent 30-point outbreak, Smith has been held to 13 or fewer points every game this season. Not exactly what I was expecting from a guy who averaged 15.3 points over the past two seasons. The 2.2 three-pointers per game he averaged over the past four seasons was down to 1.3 as of 11/30 with only one game with more than two treys.
  • Patrick Madden, Give Me The Rock:
    My most shameful draft pick this year has been – without a doubt – Chris Bosh. The crime occurred in the second round of a supposed expert’s league… when Josh Smith was still on the table. Yes, I went with Bosh over Josh Smith. It was a bad pick at the time and looks even worse now thanks to the regression of Bosh. Less than two months removed from the pick and I cannot even explain why I did it. Honestly, I think I blacked out. While Bosh has been as bad as (or worse than) many people feared, Smith has put numbers right in line with his best protections. Through this point in the season Smith leads Bosh in rebounding (9.1 to 7.3), blocks (2.4 to 0.8), steals (1.5 to 0.8), assists (4.1 to 1.8) and even threes (0.5 to 0.1). Meanwhile, my reward for taking Bosh is a fantasy team as uninspired and disgusting as the actual Miami Heat.
  • Erik Ong, Give Me The Rock:
    My most shameful draft pick was at an auction draft. This was my first time to participate in a real auction draft and I suppose I got too fancy, too soon. For those who aren’t familiar with how an auction draft goes, each pick is actually just an opportunity to “nominate” a player to be auctioned for. You have the prerogative of setting the starting bid for the player you nominate. Somewhere in the middle rounds of the Give Me The Rock auction league draft – I’ve forgotten exactly which round – I hear trauma sometimes causes partial amnesia, and this was a very traumatic experience for me. I decided to be a wise-ass and nominate Anthony Randolph, fully intending for someone else to pay for him. I decide to set the starting bid at $18 and slowly, painfully, watched as the timer (as if in slow motion – like in the movies) ticked away. I knew I was screwed when one of the other drafters mockingly said “You can keep him!” It was like swallowing a watermelon, except someone forgot to slice the dang thing. So I not only “picked” Randolph, but actually wasted 18 precious fantasy dollars of my drafting budget for a player I knew I didn’t really want and eventually threw to the FA pool. So yeah, I was one of those dufuses who picked Anthony Randolph this season. By the way, for the record, this post was actually more traumatizing (again), than cathartic.
  • Will Overton, Rotoprofessor:
    For me it has to be Darren Collison so far. I easily could have taken one of the many players I drafted who has already been hurt, such as Brandon Roy, but it’s hard to be to ashamed of a guy getting hurt. And it’s not that Collison has been totally awful, but he certainly hasn’t lived up to the hype he had going into the year, the hype I bought into, thanks to the way he played filling in for Chris Paul last year. He’s only averaging a shade over 14 points and a highly disappointing 4.4 assists per game. That’s below a whole lot of guys including some like Rodney Stuckey who went about 4 – 5 rounds after where I took Collison. The most shaming part of the pick might be that two of the next three guys taken were Russell Westbrook and Derrick Rose…I know, and I am ashamed.
  • Justin Kendall, Life is Just a Fantasy Basketball Blog:
    I’m not ashamed of drafting Reggie Williams, but I am ashamed of how high I drafted him (with the 92nd pick). Don Nelson’s departure and Dorell Wright’s arrival have killed any fantasy impact Williams would have had this season. In hindsight, reaching on Williams and passing on guys like Wesley Matthews, Serge Ibaka and Wilson Chandler was a mistake.
  • My answer:
    Beno Udrih for $9 — before Jose Calderon went for $1 and D.J. Augustin went for $2, and after Mike Conley and Andre Miller each went for $3. It was late in the draft, I had four roster spots remaining and I still didn’t have a point guard on my squad. Given my crush on Udrih heading into the season, I figured that I had better nab him here or else I’d be left without a reliable point guard. I had some competition in bidding for Udrih and probably gave away my intense desire for him by upping the bids too quickly, but I figured that I had enough cash to burn and that the dude would easily give me $9 worth of fantasy value in 2010-11. Clearly, I didn’t pay close enough attention and missed out on some bargains right around my tragic purchase of Udrih’s services. I could blame this on the unforeseen emergence of the great Luther Head or the fact that this was my first real auction draft, but this was just a poor display of planning, focus and budgeting on my part, especially in light of the point guards I passed on and failed to see ahead. I pray that he gets his starting gig back, but for the time being, his spot on my roster — in a daily-update league — just makes me sad.
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