Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Like the Way They Dribble Up and Down the Court

As our handful of readers already know (if there are even that many), the contributors to this blog are some major fantasy sports nerds. I may be the nerdiest of them all. Every year I try to make my own statistical projections for baseball, football and basketball. Usually, work and nobody else in my life sharing my nerdiness works against me and I rarely complete my projections to my own satisfaction. This year, I budgeted my time a little better, or worse depending on your point of view, and I am pretty pleased with both my football and basketball projections. 

It's a little too late to post my football projections, and, while anybody who may stumble upon this probably has already had their fantasy basketball drafts, and definitely shouldn't rely on my projections if they haven't, the NBA season is young enough that I feel it is still somewhat relevant to post my projections. I won't go through the silly bullshit I do to convince myself that I'm arriving at objective conclusions, I'll just post the top 15 players at each position, based on position eligibility from Yahoo! Sports fantasy basketball, and then in mid-April we can all look back and laugh at how miserable my projections actually are. 

As some players qualify at multiple positions, I've expanded the rankings to top 20 for some positions to show as many unique players as possible. The players are sorted within a given position based on a weighting system that considers what I think someone typically would be looking for from that position in a standard nine-category head-to-head fantasy basketball league. So, blocks and rebounds aren't weighted too heavily for point guards, but assists and steals are. Likewise, rebounds and blocks are weighted heavily for power forward and centers, but assists and steals aren't. The rankings also give strong consideration to projected games played.

Here are my projections for point guard:

Nothing too exciting there. Some people may disagree with the specific rankings, since Steve Nash is so low, but he doesn't contribute much in the counting stats except for assists and three pointers. O.J. Mayo is probably higher than most people would think, and certainly higher than most people who know me would expect, but he really only hurts you in FG%, although it should be noted that he isn't a great source of assists at all. 

The following table shows my projections for the top 15 shooting guards:

Again, this is pretty much what you would expect at the top. I suppose some might disagree with Pierce being ahead of Granger, which is due to Pierce's better assist numbers. Also, Dwayne Wade is ranked lower than most would consider reasonable, but that's because of his mediocre FT% and the fact that he takes a bunch of free throws, and also because his rebounds and blocks aren't weighted that heavily in this group ranking.

Below are my projections for small forward:

And here are power forward projections:

Here are the final position rankings for centers:

Finally, here my projections for the top 10 rookies based on my rankings:

Note that Blake Griffin has the best per game averages, but is 7th because I projected only 54 games played for him. Based on the very early returns, it looks like I totally missed the boat on James Johnson.

There you go. Tune back in in April to see how bad these projections really are.

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