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Fantasy Basketball Guy

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November 28, 2011

Free Agents to Watch For in 2011

With the NBA possibly starting on Christmas Day, you might be excited to get started on your draft picks.

Not so fast!

There are many restricted and unrestricted free agents that could make a real difference on your roster. Some of them might even be picked as high as the third or fourth round in your respective drafts (based on a twelve team league). You’ll have to wait and see which team lands them to a contract, though, before you know exactly where you ought to draft them. Who they are playing with and where they appear on their team’s depth chart could make quite the difference on where you might be willing to draft these players.

Here are a five of the most notable Fantasy NBA players on the free agent market:

1. David West is exceptional in many categories including FG%, FT%, points, and rebounds. He’s certain to be gone by the fifth round of your draft. If he can stay healthy, he would be a guaranteed second or third rounder, but it’s hard to say how many games he’ll play this year. With a season shortened by the lockout, though, his body might be good to go the entire season.

2. Jason Richardson can help out quite a bit in three pointers, points, and steals. Look for him to go in the fourth or fifth round. He’s one of the few high scorers that is normally available outside of the top two or three rounds, so if you are finding yourself lacking in points after the first three rounds, Richardson is usually a strong candidate to make up some ground. Depending on which team he lands and the minutes he plays could mean a huge difference in his scoring output.

3. Nene might be one of the top names that NBA teams will be pursuing this offseason. For Fantasy owners, his monstrously high FG% and his good stats in points, rebounds, steals, blocks, and low turnovers make him a nice safe addition in your fourth round. As an eligible center, he might go higher where some owners like to reach to fill their center slot.

4. Marc Gasol might go as high as the third round in some leagues, especially considering the fact that he continues to improve year after year. His FG%, points, rebounds, blocks, and low turnovers make him a nice pick. Depending on where he lands, he might even be worth reaching for in the end of the second round. His center eligibility doesn’t hurt either.

5. Thaddeus Young did quite well last year in FG%, points, rebounds, steals, and very low turnovers. Based on his last year’s stats, he might go as high as the seventh round in some leagues, especially by owners who expect him to continue to improve. Based on which team he ends up, his stock could rise even higher.

Other free agents of note that could go in the top 8 rounds of your Fantasy Basketball Draft are:

  1. Shane Battier – A perennial safe pick
  2. Tyson Chandler – FG, Rebounds, Blocks and low turnovers
  3. Rodney Stuckey – FT%, Points, Steals
  4. Kris Humphries – FG%, Rebounds, and Blocks
  5. Arron Afflalo – FG%, FT%, Three Pointers, Low Turnovers
  6. Grant Hill – Good and safe all around
  7. Nick Young – FT%, Three Pointers, Points, Low Turnovers

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