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 uivocation of his perceived real-life NBA value, our jobs would be cake. Life would be one long Midseason Fantasy All-Stars colu

If a players fantasy hoops value was a rough equivocation of his perceived real-life NBA value, our jobs would be cake. Life would be one long Midseason Fantasy All-Stars column.Playoff performance would drive fantasy value. Championship rings accrued would drive fantasy value. Signing a big free agent contract would drive fantasy value. Points scored per game would drive a plurality of fantasy value. Draft position, defensive intensity, SportsCenter appearances, college program and market size would all drive fantasy value.Heres the trick: all of those factors do drive fantasy valuation, but not in a constructive manner.Instead, all of these factors combine to create noise. This noise begets variations in perceived fantasy value versus actual fantasy value.The result is perpetually overrated players like DeAndre Jordan, perennially underrated players like Mike Conley and, more often than not, solid values such as Paul Millsap.Winning in fantasy is simple. If you roster more undervalued players than your fellow owners ... you win. If you roster more overvalued players ... they win.Dont get caught up in name value. Stick to the numbers.Our job is to filter out the noise and focus only on eight or nine categories of statistical impact, and the factors that drive production in said categories.We here at ESPN do an industry-leading job in pinpointing fantasy value. Its a fact. Our tried and true preseason rankings represent just how much work goes into creating a superlative Draft Kit. These rankings are saturated with projections you can take to the bank of your choice.All the same, theres nothing wrong with a dollop of healthy disagreement. Every happy and well-adjusted family has the occasional behind-the-scenes pre-Thanksgiving argument.More often than not, my disagreements with our preseason rankings are fueled by atypical positional production. Players at certain positions tend to simultaneously excel and disappoint in certain categories.Point guards typically produce a surfeit of assists, 3s, steals and solid free throw percentages. They tend to suffer from a lack of rebounds, blocks and field goal percentage. Centers typically produce a surplus of blocks, rebounds and boffo field goal percentages. They tend to lack in assists, steals and free throw percentage.When players at certain positions deviate from these norms, they offer categorical surprises -- positive and negative.Lets take a quick jaunt through my most underrated and overrated players this draft season.Underrated players in the top 10In the first round, every single slot counts. Just moving up or down a couple of draft slots can win or lose your league.Stephen Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors (ESPN Rank: 4)I think were overweighting the Kevin Durant effect on Currys production. Curry is projected to drop about four points per game, less than one rebound per game and about a third of an assist per game.If those predictions hold relatively true, I have Curry still at No. 2 overall (behind newly minted PG James Harden). Currys otherworldly combination of 3-point production (projected 5.1 per game in 2016-17) and true shooting percentage (66.9 percent in 2015-16) could end up pushing him back into the top overall slot.Curry is utterly dominant in 3-point production, double any other player in the NBA save for Klay Thompson and Damian Lillard. When a player can win a category on his own while delivering elite production in multiple surrounding categories -- especially while bolstering efficiency -- you can forgive drops in volume.Hassan Whiteside, PF, Miami Heat (ESPN Rank: 13)Whiteside is elite in two categories: rebounds and field goal percentage. Like Curry, he occupies a one-man tier in a single category. Whiteside nearly doubles the blocks potential of every other player in the NBA.When you factor in that blocks are one of scarcer statistics in fantasy, Whitesides fantasy value climbs into the top 10. His free throw percentage (.650 in 2015-16) is somewhat disquieting, but was a big improvement over the .500 he laid down in 2014-15.Overrated players in the top 10Chris Paul, PG, Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN Rank: 6)I have Paul valued between No. 9 and No. 10 overall (in non-turnover leagues). Im not projecting the drop based on possibility of injury. (For the purposes of this column, Im assuming everyone stays reasonably ambulatory. If we got into whom we thought was going to get injured, this would turn into a different, darker column.)Pauls drop is due to slight, predictable slides in three categories. Looking over his past three seasons, Paul is trending down ever so slightly in assists, steals and field goal percentage. As long as Paul stays around 10 assists per game, hes a top-10 player. But if, in his age-31 season, his steals rate starts dropping from 2.0 per night to 1.5 per night? Thats a problem because the secret sauce in Pauls Hall Of Fame value has always marinated in his undervalued elite steals production.Underrated players in the top 40Victor Oladipo, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (ESPN Rank: 27)As of this writing, Oladipo is a top-20 fantasy player. This isnt an educated guess. Over the last third of 2015-16, Oladipo quietly posted top-20 value.He overcame a developmental situation in Orlando, slogged through inconsistent minutes and quietly built one of last seasons most improved fantasy portfolios. Now Oladipos going to ride shotgun next to Russell Westbrook? Reap all of the spacing Westbrook creates? Vacuum up the touches -- and open looks -- Kevin Durant left behind? (And yes. I know Durant will get even more space in Golden State, but Im touting Oladipo here).Were talking Westbrook lite, across-the-board fantasy value with no particular statistical weakness, elite steals and solid (for a SG) free throw percentage. Dont forget SG is looking particularly thin this draft season. If Oladipo eventually qualifies at PG as well -- another thin position -- itll just be another subtle plus.Nikola Jokic, C, Denver NuggetsIf the sight of Jokics minutes per game inching above 30 a night doesnt warm the cockles of your old and embittered fantasy heart, its time to explore other hobbies. This young man doesnt have a single statistical flaw. Double-doubles, blocks, assists, steals, 3s, terrific percentages: Jokic contributes across the board. He qualifies at a position of scarcity. Hes 2004 Andrei Kirilenko with some extra height.Jokic has momentum -- not playoff momentum (an outlier); end of 2015-16 momentum that translated into Olympic momentum. Jokic is a top-30 player right now, end of story.Overrated players in the top 40Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers (ESPN Rank: 11)In reality, Lillard and C.J. McCollum are a great basketball pair. In 2015-16, Lillard combined his 23.7 points, 7.1 assists, 2.8 3s and 4.4 rebounds with McCollums 20.3 points, 4.0 assists, 2.5 3s, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals to deserved acclaim.Volume-based acclaim.If you look a little closer, youll notice Lillard is not the kind of player you want to overdraft. Hes quietly inefficient.He sports a scary .419 field goal percentage. Lillards 3-point production (.375) doesnt effectively offset such a low field-goal percentage because Lillard takes (and misses) too many mid-range to long-range jumpers. His 3-point percentage is higher than his percentage from 3 to 15 feet. Almost 15 percent of his attempts are from 16 feet to the 3-point line.A .419 field goal percentage. Lillard launches 20 shots a night. Thats a lot of drag. The effect is enough to knock Lillard down by 8-10 draft slots.Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers (ESPN Rank: 23)This isnt about the punch. If I was folding in propensity toward injury and/or suspension, Griffins actual value would drop by two full rounds. It isnt about his formerly atrocious, now merely mediocre free throw shooting. Griffin has improved at the line.Griffin simply doesnt help out enough in the defensive categories to warrant a top-25 pick. A top-25 big man needs to chip in with at least a block and/or a steal per night. The once-gaudy points and rebounds are subtly trending downward.Ignore the hype. Griffin is an early fourth-round pick.Al Horford, C, Boston Celtics (ESPN Rank: 25)Horford is one of my most-drafted players of the past five seasons. Every year, he tends to a half round later than he should.His being underrated stemmed from three factors: Being more of an efficiency guy, he excels in out-of-position production, and the Hawks style tends to share the wealth up and down their lineup.His 3.2 assists per game in 2015-16 was one of the best (for a center) in basketball. He emphasized 3-point production, shooting .344 percent from deep and converting 1.1 3s per game. While his overall FG% was over 50 percent, Horford also shot an atypical (for a big man) 80 percent from the line.Its hard to be overhyped in Atlanta. After signing the second-biggest free agent deal of the summer, Horford is riding a wave of hype.Now Horfords coming off a much ballyhooed free-agent deal. Hes going to Boston, playing for it coach Brad Stevens and joining a team that should enter the season as the second-best team in the East.A team with a very deep rotation. Thats what gives me pause. While much of Horfords value is also efficiency based, you have to add some volume to give those ratios some weight.The Celtics are deeper up front than the Hawks. Stevens egalitarian system is not a good environment to add volume. Throw in that this is Horfords age-30 season, and youve looking at a player thats going to go 5-10 spots higher than he should.Kevin Love, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers (ESPN Rank: 34)I dont buy that Love is line for a bigger role in the Cavs offense. In reality, Love is a couple less rebounds per game away from becoming Ryan Anderson 2.0. For a guy ranked 34th overall, thats not a compliment.DeMar DeRozan, SG, Toronto Raptors (ESPN Rank: 42) DeRozan goes a little higher than he should because hes a points per game guy and a volume guy. In fantasy, his lack of 3-point production drags him down by about half a round.Underrated outside of the top 40DAngelo Russell, PG, Los Angeles Lakers (ESPN Rank: 66)Russell should be the biggest immediate beneficiary of playing in a post-Kobe Bryant universe. Kobes last lap around the NBA after All-Star Weekend took attention away from Russells second-half improvement.Kobes departure wasnt the only exodus that will benefit Russell. Byron Scott is also gone. Developing young upside is in. New coach Luke Walton is saying all the right things about Russells role headed into the season. Still only 20, Russells usage rate should take a nice leap from the 23.5 he posted during his (somewhat tumultuous) rookie campaign. I expect all of his volume-based numbers to improve, and his efficiency (13.22 rookie PER) has nowhere to go but up. Air Force 1 Cheap Outlet . Already owning gold from competition in Vancouver in 2010, Loch posted a combined four-run time of 3:27.526. That included a track-record third run of 51. Air Force 1 China Wholesale . -- In one brief spurt, Brazil turned a close game into a rout and proved again it will be a strong World Cup favourite. . The visitors took a deserved lead in the 16th minute with midfielder Yohan Cabaye curling the ball beyond Adrian from inside the penalty area. Air Force 1 Cheap Wholesale . The 18-year-old American had five birdies in her bogey-free round for a 17-under total of 196. Lee held the overnight lead but mixed three birdies with two bogeys for a 70. Wholesale Air Force Ones China . -- Ken Appleby made 32 saves for his first shutout of the season to lead the Oshawa Generals to a 2-0 win over the Belleville Bulls on Wednesday in Ontario Hockey League action. DENVER -- Tom Brady returns this weekend to Denver, where he was bruised and battered in the AFC championship game last season.The Denver Broncos hit him nearly two dozen times that frigid January night.Von Miller parlayed his performance -- 2+ sacks, four QB hits and an interception -- into one of the greatest showings by a defensive player in Super Bowl history two weeks later, bringing home both the Lombardi and the Super Bowl 50 MVP trophies.Brady limped out of Denver, his visions of playing well into his 40s nothing more than a pipe dream unless the Patriots could find a way to fix his porous protection.They did.Bradys jersey is hardly soiled anymore and he has the Patriots (11-2) rolling again.Hes only been sacked 12 times this year, noted Denver defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the architect of that January game. He hasnt been hit that much so the protection seems to be a lot better than they were last year.But he plays great all the time whether theres protection or not. We hit him a lot of times last year, but if you remember in the two games, he still came back at the end of both games. Hes a phenomenal quarterback. Theres nobody playing like him.A victory Sunday would not only give the Patriots an NFL record eighth consecutive division title, it would deal a severe blow to Denvers designs on defending its Super Bowl title.Clinging to the sixth and final playoff spot, the Broncos (8-5) will have to get through New England, Kansas City and Oakland, who are a combined 31-8, for that chance.Last year, we were one game out of not even making the playoffs and then we go ahead and win the Super Bowl, Chris Harris Jr. said.We kind of piggybacked on that, but we have to play better now. We have to start getting games rolling now and nothing will feel better than to get back on track by beating the Patriots.Miller channeled his inner Aaron Rodgers, imploring restless Broncos fans to relax.I mean, Im still going to be here, right? said the star pass rusher whose 13+ sacks are tied for the league lead.The question is whether he can get to Brady as he did last season when the Patriots spread out their offense and essentially asked Brady to be his own protector and get rid of the ball if an edge rusher came free.That philosophy worked against most teams, but the Broncos blew it up in the conference championship, hitting him a career-high 23 times, forcing him into 29 incompletions, two fourth-down flops and two interceptions, including one with 12 seconds left on a 2-point try that would have tied the game.The performance cost former offensive liine coach Dave DeGuglielmo his job in the offseason.ddddddddddddIt also led Bill Belichick to entice veteran former Patriots assistant Dante Scarnecchia out of retirement to reassume the role.Add in LeGarrette Blounts huge season and some personnel changes up front and the Patriots have done a much better job protecting their 39-year-old QB whos been sacked just twice in the past month.Theyll find out just how much progress theyve made when they face the NFLs top-ranked pass defense and its best pass rusher in Miller on Sunday.Here are other things to watch:SIEMIANS GROWTH: Greg Knapp, Trevor Siemians position coach, said he agrees with Kubiaks tough-love approach to the young QB by demanding more of him.Siemian is showing us hes got a great knack to handle a lot of pressure, Knapp said. When a guys like that, you want to keep pushing him.Demaryius Thomas said Siemian can be great. He gets better and better every week. He hasnt been the healthiest guy this season, but hes been able to put out good footballs when hes hurt. I imagine when he has the time, guys get open, he can take us the distance.MILE HIGH STRUGGLES: The Broncos are the only team with a winning record against Brady (9-6), and theyve won seven of nine against him in Denver.By bucking that trend, Brady would set yet another NFL record. His 52 career victories in December are tied with Hall of Famer Brett Favre for most wins by a starting quarterback in any month.WHAT ABOUT BLOUNT?: As impressive as Brady has been throwing the ball, much of the credit for New Englands offensive success goes to Blount, who has a career-high 1,029 yards and an NFL-best 14 TDs.Because they play the pass so well, I think weve got to find ways to make yards in the run game, Brady said. Weve done a pretty good job of that this year.SOFT UNDERBELLY? The Broncos bugaboo this season is their run defense. After leading the league last year, theyve nosedived to 29th against the run, which thwarts their advantage of having the leagues top secondary and best pass rush.Linebacker Brandon Marshall (hamstring) was replaced by Corey Nelson last week at Tennessee and when Todd Davis (ribs) went out, fellow backup Zaire Anderson came in and had five tackles.He got thrown in there last week and we played our best half, Kubiak said.---For more NFL coverage: and Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: Authentic Nike Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Tennessee Titans Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Washington Redskins Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Arizona Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Denver Broncos Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Green Bay Packers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike New England Patriots Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Oakland Raiders Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Seattle Seahawks Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Carolina Panthers Jerseys Cheap Authentic Nike Cleveland Browns Jerseys Cheap Cheap Throwback Baseball Arizona Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Atlanta Braves Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Baltimore Orioles Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Boston Red Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago Cubs Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Chicago White Sox Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cincinnati Reds Jerseys Cheap Throwback Baseball Cleveland Indians Jerseys ' ' '

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