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19.04.2018 13:54
ioned Saints defense. Linebacker James Laurin Antworten

With the NBA season quickly approaching, fantasy players across the country are gearing up for in-person or online drafts. To better prepare you for what to expect come draft day, we gathered some of our top fantasy basketball experts to participate in a mock selection process. Is Russell Westbrook the clear-cut No. 1 option? Will Kevin Durants fantasy production improve or decline, now that hes with the Golden State Warriors? Which late-round picks could be steals?The following group helped answer those questions and more in our initial mock draft for fantasy hoops: ESPN fantasy editors Greg Rosenstein, Tom Carpenter?and Leo Howell; ESPN writers Eric Karabell, Joe Kaiser, John Cregan and Jim McCormick; ESPN fantasy researcher Kyle Soppe; and ESPN NBA Stats & Information analysts Matthew Wittyngham and Malik Smith.Note: The scoring system for this particular mock draft is rotisserie, in which teams are ranked from first to last in each statistical category. Matthew Wittyngham on James Harden: Harden is an interesting player. Though he turns the ball over at a decent rate, only DeMarcus Cousins had a higher usage percentage during the regular season than Harden, among qualified players. Harden is the Rockets offense. His ridiculous stat line of 28 points, six assists and seven rebounds per game was a historic season, as he became the seventh player in NBA history to average that stat line, joining the likes of LeBron James, Larry Bird and the Big O. I expect a lot of the same this season, as his team lost Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard.Kyle Soppe on DeMarcus Cousins: I have Boogie ranked higher than most, and though this might seem a bit high, I wanted to get my guy, and I felt that there was no way I was getting him in the second round. The depth at center isnt great this year, and I tend to like the guard options in rounds 3-5, so I was going best available big man with this selection (Karl-Anthony Towns being my first choice). With Cousins, not only do I get statistical flexibility and a 26-year-old centerpiece of the fastest offense in the league (yep, no team averaged more possessions per game last season than the Kings), I get one of the three centers who offered up a steal and a block per game while producing a reasonable free throw percentage. The other two? Marc Gasol and my eighth-rounder.Tom Carpenter on Kevin Durant: In two mock drafts I did last week, I saw Durant go No. 1 overall and fall to me at No. 6 here. I cant see taking Durant over insane usage hogs Russell Westbrook and James Harden this season, but I was surprised he fell to me at No. 6 in this draft. That wide range does reflect the uncertainty that comes from his moving to the West Coast, but his efficiency should make him stellar in all formats.Joe Kaiser on Chris Paul: I feel strongly about the need to draft point guards early in fantasy basketball drafts this season, so I opted for the assists, steals and efficiency of Paul over Kawhi Leonard and Anthony Davis. In retrospect, I might have gone with Damian Lillard to assure my team has a point guard whos a huge 3-point threat, which Paul is not. That way, I could have come back in the second round and drafted Paul, if he had fallen, or the player I picked,?John Wall,?another stat-stuffing point guard who isnt much of a 3-point shooter.Carpenter on Giannis Antetokounmpo: I can pretty much guarantee this is the lowest I will be able to draft Antetokounmpo this season. I got him at No. 15, and his current ADP is 14. To me, he is a clear-cut first-rounder -- even before Khris Middletons long-term hamstring injury -- and the hype machine for him is going to rev up big time over the next month. Despite not turning on the jets until January, he finished 19th on the Player Rater last season. That means the 21-year-olds floor is about 15th, and his upside is top-five.Malik Smith on Hassan Whiteside: Arguably the NBAs top rim-protector, he averaged a league-high 3.7 blocks per game -- more than a full block per game ahead of the next-best player. Combined with his 11.8 rebounds per game, Whiteside reached numbers that had not been seen since Dikembe Mutombo in 1994-95 (12.5 rebounds and 3.9 blocks).Wittyngham on Isaiah Thomas: It is key to get a strong point guard, and though I opted to take the top shooting guard in the NBA, I still got IT4. His first full season with Boston was a career one, as he averaged a career high in PPG, APG and 3PM per game. In addition, he finished with a usage percentage of 29.3, which ranked in the top 20 of the NBA. With Al Horford adding to provide presence in the post, Thomas will be doing a lot of the same.Eric Karabell on Kemba Walker: Even choosing Russell Westbrook first overall, I wanted as strong a base as possible in assists and steals, so I made Kemba Walker the No. 21 pick. Walker should be fully recovered from offseason knee surgery, and he continues to improve each season. Its not a ton of assists but a good all-around game. Plus, I selected Rajon Rondo later. Assists shouldnt be a problem.John Cregan on Kristaps Porzingis: I like to use mock drafts to get a feel for where upside-heavy players could be available under live draft conditions. Porzingis at No. 24 feels like equivalent value at worst. But he could easily return second-round value on a third-round pick. Hell benefit from the Knicks additions of Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose.Soppe on Eric Bledsoe:?My decision was made for me, though I wish it had gone the other way. With two reliable frontcourt players already rostered (Cousins and Millsap), I had my eye on two PGs who I believe can very much be part of the second tier of guards: Isaiah Thomas and Bledsoe. The ceiling for production is a touch higher on Bledsoe, given his elite athleticism, but the injury risk is more than Id script this early. That said, we are looking at a point guard who contributes across the board and is a member of an offense Im not shy about investing in.Leo Howell on Gordon Hayward: At this point, we know what were going to get from Gordon Hayward. Last season, the Butler product finished as a top-30 player on our player rater, with a set of statistics very similar to 2014-15, trading slight improvements in some categories for slight reductions in others. He can do everything from his spot on the wing and combines with LeBron James to give me production across every category. A solid offseason for the Jazz, including adding George Hill to run the point, could actually give Hayward the space and looks to improve his scoring and overall production over the past couple of seasons.Greg Rosenstein on Jimmy Butler: Selecting Jimmy Butler at No. 30 feels like a slight steal for one of the NBAs best scoring guards. With Dwyane Wade joining the squad, hell likely get SF eligibility as well, which makes him even more versatile. Although Im not a fan of the Bulls offense being run through Rajon Rondo, we are sure about one thing: Rondo likes to pad his assist stats (and led the league in per game average last season). Hell find Butler open looks in the half court better than any Chicago point guard of the past few seasons. Greg Rosenstein on Khris Middleton: Note I made this pick before it was announced hed miss the season with an injury. In retrospect, I would have worked to bolster my frontcourt with Kevin Love.Cregan on Marc Gasol: My need for assists necessitated a reach for Gasol. But this is a round too early. Like Conley, Gasol should be undervalued coming off an injury. Its not a terrible pick, but panic about assists slotted me a shank in the fifth round as well (Jeff Teague).Kaiser on Kevin Love: Some of the critics and negative buzz regarding Love in Cleveland will undoubtedly quiet down now that his Cavs have secured a championship, and Loves well-rounded game as a big man who rebounds and scores while racking up assists and 3s is a perfect complement to my first three picks: Lillard, Wall and Kyrie Irving.Rosenstein on Nikola Jokic: Despite largely going under-the-radar for casual basketball fans, Jokic had a very strong first season, as he finished third in Rookie of the Year voting behind Karl-Anthony Towns and Kristaps Porzingis. The 21-year-old big man did a little bit of everything in Denver last season, as he averaged 10 points, 7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.0 steals a contest while shooting 51 percent from the field and 81 percent from the line. And hes only going to get better. I love the value this late in the draft for one of the NBAs most versatile post players.Howell on Ben Simmons: Will Ben Simmons be LeBron James from Day 1 in the NBA, leading his team in every stat category and playing a well-rounded brand of basketball thats tough to stop? Maybe not. But the 76ers rookie is as fun and exciting of a prospect as weve had in a while, and theres obvious fantasy upside for a guy who can do so many things on the floor. He averaged nearly 12 rebounds, just under five assists and two steals during his time at LSU, to go with 19.2 points per game. He might not be a great free throw shooter, and he isnt going to hit 3s, but if you need literally anything else at your PF spot, the sky is the limit.Cregan on Mike Conley Jr.: Conley -- perennially undervalued -- is coming off an injury-shortened campaign that has driven his ADP down even further. I think he rewards the Grizzlies for signing him to that huge deal with something closer to his 2013-14 numbers (17.2 points, 1.5 steals, 1.4 3s per game).Wittyngham on Ryan Anderson: I really like where he landed. If anyone is going to get the stretch big man to maximize his potential, it is Houston. Known for how often the Rockets shoot the 3, Anderson is going to fit right in. He is one of the elite stretch 4s and will get you rebounds, 3PM and points. Considering he is now either the second or third offensive option, his value goes up.Smith on Jabari Parker: The post All-Star break version of Jabari Parker was very promising last season. After averaging 11.3 points per game in the first half of the season, Parker led the team in scoring (18.9 PPG), just edging out Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton. With Middleton out to start the season, Parker has a chance to pick up where he left off.Soppe on Devin Booker: Get buckets. This draft followed how most of mine go: load up on well-rounded options in the early going and target high-upside specialists after that. This kid wont turn 20 until Oct. 30, but he has already proven more than capable of taking over and filling up a box score in a hurry. We are looking at a young player who just needs to sustain his elite scoring to give me positive returns on this investment, with any growth simply gravy. Draft him now. This is as cheaply as you are going to acquire his services for years to come.Jim McCormick on Dennis Schroder: I agree with Joe Kaisers strategy that advises paying a premium for point guard in drafts this season, but I also think managers need to be able to pivot and diversify their approach when the draft board dictates. For example, I landed two elite small forwards on the turn to start the draft and then didnt really find value in the position until later on, such as landing Schroder in what I feel is an ideal spot. Schroder was ninth in the NBA in usage rate last season but was limited to just 20.3 minutes, with Jeff Teague assuming the majority share of minutes and touches for Atlanta. Now that Teague is on the Pacers, Schroder could become a difference-maker, thanks to his high-usage, fantasy-friendly skill set.Carpenter on Chris Bosh: Once I get to the middle rounds, Im not shy about taking a stab at some higher-end players who have sunk for various reasons. Its a matter of gambling on upside, and if I hit, Ill gain terrific value. Obviously, this draft took place before news that Bosh failed his physical. The buzz at draft time was that he might make it back on the hardwood this season.Kaiser on Dwyane Wade: Everyone shied away from Wade, and I felt lucky to get him way down in the eighth round. The veteran shooting guard might be past his prime, but he stayed healthy last season and probably will have a little extra pep in his step while playing on a new team for the first time in his career. Wade will likely go in the late 50s and early 60s in most drafts, so this was a strong value that helped me fill the always-thin shooting guard position.Howell on Zach LaVine: LaVine improved in almost every way year over year, shooting with more efficiency, scoring more and turning the ball over at a lower frequency. If hes able to take another step forward, last years 33rd-ranked guard could break into the top 20 and be a top-50 player for fantasy purposes. And if not, hes unlikely to return less value than last years 73rd-place finish on the player rater.Soppe on Gorgui Dieng:?Im going to end up with plenty of shares of Dieng this season, and why not? A low-risk investment, Dieng should benefit from an increase in playing time for the fantasy-friendly Timberwolves. Even in limited minutes, Dieng can be a viable fantasy asset, but if Minnesota tries to develop Karl-Anthony Towns perimeter game, they really dont have a threat on the current roster to stop Dieng from playing 32-35 minutes a game. If that is the case, Im penciling him in for strong defensive numbers in addition to a double-double and borderline elite percentages. Dieng is the poster boy for why I am comfortable building my frontcourt early and going backcourt-heavy in the middle rounds, as I can pick up frontcourt depth in the later stages and feel great about it.{C}Wittyngham on JJ Redick:?Here I was solidifying my percentages. I took a couple of big men early in the draft, so I had field goal percentage and rebounds covered nicely, but that would hurt my free throw percentage and 3PM made, so in comes Redick. Redick last season shot a career-high 47.5 percent from deep and 88.8 percent from the line. He has been at, around or above 90 percent from the line the past five seasons. His scoring is consistently around 15-to-16 a game, and that works for a shooting specialist.McCormick on Myles Turner: Im a huge fan of this big man heading into what could be a breakout second season, as Turner led the NBA playoffs last summer with 3.3 blocks per game and an awesome block rate of 9.8 percent. The talented big man also saw a sizable uptick in minutes in the playoffs and down the stretch in the regular season, as he averaged 28.1 minutes in the postseason compared to just 22.8 in the regular season. With a per-36 rate of 16.3 points, 8.7 boards and 2.3 blocks last season, an uptick in time and usage could spell a massive breakout for Turner.{C}Kaiser on Dirk Nowitzki: As with Wade, Nowitzki slipped a good 20 picks past where hell likely go in most drafts, probably due to his advanced age. But Nowitzkis production would have to fall off a cliff for him to not be worth it at this stage in the draft -- the 10th round. The efficient big man is still a big force from 3-point range. In fact, he averaged 1.7 3-pointers per game last season while averaging 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.Carpenter on Jrue Holiday: Not only does Holiday have his usual injury concerns, but he is also dealing with a serious family matter that leaves his status for the early weeks of the season uncertain. We should have more clarity on his situation as the season nears.Wittyngham on Jeremy Lin: Someone has to score for Brooklyn right?Karabell on Al-Farouq Aminu: I have to admit I dont pay much attention to player positions, but I rarely liked the small forward offerings, and Aminu is my only one. Im fine with that. Hes a durable 3-point option, and if Portland indeed uses him more at power forward, he should add to his rebounding and hopefully offer a better field goal percentage. He has shot 47 percent from the field in several seasons prior. He could be a 12-and-8 guy with 3s, and thats a bargain for pick No. 100.{C}Cregan on Kentavious Caldwell-Pope: This displays that I should have started taking care of shooting guard earlier in the draft. If youre leaving a draft with KCP as your starting SG, you have more work to do. Rosenstein on Brandon Ingram: I slightly regret this pick, as new Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ingram wont begin the season as a starter. That said, this is the 12th round, right? Were looking for deep sleepers at this point, and why not take a chance on a versatile wing who should still get plenty of run in his first season? I love Ingrams length and motor and see him developing nicely over the course of 82 games. Jack Tatum Jersey . Hey!" The lower tier of the School End of Queens Park Rangers Loftus Road was packed solid with a very festive-sounding Chelsea choral section in this particular part of South Africa Road London, W12. Amari Cooper Jersey . Mitch Holmberg added a goal and three assists. Connor Chartier also scored for the Chiefs (3-0-0). Luke Harrison spoiled Garrett Hughsons shutout bid with a power-play goal at 13:17 of the third period. The Spokane goaltender finished with 28 saves, including a Brandon Fushimi penalty shot in the second period that would have tied the game 1-1. . The judges scored it 48-47, 48-47, 49-46 for Jones (19-1). It was the champions closest call. Despite the loss, it was a remarkable show by the confident Swedish challenger, who had the best of the early rounds and then hung on in the fourth and fifth. Keith McGill Jersey . Dallas hasnt ruled out the star quarterback for Sunday nights game against Philadelphia, but all signs point to Romos back injury pushing Kyle Orton into the starting role after two years of limited play as the backup. Surely Ortons name isnt the first that comes to mind for fans wanting a change after years of damaging interceptions, fumbles or, most infamously, the field goal flub when Romo dropped the snap on a kick that could have won his first playoff game in 2006. Connor Cook Jersey . -- Stanfords Kevin Danser knelt on one knee and hardly moved on the sideline as Michigan State celebrated its Rose Bowl victory and his Cardinal teammates made their way to the locker room. The talk of the offseason has been about both teams winning enough games to make the playoffs as the New Orleans Saints host the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.New Orleans boasts a coach in Sean Payton and a franchise quarterback in Drew Brees, who have won a Super Bowl.Oakland owns a dynamic offense led by quarterback Derek Carr and a veteran defensive coach in Jack Del Rio.Saints general manager Mickey Loomis knows how to build a team that can win a Lombardi Trophy. General manager Reggie McKenzie, after tearing the Raiders roster down and starting over, is looking to leave his own fingerprints and legacy on the silver and black.New Orleans is coming off a 7-9 season that felt worse than the record. The offense was stagnant at times and the defense struggled so mightily that Rob Ryan, the defensive coordinator, was fired.Payton enlisted Dennis Allen to run his defense. Ironically, it was Allen who was McKenzies first head coach hire in Oakland. And subsequently, his first coach to fire. In the NFL, it is truly how the world turns.We come in expecting to win our division. Thats our goal, its our goal every year. Were not going to back away from that, Del Rio said.The Raiders have not made the playoffs since 2003. They also finished 7-9 in 2015 and there is more optimism for this young group of players. With third-year man Carr at quarterback and throwing to second-year wide receiver Amari Cooper, the Raiders offense looks to be hitting full stride.Brees, the beloved quarterback of the Saints, has to be excited about the financial windfall he received heading into the season opener. On Wednesday, Brees signed a two-year extension that had long been discussed.The contract keeps him in black and gold for the next two seasons and pays him a fully guaranteed $44.25 million. Brees facing a very good Raiders defense behind his much-maligned offensive line has to give the former Super Bowl MVP pause, though.The Raiders defense is full of upstarts and has one of the most explosive players in the NFL in defensive end Khalil Mack. The first-round selection in 2014 received All-Pro votes at two positions last season.Mack has the speed and hand usage to beat tackles around the edge. He also has the power to bull-rush a guard on the interior. The Saints offensive line is banged up, especially their best offensive lineman -- lefft tackle Terron Armstead.ddddddddddddIf Armstead cannot play or is limited, second-year utility man Andrus Peat has played left tackle, left guard and right guard in his career. Starting left guard Tim Lelito may have to shift to right guard.Because of the injury situation and the important responsibility to protect Brees, the Saints brought back former Pro-Bowl guard Jahri Evans on Wednesday.New Orleans center Max Unger is the one true constant along the offensive line. If Evans can hold his own against Raiders defensive tackle Jihad Ward, the Saints should be able to find running room inside.The Saints offense has shown the ability to run the football with Mark Ingram. The former Alabama runner continues to produce better than four yards per carry and has become a viable threat out of the backfield.Oaklands linebacking corps is still a work in progress and starting middle linebacker Ben Heeney was getting pushed for playing time by 2016 sixth-round selection Cory James in the preseason.The running attack of the Raiders also needs to play a factor into this game. So much has been made of Carrs aerial attack, running back Latavius Murray often gets left out of the conversation.Murray can find positive yards on the left side running behind a giant offensive line led by free-agent addition Kelechi Osemele and left tackle Donald Penn.The Saints defense is banged up as well and has Cleveland Browns castoff Paul Kruger, a natural outside linebacker, playing some defensive end.This offseason brought much change to the aforementioned Saints defense. Linebacker James Laurinaitis signed after the Los Angeles Rams let him go. Laurinaitis and the Saints secondary led by safety Jarius Byrd know they have to improve over last years unit.The new middle linebacker hopes that working against Brees will have them prepared for Carr, Cooper and wide receiver Michael Crabtree.Said Laurinaitis: It challenges our whole defense to raise our level up, because if not its going to be all of those practices where he can carve you up and embarrass you. I have been really encouraged by how our defense has competed against our offense day in day out because they put a lot of stress on the tempo that they move at. Cheap Jerseys 2019 Wholesale Jerseys 2020 Jerseys NFL China China Jerseys Wholesale Cheap Jerseys Online Wholesale Jerseys From China Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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