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Pillages The Villages
This is the official Pillages The Villages subreddit. Here you will find all sorts of information regarding the challenge, participants, and more. For the rules of the challenge, be sure to check out the subreddit sidebar and relevant sticky posts. Be sure to keep all posts and links child friendly and safe for work! We proud ourselves on a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere. Please help us keep it that way.
7 reasons why should you become an Introducing Broker with IQ Option? Reason #5 — Technical Analysis tools: 100+ Indicators
https://preview.redd.it/fjtjprm8hbr31.png?width=2440&format=png&auto=webp&s=6e8eb697f4c49698b43d31c79d338fea141b6b61 When it comes to technical analysis tools, the IQ Option trading platform has a lot to offer. Most indicators can be used to analyse the performance of all assets and on all timeframes. Trader often turn to them in order to make more informed and professional decisions. Indicators are so numerous that in order to navigate them, they have to be divided by their type. All technical analysis indicators on the IQ Option trading platform fall into one of the following categories: momentum, trend, volatility, moving averages, volume and other. Thanks to the clean and intuitive interface, they are also easy to set up and use, even by novice traders. There are a lot of myths surrounding technical analysis. Some people believe that everything technical is actually a hoax, others tend to believe that it is the ultimate answer to all questions a trader can ever have. In reality, technical analysis is another tool a trader can use in order to step up his trading game and get a competitive edge against the market, nothing more, nothing less. Momentum https://preview.redd.it/sqoenknghbr31.png?width=2429&format=png&auto=webp&s=05488274d9cdb53e3ee5120c12c50e24a4ede143 Momentum indicators asses market dynamics. Indicators of this type can tell you when the market is overbought or oversold. How can you use this information? Markets work in cycles. After a prolonged buying spree, a depreciation can be expected. And vice versa. In trading both the trend direction and trend strength matter. Momentum can tell, at what pace the price is appreciating/depreciating, and, therefore, predict the future behavior of a given asset. Sometimes it is essential to understand how strong an upcoming trend is, and this is what momentum indicators excel at. Trend https://preview.redd.it/wepptkklhbr31.png?width=2437&format=png&auto=webp&s=2351f26007560fac0b9237d7b11da9f5a2b3a62d Trend-following indicators are exactly what the name suggests. They are here to help you identify the prevailing trend. Why is it important, you may ask? Can’t you spot the trend by simply looking at the price chart? Not always. Sometimes it is beneficial to have a clear representation of the prevailing trend. This is, however, not the only application of trend-following indicators. They can also be used to pinpoint entry and exit points when combined with indicators of different types. Volatility https://preview.redd.it/9m3vqtqphbr31.png?width=2437&format=png&auto=webp&s=d7dc41fbdde52f2109ade7766925b68d1620f976 Volatility is a measure of how quickly the price changes. Volatility indicators, therefore, can help you determine the amount of buying or selling pressure, currently present on the market. Volatility indicators can be effectively combined with momentum indicators (already mentioned in this article) for the purpose of creating a trading system that pinpoints periods of aggressive price changes. Moving averages https://preview.redd.it/wbpz4zxthbr31.png?width=2435&format=png&auto=webp&s=d1d964e6c7a7045df5a37e8f5dbeba40f15792e6 Moving averages return the average price of an asset over a certain period of time. Of course, there are several ways to approximate the average price. Hence, the number of moving averages that are available on the platform. They all work a little bit differently, but the basic principles behind them are still the same. Indicators of this type smooth out the price action (especially useful when trading with a candlestick chart) and make the price changes easier to follow and understand. More than that, certain combinations of moving averages can be used to receive buy and sell signals. Other https://preview.redd.it/5e07b1uwhbr31.png?width=2438&format=png&auto=webp&s=aea1a27a060702d66eb1e0eeced9543fffe6ef6b Finally, there are ‘Other’ indicators. All indicators that do not fit into the before mentioned groups can be found here. This is a go-for category if you are looking for something unique. Traders should also remember that there is nothing wrong with trading with no indicators altogether, especially when working on longer time frames and relying on fundamental analysis a lot. There is no surprise that value investors like Warren Buffet, who keep their money with the same companies for years, evaluate the management team, industry growth potential, etc., not the technical factors. Simply share this knowledge with your community and you will Become a successful Introducing Broker with IQ Option! https://preview.redd.it/5vdp0xk4ibr31.png?width=2558&format=png&auto=webp&s=8871ac474c24042509a3365c4c7fb1e03f0c374c
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Offseason Blueprint: it’s time for the young/Young Atlanta Hawks to leave the nest and take flight
The playoffs continue to rage on, but there are 26 teams sitting at home with nothing to do but twiddle their thumbs, have nightmares about getting blocked by Bam, and wait for next season to start. For their sake, we wanted to look ahead with the next edition of the OFFSEASON BLUEPRINT series. In each, we'll preview some big decisions and make some recommendations for plans of attack along the way. Today, we're looking at the Atlanta Hawks. step one: grow up and play D, because you can’t be forever young Two summers ago, the Atlanta Hawks hired coach Lloyd Pierce on the basis of his defensive reputation. So far, that hasn't translated to the court. Last season, the Hawks ranked 27th in defensive rating. After a year in the system to improve their habits and chemistry, that ranking jumped all the way up to... 27th. What's wrong here? A few factors, of course. The one that gets the most attention and the most blame would be the deficiencies of Trae Young. His lack of length and athleticism will always be a problem, but it shouldn't be this bad. ESPN RPM ranks his defensive impact as a -6.2 per 100 possessions, which ranks 520th out of all 520 qualifiers in the NBA. According to that metric, his defense is even worse than Isaiah Thomas (at age 31.) Isaiah Thomas may be a helpful comparison though, because he does illustrate that one bad defender shouldn't be able to sink a team on his own. In IT's great season in Boston, his individual defense was poor, but the Celtics ranked in the top 5 in defense overall. Clearly, some teams are able to overcome liabilities like that. The Hawks may have to consider hiding Trae Young on defense like he's in the witness protection program. Other lead guards like Allen Iverson defended off the ball often, which is an approach that worked for his team defenses in Philadelphia and Denver. So what else is wrong here? The second major factor would be a matter of youth. Yes, we have a "Young" and a "young" problem here. Inexperienced players tend to be bad defensively, and the Hawks were one of the youngest teams in the league. Their top 5 players in minutes played (Young, De'Andre Hunter, Kevin Huerter, Cam Reddish, John Collins) were all in their age-22 season or younger. There are some college rosters older than that starting five. That aspect should improve in time, especially because some of those young players like Hunter and Reddish project as good defenders. Although it may sound counterintuitive, another issue with the defense is the offense. The Hawks play fast (top 5 in the NBA in pace), and shoot a bunch of threes (top 10 in three point attempts.) The problem is: they don't make a lot of those threes. As a team, the Hawks shot 33.3% from three, dead last in the NBA. These issues naturally affect their defense. The Hawks are playing fast and missing threes, which tends to lead to transition baskets for their opponents before the Hawks can get back and get set. If the Hawks improve their offense, then their defense should improve by proxy. To do that, they may have to slow down their pace to some degree. Modern teams love to run and gun, but if you're not very good, you're only giving your opponents extra possessions to allow their talent to win out. The fourth potential issue is a matter of coaching. As mentioned, Lloyd Pierce had a good reputation as an assistant coming over to Atlanta, but we haven't seen that manifest so far. It's a tough job assignment coaching up a young team, but it's a talented group of players. If we don't see tangible improvement in Year 3, then I would presume it's time to fire Pierce and look for another answer. There are a lot of good coaches on the market right now, so Pierce needs to step up his game to avoid getting replaced. Rebuilding teams can afford to be patient, but they can't afford to give their coaches tenure. step two: use it before you lose it The 2020 free agent market is going to be quieter than an indoor mall during COVID quarantine. Hardly any teams have cap space... except for Atlanta. In fact, the Hawks have the most cap space in the entire NBA, committed to only $58M on the books for next year. This is going to be a bad free agent class, but that's okay. In a sense, the Hawks are like the best looking guy in a dive bar. There may be slim pickings, but at least he gets his pick of the litter. You don't want to throw your money away foolishly, but you don't want it to burn a hole in your pocket either. Eventually that cap space is going to dry up when you extend your young players, so this may be a great opportunity to "use it before you lose it." The first option should be to throw a big offer at restricted free agent Brandon Ingram. Ingram has great length for a wing player, and his scoring prowess would make for a -- wait, what was that? The Pelicans just matched my offer in mid sentence? Okay then, let's move on to our next options. I'd also consider making sizable offers to free agents Bogdan Bogdanovic and/or Jerami Grant. Bogdanovic is a skilled scorer who averaged 18-4-4 per 36 this past season, and has the potential to thrive as a secondary scorer or 6th man. At 27, he also fits the general timeline here. While Bogdanovic may not be the defensive stopper we're looking for, you can never have too many quality wings in today's NBA. Jerami Grant doesn't have the same shooting ability or skill set, but he's an energetic player and an impact defender. He's 26 now, and should retain his value for the next 3 years. Having Grant as a complementary starter or rotation player would help the team on and off the court; from what I understand, he's a hard worker and a team-first player. On the lower end, it wouldn't be a terrible idea to punch some lottery tickets and hope they pay off. Josh Jackson (former Suns bust) still has potential at age 23. Chicago SG/SF Denzel Valentine has an intriguing skill set. And fellow Bull Kris Dunn is one of the premier defenders at his position. Dunn would make for a great yin/yang backup to Trae Young. step three: have some faith in John the Baptist One of the reasons that the Atlanta Hawks' cap size will dwindle in the future is the potential extension for PF John Collins. A year or two ago, the team may have thought long and hard about whether or not to commit huge money to Collins. There were some indications that he was a "good stats / bad team" kind of player. He was a tweener who struggled on defense, and didn't stretch the floor reliably on offense. These days, it's harder to hate on Collins. The raw stats are as good as always (20-10 this year), but he's also playing a more desirable brand of basketball as well. He's worked to improve his range and shotmaking. His three-point shooting went up to 35% in year two, and swelled to 40% in year three. His FT% has also gone up each year, from 72% to 76% to 80%. You appreciate when a young player improves his game, as it indicates a lot more potential still in the tank (as he turns 23 next week.) Defense is becoming less of a concern for Collins as well. The trend towards smallball allows him to play about 50% of his minutes at center. In turn, that allows Coach Pierce some flexibility. Depending on the matchup, he can go with the traditional bigs like Clint Capela or Dewayne Dedmon, or he can play a smaller, more dynamic 5 in Collins. Collins will never be Kevin Garnett, but if he's at least average on defense, then he's a net positive player. Going forward, there's no immediate rush or urgency to extend Collins this offseason. The team will have matching rights next summer, so they can wait and see Collins "prove it" over a full regular season before committing to him. Still, if he's willing to sign a reasonable extension this offseason, the Hawks may be able to avoid the headache. Atlanta's a good situation for a young scorer like Collins, so the hope is that he'd be amenable to a reasonable deal that locks him up as part of this core. step four: remember you're playing the long game, not Tetris The Atlanta Hawks will have the # 6 pick in the draft, giving them the chance to add another young prospect to the team. We had been concerned about too much youth on this roster, but it's not worth giving up that pick for a veteran because we're not in "win now" mode yet. The team may as well keep collecting youngsters like they're pokemon. With that top pick, they should keep that mindset, and not fall victim to the desire to find the right "fit" (hence the Tetris analogy.) Best available player. That's a good philosophy when you're drafting in the top 10 regardless, but it applies to this team more than most. The team needs to get a lot better, but there are no glaring issues in terms of positions or rotations. Trae Young will have PG on lockdown. Kevin Huerter will have a role as a wing. Better still, Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter are the types of BIG wings that can fit across several positions. The frontcourt should be fine as well between John Collins and Clint Capela. Given that, almost any position would be fine for the Hawks to select. At PG, the top prospects (according to ESPN) are LaMelo Ball (N.Z.) and Tyrese Haliburton (Iowa State). Both players would be fine picks for the team, because both have the size and length to guard 1s or 2s and can play alongside Trae Young in that regard. Offensively, LaMelo and Trae may fight for the ball, but both have dynamic scoring potential that would make a tag-team dangerous. Haliburton would be an even easier fit, as he's had experience playing off the ball. At SG/SF, the top prospect is Anthony Edwards (Georgia), who is likely to be off the board. I'm also a fan of Devin Vassell (Florida State), who projects as a good 3+D player that could soak up minutes at SG and SF for this team. He's one of the safer prospects in the class to me. I also like Deni Avdija (Israel), a ball moving forward with the size to play either SF or PF. The hardest debate may be whether to select a big man that falls to them, be it James Wiseman (Memphis) or Onyeka Okongwu (USC). After acquiring Clint Capela (and potentially ponying up for a John Collins extension), the team may not want to invest much more into the position. Still, I'd hold firm to my "best player available" idea. Wiseman and Okongwu have major potential as defenders, which has been a problem area as discussed. It could be worth bringing them in and seeing how they develop. If they turn out to be the real deal, then it's perfectly fine to trade Capela or even Collins after the fact. I'd have a harder time justifying the selection of two other top prospects: Killian Hayes (France) feels like too much of a pure point guard to me, and Obi Toppin feels like too much of a duplication to John Collins. Still, we've discussed 7 prospects that I've already given the "greenlight" to draft, which means at least 2 of those should be available when the Hawks are on the clock. step five: give the kids some big brothers We've harped a lot on the youth of this team already. Usually, that's seen as a positive. Rebuilding teams are supposed to be young, right? Sure. But there's some danger there of going overboard. If you're too young, and too inexperienced, then it's hard for the young pups to learn from those around them. It's hard to hold them accountable if there's no one else around to play their minutes. We can't have the blind leading the blind here. Oftentimes, teams try to solve this issue by adding older veteran mentors to the locker room. The Hawks found the MOST veteran of them all by adding Vince Carter (age 43.) In theory, that's exactly what we're talking about. Wise old sages like Carter can help the kids grow up and learn to be professionals. Still, I'm not sure that's enough. As respected as an old vet like Vince Carter may be, there's only so much influence he can have on a team if he's not playing. There's only so much influence he can have on a kid's habits if they're not in the same peer group. It's unlikely that 20-21 year olds are hanging out with guys in their mid to late 30s. They're in different stages in life, and probably have different interests and lifestyles. Given that, I believe there should be more of a priority placed on "big brother" teammates in addition to older mentors. What do I mean by big brothers? I mean veterans who have good work ethic and character, but aren't over the hill. Young vets (ages 25-27 or so) who can still contribute on the court, and can still act as friends and peers to the kids. True role models. Consider this: who influenced your behavior more in high school: Your teachers? Or your friends? We need friends / big brothers that will spend more time with our kids, and teach them through osmosis if not outright lectures. Consciously or not, the Memphis Grizzlies showed the value of this principle with their current season. They surrounded their rookies and sophomores with "big brother" vets like Tyus Jones (age 24) and Kyle Anderson (age 26.) Those guys happen to be high-IQ players and high-character teammates, but they're still young and good enough to play 20+ minutes a night. When you're checking all those boxes, you can influence the young players on your roster more effectively than the salty old dog who's basically an assistant coach. It's hard for me to give recommendations for "big brothers" because I don't know these players behind the scenes outside of public reputation, but the idea would be to add smart, hard-working veterans in that 25-27 age range. We want vets who play unselfishly on offense, and play hard and disciplined on defense. Even if they're not great, they can help instill good habits with the team, on and off the court. previous offseason blueprints CHA, CHI, CLE, IND, GS, MIL, MIN, NYK, POR, SA, SAC, UTA
Hey everyone! My name’s Procraft, I’ve been an Azmo main since the beginning of time itself, and as of posting this, I am currently GM #39. I saw a post discussing Azmodan’s current state, and was typing enough to where I thought it would warrant its own post. Here are some things that would make Azmodan so much more viable/fun to play!
Ever since his rework a few years ago, they made the impact area of his Q visible so much sooner, and this was honestly the most tragic nerf out of all. You can land close range dunks no problem, but it’s impossible to land any max ranged ones. This really lowers the skill ceiling of Azmo, and makes plays like this or this no longer a reality. Like literally, the enemy has to not be looking at their screen in order to get hit by a max ranged dunk, it’s that easy to dodge. They did increase the base travel speed of his Q to compensate for this nerf, but even still, the fact that the dunk gets revealed so much sooner just ends up punishing the higher-skilled Azmos from pulling off those high IQ snipes. If there is just one change that blizzard would make, I would really hope that this is it. Just bring back those long-ranged snipes that’s all I ask. Maybe reveal the impact area later by default, and also maybe gluttony/art of chaos/some other talent hide the impact area for an even longer duration, just to bring back those amazing snipe plays.
Tide of Sin has got to be the most boring, uninspired ult in the entire game. It’s not even that good, I honestly hate having to take this ult. All it does is give my Q 50% extra damage on its next cast, and makes it “cost no mana”. The ability itself costs 100 mana to use. You aren’t saving any mana by using this wtf. What would be AMAZING to have is make it so that this ability “Empowers your next ability”, and maybe if you used your dunk it would deal more damage and hide the impact area, if you used your minion it might spawn like a super minion or like a gate that continuously spawns minions for 10 seconds, if you used it on your laser it would become like a super laser or something that would chain to a few targets, if you used it on your passive you would spawn like a catapult-like siege minion or something. Words could not describe how cool that ult would be. If that’s too much to ask, then at least give Azmo a second charge of it/make it do SOMETHING else. Just please, ANYTHING else than what it currently is.
Laser needs to apply its effects if the target dies while it’s being channeled. I honestly believe that this was a completely unintended nerf to Azmo, but for example, if you take Master of destruction at 7 (the talent where laser explodes in an area once the channel is finished), and the target dies, you don’t get the explosion. When people take this talent, they laser the mage minion, and the laser explodes, damaging the whole wave, so that you can dunk it and get stacks. But after about level 14ish, your laser will kill the mage minion before the explosion ever goes off. Same thing with heroes, if you kill the hero before the laser finishes, you don’t get the explosion, Cydea's kiss, Hellrift, Sin's Grasp, etc. I’m shocked they haven’t patched this just yet. I mean, could you imagine if KT’s living bomb didn’t detonate if the target died? KT mains would literally riot.
Sin's grasp as a level 20 talent is trash. This talent used to be so much better at level 16, and you didn’t even need to channel on a hero in order to get the full CD reduction. This talent should be a 13/16 talent if anything and Azmo should get a different 20 talent as a replacement. Laser should have it’s own questing talent early on, that would be such a cool option!
Demon warriors are honestly pretty worthless, especially in team fights. I can’t tell them where to go or anything like that. The only thing I can do with them is to immediately block a skillshot. Other than that, your opponents will just easily stomp on them. Their damage is so low and unimpactful. They are only good at PvE (taking minion/tower aggro). They should give Azmo the ability to prioritize a target for his minions to attack, just how Gazlowe can select the primary target for his turrets to attack, Azmo should be able to command his minions to attack the target of his choosing. Because right now, they will just run forward until they get aggro’d by the very first thing they see. Overall I feel like his demon warriors need some attention. There’s no “demon warrior build” that you can do. You can only take talents that just buff some plain stats on the warriors (make them do slightly more damage, have slightly more health etc.). It would be really cool if his demon warriors had a more intuitive build path/had a viable build. A questing talent for his minions would be so cool!
Azmo is practically the only ranged assassin without any defensive options. While he does have a high health pool that doesn’t mean he’s tanky. It would be nice to at least have some sort of defensive option (ice block, armor, escape). He does have trample, but that's at level 16, and the range is so small, and it doesn’t teleport you instantly like bolt of the storm does. Cydeas kiss is the only thing Azmo could possibly take to have some sort of sustain, but that only works if the entire channel finishes, and you have to use it on a hero. Maybe have an ability that works similar to KTZ’s Phylactery, where Azmo’s abilities would heal him for a certain amount.
Overall, I’m not trying to make it sound like he’s the worst hero in the entire game. He’s pretty good, but just needs a couple of fixes/new talents that's all!
[OC] CASH ME OUTSIDE: Which future free agents have the most to gain or lose if basketball resumes in the Orlando bubble ?
Back in 2016, young Danielle Bregoli appeared in a Dr. Phil segment eloquently titled: "I Want To Give Up My Car-Stealing, Knife-Wielding, Twerking 13-Year-Old Daughter Who Tried To Frame Me For A Crime." She made the most of it, and even gained fame for her instant catchphrase "cash me outside". Usually, that's where a viral moment ends. However, Bregoli (now known as Bhad Bhabie) has actually parlayed that one moment into a legitimate career. She's a rapper signed by Atlantic Records, and her videos have millions and millions of views. We see this happen often in sports and in basketball specifically. The national media and even front offices start paying more attention to high-profile televised games -- the NCAA tournament, the NBA playoffs, etc. If a player can make the most out of their time in the spotlight, then they can parlay that into huge success themselves. College players who have big tournaments shoot up draft boards. NBA players who have good playoff performances can drive up their prices in free agency. We've seen it time and time again, from Austin Croshere, to Jerome James, to Ian Mahinmi. The continuation of the NBA season (barring a Kyrie Irving led rebellion) means that some players are going to get their time in the spotlight again. That's hugely important for players who are about to reach free agency. Now, there are a lot of big name free agents that are going to cash in regardless. Anthony Davis has a player option; I suspect he'll do all right. Similarly, there are veteran players like Danilo Gallinari or Joe Harris who are more "known commodities." We've seen plenty of them, and we understand their skill sets and values. Their prices are somewhat fixed (aside from concerns about a COVID-infected cap.) Alternatively, there are a group of future free agents that have more volatile stock. They have a lot to gain -- but they have a lot to lose. This is their moment. This is their last impression. They're heading into the Orlando bubble to do business, with the hope that teams will cash them outside.
READY FOR THEIR CLOSE-UP
C Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio If you just glanced at the raw stats, you might not understand why anyone would fuss about Jakob Poeltl. He averages 5.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Ho hum. He's only started a grand total of 38 games in his four-year career so far. Yawn. He's a true center who can't shoot threes? Yikes, go back to 1973. Can we move on to free agents who actually matter? Not so fast, my friend. Jakob Poeltl is a lot more interesting than those numbers suggest. He may be a 7-foot true center from Austria, but he's hardly a stereotypical "stiff." He's more nimble than you'd expect, and shows good defensive instincts inside. Overall, he's a smart player with a natural feel for the game. Those skills are born out in the advanced stats, which LOVE Poeltl's impact. Over the course of his career (4-year sample size here), teams with Poeltl on the court have scored 126 points per 100 possessions, and only allowed 107 per 100 possessions. That's the type of difference (+19) that ranks up with the elite in the NBA. Now, we have to take those numbers with a grain of salt. On/off figures rely heavily on your teammates, and Poeltl's had the good fortune of being on some great bench units in Toronto and now San Antonio. Still, you'd have to guess that he's contributing to those units in a major way. Fortunately for teams and for Poeltl, we don't have to "guess" much more. LaMarcus Aldridge (who had been playing 95% of his minutes at center) is out for the season, clearing a huge pathway for Poeltl to play 25-30 minutes a game and prove his worth. Or not. This is exactly the type of volatility we're looking for in this exercise. upside/downside: If the season had ended prematurely, the Spurs could have effectively "hidden" Jakob Poeltl and retained him for a modest price. As a restricted free agent, his value may have been depressed even more. He may have returned on his qualifying offer ($5M) or signed a team-friendly extension in the neighborhood of $6-8M a year. However, if he has a monster bubble-bracket showing, then teams are going to look at him as a potential starter and pay him accordingly. Gone are the days when Ian Mahinmi or Timo Mozgov would get $15M a season, but $10-12M isn't unrealistic. Heck, Mason (the good one) and Miles (the bad one) Plumlee both got more than that. PG Shabazz Napier, Washington Shabazz Napier knows all about shining under the spotlight. He helped UConn pull off an upset NCAA title, and consequently boosted his draft stock. LeBron James even publicly praised him as his "favorite player in the draft." The Miami Heat then acquired Napier (perhaps as a way to keep the King happy?) However, James left in free agency that summer anyway, and the Heat never seemed too invested in Napier after that. He'd be in Orlando the next year, and Portland the following year. Napier's kept bouncing around since then. In fact, he's already been traded SIX times in his young career. In his journey around the league, Napier has been up or down. Sometimes he flashes and makes you think he could be a high-end backup or even a low-end stopgap starter. Other times, he disappears or shoots poorly, and you start using his name as a trade filler contract. This bubble in Orlando may represent Napier's best chance at latching on to a role and a landing a decent contract. At the moment, he's soaking up minutes for the Washington Wizards, who have lost John Wall to an Achilles injury and have lost Isaiah Thomas to awful defense-itis. In their wake, Napier and veteran Ish Smith are platooning at PG, and both trying to show their competence. If Napier can take advantage of these 25-30 minutes he's getting, then he will go a long way to securing his future in the league. upside/downside: If Shabazz Napier can outplay Ish Smith and hold the fort well at PG, then teams may start viewing him, as mentioned, as a high-end backup/low-end starter. That may not sound like any great shakes, but that's a lucrative role. Ish Smith himself makes $6M a year -- D.J. Augustin makes $7M. Those figures would represent a major pay raise for Napier, who's never made as much as $2.5M in any season so far. On the other hand, if he flops and the Wizards fold, then he'll be back to looking at 3rd PG spots and fighting to stay in the league.
BREAKOUT STARS WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO BREAK DOWN
PG Fred VanVleet, Toronto Fred VanVleet had to work hard to convince NBA teams to buy into him. That's bound to happen any time you're an undrafted player who looks like he should be selling pretzels at a game at not playing point guard. But finally, after several years of proving himself, Fred VanVleet put himself in prime position to cash in this summer (or whenever free agency actually happens.) He carried over his great Finals performance to this regular season, averaging 17.6 points and 6.6 assists. He can shoot -- he can defend. Hell, he can even defend across positions despite his limited height thanks to his strength and his basketball IQ. In fact, basketball-reference listed VanVleet at SG for 54% of his minutes this season. Presumably, FVV will be a lead guard going forward, but that versatility only adds to his value. You can make an argument that he offers similar value to a player like Malcolm Brogdon, who got over $20M in salary in Indiana. What's the "volatility" here? Why can't we lock in VanVleet for a fat contract yet? Well, VanVleet needs to finish the job, essentially. We all remember how great he played in the Finals, but we tend to forget how badly he played in the playoffs prior to that. In their seven game war against Philadelphia, VanVleet shot a combined 3-24 from the field (12.9%) and averaged 2.0 points per game. Perhaps he was distracted by issues at home, but he was also rattled by the Sixers' length. He can't have that happen again, or else it'd leave a sour taste in the mouth of the NBA front offices, and scare them from trusting him as a surefire starter going forward. upside/downside: If Fred VanVleet plays well (the same level as he's played throughout the year), then he's looking at a healthy deal. He's 26 right now, so he may land a 4-year deal in excess of $60M ($15M per year). But if he struggles in the playoffs, then that may go down to something like 3 years, $40M ($13M per year) as teams view him as more of a fringe starter instead. C Montrezl Harrell, L.A. Clippers Doc Rivers and the Los Angeles Clippers will enter the bubble with genuine and realistic title aspirations. They're loaded from top to bottom, and as deep as any team in the field. That said, they may be too deep for their own good. In some ways, it still feels like two teams fused together like the Man with Two Heads. On one shoulder, there's the "old Clippers" from last year -- the plucky overachievers fueled by the chemistry of Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell. On the other shoulder, the "new Clippers" -- the would-be Super Team featuring two superstars in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Because the Clippers have been coasting through the regular season and load managing their stars, they haven't gotten the chance to lock in rotations and nail down their final form as a cohesive group yet. That's especially apparent in terms of the PF/C spot. Like last year, the team starts young center Ivica Zubac, but then cedes major minutes and a bigger role to Harrell off the bench. However, they've also brought in PF Marcus Morris, fresh off a strong half-season for the Knicks. There are contenders here, but no clear plan. When push comes to shove, is the team going to play a traditional lineup with a PF and a C? And if so, which center will close out games? And if the team needs to adjust and go to a "smallball" approach against a team like Houston, who will that lone big be -- Harrell or Marcus Morris? For Harrell, winning that role will be important as a matter of pride, but also important as a matter of market value. He'll be an unrestricted free agent (as will Marcus Morris). But unlike Morris, Harrell hasn't gotten a huge contract in the NBA yet. This summer was supposed to be his year to cash in. However, if Doc Rivers and the Clippers don't feel like he can hang on D at the end of games, then that will give his stock a big hit. upside/downside: If you're a free agent coming off a championship team, you're bound to get paid (and likely overpaid.) Of course, to benefit from that ring, you'd have to be seen as a key member of that team. As a result, Harrell needs to lock down the closing minutes at center. If that happens, then he's in line for a big contract in the range of $15M per year. However, the nightmare scenario for him would be if he gets played off the court due to his defense; if that happens, then he'll be seen as a niche role player and his contract will likely go down to the $10-12M range.
LAST CHANCE FOR A BIG CONTRACT
SF Jae Crowder, Miami Veteran Jae Crowder is a great addition to any contending team. He's a strong, dogged defender. He can hit threes. In a world that craves 3+D players, he fits the bill to a T. At least, that's his reputation. In reality, Crowder has never reached the heights that he did back in Boston (a familiar trend among former Celtics, it appears.) The most obvious issue is the inconsistent shooting. He had never been seen as a shooter originally, but he worked on that aspect of his game. In 2016-17, Crowder hit on 39.8% of his three-point attempts. The presumption is that he'd finally clicked into another gear, and could only get better from there. He became a valuable trade piece (and ended up going to Cleveland in the Kyrie Irving deal.) More and more, it's starting to look like that one season was an outlier. Crowder's three-point percentage has fallen back down to Earth, registering 32%, 33%, and 32% over the next three seasons. His defense also may have been overrated. At 6'6" with a 6'9" wingspan, he has only average size for a SF and only registered an average impact in terms of advanced stats. He's bounced around lately, from Cleveland to Utah to Memphis and now to Miami. Interestingly enough, Crowder got off to a hot start in Miami, and may have started to resurrect his stock. The Heat had been playing him more as a smallball four (basketball reference listed him at PF for 60% of his minutes), and he looked rejuvenated by that change. He hit on 39.3% of his threes (13 game sample size) and also looked better defensively as well. The question now is... can that continue? Miami will be healthier coming back from the break, and may not envision heavy minutes for Crowder in this playoffs. Are they going to rely on him? Or bury him? TBD. These next few months will be crucial for Crowder's stock as he heads into unrestricted free agency. upside/downside: If Jae Crowder can continue to play well as a smallball PF (and also soak up minutes at SF), then it'd give credence to the idea that he's a legitimate starter. And as a result, he'd be looking at salaries in the $10M+ range. However, there's also a lot of potential downside here. If his shooting stumbles again, it's difficult to imagine smart teams viewing him as anything more than a depth player at this stage (29, turning 30 in July.) He may have trouble matching his current salary of $7.5M. C Derrick Favors, New Orleans We're trying to focus on players with "volatile" stock and some unknown elements to their game. I'm not sure that describes New Orleans big man Derrick Favors right now. After some very high expectations as the # 3 pick, he appears to have settled into a known commodity right now at age 28. He's never going to be an All-Star, but he's developed into a capable starter (9.2 points, 9.9 rebounds this year) who is particularly sturdy on the defensive end. So what's the lingering question here? For Favors, it's more about a matter about whether he's a long-term "fit" with this New Orleans team. After rotating between PF and C in Utah, Favors has been locked in as a true center with the Pelicans, playing 100% of his minutes as a 5. That certainly feels like his best position moving forward. But the question is... do the Pelicans need a center? They just invested the # 8 overall pick in Jaxson Hayes, a naturally springy 7-footer. Moreover, there's still the lingering question about whether Zion Williamson may be best served as a smallball center himself. Between the two, there may not be loads of minutes at the 5 in New Orleans. Realistically, the team could retain Favors on a 1 or 2 year deal and utilize him as a placeholder until Hayes fills out and develops into a viable starter. At the same time, Favors is likely looking for a longer-term deal than that; this may be his last big contract. The Pelicans haven't had their full roster together all season, so they still need to work out their rotations. Will coach Alvin Gentry want to lock Favors in at the 5 (with Zion Williamson at the 4)? If push comes to shove, will Favors be squeezed out? Those decisions may go a long way to determining his free agency future. upside/downside: As mentioned, Derrick Favors' "value" may be more locked into place than his peers on the list. He's likely worth around a 3 year, $40M contract ($13.3M per year.) But for him, the question will be where that money will come from. A lot of the playoff teams that could use him (say Boston, for instance) don't have the cap space to offer those prices. If he wants to get bowled over with money, it'll likely come from a young team with cap room (like an Atlanta or Charlotte). But for them to justify paying big money to a big man, he'll have to keep playing heavy minutes and keep putting up solid numbers.
THE COMPLETE WILD CARD
SG Andre Roberson, Oklahoma City Remember him? There are younger fans out there (the babies and toddlers among us) who may not even recall the extreme strengths of weaknesses of Andre Roberson. It's not an exaggeration to say that, at his peak, Andre Roberson was the best perimeter defender in the NBA. Armed with length (6'11" wingspan), nimble feet, and a tenacious style of play, he could slow down anyone from 1-4. In 2017-18, ESPN's real plus minus metric graded his defensive impact as a +4.3 per 100 possessions, second best in the league behind Rudy Gobert. Alas, Roberson only checked one box on the 3+D prototype. He's a career 25.7% shooter from beyond the arc, and a particularly ugly 46.7% at the free throw line. That free throw percentage even dipped as low as 31.6% in that 2017-18 season. So why do I keep citing the 2017-18 season? Because that's the last time we actually saw Andre Roberson play. He ruptured a patellar tendon, then had setbacks in rehab. All in all, he missed the entire 2018-19 season, and he's missed the entire 2019-20 season so far as well. Allegedly, Roberson is ready to come back now. If that's true, that would be a huge boon to his stock as he approaches unrestricted free agency. If any team is going to pay Roberson, they want to see that he's healthy and that he can keep up his defensive impact. And hey, if his shooting form looks like it's improved, then that'd be a major bonus. The mystery is likely to continue though, because we're not sure if Roberson is healthy, and we're not sure if he'd actually play even if he is healthy. Oklahoma City has found a good rhythm right now, and has had success combining their guards in lineups together. If Shai Gilgeous-Alexander can serviceably guard SGs and SFs, then there's not a huge need for Roberson in the starting lineup. At the same time, the wing depth is still pretty thin, so a healthy Roberson could help on the margins. upside/downside: It's difficult to imagine Billy Donovan throwing Andre Roberson out there for 20+ minutes a night after such a long layoff. Given that, the most likely scenario is that we see faint glimpses of Roberson this season, which forces him to take a modest one-year "prove it" deal in 2020-21 to rehab his stock. However, IF Oklahoma City finds itself struggling to contain a player like James Harden in the playoffs, then you'd figure they'd break the glass in case of emergency and call in Roberson. If Roberson can prove that he's back to his old stopper ways, then he's a valuable piece for a team. He'll never get HUGE money if his shooting continues to suck, but he can be a $8-10M role player. And if he ever learns to shoot at a modest clip (even 33% from three) then his stock will balloon.
Welcome back to the Rookie Report! We’re on the brink of a new season, albeit a strange one. Stadiums with no fans, the Raiders in Vegas, 14 playoff spots, and no Tom Brady in New England are just a few of the things that will feel strange this year – but football will go on. Of course, there’s always the looming threat of a Covid-19 outbreak derailing things, but I’m going to operate from the optimistic point of view that things will go on as scheduled. If you’re new to the Rookie Report, each week I’ll be breaking down the matchups that the rookie class will be facing and letting you know which ones are good fantasy options and which ones should be avoided. I’ll throw in some sleepers and guys to stash on the bench as well, and I try to cover all of the fantasy relevant rookies each week (kickers excluded). Make sure to read the details on each player and not just what header they’re under since some of these may be format specific. Any players under the same header that play the same position are listed in the order that I would play them this week. The rookies are always a tough group to predict for fantasy production, but week 1 is always tough since we don’t have any on field production to go off of when making decisions. This year we don’t even have preseason games. For some of these predictions you have to read the tea leaves a bit and read between the lines of the coachspeak, and sometimes you just have to trust the talent of the player to win out. With all that in mind, let’s dive in and talk about week 1…
Rookies to Start:
RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire, KC (Wk. 1: vs. Hou.): If you have CEH, you likely took him in the first round, so you don’t need me to tell you that you’re starting him every week unless he gives you a reason not to. The Chiefs have the highest projected point total in the league this week at 31.75, and the Texans were in the bottom-6 in the league last year at limiting RB fantasy points. They were especially vulnerable to receiving backs, allowing more receptions per game to backs than every team other than the Colts. There’s no reason to shy away from CEH in DFS lineups despite a $7,000 price tag in DraftKings. Editor's Note: this article was posted here on/fantasyfootballafter TNF aired, although it was composed earlier. Sheesh. :) RB Jonathan Taylor, IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax.): Taylor will be in a prime spot to make a splash in his NFL debut. You likely drafted him as your RB2 unless you started with 3 straight running backs, so you’re probably going to play him regardless of what I write here. I won’t try to stop you. He’ll likely be splitting the backfield work with Marlon Mack and Nyheim Hines this week, but the Jaguars were one of the worst defenses in the league against opposing running backs last year and lost Calais Campbell, Yannick Ngakoue and AJ Bouye from that defense in the offseason. They’re projected to be one of the worst teams in the league and are an 8-point home underdog in week one. The Colts should be able to run plenty in this one, and I expect Taylor’s talent to show through even if his opportunities are limited. He’s a solid RB2 option this week. WR CeeDee Lamb, DAL (Wk. 1: @ LAR): Lamb is the best of the rookie receiver crop in my opinion, and he gets a great opportunity to start proving me right in week 1. The Rams consistently use Jalen Ramsey to shadow the opposing team’s #1 receiver, and with Dallas that means Ramsey will be chasing around Amari Cooper. This will be good news for both Lamb and Michael Gallup who get to face off with Troy Hill and Darious Williams instead. Advantage Cowboys. Despite Zeke Elliott racking up plenty of carries last season, the Cowboys ranked 10th in pass attempts, 2nd in passing yards and 5th in passing TDs in 2019, so there is plenty of volume to go around, and this week that volume should be finding Lamb and Gallup. The Cowboys also have the 3rd-highest implied point total of the week at 27.5. You may not have drafted Lamb as one of your top 3 wide receivers this season, but this could be a week to get him in the lineup over someone you drafted before him. At just $4,100 in DraftKings, he’s a screaming value for tournaments.
RB Cam Akers, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. Dal.): Akers enters week 1 listed as the number 3 running back on the depth chart with Malcolm Brown as the starter and Darrell Henderson at #2, but I see ‘starter’ as a nominal title for Brown. He’s a guy the team trusts to do the job if the others don’t step up, but he’s not a feature back that you build around. Darrell Henderson is playing catch-up a little bit after being banged up in camp, and I think Akers has a real chance to take over the lead role in week 1. I expect the team will ride whoever gets the hot hand this week, but this is an offense that creates plenty of fantasy production for the running back position. We know that Todd Gurley was an otherworldly talent at his peak, but McVay has also gotten productive fantasy seasons from Alfred Morris and Rob Kelley when he was in Washington, and an incredible 3-game stretch from a seemingly washed up CJ Anderson in LA. Dallas was a middling run defense last season, so if Akers is able to get the bulk of the work this week, he’s got obvious RB2 upside. RB Zack Moss, BUF (Wk. 1: vs. NYJ): The Jets boasted one of the best run defenses in the league a year ago, but in the offseason they lost two of the guys that were big reasons why they were so effective. CJ Mosley opted out of 2020, and Jamal Adams was dealt to Seattle. Even if the Jets are able to be a solid run defense again without those guys, they’re likely going to be playing from behind so much that the RB counting stats are still going to add up. Moss enters the season expected to be the Bills’ early down running back. The Bills had the 7th-highest rushing percentage in the league last year, running on 47.5% of their offensive snaps, and they figure to be run-heavy again. I’d expect Moss to finish week 1 around 15 touches, and he’d be first in line for any goal line carries. That puts him firmly on the flex radar in 12-team leagues and is a better play in non-PPR formats. WR Henry Ruggs, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car.): Ruggs was the first receiver off the board in April, and he’ll open the season as the team’s WR1 with Tyrell Williams out for the year. Ruggs has the speed to be a dangerous deep threat, but with Derek Carr at QB he’ll likely have to make his living on schemed touches in the short part of the field where he creates yards after the catch. As the WR1, I’m sure Jon Gruden will make sure Carr is getting the ball to Ruggs, but the group of pass catchers that thrives in the short part of the field is crowded in Vegas. Hunter Renfrow, Darren Waller, and Jalen Richard are all good receivers in that area, so I don’t see Ruggs being a target hog early on. His road to being a fantasy standout will be through creating big plays. He’ll get a chance to do that against a Carolina defense that isn’t terrible against the pass but isn’t imposing either. Ruggs is a boom-or-bust option who is capable of a Marquise Brown style week 1 breakout (Brown went 4-147-2 in week 1 last year), but is also capable of falling short of 40 yards. WR Jerry Jeudy, DEN (Wk. 1: vs. Ten.): Jeudy is an outstanding talent and landed on a team where he’ll walk right into the WR2 role in the offense, but it’s not a high volume passing offense and he’ll likely start the year behind both Courtland Sutton and Noah Fant in the pecking order. That outlook may have changed on Thursday with Sutton suffering a shoulder injury in practice. If Sutton sits, Jeudy could be the WR1 in week 1. No cornerback on the Titans should be capable of stopping Sutton, but they probably won’t be quite as overmatched by Jeudy. Fant should be in line for a nice day as the Titans struggled to contain tight ends last year, allowing the 6th-most points per game to the position. Keep an eye on the Sutton updates. If Sutton sits or is going to be limited, Jeudy should see enough volume to be a playable WR3 option. If it seems like Sutton is going to be fine, I would probably keep Jeudy benched until we see what his target share looks like as the WR2. WR Brandon Aiyuk, SF (Wk. 1: vs. Ari.): Aiyuk’s status is still up in the air this week, as is Deebo Samuel’s. If Aiyuk plays and Deebo doesn’t, there should be some consideration for getting Aiyuk in your lineup as a flex option. He may be facing off with Patrick Peterson in that scenario, but Peterson was anything but his typical self after returning from a 6-game suspension to open the 2019 season. He rounded into form late in the year, but Peterson is on the wrong side of 30 and Aiyuk is the type of receiver that can win at all levels of the field. The 49ers’ offense is going to run through George Kittle and their running backs, but they do have an implied point total of 27.25, so it’s likely that *some* receiver puts up a nice fantasy game Sunday. If he plays, Aiyuk is likely to lead the wide receiver group in targets, giving him the best shot of being that guy.
Rookies to Sit:
QB Joe Burrow, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): I like Burrow’s upside over the course of the year as a QB2, but I think there will be some growing pains in the early part of the season. The Chargers are not an inviting matchup for an NFL debut. They’ve got a solid pass rush anchored by Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. No team blitzed less than the Chargers in 2019, and yet they ranked 13th in the league in QB pressure percentage. It didn’t translate into a lot of sacks, but the addition of Linval Joseph to the middle of the line should help free up the edge rushers to be more disruptive this season. The team will be hurt by the loss of Derwin James to injury, but they still boast one of the best starting pairs of corners in the league in Casey Heyward and Chris Harris. I think there is a good chance the Chargers make Burrow look like a rookie in his debut and would be hesitant to play him in 2 QB leagues if I didn’t have to. RB JK Dobbins, BAL (Wk. 1: vs. Cle.): If I drafted Dobbins as my RB3 this season, I’d be tempted to play him this week. The Browns ranked 30th in Football Outsiders’ run defense DVOA stat last year, and the Ravens are favored by 8 in the opener. There could be some garbage time for Dobbins once the Ravens get out in front, but Baltimore may still try and keep Gus Edwards and/or Justice Hill involved in the run game as well. The official team depth chart listed Dobbins as the 4th-string back. I expect he’ll work as the number 2 guy behind Mark Ingram but would like to see how the rotation plays out before putting Dobbins in my lineups. I RB Antonio Gibson, WAS (Wk. 1: vs. Phi.): Gibson has had a ton of buzz around him during camp after Washington cut Adrian Peterson. He’s a versatile player who has drawn comparisons from the coaching staff to Christian McCaffrey. That’s obviously a pretty big stretch, but the head coach and offensive coordinator making the comparison were both in Carolina last year. I think Gibson will be the best fantasy back on the team this year, but I don’t love him for week 1. The Eagles ranked third in run defense DVOA last season, and I expect we’ll see Peyton Barber handle most of the early down work early in the season for Washington. Gibson will also be competing with JD McKissic and Bryce Love for 3rd-down work. The team is thin at wide receiver, so you could even see Gibson line up in the slot a bit since he played a lot of wide receiver in college. All in all, there’s just too much uncertainty about what his week 1 role will look like to trust him in fantasy lineups. RB D’Andre Swift, DET (Wk. 1: vs. Chi.): Swift has been working through a couple injuries in camp but should be able to suit up on Sunday. The problem is that with the signing of Adrian Peterson this backfield figures to be a three-headed monster, and that’ll be a headache for fantasy players. Swift may get the valuable 3rd down passing work, but I’d like to see how the workload is divided before relying on any Lions running back in my fantasy lineups. I’d take a wait and see approach with Swift. RB AJ Dillon, GB (Wk. 1: @ Min): Dillon enters week 1 listed as the 3rd running back on the depth chart in Green Bay, and while I would normally tell you to ignore the official team depth charts at this point, this one feels like how it’ll actually play out on the field. I’d expect Aaron Jones to be the clear lead back with a mix of Jamaal Williams and Dillon spelling him for some early down work. The best bet for Dillon getting a healthy workload would be garbage time in a blowout win, but that seems unlikely with the Vikings favored by 3. I’d keep Dillon away from your lineups. RB Ke’Shawn Vaughn, TB (Wk. 1: @ NO): In case you drafted Vaughn early and have been living under a rock in recent weeks, the signings of Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy will make Vaughn mostly useless for now in fantasy leagues. He’ll likely be limited to special teams early in the season and won’t have much value without injuries in front of him. Feel free to drop him outside of dynasty leagues. WR Michael Pittman Jr., IND (Wk. 1: @ Jax): Pittman should see the field quite a bit in week 1, but I don’t expect it to translate into fantasy production just yet. The Colts played 61% of their snaps last season in 11 personnel (3 WR), and their 3-WR sets to open the year should feature Pittman, TY Hilton and Parris Campbell, but the bulk of the passing volume should go through Hilton and Campbell (along with Jack Doyle and Nyheim Hines). The Colts are an 8-point road favorite this week, and I’d expect them to lean heavily on the running game which will limit how many targets there are to go around. If Pittman makes it to even 5 targets, I’d consider his week 1 to be a successful one. WR Chase Claypool, PIT (Wk. 1: @ NYG): The Steelers have spent much of the summer talking up Claypool, but this is an offense with a lot of mouths to feed. The return of Ben Roethlisberger should make this a much more fantasy-friendly offense than it was last year, but Claypool enters the season as no higher than 4th in the target pecking order. The Steelers do have a favorable matchup this week and have the 5th-highest implied total of the week, and Big Ben hasn’t really played much with James Washington or Diontae Johnson, so if you want to roll the dice on Claypool in a DFS tournament (just a $3,000 price tag in DraftKings) I wouldn’t fault you for it. For season-long leagues you should have safer options for week 1. WR Denzel Mims, NYJ (Wk. 1: @ BUF): It sounds like Mims is going to play this week, but after missing much of camp with a hamstring injury, I wouldn’t count on him getting a full workload in this one. It also remains to be seen which outside receiver will tangle with standout corner Tre’Davious White. Breshad Perriman is coming off an injury of his own, and both players make for poor options against a tough Bills defense with the Jets having an implied point total of just 16.5 points. WR Justin Jefferson, MIN (Wk. 1: vs. GB): Jefferson is a very talented receiver, and the Vikings obviously believe in him after drafting him in the first round in April, but he’ll likely open the season splitting WR2 snaps with Bisi Johnson. The Vikings play with 3 WRs less often than any other team in the league. They consistently operate out of a 2 tight end base set with Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith Jr. Jefferson will eventually work his way past Bisi, but I’d want to see what kind of opportunities he gets early on before trusting him in my fantasy lineup. His week one matchup isn’t all that appealing either. Green Bay is one of just 2 teams in the league that allowed less than 10 receptions per game to opposing wide receivers last year. WR Tee Higgins, CIN (Wk. 1: vs. LAC): With AJ Green expected to play week 1, it’ll be hard for Higgins to get on the field much. It looks like Green, Tyler Boyd and Auden Tate will be the trio on the field in 3 wide receiver sets, and Higgins will be competing with John Ross for any leftover reps. There’s no reason to consider Higgins for week 1. TE Cole Kmet, CHI (Wk. 1: @ DET: Kmet was the first tight end drafted in April, but he doesn’t figure to play a large role early in his rookie season. He’ll open the season behind at least Jimmy Graham on the depth chart, and possibly Demetrius Harris as well. The Lions were a middle of the pack defense against tight ends a year ago, but Kmet shouldn’t be a consideration in any formats this week.
Deep League Sleepers, Stashes, and Cheap DFS Options:
QB Tua Tagovailoa, MIA (Wk. 1: @ NE): I don’t list Tua here with any thoughts of you using him in week 1. I mention him in case you’re in a 2-QB league where he’s sitting on the waiver wire. He’s going to take over for Fitzpatrick at some point this season, and when he does he’s going to have big-time upside. He’s worth stashing if you have the roster spot in superflex and 2-QB leagues. I would rather have Tua than fellow rookie Justin Herbert. RB Josh Kelley, LAC (Wk. 1: @ CIN): Kelley enters week 1 as the likely backup to Austin Ekeler, but that role will probably come with 10-12 touches and possibly more if the Chargers pull away. Ekeler isn’t built to be a 20+ touch per game kind of back and the Chargers are shifting to a more run-heavy approach this season with Philip Rivers gone. Kelley looks like the back who will pick up the slack the Melvin Gordon left behind. Only 4 teams allowed more rushing yards last season than the Bengals, and while Cincy could be improved with the addition of DJ Reader to their D-line, I expect they’ll still find themselves in a lot of negative game scripts. For week 1, Ekeler has RB1 upside, but Kelley isn’t a terrible option as a flex in deep leagues. He’s someone you should be picking up everywhere if he’s on the waiver wire. I expect his role will grow as the season progresses. RB James Robinson, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): What a difference a week makes for Robinson. A week ago Robinson looked like he was going the be the number 4 or 5 running back on the depth chart, but since then Leonard Fournette was cut, Ryquell Armstead went back on the Covid-reserve list, and Devine Ozigbo landed on IR. Robinson is suddenly the projected starter this week. Chris Thompson will handle most of the 3rd down work, but Robinson is going to be on the field a lot. The Colts didn’t give up many running back touchdowns last season (6), but they gave up plenty of yards to them, both on the ground and through the air. The Jaguars project to be playing from behind in this one, so Chris Thompson is probably the guy that will lead this backfield in fantasy scoring this week, but in deep leagues a starting running back is hard to ignore. Robinson certainly shouldn’t be on your waiver wire and he has 10+ point upside this week. WR Bryan Edwards, LVR (Wk. 1: @ Car): Ruggs is the guy with the draft capital, but Bryan Edwards may emerge as the alpha receiver on this Vegas team. He excels in the intermediate part of the field where few other receivers on the team do, and he’s easily the most physical of their receivers, which will serve him well in the red zone. His QB has compared him to former teammates Davante Adams and James Jones, both of whom excel at getting in the end zone. The Raiders have a reasonable implied point total of 25.25 this week, and if I had to bet on any Vegas pass catcher getting in the end zone it would be Edwards. He costs just $4,200 in DraftKings and is very likely to outperform that price tag. He may not get as many targets as Ruggs, but don’t be surprised if he outscores the first rounder in week 1. WR Laviska Shenault, JAX (Wk. 1: vs. Ind.): After all of the changes and injuries that have come up for the Jaguars over the last week or 2, about the only thing that seems clear with this offense is that DJ Chark is going to be targeted a lot. I’ll add a second thing here – Laviska Shenault is going to be very involved in this offense. Reports out of camp this week are that the Jaguars are getting VERY creative with the ways they’re using him. He’s a versatile player that lined up all over the field in college and is dynamic with the ball in the open field. I expect Jacksonville to make it a point to get the ball into his hands any way they can, even if it means handing it to him out of the backfield. Viska has a higher DraftKings price tag than some of the other rookies at $4,400, but he could be a really interesting option in limited slate contests. 10 touches isn’t out of the question in week 1. WR Van Jefferson, LAR (Wk. 1: vs. GB): I wasn’t high on Jefferson coming into camp, but he’s been impressive. He’s not an explosive athlete, but his football IQ and feel for the game are off the charts. He’s a route running technician who was a tough cover for Jalen Ramsey in camp. It remains to be seen if he’s fully overtaken Josh Reynolds for the WR3 role in the offense, but if he has he’ll be on the field a lot. The Rams like to line up with 3 wide receivers on the field as much as anyone. Dallas was stingy against wide receivers a year ago, but they said goodbye to their number one corner Byron Jones in the offseason. Jefferson is more of a stash right now, but if he’s on the field as the WR3 a 4-60 kind of game wouldn’t be that crazy for him this week. WR John Hightower, PHI (Wk. 1: @ Was): Hightower has a chance to benefit from a couple of injuries ahead of him this week, and also from the extra attention the Washington secondary will give to DeSean Jackson. D-Jax burned them in the opener last year with 2 TDs of 50+ yards. They’re going to do everything they can to make sure that doesn’t happen again. That means less attention for JJ Arcega-Whiteside, Greg Ward, and Hightower. Of that trio, Hightower is the only one with the burner speed to hurt Washington deep. He’s a DFS tournament dart throw who will cost the minimum in DraftKings, and can have a nice NFL debut with just one or two deep balls. That’s all I’ve got for this week. Hopefully it helps you as you try to figure out what to do with the rookies on your team for week 1. Keep a close eye on the injury report this week to make sure you don’t end up playing anyone inactive. Feel free to hit me up on twitter (@Shawn_Foss) if you have any questions or want to yell at me about anything written above. As always: Good luck, trust your gut, and have fun. It’s just a game. Original article from drinkfive.com
2020 Offseason Review Series Day 26: The New England Patriots
New England Patriots
Division: AFC East 2019: 12-4, Division Win Before I dive in, I want to give a massive, massive thanks to timnog - who is a national treasure and the resident .gif queen of the Patriots - and arbrown83 - who provides excellent high-quality OC and manages patriotsdynasty.info, a definitive repository for content complete with data and .gifs spanning the past 20 years. Basically everything in this piece that isn't sourced in the click (twitter, youtube etc.) came from one of them and I don't want to imagine what this would look like without them.
Joe Judge: After eight seasons with the team, five as our Special Teams coordinator, Joe Judge has left New England to take on a head coaching job with the New York Giants. New England's special teams units have been consistently good to great during Judge's tenure with the team and particularly played a massive part in the 2018 Super Bowl victory against the LA Rams. With Judge's departure the team faces special teams uncertainty for the first time in nearly a decade
Dante Scarnecchia: One of the few dedicated position coaches in the NFL with broad name recognition among many fans, Dante Scarnecchia has been one of the best position coaches in the league and a franchise legend. Scar has survived 5 General Manager transitions, 4 different head coaches, 3 decades of coaching, 2 sales of the franchise and a partridge in a pear tree return to work after a two year hiatus in retirement. Scar has been pivotal in the franchise's ability to continually identify and develop raw physical talent into serviceable or better starting linemen over the past 20 years. He heads off into retirement (part 2) and will be sorely missed
Bret Bielema: After two years with the team as a consultant and defensive line coach, Bret Bielema has departed with Judge to take on a defensive advisory role with the Giants
Jedd Fisch: Added to the offensive staff as the Quarterback's coach, Jedd Fisch has spent the better part of 20 years bouncing around between college and the NFL with the Texans, Ravens, Broncos, Seahawks and Jaguars before landing most recently with the LA Rams as a senior offensive assistant and assistant offensive coordinator in 2018/2019. Fisch brings a broad scope of experience to the table as an offensive mind. The linked article goes into some schematic possibilities that his addition may foretell, but we'll look closer at that in a later section
Troy Brown: After stepping in last August to try his hand coaching, team Hall of Famer, fan favorite, RecevieReturneCornerback Troy Brown has been officially added to the coaching staff. While he spent much of last season working with the receivers, recent news says Brown will be working with the running backs as we go into camp. Whatever the case, if the man can impart even a fraction of his work ethic and selfless attitude onto the players he will be a welcome addition to the staff
After last year's mass coaching exodus there are relatively few losses among the coaching staff this season, but two of them are major losses that will certainly be felt. The team has remained true to form this year in handling coaching turnover - losses have been addressed by promotions from within and the team has brought in one mid-priority, experienced outsider to supplement.
2 yrs, $50M
Kyle Van Noy
4 yrs, $51M
3 yrs, $30M
2 yrs, $8M
1 yr, $3M
1 yr, $2M
1 yr, $2M
1 yr, $1M
Tom Brady gets his own dedicated posts. It's simply impossible to talk about Tom Brady's Patriot tenure and legacy or what he has meant to the team, fan base and the sport of football inside a larger body post like this. The reddit limit for text posts is 40k characters and I could easily eclipse that talking about Brady and his career. I wouldn't be doing anybody justice by trying to shoehorn that commentary in here next to comments about Kyle Van Noy and Danny Shelton. It's simply a different universe of impact and significance from both objective and emotional angles. Suffice it to say in this section that he leaves a Lovecraftian void in his wake
Kyle Van Noy received a well-deserved payday after delivering above and beyond expectation on his opportunity in New England. Acquired in a trade-deadline deal in 2016, Van Noy worked his way through backup duties into a significant role as a hybrid edge defender. In 2017 after Dont'a Hightower went down for the season injured, Van Noy stepped into the #1 LB role, playing starter's snap share as a valuable run stuffer and pass rusher, from the interior or from the edge, standup or hand in the dirt, even in coverage or blowing up screens, sometimes doing multiple in the same play. KVN became Mr. Utility in the front 7 and spent the past few years making plays in any way a front 7 player can. Van Noy leverages a well rounded skill set to impact games in any manner possible, and he's helped the team to three super bowl appearances and two wins doing it while being one of the best players on the field in SB53. He leaves for Miami to rejoin the man who helped unlock that skill set and I will not be happy seeing him on the other side of the field twice a year in the immediate future
Jamie Collins leaves the Patriots for a second time after an excellent 2019 and a major bounce back from his poor showing in Cleveland. Initially drafted by New England in 2013, Collins rose quickly to become a key defensive force early on, capitalizing on explosive athleticism and a well rounded skill set (I know it's repetitive but it's the truth. I suggest you get used to the terms "well-rounded" and "versatile" now) to create a major impact in the 2014 playoffs, to earn 2nd team All Pro honors in 2015, and to get himself traded away to the gulag Cleveland in a surprise move in the middle of 2016. Collins came back home on a one-year deal in 2019 to try and show the world he deserved one more big pay day. He delivered with gusto. Through the first half of the season Collins was performing at an all pro level for a nightmarish New England Linebacking corps, primarily contributing exceptional coverage and explosive pass rushing skills but also playing a key role against the run. Contrasting with Van Noy, who is much more of a by-the-book type player without any outstanding athletic traits for the position, Collins has made his career largely on his absurd athletic potential and instincts, which were still on full display at age 30 this season. He leaves for Detroit to rejoin the man who helped unlock his skill set and it's nice that the Patriots won't need to see him across the field twice a season
Danny Shelton heads to Detroit as a big man who delivered in a big way on his 2019 one-year prove-it deal. Shelton is not the kind of name that turns heads, but he brought a significant physical presence to the interior of a defense that had been fairly vulnerable to the ground game when opponents could lean into it. He wasn't much of a pass rusher - though he did have his moments - but he was a stout run-stuffer and anchor in the middle of the D, playing the second most snaps of all of Patriot DL on the season. He leaves some large shoes to fill and his loss significantly weakens the Patriot hair game
Ted Karras also heads to Miami after taking on a starter's role at Center with less than one month's notice on the heels of David Andrews' season-ending blood clot situation. Karras, a 6th round pick in 2016, played just 430 snaps over three seasons as a reserve OL before responsibility was thrust upon him this season. Karras played admirably on over 1000 snaps and while he wasn't blowing any doors off the center position - particularly early on when he was still hammering out some snap-issues that had also flared up in 2017 - the fact that he was able to play 90% of New England's offensive snaps from a reserve role without creating glaring issues was nothing short of a godsend. Karras took home the 2nd highest paycheck league-wide from the NFL's Performance Based Pay program for his efforts, and frankly the $3M contract he received from Miami was surprisingly low given how hard it is for some teams to find a competent starting center
Nate Ebner follows Special Teams coordinator Joe Judge to New York after carving out an 8 year career as a dedicated special-teamer. Did you know he also played rugby?
Elandon Roberts wraps up an impressive Patriot tenure that was largely spent wanting to run through mother fuckers' faces. I've given Roberts some shit in the past for being the one player I've seen with a unique ability to fill the right hole at the right time but manage to not even touch the ball carrier, but the guy is an awesome locker room presence, willing special teamer, named team captain and just all around up for anything. Recently seen filling a need at receiver, Roberts heads out to join Patriots south where he'll go do whatever the hell they need him to
Phillip Dorsett heads to Seattle on a minimal 1-year deal. He leaves New England much the same way he came, as a former 1st round pick with a ton of speed and not much production. He has flashed for the team at times in a 3rd/4th/5th target role but struggled when asked to do more. He'll haul in a few long bombs when things go just right though, and that's always a treat
2 yrs, $7M
2 yrs, $6M
1 yr, $1.6M
1 yr, $1.3M
1 yr, $1M
1 yr, $1M
1 yr, $1M
New England entered the 2020 Free Agency period without much cap space to speak of. After placing a franchise tag on Left Guard Joe Thuney and re-signing Free Safety Devin McCourty, the team was left without much of anything to work with. Trading away Duron Harmon turned out to be a necessary move solely for the cap ramifications.
Beau Allen is a very large man who plays in the middle of defensive lines. He's worked as a depth IDL for the Eagles and Bucs, and would seemingly be the replacement for Shelton. Certainly not a disruptive pass rusher with just 2.5 sacks to his name across 6 seasons, he's done some good work against the run in limited snaps and appears to have an open path to a more significant role. He'll even attempt to replace Shelton in the hair game, just with his face
Adrian Phillips has been a depth/rotational safety for the Chargers for 6 years while contributing on special teams at an all-pro level. He's the exact kind of guy Belichick loves to pick up for versatility and depth purposes, but he's also done enough on the field as a true safety to believe he can function in that capacity as well. Phillips is my favorite addition this season and given the age of the other safeties on the roster he'll have an opportunity to break into the lineup with significant snaps
Damiere Byrd is a very fast receiver. He hasn't been able to really break out in the pros, but he's shown up with brief flashes as a returner and deep threat. He'll have an open opportunity to seize that role without many major challenges in his way
Dan Vitale is a Fullback who has opted out of the 2020 season to put in even more work on his biceps due to conerns over COVID-19
Marquise Lee was brought in as a veteran option to compete for a receiver role. He's a talented player who has struggled significantly with injuries in recent years. He has recently opted out of the season due to concerns over COVID-19
Brandon Copeland is a versatile linebacker who has performed mainly in a rotational role for the Jets over the past few years. He's shown an ability to play the deep hole zone coverage, which was a Jamie Collins special, and to put a hand on the ground and rush a passer or run a stunt. He's an unheralded name but those qualities might allow him to step into the giant chasm of opportunity left at linebacker in the wake of Collins and Van Noy's departures
Not much in the way of splashy names. Those signings left New England without even enough money to sign a draft class. Without even enough cap space to fit a veteran minimum contract, the team couldn't have possibly added any more players..... Wait. What?
1 yr, $1.75M
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Kyle Dugger became the 6th defensive back in a decade to be taken by the Patriots in round 2 of the NFL draft. I'm going to take a minute to address this elephant in the room because the track record there is, frankly, abysmal. The most successful second round DB taken by the Patriots in the last decade is Tavon Wilson, and the gap between Wilson and the second best DB the team has taken in round 2 is incomprehensibly large considering Wilson started a grand total of 4 games in New England. Ras-I Dowling was healthy for 9 games in 3 years. Jordan Richards stuck around as a special teamer while inducing panic any time he played in an actual safety role. Cyrus Jones muffed approximately one million 4 punts and fumbled another on just 14 return opportunities before being sent to Baltimore as a sleeper agent. Duke Dawson was traded for a 6th/7th round swap 1 year after being drafted, having played exactly 0 snaps. Joejuan Williams murdered twelve puppies can't be faulted for not breaking into the starting lineup in a ridiculously strong cornerback room in year 1 and isn't a lost cause yet, thankfully. This is what comes to mind when Patriot fans think about drafting DBs in the second round. It's not any player's fault that the Patriots draft them when they do, but it's such a well-known string of failures that it became a talking point when the team traded a 2nd round pick for Mo Sanu. Enter Kyle Dugger. Dugger played for Lenoir-Rhyne, a D-II school with a sports-reference page that looks like this, boasting 6 whole names of NFL players who combined to produce 16 AV. Dugger is the highest draft pick to come out of Lenoir-Rhyne by over 100 slots, and for good reason. He arguably only ended up playing D-II because of a very late growth spurt, and by the time he had it his combination of explosive athleticism and pro-size physique left him looking a man among boys. Film on Dugger is scant, and much of what exists looks like the Zapruder tape, but even in the blurry mess you simply can't miss the guy being disruptive in coverage, flying around like a missile, decleating ball carriers and running circles around - or straight through - punt coverage. Dugger is pretty raw. A few seasons flexing on physically outmatched competition in D-II is not the best way to prepare for sophisticated NFL defenses and opponents with more similar athletic profiles. That said, the physical tools are elite even when measured by NFL standards. He's a 99th percentile SPARQ athlete who reportedly smothered TEs and receivers in senior bowl week. It's hard to say too much about Dugger until we see more but he seems to have every tool he needs to become an impact safety, a box roamer, even play some nickel/dime slot coverage in the NFL. I specifically see a Tight End eraser and eventual Pat Chung replacement if he develops well. I'm more optimistic about him than I've been about any of the other 2nd round DBs since Dowling. The age in the safety group, Chung's opt out and Harmon being traded away have opened things up for someone to take over a large chunk of the snaps and whether it happens sooner or later Dugger looks like he can be the one to break a series of sadness a decade old. I'm ready to either get hurt again or watch him become the next Brian Dawkins. At least he wasn't a projected 6th rounder
Josh Uche became the second Michigan defender drafted to New England in two years. While he played primarily on the edge he was deployed in off-ball alignment and crowding A gaps over guards, displaying the versatility New England loves in its front 7. An excellent quick-twitch athlete, Uche produced a pressure on over 22% of his pass rush snaps in 2018 and 2019, 1st in the nation per PFF and displays explosive ability as a pass rusher off the ball to blow past OTs and as a run defender with a blazing fast closing speed. The major knocks against Uche in the draft process were a general lack of reps - as he did not break out until his junior year and was still ceding snaps to Rashan Gary and Chase Winovich - a slightly undersized frame and a lack of drill numbers owing to a hamstring tweak suffered in the senior bowl then a canceled pro day due to COVID-19. He's shown great bend and reasonably polished hand fighting technique to complement the athletic gifts, and whether he ends up primarily in a pass rushing role or moving around the front, he's a welcome addition to a severely depleted front-7. Find an excellent OC film breakdown by Memokerobi in this thread
Anfernee JenningsAnfernee Jennings mainly filled an edge role in Alabama's hybrid defense. In contrast the quick-twitch and bend we saw in Uche, Jennings provided a stout, strong, physical presence for one of the country's best defenses. Jennings was a productive pass rusher and a particularly dominant run stuffer, at times manhandling some of the best blocking TEs in college to get there. Despite playing a majority of his snaps at the edge last season, Jennings has the physical tools to line up off-ball as a downhill thumper as well. He has experience lining up everywhere from the 4-tech to wide 9, stand-up or hand in the dirt, and he's displayed a sophisticated game IQ in play diagnosis. While his game is markedly different from Uche's, he finds himself facing the same opportunity to make an immediate mark in the linebacking corps. To this point if you think I've been repetitive while talking about the draft picks, it's because I have been. The first three picks in the 2020 draft have all been versatile defensive pieces that should be able to move around the formation fluidly. As the league evolves and offenses adapt to answer the recently-popularized "big nickel" personnel grouping, the need for defenders who can fill a variety of needs has only increased. That factor and the loss of versatile defenders Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins creates a pretty clear picture of what the Patriots were working towards early in the draft
Devin Asiasi became the first TE drafted by the Patriots inside the top 200 picks since 2010. Asiasi is a well-rounded player who has shown the ability to play in-line or split wide, albeit in limited time as he's only had one season of significant usage and production. In that year, he displayed very reliable hands and solid route-running ability while making impacts at all three levels of the passing game. He was also a competent, if raw, blocker with the frame to match many edge defenders. He's a tough runner with the ball in his hands, though he's not going to outrun most defenders and with a bit of development he should be able to fill the all-around TE role the Patriots desperately need filled
Dalton Keene became the second TE drafted by the Patriots inside the top 200 picks since 2010. Keene is a versatile guy, the proverbial H-back type who spent a significant amount of time moving all around the formation at Virginia Tech last year. He's a tenacious blocker and is described by basically everybody as having relentless effort. The main drawbacks with Keene are his production - with just 748 yards receiving across 3 college seasons - and the fact that his route tree is more a shrub. He's a player who has predominantly gotten open by leaking out of a blocking assignment or against motion on play action. That said, George Kittle makes a significant amount of his hay running leak or counter motion routes too so it's not as if that role doesn't have value. Keene is extremely unpolished, but he's shown the skills necessary to become an impactful TE if he can prove himself with a major increase in responsibilities, volume and overall refinement
Michael Onwenu (#50) is a strong, stocky interior lineman who simply bullies people in tight spaces, but he doesn't move very well and can be stiff in his stances and footwork. New England has had success in the past with coaching up stiff or awkward movers into useful offensive linemen - Marcus Cannon is a prime example - and Onwenu should have time to work on his weaknesses as he was drafted into a very strong IOL group with established starters. With some coaching up he could end up a great value for a 6th round investment
Justin Herron is a long Tackle with decent hands and mobility who's main criticisms are a lack of any particular strength or control in the run game. After bouncing back nicely from an ACL tear in 2018, Herron played well enough at Wake Forest to earn a late round draft selection. With the uncertainty around New England's Tackle situation, he could have a good chance to stick as a depth piece for future development
Cassh Maluia was a solid three year starter for Wyoming with good athleticism for the position and notable closing speed. Physically he's similar in build to Elandon Roberts. The gaping void that opened up at linebacker this offseason and the loss of a few dedicated special teamers should give him a chance to make the roster and leave his mark
Dustin Woodard was a long-time starter at Memphis. He moves pretty well but he's on the small, stocky side and will need to add strength and refine his technique if he's going to contribute in the NFL. He'll have some stiff competition for a depth role as an interior lineman
It's never easy to talk about Patriots drafts. In 2020 the team clearly wanted to add versatility on multiple levels, and they did something we've seen them do multiple times before and double dipped at positions of significant need. A number of pundits have panned the Pats 2020 draft class because it didn't include a Quarterback or receiver, while others have praised it because the team moved around a number of picks and that must be a good sign. If forced to give a grade I'd throw out a B/B-. Dugger has a ridiculous potential ceiling but his rawness is scary. I absolutely love the Uche pick. He was a favorite of mine through the process with nice tape who seemed generally undervalued due to lack of volume. He could return major upside. Jennings is a classic Patriots prototype pick who could be great for the team, and he was selected at about "expected" range. Asiasi is someone I liked in the scouting process as a competent receiver but I would have preferred Adam Trautman as the more complete package. I liked Dalton Keene for fit but I didn't expect him before the middle of day 3. Trading 2 4ths to the Jets to move up for Keene there just doesn't sit right. The Rohrwasser pick is another Belichick staple on the current rookie wage scale. Once the 5th round rolls around he starts taking his "reach" shots on special teamers or long-shot projects e.g. Punter Jake Bailey, Long Snapper Joe Cardona, Punter Zoltan Mesko or reclamation projects Byron Cowart and Marcus Cannon. Most of those picks have turned out pretty good for the team. Given that track record and the need, I expected and don't hate taking the kicker there. I know nothing about Rohrwasser except he apparently went 100% from 50+ yards and had a handful of impressive kicks in bad weather, but Belichick has been on point with specialists and the team hasn't brought in any competition so I believe in his ability. The rest of the selections are just prospective depth, which is hard to get excited about but is also something the team desperately needed. I'm glad the team didn't try to take a QB and instead focused on addressing a lack of roster depth, an aging safety group, an eviscerated LB corps and the worst TE room in the league. For the oldest roster in the NFL and for how many contributing bodies the team lost in free agency, this draft class isn't exactly sexy, but it is a necessity and very on-brand for the Patriots.
James Develin, long time fullback, has retired from the NFL and will be sorely missed. That .gif is basically his Patriot tenure and his personality in a nutshell. He gives a relentless effort, displaying hard-nosed tenacity, and you can feel the sheer joy emanating from Legarrette Blount. Develin was a positive personality in the locker room, a versatile utility knife on the field and an all around great guy.
The world is in the middle of a pandemic. This is very obviously affecting every team and the league as a whole. Specific to New England, the Patriots have had eight players opt out of the 2020 season. In order of 2019 snap count, the team has lost RT Marcus Cannon, LB Dont'a Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, RB Brandon Bolden and TE Matt LaCosse. On top of this, Free Agent signings Marquise Lee and Danny Vitale have opted out, as well as Guard Najee Toran, who was signed to a futures contract this past December. This is the highest number of opt-outs in the NFL. When combined with the free agent losses and the trade of Duron Harmon, the New England defense has lost 4,141 high-quality snaps and another 598 role-player snaps from 2019. That represents an absolutely staggering 45% of all defensive snaps lost from year to year. The important takeaway here isn't about football though.
Thanks for reading if indeed you have. If not, thanks for at least scrolling to the bottom. I hope it's been enjoyable and informative. Stay safe and be good to each other. E: Of course within hours of posting this the Patriots finalized multiple roster moves. Lamar Miller was signed to a 1 year deal. While the terms are unknown at the moment, he'll be a strong candidate to come in and carry a significant workload. The signing suggests that the team is unsure of Sony Michel's availability after the foot surgery that currently has him on the PUP list and does not feel comfortable leaning on Burkhead or Harris in the event that Sony misses time. Jordan Leggett has also been signed and could push Ryan Izzo for a roster spot.
After tonight's lottery, I figured I would post a two-round mock draft. I didn't make any trades. I tried to go based on what I thing teams will do, not necessarily what I think they should do, though my opinions obviously impact the decisions as well. I also included my personal grades and some undrafted fits that I liked. Let me know what you think!
MIN - LaMelo Ball PG (NBL) - LaMelo is the best player in the draft and is worth the gamble for the Timberwolves. It is reasonable to be concerned about his fit with their roster on both ends, but that concern would be fair regardless of who the Timberwolves select. Their defense would probably struggle with either LaMelo or Edwards. The fit with D'Lo would be clunky with either LaMelo or Edwards. LaMelo is a great passer and an underrated off-ball player. He played off-ball in high school and is a high IQ player on that end of the court. I expect him to be able to adjust to sharing time on ball with Russell. The offensive potential, particularly the two-man game with Towns, is far too enticing to pass up on at this spot.
GS - Anthony Edwards SG (UGA) - Edwards adds depth to their backcourt that is lacking in talent outside of Steph and Klay. He can also gives them another ball handler to take some pressure off Draymond. The Warriors’ closing lineup has Draymond at the 5, so having Edwards on the roster could allow for him to play important minutes in a lower-usage role where he plays next to both Steph and Klay. The Warriors are a well-run organization and I expect them to get him to buy in on the defensive end and be more of a team player on offense, where they can take advantage of his underrated cutting abilities.
CHA - James Wiseman C (MEM) - Wiseman will help anchor the Hornets’ defense for the foreseeable future. He fits well with Washington, who is big enough to provide weakside rim protection but also quick enough to guard the 4 and space the floor on offense. Wiseman can be a quality roll-man for Rozier and Graham and can help those guys get open by setting screens with his 7’1” frame.
CHI - Deni Avdija SF (BSL) - Deni is a great fit for a Chicago team that needs a wing who can help their pieces fit together. He is a competent defender who plays hard on every possession, though his lack of length may limit his upside on that end of the floor. Offensively, he is a very good cutter and a capable ball handler. Even though he is not a good shooter, he is an intelligent floor spacer and knows where to be on the court. He can do a little bit of everything, and if his skills coalesce, he should be able to provide the Bulls with their wing of the future.
CLE - Isaac Okoro SF (AUB) - Okoro is a great pick for the Cavaliers here at 5. They get one of the best defensive players in the class and fill a very substantial need in their roster, that being wing depth. Okoro is a good ball-handler and passer, which could help take some of the pressure off of Sexton and Garland, both of whom are probably undersized shooting guards, not true point guards. If Okoro is developed properly, he could turn into one of the best players in the class and could be an important building block for the Cavs in the future.
ATL - Tyrese Haliburton PG/SG (ISU) - Haliburton can be the secondary ball-handler the Hawks desperately need. He is a smart defender and can help make up for some of Trae’s shortcomings, particularly if he is able to add strength. He will keep the ball moving and help make their pieces fit together better. He can play both on and off the ball thanks to his shooting ability, which is a plus for his fit next to Trae offensively.
DET - Obi Toppin PF (DAY) - At the 7th pick, Obi will probably be viewed as the best available player. The fit with both Blake and Wood is less than ideal, but Obi has a bunch of avenues to being an effective offensive player. This is probably not a draft where you can get high level talent, particularly at pick 7, so it makes sense to go with a high floor player who can be an important piece of their multi-year rebuild. They can grab a star in next year's draft, and Obi will hopefully fit in with that player.
NY - Killian Hayes PG/SG (BBL) - Though the Knicks unfortunately fell, they will still have the ability to acquire a good player for their future. I view Hayes as a tier 1 prospect, and although the consensus is lower on him than I am, I expect Hayes to be the pick for New York as they continue with their rebuild. He can run their offense and create for himself and others in the PnR. He is a good defender both on and off the ball. Surrounding Hayes with shooters will be crucial to the success of the Knicks in the future. The two-man game with Robinson looks like it could be a great way for the Knicks to reliably generate offense.
WAS - Onyeka Okongwu PF/C (USC) - Okongwu is a great addition to the Wizards frontcourt and can be an anchor for the defense in the short and long term. Thomas Bryant has been relatively inconsistent and they lack depth outside of Bryant at the center position. Okongwu will be a good PnR partner with Wall and should be a solid paint presence for the Wizards.
PHX - Devin Vassell SG/SF (FSU) - Vassell and Mikal Bridges on the court at the same time will be hell for opposing wings. Both are such instinctual and smart defenders who can get in passing lanes and disrupt the flow of the offense. Vassell is a capable offensive player, particularly on the perimeter, and if his off-the-dribble shot-making flashes are real, he could be a valuable secondary creator for a team lacking in creation outside of Booker.
SA - Patrick Williams SF/PF (FSU) - I trust the Spurs development staff to mold Williams into the incredible player on both ends that he has the potential to become. They needed to improve their front court and Williams can provide value at the 4 spot with his elite weak-side rim protection. He has shown some ability to create off the dribble and his shot profile looks solid enough for me to believe in him as a capable floor spacer. Williams could turn into one of the better players in this class and his youth and athleticism would be great for a Spurs team in need of both.
SAC - Aaron Nesmith SG/SF (VAN) - Nesmith would add much needed wing depth for the Kings. He has a 6’10” wingspan and may be able to guard some bigger players because of it, particularly if he is able to add strength. His off-ball movement coupled with Fox’s ability to create advantages off the dribble would be a lethal combination. Nesmith will be able to find a nice role on the Kings and be productive from day 1 as a lethal shooter and valuable floor spacer.
NO - Cole Anthony PG (UNC) - Cole can provide a scoring punch off the bench for the Pelicans and give some clarity to their backcourt situation, as he can play both on and off the ball and should be successful with either Lonzo or Jrue as his backcourt partner. He would not be expected to be a big decision-maker for the Pelicans, which should help him integrate into the NBA more seamlessly and allow him to focus on his high-level shotmaking that should take the Pelicans’ offense to the next level.
BOS (via MEM) - Tyrese Maxey PG/SG (UK) - The Celtics need bench scoring (they finished 29th this year). Maxey isn't a point guard in the NBA, but he wouldn't have to be one in Boston. His 3-level scoring will be a great addition to their bench and his defensive abilities would bolster one of the best defenses in the league. He can play off of Smart, Hayward, and Tatum on the offensive end and benefit from the advantages that Tatum can create. Watching he and Smart terrorize the other team on the perimeter would be amazing.
ORL - Kira Lewis Jr. PG (ALA) - For a team that doesn’t have a ton of young offensive talent, Kira could be a very welcome addition and he fits reasonably well next to Fultz. His rim pressure could certainly help break defenses down and create open looks for shooters or dump-offs to their forwards. His small frame isn’t a huge concern when placing him on a team with such a deep and defensively versatile frontcourt.
POR - Saddiq Bey SF/PF (VILL) - The Blazers have needed wing depth for the entire season, but the bubble certainly helped bring his issue to light. Bey is a great fit with the Blazers as he should be able to play either the 3 or the 4 and he can knock down perimeter shots. He may not be the wing stopper that the Blazers desperately need to compete in the West due to his limited lateral mobility, but he is still a better option than most of the players they have on their roster currently. He is a polished player who will be ready to help the Blazers compete from day 1.
MIN (via BKN) - Precious Achiuwa PF/C (MEM) - Precious is a pretty good fit next to Towns if he can be a solid interior defender. He had a lot of moments where he was a good rim protector this season. He is also ostensibly switchable and should be able to bolster the Timberwolves’ defense. On offense, he fits well with Towns as well because Precious can play on the interior and Towns can space the floor.
DAL - Jalen Smith PF/C (MD) - After losing Dwight Powell to an Achilles injury that could keep him from being 100% for a good portion of next season, it makes sense to invest in the frontcourt. Smith will be able to space the floor and should be able to provide rim protection as well. It may be difficult to play Smith and Porzingis simultaneously because Smith doesn’t move particularly well, but Smith should be able to provide floor spacing with Porzingis off the court. A frontcourt of Kleber and Smith might be among the better shooting frontcourts in the league and will help open up the floor for Luka and the rest of their perimeter players.
BKN (via PHI) - Josh Green SG (ARIZ) - Brooklyn could definitely benefit from some wing depth, and with a backcourt of Kyrie and Dinwiddie, they are going to need some guys who can defend the other team’s guards. Green is very athletic and has great hips, making him one of the best on-ball wing defender in the class. If his shot comes around, Green will be a contributor for the Nets for a long time.
MIA - Théo Maledon PG (LNB) - Though Kendrick Nunn had a productive rookie year, he struggled in the bubble and it might make sense for the Heat to invest in a better long-term option at point guard, as Maledon is about 6 years younger. Maledon is a good fit for Miami to strengthen their backcourt, which could be pretty thin if they don’t hold onto Goran Dragic. If they can develop him, Maledon could turn into a very effective guard for the Heat with his potential to dribble, pass, and shoot at a high level.
PHI (via OKC) - Tyrell Terry PG (STAN) - Though I have soured a bit on Terry’s fit with the Sixers, particularly because I think he might be too weak to contribute in the short term, this is still a good pick for Philadelphia. Terry is one of the better shooters in the class and someone who can score from the outside both off the catch and off the dribble. Has some playmaking ability and fits very well next to Simmons. The Sixers’ size should be able to make up for his poor frame in the short term; as he develops physically, he should be able to be a competent finisher around the basket due to his high-level shooting touch.
DEN (via HOU) - Jaden McDaniels SF/PF (WASH) - McDaniels is a great addition to a Nuggets team that is deep enough to take a risk on a high-upside prospect. Though there may be some overlap between McDaniels and MPJ in terms of role, McDaniels is not the shot-creator that Porter is and would likely end up playing a more complementary role, without the ball in his hands. He has shown potential as a weakside rim protector, which is helpful next to Jokic, especially as Millsap ages. McDaniels could be a fantastic 4th option for the Nuggets in the future if he is able to develop properly.
UTAH - Aleksej Pokuševski PF (GBL A2) - Poku probably doesn’t fit the timeline that the Jazz are currently operating under, but he is worth the swing anyway. They desperately need athleticism in their frontcourt and although Poku isn’t a ridiculous athlete, he is still a very fluid mover and is highly coordinated for his size. If he is able to hit a high-end outcome, the Jazz should be a dangerous defensive team moving forward with Gobert in the middle and Poku providing weak-side rim protection. His floor-spacing potential should also open things up for Mitchell even more.
MIL (via IND) - RJ Hampton PG/SG (NBL) - Milwaukee can take a swing here because of how well their roster is already built. RJ can develop his shot and decision-making in the G-League as a rookie and can then slide into a bigger and bigger role as Bledsoe gets older and he gives them the option to move on from George Hill at the end of next season if RJ can develop as I think that he can.
OKC (via DEN) - Desmond Bane SG/SF (TCU) - With Gallinari potentially walking this summer and the Thunder being near the bottom of the league in terms of 3PT attempts, Bane makes a lot of sense as a 3&D player who may end up being the best shooter in the draft. Couple that with the playmaking flashes he has shown and you’re left with a really solid player who fills a clear need for the Thunder.
BOS - Xavier Tillman PF/C (MSU) - Tillman is the smartest player in the class and would greatly bolster the Celtics interior defense. He is very strong and had a lot of success against bigger centers in the Big 10 this year like Garza and Oturu. I expect him to be able to carve out a similarly valuable role in the NBA. He will be able to do a lot of the little things that Theis does well, such as helping to give Tatum cleaner driving looks by sealing off in the paint. He's also a good passer and ball-handler for a big and may be able to fill some of the void left by Horford's departure. The Celtics have done a good job teaching big men to shoot (Olynyk, Baynes, Horford), and if Tillman can be a respectable shooter, he should be an incredibly valuable role player.
NY (via LAC) - Robert Woodard II SF (MSST) - The Knicks could absolutely use a 3&D wing, and Woodard is one of the better ones available at this spot in the draft. He is a capable off-ball defender and is fairly athletic. Woodard shot 43% from three this year and has shown flashes of passing and ball-handling. He is exactly what the Knicks need and can be a valuable piece as they move forward.
LAL - Grant Riller PG (COFC) - The Lakers lack self-creation from any of their perimeter players outside of LeBron. Adding Riller, who can get to the basket and finish better than any player in the class, would be a great addition to their offense. Riller could take some of the creation load off LeBron as he ages and he will provide them with an entirely new avenue of offensive opportunities, particularly with LeBron on the bench. Riller is an older prospect and is ready to contribute right away for a team that will be competing for the title next year. He has been good on spot-ups (albeit on limited volume), and continued success in that regard will be crucial to his fit with the Lakers.
TOR - Zeke Nnaji C (ARIZ) - It is unlikely that the Raptors will be able to retain both Gasol and Ibaka barring one of them taking a massive pay cut. Adding Nnaji to their frontcourt would be a great move. He is mobile, can play on the interior on offense, and has shown some signs of being able to develop as a floor spacer, though there are better bets at this point in the draft if that is the desire. He is a smart big who can play a meaningful role for the Raptors long into the future.
BOS (via MIL) - Leandro Bolmaro PG/SG (ACB) - Bolmaro is another draft-and-stash prospect (possibly for multiple years, if he wants) and could end up as one of the best players in the class. He's a high level passer already and as he matures, he should only get better in that regard. He's a phenomenal on-ball defender and that skill should be able to translate to the NBA, especially as he gets older and stronger. If he is able to hone his scoring craft overseas, he would be a great addition to this team in a year or two to take care of some of the ball-handling duties, especially as Kemba ages.
DAL (via GS) - Jahmi'us Ramsey SG (TTU) - Ramsey can provide the Mavs with his perimeter shotmaking, particularly off the catch, and is a fairly dynamic athlete, which would be a great boost for a Mavs team that lacks traditional athleticism in their backcourt. Ramsey struggles to get to the basket, but Luka is good enough to create advantages and open looks for Ramsey. He still has a fair amount of room to grow as an off-the-dribble shotmaker, but he should be a valuable scorer for the Mavs. There are question-marks about his defensive awareness, but he is a good enough athlete to where he should be able to improve on that end of the floor.
CHA (via CLE) - Elijah Hughes SG/SF (CUSE) - Hughes outside shot-making will be great for the Hornets. He can operate effectively as a catch-and-shoot player, but he may be given an opportunity to show off his off-the-dribble shotmaking as well. He probably needs to improve as a movement shooter and show that he can consistently defend outside of a zone in order to be a meaningful contributor on the Hornets, but Hughes is a great selection to add some wing depth in Charlotte.
MIN - Tyler Bey SF/PF (COLO) - Tyler Bey is a smart and athletic forward who can complement Towns very well. He consistently makes great rotations and has a 40-inch vertical, making him a guy who can be a solid weakside rim protector next to Towns. The fit with Achiuwa is sub-optimal, but with a core of LaMelo, D'Lo, & Towns, the Timberwolves have to find impactful defenders wherever they can get them.
PHI (via ATL) - Malachi Flynn PG (SDSU) - Though it may look strange to double dip at PG, especially when the two guards are broadly similar players, Flynn is too good of a fit with the Sixers to pass up. He is one of the best PnR players in the class and provides a lot of abilities that the Sixers are otherwise lacking. Flynn can be the Sixers answer at PG in the short term while Terry takes the time to develop his body and decision-making.
SAC (via DET) - Daniel Oturu C (MINN) - With Harry Giles hitting free agency, Dwayne Dedmond getting traded earlier this year, and some reasons to be concerned about the durability of Richaun Holmes/Marvin Bagley, it makes sense for the Kings to invest in a big man who can grab rebounds, potentially space the floor, and add some depth. Though I am skeptical of Oturu’s defensive IQ and his offensive projection at the next level, he can slide into a fairly comfortable role with Sacramento where he doesn’t have a ton of responsibility.
PHI (via NY) - Paul Reed PF/C (DEP) - Reed is among the better 2nd round bigs for the Sixers to select. This might be a bit of a reach considering his draft stock at the moment, but Reed is athletic and fairly coordinated. He should be able to hold things down on the defensive end when Embiid is not on the floor and has shown some ball-handling ability that makes me cautiously optimistic about his ability to develop some sort of perimeter game that would allow him to play some minutes with Embiid.
WAS (via CHI) - Tre Jones PG (DUKE) - Though the Wizards might opt for a wing at this point in the draft, Jones is a borderline first round talent and a guy who can provide value for the Wizards as a backup point guard right away. He can defend on the ball and has improved greatly as a shooter. He also provides some assurance should John Wall be less that 100% after his injury. This is good value at this point in the draft.
NY (via CHA) - Devon Dotson PG (KU) - Grabbing Dotson at 38 is a steal for the Knicks. With a bevy of point guards and relatively small number of teams in need of one, it makes sense that some might fall. Dotson can provide rim pressure that the Knicks do not have on their roster outside of Barrett and can be a menacing defender despite his small size. The fit next to Hayes is probably better than one would think at first glance because they add value in different ways; Hayes will succeed in a PnR-heavy offense, while Dotson will probably be maximized being able to drive to the basket and finish, which Hayes can struggle with at times.
NO (via WAS) - Cassius Stanley SG/SF (DUKE) - The Pelicans could use added wing depth and Stanley has the ability to provide that for them. There are reasons to be concerned about how he adapts to the pros given how raw he is for his age, but he is at least a decent 3PT shooter and is a ridiculous vertical athlete. If he can put his tools together, he and Zion would make for an incredibly athletically impressive frontcourt.
MEM (via PHX) - Isaiah Stewart PF/C (WASH) - Stewart may be viewed as one of the best players available at this spot and he fits reasonably well into the Grizzlies’ long-term plans. He is a solid rebounder, which they need next to Jaren Jackson, and has flashed some ability to space the floor, which could create space for Ja to drive. It may be hard to get him minutes in the short term with Valanciunas and Dieng ahead of him, but it is reasonable to assume they will move on from Dieng when his contract is up and Stewart can then get more minutes. JJJ and Clarke should be able to cover for some of his mobility issues, and Stewart should be able to provide a hard-nosed edge to their frontcourt that has defined Memphis basketball for a long time.
SA - Vernon Carey Jr. C (DUKE) - Carey may be viewed as one of the best players available at this spot, and although his playstyle does not fit seamlessly within the modern NBA, he is certainly talented enough to carve out a role for himself. Compared to other bigs such as Stewart & Oturu, Carey is a much more willing passer and may be able to conduct some offense out of the post if his awareness improves. There are reasons to be concerned about his defensive IQ, but he is fairly nimble for someone his size and may have more success than one might think on the defensive end after the Spurs coach him up.
NO - Abdoulaye N’Doye PG/SG (LNB) - N’Doye is among the better 2nd round stash prospects, and although he is relatively old, he has many avenues to becoming an impactful NBA player in the future because of his combination of size, length, and ball-handling. Because the have 3 2nd round picks, adding a stash prospect makes sense for the Pelicans, even if he is only stashed for one year. If N’Doye’s jumper can improve, he may end up as a steal for the Pelicans.
SAC - Nico Mannion PG (ARIZ) - Mannion is a very capable decision-maker and will benefit from being in NBA offenses with more spacing. Yogi Ferrell’s contract expires after this year and Cory Joseph’s contract isn’t guaranteed after next year. Nico could easily slide into the backup point guard role and fill that role perfectly. If his shooting can develop, he may be able to play off-ball next to Fox due to his ability to move without the ball.
CHI (via MEM) - Isaiah Joe SG (ARK) - The Bulls struggled to make 3s last year, but Joe should help to solve that problem off their bench. He will probably have fewer opportunities to create with the ball in his hands, which he was pretty good at in college, but he is a very good off-ball player as well, which should be great for the Bulls offense. Defensively, Joe can hold his own with his 6’5” frame and plus wingspan, though he may have to take fewer gambles in order to be successful on that end of the floor. The Bulls get a first round talent in the second round and begin to shape up their roster nicely.
ORL - Cassius Winston PG (MSU) - Double dipping at PG might not look like the best decision, but Winston and Lewis fill different roles. Winston’s outside shooting is something the Magic are in need of, particularly if Fournier doesn’t re-sign. Winston also proved to be a great PnR playmaker with Tillman this year, and I expect him to have similar levels of success at the NBA level off the bench with Gordon, Vucevic, or even Bamba. Though they probably won’t ever play together, Winston and Lewis could be a very interesting contrast of offensive styles.
POR - Skylar Mays SG/SF (LSU) - Mays is another solid addition to the Blazers roster to add to their wing depth. While Bey is ostensibly a 3/4 tweener, Mays should be able to play the 2 or the 3. He is another mature, smart player who produce in a relatively small role. He can hit open 3s, defend both on and off the ball, and take advantage of his craftiness to make a play with the ball in his hands. He is not a high ceiling player, but he is what the Blazers need for their roster.
BOS (via BKN) - Udoka Azubuike C (KU) - The Celtics tend to struggle against big men who dominate in the paint (as we have seen with Embiid this week). Azubuike is not a high-minutes player, but he can play a necessary role in the NBA and fills a void on the Celtics roster as a rim protector, post defender, and lob catcher. He's much better than Tacko and could easily be given a 2-way and contribute meaningfully in small minutes.
GS (via DAL) - Killian Tillie PF/C (GONZ) - If Tillie is fully healthy, he is a first-round talent. He can provide floor spacing, is a capable passer, particularly in the post, and is one of the more mobile bigs in the class. I really like the fit next to Draymond and if he is able to be the passer that I think he can be, Steph and Klay should be able to use their off-ball movement abilities to get open, where Tillie will easily find them. This pick has the potential to be a steal for the Warriors.
PHI - Jordan Nwora SF (LOU) - Nwora is 6’7” and will probably shoot 40% from 3 in the NBA. That alone makes him worth taking a look at, though his ancillary skills are lacking. The Sixers could use a sharpshooter, and Nwora could be that player for them. He is not the best defender, but the Sixers have a number of high-level defenders who could make up for some of his deficiencies.
SAC (via MIA) - Boriša Simanić PF (KLS) - With their 4th pick in the draft, the Kings will probably take a draft-and-stash candidate. Simanić is a solid stretch big with really high level shotmaking instincts. He could potentially fill a role similar to Bjelica should the Kings move on from him in the future, and if Simanić can be more aggressive offensively and improve defensively, he could be a welcome addition to their frontcourt.
GS (via UTAH) - Yam Madar PG/SG (BSL) - Looking forward, the Warriors could greatly benefit from adding another ball-handler. Madar is one of the better 2nd round stash prospects and should be able to be a capable 3rd guard once he comes over. If the Warriors can improve upon his shot, he would have the potential to be a very productive player as a solid 3-level scorer and aggressive defender at the NBA level.
OKC - Reggie Perry PF (MSST) - Perry could add depth to OKC’s frontcourt and give them another dimension on offense. Perry showed some ball-handling and passing abilities with team USA and if those abilities can translate, he should be a valuable piece for the Thunder moving forward, particularly because their frontcourt depth is lacking. Perry should also be able to bang in the post a bit and provide value off the bench.
ATL (via HOU) - Payton Pritchard PG (ORE) - The Hawks are very thin at PG after Trae, particularly because there are concerns about whether or not Haliburton can be a full-time point guard and because Teague is unlikely to be in their long-term plans. Adding Pritchard, who can dribble, pass, and shoot at a high level will be a good addition to their backcourt. He doesn’t defend all that well, but the Hawks are accustomed to having a poor defender at the PG position.
IND - Immanuel Quickley SG (UK) - Quickley may be viewed as one of the better players available at this spot due to his shooting ability and the defensive upside he showcases thanks to his wingspan. The Pacers could use another guard/wing, particularly if Oladipo continues to have injury issues, and Quickley may be able to be that player. He can find a role on the team as a sharpshooter and floor spacer.
BKN (via DEN) - Mamadi Diakite PF/C (UVA) - Diakite is one of the better shot-blockers in the class and should be able to provide value for the Nets in that regard. Though he lacks the size to play full time center, the Nets already have Allen & Jordan, and Diakite's mobility is pretty good for a big, making me think he could play a bit at the 4. He showed some ability to stretch the floor this season and knows what it takes to win a championship, meaning he should be able to be a valuable role player for the Nets as they aspire towards a championship.
CHA (via BOS) - Mason Jones SF (ARK) - Rozier and Graham had FTr’s of .202 and .242 respectively, which are not good. Enter Mason Jones, who, although limited athletically, was an exceptional off-the-dribble creator at Arkansas, leading him to an absurd .668 FTr. He can provide another avenue for offensive creation for the Hornets and is a great pick at the end of the 2nd round, despite the obvious defensive concerns.
LAC - Nick Richards C (UK) - The Clippers could greatly benefit from a rim protector and paint presence, and Richards should be able to provide that for them in a low-minutes role. I have some concerns about how his game translates to the NBA, but he posted relatively good block rates during his time at Kentucky. Richards should be able to be a solid role player for the Clippers when they need to guard 7 footers.
PHI (via LAL) - Georgios Kalaitzakis SF (LKL) - With a total of 5 picks in the draft, it makes sense for the Sixers to go with a draft-and-stash. Kalaitzakis doesn’t shoot the ball very well, which is particularly concerning with this Sixers team, but he is good ball handler and defender. If he can learn to shoot, he should be a solid bench contributor.
TOR - Ty-Shon Alexander SG (CREI) - Ty-Shon is a great fit for the Raptors, regardless of whether or not VanVleet leaves in free agency. Ty-Shon has shown some ball handling ability but can also play off ball and spot up on the perimeter. He is a good 3&D prospect and will add another quality perimeter defender to a team that is already loaded with them.
NO (via MIL) - Naji Marshall SF (XAV) - The Pelicans struggled defensively this year, so adding a versatile defensive wing in Marshall should help them in that regard. He will probably have to improve as a shooter in order to get real minutes in their rotation, but if he can, he will be a great addition. Given the success they have had with Ingram as a ball-handler, it may make sense for the Pelicans to take one of the better wing ball-handlers in the draft in Marshall, as he can slide into that role with Ingram on the bench or if he misses time due to injury.
Mock Draft Results by team (& my personal grades) Atlantic Celtics - Tyrese Maxey (14), Xavier Tillman (26), Leandro Bolmaro (30), Udoka Azubuike (47); GRADE: A Nets - Josh Green (19), Mamadi Diakite (55); GRADE: B Knicks - Killian Hayes (8), Robert Woodard II (27), Devon Dotson (38); GRADE: B+ 76ers - Tyrell Terry (22), Malachi Flynn (34), Paul Reed (36), Jordan Nwora (49), Georgios Kalaitzakis (58); GRADE: B+ Raptors - Zeke Nnaji (29), Ty-Shon Alexander (59); GRADE: A- Central Bulls - Deni Avdjia (4), Isaiah Joe (44); GRADE: B+ Cavaliers - Isaac Okoro (5); GRADE: B Pistons - Obi Toppin (7); GRADE: B- Pacers - Immanuel Quickley (54); GRADE: B Bucks - RJ Hampton (24); GRADE: A Southeast Hawks - Tyrese Haliburton (7), Payton Pritchard (53); GRADE: B- Hornets - James Wiseman (3), Elijah Hughes (32), Mason Jones (56); GRADE: B- Heat - Théo Maledon (20); GRADE: B+ Magic - Kira Lewis Jr. (15), Cassius Winston (45); GRADE: B+ Wizards - Onyeka Okongwu (9), Tre Jones (37); GRADE: B Northwest Nuggets - Jaden McDaniels (21); GRADE: B Timberwolves - LaMelo Ball (1), Precious Achiuwa (17), Tyler Bey (33); GRADE: B Thunder - Desmond Bane (25), Reggie Perry (52); GRADE: B TrailBlazers - Saddiq Bey (16), Skylar Mays (46); GRADE: B+ Jazz - Aleksej Pokuševski (23); GRADE: A Southwest Mavericks - Jalen Smith (18), Jahmi’us Ramsey (31); GRADE: B- Rockets - N/A; GRADE: N/A Grizzlies - Isaiah Stewart (40); GRADE: C+ Pelicans - Cole Anthony (13), Cassius Stanley (39), Abdoulaye N’Doye (42), Naji Marshall (60); GRADE: A- Spurs - Patrick Williams (11), Vernon Carey Jr. (41); GRADE: B+ Pacific Warriors - Anthony Edwards (2), Killian Tillie (48), Yam Madar (51); GRADE: A- Clippers - Nick Richards (57); GRADE: C- Lakers - Grant Riller (28); GRADE: A- Suns - Devin Vassell (10); GRADE: A- Kings - Aaron Nesmith (12), Daniel Oturu (35), Nico Mannion (43), Boriša Simanić (50); GRADE: B- Undrafted fits that I like (Only NCAA players were counted for the undrafted pool; no international players were counted; I assumed every player who has declared but was not drafted was eligible): Bucks: Anthony Lamb; Bulls: Lamar Stevens; Cavaliers: Kaleb Wesson, Kristian Doolittle; Celtics: Justinian Jessup; Clippers: Jordan Ford; Grizzlies: Nate Hinton; Hawks: Ashton Hagans; Heat: Caleb Homesley; Hornets: Kahlil Whitney, Nathan Knight; Jazz: Yoeli Childs; Kings: Jay Scrubb; Knicks: Jalen Harris, Jake Toolson; Lakers: Malik Fitts; Magic: CJ Elleby, Nate Darling; Mavericks: Trent Forrest; Nets: Rayshaun Hammonds; Nuggets: Trevelin Queen; Pacers: Dwayne Sutton; Pelicans: TJ Holyfield; Pistons: Markus Howard, KJ Martin; Raptors: Lamine Diane; Rockets: Emmitt Williams; 76ers: Jon Teske; Spurs: Tres Tinkle; Suns: Saben Lee, Freddie Gillespie; Thunder: Myles Powell; Timberwolves: Josh Hall; TrailBlazers: Sam Merrill; Warriors: De’Riante Jenkins; Wizards: Christian Vital
Serious: Is it over for you? If so, why aren't you doing hard drugs?
If there's no way for you to ascend, or if you feel it's not worth the struggle, you should 100% be speedballing meth and heroin. I am not encouraging anyone to give up, but to consider an alternate approach to life. This goes double for brocels on the verge of roping. Like actually what else do you have to lose? These are your options:
Have 60 more years of being a miserable little brainwashed drone slaving away for your overlords and contributing to soyciety so stacey's children can live happily
Have ~30 more years of blissful euphoria and ascend with cheap filthy prostitutes and even beckies/staceys who took a wrong turn in life lmao
Sure your brain and body will slowly deteriorate and you will most likely die before 60 (not all junkies do). But if you do this right, you will never feel sad ever again. I know the media portrays addicts as lifeless zombies and ex-addicts will tell you that addiction is a nightmare, but it's really not that simple. There are only two reasons an addict will ever be miserable: - they want to get high but can't get drugs - they want to get clean but can't stop using Having no desire to get clean as well as a steady supply with regular tolerance breaks and alternate drug rotations eliminates both of those problems. Since happiness is just a result of chemicals in your brain, as an incel (or even an average male for that matter), you will ALWAYS have an imbalance. SO YOU MIGHT AS WELL CHEAT AND ENJOY YOURSELF BEFORE YOUR MEANINGLESS LIFE COMES TO AN END. https://preview.redd.it/bujmzcjfhyo51.png?width=400&format=png&auto=webp&s=a100b33887e1de4835ab20ed095ecf79bc5e5597 Basically: meth + dirty prostitute > sober + prime stacey meth + masturbating for 12 hours > sober + prime stacey meth > (sober + prime stacey)*6 Scientific proof lmao: https://preview.redd.it/4c3m4mljjyo51.png?width=560&format=png&auto=webp&s=97f0dcaab0de73177a959909e313ae6b418647f9 And contrary to what low IQ normies (who's entire knowledge of drugs comes from watching tv shows) will tell you, you don't even need a lot of money. With a full-time minimum wage job, you can afford: - shitty apartment - enough food to keep your weight from dropping - wi-fi and laptop/games/other entertainment copes - weekly escorts - enough drugs to keep you elevated for the rest of your life The reason why drugs seem expensive is because addicts let their tolerance to the point they need (literally) 50 times the regular dose of something to feel its effects. This can easily be bypassed in 2020. We are living in a chemical golden age. There are hundreds if not thousands of drugs at your disposal assuming you live in a major city in the US, Canada, UK, or Ireland. And if not, fucking move somewhere cheap with lots of drugs and easy prescriptions. By alternating every few days or weeks and avoiding cross-tolerance you can continue to take regular to small doses of a variety of substances for decades. It will take a few months of tinkering, but you will be able to find a routine that works for you. If you're new to this, you won't even need more than one or two drugs for the first couple years. Entering this world also comes with other perks. You'll get regular escort sex, make new friends (no addict will give a shit about your fucking orbital rims), have adventures, be a nuisance to the world that fucked you over, and most importantly, your chances of getting laid (w/ non-prostitutes) will improve dramatically. You'll be surprised how much a hot girl's standards will drop when you have what she wants the most. All PSL logic flies out the window. The effect chad has on a girl's brain is nothing compared to that good shit (see graphs above). Don't be a fucking high-inhib pussy that rots all day in your room. Rotting and inceldom are already damaging your brain SO WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU CHOOSING TO BE MISERABLE WHEN YOU CAN BE EXPERIENCING HIGHS NORMIES WILL NEVER EVEN DREAM OF??
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