Fantasy Basketball: Rising Raptor/Falling Raptor
DimeMag.com featured two Raptors in a recent fantasy article. First, the guy on the rise:
And the man falling?
He was tagged as a sleeper by many fantasy owners heading into last season and actually exceeded expectations, thanks to the opportunity Reggie Evans’ broken foot opened for the young big man. While the PF position was a bit crowded in Toronto last season with Johnson, Evans, Ed Davis and even James Johnson vying for minutes there, the good news is that this Evans’ contract with the Raptors expired after 2010-11. Assuming the Raptors don’t go out and sign another power forward in the offseason, Johnson should have plenty of room to develop into being a player who can potentially chip in 12 points, eight rebounds and nearly two blocks a game on a steady basis. His solid shooting from the field and the free-throw line also helps his value. If he can avoid foul trouble and fend off Davis from stealing too many of his minutes, Johnson will be a very desirable fantasy player to own. (Projected draft position: 75-85)
Andrea Bargnani: Many fantasy owners had high hopes for Bargnani heading into last season. He was, after all, supposed to be the new focal point for the Raptors’ depleted, Bosh-less offense, and one of the very few viable big men on that squad. It appeared that fantasy stardom was his for the taking, which explains why he was taken in the third round of most drafts last fall. Sadly, Bargnani managed to find a way to miss the mark. He bumped up his scoring, assists, steals and free-throw percentage from his averages in 2009-10, but his field-goal percentage, threes made, rebounds, blocks and turnovers all went the wrong way last season. He’s young enough for owners to maintain hope that he’ll still tap into some remnant of potential, but it’s looking more and more like Bargnani’s first name betrays more than we expected. With some young Raptors emerging with serious appeal last season, the once-wide window of opportunity for Bargnani looks a lot less tempting now. (Projected draft position: 65-75)