Amare Stoudemire’s Fantasy Value with the Knicks
Amare Stoudemire agreed to a 5 year, $100 million contract Monday with the New York Knicks, which will undoubtably alter his upcoming fantasy value for the 2010-2011 season.
The move from Phoenix to New York is going to work out in one of two ways for Stoudemire’s value:. First, he could end up being the best player on a poor Knicks team, which isn’t such a bad fantasy thing since real value can be found in these types of players since they are the focal point of the offense. Many times the best player on a horrible team will have more fantasy value than the best player on a great team, just because he doesn’t have to share the ball. If you don’t agree, then just consider the awesome fantasy stats that David Lee put up last season for the lowly Knicks. Lee isn’t a slouch, but I don’t think he would have produced those same inflated stats if he was a member of a great Celtic or Laker team. Most would agree that if Amare was switched out with Lee last season, Stoudemire would have produced even better than Lee and been considered a top fantasy pick. If you are a Stoudemire fantasy fan, just hope that New York gets enough talent to at least get him the ball and keep the opposing defense honest. If Amare ends up being the focal point of the Knicks offense and he’s surrounded by just enough talent to prevent the opposing teams from concentrating on him, I think his fantasy value could be equal to or greater than it was in Phoenix.
The other side of the coin has Stoudemire’s value declining in a move to New York. Several things could go really wrong here. First, the Knicks could really screw up the rest of free agency and miss out on the top tier guys to put around Amare. In Phoenix, he had Steve Nash passing him the ball, with Nash, Jason Richardson and Channing Frye drawing the defense out to the perimeter with their excellent outside shooting, leaving Amare with plenty of room to work inside. In New York he has Chris Duhon passing him the ball. Duhon isn’t terrible, but he isn’t Steve Nash. Danilo Gallinari can shoot it with Richardson, so that might stay equal. However, New York probably won’t keep David Lee and they have no real option to play along side Stoudemire to help him out. Eddy Curry anyone? Channing Frye could pull his man to the perimeter leaving Amare inside to do his thing, I doubt New York has the pieces to accomplish that. Al Harrington, maybe. Without help, Amare could find himself the object of constant double teams, which can really put a damper on fantasy production and decrease Stoudemire’s fantasy production from last season’s levels.
Luckily, we don’t have to draft fantasy teams today. While an argument can be made on both sides of Stoudemire’s new value, I think we’ll probably have to wait for awhile to see what kind of players New York obtains to work with Amare.