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Fantasy Basketball 2010-2011 Team Preview: Toronto Raptors (9/13/10)

 

The Raptors lost their fantasy star when Chris Bosh joined James and Wade in Miami, but they still have a few guys who could be interesting fantasy options.  Jarrett Jack and Jose Calderone will platoon at PG, but I think Jack should see more minutes as the starter.  Shooting guard will be a battle between DeMar DeRozan and Leandro Barbosa, which will probably end up as a useless fantasy platoon situation.  Linas Kleiza has a good chance of securing big minutes at SF this season and is a deep fantasy sleeper, especially if you need threes.  Amir Johnson should get first shot at filling the void left by Bosh.   Andrea Bargnani is the best fantasy option on the Raptors, but he’s more of a scorer than rebounder, so make sure he fits what you are trying to accomplish with you fantasy team.

Projected Depth Chart
PG:   Jarrett Jack, Jose Calderon
SG:  DeMar DeRozan, Leandro Barbosa, Sonny Weems
SF:  Linas Kleiza, Julian Wright
PF:  Amir Johnson, Reggie Evans, Ed Davis
C:  Andrea Bargnani, David Andersen, Joey Dorsey

2009 Team Stats
Pace:   #11, 93.1 (avg. 92.7)
Offensive Rating:   #5, 111.2 (avg. 107.6)
Defensive Rating:   #30, 113.2 (avg. 107.6)
Team eFG%:   #6, 52.1% (avg. 50.1%)
Offensive Rebounding:   #24, 24.7 (avg. 26.3)
Defensive Rebounding:   #23, 72.9 (avg. 73.7)
Opponent eFG%:   #22, 51.3 (avg. 50.1)
Points Per Game:   #5, 104.1 (avg. 100.4)

The Raptors were the worst defensive team in the league last season, which made for some pretty nice stats for opposing fantasy players.  Make sure you start any guys going against the Raptors.  Toronto is also a very weak rebounding team coming in 24th in offensive rebounding and 23rd in defensive rebounding.  Losing Chris Bosh isn’t going to help that category.  Andrea Bargnani is the primary reason for the weak rebounding numbers.

 

Playing Time and Usage Rates
Usage rate illustrates a player’s involvement in the team’s offense.
Player (2009 MPG)               Usage (2009/Career)
Jack  (27.4)                                  19.1/18.5
Calderon (26.7)                            17.9/17.1
DeRozan (21.6)                            18.1/18.1
Barbosa (17.9)                             24.9/22.0
Johnson (17.7)                             14.5/13.7
Bargnani (35.0)                            22.3/22.5
Bosh (36.1)                                  28.7/25.0

I listed Bosh’s stats just to show what a big hole is left on this team.  The real question is how the Raptors plan on distributing Bosh’s 28.7 usage rate.  Jack and Calderon are interchangeable and both will probably continue to put up usage stats similar to 2009, which were both barely above average.  At SG, DeRozan will draw the defensive assignments, while Barbosa will be counted on for his offense.  Amir Johnson wasn’t a big part of the offense in 2009, but his usage will almost certainly have to go up if the Raptors are going to have any chance of competing this year.   Bargnani should post a career high usage rate in 2010.

 

Shooting Ability and Shot Location
Player       Career eFG%            Career 3PT              Jumper/Inside
Jack              50.0                      .8/2.1 (35.6%)        70/30
Calderon       54.3                      .7/1.9 (38.7%)        74/26
DeRozan       50.2                         0/0                       53/47
Barbosa        54.4                       1.5/3.8 (39.8)        67/33
Johnson        60.0                         0/0                       21/79
Bargnani       50.1                     1.4/3.8 (37.6%)      74/26

The most interesting shooting stat is the 74/26 Jumper/Inside split put up by Andrea Bargnani.  He’s primarily a perimeter player and doesn’t do much of his scoring inside.   Amir Johnson has an excellent career 60.0 eFG%, but most of his attempts are at the rim, as evidenced by his 21/79 split.  The pairing of Johnson and Bargnani could work pretty well on the inside/outside ratio.  All of the backcourt players are solid shooters.

Leandro Barbosa is probably the biggest three point threat on the team and he’ll be in the game for his offense.  Jack and Calderon are also good three point shooters from the point guard spot.  DeRozan will take a three every now and then, but he isn’t a threat.  Linas Kleiza is going to get a shot at SF and he can hit the three when needed.

 

Rebounding
Player             Off/Def/Total
Jack                  1.4/9.9/5.7
Calderon         1.5/8.8/5.2
DeRozan          4.8/10.9/7.9
Barbosa           1.9/8.4/5.3
Johnson          13.1/19.4/16.3
Bargnani          3.8/15.7/9.8

It’s apparent that Bargnani is a weak spot for Toronto when it comes to rebounding the basketball.  Bargnani’s stats are something that you would see in an average small forward, not a center.  The Raptors do have Amir Johnson to take up some of the rebounding slack and his numbers show that he could contribute heavily in that category.  Johnson could be a real sleeper if you need a cheap fantasy rebounder.  DeRozan is the best rebounder in the backcourt and the second best offensive rebounder in the group.

 

Defense
Toronto was dead last in defensive rating in 2009 and it doesn’t look to be much better this season.
PG:  Jarrett Jack is a below average defender and Jose Calderon is ten times worse than Jack.  Calderon makes opposing PG’s look like all-stars on a nightly basis.
SG:  DeMar DeRozan is an average defender, but he has the talent to really make progress with his defense.  His minutes will depend on how much his defense improves.  Leandro Barbosa is an offensive player and his defensive skills are below average.
SF:  Linas Kleiza might get this spot, but I don’t know much about his defense.  He’s primarily known as a three point shooter.
PF:  Amir Johnson is still learning how to play team defense, but he has raw talent which keeps him out of trouble on many plays.
C:  Andrea Bargnani is simply an offensive player and he’s soft.  He isn’t a horrible defender, he just doesn’t like contact.