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It's almost the end of August. Students are dreading going to back to school and many people worldwide are drafting their favorite fantasy football teams. However, it also means the next NBA campaign is quickly approaching. Therefore, now is the perfect time to begin previewing the 2008-2009 fantasy season, team by team. At the end of each preview, I will break down each team's draft worthy players into four categories: studs (early round picks), solid vets (good mid round players), the Sleeper of the Year (the biggest breakout candidate on each team) and others worth drafting(guys worthy of late round picks). First up, the defending champion Boston Celtics.
Projected starters with key reserves and players to watch:
C- Kendrick Perkins
key reserves: Eddie House, Leon Powe, Glen Davis, Tony Allen
players to watch: J.R. Giddens, Gabe Pruitt, Darius Miles and Bill Walker
Last year the Celtics were fantasy gold, with all five starters maintaining roster worthy value in most leagues the whole season. I don't see much changing this year. KG is still the multi category stud that can anchor your team as a first rounder and Pierce will be a great source of points, threes, assists, boards, steals and FT%. The only question is can a player who relies heavily on his jump shot shoot as well as he did last year from the field(46%)? Regardless of a potential decline in his field goal percentage, Pierce does so many other things well that he should be taken with confidence in the 2nd or 3rd round of any 10 or 12 team league. Ray Allen is the third option in Beantown, and if you draft him for his points, threes, percentages, and turnovers, you will be happy. He will also chip in with a few steals here and there. Just don't expect Seattle and Milwaukee numbers from Jesus Shuttlesworth. He's a solid early mid round(4th-5th) pick.
Now on to the youngsters: Rondo and Perkins. I love Rondo this year, as he provides unusual categories from the guard position. He gives you the rebounding numbers of many small forwards, and the field goal percentage is big man like. Almost two steals a game doesn't hurt either. His turnovers are also lower than most point guards, as Pierce and Allen share ball handling duties with him. Target him in the 6th-7th round as a potential gem. As for Perkins, I'd target him at the end of your draft as a good source of blocks and field goal percentage, with decent rebounding numbers. Unfortunately, the presence of Powe and Davis behind him on the depth chart will hurt his breakout potential. Finally, nobody on the Celtics bench stands out as a must draft option or great sleeper, but if you need some cheap threes Eddie House is a fine late pick, as is Powe if you need a rebounder with some upside. I'd stay away from Davis and you should take a wait and see approach with guys like Tony Allen, Giddens, Miles and Walker.
Studs (must draft, early round selections) : KG, Pierce
Solid vet : Ray Allen
Sleeper of the Year : Rondo
Others worth drafting : Perkins, House and Powe
Playoff Schedule: 2-3-2
Author Note: Karlo delos Reyes is the editor and founder if Full Court Press Fantasy Basketball. To read more articles and to gain valuable information, visit his website at http://fullcourtfantasy.f-sw.com/