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NBA Fantasy Basketball: Battle of the Blues Draft Recap

Two Grizzlies fans and ten Grizzlies bloggers took part in an auction draft Sunday night to construct their "Battle of the Blues" rosters. And there were players that went for too much, real steals and some auto-draft disasters. The question is, who are the early favorites heading into week 1?

The Battle of the Blues has Tipped Off!
The Battle of the Blues has Tipped Off!
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

This past Sunday night, contributors for the Grizzlies fan blogs Three Shades of Blue and your Grizzly Bear Blues, as well as two fans (one representing each site) logged in to the live Yahoo! auction draft for the 1st annual "Battle of the Blues" Fantasy Basketball challenge. And it was quite enjoyable; there was light trash talking, analysis of various picks and varying philosophies on how to construct a team. The league is now open to the public to check out here, in case you want to see how each individual team is set up, the league rules and scoring system. Here are some highlights from the draft:

Tony Allen and Other Grizzlies Go Early...and for Far Too Much

Tony Allen could likely be a solid source of steals in a head-to-head stats league. And I wrote about his ability to do that here. Tony, however, has no business being drafted for more than $1 in an auction league. Knowing that Katee Forbis from 3SOB was in our league, a TA fanatic, I wanted to try to take advantage of her love and affection. So, in the first round of our draft, after Marc Gasol went for $70 to Katee's team NBKay Jam (more on this later), I selected "The Grindfather" for bidding. And Tony Allen, a player who could very realistically not be drafted at all, went for $12 to, sure enough, NBKay Jam.

I had a feeling Grizzlies would be overpaid for amongst this crew, and sure enough, they were. Marc went for $70, when on average in other Yahoo! fantasy basketball drafts he goes for $52. Mike Conley went for $41 to NBKay Jam when he usually goes for $29 (seeing a trend here? Katee's fandom is legendary, and she does not disappoint in this draft, also taking Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince and Quincy Pondexter.) As far as value goes, the only Grizzly that went close to his average value was Zach Randolph, going for an average of $9 in other league and $11 in the Battle of the Blues to my squad, "Do It for MulliGrizz".

So next time you think I hate Z-Bo, know I drafted him in The Battle of the Blues. My team needed some Fantasy swagger.

(editor's note: my power was out for the first 40 minutes of the draft and now I'm stuck with a $74 James Harden, sadface - CF)

Overpaying Leads to Steals in Later Rounds

As the draft grinded on, folks overpaid early on various folks that weren't Grizzlies as well. I, for example, spent a little too much than I would have liked on Rudy Gay; he goes for an average of $29, and I got him for $34. Other overpaid players include Chris Paul at $80 ($69 average) by GBB's Matt Hrdlicka and Derrick Rose at $72 ($53 average) to our own Tristy. 3SOB folks overpaid some too. Chip Crain got Tim Duncan for $32 ($26 average) and we already mentioned NBKay Jam's Grizzly affection.

The big spending early for big time players like LeBron James ($84 to 3SOB fan rep Daniel) and Kevin Durant ($82 to Jonathan May of 3SOB, who had to autodraft due to wedding obligations) led to deals later on. Nicolas Batum, who usually goes for about $39 in Yahoo! leagues, was snagged by yours truly for $35. He is a solid source of all-around stats. Another deal that I was able to secure was Ricky Rubio; on average going for $38, I got him for $32. Deals like these 2 resulted in me being able to snag players like Paul Millsap in later rounds, important glue pieces to reinforce points and rebounds on my roster.

I was not the only deal grabber, however. One of the steals of the draft went to Matt Hrdlicka in Kemba Walker, a good player on a bad team who is going to put up big offensive numbers. Going for $21 on average, Matt got him for $13. Steve Danziger's "Pondexter's Lab" team picked up a heck of a fantasy player from last season, Thaddeus Young for $10. Marcin Gortat for $3 to Daniel, 3SOB's fan AKA "The GreatGrindfather" and Joe Johnson for $1 to our very own Marcus Privitt are also solid examples of late round value plays.

The Outlook

Heading into Week 1, there appears to be four teams that may be above the others. 3SOB's Josh Coleman has probably the best Three Point Shooting of any team I have ever seen; Steph Curry, Paul George, Danny Green, Kyle Korver and Kevin Martin. He will likely dominate that statistic all season. He also has solid percentage bigs in Chris Bosh and Greg Monroe, plus Omer Asik for rebounding and blocks. Our Marcus Privitt will be hosting a block party this season, as he has secured the services of Dwight Howard Andre Drummond and Larry Sanders. He also will be strong from 3 with Johnson, Wesley Matthews, Chandler Parsons and Bradley Beal (a possible steal of the draft.) Don't count on winning free throw's though; Howard, Sanders, Drummond, Blake Griffin, all tough sells there.

Crain, Coleman, Privitt and Mullinax appear to be the early favorites in "The Battle of the Blues."

And don't sleep on two other squads; Chip Crain's "Chip Shots" has an underrated PG in Jeff Teague, a dominant when healthy Rajon Rondo, great sources of three point shots in Marcus Thornton and Klay Thompson and bigs who, if they remain healthy, could be dominant in Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan and DeMarcus Cousins.And my own "Do It for MulliGrizz" may be the deepest and most well rounded of all the teams, if I do say so myself; Rubio, Batum, Gay, O.J. Mayo, Nikola Vucevic (a fantasy dominator), Ersan Ilyasova, Zach Randolph, Paul Millsap, Jose Calderon, Robin Lopez, Danillo Gallinari (the key to a title, if he can come back healthy) and Trey Burke.

(editor's note: Mulli is being kind to his editor, my team is pretty awful and I suck at fantasy basketball drafting - CF)

As of right now, those 4 teams appear to be the best. But these things are fluid; injuries and trades can make all the difference between a run at fantasy glory and fantasy disaster. Who will reign supreme this coming season? We will begin to find out Tuesday night.

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