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Fantasy Friday: Catching Up With the Clippers

After seven games, the Clippers have disappointed in the real world. How have they fared in the fantasy world?

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Stephen Dunn

It's mid-November, which means Thanksgiving is near, your mustache is full, the Lakers are awful, and fantasy basketball is in full swing. In whatever format you choose, may you be seeing more success than the Clippers. If you're not, read on and know them better, man.

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(Name, Average Draft Position, Preseason Ranking, Current Ranking)*

*Draft positions and rankings are taken from Yahoo Fantasy.

(Chris Paul, 5.6, 5, 4)

Real world fans have questioned Paul's early productivity, even questioning his once unassailable play in the clutch. Indeed, if Paul isn't just conserving energy, then it appears he's a tick less quick. But for fantasy purposes, he has been as advertised. His assist-to-turnover ratio is video game good and he's grabbing steals right at his career rate. CP is without his 3 so far, and between that and a small but significant downturn in free throws attempted, he's disappointed in the points column. Just imagine, though, that all of this has come as he has played 4-on-5 with defenses treating Matt Barnes like a leper, putting an extra man into the paint between Paul and the basket. He should be fine, especially if Doc sticks with Jamal in the starting lineup, because his point and shooting totals should regress positively to offset the inevitable negative regression in turnovers.

(DeAndre Jordan, 33.5, 30, 8)

DeAndre's defense has been less consistent than had been expected, especially given his full year of experience in the system, but the jumpiness that drives fans bananas has been a boon for fantasy owners. What he's lost in rebounds he's making up for in the tough-to-get steal category, doubling his career-high rate from last year and nearly quadrupling his career rate. That number is buoyed by a 5-steal performance against Portland, and while I wouldn't expect it to keep up, he has been smarter about showing on screens in Doc's aggressive system, which is designed to create such turnovers. DeAndre has also shown more smarts on offense, and with spacing getting tighter, he may get more looks as an outlet at (and above) the rim as Paul and Griffin find themselves stymied by closed lanes.

(Blake Griffin, 14.7, 14, 90)

I'm tired of typing variations of "disappointing", so let's just all agree that we expected more from last year's 3rd-place finisher in the MVP race. Blake's FG% and rebounding have cratered; the FG% for the obvious reason that Blake has been shooting midrange jumpers with LaMarcus Aldridge's fervor and DeMar DeRozan's accuracy. The rebounding has a less obvious cause, but may be related to Blake's fantasy-important struggle to generate steals, an underrated part of his fantasy value in years past. Some have seriously suggested that he is struggling with his conditioning following an offseason of resting a fracture in his back, others have less-seriously suggested that he has mono. He's likely to play his way into shape as the season progresses, but he'll provide many more disappointing -- darn, I said it -- performances before he gets there.

(Jamal Crawford, 99.1, 108, 68)

Crawford has gotten the starting nod in back-to-back games, and he may be likely to keep it until GM Doc Rivers finds Head Coach Doc Rivers a new starting wing. He's gotten a mild boost in minutes, even playing a season-high 38 against San Antonio, but it's tough to find any pattern in a two-game sample. He scored 20 in one of his two starts, but he also scored 20+ in two of the four games in which he didn't start. So ultimately, there's not much to see here -- he'll give you lots of points, some 3-pointers, and some steals, but his boom-or-bust nature makes me nervous in weekly formats and downright terrified in daily formats. Play at your own risk.

Disclaimer: Even though this is a sponsored post with affiliate links, all of the opinions in this post are my own. And as an FYI, FanDuel gave me some cash to play its daily fantasy games.