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Tuesday, January 29th, 2008 at 3:54 pm  |  33 responses

Fantasy Basketball: Mid-Season Report

From the heights of Marcus Camby to the depths of the Chicago Bulls

By Emry DowningHall

As we enter the mid-way point of the season I thought I would breakout of my usual routine and hand out some mid-season honors to those making ripples in fantasy hoops.

A lot of fantasy writers hand out mid-season awards, so I tried to focus on some new players, without ignoring those that make it impossible to be ignored.

I’m sure some people will question my selection of Marcus Camby as the #1 overall player thus far but do remember (Clue!), the man was a late second round pick in your draft, plays a position that’s very scarce and sures up blocks and rebounds without hurting you in any category. Sure, Lebron, Kobe and CP3 wont hurt production either, and I’m not knocking those guys, but most leagues start two-centers making that the hardest spot to fill.

I will be heading back to my waiver wire format next week but for now, I’m recommending owners take a close look at Marcus Williams, especially if you can’t live with another guy in your league sniping him from you. Also, Kyle Lowry, a guy who will absolutely blow up if anything should happen to Mike Conley long term. Anyway, more on that next week and if you need a question answered right away, email me or hit the comments and I got you. Drum roll please…

“Sh*t I got to play him this week?”

The mid-season top five players you hope are scheduled for a 2-game week when your team matches up.

Marcus Camby – He’s always been a first round talent with a 9th round talents durability. This season, Camby has only missed one game and is leading the league in blocks. Beyond protecting the rim he’s also getting buckets, rebounding, and shooting at a high clip from the floor and the line. I love Dwight Howard’s game but in fantasy, give me Camby.

Chris Paul – Everywhere you look this season people are praising Paul’s efforts and fantasy basketball is no different. Not only is he filling the stat sheet, he’s also got his squad atop the Western Conference and is responsible for the emergence of David West and Tyson Chandler. Yahoo and ESPN have him ranked as the #1 overall player and his trade value is approaching untouchable levels.

Lebron James – Everyone was down on Lebron at the start of the season and he slid to the 3rd and 4th pick in a majority of drafts. Problem is, we were all operating under the impression that LBJ was human. Based on his performance thus far, this is certainly not the case. If he doesn’t average a triple-double at one point during a majority of a season in his career, I will be shocked.

Baron Davis – It was tough to choose guys for this category and I could see some people not co-signing with Davis in the top five. Especially with another point guard already in the mix. Fair enough. But, please consider the fact that he slipped in your draft due to fear of injury and he’s been nothing short of a warrior (pause) this season. He also gets a bonus for being a cold blooded assassin the fourth quarter week after week.

Josh Smith – Complaining about his field goal % and tendency to take a few out of rhythm three balls would only cloud the issue at hand. Josh Smith fills the box score like no player in fantasy basketball. He’s going to have a quadruple-double at least once in his career.

What happened to that boy?

This is the All-Nightmare team, as in if you own them, they’re causing nightmares for you, not your opponents.

Shaquille O’Neal – Just like Will Smith, Shaq commands a large budget and he’s legend. Unlike Will Smith, Shaq is dealing with weight issues and a questionable work ethic. Before the hip injury his season was disappointing. At this point, we’re left wondering if this is his last stand.

Darko Milicic – When the Grizzlies pursued Darko in the off season I thought this was finally going to be his year to break into a rotation and get some consistent burn. It hasn’t happened yet, and it may not ever happen. The only category Darko provides any value in is blocked shots and even that is compromised by his ineffectiveness everywhere else. With the talent that surrounded him in that draft, he may go down as the biggest bust of all-time.

Andrea Bargnani – The comparisons to Dirk made him a popular 5th round pick and many of his owners have long since pulled the plug on the second year pro. Although he will show signs of life now and again, nothing but his three ball is consistent and with the emergence of Jamario Moon, he often finds himself watching the action from the bench.

Vince Carter – If I was a GM in the league there’s NO WAY I would sign Vince Carter to anything but a one year deal, period. Have you seen him play this season? That package was mailed in as soon as the ink was dry on the extension. Goodnight nurse!

The Chicago Bulls – Take your pick between Ben Gordon, Kirk Hinrich, Luol Deng or Ben Wallace. While none of the above were god awful individually, none have lived up to the hype after last season. The “Baby Bulls” were picked to be the toast of the East this year in a lot of circles, and instead have looked like a broken group from the jump.

“Step Your Game up”

These guys are making the 2007-2008 season a stage for their breakthrough performance.
Rudy Gay – Think the Rockets are still feeling the Shane Battier and Stromile Swift for Rudy Gay deal? Gay looks like a superstar in the making while Stro has been Stro, and Battier wasn’t enough to get them out of the first round.

Chris Kaman – As fantasy owners, we tend to have short memories. Kaman had a terrific year in 2005-2006 but struggled last season. Consequently, his stock fell coming into this season. With Elton Brand out for the year, his value should have been obvious, but draft after draft he continued to slide into the later rounds. He’s taken full advantage of his opportunity and has emerged into a legit #1 center.

Mike Dunleavy – When Nelly included Dunleavy in the trade with Indiana last season it was widely believed he was simply dumping a bad contract on the Pacers. This season, Dunleavy has been the most consistent guy on that roster. He scores, knocks down threes, is shooting at a much improved clip, and seems to have figured the NBA thing out, finally. Maybe Larry Bird is rubbing off on him, who knows.

Hedo Turkoglu – Rashard Lewis was supposed to limit Turkoglu’s already minimal value in Orlando. Instead Turk is having a career year and knocking down game winners with the confidence of an all-star. Not bad for an average 11th round draft pick. While it wont be enough to make the weekend trip to the NO, he’s an all-star in fantasy circles, most def.

David West – I saw him play at Xavier a number of times and he was no where close to the player he’s become. In a loaded Western conference he wont make the all-star team but he, along with Chris Paul and Tyson Chandler, are going take the Hornets deep into the post season.
Waiver Wire Steals It’s been a relatively slow year on the wire, but this bunch has provided value for quick triggered owners.

Jose Calderon – He would be listed in the “come up” section but I put him here to add emphasis. A player with Calderon’s talent, shouldn’t have been on waivers in the first place, but T.J. Ford looked to have a kung-fu grip on the starting PG job in Toronto and he slipped through a lot of drafts. He’s been quite simply amazing since Ford’s injury and was more than serviceable prior to. As it stands right now, he’s a top 25 fantasy stud. Spain stand the fluck up!

The Sacramento Kings – With Mike Bibby out until recently and Ron Artest bouncing in and out of the lineup, the season is Sacramento looked to be lost. Enter Beno Udrih, John Salmons, and Francisco Garcia who provided owners in the know with plenty of big games while keeping the Kings respectable out West. These guys performed so well the Kings will likely discount tags on Bibby and Artest to keep their young core active and bring in draft picks or expiring deals.

Jamario Moon – Tell me this guy isn’t a poor mans Scottie Pippen! He even runs and dunks like Pip used to. Moon has delighted owners with an all around game and a nice stroke inside 17 feet. He’s not a stud in any category, but the balance he provides is great to get off the wire.

Brendan Haywood – The artist formerly known as Brenda has been very respectful this season minus a few experiments with Andray Blatche at the 5. Even though he’s cooled a bit since his hot start, he’s still blocking shots at a nice clip, scoring a bit and hitting the boards. For a waiver wire center, that’s more than enough.

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  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    Still no wallace love..

  • http://slamonline.com mutoni

    the font on the bottom half of this post is seizure-riffic

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    the formatting and the fonting did not work out as intended. Um… I will get back in the kitchen.

  • Kihwan

    For the record, I drafted Jose Calderon in 3 of my 4 drafts this year.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    The trouble is beginning with the word DARKO. Can he do something right for once!
    In the words of Bunk and McNulty (season 1): “F–kity f–k f–k f–k”

  • http://www.myspace.com/hemantsbeats what

    whoooo crappy formatting and fonting

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry DowningHall

    BETCAT: I expect this production from G. Wallace. I need more blocks!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    The font is big like Camby’s numbers. Just my luck I had Kaman LAST YEAR. Emry, I finally pulled the plug on Lowry last week but thankfully picked him back up before anyone else did after Conley got hurt. If he didn’t go 6-14(!) from THE LINE last night he coulda had a sweet line. I need more of them…

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    I just wanted to see my name in this font.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Fixing this font is like trying to escape from quicksand… I’m making it worse… going back in for a third operation…

  • Richie

    Stephen Jackson should have been on this list somewhere. Although his FG% is horrendous, he is contributing accross the board and was drafted pretty late.

  • http://www.myspace.com/impulseshopper_acquirente its just alex

    I like it.

  • http://www.freewebs.com/betcats BETCATS

    BETCATS BETCATS BETCATS BETCATS i love my name

  • Ill WIll

    It was actually Gay and Swift who got traded to the Grizz for Shane Batman.

    So yeah, I’m not sure what Van Gundy was thinking at that time.

    The Rockets stil suck.

  • http://deceptivelyquick.blogspot.com JackBrown

    Ahha! I have Bron, Davis, Smith, and Camby on one team. My league is so over its becoming Rick-diculous.

  • niQ

    camby is good. no doubt. but i prefer dwight over him for points, rebounds.. and dwight is not known to be injury prone…camby is always a risk.. but well worth it when he’s healthy

  • http://Odenized.com Ryne Nelson

    I prefer Dwight any day over Camby because of his perfect bill of health

  • http://Odenized.com Ryne Nelson

    How about Andrea Bargs, everyone? What do you see him doing for the rest of this season? Can he pick up his game?

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry DowningHall

    I like Dwight too but his FT % hurts you and he turns it over a bunch. By the numbers Amare and Camby are superior to #12.

  • Glen

    If you’re in a league that counts field goal percentage or (don’t know if any do) points per shot attempt, Kevin Martin always looks good…

  • Balltastics2000

    Hey Emry, I took Ryan Gomes but I gave up Kevin Durant but now I’m not sure if that was a great move. Should I get Durant back?

  • http://yahoo.com DP

    I dropped Andrea 1000 in like the third week of fantasy. Guy is just soft as jello and I he needs a nutri grain bar and some peanut butter. The biggest bust would have to be the Bulls as a team though. and sorry to Rudy Gay, I really thought you were going to scuk it up in the nba. play wit it.

  • Ol’ Marty-Mar

    settle with The Moon. He’s way too erratic for all this praise, its making me a little nauseous. Mostly because I own him! He’s got 6 points in his last 2 games. Anyhow, former Oilers QB Warren Moon picked up a DUI a few weeks back. He sips.

  • http://google.com davidR

    i’d keep durant if the rest of your team is good, or if your team sucks at fg% and you dont care about it. he gets his points, and sometimes gives you a good amount of blocks and steals.

  • Tarzan Cooper

    you all seem to forget that EVERYONE hated on rudy gay at uconn, they said he was lazy, and didnt play with any aggresion, so i cant be too mad at van grumpy. who, by the way, seems to be a totally different person when he is calling games.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Balltastics: You’re saying you dropped Durant for Gomes? Gomes is hot, but, I would have liked to see you move Durant, as poor as he’s been this season there’s always an owner willing to take a big name like that. All you really lose with Durant is PTS and some 3′s. Solid move.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Ryne: I think AB can pick it up. He has talent, I’m not sure what his deal is up there, maybe the Raps are a bad fit for him. For a #1 pick though, you would expect more this season.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Richie: Steph Jack is nasty, no doubt, but I feel like we knew that coming into the season and missing those first seven games did hurt his stock. Where would you have placed him? He’s certainly not a Top 5 or a Step Your Game Up…

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Ill WIll: Good point. My bad.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Ol Marty Mar: Moon isn’t a scorer bol, he is gonna get you those blocks and steals… If a team needs those hard to fill categories he’s a good source for that. Warren Moon does sip, like a madman.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Emry

    Tarzan: Yea, the thing with Gay is, we all knew what kind of an athlete he was so it was just a matter of heart… I thought that was a win now type deal for Houston, didn’t agree with it though. Maybe they had to buy high for Battier since he was on Team USA and all… but damn.

  • http://whipwrites.blogspot.com CoolWhip11

    Jamario Moon? Fantasy?
    Uhhh, no thanks.

    I think you left something burning…get back in that kitchen again

  • Southsidetataq

    Nice article… but where the heck is Caron Bulter man? He’s a beast. Turk got herbed out of the all-star game, and thats some BS about Baron too. Maybe this is a consolation prize. LOL!

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