Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 at 5:08 pm  |  41 responses

Fantasy Basketball, Week 11

To avoid getting burned, think twice before you drop.

by Emry DowningHall

Good things in life come to those who wait. The same holds true for fantasy hoops owners as well.

If you read this column on the regular, you may get a different impression. Each week I release plenty of potential waiver additions, and preach the importance of staying on top of the add/drop developments.

While I’ll never retreat from my stance that the waiver wire is the foundation of any championship fantasy team, I thought this week I’d examine the importance of being a patient owner.

Even the most seasoned veterans fall victim to the impatient player drop. Traditionally, the only way to develop an immunity to this condition is to be infected at some point. If you play fantasy hoops long enough, chances are you’re going to get bit.

For the sake of full disclosure, SLAMonline should know that your own Mr. Fantasy is currently in recovery for an addiction to add/drop.

To help illustrate my point, I want to take a look at the seasons Rodney Stuckey and Andrea Bargnani are having.

Both Stuckey and Bargnani came into the season with buzz associated with their names. Stuckey looked to build off a solid rookie campaign and was rumored to be a favorite of GM Joe Dumars. Despite playing well in summer league, he fell in the 7th to 9th rounds of most drafts.

Bargnani’s always available as a bargain late round selection on draft night. Anytime you get the chance to grab a 7-footer with unlimited range, who has an organization’s front office shaking down the coaching staff for playing time, Bargs finally turning the corner?that’s a risk worth taking.

Stuckey and Bargnani both had miserable starts to the season. Stuckey struggled for playing time behind Chauncey Billups and wasn’t producing when he managed to find the floor. Bargnani fell right back into his typecast role as a European softy with a girl’s name, who remained a colossal waste of a No. 1 pick.

Fast forwarding to the present, both Stuckey and Bargnani are must-own players in all fantasy formats. Billups’ departure from Detroit paved the way for Stuckey to claim the starting job, and Jermaine O’Neal being, well, Jermaine O’Neal allowed Bargnani to play and excel at his natural position.

The point is, both players had terrific upside and sometimes exercising patience early in the season will pay dividends. Keep in mind that you drafted players for a reason, and a couple of bad games won’t kill your team over the long haul. Obviously, there’s a point where enough is enough, but if you need to cut bait, at least make sure the player you’re adding has as much upside as the one you’re releasing.

Speaking of patient fantasy owners, Gilbert Arenas rewarded them with a swift kick in the nuts this week when he stated he’s “Not even close (to returning)” and questioned whether it makes sense for him to suit up for such a miserable Wizards team this season.

He implied that resting and rehabbing is a better than a premature return. While it’s hard to argue with his logic, it’s obviously frustrating news for Wizards fans and Arenas owners. I don’t own Gilbert in any leagues, but if I did, this news would be all the incentive I needed to send him on his way.

Arenas is a very exciting player when healthy, but I’m growing extremely concerned about his long term future in the League. Also, these recent develops force me to ponder WHAT THE HELL WERE THE WIZARDS THINKING OFFERING HIM THAT CONTRACT!? The man looks nice in a buttoner, but who wouldn’t have their suit game tight with $111 million?

Word out of Houston is that Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest will be sidelined for two weeks, and perhaps longer. McGrady is shutting it down in hopes that the rest provides relief for his left knee soreness. Artest is nursing a badly sprained ankle that isn’t responding appropriately to treatment.

It’s been a rough start for the Western Conference’s “Big Three” and a nightmare down in Houston. I will neither confirm nor deny reports that Yao Ming reportedly recorded another T-Mobile commercial where McGrady and Artest replace Barkley and Wade and announce to Yao they are planning on shutting it down. To which Yao responds, “Don’t be like a baby!” before storming out of the Rockets’ locker room.

This was a relatively quiet week on the waiver wire, but I’ve still managed to dig up some talent for all you add/drop fiends out there:
Wafer fly high
Kirk Hinrich
– His injury rehab brought him back to the Bulls’ lineup way ahead of schedule, and he saw 20 minutes in his first game. The Bulls’ backcourt is packed with rotation players, but keep your eye on Hinrich’s production or add him right away if you need a guard. His numbers will be tempered early, but he’ll pay dividends come the trading deadline.

Von Wafer
– He’s now hit double figures in his last seven games, along with a career-high 23 points last night. He’s not fantastic in any other categories, but with McGrady and Artest sidelined, Wafer should be a nice spot starter for the next two weeks. The production of Rafer Alston, Aaron Brooks and Carl Landry should also see a nice spike as well.

Kyle Lowry
– He’s out-battled Mike Conley for the starting point guard spot in Memphis and played 30 minutes on back-to-back nights for the first time this season. Last night, he went off for 25 points, 7 dimes, 3 rebounds and a steal. There are plenty of trade rumors surrounding the Grizzlies, but for now the job appears to be Lowry’s.

Zaza Pachulia
Al Horford’s out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his knee, making Pachullia the starter in the ATL. Though his value isn’t likely to explode, he did have a very quiet 10 points and 11 rebounds last night. Finding a double-double on the waiver wire can prove extremely difficult, and Pachulia should hold his value for the next few weeks.

Ryne and I are going head to head this week in the DroppingDimes.com expert league in an all SLAM matchup. I’ll throw up a report next week to let you guys know how it turned out. I’d better win, I’d hate to have to pass the Mr. Fantasy crown to my editor!

As always, thanks for reading guys, leave your comments in the box and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    It’s on, Emry!

  • Waters1981

    So drop Bellinelli for Lowry? Lowry seems to be inconsistent with his numbers.

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

    Waters1981: I would drop Bellinelli based off his last injury, but I would exam the wire closely before picking up Lowry unless it’s a deep league.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    I picked up Bargnani a week ago and he’s doing great, definitely a nice pick up this late in the season. also i don’t know aout other leagues, but Gooden keeps getting dropped in ours. I had him for about a month until he got injured, dropped him, and now i got him back, why no one wants him long term i have no idea…

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    emry, the only thing rafer will produce more of is bricks…i’m beginning to think he’s had a broken hand for years and just won’t tell anyone…

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com nbk

    i had to drop beasley in my league because of a trade and dropped him right before his little stat rise SOB

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Barbosa is starting to put together some good games as well…

  • http://allday-fadeaway.blogspot.com nbk

    He is but he is too inconsistent for fantasy unless your in a huge league

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    emry, whats up with nenad krstic and nick collison?

  • Balltastics2000

    Hey Emry. Thanks to impatient owners in my league I managed to pick up Al Harrington back before he was traded and then recently Elton Brand! Nice. I’m loaded in the frontcourt and have CP3, Bibby and Devin Harris at point, and I need a solid SF. I was offered Durant and Barbosa for Harrington and Harris. I’m VERY hesitant in trading Harris, but if I can get the owner to replace Barbosa in the deal for Jason Terry do you think it’s worth while? Cheers.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    i think collison just came back from injury, i picked him up for a game because he has consistently high FG%, but with Westbrook and durant as teammates he’s not going to consistently get offense.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    Hey Emry, here’s my team:
    Jason Richardson
    Kevin Garnett
    Kevin Martin
    Derrick Rose
    OJ Mayo
    Paul Millsap
    Dwyane Wade
    John Salmons
    David West
    Emeka Okafor
    Al Jefferson
    Gerald Wallace . . . . . . . I was offered Chris Bosh for Garnett. Should I go for it? Oh yeah, another thing . . . the waiver wire is STACKED, so if there’s a move I should make, give me a heads up, please!

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ RV

    Moose, i think you’re league is too small to just go looking for pure talent, try to configure your team to be well rounded in the statistical categories that count in your league. Look at your teams stat averages, does something jump out at you, like if the average assists read like this : 3.2, 1.5, 5.5, 4.2, 2, 2.5, etc. Then you need some more assists. On the other hand, if its 10.0, 8.8, 3.3, 5.5, 4.9, etc, then you could afford to lose a guy who’s just giving you assists and get a stat you need in his place.

  • vmcb

    I dropped Bargnani literally two nights before he went on this tear. I’ve been burned.

  • Waters1981

    The other options on the waiver wire are Jamario Moon, Ramon Sessions, C.J. Miles, Rodney Carney & JJ Reddick. I have been contemplating picking up Reddick with his 3 point shooting over the past few games, but I don’t know about his playing time.

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

    @Tarzan: Krstic still needs to condition a bit. The minutes share is going to be annoying and I suspect a trade to be made in February. If not, it could be a rough breakdown the rest of the way. Neither is a terrific option @ this point but both are worth owning in 12+ team leagues.

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

    @Balltastics2000: Since you already have CP3 and Bibby, I would do that deal as is my man. That’s a nice trade and Durant is going to make your team all the better!

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

    @Moose: RV makes a good point. You want to focus on the stats you’re weak in and upgrade there. A guy like John Salmons might be ready to move since K-Mart is back. Also, keep an eye out for Millsap’s health after this latest MRI.

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

    @Waters: If you need 3′s have a look at Rasual Butler, he’s been on a tear.

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    emry, with what okc is saying, it seems like they want nenad to be the starting center and give him lots of minutes. nick was playing nicely before he got hurt. the next couple games for okc will be interesting. also, do you think earl watson will be the starting point the rest of the year with westbrook at the two????

  • Balltastics2000

    Cool, I knocked the original trade back a couple of days ago and he’s come back with Durant and Mo Williams. Would you go Williams or Barbosa? Thanks for the help.

  • slamfan4life


    Anyone see that game vs Raps???Slam you gotta put my boy in the next ish!!!!!!!!!

  • Balltastics2000

    I accepted the trade with Mo WIlliams. I think it’s a good move and as you said Durant will make my team much better. Thanks for the advice.

  • Waters1981

    Rasual is off the market already. Active waiver wire.

  • http://www.pistonscast.com John W. Davis

    Go Ryne! LOL

  • http://Ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com Ciolkstar

    Emry is right on about winning with the waiver wire. I’ve scooped up Sessions Hawes, and Augustin while they were hot and had Daequon Cook pour in some timely 3s. Brook Lopez and Jeff Green have filled in admirably for my injured starters (Bogut, Horford, Melo) and become fixtures on my team.

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

    @Tarzan: They def. brought him in there to ball… so he’s going to see time. His presence effectively eliminates the value of Wilcox and you already saw what happen to Petro. They will likely split Colli and Krstic @ the 4/5 slot, and look to make a deal with veteran teams coming after Colli @ the deadline. I think Early is going to be dealt to a contender but they will likely showcase him before that. Sam Presti is wise like that!

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

    @Balltastics: I would go with Mo Williams for sure. I always like a starter over a 6th man, and they both hit the three.

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

    @SlamFan4Life: I like that name… Rose got a cover already tho, you’re looking for more? Rose is a real ballplayer tho.

  • G-O

    Should I trade john slamons for peja I just got that offer H2H 8 man league

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    @G-O: No way. Keep Salmons. Peja is an injury risk and only contributes 3s and occasional points. Salmons is more rounded and hits almost as many 3s. While you might want to sell high on him with Kevin Martin getting back, you need to get someone better than Peja for it to make sense.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    And sorry, but 8 team leagues are a joke.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Just made Lowry my thrid pick up of the season. Patience has been a virtue this season (for me). Good health hasn’t hurt either (knocking on wood!)

  • http://www.alllooksame.com Tarzan Cooper

    antwan jamison seems to be sucking lately

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

    @G-O: No way, Salmons’s value is hurt by the fact that Martin’s back, but not that badly. Peja is getting his tick taken by Rasual Butler which should be all you need to know. I love Sual’, La Salle stand up, but not for fantasy.

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

    @Ben: Patience is the way to go, of course assuming your draft is on point. I remember the season I started writing this column your team took a beating with injuries. That was the most injury riddled year of all time IMO.

  • woodley3

    what do you think is the best 5 i could possibly get this week??

  • Waters1981

    Do you think Darius Miles will be worth a pickup later in the coming week or so? He has been putting up decent numbers (4 offensive boards vs. the Jazz, 10 pts on over 50 per cent).

  • Balltastics2000

    Hey Emry, thanks for the advice on the trade. Another owner in my league has just dropped Artest, do you think he’s worth dropping Wilson Chandler for? Chandler has been performing well and Artest is pretty volatile, what do you think? Cheers.

  • GOAT

    With Brand coming back, and Diop on his way out of town, I’m about to pick up Dampier (even though I’m not a huge fan of his) and drop Speights (it’s a 14 team league). Whaddya think?

    I’m also thinking about picking up Battier (3fg% is a category in the league too), but not sure who to drop. My worst player is probably Rudy Fernandez. Whaddya think of that Emry?

  • Waters1981

    What do you think we should make of Joakim Noah’s playing time and production? 18 boards and 3 blocks vs. knicks.