Fantasy Basketball, Week 6
Iverson is on Philly’s radar. Is he on yours?
by Charles Peach
You have to appreciate Lou Williams. He broke his jaw early in the game against the Wizards in DC last Tuesday but kept playing. In fact, he led a comeback in the 4th quarter that fell short when his potential game-winning shot bricked. He didn’t know it was broken until the next day when he arose from a sleepless night in Boston and finally decided it was time to get X-rays.
During the game he was spitting blood constantly but assumed it was a tooth causing the trouble. If only that were the case, he could’ve made a quick stop at the dentist and continued his breakout party. Instead he’ll be on a liquid diet and out of uniform for two months. What a shame. Few things are going the Sixers way this season, but he was one of the few reasons to remain hopeful. Check out these averages through the first 14 games of the season: 17.4 points on 49.7 percent field goal shooting, 5.1 assists, 1.7 steals, and just 1.8 turnovers. Hopefully Lou’s recovery is as speedy as his transition game.
How can Philly rebound from such sad news? Bring back AI! Or at least “consider” it. That’s what we’re hearing. After a pathetic 5-12 start to the season and attendance rivaling Memphis for the League’s worst, AI couldn’t be a better fit! If the reunion does go down, I’m sure Iverson would be getting his numbers, so you might want to stash him on your roster this week if he’s still chillin’ on the wire. Did you hear that? I think Willie Green just dropped himself and added AI on his fantasy team!
If you own Lou, there is a big decision to make. Do you hang on to him and miss out on all of the production you’d be getting from free agents in those eight weeks or drop him? If your team is already in trouble you might want to consider dropping him because you don’t want to dig yourself too deep a hole. I don’t mean to just go out there and drop him for just anybody but maybe there is a free agent out there that could pick up the slack. And you might just find him in this week’s….
Ben Wallace – He’s owned in both of my leagues and he shouldn’t be available in yours either. Don’t be distracted by the lack of scoring. He’s averaging 9.9 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game. He had over 10 offensive rebounds in each of his last two games, something he hasn’t done since the 2003 Playoffs against Orlando.
Luke Ridnour – On the radar last week, and now he’s a pickup. Mike Redd’s return was short lived and Luke continued his solid play averaging 18.7 points and 6.7 assists last week. By the way it’s a four-game week for the Bucks.
Raymond Felton – Could be sitting on a waiver wire near you. He can certainly kill you in FG% and TOs but the Bobcats have won their last 4 games and Felton has been surprisingly efficient (22 assists, 1 turnover) in that span. Larry Brown must be getting through to him because he’s only jacked three threes in the last three games.
Mike Dunleavy – If he can make a full recovery he’ll be a definite starter for the Pacers and a must-own fantasy player. He scored 13 points in 15 minutes in his return.
Hakim Warrick – With opportunity he can be a valuable fantasy source, as he demonstrated last week averaging 17 points and 7 assists in four games. As long as Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (love writing that name) continues to miss time, the opportunity will be there.
Courtney Lee – In his first game in a couple weeks, he had 6 steals in 22 minutes. He needs to be playing 35 mpg, at least. I think he’ll regain his starting job soon which will send CDR to the bench.
Jamaal Tinsley – Mike Conley just doesn’t want the job, does he? Coach Hollins is giving him all the chances he can afford to give him but Conley isn’t getting it done. If he doesn’t want it, Tinsley’ll take it! In his last two he’s averaged 14 points, 6 assists, and 2 threes.
On The Radar
Thabo Sefolosha – A long, aggressive, reliable defender that is sometimes valuable in the fantasy realm. If he knocked down the three-ball a bit more often then he would be a nice player to own, but for now just keep monitoring his work to see if there is any continuity.
Jrue Holiday – He was a popular addition after the news about Lou Williams missing eight weeks dropped, but he hasn’t lived up to the fantasies yet. Now with AI potentially returning to the Sixers he might find himself right back where he was when Lou was healthy – on that pine.
Jason Smith – He played pretty well in two starts while Elton Brand sat out, then he mysteriously played only 8 minutes against the Spurs on Sunday. He’s a promising talent, a 7-footer who can stroke the three, so if Brand continues to sit you might want to give him a shot.
Jonas Jerebko – Still no word on the return of either Tayshaun Prince or Rip Hamilton to the Pistons lineup and Jerebko is starting to produce. Last week he scored 22 against the Clippers shooting 4-4 from downtown and followed it up with his first career double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) against the Hawks.
DeJuan Blair – He can produce in bunches. Unfortunately that’s all he’s getting the chance to do, averaging less than 15 minutes per game. In 17 minutes against Philly on Sunday he put up 11 points, 10 rebounds (7 offensive), and 3 blocks.
Nazr Mohammed – He has also been scoring in bunches lately. In his last four he has played about 19 minutes per game and averaged 13.5 points and 6.2 rebounds. Plus he’s backing up Tyson Chandler, who is a little bit injury-prone.
Nick Young – He’s on the radar by default. Yes, he scored over 20 in consecutive games last week but I don’t see that kind of productivity lasting. He’s still behind Jamison, Butler, and Arenas in line to get shots in DC and is only getting more minutes now because of the absence of Mike Miller. Randy Foye, Andray Blatche, DeShawn Stevenson, and recently acquired Earl Boykins all want some shots too.
Omri Casspi – He’s seeing consistent minutes from Coach Westphal and responding, scoring in double-figures in each of his last five games. He’s a good three-point shooter but suspect from the charity stripe. In what would become his final game as Nets Head Coach, Lawrence Frank put him on the line repeatedly late in the fourth quarter but Casspi responded by making 3-4 when it counted.
Delonte West – What can we expect from him? I have no clue. But I know the Cavs would love more performances like the one against Dallas on Saturday, when he delivered 10 points and 10 assists (0 turnovers) in 28 minutes. Let’s see if he gets more opportunities to do so.
Anderson Varejao – He’s been strong off the bench in his last five averaging 7 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks.
Arron Afflalo – His minutes and production will likely be inconsistent but as he matures and gets more comfortable in his role he may become a player you’d want in a deep league. If Streaky Earl is hittin’ his shots then Afflalo might find himself on the bench but for now he’s the starter at shooting guard.
Damien Wilkins – I don’t know if Coach Rambis is on to this or not but Wilkins has started 3 games for the T’Wolves this year. The team’s record in those games: 2-1. The team’s record when Wilkins doesn’t start: 0-14. So, maybe it has to do with a little more than just Wilkins but, hey, a trend is a trend. He also has double-doubles in both victories.
Sergio Rodriguez – He put together a few nice games last week but it isn’t production you can rely on just yet. There just aren’t enough minutes to distribute in Sacramento to turn Rodriguez into a fantasy player unless you’re in a very deep league.
Taj Gibson – He’s winning the job over Brad Miller at the moment but he’s having a lot of foul trouble. Regardless, he’s creeping up to double-double territory in his last few games as well as blocking a few shots.
Fantasy Line of the Week
OK, so one would assume that Melo and his fitty would be in here. BUT, I decided to go with his counterpart because Al Harrington actually would’ve won a standard, nine-category fantasy match-up with Melo. Let’s compare:
Al Harrington: 41 PTS, 58% FG, 69% FT, 4 3PTM, 10 REB, 1 AST, 2 BLK, 2 STL, 1 TO
Carmelo Anthony: 50 PTS, 61% FG, 94% FT, 1 3PTM, 6 REB, 5 AST, 0 BLK, 0 STL, 3 TO
Sorry, Melo. Mr. Harrington wins 5-4.