Fantasy Basketball, Week 9
Who to own: Yi, Tyrus… or both?
by Charles Peach
In the comments from last week’s column I was asked how my fantasy teams were doing. I have two of them and they’re both head-to-head with 12 teams. In one league I’m tied for the lead. I’m happy with that squad. It helps that I had the number one pick (CP3) but the rest of the roster is well-rounded (Joe Johnson, Rudy Gay, Brandon Jennings, Kevin Love, Brendan Haywood, Jason Thompson, Andrea Bargnani, Mehmet Okur, Kenyon Martin, Carl Landry, Caron Butler and Yi).
I’m going to start shopping Caron, who just isn’t cutting it this season. There are rumors that he could be dealt, and it would make a lot of sense for Washington to make a move. They have way too many guys who should be getting playing time but Arenas, Jamison and Butler consume the majority of the minutes. Maybe I’ll hang on to him just in case he’s traded to Golden State or Phoenix where the stats are plentiful.
My other league has a bit of a twist. ‘Twist’ is too nice of a word. It’s more of a deformity. We include offensive rebounds as a category. So instead of a nice, simple, straightforward, balanced, standard nine-category league we have a skewed, lopsided, overvalued big-man league. We’ve had the league together since 2003 and the categories have remained the same despite annual efforts of mine to get rid of the o-boards. Nevertheless, I’m currently third in the deformed league and trying to hold it together while my franchise player Danny Granger recuperates.
That team received a breath of fresh air this week when Lou Williams returned. Most signs indicated he’d be sidelined for two months with the broken jaw; instead, he’s back with the Sixers in three and a half weeks (queue Rick Kamla going nuts about what a warrior he is). The rest of the roster includes Gilbert Arenas, Bargnani, Brook Lopez, Luis Scola, Jason Thompson, Nene, Courtney Lee, Eric Gordon, Ronnie Brewer, Andrei Kirilenko, Grant Hill and Joel Przybilla. That group doesn’t look so hot without Granger in the mix, I know. I’m going to struggle while he’s out, which I hope isn’t too long. I’m currently trying to trade Arenas for B. Haywood. This might not make sense in most leagues, but in the deformed league it makes too much sense. So much that I’ll probably be rejected.
We regularly discuss who should be picked up but rarely who should be dropped. I decided to part ways with Boris Diaw last week. I just got tired of vomiting after examining his line in the box score every night. Like yesterday — 4 points, 5 turnovers, 6 fouls (puke!). Good riddance. I’m also losing patience quickly with Ronnie Brewer and Kirilenko. AK47 was in effect at the beginning of the season. He averaged 14.5 points through the first 14 games and he was rebounding, passing, stealing, blocking and making me look like I knew what I was doing with my 11th round pick. But since then, he’s sat out six games and he’s scored less than 10 points in six others. As for Brewer, he puts up enough steals to help you forget about the rest of the categories.
Marreese Speights – Just have to mention him here in case your league is snoozin’. He had a speedy recovery from his partially torn MCL and broke out a career-high 28 points against the Clippers on Saturday. He should definitely be owned in all formats.
Jameer Nelson – Well, wave goodbye to JWill’s fantasy career. Unless Jameer were to injure himself again (which isn’t much of a stretch at this point) it is likely White Chocolate has seen his name on a fantasy roster for the last time. Nelson is expected to play tonight against the Jazz.
Yi Jianlian – If you have the room on your roster, Yi could be a nice pickup as he is set to return on Wednesday. The Nets have been abysmal and perhaps Yi could provide the spark they need to start competing.
Tyrus Thomas – If he’s a free agent in your league there isn’t much time left to stash him. He’s reportedly eyeing a return this Saturday. The Bulls miss his energy and his fantasy owners miss his rebounds, blocks and steals. Be prepared to drop Taj Gibson if you currently employ him.
Chris Andersen – Brrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Did you hear that? If only there were sounds that played when you added certain players from the waiver wire, like the Birdcall. Who else would have signature sounds? A fire alarm for Tim Thomas? A gong for Yi? A shriek of terror for Quentin Richardson? Coughing for Josh Howard? Anyway, Birdman just has to be owned right now. He’s blocking shots at a fantastic rate and his rebounds per game are on the rise. I think George Karl realizes that the Nuggets need his defensive presence to be an elite team in the West.
Leandro Barbosa – He scored 17 points in 15 minutes in his last game before he sprained his ankle. That was November 29 and he’s due back on December 25. Fantasy owners in need of threes and points could set themselves up for a nice Christmas gift by scooping him off the wire this week.
Anderson Varejao – The second Brazilian on today’s list. He’s been a solid contributor for the Cavs during their recent success. Nearly a double-double along with a block and a steal are reasonable numbers to expect from him on a nightly basis.
On The Radar
Mario Chalmers – He lost his starting job to Carlos Arroyo. I get the feeling that the Heat might be doing this to ignite the youngin’ out of Kansas. He can knock down shots and defend so you might want to consider grabbing him while his stock is low.
CJ Miles – Quite the game against Charlotte on Saturday. In 35 minutes played he scored 20 points, connecting on 3 threes. He added 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Don’t expect this to happen often; in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he only scored 5 points in his next game, but see if he’s able to win the starting gig from Wesley Matthews.
Rasual Butler – When you look at the scoreboard of your head to head match-up this week and see that you lost three-pointers by nine, you are going to wish you had Rasual on your side because he hit ten! He’s a specialist, but a streaky one. He’s already had a six game stretch this season in which he failed to hit a three. But last week he averaged 15.8 points and hit those 10 deep-balls that really could’ve helped some people.
Serge Ibaka – Solid performances in back to back games for the rookie out of Congo. He had 12 points, 5 rebounds, a block, and a steal on Friday then Saturday he added 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Maybe Coach Brooks will try him in the starting five instead of Krstic.
James Harden – His minutes are up and Thabo Sefolosha’s are down. He soon could be appearing alongside Kevin Durant and Jeff Green in the starting lineup, not just music videos.
Damien Wilkins – His last two outings have been productive including a very nice line in Boston on Sunday (18 points, 2 threes, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 blocks, 0 turnovers). This performance was largely due to Ryan Gomes sitting out his fourth consecutive game because of injury.
Jared Jeffries – Unfortunately in most standard fantasy leagues there isn’t a category for ‘intangibles’ otherwise Jeffries could be more useful to you. He’s been starting for the Knicks and averaging 34 minutes in his last five games. That’s 11 minutes higher than his career average so the opportunity is there to produce. If he is to achieve fantasy value it would come via defensive tenacity, his ability to gather steals and blocks. He has 10 blocks in his last six games and he had six steals against Charlotte on Tuesday. Expect next to nothing offensively. On Sunday, he didn’t even attempt a shot in 31 minutes on the floor.
Jerryd Bayless – Had a career-high 29 points in the victory against Phoenix on Thursday but has only 16 points total in his past two games. Put the breakout champagne back on ice.
- Nate Robinson has officially reached ‘cheerleader/mascot’ status in NY. Sunday was his ninth consecutive DNP-CD. You’d think he’d at least get a little burn off the bench to stay fresh, but he ain’t gettin nadaaaaa from Mike. Is a trade on the horizon?
Fantasy Line of the Week
I see what Z-Bo is doin’ with his 32 points and 24 rebounds on Sunday but I’m going to hand this one to Chris Paul: 30 points, 19 assists and 9 rebounds. Oh, and a reminder for you Nuggets fans: Both of these lines were established against your defense in consecutive games.
Safe and happy holidays to all!