Fantasy Basketball, Week 11
Agent Zero or Big Zero?
Owners of Gilbert Arenas beware. Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that Agent Zero’s recent firearm debacle could land him a lengthy suspension. “This story has engulfed the league,” Woj writes, “and several league office and team sources believe Stern will be harsh in his judgment no matter what the legal system decides to do. This could be a suspension that extends over months, possibly the rest of the season.”
So, if Arenas is on your fantasy team, prepare for life without Gilbert. His numbers are kind of flashy this year: 22.7 points, 6.9 assists, 4.3 rebounds, 2 threes, and 1.3 steals. But it almost feels like fool’s gold. He shoots 41.1 percent from the floor and turns it over 3.7 times per game, numbers that can annihilate you in two categories. Certainly wait until the verdict is made and details of any suspension are released before you drop him, but start thinking about the players from the wire who could help.
Randy Foye could benefit the greatest from this situation, so stash him if you can. Earl Boykins has also been effective for the Wiz this season but would probably be most useful coming off the bench as he can be somewhat of a liability on defense.
The Wizards have constantly been involved in circulating trade rumors, the latest being a Caron Butler for Kirk Hinrich swap. It’s probably not much more than a rumor but the fact that they are likely candidates to make a move should have you listening to possible scenarios, especially desperate Arenas owners.
If Arenas is handed a significant suspension I don’t think GM Ernie Grunfeld or Flip Saunders will be anxious to make a move. Honestly, I believe the subtraction of Arenas will help the Wizards win more games. There is very little ball movement with Gilbert running the point and they have a solid roster to compete without him. Butler, Antawn Jamison, Brendan Haywood, Andray Blatche, Fabricio Oberto, and Javale McGee make up a formidable frontcourt. Foye, Boykins, Mike Miller, and Nick Young can handle the guard duties.
Sorry for the Wizards rant but I’m stuck here in the DC-area watching an underachieving group of players that have only 10 wins this season. Forgive me for being excited about the potential of seeing a brand of basketball which doesn’t feature the point guard dribbling the air out of the ball.
Nate Robinson – Probably too late now. So, D’Antoni has a change of heart on the first day of 2010, decides to play Nate for the first time in a month, and he scores 41 points. He only scored 6 points in his last game but the point is; Nate is back in the rotation for now and we know what he’s capable of doing.
Someone texted me while Nate was going off on New Year’s Day and I ran to a computer to pick him up but saw that the person who sent the text had already nabbed him. For pickups like this, and there is always a decent amount throughout each season, Twitter is the quickest source to get such information. If I hear anything I’ll let you know @Charles_Peach.
Matt Barnes – Earned his starting gig back last week. He’s averaging 20 points and 7.5 rebounds in his last two games and knocked down 5 threes against Chicago on Saturday.
Martell Webster – The Blazers desperately need him to step up while half of the roster is in the hospital. He’s tremendously inconsistent and shooting the ball at just under 40 percent this season but in his last two games he’s been great, averaging 23 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 4.5 threes.
Ty Lawson – This is temporary but the rookie continues to play very well in Chauncey Billups absence. He’s tallied 23 points and 9 assists in each of the last two games. Billups has a strained groin which is a nagging and lingering injury. While Billups misses time, Lawson is a must-own player.
Glen Davis – The Celtics will probably be tentative about bringing back Kevin Garnett anytime soon. Rasheed Wallace will soak up most of the minutes that KG leaves behind but Glen Davis has shown he can produce. He’s still working himself back into shape after missing the first 27 games of the season with a fractured right thumb. On Saturday night he scored 15 points and had 5 rebounds in less than 20 minutes of playing time.
Luther Head – Where did this come from? I spent so much time wondering who would start between Dahntay Jones or Brandon Rush? Well, neither apparently. The job is now in the hands of the fifth-year player out of the University of Illinois. He started the last three games for the Pacers and is averaging 23 points in the role.
Taj Gibson – I didn’t expect him to be this productive since Tyrus Thomas returned but he has retained his starting job and continued his impressive rookie year. He’s a force on the glass, hauling in 23 boards in his last two games, 13 of them on the offensive end. He will also get you a few buckets, blocks, and steals.
Kyle Lowry – Comfortably playing his role right now and exhibiting extremely efficient numbers during his 25 minutes per game. He contributes in a number of categories and in his last three games he’s averaging 10.3 points, 6 assists, and 5.6 rebounds.
ON THE RADAR
Wayne Ellington – Another rookie is beginning to produce for the T-Wolves. He’s averaging 14 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2 threes in his last 3 games. I wouldn’t be surprised to see his playing time increase as the season rolls along as Minnesota should just be trying to develop its young talent at this point.
Andray Blatche – I’m going to keep his name on here because if the Wizards make a big trade, it could open the door for him to produce at a high level as he’s done in the past.
Arron Afflalo – He’s started the last 27 games for the Nuggets, who seem content on keeping Earl ‘JR’ Smith in the ‘sixth man’ role. He hasn’t been a valuable fantasy commodity quite yet but is finding his touch from behind the arch, hitting six of his last nine three-point attempts.
Roger Mason – Need a three-point specialist? Mason could be your guy in deep leagues. He connected on 10 threes last week.
Tony Allen – He remains a ‘temporary fix’ while Paul Pierce is out. It’s unclear when Pierce will return so keep Allen in mind if you need some help in your deep leagues this week or next. In Allen’s last five he’s averaging 11.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 2 steals. The Celtics go on the road for their next three games; Wednesday @MIA, Friday @ATL, Sunday @TOR.
Jeff Pendergraph – There is no way that this guy expected to play this season other than some garbage time in a few blowouts, but here he is, starting the last two games for Portland. He’s been surprisingly productive too, grabbing 14 rebounds in one game and showing the ability to score some buckets and block a few shots. Keep your eyes on him, especially if the Blazers curse claims another starter.
FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
LeBron James: On his 25th birthday he put on a show against the Hawks; 48 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 threes, 2 steals, 2 blocks.