Fantasy Basketball, Week 5
Who’s let fantasy owners down the most so far?
by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach
Watching replay after replay of Blake Griffin’s Jamboree from Saturday night, I realized my whole approach to constructing a successful fantasy team was wrong. Forget avoiding injury-prone players, drafting point guards who hit threes, and getting a guy who knocks down a ton of free throws. Forget it. I wish I’d foreseen this, but the secret to winning this season is maximizing the number of games your players face the Knicks.
Remember when Rajon Rondo had a triple-double including 24 assists? Opponent: Knicks. When Kevin Love grabbed a week’s worth of rebounds in a night? Knicks. Then, Griffin goes off for 44 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists. Are you kidding? We’re not even through one month of the season! My roster should be completely comprised of players in the Atlantic Division. What was I thinking?!
Can we officially call their coach “Mike Antoni” now? Clearly, he isn’t concerned with defense in the slightest regard. The Knicks have allowed 104 points or more in their last nine games. I understand they’ve won three straight, and the “no defending” thing is working for them right now. I get it, that’s great. Wins and losses aren’t an issue in this column. We just want stats and Coach Antoni is treating us to the Thanksgiving dinner of fantasy fare. So it just feels right to salute him this week.
Hate to be so negative, but here are some of the biggest letdowns of the season thus far:
PG: Chauncey Billups – Shooting 34.4 percent from the field. Isn’t that “lose your job” territory? He ranks 29th in assists, which is just unacceptable. I know your legs are feeling sore from the extra work this summer in Turkey, but you can stop playing like one!
SF: Andre Iguodala – Second guy from the USA’s FIBA team. Trend? Iggy’s lingering Achilles injury has caused him to miss five games already. Prior to this season, he’s missed only six games in his career. I don’t have a good feeling about this injury. If he returns soon and puts up numbers, I’d fiercely attempt to trade him before the injury causes him to miss more time.
PF: Troy Murphy – So, let me get this straight, Murphy is the third power forward option behind Kris Humphries and Derrick Favors? Wow, OK. Murphy was slowed by injuries to begin the season, but now he’s healthy and still not seeing the floor? I wonder why Avery Johnson dislikes him so much? Murphy might need a trade to muster any fantasy value this season.
C: Brook Lopez – Ouch, two Nets. In 13 games, Lopez has double-digit rebounds in just one of them. He’s averaging 6.3 boards on the season and shooting just 42.2 percent.
ON THE WIRE
Jose Calderon – I was on the phone with Bryan Colangelo and he was telling me about this trade he had in place to deal Jarrett Jack to the Hornets, so I scooped up the Spanish free agent real quick. That’s not exactly how it happened, but I was all over that pickup and I hope you were too. If he’s still out there somehow, I give you permission to minimize this window and get it done. Please come back though.
Kris Humphries – In six starts he’s averaging 11 points and 11.7 rebounds. Coach Johnson appears to believe the team operates better when he’s the power forward so the job is his to lose right now.
Wesley Matthews – He’s most likely long gone by now due to the bleak Brandon Roy situation, but double check anyway. Matthews is averaging 22 points in three starts for the Blazers.
Landry Fields – The rookie has started every game for the Knicks so far and has played solid. He’s averaging 10.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, while shooting 55.3 percent from the field. He had the best game of his young career last week when he hung 21 points and 17 rebounds on the Nuggets.
Darko Milicic – Darko’s line was so amazing on Friday night I triple-checked it to be sure they were playing the Lakers and not the Knicks. He finished with 23 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, six blocks and two steals. I’m anxious to see the encore performance against the Thunder to see if something has actually clicked.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas – With Udonis Haslem, the Heat’s leading rebounder, out until February, somebody needs to fill his shoes. Big Z grabbed 10 boards and scored 6 points in 30 minutes against Memphis. It’s doubtful that he’s the long-term answer but he’s the guy for now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Heat sign Erick Dampier.
Amir Johnson – I like what he’s doing at the free throw line, shooting 90.2 percent this season. He was a perfect 9-of-9 from the stripe, including a pair of clutch ones that beat the Celtics on Sunday. Last season, he made just 63.8 percent of his free throw attempts. He doesn’t shoot them too regularly, but I think it could help him win some minutes from Reggie Evans.
Donte Greene – Coach Paul Westphal decided to shuffle his deck last week (a very Nellian maneuver) and Greene ended up back in the starting lineup for the first time since the Kings’ opener. He managed to become a relevant fantasy player for spurts last season. On Sunday he dropped 15 points, 10 rebounds, and three blocks.
Thanks for reading Charles Peach’s weekly fantasy rant. For fantasy information and other hoops fodder, follow him on Twitter @Charles_Peach