Thursday, February 17, 2005

Please Please Play Me

It’s time for the second installment of PPPM. First, let’s take a look at last week’s players and how the past 7 days treated them.

Mike James: It was a very telling week for James. Despite the absence of Michael Redd in all three games, James PT held more or less steady at just 27.3 mpg. Pretty disappointing. His hot shooting cooled off as he went just 8-for-26 in his last two games, leaving him with a 13.3/1.7/4.3 with 2.3 3pg and 0.7 spg on 38% shooting. He could still be useful if he got his 30+, but it’s looking rather unlikely, and he’ll probably be of use only to those needing 3s.

Mike Sweetney: Perhaps Herb Williams is a FBB reader? Sweetney was up to 23 mpg this week and he sure did deliver, to the tune of 15.0/7.0/0.5 on 57% shooting. He also got to the line a remarkable 28 times, getting up to 18th in the league in FTA per 48. Even better, he hit 26 of those. He’s going to be one to continue to watch very closely. He won’t get too many steals or blocks, but the boards and percentages are very nice.

Jameer Nelson: His PT remains wildly inconsistent. After 10 points, 8 assists, 4 boards and 2 steals in 25 minutes on Saturday, he saw 10 total minutes the next two games. Look for him to eventually put up Jamaal Tinsley numbers if ever given the chance.

Chris Andersen: Some good trends with Andersen, as his PT for the week looked like this: 20, 23, 27, 30. The highlight was a 16 point, 9 board, 3 dime, 2 steal effort against my Wiz, and he followed it with 9 points and 4 blocks against the Spurs. Keep watching him.

Chris Wilcox: At least he got off the bench. And yesterday in 18 minutes – his most PT since December – he was good for 10 and 5 with an assist and a steal. If he was on, say, the Hawks, he’d put up great numbers. But then again, you could say that about lots of people.

This Week’s Picks
Tony Allen
15.8 mpg, 6.3/2.9/0.9 with 1.1 steals on 48% shooting
Last 5: 21 mpg, 9.8/3.6/1.0 with 1.8 steals
This is sort of a werid one. Allen has been a fixture in the starting lineup for the past month, but last night was the first time he saw more than 30 minutes in a game and look what he did: 15/7/2 with 3 steals and a 3. And he got those 15 points on just 5 shots, getting to the line 8 times. I say if you’re going to start him, you may as well play him. And I say that as a fantasy owner who needs steals, knowing that Allen is second in the league in steals per 48. With Ricky Davis, Paul Pierce and Gary Payton all needing minutes, it’s not all that likely, but you never know.

Fred Hoiberg
YTD: 16.1 mpg, 5.8/2.3/1.1 with 0.8 steals, 1.0 3s on 52% shooting
Last 5: 19.6 mpg, 7.6/3.2/2.4 with 1.0 steals and 1.2 3s
Props to Shep for pointing out the Mayor’s effectiveness, and on a team where nothing’s going right, what’s the harm in running him out there? He’s a player who doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and while his upside is obviously limited, he can still be a solid all-around contributor, helping out in steals, 3s and percentages. Given the chance he could be sort of a poor man’s Tayshaun Prince, one of those under the radar guys that always seems higher than he should be on the Player Rater. If the Wolves can find a taker for Latrell Sprewell, Hoiberg might have a shot at having some fantasy relevance. The guy’s shooting 52% from 3-point land, which is just crazy.

Brian Cardinal
YTD: 19.9 mpg, 7.9/3.4/1.3 with 1.3 steals and 0.5 3s
Last 5: 23.8 mpg, 11.2/4.8/2.4 with 2.0 steals and 1.4 3s
Yes, today is the day that FBB gives some love to balding white guys. Cardinal has been unfairly antagonized this year. For some reason everyone thought that his addition to the Grizzlies squad was what caused their early season funk. Like it was his fault that Jerry West wanted to give him $40M, like you wouldn’t take it? He never really got into a groove, then he was injured, but with other injuries piling up in Memphis, the former Wizards benchwarmer (they certainly didn’t know what they had with him and Bobby Simmons) is starting to show what he can do. He’s starting to find his long-distance stroke, connecting in 6 straight games. Remember, he shot 44% from there last year. He’s also had two 4-steal games in his past three. While Pau Gasol and now Stromile Swift appear to be out, the legion of swingmen (Battier, Jones, Miller, Wells) are all around, so 30 mpg might be an unrealistic wish for Cardinal. But given equal time, I’d say that only Battier would be a better fantasy option.

Brent Barry
YTD: 19.7 mpg, 6.8/2.0/2.0 with 0.5 steals and 1.2 3s
Last 5: 18.8 mpg, 5.2/1.6/1.6 with 1.2 3s
Why not end with a white guys trifecta? Although Barry seems to have a fine head of hair. Just when it looked like he was finally finding his niche in San Antonio, he’s seen 15 or fewer minutes in three of the last four games. Still, there are some things such as his 15 straight games with a 3. Even if they are fighting the Suns for home court advantage, the Spurs would be wise to rest Tony Parker and especially Manu Ginobili down the stretch. Ginobili plays a very similar style to Allen Iverson and is always collecting various bumps and bruises. Like the rest of the fair lads on this list, Barry’s value comes from his percentages, 3s and steals; he won’t put up big points or rebound numbers, but he’s been a Top 50 Player Rater staple before this year. While 30 mpg is unrealistic, there’s no excuse for him seeing just 15.


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