Friday, December 23, 2005

Weekend Preview: 12/23-12/25

In this holiday edition of Weekend Preview, we’re going to try and tie up some loose ends. The last couple of weeks, we tried to point you towards some of the more volatile situations in the league. Now that those situations have had some time to settle down, this weekend will be a good chance to see where all of the pieces have fallen:

Fri at Minnesota, 8pm EST
One of the biggest injuries so far, at least in terms of time out, has been Darius Miles. All of the talk in fantasy circles centered on marginal SF’s like Ruben Patterson, Travis Outlaw, and Martell Webster. Well, guess again! It turns out that nobody ended up really having an uptick in value except for Viktor Khryapa, who is now playing about 25 mpg and just isn’t doing enough to have any fantasy value. It looks like the dreaded “by committee” term applies here, and that term is just as bad in basketball as it is in football.

Still, all isn’t lost in the city of roses. Just when you thought it was time to move on, Sebastian Telfair went down with a torn ligament in his thumb, making another 28.9 minutes available. This time, somebody finally got some value, and wouldn’t you know it, it was FBB-Uber-Favorite Steve Blake! We will not try to pretend that we can talk about the Unfrozen Caveman Point Guard objectively, but since taking over for Telfair, he’s put up 11.5/4/5.75 with a steal and a three. The biggest risk with Blake is that he’s still fighting for minutes with Jarrett Jack. Watch the battle tonight against Portland as Telfair could be out for awhile with his bad thumb.

Fri vs. New Jersey, 7:30pm EST
Sun vs. LA Lakers, 3:00pm EST
The other story to watch over the last two weeks has been the returns of Shaquille O’Neal and Pat Riley in Miami. Most eyes were on how the minutes would spread out between Alonzo Mourning and Shaq, and the early returns are not encouraging for Zo. Since the return of Shaq, Zo has seen less under 22 minutes in every game he’s played, and right now the only spot he can be counted on for production is blocks. Although Riley said he would possibly play the two big men together, it just hasn’t happened yet, and the Heat’s 4-1 start under Riley means that there’s not much reason to change – yet.

Meanwhile, Mourning isn’t the only struggling to establish himself next to Shaq. Antoine Walker and Udonis Haslem have both failed to find 25 mpg with the return of Shaq, and that has put both of them on the waiver wires in a lot of leagues. And the backcourt has been somewhat volatile as well, with Jason Williams missing seven games with knee tendonitis, allowing Gary Payton to see starters minutes. Payton showed that if he gets his 35 mpg, he’ll still have value, but will Williams back on the court, he’ll struggle to see even 25 mpg. As one of the few teams with two games this weekend, the Heat will have plenty of time to fight amongst themselves for minutes.

Game of the Week(end)
San Antonio Spurs at Detroit Pistons, Sunday, 12:30pm EST
Sometimes we watch games for fantasy reasons. Sometimes, we watch games because they feature two great teams on a national stage. This falls into the second category. What a terrific holiday present from the NBA to you – the two best teams in the league, with only Dallas playing anywhere near as well as last year’s finalists. Enjoy the games, and the holidays. See ya next week.


Blogger MKD said...

Gentlemen! Khryapa, Webster, Jack... all these guys suck! But there is one player who has gained tremendously in value since Miles and Telfair went down--and it's Maryland alum Juan Dixon! Dude is averaging like 23 minutes on the season and 39 over his past three games, in which he's averaged 18 points, 4.67 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2.0 steals. Maybe my 16-4-4 preseason prediction has some merit (at leaset for the next couple of weeks).

3:41 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Well Dixon won't be a mainstay with those numbers...It is most likely because Telfair and now Jack are both nursing injuries. This is the big reason that Blake and Dixon are seeing increased minutes and production. Unfortunately with Portland, everyone sucks. And this is coming from on Oregon native that is a lifelong Blazers fan. None of our guys, including Randolph, are very good, especially when compared to other teams who have "stars".

As a result, everyone plays 22 minutes and...I wouldn't want anyone on the Blazers on my fantasy team if I could help it.

As for Khryapa, he's actually pretty decent, but a lot of what he does (hustle plays, screens, tight defense) are things that don't necessarily show up in the box score. On last year's season finale, Kobe Bryant gave Khyrapa props on how well he (Khyrapa) defended him (Bryant). All are young and inexperience....none have superstar potential in my opinion, but all will be mainstays in the league for the next decade as a low level starter or a solid bench reserve.

6:44 PM  
Blogger bv said...

it's true, juan dixon is another player which we have trouble saying no to due to his legendary terp status. but at the same time, let's just say we've learned our lesson with juan. He'll have his share of big games, but he'll also have his share of 1-7 from the field games. his inconsistency - regardless of minutes - makes us shy away from him.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

When do you think would be a good time to pick up Amare Stoudemire? I definitely wanna grab him off the wire before anyone else does, and am willing to sacrifice the inconsistent play of my backup Center for a week or a bit more. What timeframe would you suggest I grab him up? Same for Bonzi Wells, when would you think for him?

Also, can I just say that Chris Kaman is the most annoying fantasy player ever....I have him and he puts up 2 and 3...I drop him and he gets 22 and 22.....*sigh*

12:34 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Well I planned on picking up Amare at the end of this week, but someone beat me to it about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I play in a 12 team H2H league and top 6 go to playoffs. The guy is probably the 5th best team, and since 4 guys don't set lineups he should make I'm frustrated with that.

So I guess it depends if you are playing in a H2H league or in Roto. Either way, he'll be out for another 6 weeks and will likely bring down the value of all the other role players (Diaw, Jones, Bell) on the Suns...which sucks since I own Diaw and love the guy to death.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

So next week isn't too soon to pick him up? I'm endlessly debating and really don't wanna miss him, but also hate the idea of jeopardizing the next six weeks of my team. I'm in a 10-team H2H where the top 6 go to the playoffs, and am in the hunt for one of the last playoff spots. I really don't know...grr.....

9:51 PM  
Blogger bv said...

In our league, Amare was drafted in the 8th round and hasn't been on the waiver wires all year. I'm actually surprised he's available in other leagues, and I'd say, if you've got the roster space, grab him ASAP. This one is all about bench management, especially with the IL gone this year. If you can spare going with one less roster spot (meaning your team is relatively healthy), then there's no reason not to stash him away.

11:40 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Especially if you are in contention. Figure you'll go about 6 weeks without Amare and 8 weeks with him or somethingl like that.

If you had Duncan or Tmac or another first round pick that went down...would you drop them? Didn't think so. The magic of H2H is that you can survive because your team will get less TO's, etc. And when it comes playoff time you'll have an extra first rounder, as I expect Amare to get heathy by fantasy playoff time, if he isn't quite 100% when he first comes back.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

Happy holidays. I'd really like to hear your updated thoughts on Diogu and Granger sometime. I'm ready to give up on Kenyon Martin's knee and start picking up players with potential upside.

11:38 AM  
Blogger bv said...

rook, i'm in a very similar position (in fact, the exact same position). i'll tackle that issue and the artest situation (which we've gotten some questions about as well) later this week.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I'd expect to see Granger get more PT as Artest is moved...depending on whom comes back of course.

Someone in my league has Shaq and Billups and I'll looking at trying to get them for Artest/Stoudamire/Finley (he's a huge Spurs fan)

Hopefully the commish will allow it, since I beat him 6-5-1 last week in H2H. hehe.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Here's a good question. What the heck is up with Desmond Mason? After the Maglore trade people were thinking he'd get 20/7/3 or something like that. Well, all of his numbers have been down. His percentages (drastically), points, rebounds, steals, assists...everything has been lackluster.

Yet, the guy is still getting minutes, especilly of late. Is he worth a pickup and will he break his current funk? I have J.Posey and M.Finley on my team due to the Christmas day games and will likely get either Raja Bell or Nocioni on the waivers with one of them, but is Mason a better pickup than either of the two? His line is not encouraging.

Also, there is a guy in my league that has pretty much given up. What do you think of this trade:

D. Stoudamire + Artest + Finley for Shaq and Billups? The guy is a huge Spurs fan, so he'd probably do it but we have a commissioner who might shoot it down. For the current trade, I included Tinsley on his end, which makes it overwhemingly lopsided towards me..but oh well I guess I'll see what happens.

k, laters.

9:02 PM  

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