Friday, December 30, 2005

Weekend Preview (12/30–1/1)

Ah, a new year. Resolutions, champagne, and – of course – reflecting on your fantasy basketball team’s first two months! And while most folks talk about shedding pounds, you should also be thinking about shedding the dead weight from your fantasy squad. One of the toughest things to do in fantasy sports is getting rid of those marginal players on your fantasy squad and clearing space for those waiver wire pickups that could really take your team to the next level. Let’s go over some of the guys that, come the new year, could – or should - be hitting the waiver wire.

Kenyon Martin, F, Den
The time is now for K-Mart. I received him as a throw-in in a trade about a month ago, and I haven’t been able to get him into the starting lineup yet. His numbers are down across the board this year, but that’s mostly due to his lingering knee problems that have forced him to miss 10 games so far this year and kept his minutes per game down as well. Now that Marcus Camby is out for a little while, though, Martin will be counted on to contribute heavily to the Nuggets rotation.

Last night was probably a pretty good predictor of what will happen for Martin over the coming weeks. He tweaked his knee early, but stayed in the contest and put together his best game in two weeks. Martin’s true value comes from his defensive numbers, where any player that gets a steal and a block has decent fantasy value. If he stays on the floor long enough, he’ll manage to return to his career averages in those numbers, and last night was a very encouraging sign. I was all ready to dump Martin, but the fact that he stayed in during last night’s game has given me pause, and should do the same for you. The Nuggets host San Antonio on Saturday, and if Martin plays 30+ minutes again, I’ll put him in my starting lineup. If he’s out, or re-injures himself during the contest, he’ll be waiver-wire fodder by Monday.

Antoine Walker
Ugh. Damn you, Antoine Walker! He was sitting there in the 12th round of my draft, so I took him and just hoped he wouldn’t end up doing exactly what he’s doing right now. You can’t start him. He’s still killer in FT% and his limited minutes and limited role in the offense have driven his overall number down to marginal territory. But when you look at his averages, he’s putting up 12.1/5.6/2.4 with 1.7 3’s and OK defensive stats. Can you drop a guy like that? Eventually, you have to. His last three games have given me encouragement that I can drop him and not see him blow up, as he’s put up just 5.6/2.1 the past week. It’s not often that you hope to see one of your fantasy players struggle, but that’s what I’ll be doing for Antoine tonight at Washington and Sunday at home against Minnesota.

Bobby Simmons
As much as it pains us to say it, this FBB favorite might be ready to hit the waiver wires himself. Despite seeing numbers similar to his breakout season with the Clippers last year, B-Sims has struggled mightily for the Bucks. His numbers are down across the board, and now he’s struggling to maintain any fantasy value whatsoever. His December numbers are particularly concerning – 9.1/3.4/2.1 with 1.2 steals, 0.5 3’s and under 40% from the floor. Sure, he’s had to deal with a shoulder injury, but averages like that with over 30 mpg are pretty bad. Those numbers don’t belong on any fantasy team.

Still, Simmons will have a chance to improve over the next few games. With TJ Ford out, Mo Williams becomes the point guard and the scoring onus will have to fall somewhere. Hopefully, it will fall on Simmons. However, if he doesn’t perform well over the next week – starting tonight against the Knicks - it might be time to cut loose.

Game of the Week(end)
Golden State Warriors
at Dallas Mavericks, Friday, 8:30 PM EST
With all the talk about Ike Diogu and Adonal Foyle lately (and a little talk about our favorite Warrior big man, Andris Biedrins), how about a fast-paced, high-scoring game involving the Warriors for our game of the week(end)? Everybody’s got their own opinions about Diogu, but the only way to see who’s right is to see the game. My guess? He’ll be on the waiver wires by Monday. The only places he’s contributing right now is points and FG%, but he is absolutely killer in every other category. His last game was a total dud, with more fouls (6) than boards, blocks, and assists – combined. Yikes.

Meanwhile, in Dallas, the unquestioned 3rd best team in the league (for what it’s worth) has seen the return of official FBB Least-Favorite Jerry Stackhouse. And while he probably won’t do enough on his own to create fantasy value for himself, his return will mean less points and minutes for all those Mavs swingmen, like Josh Howard, Marquis Daniels, and Keith Van Horn. If Daniels and Van Horn return from their various woes tonight, it will be interesting to see how the minutes shake out.


Blogger Domo_kuun said...

What's the extent of Brevin Knight's ankle injury? Is he going to miss tonight's game? I'd like to put him in my lineup, but I really can't afford to if he's not gonna play....

3:37 PM  
Blogger PR said...

Reportedly Brevin should be ready to go tonight. He makes a good start against the Suns in what should be a high scoring affair. Also, keep in mind SG Kareem Rush is supposed to return to action as well, so there will be fewer minutes to around between Knight, Felton, and Rush. I'd go ahead and plug him in though.

3:57 PM  
Blogger DM said...

I'm sketpical of Brevin being able to go, but he said he wants to play 80 games this year and he's already missed two, so...

But those sprained ankles are tough. That said, a matchup with the Suns combined with the way he's been playing lately is too good to pass up. I've got him in my lineup ready to go, but the Charlotte paper listed Felton/Rush as the probable starting backcourt, so we shall see...

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

assuming Bobby jackson stays healthy for awhile, do you guys think he'll be more consistent than Damon Stoudamire as the startin PG?

1:07 AM  
Blogger DM said...

Not sure if he'll be more consistent, but he's certainly worth picking up to find out. I nabbed him last night, I'll tell you that. I'll write more about him and the situation in Memphis in the next PG column, but Jackson is more of a SG than PG. He's not a huge assist guy, but he can be a really explosive scorer and can hit 3s in bunches. But he just can't stay healthy. He's played in 59-50-25 games the past three years. But since Antonio Burks is the only other PG on the roster, B-Jax better do his best to get over the injury bug.

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone is offering me TMac+Eddie Curry for Lebron.

T&E just came back from injury. If Eddie is really performing in second half of the season, it may be a good deal

Any suggestions?

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Hey guys, a guy in my league just dropped K-Mart. I've got Luol Deng and Marko Jaric that I can drop for him. Should I go for it?

11:11 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

Re: T-Mac/Curry for LeBron

I'd stand pat with LeBron, who I think will emerge as the consensus #1 fantasy player by year's end. Now that he's getting adjusted to all the new players around him, his rebounds, assists and steals are back up to where they should be. That, along with his greatly improved FG% and 3pm make him a one of a kind player.

While T-Mac arguably is just a cut below, you never know how he'll respond if Houston's season winds up in the toilet. He may just decide to shut it down like he did in Orlando a few years back.

As for Eddy Curry, I can sum up my doubts about him in just these two words:

Larry. Brown.

2:58 AM  
Blogger DM said...

Yeah, reject that trade right now if you haven't already. Tracy's a fantasy stud, but LeBron is THE fantasy stud and he's starting to show a real separation between himself and the rest of the league. Remember KG's most dominant years, when he was like 1.5 times better than the next best player? That's where LeBron's headed. And Curry is nowhere near enough to make up the difference.

As for K-Mart, Deng, Jaric ... that's all about what your team needs are. They all have their questions, obviously. I'm starting to really like Deng, but he's got that SF "curse" in that he gets less than 1 3/block/steal per game. Jaric is extremely frustrating, but he's top 10 in the league in steals and Hudson is hurting. BV said all you need to know about K-Mart a few days ago.

11:10 AM  
Blogger bv said...

I'd pick up K-Mart after last night performance. It was enough to convince me to put him in my starting lineup, as he played about 30 minutes and I haven't seen anything about him hurting himself.

Also, how about stupid antoine walker continuing to ruin my fantasy team? After his huge game friday, i certainly can't drop him. but still ...

12:34 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

BV, I believe that for every fantasy basketball owner, there is also one player who was put on this earth for the express purpose of making said owner's life a living hell.

For you, that player seems to be Antoine Walker. As for me, I've got TWO players who constantly make me wish I'd taken up Canasta as a hobby instead. Those players? Eddie Griffin & Stromile Swift.

By now, many of you are no doubt familiar with my travails involving these two. For the rest, a brief recap:

I draft Stro high (in the 5th round) because of his new team and C eligibility, hang onto him through many a woebegotten week and finally drop him a few weeks back. Eddie, in the meantime, has hired his own private shuttle service to help him manage the frequent trips between my roster and the waiver wire.

Fast forward to last Wednesday: With Yao and Olowakandi out, both Stro and Eddie receive significant minutes and post monster games. Both are sitting on the waiver wire. Who to pick up? Seduced yet again by his unique combo of blocks, threes and boards, I go with Eddie...

Well, we all know what's gone down since then. Casey plays Eddie for his usual 15 minutes in the next game while Stro follows up his breakout game with a 17 pt/13 rebound effort against Golden State. Of course, when I revisit the waiver wire to remedy the situation, I find Stro long gone - snatched by my upcoming opponent in the H2H league I'm in.

Gotta go; I'm off to RiteAid to pick up my prescription of cyanide pills.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am giving Eddie griffin one more chance to stay on my roster with tonight's game, Olowokandi might be back tonight so we'll see what Eddie's fate is for the near future. I'm in the process of trying to pickup Swift, he was dropped by his owner the morning of his first big game. Do you guys think Stro finally got it? anyone watched any of the last two games??

3:32 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

Tell me....would I be crazy to dump Caron Butler for Chris Kaman? The thing is, my starting G is Ricky Davis, who can always sub at F. Also, my centers are Okafor and Amare, and while Okafor'll be back soon, Amare still has a ways to go. It seems like the drop in talent going from Butler to Kaman might be worth it for the play at Center I'll get. What do you guys think?

10:51 PM  
Blogger bv said...

yeah, i think you'd be crazy to do that. In that sort of situation, you're much better off trying to trade Butler for a C of better value than Kaman. Offer some deals around. You should never drop a guy who can start on most fantasy squads - you should always use him as trade bait instead.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

Who particularly should I try to trade him for? Who is of a similar value?

12:58 AM  
Blogger bv said...

A good way to figure that out is to go to a player rater like or ESPN and find butler on the overall rankings. Then, start moving down the list and find guys that are overall less valuable than butler (because C eligibility adds value that doesn't show up on the rankings). Those are generall good guys to target.

Another good option is to find a guy in your league with an extra C or two and see if you can work a deal with him.

11:00 AM  

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