Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When Minutes aren’t Enough

It’s no secret that here at FBB, our favorite stat isn’t points, assists, or even blocks. It’s minutes. The only way your players are going to help you win are when they’re in the game. And usually, the players getting the most minutes are among the most valuable players in fantasy. Case in point: Ricky Davis is seeing the second-most minutes per game in the league, and is responding with his best statistical year since ’02-’03. Even a marginal player like PJ Brown has some value while seeing 34.7 mpg like he is right now.

Still, sometimes players are so bad, that even when they get over 25-30 mpg, they’re still of no use to your fantasy team. So as much as we preach watching the minutes column in the box scores, here are some traps that you shouldn’t fall in to. In fact, we’ll even make a “starting” five out of them:

PG: Eric Snow, CLE – Snow might technically be a point guard, but in Cleveland, it’s tough to handle the ball much with LeBron and Larry Hughes hanging around. So it’s no surprise that Snow has no fantasy value despite getting 27 minutes per game. He’s yet to score in double digits this year, and last Friday against New Jersey he managed to not take a shot in thirty minutes of play. This isn’t really a knock on Snow – he’s just playing the system. But still, he’s got no fantasy value whatsoever.

SG: DeShawn Stevenson, ORL – Stevenson is one of those guys who’s just a letdown in every category. He’s not necessarily BAD anywhere, but he won’t help you anywhere either. His 12.8 points are okay, but the 3.6 boards, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals and zero threes, to go with so-so percentages, are all too low to help your fantasy team.

SF: Bruce Bowen, SA – Bowen might be a defensive stopper, but unless that “stopping” includes a bunch of steals or blocks, that means nothing to your fantasy team. Bowen is extra dangerous because NBA announcers are in love with him – it’s like word got out that he’s a good defender, and now that’s all that the color commentators can talk about. Still, Bruce does his 1.6 threes per game, and manages one steal, but in 35 minutes, you’d expect more than 8.2/3.5/1.7. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get any more from that, as those numbers are right in line with what he’s done the last few years.

PF: Austin Croshere, IND – Remember that one time when Austin Croshere was supposed to be really good, so he got that huge contract extension from the Pacers? Yeah, well, that turned out to be a not-so-good idea. After struggling with injuries and a lack of playing time for a few seasons, Croshere has been a fixture in the Pacers rotation for the past year, seeing 25 mpg last year and 27 so far this year. Not that anyone’s noticed. Despite nice FT% (92%) and rebounds (6.9), he’s helpful nowhere else unless you are really desperate for three’s … and I mean REALLY desperate.

C: Jason Collins, NJ – Getting 27 minutes per game and having no fantasy value whatsoever is quite a feat. But having those minutes and having no value despite qualifying at center is downright incredible. Collins is our MVP (LVP?) of minutes-wasters, as this year he’s taken his stink-dom to new levels. Despite being useless last year, this year has been even worse, as his per-48-minute averages for points and boards are down, he free-throw shooting is at 42.9% (I wish I was making that up), and despite being seven feet tall he’s got only 0.2 blocks per game. Granted, he’s been hurt, but that’s no excuse. For shame, Jason Collins.

On a side note, in second place for centers is Jason’s twin brother, Jarron, in Utah. Must be something in the blood.


Blogger MKD said...

Bah! I watched Jarron and Jason play in college dozens of times. Both (especially Jason) are talented offensive centers whose skills haven't, for some reason, translated to the pro game. I blame the coaches. Ditto, Curtis Borchardt.

4:47 PM  
Blogger DM said...

Yeah, well we watched Lonny Baxter play a lot and, well, y'know.

The Collinses seem to be playing at about 65% speed compared to everyone else.

Borchardt is at about 18% speed.

6:37 PM  
Blogger necesito_dinero said...

I wish Iguodala would produce a little more considering how many minutes he plays.

10:24 AM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

Need some input here...Danny Granger seems to be a hot pickup right now given that he's athletic and will see more minutes. Would you drop Crawford, Donyell Marshall, Villanueva, or Mourning for him? I've sorta narrowed down to Crawford if anyone, possible Marshall since he could get lost in the pool of talent in Cleveland. Then again I know next to nothing about Granger. Thoughts?

11:45 AM  
Blogger DM said...

As a general rule I don't like rookies. There are obvious exceptions, but I like to have a bit of a track record to go on. So I'm not too high on Granger. And look at last night's game -- no Artest, Croshere or Tinsley and he still saw just 12 minutes. Artest is going to be dealt and you have to think they are going to get a swingman type in return. Granger is one of those long-armed, active players that could give you at least a steal and a block per game if given the shot, I just don't see him getting that shot on a regular basis any time soon.

12:02 PM  

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