Friday, January 20, 2006

Head-to-Head's Up (1/23-1/29)

Another busy schedule this week. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for 1/23-1/29.

Four Games: New Orleans, Houston, Toronto, New Jersey, LAC, Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, Denver, Utah, Golden State, Phoenix, Sacramento, Memphis, Detroit, Charlotte, Cleveland, Orlando, Philadelphia, Miami, Minnesota.
Three Games: Indiana, San Antonio, Chicago, Washington, Seattle, Dallas, New York, Portland.
Two Games: LAL.

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, with his point and rebound totals already in double figures in a blowout win over the Raptors, Kirilenko spent much of the fourth quarter trying to get the two assists that he needed to record his first career triple-double. When he was just one short, he grabbed an offensive rebound, passed to teammate Devin Brown, and immediately told him to shoot the ball. Brown converted despite defensive pressure, and Kirilenko celebrated with a fist-pump. Brown said after the game, "I had to shoot it regardless because he's up there stat-watching."
…LOL, wouldn't it be great if all your fantasy players were this adamant about filling their stat-line?

You probably don’t need me to tell you that Andrei Kirilenko (20/9/6, 2.8spg, 3.3.bpg in Jan) and Samuel Dalembert (13/11/1, 3.6bpg, 65%FG) have been wicked monsters lately. That said, make sure AK-47 and Slammin’ Sam are in your lineups this week.
As long as he stays healthy, Magic PG Jameer Nelson looks like an everyday starter for the rest of the season. Minutes should not be a concern whether he’s coming off the bench or not. Grant Hill will be lucky to play half of their remaining games, and Steve Francis’s nickname going forward will now be "Migraine," since "Franchise" doesn’t exactly fit the bill anymore.

Plug ‘em in, Plug ‘em in:
Morris Peterson, G/F
– Sharp-shootin’ Mo Pete was never really a flashy fantasy player but he's been rather solid this season. The former Spartan is posting career highs in pts(14.3), rebounds (4.8), threes (1.9), and has come on strong lately. Over his last 11 games he is averaging 16/5/3 with great percentages (50%FG , 87%FT) plus 2.3 treys and a theft per contest. Save for one game in which he was tossed early for pimp-slappin Vince Carter, Mo Pete has logged 40 minutes a night over that span. Peterson has a full schedule coming up and faces some suspect defenses next week (@LAL, @DEN, CHI, @MIL), so don’t be scared to plug him in like a Glade air freshner.

Josh Childress, G/F – Childress has yet to breakout as many of us had hoped, but he is gradually improving his game and contributing consistently off the bench for the lowly Hawks. It wouldn’t hurt if he were a bit more aggressive on offense as his 54% shooting from the floor and 52% from downtown this season are downright nasty. He’s averaging 10/6/2 with 1 spg, 0.7 bpg, 0.7 threes, and great percentages (59%FG, 75%FT) in January. It’s nothing spectacular but he helps you in every category. Three out of four matchups this week against defenses that rank in the bottom half of the league (CLE, PHO, @CHI) will help fill your fantasy boxscores.

Kenyon Martin, PF – I stopped shopping at K-Mart and gave up on the gimpy Nugget about a month ago, but he’s delivered some big numbers recently. Fresh off consecutive double-doubles, he’s averaging 15/11/1 with a steal and a block over his last four games. I still don’t trust him any farther than BV can throw him, but you might as well roll the dice and get him in your lineup for four games this week, especially while Cotton Camby is still out.

Juwan Howard, F"Juwan to buy me a six-piece Chicken McNugget?" How lame was that commercial? I hate to recommend such a softy, but you can’t ignore Howard’s numbers in ’06: 18/9/1 on 48% shooting. He’s obviously reaping the benefits playing on a team without Yao, T-Mac, Stromile, and Derek Anderson, so don’t get too excited. Juwan is about as boring as they come, but he can help out right now if you’re in need.

Bobby Jackson, PG – Damon Stoudamire’s backup has put up pretty decent numbers (14/5/4, 1.9 threes, 1spg) since being inserted into the starting lineup a couple weeks back. He may be listed as a point guard but the 33-year-old hasn’t averaged more than 3.3 assists/game since his rookie season. His value is basically limited to 3-pointers and scoring, but he makes a solid start right now while he is healthy and getting plenty of PT (34 mpg in Jan).

Raymond Felton, PG – He’s started seven games in a row now and is beginning to show a little more consistency. He’s averaging 13/5/4 with a respectable 46%FG and 1 three-pointer a game over that span. Starting SG Kareem Rush has been nursing injuries for about a month now, and Brevin Knight is still in and out of the lineup with back spasms. The former Tar Heel should continue to improve and see plenty of minutes this coming week.

I almost listed SG Kevin Martin here, but he has just been too inconsistent over the last month filling in for Bonzi Wells. Check out this interesting stat though: in Martin’s 13 starts, the Kings have a 5-1 record when he plays 37+ minutes, but are only 2-5 when he logs less than 37 min. Rick Adelman would be wise to get his second-year guard more time on the court.
A couple others you should consider: SG Jamal Crawford - now starting while Marbury is out. C Kendrick Perkins - back in Boston's SLU with Blount soon to be shipped out of town (12.3 pts, 8.3 rbds, 1.3 blks, 68%FG in last 3 starts).


Blogger JM said...

Nice post.
I own two of those guys - Childress and Jackson.
You're dead on about Childress - while he doesn't wow you in any one category (and hence he doesn't get much fantasy hype), he's an ideal guy for the utility spot in a 12-team, 9 category league. The one great stat of his that you shouldn't overlook is his turnovers - avg only 1.2 for the year.

An interesting thing about him is that he was a starter for the first 9 games of the season, but struggled and averaged only 23 min. In the 28 games since then (all coming off the bench) he's averaged 29 min and has played like a top-60 guy. (He's greatly outplayed Josh Smith from a fantasy perspective over that period (mainly due to TO,FG%,FT%,stls)
Childress has gotta be one of the most underappreciated fantasy guys.

As for B.Jackson, overall I've been happy with him since I picked him up off waivers when Stoudamire went down. But, his 39%FG (13 att/game) in that span has made me reluctant to play him every night. Currently, I'm playing him based on matchups.

The other factor is that I'm currently + 9 for my projected games played. I want to play my bench guys (i.e. B.Jackson, Kenny Thomas) while they're hot and getting minutes, but I don't want to get too far ahead in games played. Any advice? Should I continue to play my bench guys while they're playing well (i.e as well as a top 120 guy) and then just figure I'll get some injuries down the stretch that will even it all out??? Otherwise, I could decide not to play them unless they are playing REALLY well (i.e top 80)...

12:21 PM  
Blogger PR said...

I wouldn't worry too much about your projected games at this point. As long as you feel that you're getting quality starts out of those players you should keep starting them while they're hot. Kenny Thomas recorded his first ever triple-double yesterday and has been terrific during Shareef's absence. Coincidentally, SAR returned and played 19 minutes with his jaw wired shut last night, so keep an eye on that situation.

Memphis is actively pursuing other options at point guard, so B-Jax won't have value much longer. Now is the time to have him in your lineup, before they make a trade or sign a Chucky Atkins-type.

Luther Head is another short-term value guy you can plug in. Also, Derek Fisher tonight against Cleveland (Baron Davis suspended for 1 game).
A lot of your team's success depends on these types of "savvy management decisions."

3:52 PM  
Blogger JM said...

Good points.
What do you think of Leandro Barbosa going forward? I had him earlier in the year, and thought he was great. During that 6-game stretch in Nov. (small sample size) he got nice pts, 3's, FG%, Stls, TO. It's not that easy to find a guy who can help you in 5 categories on the waiver wire. In his past 2 games, it's looked like he's back on-track.

Due to their expected declines in playing time, I'm thinking of dropping K.Thomas or B. Jackson to pick up Barbosa. Good idea?

I can't tell if Barbosa is gonna be injury prone the rest of the way.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

Along the same lines: What to do with Boris Diaw, now that Barbosa is back?

I've been using Boris almost the entire season and have obviously been quite pleased with his production. But I'm beginning to fear that he'll wind up part of a three headed rotation with Bell and Barbosa.

If he still gets 35 mpg, he'll be worth hanging on to. But if he drops below the 30 mpg mark, his value decreases considerably. How do you guys think he'll be used going forward.

6:13 PM  
Blogger PR said...

I'm hesitant to offer advice on the situation in Phoenix, but I'll try. I think Boris Diaw's versatility will keep him in a starting role and on the court for 30+ minutes a night, thus maitaining most of his value. Barbosa, on the other hand, may find that much playing time harder to come by. There are only so many minutes to go around on this loaded Phoenix squad, and he has to compete with Bell, Eddie House, and James Jones.
I'd hang on to K. Thomas and B. Jackson for now and wait to see how things shake out.
Both Diaw and Barbosa's numbers will inevitably take a hit with everyone getting healthy and Stoudemire due back in a month or two. Diaw is a good candidate to try to deal right now while his perceived value is still quite high.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Biggs said...

I picked up Bobby Jackson in one of my Leagues - so I'll throw in my two cents about him. Besides the shooting percentage (which has been horrible - about 39%) he's been a pleasant surprise. The assists especially (about 4/game) have been a nice. The fact that Memphis is close to signing Chucky Akins is worrysome, so it is still adviceable to move Jackson if at all possible.

3:44 PM  
Anonymous kayne said...

hey nice post
I'm in a 8 team, 20 slot roster space league. right now im stuck in third on the verge of getting to the 2nd place, but no matter what i do, i can seem to make it past. do you know of any good sleepers i might be missing out on?

6:46 PM  
Blogger Biggs said...

Kayne, it's tough to give you specific advice without knowing the details of your league and team. If you post the dtails of your team and/or league scoring system, that would be a help.

Generally, having a player rating system like Basketball Monster or Fantasyanalyzer is invaluable. Those sites will give you a big heads up on the rest of your league.

Boo-yeah Grandma!

10:35 PM  

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