Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Pacers Redux

We’ve seen this movie before, right? The Pacers, heavily favored to make a major run this year, are instead struggling through injuries and dealing with the repercussions of having a certain crazy small forward. And while this year hasn’t featured any major suspensions, the minor injuries and illnesses combined with the hemming and hawing of GM Donnie Walsh has opened the door for some bench players just like last year. So with Jermaine O’Neal out for a little while with pneumonia, and Jamaal Tinsley being himself, the door is wide open right now … so let’s take a look at these bench players and see who can help your fantasy team in the short term.

Fred Jones, SG – Jones was one of the major benefactors of the brouhaha in Detroit last year. And so far this year, he’s shown that he’s still capable of putting up decent numbers when he’s getting minutes. The last two games have been two of his best this year, as he’s put up 23/3.5/5.5 with 2.5 threes, and he’s probably being picked up off of waiver wires as we speak. However, just because he gets minutes doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to have value. In games where he gets over 30 mpg this year, his averages are surprisingly low: 12.7/3.1/3.2 with 1.3 threes and 0.8 steals – not exactly setting the world on fire. Jones will have his moments, but he’ll also be incredibly inconsistent. Let someone else have him.

Sarunas Jasikevicius, PG – He’s an FBB fave, an ex-Terp who’s a 29-year-old rookie and he plays with fire. He’s also ready to show that he can be a consistent contributor to your fantasy team. Last night was a great showing for Sarunas, as he put up 20 points, 3 3’s, and shot a perfect 7-7 from the line. The best part is, that could keep happening. He’s a deadly long-range shooter, has put up 90% from the line so far this year, and that alone bodes well for his fantasy value. If O’Neal and Tinsley are both out for an extended period, Jasikevicius will be look upon for scoring, and I think he could be a real fantasy force, something like Chauncey Billups before he blew up this year – around 16 and 5 while contributing in threes, FT%, and steals. Go get him.

David Harrison, C – Harrison had a chance to really make a mark last year as a rookie, but just wasn’t able to take advantage of the opportunity. This year he’s struggled with back injuries and an abdominal strain, which doesn’t sound very pleasant. He split minutes with Jeff Foster last night, and I don’t expect him to do anything to change that fact. Centers can be tempting, but you should shy away from Harrison.

Danny Granger, F – For some reason, everybody loves Danny, but I’m just not seeing it. His per 35 minute averages are around 9/7/1.5 with a steal and a block. That’s not going to get you on to any fantasy teams. He’s shooting 41% from the field and just 18% from the arc, and I’m extremely skeptical. I wouldn’t get anywhere near him until he really gets going.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey guys off topic but who would you rather, kyle korver or eddie jones? i think korver gives you more 3s, whilst jones is no slouch in that dept + he gives you steals. korver from wat i know contributes more in the other cats tho. so wats the verdict?

8:51 PM  
Blogger Biggs said...

I think your pretty right on. Jones and Korver are about as similar players as you'll find this year. Last time I checked, they were pretty much in the same spot on various player raters (40-50th) with Jones being ranked a bit higher than Korver. But, personally, I'd rather have Korver only because he seems to be trending up in the past few weeks and he's a hell of a lot younger than Jones.

11:27 PM  
Blogger DM said...

Both are very solid, extremely underrated fantasy commodities. People are down on Korver this season, but I'm not sure why. He's not hitting quite as many 3s (2.8 down to 2.4), but he was up to 3.1 in December, so that number will be fine. His steals are a bit down (1.3 to 1.0), but he's shooting 47%, which is outstanding. That should come down, but because he plays on Philly he sees 35.4 mpg, so that will always keep his numbers up. And he's proven to be very durable, as well. Basically he's dominant in 3s and helps you break even everywhere else. It's always nice to have one or two guys like this on your team.

Eddie Jones is having a nice bounceback year, and could be in for a few more minutes and increased offensive responsibility with Damon Stoudamire out. Tonight's 23/5/4, 4 steal, 4 3s, 1 block on 8-of-16 shooting outing was a thing of absolute beauty, but it did come with Mike Miller out. Jones is averaging his most steals since the 00-01 season, so you have to think he could drop off, but Memphis plays an aggressive defense. His crappy shooting won't change, though.

Basically, they are pretty equal, but Korver's got more assured PT and just gets the slight edge.

11:37 PM  
Blogger DM said...

Heh, well said Biggs. Much more concise!

11:38 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

Here's another one for you; only slightly more on-topic than the last query:

Just picked up Delonte West (after re-dropping the dreaded Eddie Griffin, BTW) whose in the middle of a nice little run. I was thinking I'd hang on to him as he seems to be taking on a bigger role in the Celts offense. But another owner just released Sarunas so now I'm wondering whether or not he'd be preferable to West.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Well with Sarunas you have to know what you'll get. We know Tinsley will continue to struggle with injuries...we've already seen it a few times this year. This will give PT for him and Johnson. If Sarunas starts then he'll have good value in threes, percentages, assists, steals and all the PG stats.

But, if he splits time or comes off the bench, then he is only good for threes and hasn't even done that well lately until the last game.

I'd probably stick with West as he is the true starter on the team and helps with rebounds and blocks in addition to assists/threes/points, ect.

Alternatively, in my really deep league, I just picked up Rafer Alston again (dropped Eddie Griffin...fool me once, shame on you), who (if he stays healthy) could still have a good year. He struggled at first but his numbers were good tonight. Also, with Houston being injury plaged and the possibility of players like Yao, DA and maybe McGrady missing time in the future, Alston could see his role increased. In the wake of the Stoudamre injury, I'm looking to him and Bobby Jax for some solid production.

1:33 AM  

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