Friday, February 03, 2006

Head-to-Head's Up (2/6-2/12)

The NBA’s last full week before the All-Star Break. Here’s a look at 2/6-2/12.

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

Plug ‘em in, Plug ‘em in:
Kenyon Martin, PF – K-Mart has recovered from bankruptcy and is back in business! 18/9/1, 1.2stls, 1.4blks, 51%FG, 80%FT over his last 10 games. Those are the elusive numbers that his owners were expecting when they drafted Martin. It’s hard to blame those (myself included) that gave up on him before his recent surge, but he is paying dividends for those who were willing to take a chance on him. Camby’s return may cut into his numbers slightly, but as frail as they’ve both been, there’s no telling how long either will remain healthy. K-Mart is a must-start right now and he has four great matchups next week (@GS, CHI, DAL, @SEA).

Mark Blount, C – Blount has always been more shwag than dank as far as big men go, but his change of address may be exactly what he needed. Eddie Griffin is currently starting at center for the Timberwolves, but Blount has been coming off the bench and outplaying him the last three games (14/7/1, 1stl, 2blks, 68%FG). Mark should find himself in the starting lineup in no time. He is a smart play this week with some friendly matchups (@PHO, CLE, UTA, NOK).

Bobby Simmons, G/F – He has been disappointing this season for sure, but the former Wizard has turned it up lately for a Milwaukee team dealing with some injuries. Yet another swingman to add to DM’s list, Simmons has put up 17/4/2 and over 2 rainmakers a night on 57% shooting the last two weeks. You gotta play the hot hand with four games coming up next week.

Jamaal Magloire, C – Magloire is a consistent (yawn) fantasy producer at the five, but he is still killing his owners with atrocious foul shooting this season (54%). It’s hard to explain the sudden drop this year; maybe it has something to do with his new environment/too much Milwaukee’s Best Ice or something. Perhaps all he needs is a new nickname to help elevate his unexciting play and FT%. J-Mag? Jam Master Mags? Jam ‘Lore? Sorry, I’ll stop that now. The FT% is less of a drag in H2H leagues, plus his 11/13/1 and a swat per game over his last seven have been nice. Jammin’ Jamaal (YES!) will be a solid contributor with four contests this week.

Chucky Atkins, PG – How many grown men do you know named "Chucky"? Most of us hear the name and think either, "psycho homicidal doll" or "giant rat that serves up pizza and tokens to kids." Well this Chucky, after being dumped by Washington, was picked up by Memphis and handed a starting gig as the team’s floor leader. Atkins has scored 37 total points and hit 5 from behind the arc in his first two starts for the Grizzlies. He seems to be the answer they’ve been looking for ever since Stoudamire went down with a season ending injury. Bobby Jackson had a decent run as a starter, but now returns to the bench. Atkins is an excellent pickup right now, especially if you’re looking for some 3-point help. Plug him into your lineups with confidence this week.

Andris Biedrins, F/C – 12/8.5/2.5 over last two games. The 19 year-old Latvian has gotten more minutes than Foyle and Diogu combined over that span. Warriors do hit the hardwood four times next week, so if you're desperate at center or if you're feelin' lucky you could take a shot with him.

Could be some tough decisions to make regarding studs listed as "day-to-day." Do you bench AI (sprained ankle)? J-Rich (back)? Camby (strained shoulder)? Well it depends on the updated injury reports of course, and what your other options are. I would probably NOT start John Salmons over Iverson, because if AI were to return you’d really get burned. But a Bobby Simmons-type, who is already scheduled for an extra game (4 games rather than 3 or less) and is guaranteed playing time, would be a much safer bet.
You also have to take a look at your H2H opponent and see where their strengths/weaknesses are. If you see that your opponent is starting 4 centers (who will block plenty of shots) and you only have two shot blockers on your entire roster, you probably want to consider punting the category in order to ensure winning FT%, pts, assists, threes, stls, etc. So the whole idea of ‘punting’ or forfeiting a particular category can be a regular strategy that may change from week-to-week depending on your H2H matchup.

Other notes:
Chandler = BIG second half
Jefferson > Perkins… worth the risk, especially if you got a lot of ground to make up in your league (like me).

Who are your picks for breakout candidates the second-half of the season?


Blogger JM said...

2nd half breakout candidates:
T.Chandler - has already begun to break out. needs to stay healthy to maintain it.

A.Jefferson - if he can improve his defense enough for Doc to trust him. Also needs to limit his fouls

K.Perkins - Needs to limit his fouls so he gets 30 min/game

D.Granger - He has the most diverse skill set of anyone on this list. But he needs the rest of Pacers to continue their injury-proneness (Croshere,Jackson,Foster haven't been models of health this year).

E.Watson - Depends if he gets traded to a situation where he'd get 30 min/game. (As a Ridnour owner, I pray he doesn't go to Seattle and kill both their values)

D.Miles - Not too optimistic about him, since Blazers have played SOOO much better since he went out, I doubt they'll give him as many minutes as was getting pre-injury.

S.Livingston - Only if Cassell were to break down (He is 36 remember.)

J.Childress - I already think he's solid, but he should get even better if Hawks can trade A.Harrington.

L.Ridnour - He's already started to bust-out the last couple weeks. Just hope they don't add another good pg to the roster.

Others possibilities:

12:23 PM  
Blogger JM said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:00 PM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

The only guys I agree with on the list above are Chandler, Granger, Watson, and Chucky.

Ridnour is solid and simply had a slump, but his upside is limited either way.

I think Kirk Hinrich takes it to another level from here out. I'm also a big fan of Robert Swift and A. Biedrins to lay down some action for us.

Trades will play a big part in this stuff. Does Golden State finally trade away Dunleavy and let Pietrus run? They should.

Watch out for Zaza Pachulia. He has been coming on lately and playing like he did in Preseason. I chalk up his first half inconsistency to 2 things: jitters and an inconsistent rotation in Atlanta. He will play as many minutes as his foul situation allows each night, and could be a top 60 player if he keeps it up. In Preseason, he was a top 40 player, but I realize those stats are skewed because super-studs barely play in meaningless games.

And everybody's hate-target Carlos Boozer will be solid but unspectacular if he can get his act together and hit the floor. That will take away some from Okur, so you might want to consider selling high if you own him. We all know AK47 is the man there.

I'll keep thinking and post again later if I think of more.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Two things: How do you feel about fielding only two C eligible players?

Currently, I have B.Miller/Dalembert/Krstic in 12-team, 14-player Yahoo! league, where we start two centers each night. I've found Krstic's PF/C eligibility to be extremely valuable at times.

However, my team is based on production, and Krstic doesn't always get it done. If I go for a guy like Granger or Atkins, would that make it difficult for my team?

Also, with "minutes" being a category in my league, I'm probably the biggest fan of that statistic here. But, I have Nocioni on my bench, and Chicago is frustrating.

Are any of the following players worth usurping Nocioni's or Krstic's spot at the end of my roster? I'm looking for a boost in threes, maybe rebounds and blocks are always nice to add.


All of these guys are question marks in my opinion, as they could split time with the people in front or behind them. Granger deserves to be the starter in place of O'Neal, and Indiana should field a lineup of Tinsley/Jackson/Peja/Granger/Foster, but oh well.

I like Granger, as a player, the best of these, but have been playing with the thought of Atkins. I drafted Jefferson, but he doesn't have C elibigility (but Swift doesn't have PF either) .

To make matters worse, Krstic has actually been playing pretty decently lately too, making it difficult to drop him when he puts up 18/6 and the like.

Any thoughts would really be appreciated, as I'm trying to fine tune my team and I don't want to drop anyone that I shouldn't.

Yahoo ranks Nocioni way too high, but it still makes me think that he could break out of his current slump...

overall, what do ya think?


2:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Przybilla- crossing my fingers that Ratliff gets traded. Or injured. works either way
either Josh Smith or Childress
Eddy Curry- he busts out every year after the all star break

2:15 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

What about Juan Dixon as a breakout guy? Look at his January statistics: 18.7 PPG, 3.5 AST, 2.4 REB, 1.5 STL, 1.3 3PTM, 50.2% FG, 83% FT.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Charlie said...

Do you guys trust Danny Granger to start for my team this coming week vs. Portland, GS, and San Antonio (all at home)? My other options are Pachulia vs. DET @SEA @SAC, Qyntel Woods vs, LAC, @NJ, @NO, @HOU , and Felton vs. SEA PHI, TOR, @MIL. Ayudeme!

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Very useful article. My team is stacked, so I currently have a very comfortable lead in my H2H league. I can afford to ride out injuries and also take some risks on guys with lots of upside. I've already picked up Granger and he's played pretty well, but I've got him on a short leash because I am worried about O'Neal returning during the fantasy playoffs.

Now I'm trying to figure out what to do with Jason Williams. It's a daily league so he can be useful, but it's still difficult to know when to play him. With his latest injury, he doesn't have much trade value so I'm not sure what to do. Is he cuttable in a pretty shallow league? Waiver wire options include Childress, Simmons, Atkins, Miles, Dunleavy, Jefferson, Pachulia, and Juwan Howard.

Jeremy: I would not drop Krstic. He can be frustrating to own, but Miller's going to miss a few more games so you'll need him. As far as the other options on the wire, it would be hard for me not to pick up Granger. Nocioni has been effective when he's in the game, but he has a tendency to pick up quick fouls and he is of course subjected to the whims of Scott Skiles. Granger is a somewhat risky pickup, but he has the talent to contribute across the board.

Charlie: Depending on the rest of your team, I would start either Woods or Felton. As much as I like Granger, they are two of the hottest hands in the league and I'd probably take a chance on one of them with their 4-game weeks.

2:30 PM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

Completely agree with Andy on the Krstic comment - definitely don't drop him for some questionable guys who've had a few good games. He gets better late in the year.

RE: Jason Williams, none of the remaining FAs that you listed are anywhere near in value to him on that loaded Miami squad. I purposely stayed away from him this year, because I owned him last season and he was always dinged up. Plus, with Gary Payton and Gerald Fitch behind him (and Wade capable of running the point), the team has no reason to play him unless he is 100% healthy.

Does anyone know what happened to Wade in the game last night? I saw him being taken to the locker room and didn't catch the whole game since it was a massacre.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It has been noted that Darius Miles will be back for the first game after the All Star break. If he's on the waiver wire, I think he's a pretty solid pickup. He was having a great year before this injury setback. I'm hoping he continues where he left off, if he does, I like where I'm sitting!

3:42 PM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

I agree - Darius Miles can be helpful. But he will kill you in FT%, because he gets to the line a lot. I had him last season and he actually had a 2-16 game! Scary . . .

But the boards, steals, assists, and blocks, in addition to his newfound ability to score in bunches, have a definite value. However, be sure you can compensate with stud FT% guys or just punt that category.

5:32 PM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

What do you guys think of the Davis/Rose trade from today?

Who other than Bosh/James/Peterson will see a spike in value?

I think it's a terrible trade for New York. What are they doing? Trading away cap relief for a whiny swing man and a draft pick?

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

The worry I have with Miles is whether the knee surgery will affect his athleticism for the rest of this season. He has to have his quickness and leaping ability to be valuable because that's how he gets to the basket and racks up the defensive stats. Add in the horrific FT% and I think he's a high-risk high-reward type of guy right now.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

As if the Knicks situation wasn't confusing enough... they go out and acquire another shot-happy swingman in the person of Jalen Rose in exchange for Antonio Davis.

Now, I know that trying to predict Larry Brown's rotations is about as easy as herding cats but what do you think the ramifications of this deal are? Crawford's already marginal value probably takes a hit. How about Qyntel Woods?

And who is the likely candidate to fill Davis' shoes at the 4? Frye? Lee? Or does Larry play Malik at the 4 and Jalen at the 3 just so he can claim the NBA's first all-Rose frontcourt?

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

t-plan, you would think the Knicks who would benefit from the trade would be Mo Taylor and Channing Frye. Both players' value will probably rise slightly, but it's still impossible to predict how many minutes they'll get on a given night. Frye has value, especially in leagues where he has C eligibility, but Taylor is borderline even when starting unless he starts getting 30+ minutes consistently.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Frye's value definately goes up.

What hurts is that I was hoping/banking on Woods to become a decent player in his own right, and I think that this might just about squash it, although I guess Larry might play Woods more than Rose if he likes him more. Obviously the Knicks aren't going to the playoffs and wanted some cap relief.

argh...another spot on my bench may be opening sooner than planned.

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Adam said...

Jalen Rose just got shipped out of Toronto for Antonio Davis. Charlie V started, do you think he'll continue to with Davis in town?

9:08 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

Hard to say about Charlie V.

Mitchell is nearly as batshit crazy as his counterpart in NYC, Larry Brown. The move could be seen as one intended to open up more playing time for Villanueva, but who knows?

Bosh is the only sure bet on the entire Toronto squad.

9:44 PM  
Blogger bv said...

bublitchi, i'm with ya.

Here's my quickie take on today's trade. Was there ever any doubt that Jalen Rose would go to the Knicks? I mean, he needs the ball in his hands just like every other Knick, he's overpaid with a long deal just like every other Knick, and he's had his head-case moments, like a lot of other Knicks.

From a fantasy perspective, gosh I hope CV gets more minutes, but i'd doubt it. I mean, Sam Mitchell is totally impossible to predict - the only Raps with safe value are Mike James and Chris Bosh. Until proven otherwise, that stays the way it is.

In New York, just another guy to take minutes in the 2/3 with Crawford, the 2 Q's, Lee, and Ariza. All of 'em take a hit.

9:49 PM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...

Well, looks like those of us who just took a speculative flyer on Qyntel Woods will soon have our worst fears realized.

From tonight's AP account of the Knicks/Raptors game:

"Even though the New York Knicks lost again, Larry Brown thinks they gained something Friday night... Brown said Rose will fill a need at small forward, a weakness for the Knicks all season."

Translation: Qyntel Woods will soon be returning to fantasy purgatory (that is if one takes Larry Brown at his word - admittedly a dicey proposition).

I'll hang on to Qyntel for another game or two and see how this all plays out before I send him packing in exchange for my pick for Second Half Breakout Candidate: Raymond Felton (nice segue back to the main thread topic, huh)

In the wake of all the Charlotte injuries, Felton has finally gotten regular minutes and he's really responded. Over the past 2 weeks, he's averaged 12.7/4.3/7.3 w/1 3pm, 2 stls, 1.8 TOs on 41% shooting. That's pretty damn close to the kind of numbers that his former ACC rival Chris Paul has been putting up. And there's little reason to think that he won't continue to do so if he keeps getting starter's minutes.

Certainly the indications are good that he will. Earlier in the season, Bickerstaff seemed reluctant to play Felton alongside Brevin Knight. However, the two have played together over the past few games, and with pretty promising results. Certainly Felton's recent production will make it difficult for Bickerstaff to bench Felton once the very ordinary Kareem Rush returns from injury.

Right now, Felton doesn't seem to be on too many owners' radar screens (he's currently sitting on my league's waiver wire) But a few more games like the ones he's been having, he'll start showing up on all those "Hot Pickup" lists. But by then it will be too late.

1:13 AM  

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