Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So, Your Team Stinks

That’s ok, it happens to the best of us. Well, not necessarily the BEST of us, but at least a lot of us. And odds are, if you’ve been reading your FBB this year, your team doesn’t stink all that bad. But still, some things are unavoidable – injuries, Larry Brown, whatever. So maybe you’re stuck in the bottom half of the league. At this point, you can be reckless – you’ve got nothing to lose. So let’s go over a few do’s and don’ts for just how reckless you can be, and some strategy to improve your odds of moving up.

DO hit the waiver wire, frantically. You’ll see a lot of discussion in our comments section about certain guys coming off of big games. Should they picked up? If you’re in the bottom half of your league, the answer is yes – right now. For example, Qyntel Woods, who’s gotten a lot of talk. For a team in contention, he’s a questionable pickup right now, because while he’s playing well now, who knows where he’ll be in the lineup next week. But for a poor team, he should have been grabbed after his big game in Philly on Saturday, and then you would have gotten a very nice game out of him last night. So what if you have to drop him next week? You got at least one or two nice games out of him. These are the kinds of guys you should be grabbing on a near-daily basis. A good spot to check on who was hot last night without going through all the box scores is ESPN’s daily leaders.

DO NOT trade away your top talent for questionable value. Just because you’re in the bottom half of your league, that doesn’t mean you don’t have great talent on your team. Right now in my league, guys like Kobe Bryant, AK-47, and Elton Brand are sitting on poor teams. They should stay there. Taking risks is one thing, but take them in the right spots. The problem with your team isn’t the stud player – it’s the guys surrounding him. Don’t fix what’s working – fix what’s not.

DO take risks on rumors. With the trade deadline coming up, there are going to be plenty of rumors going around. If you’ve got a favorite, then go for it. If you guessed right on Artest and bought him low in the week before he was dealt, you just got a huge bonus for your team. We’ll obviously discuss some of the more credible rumors out there as they come around, but generally, rumors are just smoke and mirrors, and the real deals come out of nowhere – like the Ricky Davis/Wally Szczerbiak deal.

DO NOT be on the “2” side of a “2-for-1” deal. This goes against conventional wisdom, I know. But for bad teams, the problem – more often than not – is depth. Trading away two starters can turn a team with poor depth into a team with bench players in the starting lineup. Obviously, if one of the two that you’re trading is a bench player, then this rule doesn’t apply.

DO consider punting. Hey, why not? Odds are, if you’re at the bottom of the overall standings, you’re at the bottom of one or two categories as well. Pick one, and run with it. It’s time to take a chance – that’s one with little downside if you’re already at the bottom of the standings.

DO NOT have loyalty to the players you drafted. We’ve all got those players that we pegged in the preseason as having a chance to break out this year. And many of them have played well, to be sure, but not well enough to really belong on a roster. I’m guilty of this as well. Early in the year (even during the preseason), I couldn’t stop talking about Charlie Villanueva. I drafted him late, and watched him have a couple huge games early, and continue to tease me throughout the year. And though his averages were pretty decent, I just couldn’t plug him in my lineup, because I just couldn’t trust him, so eventually I let him go. Now, this might be a bad example – Villanueva is exactly the kind of guy a struggling team should be picking up – but the point is there nonetheless. You’re going to be loyal to “your guys,” but your guys are not getting you anywhere – time to look for some new blood.

Finally, DO suggest that you do a keeper league next year. Keeps it interesting for everyone!


Blogger Domo_kuun said...

What do you think of this trade?
I get Brad Miller and Al Harrington, he gets Troy Murphy, Lamar Odom, and Kendrick Perkins.

I hate to get rid of Murphy, especially with his upshoot in rebounds, but I have a huge hole at center after I heard Okafor is out for 5 weeks, leaving Kaman and Perkins as my big men duo. Also, I like Harrington, although he doesn't have the value that a guy like Murphy does. And Odom is a perpetual annoyance with his spotty play and turnovers...whatta ya think?

8:15 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

So here is a good question. Out of these three, who do you expect to have the biggest second half:

Qyntel Woods
Andres Nocioni
Danny Granger

Obviously Woods is a headcase and Brown is rotating lineups like no ones business, but if Qyntel sticks and gets 35 minutes then he could really become a solid player in the second half.

I currently have Nocinoni and I hate the Chicago share-time system...he's only played five minuts in the first half. Will his value decrease. Right now I like the fact that he gives me decent points/boards and gives me threes. It fact, it's very similar to Granger...

Granger, before O'Neal went down (and with the arrival of Peja) I figured he would be a non-factor. Now with O'Neal down, are the Pacers interested in playing Granger at PF?

Anyways, he seems to have done himself pretty nice the last few games, getting double-doubles while providing nice percentages and some threes..

The biggest question I have is should I drop Nocioni for Granger at this point, so should I let it play out some more. It is just frustrating when someone like Nocioni, who can put numbers up, is limited by the minutes

9:21 PM  
Blogger JM said...

I'd go with Granger over Woods.

Nocioni and Granger seem pretty even to me - both very versatile players. This year Nocioni's averaging
12 pts, 5 rebs, 1.3 3's, 1.4 asts, 0.4 stls, 0.8 blks, 1.5 TO, 46%FG, 85%FT

With J.Oneil out for the season, I bet Granger will get similar #'s as Nocioni has, but with slightly less 3's, slightly more rebs, and more steals.

Bulls are definitely frustrating to own, but so can rookies.

So in the end, I like Granger a tiny bit better, and I doubt he'll be available on your waiver wire for much longer...

12:15 AM  
Blogger PR said...

I'd definitely go with Granger...
and Al Jefferson.

12:41 AM  
Anonymous bublitchki said...


Over the past few weeks, Woods has quietly emerged as one of the only reliable offensive options on what's turning out to be a frighteningly bad team. And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, Woods became a Knick at Brown's behest so the coach figures to be more kindly disposed toward him than he might be to some of the other players.

Of course, we all know that Brown is a flake. But if his mental processess have even the faintest resemblance to what most of us would regard as rational human thought, Qyntel should continue to see 30+ minutes a night from here on out if he keeps up his solid play (after all, the fans in the Garden will need something to cheer for).

If that, in fact, turns out to be the case he would be more valuable than either Granger or Nocioni as Woods is eligible at SG while Granger/Nocioni can only be played at forward. And forwards who can give you 7-8 rebounds/gm are hell of a lot more common than SGs who do.

3:23 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

I'm actually banking on Woods. My team does need some threes, and for as crazy as Larry Brown and Woods are, Woods is T-Mac like athletic. I think he could end up being a very good source of points and rebounds, as well as steals and some threes. If he gets 35 minutes, I don't see how he won't be more valuable than these other guys.

I'm starting to like Granger's game...alot, but I'm worried about depth. It seems like Pacers have guys like Foster/Croshure/Pollard/Harrison to occupy the 4/5 and they have Peja to occupy SF, Jackson/Jones at SG and Tinsly/Sarunas/Johnson at PG.

Overall, where does Granger get 20, let along 30-35 minutes? It seems like he should be the starter at PF, but I doubt that that will happen anytime soon.

Argh...I guess I'll wait and see if Nocioni gets more PT in his next game.

Thus right now I have one spot open to grab players off the waivers (two if you count Krstic, but I need someone with PF-C eligibility and Perkins is gone).

Drew Gooden
Al Jefferson
Chucky Atkins
Fred Jones
Danny Granger
Luther Head
Kevin Martin
Kenny Thomas
Jumaine Jones

Obviously slim pickings. Would giving up Nocioni for any of these guys be a smart move. I may not be able to get Gooden off waivers, but the rest of the guys are fair game.

Unfortunately, I didn't get Raja Bell off waivers three months ago (I took James Jones instead...darn it), and I could use some three pointers.

Granger....if he could get 30 minutes, would be ideal with his combination of rebounds/threes for my team....but I just don't know if that is going to happen.

Once again, any help is appreciated. Thx.

4:30 AM  
Blogger T-Plan said...

Dude, if Kenny Thomas is available in your league, go pick him up ASAP. I have been using him for a month and there's no way Adelmann will be able to cut back his minutes regardless of what happens with Shareef.

After Shareef, Brad Miller, and KT, all they have is Brian Skinner and Jamal Sampson. JS hasn't barely seen the court all year and has been mostly on the inactive list. Skinner, well, just isn't very good.

In addition to frequent double-doubles and respectable percentages, KT gets a decent number of steals and has averaged over 3 assists/game as a starter. He has been contributing a lot of energy and has an excellent grasp of the offense. Plus, Shareef still can't eat solid food and likely won't be full speed again until at least March. I think KT keeps the starting gig through the season.

Next best is probably Drew Gooden, but be cautious because Varejao is about to return and there will be 3 guys to share minutes at the 4-spot (also Donyell Marshall). Marshall is the guy who will likely lose minutes at first, but this smells like a platoon to me. Especially with Alan Henderson also vying for minutes.

After those guys, roll the dice between Jefferson, Granger, and Atkins. But careful - the Pacers only have 11 games in the entire month of February! Atkins has the most experience but is small and soft. A lot of experts are enamored with Jefferson, and with the recent trade I can see him getting good minutes. But Granger has the best opportunity as long as O'Neal is out.

5:37 PM  

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