Friday, March 03, 2006

Head-to-Head's Up (3/6-3/12)

We’ve got about seven weeks left in the NBA season, but if you’re getting antsy for March Madness or Baseball or just want to read about former NFL running back Lawrence Phillips’ latest escapades, please stop by Sports Troopers when you have a moment to join the fun.

As for the NBA, I think I got some good plug-ins for you next week 3/6-3/12. Let me know what you think.

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

Plug ‘em in, Plug ‘em in:
Nazr Mohammed, C – After his inspired performance in last year’s playoffs many expected a bigger role for Mohammed this season. It took some time, but Nazr has finally supplanted EuroCenter Rasho Nesterovic in San Antonio’s starting lineup. Can you believe that 7-ft Rasho had only one game with 10 rebounds all season before losing his starting job? Meanwhile, Mohammed is averaging 11pts and 9 rebounds over his last six games including two double-doubles and a 20-rebound performance on Feb 15. He should have no trouble hanging on to the starting gig for the rest of the season. Nazr and the Spurs give new meaning to the phrase “busy schedule” this week with a whopping five games on tap (@LAL, @LAC, @PHO, LAL, HOU). Note: Michael Finley (who's been outplaying Ginobili recently) is also worth a look next week.

Jeff Foster, C – The Pacers' center may resemble a 7-foot vampire, but don’t be scared to take advantage of his rebounding and FG%. I like to call him a “poor man’s Tyson Chandler with no upside” which may not be all that flattering, but if you need a center who can clean the glass, Foster is your man. He’s averaging 8/14/1 over his last three contests and is shooting 55% from the floor this season. Get Dracula in your lineup for four battles next week.

Al Jefferson, PF – How many more times will I get my hopes up for Big Al before he really starts producing consistently? I was one of those fantasy owners who drafted him relatively early expecting double-doubles regularly from the big kid all year long. So he’s disappointed this year… get over it, and look ahead. The current situation in Boston seems to be a perfect opportunity for Al-Jeff to finally get it together. His frontcourt mate Kendrick Perkins will be out a couple more weeks with a dislocated shoulder and Jefferson should be given big minutes right away and could even get some starts at the five making him eligible at center. We’ve seen what rookie PF Ryan Gomes has been able to do while filling in upfront, so hopefully Jefferson can step up for four tilts next week. If he has any more setbacks I promise not to speak of him again until next season.

Antoine Walker, F – Every week it seems there's one player I reluctantly recommend plugging in. Employee #8 has long been a favorite punching bag of mine as an exemplary NBA slacker, but he still has the ability to contribute some decent fantasy numbers when he plays. ‘Toine has been getting just over 30 minutes a game lately, which is right around his threshold for fantasy relevance. Walker ’06 may be a far cry from Walker circa 2000, but he’s averaging a worthwhile 14/6/2 with 2.2 treys and 1 steal over his last half dozen games. He's a decent play at your utility spot right now while he’s outplaying fellow underachiever James Posey.

Deron Williams, PG – The first point guard selected in last year’s draft, Williams has mostly been a disappointment in Salt Lake City this season. The former Illini ball handler started the year pretty strong and even worked his way into the starting lineup for about a month, but coach Jerry Sloan got fed up with the rookie and decided to go with veterans Keith McCleod and Milt Palacio for quite some time. Deron is now back in Sloan’s SLU and has scored double figures in four straight games, averaging 15/3/5 with 2.5 triples and 1.3 thefts over that span. He is a nice addition to your squad and if (that's a BIG if) he can keep it up, he should be a solid #2 PG the rest of the way.

Marcus Banks, PG – This guy has been a very nice surprise since coming to the land of 10,000 lakes in the Szczerbiak/Davis deal a month ago. Marko Jaric already played himself out of a starting job and Banks also pushed veteran PG Anthony Carter out of the way with ease. Marcus has now started three consecutive games for the Wolves and is averaging 14/4/6 on 55% shooting and 1.5 steals over his last four. Minnesota is falling out of playoff contention fast and they may be well on their way to rebuilding mode. Banks will have his ups and downs but he makes a nice start with four games including a couple of sweet matchups @SEA and @PHO to finish the week.


Blogger Domo_kuun said...

Who's a better last man off the bench, Manu Ginobili or Ray Felton? My other guards are Sam Cassell, Ray Allen, Kurt Hinrich, Delonte West and Bobby Simmons.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Domo_kuun said...

And what about Jameer Nelson? Is he worth a pickup in favor of Ginobili or Felton?

11:23 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Hmm, that is a tricky one. I'd watch Nelson for a bit...he had a really good game tonight, despite the fact that I thought he'd be out longer. He'll definately get the starter's time in Orlando, although Arroyo and Dooling will get some play too (Arroyo had a great game tonight too).

I'd imagine that Ginobili will step it up though...especially as the playoffs get closer and teams start to shorten the rotation down. And Ginobili is certainly the "best" player when he is healthy.

Felton has benefitted largely from injuries (Rush, Wallace, Knight) that have opened up PT. While it is expected that Knight will miss a few more games, I wouldn't bank on Felton, a rookie, continuing to start all year, especially if he is playing out of position at SG.

Is Ginobili doing worse than Simmons? I'd think that I'd rather have Ginobili than simmons, but I don't follow either player too closely in all honesty.

2:10 AM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

Oh yeah, and how about that Tim Thomas...

not planning on picking him up or anything, but it just shows the power of the Pheonix system to produce Fantasy Studs.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Rook said...

A question for the sage FBB writers (or anyone else with knowledge of this) -- do teams tend to sit their stars in the last couple of weeks of the season? Or reduce their minutes? If so, is this more likely to happen with playoff teams (resting their stars) or non-playoff teams (giving the young guys some run)? One of the comments on this post predicts that the opposite tends to happen -- teams SHORTEN their bench in anticipation of the playoffs. The blog has explained how best to manage our games (recommending we stay stay no more than one or two games ahead at most for any position), but I just wanted to make sure we shouldn't also be thinking about our players getting rested -- in which case it would be smarter to pile up on some games now, while everyone's getting their normal MPG. This is my first season of fantasy hoops -- any idea how this tends to work? Thanks.

2:51 PM  
Blogger bv said...

First off, i'm pretty shocked that Jameer Nelson is still available in some leagues. He should be on a roster and starting, no doubt. He's a top-10 PG in many formats when he's getting minutes, and the Magic will give him minutes. I'd take him over Manu (who i'd take, by a hair, over felton) any day.

Tim Thomas ... no. just, no.

As for your question, Rook, it's a good one. I don't have much of an answer for you, unfortunately, because every situation is different. For example, how will Flip handle a low-pressure final few weeks? You can't tell - it's his first year in Detroit. The same goes for most coaches/players. It's either a new coach, a new situation, or something else entirely. The best advice I can give is to just watch the news closely. Sorry.

6:18 PM  
Blogger TKI said...

just wanted to see what you guys think about josh smith's recent contributions.. his minutes have increased in the past 5 games.. and he's responded with some pretty impressive games..

do you guys it will continue?..

also, i traded miles, j.howard, and iguodala for ricky davis and josh smith.. who do u think got the better deal.. traded for blocks and assists

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

quick question...

in a keeper/dynasty league who's more valuable, Darko or Livingston?

8:55 AM  
Blogger PR said...

Josh Smith has really been coming on with more playing time (41 mpg over last nine), 14/9/4 and a ridiculous 4 swats a game over the last three weeks.
I do like the trade for you tki. Smith gives you a HUGE boost in blocks from a G/F. Miles is no longer in Portland's volatile starting lineup, and he hurts in percentages and TOs anyway. I hope that was Juwan Howard and not Josh that you gave up. Iggy is a nice all-around player but Davis will help make up what you lost in the steals department.

Darko vs. Livingston, longterm? Talk about speculation. If you need an answer though, I would say there are two things to consider:
1. Position eligibility - Darko gets the edge because of the scarcity at Center.
2. Category help - I'd have to give the nod to Darko again because he should fill up all the categories you expect from a big man (especially blocks).
Livingston, on the other hand, will be a liability in the three-point dept and until he develops a long range shot he'll just be an Andre Miller clone.

Of course this is all just guesswork... Shaun may be posting triple doubles on the regular next season while Darko is shipped back to Europe. Who knows.

9:46 AM  

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