Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Crawling to the Finish Line.

Is it just me or has the end of this year been worse than most? I mean, my starting lineup just two weeks ago included Jason Richardson, Ricky Davis, David West, Yao Ming, and Brevin Knight – all of whom are unstartable due now due to injury, either fake or real. I also have Chauncey Billups and Ben Wallace, who have been playing half-time. So the only two guys on my squad that I can safely start are Andre Iguodala and Jermaine O’Neal – and I picked up O’Neal on waivers just before he came back. That’s two guys that were drafted at the beginning of the year that I can start right now. Yikes.

The point is, teams are in total chaos right now. Both in the NBA and in Fantasy. And with just one more day to make moves and pick-ups, you’re looking at a far different strategy than what you had four months, four weeks, or even four days ago. So with that in mind, here’s what to keep in mind as you’re furiously adding and dropping 11th and 12th men:

1. Who’s got something to play for?
Right now we’re down to eight teams that have something to play for in the last two days of the season: Washington, Chicago, Milwaukee, Indiana, Memphis, both LA teams, and Sacramento. By tomorrow morning, that list could be cut in half. But teams with something to play for will at least be sticking to somewhat-normal rotations, particularly those in the East, where everyone is struggling to play against anyone other than Miami or Detroit. That means guys like Jared Jefferies, David Harrison, and Chris Duhon could be worth playing just because you know that they’ll at least get into games for 20-25 minutes. Still, you should wait until after the games tonight to make sure that these teams are still in the running for something before picking these guys up.

2. Pick your categories.
A player’s value is going to be different for every team. If you desperately need blocks, and up huge in points, you may be better off with Etan Thomas than Kobe Bryant. That’s an extreme example of course, but the point is there. And right now, we’re at the extremes. Don’t hold on to top-round picks if they’re not going to do you any good. And remember, if you drop someone today, it’s not like someone else will be able to pick them up before the season is over – they’ll be on waivers until the end of the year.

3. Know your opponent.
There are going to be teams out there with rosters like mine – filled with emergency fill-ins, sorta-injured studs, and a much depleted talent base. You need to be keeping an eye on the other teams in your league to be able to take advantage of those sitting duck squads. Some of those categories that might seem just out of your reach might actually be much more in play than you thought.

4. You Feelin’ Lucky?
OK, let’s face it. A lot of what happens tonight and tomorrow night is going to be completely at the whim of coaches and players. A guy could play 30 minutes or none at all based on how he feels when he wakes up in the morning. As much as I want to tell you put forth a ton of effort and read all the news sites you can, the fact of the matter is that going with your gut may be the best thing you can do. Got a favorite scrub? Think you have an inkling about a guy? Go for it. It’s just as good a guess as any other.

And good luck.

Oh, and go Wizards.


Anonymous ambitextrous said...

Hey BV,

No real substantive comment here, but I thought your post was high comedy because of how true it is. Last night, I was supposed to have 9 guys playing, and only 3 actually did. Fortunately, the categories that I'm winning in I'm winning by a comfortable margin, but still, it really is laughably ridiculous this year.

4:01 PM  
Blogger bv said...

no kidding, ambi. I was lamenting over the weekend to DM that the two stats i need the most help in are FG% and games played. ugh.

5:17 PM  
Blogger Jeremy said...

It is really frustrating. Andre Miller, Boris Diaw, and others are playing 1/2 the time they usually get; Gerald Wallace is hurt again (suprise suprise!).

However, here are a few players I would recommend for tomorrow if needed.

MELVIN ELY -> Charlotte doesn't have anything to gain from this season, and thus Knight & Wallace won't play. That frees up PT for ELY, who could easily net 15/10/2 tomorrow night is a favorable matchup against the Philly.

TRAVIS OUTLAW -> It's probably a toss-up between him and Webster, but the matchup with Phoenix should be a fantasy delight. The game is most likely to be fast-paced and upbeat, and its likely Outlaw will have the best game, as his athletic nature and emerging jumpshot could prove this to be a "breakout" game, similar to Darius Miles who had 47 points last year against hte Lakers in the finale.

I won't usually depend on the Blazers, since everyone usually players 22 minutes and is a fantasy dud, but Outlaw could see 35 minutes in a game that doesn't matter, and put up a solid line in the process.

JUWAN HOWARD -> With Yao and McGrady out, someone has to score. When Yao was out earlier in the season, Howard played like a madman, racking up nightly 20/10 games. He put up a big game the other night, and I expect he'll do it again, just don't expect defensive numbers.

Gerald Green -> Boston has shut down Pierce for the year, and Green is proving other teams wrong for letting him slip, like Qyntel Woods, to the 18th spot in the draft. Indeed, the man with 9 1/2 fingers has torn in up the last few games and will most likely get the nod to shoot and strut his stuff in the final game of the season. He should receive a large number of minutes and could end up with some solid defensive numbers too.

Other players meriting consideration -> Earl Watson, Antonio Daniels, Nate Robinson, Ike Diogu, Luther Head, Michael Finley, Darko Millic

While some of these players may have been picked up for a while, its likely (especially in H2H leagues) that platooning is going on and you might be able to snag one of these guys.

5:34 PM  

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