Monday, April 10, 2006

Short and Sweet

It’s getting down the wire in fantasy basketball land, so for the next week we’re going to keep it simple here at FBB and simply give you the goods. The goods being players you can pick up for the next day’s games to give you an advantage in these final days. Best of luck down the stretch.
Toronto vs. Miami
Derek Anderson – If you need a boost in 3s, Anderson could be your man. I watched him drop in a handful (that’d be five) on Saturday night as the Heat continued their dominance over my banged-up Wiz. He played 38 minutes in that game because Dwyane Wade was ill and in foul trouble, and he backed that up with 32 minutes yesterday in a listless home loss against the Magic. The Heat don’t really have much to play for right now – home court in a prospective finals matchup against Phoenix is the closest I can come up with – so Anderson might keep seeing more time as he continues to get into game shape.

Minnesota vs. Memphis
Eddie Griffin and Rashad McCants – All you fools in H2H leagues with championships decided in the final week. You’re titles are being determined by scrubs like Eddie Griffin and Rashad McCants! That’s just wrong. But if that’s how it’s going to be, then grab these guys. The Wolves yesterday were a perfect example of the value of the minute. We always say that even the crappiest collection of players imaginable – and the Wolves without KG and Ricky Davis are just that, although they did manage to beat the Hawks – will find a way to score 80 or so points and someone will have value. McCants was the main man on offense, pouring in 28 and taking nearly twice as many shots as any one else while playing 10 more minutes than anyone else. He’s going to look out for himself, so get him in there. As for Griffin, it’s simple – blocks. He racked up four last night and while KG’s competitive spirit might have him back in the lineup for this game, he might take another one off, giving Griffin a chance to swat some more away.

Seattle vs. San Antonio
Robert Horry – A bit of a reach here, but there aren’t many secondary options to be had. Brent Barry might be an option, but Manu Ginobili should be back and Barry did go scoreless in 30 minutes in his last contest. Horry has basically been mailing it in except for a few games this season, but it’s getting to the point where he needs to turn it on so he can live up to his Big Shot Rob reputation. He sat out the recent Dallas game, but in his last four games he’s averaging 1.3 blocks, .8 steals and 1 3. Nothing too great, but Seattle has this thing about not playing a lick of defense, so Bob might have a chance to put up some bigger numbers.

Chicago vs. New Jersey
Working under the assumption that Chris Duhon isn’t available in your league – and he certainly shouldn’t be since he’s been starting and putting up solid numbers for the past couple of weeks – there isn’t much to offer in this contest. New Jersey has one of the most well-defined rotations for fantasy purposes and the Bulls just don’t have much to offer that will be out there. If you’re feeling especially lucky and have a game to use at center, you can take a flier on Mike Sweetney, hope he gets off to a fast start and see if he can match the 14 and 6 he put up against Boston more than a week ago. But this is a guy who despite starting in eight straight hasn’t played more than 20 minutes in any of those contests and is averaging a meager 2 and 2 over his last two.

Phoenix vs. Sacramento
Leandro Barbosa
– He was going to be suggested even before word came out that Steve Nash will see a decrease in minutes. Honestly, he should be long gone in your league as he’s checking in at an impressive #76 on the 15 Day Rater. Barbosa has proven to be one of the most accurate shooters in the league over the past couple of seasons, shooting over 48%, which is just stunning from a guard. Sacramento, as usual, has no one to offer as everyone on that team has long been scooped up. For those that held on to Bonzi Wells through his injury woes, you’ve been rewarded very well as he has come back as strong as ever, proving his early season numbers – especially those on the boards – were no fluke.

Golden State vs. L.A. Lakers
Monta Ellis
– One of the most impressive of the second tier rookies this year has been the prep to pro guard out in Oakland, Monta Ellis. Thought to be a point guard, the 20 year old rookie has shown he is already capable of being a real scoring option in the NBA, averaging a not-at-all-shabby 14.7 points p40. With Jason Richardson out he saw 31 minutes on Saturday and put up a nice line of 13/5/5 with 2 3s, a steal and a block, offering a little bit of everything. Even if Mickael Pietrus gets another start, I’d probably go with Ellis anyway. Speaking of a little of everything, that’s what Luke Walton gives you, and he made his second start of the season yesterday and put up a line of 13/7/2 with a steal and a 3. In four April contests he’s averaging 9.8/5.5/2.8 with 1.3 steals and 0.8 3s on 51% shooting. If you’re looking for single category help he’s probably not your man, but if you just need some solid production, go for it.

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