Tuesday , Jan , 27 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

I Need to Be the Governor

As James Brown proclaimed: “People people / we got to get over / before we go under.” Like all of James Brown’s linguistic formulations,* this is both essentially meaningless and strangely compelling. It’s the halfway point of the NBA season, people. Time to cut the cord on bad draft picks. Time to identify who’s going to blow up after the All-Star Break. Time to make savvy use of the waiver wire. Time to get over… before we go under. In short, it’s time to play: Sell/Buy/Add/Drop, a.k.a ‘SBAD.

I Need to Be the Governor



As James Brown proclaimed: “People people / we got to get over / before we go under.”  Like all of James Brown’s linguistic formulations,* this is both essentially meaningless and strangely compelling.  It’s the halfway point of the NBA season, people.  Time to cut the cord on bad draft picks.  Time to identify who’s going to blow up after the All-Star Break.  Time to make savvy use of the waiver wire.  Time to get over… before we go under.  In short, it’s time to play: Sell/Buy/Add/Drop, a.k.a ’SBAD.

 

The premise of ’SBAD is ’sbimple.  We identify:

 

– one player to sell: someone overvalued and widely owned

– one player to buy: someone undervalued and widely owned

– one player to add: someone with plenty of value, yet still available on waivers

– one player to drop: someone with no value who is still owned in a majority of leagues.

Ready?  Here we go:

 

SELL:  Ray Allen.  This recommendation is not for the faint of heart.  Over the last ten games, Ray is the third-most valuable fantasy player in the league according to my rankings.  However, he’s shooting a frankly insane 50.4% from the field this season.  His career average?  44.8%.  Despite the expansion of his role in Boston’s offense this year (more penetration and easy baskets), expect his percentage to drop over the second half.  Also: he’s a shooting guard, and he’s 33, and he can be streaky; think back to last year’s playoffs.  So sell him.  Everyone wants him.  He’s red-hot right now.  Maybe someone has already made you a stupid offer.  Take them up on it. 

 

Honorable Mentions: Jameer Nelson (will not be able to sustain his also-ridiculous percentages); Marcus Camby (devalued due to injury, but some owners will still overpay for him); Yao Ming (also a little dinged up, but it’s probably premature to give up on his outstanding season).

 

BUY:  Jose Calderon.  On a per-game basis, my rankings say he’s the #2 point guard in fantasy this season.  Period.  However, he’s played just 34 games.  A typical Calderon month has him bumping into a piece of furniture in his house and then Bryan Colangelo declaring that his recovery timetable is 4-6 weeks.  Toronto management has been infuriatingly cautious about bringing him back from injury, and whoever owns him in your league is probably frustrated enough to sell low.  Make an offer.  For example, I would much rather have Calderon than Jameer Nelson right now. 

 

Honorable Mentions:  Brook Lopez (continuing his meteoric fantasy rise; also available for free in over a third of ESPN leagues); Randy Foye (like the rest of Minnesota, beginning to come on strong; however, his owner may be aware of this).

 

ADD:  This is my favorite part.  There are always solid guys on waivers.  Like Kelenna Azubuike (available in 72.9% of ESPN fantasy leagues).  He’s like a mini-LeBron—he contributes in every category, including blocks and three-pointers in six of his last seven games.  How deep is your league?  Azubuike’s sidekick, Anthony Morrow, is available in 88.4% of leagues; my rankings put him at 69th in the NBA over the last ten games, and he’s especially good for your FG% and 3PT categories.  Von Wafer, at 80th, is up for grabs in 96%; he gives you threes and steals, and also his name makes him sound like a German baron who makes delicious cookies.  Honorable Mentions: Nick Collison (ranked 57th over the last ten games, available in 57.6% of leagues); Eric Gordon (59th, 51.7%); Tyrus Thomas (68th, 88.4%).


DROP: Richard Hamilton (97.5%).  If you love Rip Hamilton, set him free.  My rankings put him at 130th in the league over the season.  Over the last ten games?  188th.  His sixth-man role does very, very little for his fantasy value.  If you can get anything for him, kudos; if not, hit “eject.”  Honorable Mentions: Michael Redd (done for the season, yet still owned in 82.1% of leagues); Spencer Hawes (35.7%).

 

Finally, here’s my USE(LESS) Top 25 over the past ten games:

*rank

Player

Team

PS

*ppg

*rpg

*apg

*spg

*bpg

*3pg

*topg

*fg%

*ft%

*total

1

paul,chris

nor

PG

23.9

11.1

34.6

25.8

3.1

8.0

-17.5

17.9

13.1

119.9

2

wade,dwyane

mia

SG

29.5

7.5

26.7

20.6

23.3

12.6

-16.5

16.3

-2.0

118.0

3

allen,ray

bos

SG

19.2

5.6

11.5

11.3

3.1

34.3

-11.0

34.0

8.7

116.9

4

granger,danny

ind

SF

28.3

9.1

11.5

13.4

21.8

33.2

-7.7

-19.4

23.3

113.5

5

james,lebron

cle

SF

29.8

17.3

28.5

23.7

20.2

17.2

-21.9

3.5

-7.4

110.8

6

iguodala,andre

phi

SF

22.4

10.7

22.0

23.7

1.6

22.9

-15.4

24.5

-6.4

106.0

7

ming,yao

hou

C

19.6

15.7

9.0

5.2

19.4

0.0

-21.3

46.4

5.7

99.8

8

biedrins,andris

gsw

C

10.4

23.1

10.0

6.9

34.6

0.0

-6.7

24.2

-7.1

95.4

9

duncan,tim

san

C

19.2

18.8

15.5

4.1

34.2

0.0

-11.0

15.9

-2.4

94.3

10

howard,dwight

orl

C

21.4

26.1

4.0

11.3

32.7

0.0

-18.1

40.0

-23.0

94.3

11

redd,michael

mil

SG

23.6

4.5

8.0

11.4

3.5

29.2

-8.5

20.4

1.3

93.3

12

lopez,brook

njn

C

16.3

13.5

2.2

7.2

31.1

0.0

-11.0

25.0

7.5

91.8

13

durant,kevin

okl

SF

26.5

14.9

12.2

17.5

4.7

14.9

-20.8

2.7

18.4

91.0

14

bynum,andrew

lal

C

19.9

13.7

4.0

2.1

24.9

0.0

-8.2

38.3

-4.1

90.4

15

o’neal,shaquille

pho

C

20.4

17.0

6.4

5.7

27.7

0.0

-14.0

41.9

-15.1

90.0

16

lewis,rashard

orl

PF

17.9

10.2

11.9

10.3

9.3

32.0

-11.0

6.1

1.9

88.7

17

murphy,troy

ind

PF

13.6

19.5

7.6

8.2

7.8

28.6

-6.6

6.1

2.7

87.5

18

bosh,chris

tor

PF

22.4

17.9

7.9

11.3

18.7

0.0

-13.2

20.0

0.7

85.7

19

foye,randy

min

PG

19.1

4.6

17.3

11.3

4.7

33.2

-8.2

-1.2

4.7

85.4

20

wallace,gerald

cha

SF

16.6

12.2

11.9

21.6

12.4

6.9

-7.1

2.1

7.6

84.2

21

lee,david

nyk

PF

19.0

22.8

9.0

7.2

4.7

0.0

-12.1

33.6

-0.3

83.9

22

jamison,antawn

was

PF

21.3

12.8

6.8

12.4

4.7

16.0

-7.7

18.2

-0.7

83.7

23

nash,steve

pho

PG

12.5

8.2

41.8

5.2

6.2

19.5

-23.0

5.1

8.1

83.5

24

turkoglu,hedo

orl

SF

19.4

8.2

19.1

7.2

4.7

30.9

-14.3

2.7

4.8

82.7

25

villanueva,charl

mil

PF

17.7

12.4

5.8

7.2

15.6

17.2

-8.8

14.6

1.0

82.6

 

I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but: HOT DAMN BROOK LOPEZ.  On this list, I feel like Biedrins is a sell-high, but Villanueva, weirdly, is a buy-low.  And alas, Michael Redd; I knew him, Horatio.**

 

That’s all for this week.  Got any fantasy trades you want me to weigh in on?  Put them in the comments box below.

 

*If we are following James Brown’s advice today, I should add that we should get together, buy some land, and raise our food just like the man.  Additionally:  HEYYYYYY-UH.  GOOD GOD.

 

**Did you read Hamlet in twelfth grade?  If so, did you figure out that “Horatio” could be divided into the words “Ho Ratio”?  Was that awesome, or what?  Oh man.