Ryan Gomes = Pizza, Larry Hughes = Chicken Fried Rice
When sometimes the world is making a little too much sense—the subway is running on time, Guantánamo is closing for good, and the bodega decided to restock Chocolate-Covered Oreos—I visit the ESPN Fantasy Basketball page and review the ownership numbers for Cuttino Mobley, just for a much-needed reminder that the human species is fated for a self-inflicted and probably hilarious extinction. Look: Cuttino Mobley has a heart problem. He has retired from basketball. And yet, in over a third of ESPN fantasy leagues, he is still owned. Humans, you guys are crazy!! Seriously, I can’t wait until dolphins are running this shit.
Fantasy playoffs are starting. The waiver wire is your new best friend. In that vein, I had a look at all the players owned in less than 50% of ESPN leagues and combined their ownership percentage with their USE(LESS) score over the past ten games, creating a very basic metric that indicates which available players are the most under-owned right now. The list looks like this (“*rank” is the overall USE(LESS) rating):
Look how awesome this list is. My favorite is that the second player here, who rates in the top 50 of recent fantasy performers, is owned in 1.7% of leagues, which is to say, .2% fewer leagues than Sam Cassell (1.9%), who is not currently employed by a team. Dominic McGuire doesn’t score much, from downtown or anywhere else, but he’s been productive in every other category, averaging 7.3 boards/1.6 blocks over the last 14 games and 5.0 assists/1.3 steals over the last eight. Get The McGuire. It’s like The Wire, only infinitely less depressing. Kyle Korver is valuable for his ridiculous percentages and 1.8 threes/game, and Jarrett Jack (as predicted last week) is red-hot right now, but the top scorer on this list is Ryan Gomes, who in two thirds of ESPN leagues is a free 20 points per game. He’s the soppressata-shiitake pizza that no one ate at the company function, and now it’s an hour later and he’s just sitting there, alone in the conference room, and in all likelihood, you are the only one who knows about it. Larry Hughes is number two, and although I am normally not a Larry Hughes fan, he’s the starting shooting guard on a D’Antoni team. He’s notching better than 2.1 steals. If Ryan Gomes is the hour-old gourmet pizza in the conference room, Larry Hughes is the chicken fried rice with basil in the fridge that the guy in the next cubicle just told you was up for grabs. It might not sound that great, but trust me on this: reheat it and eat it. You won’t be sorry. (Unless it gives you food poisoning, which it might, because it’s Larry Hughes.)
Thabo Sefolosha (12.1/7.0/2.1, plus 2.3 steals) is also Sefo-licious.
Here is the USE(LESS) Top 25 over the past 10 games:
Mon dieu, M. Wade. I have a list called Successful Predictions I Have Made, and it is short, but this week we can add Francisco Garcia, whose steals and blocks are like the most delicious candy in all of Candyland. Most importantly: finally, both Gasol brothers have cracked the top 25. Homage to Catalonia, bizzitch.