Rolling the McDyess: Satan Wants You To Do Bad Things
Fantasy basketball playoffs continue, and let me just get this out of the way up front: I think of you as my very own child. And no parent wants to see their child fail at something. Unless of course that parent is me, and that child is Satan Jr., and that something is a competition of literally any kind. You will never defeat me, Satan Jr. Do you hear? Never. I am the undying scourge of your life and the Unsubtle Prince of Darkness. Now put the Connect 4 down and get me some imported German gummi candy before I decide that it’s time for Encasement In The Basement.
This week and for the rest of the season, we’ll examine waivers to see what pickups will push you over the top, especially in head-to-head formats. If you’re a conscientious fantasy owner (which is to say, unemployed), you’ve taken a good look at your matchup this week and eyeballed the categories in which you’re likely to lose. These guys can change that for you.
Points. First off, a look at the schedule rules out the Kings and the Rockets, who only have two games this week; teams with three games are also not great options. Meanwhile, the Suns and the Bulls have a ridiculous five games from now through Sunday. Matt Barnes (13.7ppg over his last 15 games) is owned in a frankly upsetting 16% of ESPN leagues; however, he’s off the table in 59% of Yahoo! leagues, indicating that Yahoo! owners are significantly less stupid than ESPN owners. Either way, if you do not try to claim him right now, you probably have a serious head injury. Tyrus Thomas (10.6ppg; 17%/26%), on the Bulls, has low percentages, but projects to 53 points for you this week. The inimitable Craig Smith, getting minutes at PF for the Wolves, is a deep-league option. And then there is Antonio McDyess (16.6ppg).
Rebounds. Um, in 38.9% of ESPN leagues, Antonio McDyess is up for grabs. Let me put this in perspective; what would your response be if I were to tell you that, right now, in over six out of every ten households, there was a magical flying housebroken unicorn just chilling in the kitchen? You would go check your kitchen, and then chances are <b>you would take a glorious cloud-skipping journey to the Faerie Lands,</b> where Death is but a vague and distant memory. What I am trying to tell you is: Antonio McDyess, last seven games: 16.6/15.4. He has four games this week. See also Ronny Turiaf and Chris Andersen, below. An intriguing deep-league option is Renaldo Balkman, getting minutes while Kenyon Martin is worked back into the Denver lineup; the Nuggets have four games this week, two against Phoenix and Golden State. Balkman is almost certainly available in your league (0.8%/5%).
Assists. Again, please consider acquiring Matt Barnes and his painful-looking neck tattoos (5.4apg). Portland has just three games this week, but Steve Blake (13.1/5.8, 2.8 threes, last 8 games) is a solid and under-owned (13.6%/46%) fantasy point guard right now. The Nets also have a tough schedule this week (three games, including @CLE), but Keyon Dooling is getting lots of time with Devin Harris out. And even if he does something dumb, it’s fun to yell, “Keyon!!! What are you dooling.”
Threes. Steve Novak has ridiculous numbers recently (3.6 3pg, last 7 games; 1.5%/12%), but the Clippers go up against some good defenses this week: Spurs, Celtics, Rockets. Michael Finley (2.3, 5.5%/19%) is a safer option, given the Spurs’ easier schedule. Steve Blake is the superior long-term choice, however. Kyle Korver is also intriguing: the Jazz have two games against Phoenix this week, and Korver has great percentages for a long-range specialist. Now is as good a moment as any to add: Let us all thank Christ that the Korver-Kutcher comparisons are over. Kyle Korver looks like Ashton Kutcher in the same way that a normal hamster looks like a vastly better-looking and -groomed hamster. They’re both hamsters, and that’s about it.
Steals. I’m not even going to print the numbers: just go pick up Thabo Sefolosha right now. Just do it, for Christ’s sake. The Thunder have a non-optimal schedule, but this is a travesty. Trevor Ariza: also a travesty, with four pretty easy games this week. I’m so angry about this.
Blocks. You have to be willing to sacrifice other categories if you want to buy property on Block Island. That’s just the way the fantasy housing market works. Chris Andersen (2.4 bpg, 7.4 rpg, last 7 games; 6.8%/34%) is a great play this week. Birdman!! Ronny Turiaf (2.4 bpg, 9/7%/45%) is also a nutritious source of blocks and rebounds with Andris Biedrins out for the foreseeable future.
Percentages. USE(LESS) indicates that the best waiver-available FG% guys right now are Craig Smith, Jason Maxiell, Joel Przybilla, and Kyle Korver. FT% pickups would be: Jarrett Jack, Thabo Sefolosha, Antonio McDyess.
Here, finally, is the USE(LESS) Top 25 over the past ten games:
Brook Lopez: Light of my life, fire of my loins. Eric Gordon and Jarrett Jack are eminently pick-up-able, and in leagues where people are stupid or asleep, Monta Ellis might be available to provide significant stretch-run firepower.
In conclusion, I am the Seven-Headed Ten-Horned Child of the Abominable Void. Go Pitt!