It’s been a wild and woolly few weeks as trades, buyouts and signings have turned fantasy basketball into a Strat-o-Matic league. Ten bucks to anyone who can name the starting five for the Cavaliers right now, and this includes Byron Scott. No cheating Byron! Hey Bubbly, I hate to break it to you but Jim Chones hasn’t started in the Cleveland pivot in more than three decades.
While many intoxicated owners are currently under the influence of roto baseball, here is the perfect opportunity to make up some serious ground in the standings. For whom to pick up or drop since the fallout, I leave that information in good hands as my Damn Lies colleagues have pretty much covered everyone who has switched teams, including Elton John. But there are a few guys remaining, who haven’t been traded, who haven’t been bought out, who haven’t signed elsewhere, who no one knows exists, who could soon be making waves. Let’s take a gander.
Austin Daye, F, DET – I don’t know if anyone knows what to make of the Detroit roster, especially Joe Dumars and John Kuester. I do believe that the young guys will get more time down the stretch and they are high on the sinewy Daye’s game. Last night he tallied 22 points, four rebounds, three assists, a block and knocked down 2-of-6 from 3-pt. range in a whopping 39 minutes. Act swiftly on him.
Ekpe Udoh, F/C, Golden St. – If he qualifies in your league at center, and there is no reason he shouldn’t, Udoh could really boost your fantasy team the final six weeks. Keith Smart moved him into the starting unit in the nation’s capitol last night and he responded with a somewhat disappointing six points, two rebounds, three blocks and a steal. What will limit him the most is foul trouble, but on this team and on his potential for blocks, pick this man, who is in desperate need of a nickname, up.
Ben Uzoh, G, NJN – Not to be confused with Udoh, this is Uzoh, a third-string point guard who may have inadvertantly stepped in a pile of dog excrement. Deron Williams said that he needs to rest his ailing wrist for about three weeks and Jordan Farmar‘s ankle has swelled to the size of a Volkswagen, rendering Uzoh a potential starter in New Jersey. No one really knows what the rookie from Tulsa is capable of, and I must admit that I really just wanted to do the Udoh/Uzoh thing, but if you’re feeling Irish he could be worth a speculative add.
Richard Hamilton, G, DET – Hamilton and Kuester butterfly kissed and made up the other day and Rip is back to receiving significant minutes in the Piston rotation. In two games, he has shot a pathetic 9-for-29 with 4.5 assists and 1.5 steals. Rip will get it going pretty soon and should be in for around 30 minutes a night. Pick up the one player who will survive the Detroit youth movement and get him plugged in before he gets it going.
Jarrett Jack, G, NOR – For most of the season, Chris Paul has been the top dog in the league fantasy-wise, though it feels as if he has been a disappointment. Over his last three games CP3 is bordering on Chris Duhon territory, averaging 5.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 9.0 assists and 7-of-29 shooting from the field. Many believe his knee is giving him trouble and that it could linger the rest of the way. At shooting guard, Willie Green has taken over the starting role, but has been mediocre. Enter Jack, who has seen his court time increase to at least 20 minutes in six straight. He is a strong offensive player who can play either position, but often exhibits a shot selection that would make World B. Free cringe. Ride him while he’s hot, but prepare to take the good (15-22 fg over his last two) with the bad (.398 fg for the season).
Anthony Randolph, F, MIN – Wonders never cease. I almost referred to Randolph as a journeyman a few weeks ago until realizing that he just turned 21. With Darko out last night, Randolph saw 25 minutes of burn and produced 19 points (8-13 fg) and 10 rebounds. He is not good and nowhere close to NBA-ready, but on his potential for boards, blocks and steals, he should be scooped up like Jardine.
Toney Douglas, G, NYK – I really like this guy. So much so that i think Jeff has put a block on my emails to him because of my constant praise for the former Seminole. He can play both the point and shooting guard positions effectively and Chauncey Billups will not hold up playing 40 minutes a night. Billups actually missed last night with a deep thigh bruise and could miss a few more. The hard-nosed Douglas is in line for plenty of run down the stretch and it is well-deserved. His propensity for threes and steals make him a solid pickup.
Unless he is stricken with a severe case of Ekpe Udoh, Fox Unbalanced will appear in these pages every Thursday. If you or someone you know views a Grizzlies/Raptors game as a religious experience, this could be the perfect destination for you. Feel free to chime in with some feedback. This author also broke down recently and now has an active Twitter account. Anyone interested in fantasy basketball or the mating rituals of Magpie should intensely follow him at @gregfoxy5.