I’ll Be Damned: The Shallow End of the Pool

Jim Burr reminds Memphis coach Josh Pastner that he should check his fantasy lineup as soon as his team is eliminated.

You’ll have to forgive my absence last week, dear reader (and by dear reader, I mean Bubbly). But Greg and I were on a mission to construct the single worst NCAA Tournament bracket in history and needed total concentration. We were so sure our first two rounds couldn’t have gone worse that we called the Guinness Book of World Records, but of course dialed the wrong number. It was that kind of week.

Between the debacle that was our bracket (we had Pitt winning it all, Temple and Washington in the Elite 8, etc., etc., ad nausea) and a week from hell at work, I really lost track of the NBA at the absolute worst time of the year. My absence can absolutely be blamed for an embarrassing loss in the RotoExperts In-House League playoffs. I earned the No. 3 seed but performed like Purdue against VCU in falling to Tom Lorenzo’s squad last week. Season over. Did I mention I hate head-to-head leagues?

Yeah, I know that’s what a lot of you guys play. I’m in several, even as the No. 1 seed going into the semifinals this week in one league (I had a bye last week, and of course guys I own like Kyle Lowry and Dwight Howard went nuts). Everyone is flipping out about the fantasy playoffs. But in the league format I prefer, rotisserie, you play until the end of the season. There are still several weeks of work to be done. Let’s take a look at some players who can help down the stretch in roto formats, particularly players who shine in either field goal or free throw percentage, or both, plus at least one other category. If you want to push for that elusive roto championship, now’s the time to hope for a foul at half court on a desperation inbounds play with time running out and you falling out of bounds. In other words, like the end of every NCAA game. Between the quick whistles, botched five-second calls and lack of a charge circle, these college games must make Tim Donaghy blush. But if you are going to win your league, you’ll need a little help from the refs. Consider me your Jim Burr for the week.

ROTO-FORMAT PICKUPS (Yahoo! ownership percentage in parentheses)

Carlos Delfino (42%)
Hurry, as Delfino has averaged 28.0 points, 9.5 boards and 7.0 threes in his last two games. You read that right. He shoots 79.1 percent from the line, a number that has jumped to around 84 percent in February and March. Delfino is playing big minutes right now and has a track record that suggests this is no fluke.

Jodie Meeks (32%)
Meeks has scored in double figures in all but one game in March, averaging 14.5 points and 2.8 threes while shooting 92.9 percent at the line. He seems pretty locked in right now for the Sixers and should be added by anyone who needs help at SG.

Tony Allen (27%)
Allen shoots 50 percent from the field and grabs 1.7 steals a game, numbers that jump to 52.5 and 2.7 in the last two weeks. From a shooting guard/small forward, these are nice numbers, and he can absolutely shine this last month with Rudy Gay on the shelf.

Patrick Patterson (7%)
Patterson has put up three straight double-doubles (14.7 PPG, 11.7 RPG), including a 14 & 13 Sunday off the bench. Balling right now, and shooting over 56 percent from the field to boot.

Trevor Booker (17%)
Booker’s the No. 43-ranked player in Yahoo! over the last two weeks, averaging 12.0 points, 8.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks while shooting 53.7 percent from the field. There’s no reason this won’t continue in a depleted Wizards frontcourt.

C.J. Miles (56%)
Starting now for the Jazz, who are desperate and playing up-tempo ball. Miles is averaging around 22 points, five boards and two and a half threes as a starter. Get him.

Jordan Crawford (27%)
The Jordan Crawford Show has been green-lit. In his last three games, all starts, he has averaged over 44 minutes and has hoisted 65 shots. He is averaging 20.5 points over his last six games, all while shooting 87.5 percent from the line and a not-as-bad-as-you-would-think 44.1 from the field.

Jeff Andriesse is the author of the, ahem, weekly fantasy basketball column I’ll Be Damned, not available in stores. If you call in the next 15 minutes, we’ll throw in a limited-edition Snuggie made up entirely of our preseason cheat sheets. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @JeffAndriesse.

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