Tag Archives: Francisco Garcia

Moving Without the Ball: Notorious B.I.G. Baby

Original For: RotoExperts.com

"If you want people to stop calling you 'baby'..."

I have to admit that I get more e-mails this time of year than any other in regard to Fantasy Basketball. This is the week when most Fantasy players are just about done caring about their lost-cause Fantasy Football team and starting to turn their attention to hoops. I get so many, “So, I, uh, am finally looking at my Fantasy Basketball team and, well, I need help!” e-mails that I can’t find the time to answer them all. But, I, like many of you, was knocked out of my Fantasy Football league thanks to Aaron Rodgers and now have little left to play for on the gridiron.

So this week in honor of you, Mr. Fantasy Football, I will give you some tips on who to look at on the waiver wires and help you figure out how to make up that lost ground. These are the players most widely available in Yahoo! leagues who are worth sniffing off the wires. You deserve a little help. After all, Aaron Rodgers wasn’t there to pick you up when you needed him the most!

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Fox Unbalanced: A Cacophony of Cockamamy Claptrap

Wes Craven's Scream was originally based on a screenplay about Greg Fox checking box scores.

Just when I thought I had this fantasy basketball thing all figured out, I’m thrown for another Froot Loop on Wednesday night. I hate starting these pieces by whining about my own team, but how can I not as the Unhappy Hairstons continue to get injured like its their job? A lot of this could have been avoided. I’ve had this awkward infatuation with Roy Hibbert since he left Georgetown for the bright lights of Indianapolis.  I so desperately wanted him this year and he was staring me in the face in the sixth round. So what did I do? I took Mo Williams, that’s what! Mo’s 2010-11 campaign has thus far been nothing short of a Wes Craven film. Tonight, he strained his groin, no doubt while lunging to strangle Byron Scott who benched him in the fourth quarter of Tuesday night’s win in New Jersey, and will probably have to wear a truss for the remainder of the season. Meanwhile, Hibbert and his 15.8 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 3.3 blocks are the perfect reward for my jangled nerves.

As Tom and Jeff have said repeatedly, it is still early and ground can be made up. It is in my nature to panic, as my fingernails can attest. It’s in my genes. My father panicked, his father panicked and his father before him was a noted ‘fraidy cat’ in the old country, so what chance did I have, really?

All I can do at this point is help you, my loyal readers, by looking at a few guys to target as well as a few to thank for their contributions before bidding adieu. Continue reading


Damn Lies Fantasy Preview: Sacramento Kings

I spent some time in Sacramento this summer and I have to wonder: what does Tyreke Evans do for fun there? I’m not hating on the capital city, but he’s the 2009-10 Rookie of the Year! He’s only the 4th player in NBA history to average 20/5/5 as a rookie! What can he possibly do for fun in a city like Sacramento?! Oh, right, you can race on the highway at over 120 miles per hour. Or you could go golfing, I suppose. I’m not one to tell people how to spend their free time, but what if Evans worked on his 3-point shot and was able to make 1.5 per game next year? Or what about shooting free throws until he was able to make over 80% of them? If both of those things were to happen we would have to move him into the first round, without a doubt. Right now, though, he’s being drafted late in the first round yet his game is probably closer to a late-2nd, early-3rd rounders. It’s possible that Evans could become the next Dwyane Wade, as we’ve heard him compared to, but he’s going to have to fill those holes in his game if he wants to get some first-round love from me.

 

Painting seems like a more constructive way to spend your free time in the offseason, Tyreke.

 

LIES
Ladies and gentlemen, the starting point guard for your Sacramento Kings: Beno Udrih. Read it again! Mr. Udrih (spoken in the key of Arrested Development’s ‘Mr. Wendal‘) is actually a nice late-round fantasy option. He had a fine season last year as Evans’ running mate, scoring a career-best 13 ppg, dishing 4.7 assists, making 1.1 threes, and stealing 1.0 balls per game. Maybe the best part of his game, though, was the fact that he shot the ball at nearly 50% from the floor (49.7% on 10.5 attempts). He’s not the kind of point guard you want leading your fantasy squad, but if you’re in need of assists in the 10th round or desperate to add some steals and threes, then there’s probably not much better left on the board than Mr. Udrih.

DAMN LIES
Jason Thompson is having a rough offseason. The Kings got rid of Spencer Hawes, much to Thompson’s delight, yet wound up bringing in Samuel Dalembert, who will start at center for the Kings. They then went and drafted another big man, a cornerstone big, if you will, in DeMarcus Cousins. Thompson has watched his minutes quickly disappear with the acquisitions the Kings made this summer. I for one have always liked Thompson and thought that if he could just add a little toughness on the defensive side of the ball he could be a nice fantasy big (with playing time, of course). But it looks like he’s not going to get significant minutes in Sac-Town. Barring an injury or an extremely slow start by Cousins, Thompson will likely see fewer than 20 minutes per game. That’s something we as fantasy hoopsters can’t have in our lineups.

STATISTICS
There’s no denying that Dalembert is one of the few big men in the league who can go off on a given night for 20 rebounds and 5 blocks, and then turn around and put up 3 boards and zero blocks in the following night. Such is the life of being a Dalembert owner. In the end, though, he’s usually good for 9-10 rebounds and 2 blocks per game. Another benefit to drafting Dalembert in the late rounds is that you’re getting a center who has not missed a game in over four seasons. Carl Landry is one of the least sexy picks you can make on draft day, yet he is about as solid as they come. Landry can add points, boards, blocks, steals, and shoot the ball in the high 50’s from the field and low 80’s from the free-throw line. He’s a nice pick in the middle rounds. Your guess is as good as mine when it comes to trying to put numbers to Cousins’ game. He could average a double-double and block 2 shots per game, or he could take time to develop. I think a 9th or 10th round pick is where you want to find out. The Kings also have a number of wings with potential — Omri Casspi, Donte Greene, and Francisco Garcia. The problem is, playing time is limited. Subbing in for Landry and Evans won’t get you much quality PT.

DEPTH CHART
PG: Beno Udrih, Pooh Jeter
SG: Tyreke Evans, Donte Greene
SF: Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi
PF: Carl Landry, Jason Thompson
C: Samuel Dalembert, DeMarcus Cousins

Up Next: Chicago Bulls

Full Schedule


Daily Lies & Statistics: Bush was Right

I spent a good part of my weekend watching these NCAA Tournament games, and as a result, my bleeding ulcer is bleeding. Jeff and I, like a pair of third-graders, whined to each other much of the time as our brilliant selections of Texas A&M and New Mexico going to the Elite Eight went by the boards before you could say Ali Farokhmanesh. That’s the last time we pick an agriculture and mining school to get past the second round.

The results of Greg's NCAA brackets make him want to throw a shoe at somebody.

Despite the excrement that we call our bracket, how can we not love the fact that Saint Mary’s, Northern Iowa and Cornell have reached the Sweet Sixteen? And how incredible is it that Farokhmanesh and Omar Samhan have been two of the tournament’s standouts? If not for George W. Bush sending troops into Iraq, there would be no way these two young men would have the same liberties both on the perimeter and in the post as they do now.

Getting back to the guys who do this professionally, there were plenty o’ surprising performances in the League of Unordinary Gentlemen over the weekend.

Toney Douglas – This godsend averaged 24.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and a whopping 5.0 threes in games against Philly and Houston over the weekend. He is locked and loaded as the Knicks’ starter at point guard the rest of the way, but you’ll have to take the bad with the good.  I would imagine he’s long gone in most leagues, but if he’s somehow still available, drop Tracy McGrady, Bill WalkerSergio Rodriguez or Ticky Burden for him.

Roy Hibbert – This Greg Fox preseason favorite has had a bizarre season. He has gone stretches with huge rebounding and blocks numbers, then has gone stretches in which he never sees the court, and has also gone stretches in which he is scoring, but couldn’t pull down a rebound over Arnold Horshack. Regardless, his minutes seem to have stabilized in the 25-30 range with the occasional big-minute outburst when he is playing particularly well. He produced 17.5 points (15-26 fg), 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in his games against Detroit and Oklahoma City over the weekend. Hang with him the final few weeks.

Beno Udrih – We’re not sure how long Tyreke Evans will be out with his broken face, but in the meantime, Udrih is the man to own. Try these numbers on for size: 26 points, nine assists and four steals against Milwaukee and 20 points and 17 assists yesterday in a win over the helpless Clippers. For those of you in percentage leagues, he is shooting a scintillating 49 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.

Spencer Hawes – Thanks to a rash of injuries and to Paul Westphal constantly juggling his lineup, the second greatest Spencer in NBA annals (behind coach-killing Spencer Haywood) has re-claimed his starting role and has been performing rather well of late. He dispensed (get it?) 16 points, eight rebound, six assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes against the Bucks on Friday and registered 13 points, 10 boards and three blocks yesterday against the Clips. Hawes has Troy Murphy potential with a few more blocks to boot. Believe it or not, he’s still only 21 years old and has a nice future ahead.

Francisco Garcia – Garcia is carving out a strange career. He’s typically on everyone’s pre-draft sleeper list and then splits a toenail during mini-camp and is done for three months. With Evans out and Omri Casspi taking a long winter’s nap, Garcia has a huge opportunity to re-emerge for the Kings. In two games over the weekend, he averaged 13.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 3-pointer, but the important number is the 34.0 minutes he averaged. For those of you in dire need of the long ball, pounce on the Louisville product.

Jason Maxiell – Nothing makes me despise reporting on basketball more than talking about the Pistons, but Maxiell again has new life with Ben Wallace back on the shelf. In the eight games that Wallace missed with a sore patellar tendon, Maxiell averaged 10.9 points, 11.3 rebounds and 0.9 blocks. In his first game back to action, Wallace actually injured both of his knees and reports as to the severity have yet to surface.

Manu Ginobili – I can’t imagine what Ginobili’s numbers would have looked like all these years if he had consistently been given starter’s minutes… or if he had Kobe Bryant‘s mentality and heaved shots from all angles at all times. In the past eight games, he has averaged 23.4 points with phenomenal peripherals. If his hooves remain intact, expect top 30 production the rest of the way.

James Johnson – This virtual unknown has found his way into the Bulls’ starting lineup. He is averaging 30.5 minutes over his last six contests and gives you a little bit of everything, including blocks and threes. Joakim Noah is working his way back into the mix, which could stem Johnson’s minutes. But for this week, Johnson could be a nice play.

Anthony Tolliver – The Golden State rotation can make a person’s head spin, but Tolliver is clearly worth an add. He should qualify at center an offers a variety of fun stats as a key member of the Warriors’ sprint and relay teams. He has played 35+ minutes in six of his last nine, and over this period has totaled 17 threes, 10 steals and eight blocked shots. It’s tough to be a believer in anything Nellie does, but the sample size is getting larger.

Reggie Williams – This is not the Reggie Williams who chucked up shots for Georgetown 25 years ago. This is the 10-day contract Reggie Williams who is chucking up shots at an alarming rate for the Warriors. Over his last three games, he has averaged 32.7 minutes, 17.3 points, 2.3 threes and 1.3 steals per contest. Don Nelson is liable to pull someone out of the stands to play 35 minutes tomorrow, but for the time being, Williams could help you win.

Big Monday night with 10 games on tap, including Celtics at Jazz and Spurs at Thunder. The Suns are also playing tonight in Golden State. If the Warriors can hold Phoenix under 150 points, fans will be treated to a milkshake at the local Steak ‘N’ Shake. That’s one milkshake, 12,000 straws.


The Small Forward Position: Top 25 & Analysis

By Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse

The small forward position is home to some of the brightest fantasy stars in the game, but also some of the most frustrating. There are lots of injury risks on this list, plus a guy (Rashard Lewis) who is facing a 10-game suspension for using a banned substance. Equally intriguing are the players who switched teams on this list, from the always-entertaining Ron Artest in L.A., to Trevor Ariza in Houston, to Richard Jefferson in San Antonio, to Hedo Turkoglu in Toronto. We left off some potential starting SFs because we’re saving them for the power forward rankings, where they are better suited. Many of these players are hybrids and it always bears noting that you should check your league’s positional eligibility format and rules before drafting. For this exercise, format is based on standard eight-category rotisserie style (FG%, FT%, PTS, REB, AST, STL, BLK, 3FG).

2009-10 Small Forward Rankings

Tom’s Top 25 Jeff’s Top 25
1. LeBron James 1. LeBron James
2. Kevin Durant 2. Kevin Durant
3. Danny Granger 3. Danny Granger
4. Carmelo Anthony 4. Carmelo Anthony
5. Caron Butler 5. Caron Butler
6. Paul Pierce 6. Gerald Wallace
7. Gerald Wallace 7. Paul Pierce
8. Rudy Gay 8. Rashard Lewis
9. Hedo Turkoglu 9. Rudy Gay
10. Luol Deng 10. Hedo Turkoglu
11. Al Harrington 11. Al Harrington
12. Marvin Williams 12. Francisco Garcia
13. Rashard Lewis 13. Luol Deng
14. Trevor Ariza 14. Richard Jefferson
15. Richard Jefferson 15. Ron Artest
16. Ron Artest 16. Trevor Ariza
17. Andre Kirilenko 17. Thaddeus Young
18. Thaddeus Young 18. Marvin Williams
19. Danilo Gallinari 19. Andre Kirilenko
20. Corey Maggette 20. Al Thornton
21. Al Thornton 21. Kelenna Azubuike
22. Francisco Garcia 22. Peja Stojakovic
23. Peja Stojakovic 23. Corey Maggette
24. Shane Battier 24. Tayshaun Prince
25. Tayshaun Prince 25. Grant Hill

BREAKING DOWN THE SHOOTING GUARD POSITION

Three Questions for Tom

Jeff: I have Rashard Lewis nine spots ahead of Marvin Williams, yet you drop Lewis to 13th, two behind Williams. Do you love Williams this year, or dislike Lewis, or both? Talk to me.

Tom: I like Williams this year. He shot the ball well last year, especially from beyond the arc. He’s right about in the middle of the pack, as far as I’m concerned and that’s why I put him at No. 12. Rashard Lewis, on the other hand, is a guy I’m only going to take as a bargain. I love the fact that he could lead the league in three-point shooting, but there are too many things working against him. The first knock on Lewis is his 10-game suspension. That’s the first two-plus weeks of the season. You could live with that in the 7th or 8th round, right, but if you’re taking him as one of your first four or five picks, that’s a foundation guy you aren’t going to have to start off the season. I also think that Lewis is going to get lost in this Orlando offense. He is already coming off a season where he averaged his lowest number of field goal attempts (13.6) since 2001-02. Orlando has added Vince Carter, who will get his touches, plus they return a point guard in Jameer Nelson who isn’t afraid to create his own shot. Coming into the season I would have put Lewis as a fourth-round selection. I think when you take 10 games away from Lewis, add in Carter, a full-Nelson, newcomers like Matt Barnes and Brandon Bass, and the fact that Lewis is already coming of his most ‘passive’ season — it’s already making me sweat just thinking about owning Lewis at a premium price!

Jeff: You rank Danilo Gallinari 19th, so you’re ready to declare him an impactful fantasy player?

Tom: First, the reports on Gallinari are that he is a just about 100% pain free! (editor’s note: what is this, an infomercial?) The second thing that gets me excited about Gallinari is that he is the one and only key to bringing LeBron James to New York next summer and you can be sure that Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni will be sure to see him develop this season. The Knicks are banking on him fulfilling the Dirk Nowitzki comparisons in order to flash him in front of LBJ as a future star and the guy who is going to help him win a ring in New York. Gallinari showed last season that he can shoot: 44.8 FG%, 96.3 FT%, 44.4 3PT%. It was a small sample size (28 games, 412 minutes) but even while he was injured for most of the season he still averaged 16.5 PTS/40 and 5.3 R/EB40. The opportunities are there for Gallinari this season. D’Antoni is going to make sure that the minutes are going to be there and the offensive touches will be plentiful. Maybe I’m jumping on the bandwagon for too soon, but I just want to make sure I’m in the driver’s seat when he turns it on this season.

Jeff: Can fantasy owners count on Luol Deng this year? What is the best case scenario for him statistically?

Tom: This is one of those scenarios where you say ‘it’s now or never.’ If we can’t get 75+ productive games out of Deng this season then there’s little hope that he’ll turn into the player that the Bulls were hoping he would when they refused to trade him for Kevin Garnett or Pau Gasol.

I’d like to think that the best case scenario for Deng is 19/7/2 with 1.5 steals, plus-50% from the floor and 77-78% from the line. While that may seem like a reach, that is exactly what he averaged in 2006-07 (82 games!). Can I assure you that he’ll post a healthy 82 games this season? Of course not! But I like the fact that he is coming into a season with a rising star at the point and that he can approach 17-19 points and eight rebounds per game, while shooting over 50% from the floor.

Three Questions for Jeff

Tom: Let’s talk Francisco Garcia for a minute. Last year I was pretty high on Garcia going into the season and I imagine that your line of thinking might echo my thoughts in the summer of 2008: now is Garcia’s time to step it up; he has a clear path to playing time. Injuries aside, Garcia had a near identical season to his 2007-08 season in 2008-09: 12.7 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.4 threes, 1.2 steals, 1.0 block, 82.0 free throw percentage, and 44.4 percent from the field. A nice season, but across the board just a tick up/down from his previous season. With Andres Nocioni in Sacramento for a full season, a healthy Kevin Martin, three promising young players in Tyreke Evans, Spencer Hawes, and Jason Thompson: what makes this the season that Garcia sniffs the Top 10 small forwards in the NBA?

Jeff: I’m not sure I really like the guys below him that much. Is that enough of a cop out for you? Hey, listen, Garcia is one of those sneaky fantasy guys who does a little bit of everything and can help you fill out your roster nicely at either guard or forward. I think his numbers will rise a little this year as he’s the only true ‘3’ man in the Kings’ rotation, and the health of Martin and Nocioni has never been anything to count on. There may be some ups and downs for Garcia, but I think he has a real shot to approach 14-15 points per game with his customary solid stats in threes, steals, and yes, blocks for a swingman.

Tom: I’ll be short on this one: Why should I believe that Kelenna Azubuike is going to play a more significant role in Golden State than Corey Maggette is?

Jeff: If you’ve owned Maggette in recent years, you know what I mean. The guy can’t get settled in Golden State, and nagging injuries have left him a shaky play, even when you think he’s healthy. Azubuike, on the other hand, became more of a Don Nelson favorite last year and filled up the box score when the minutes were there. The two players’ stat lines are deceptive, as Maggette appeared in just 51 games. If you told me Maggette was going to play in 75 games this year, I’d shoot him up the list. As of now, however, Azubuike seems like more of a sure thing on a team with virtually no sure things. He’s probably going to start at small forward, and when injuries pile up (and they will) he’ll be one of the last men standing and providing decent fantasy value. I’d draft both guys as backups this year, nothing more, until we see the mess that is the Warriors’ rotation play itself out.

Tom: Why Ron Artest over Trevor Ariza? Didn’t Ariza have a breakout season last year and isn’t he seemingly one of the two or three best players on his team? And isn’t Artest the fourth best player on his own team and on the downside of his career?

Jeff: Yes, to both of those questions. But there are some caveats. Ariza is one of the two or three best players on the Rockets, but A) that isn’t saying much and B) that doesn’t mean he can do enough offensively. Ariza won’t benefit from open looks he saw in Los Angeles as there won’t be much of a need to double-team any Rockets this year. He’s never had to create his own shot before, either, and will primarily act as an energy guy and defensive specialist because let’s face it: that’s what he is. Artest is in the same boat in L.A. and I see them both putting up similar numbers. I’d like to think on a better offensive team Artest can improve his albatross, FG%, but Ariza gets the edge there. Neither are great at the line, but Artest is better (74.8% to 71.0%). They will both get their steals and boards but Artest has an edge in three-point shooting. It’s a toss-up, but I’m not sure Ariza is going to find things easier for him in Houston.

Tom Lorenzo and Jeff Andriesse will break down the Power Forward position in the next few days. If you have comments, questions or suggestions, drop ’em in the Comments Section. Also, be sure to follow Tom and Jeff on Twitter and check out RotoExperts.com for the most comprehensive fantasy sports coverage on the web.


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