Quick update on fantasy basketball and the Frelton Spencer's quest for world domination .
The big news, of course, is the Artest-for-Peja trade. But the bigger fantasy news might be Jermaine O'Neal going down for 8 weeks. I've always felt that Jermaine is overrated both as a player and a fantasy contributor. At some point during each of the last 4-5 years, I'd be watching Sportscenter and someone will utter the terms 'MVP candidate' and 'Jermaine O'Neal' in the same breath and I'd sit there and scratch my head. Really? Who in their right mind would vote JO'N ahead of KG or Duncan on their MVP ballot? Probably the same guys who pick him in the first or second round of their fantasy team and wonder why they're in the middle of the pack. That said, Jermaine going down has a major impact on the fantasy world and impacts the fantasy ramifications of the Artest/Peja deal.
Check out the following transaction that occured in one of my leagues this morning:
01/27/06 01:26 am ET kgticket
Taylor, Maurice F NY - Added
O'Neal, Jermaine F IND - Dropped
Ouch! I couldn't help but feel for this guy and picture him clicking his mouse to submit this transaction, probably with tears in his eyes. This had to hurt.
Thankfully, I don't own O'Neal on any of my six teams, so I benefit greatly by him going down. Plus, I quickly picked up Austin Croshere who should reap the benefits of getting additional minutes. He should put up decent-enough numbers to warrant a spot start when the schedule moves to Indiana's favor. Also, Stephen Jackson was beginning to look like the odd man out after that Artest deal -- seriously, if you're driving the lane and you have Peja open on one wing and S-Jax open on the other, who are you going to pass it to? But with O'Neal going down, Jackson and Peja are going to be throwing up shots left and right.
Wally World / Ricky Davis Trade
In my last installment , I predicted that Wally Szczerbiak and Michael Olowokandi would be dealt to Indiana for Artest. Right guys, wrong team. I don't think this deal has a whole lot of fantasy implications -- Wally's might go down a little, Davis might improve playing w/ KG instead of Pierce. The big winner might be Mark Blount, who will no longer get jerked around by Doc Rivers. Blount stinks, but he could be a serviceable fantasy center with 30+ consistent minutes. However, he may be the only big man who rebounds worse than Eddy Curry.
It's clear that the T-Wolves had to do something. I've watched them closely this year and they just can't win the close ones. Garnett is incredible, but I don't remember him hitting a whole lot of game-winning shots. He's probably too unselfish with the ball, especially down the stretch. When the T-Wolves blew a large lead late to the Sixers last week, Garnett took one shot in the 4th quarter! I watched the game and Trenton Hassell was taking nearly all of the shots down the stretch. Ricky should give them a more versatile weapon than Wally. And unlike Wally, when KG passes it out to Ricky, there might a chance he actually gets the ball back.
Frelton Spencers Update
In general, things are going well for the Spencers, and with Camby coming back this week and Yao Ming next week, expect them to make a major move over the next 2-3 weeks. There has been very little trade activity in the leagues of late as a number of bottom feeders have effectively dropped out.
Spencers 1: Current - 67 pts, 4th place; Projected - 76 pts, 1st place
Spencers 2: Current - 65 pts, T2nd place; Projected - 73 pts, 1st place
Spencers 3: Current - 76.5 pts, 1st place; Projected - 81 pts, 1st place
Spencers 4: Current - 77.5 pts, 2nd place; Projected - 80 pts, 1st place
Spencers 5: Current - 72.5 pts, T2nd place; Projected - 76 pts, 2nd place
Spencers 6: Current - 55 pts, 5th place; Projected - 75 pts, 1st place
The only trade of note was an offer that we accepted yesterday in S6: Traded away Samuel Dalembert and Marko Jaric for Pau Gasol and Mark Blount. Our plan is to flip both Gasol and Blount at some point down the road, but it's still a decent deal. Gasol has tremendous trade value, although he is generally overrated.
Top 40 Fantasy Players, Week 14 and Beyond