Here's the latest Top 40 player rankings for the rest of the year. One change I made this week is if a player is ranked outside the top 120 (top 160 for centers) for the week, his projected fantasy contribution is cut in half. The logic is that some players are on teams with adverse schedules, with one or two weeks where they only have 2 games instead of the normal 3-4. Well, you'd probably bench that guy for the week (unless he was a top 20 player), so the contribution to your team would be minimal, if any. Now that we're nearly 40% through with the NBA season, it's time to start paying attention to schedules and their impact on fantasy values.
Top 40 Fantasy Contribution, Week 11 and beyond:
Movers and Shakers
A bunch of long-term injuries to guys like Marcus Camby, Yao Ming, Shareef Abdur-Rahim, Bonzi Wells, Damon Stoudamire and Larry Hughes have opened up some playing opportunities for guys like Francisco Elson, Stromile Swift, Kenny Thomas, Kevin Martin, Bobby Jackson and Damon Jones. Out of this group, Thomas and Jackson look like the safest bets. Keep a close eye on Jones, however. He was very productive with Miami last year and could get closer to those levels if he gets 30+ minutes per game.
David Lee is another guy to keep a close eye on. 10-of-11 shooting against Phoenix the other night (granted the game went 3OT, but I think he had 17 in the first half). Larry Brown is a fantasy-killer, but Lee can be productive if he stays in the starting role. Vladimir Radmanovic is another guy who's been promoted to starter -- he was very good the last couple of years and is worth taking a flyer on. Where else are you going to get 2 3-pointers per game from a center?
Keep a close eye on any upcoming trades and their fantasy implications...the NBA has been eerily quiet so far this year. Of course, Ron Artest is the big name out there. I'm guessing he goes to the T-Wolves in a package deal for Wally World and Michael Olowokandi. I wouldn't be trading for Szczerbiak right now -- his value will certainly go down if he's on Indiana or most other teams for that matter. This may be wishful thinking, but I think you might see Donyell Marshall get dealt somewhere for a point guard (why is Eric Snow starting for the Cavs?). That would be great news for owners of both Marshall and Drew Gooden. Marshall is a fantasy beast when he's in there.
J.R. Smith Update
Well, the next 'great' fantasy player, according to fantasy expert Brian Flood of CBS Sportsline , has fallen on hard times of late. He's fully entrenched in Byron Scott's doghouse and has combined for a total of 32 seconds of playing time the last two games! Here are his per game averages since Flood said you should run out and add this dude to your roster A.S.A.P.:
Frelton Spencers Update
Well, the Camby trade for Spencers 6 backfired. The Rashard Lewis/Joe Johnson for Camby/Ray Allen deal looked like a sure-fire winner until Camby went down in flames a couple of days later. Spencers 6 looks doomed solely because of injuries (McGrady, Kirilenko, Maggette, Ginobili, and Boozer are also on this roster). Two subsequent deals to unload Camby -- one for Brevin Knight, the other for Pau Gasol both were vetoed mysteriously by the powers that be at CBS Sportsline. The Gasol deal would've gotten us right back in the mix.
(FANTASY UPDATE: Just pulled off a blockbuster trade for Spencers 6. Traded away T-Mac, Kirilenko and Kyle Korver for LeBron James, Stephon Marbury and Tayshaun Prince. I'm giving up a lot of value in order to get LeBron -- I love Kirilenko -- but S6 needs PTS and AST badly. Lil Penny projects the deal moves us up from 63 and in 3rd place to 71 pts and in 1st place. We're definitely rolling the dice here, but it's worth the risk. Stay tuned.)
The good news is the Camby injury put all of our other teams in very good shape. Spencers 3 could end up being one of the top teams in all of Sportsline when it's all said and done, I think we're ranked 52nd overall right now. We've had the top team each individual week for 8 weeks in a row, making it nearly impossible for anybody to gain ground on us. Spencers 4 abused a team called P.Galore on another trade, getting Chris Paul for Cuttino Mobley and Joel Przybilla (earlier in the year, we dumped Alonzo Mourning on him for Shane Battier right before Shaq came back).
Spencers 1: Current - 64 pts, 3rd place; Projected - 71 pts, 1st place
Spencers 2: Current - 59 pts, 5th place; Projected - 72 pts, 1st place
Spencers 3: Current - 81 pts, 1st place; Projected - 84 pts, 1st place
Spencers 4: Current - 72 pts, 2nd place; Projected - 76 pts, 1st place
Spencers 5: Current - 75.5 pts, 2nd place; Projected - 75 pts, 3rd place
Spencers 6: Current - 52 pts, 6th place; Projected - 63 pts, 3rd place
Spencers 3 has been so dominant, other owners have been 'calling us out' on the league message board. Plus one owner made us a lame duck Chris Bosh for Darius Miles for Troy Murphy offer (he claimed he didn't know Miles was injured) that was quickly vetoed by the powers that be, but it raised suspicions of collusion amongst the rest of the league. Their logic is fuzzy at best, check out the dialogue below:
BEFORE BOSH TRADE
"Kudos to Frelton for dumping Camby + Redd to get Dirk. A classic sell-high strategy combining the forever injured Camby and the 2-stat Redd for the killer fantasy stud Dirk. That said, Frelton is now pulverizing the rest of us. "
"This is the best group of people I have been in with so far. Good luck to all, and we'll see if anyone can reel in Mr Big Fish, AKA Frelton ... "
"NOW Boys, lets bring Spencers back to the pack so this can be a competitve league for #1! Catch that sneaky hooded Fantasy monster! When you look to trade be sure to have his team in mind because second means nothing!!! And especially if he is the trader on the other end! Good job Spence you have been and active trader and you are smoking the rest of us. Sorry Spence for calling you out but this just isnt right! You have to be stopped!"
" would like to wish you all a happy holiday and a healthy and happy new year.
As for our league I really would like to see more enthusiasum among the owners. I think there have been very few trades anbd if it continues none of us stand a chance to catch Felton."
"Spencers is a genius! You are a trading stud! Way to go as you separate even more fromt he pack. Great team assembled now and bar injury you are the winner. Ok guys, see if you can catch me. We can play for 2nd."
AFTER BOSH TRADE
"I only veto trades if they are horribly lopsided because that suggests either (1) someone is clueless and the rest of the league shouldn't be penalized for their cluelessness or (2) there's collusion. Frankly, it's impossible to tell the difference. Or at least, that's what I used to think. In this case, I must admit I am suspicious for a few reasons. If you pull up Darius Miles' name, it says he is either undergoing or has undergone surgery with no timetable for a return. This news did not come out yesterday; it's been out for awhile. Also, G Strings just encouraged the league to trade more and calling people out for not trading. Huh? If someone hasn't made a trade yet, so what. I've seen people complain about excessive vetoing, but never about not trading. Weird, unless G Strings is setting up to say he is an avid trader. It's also weird when the 2nd to last place team trades with the 1st place team. Not that it cannot happen; hell, trade away. But, it's weird when it's so lopsided that it begs questions. Look, I'm sure I'm wrong, but this league has been pretty cool so far and I'd hate for there to be some ugliness to ruin good clean fun."
"Whoa Whoa Whoa!!! Did I hear someone call the Spencers a trading genius. I take offense to that name. I'm the only Genius in this league. I had the best trade of the year vetoed. Webber, Mourning, for Parker, Okur and Simmons and I'm still a little bitter.
Many of you seem to think that Frelton is running away with this league. I predict he will be caught by the allstar break. So Frelton don't get too comfortable, and enjoy all the press for now."
"with the rumors surrounding your team, I think I'll wait until your league investigation is over. For all I know you could be controlling half the league."