Ryan Knaus

NBA Fantasy Trends

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Charlotte Fever

Wednesday, March 19, 2008




Curry's season gets nixed—Eddy Curry's season-ending knee surgery has had a surprisingly muted effect both in real life and in fantasy leagues. His awful play and limited minutes had basically rendered him useless, but even so, you'd think that the disappearance of a nearly 300-pound center would have more noticeable fallout.

Instead, we have Wilson Chandler as a starter, and little else. Chandler has started the last six games for New York, compiling averages of 5.8 points on 30% shooting, 4.8 rebounds and basically nothing else. Pretty great, huh? Let him hang on the waiver wire until he posts a few lines worthy of an NBA starter.

The Heat—Udonis Haslem is dealing with an ankle that is sprained in two places and has bone spurs, not a promising injury for any player, let alone a member of the lottery-bound Heat. Miami can't afford to lose any more players but may soon have to shut Haslem down for the season—doctors have already cautioned that continued activity could exacerbate the injury.

If and when Haslem does shut it down for good, the Heat will be forced to cobble together a front-court consisting of Mark Blount and untested big men Alexander Johnson and Earl Barron. None of these guys are a fantasy shoo-in—in fact, they're probably not even worth owning outside of deep leagues. Blount is lucky to get 10 points and five rebounds in a game, with comical contributions to other categories.

Earl Barron is hardly better. He scored a career-high 21 points last Sunday, but a quick glance at his other career-highs will explain my pessimism. In a single game, Barron has never had more than seven rebounds (he did that twice), two assists (once), two steals (twice) and one block (many times). Oh, and if that isn't enough to dissuade you, he's a career 37% shooter. Yikes.

Then there is Alexander Johnson, who has "upside" only because we haven't seen much of him. In his career, he's averaging four points and three rebounds in 14 minutes per game. Even when you throw in 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks, he's probably not the type of player owners are looking for as we approach the fantasy playoffs. Keep an eye on him, but don't worry if it wanders—the Heat are awful in fantasy leagues as well as real life.

Princes in waiting—John Salmons and/or Francisco Garcia could be in for a resurgence in value if king of the hill Ron Artest's "stiff elbow" turns out to be anything serious. I'll only give this a brief mention, because nothing indicates that the injury will be season-ending and Artest played a whopping 42 minutes on Tuesday. Still, he had surgery to remove bone chips in the same elbow earlier this season, and it's within the realm of possibility that this injury could escalate the longer he plays with it.

Thanks for reading along, hope it gave you some things to consider as the season winds down. Until next week,

RK


Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.
Email :Ryan Knaus



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