Ryan Knaus

NBA Fantasy Trends

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Poor Rip has a bum hip

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


Just as fantasy playoffs fade, the real-life playoffs kick into gear…but keep in mind that Rotoworld is here all year long, pumping out updates and breaking news. On some long summer day when you're itching for an NBA fix, stop by the site for updated rumors, trades and injuries…you know, the building blocks of a successful campaign in 2008-2009.

Just pray that we never use the words 'ruptured', 'skiing', 'motorcycle', 'micro-fracture' or 'Isiah Thomas'…unless the latter is immediately followed by 'has finally been fired'.

Rasho NesterovicI just dropped Chris Kaman for Rasho in one league, and was actually surprised that he was still available—the next best option was either Ronny Turiaf or Josh Boone.

Here are Rasho's averages in the month of March: 13.6 points on 56% shooting, 77% free throws, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 0.9 blocks and 1.2 turnovers in 30 minutes per game.

That line isn't too stellar, but compared to the competition it's a supergiant. The Raptors' recent lineup shift worked to Rasho's advantage—he's now established as the team's starting center and is locked into a reliable 30-minute role. More blocks and rebounds would certainly be nice from a fantasy center, but I'm unwilling to ask more of Rasho, who has never averaged more than 2.0 blocks or 7.7 rebounds in a season.

If Andrea Bargnani is still owned in your league, it's because his owner has conceded defeat (or simply lost interest).

Richard HamiltonRip's hip is giving his owners fits, and as he sits and licks his injury it is obvious there is no quick fix (how's that for alliteration). But seriously, his owners are in trouble.

The injured hip has been bothering him for weeks, and finally got to the point where the Pistons—who are comfortably floating into the playoffs as the number-two seed—were obligated to shut him down. To his credit, Hamilton returned long enough to harass LeBron James into a 4-of-17 shooting night—only the next day he reported significant discomfort in the offending hip joint.

So far Rip is questionable for Tuesday's game, but coach Flip Saunders already declared his intention to bench a few starters whenever the Pistons play a weak team from now until the playoffs (Tuesday's opponent is the Timberwolves). Hamilton's injury almost guarantees that he'll be one of the benched players, meaning his owners have to calculate vague but foreseeable DNPs into the equation next week. I can't recommend dropping him outright, but if you're scrapping tooth and nail to win your league, someone more reliable (say, Travis Outlaw?) seems like a wise alternative.

The Pistons bench plays consistent minutes, but they are too low for owners to benefit. Aaron Afflalo—who will start whenever Hamilton doesn't—has cracked 30 minutes just once. It is Rodney Stuckey who has the best chance of sustained value, and even he is no better than a fringe option in the vast majority of leagues (a complete lack of 3-pointers really hampers his value). UPDATE: Hamilton was inactive on Tuesday, along with Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups. Stuckey scored a career-high 27 points in his second career start. He'll be inconsistent, but is worth picking up.

Chris Quinn/Daequan Cook These two guys should have significant value for the rest of the season, provided Jason Williams doesn't return soon and spoil the fun. J-Will is supposedly returning this season, but his severely bruised thumb is in a cast and it's easy to see him shutting it down for good.

While Williams has been sidelined, Chris Quinn has proven that he can offer fantasy value even while dipping below 40% from the field.

In his last 10 games, NBA.com ranks Quinn as the second-most effective fantasy player among all sophomores, behind Rudy Gay and ahead of LaMarcus Aldridge.

In his last five games, Quinn has a ridiculous average of 3.4 steals to go along with 14.6 points on 34% shooting, 1.2 three-pointers, 28-of-33 (85%) free throws, 4.4 rebounds, 6.2 assists and only 2.2 turnovers.

Cook isn't nearly as appealing, but is worth a look in many formats if he continues to log close to 35 minutes as a starter.

Cook's averages for the month of March: 11.8 points on 37% shooting, 2.2 three-pointers, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.5 steals and 1.8 turnovers. He's a lousy 62% from the free throw line, but attempts only 1.1 per game.

Returning from post-concussion symptoms on Monday, he turned the ball over six times in 29 minutes, but managed a respectable 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting, four 3-pointers and six rebounds.

Bottom line: Neither guy will save your squad, but Quinn is obviously a valuable asset and Cook is more than capable of pitching in to help you win a few categories (he's best suited to chase someone down in 3-pointers).

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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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