Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Road to the Semifinals

The top dogs in most leagues are just now setting their sights back on a trophy after enjoying (or squirming throughout) the coveted "Bye" week, while the lucky few who remain after a devastating quarterfinal match will saddle up for another brutal playoff contest.  I just watched a good friend's team go down in a tear-stained blaze of glory thanks to some unlikely three-point barrages in the Phoenix-Sacramento game.  It's incredible the impact that one game, one shot can have on a fantasy team's future, but such are fantasy sports, much like the real thing, only less sweaty.

Speaking of perspiration, after a slow start, the Cavaliers looked like they could have walked past the Mavericks today.  Dallas is about as inconsistent a good team as the league can offer right now.  One night, they might very well sack up and beat the Spurs, and the next get run out of their home gym by a laughable team sporting a win percentage near .300.  This Dallas loss might be the only thing keeping Phoenix's sputtering playoff drive from expiring.  The Suns have lost 3 straight on the road, getting embarassed tonight in the Land of the Cowbell.  For one fleeting moment, Gavin Maloof heard the sound of birds chirping.

Rather than pour over my weekend choices for last minute runs at various categories, I thought we could return to the normal pick-up list from now until late Thursday night.  Be forewarned that there will be multiple rants throughout the week, as well.  And I'll tell you one other thing -- we are getting darn close to the start of the baseball season.  Continue to monitor your fantasy league page for breaking news on baseball players, and, of course,  Once the fantasy NBA playoffs come to a close, we'll blast into MLB with a full head of steam.

Now the pick-ups, courtesy of our good friends at Parker Brothers, a subsidiary of Hasbro.

Monopoly (the gold standard of all games board):
  • Thaddeus Young - The athletic 76er has learned how to rebound, at least temporarily, which means, tada! he's worth starting all the time.
  • Grant Hill - With the sole disclaimer that he should be BENCHED on the second night of a back-to-back.
Scrabble (much like the players listed below, thought and caution are required):
  • Tyrus Thomas - The defensive numbers are positively outrageous lately.
  • Mike Miller - Back in the starting lineup for the Timberwolves, which means his stat lines should have *cough* more taste while remaining less filling.  I regret typing that already.
  • Ryan Gomes - Kevin McHale tinkered with the starting 5 in Minnesota, but so long as Gomes is playing alongside Mike Miller and they're both seeing 30+ minutes, they are both quite versatile.
  • Glen Davis - Even once Garnett comes back, his minutes will be limited, and Davis should be the chunky PF chomping on the excess playing time.
  • Brandon Rush - Indiana is in the LottoZone, so it's time to bust out the youngsters.  Rush has been inserted in the starting lineup, and is suddenly playing 35 minutes a game and hucking up 20 shots per night.  Could be one of the late-late-late season sleepers, like Ramon Sessions was last year.
  • Spencer Hawes - Available in a scant few leagues due to posting big numbers early in the season, if he's around I highly suggest grabbing him.  Hawes is that rare big man that also hoists a few 3's (though doesn't make too many, even a couple can make all the difference).
  • Jason Thompson - The yin to Hawes's yang, Thompson is the more powerful, but they appear to be working in tandem quite nicely, almost splitting rebounds right down the middle.
  • Jarrett Jack - Firmly back in the starting lineup for the Pacers, thanks to the team's better all-around play when he's on the court.  A very good free throw shooter that doesn't turn the ball over.  If your team is already good defensively, Jack could be a nice low-defense, high-offense complement.
Mastermind (a spectacular board game...for the first 10 minutes):
  • Jared Dudley - He's contributing off the bench for the Suns, but there's no telling when he might post the mysterious 2 point, 1 turnover night.
  • Javaris Crittendon - Mike James is, well, dead to me (and to Wizards fans, if there are any left), but with Arenas playing every other game, Crittendon is the odd man out.
And if you made it to the end of the list, you shall be rewarded with your strategic play of the week:
Set your lineup deliberately.  Do not rush to play everybody.  Start slowly, with only your best players on the floor on Monday through Wednesday.  Then, come Thursday, re-evaluate what you need to defeat your opponent.  At that point, make changes.  Since you saved an extra 4-6 games presumably, you can make up additional ground in the categories you choose.

Feel free to email with more questions, or just post them in the comments section!


DHR said...


Danno said...

I was darn close to being da man, I'll give you that much.

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