By: Tommy Beer
Okay, now let's pour over some stats and see if we can make some sense out of the NBA season thus far. Just like the real stock market, making deals where you benefit is all about timing. (Hopefully, your team won't need a billion dollar bailout.) In order to be a successful Fantasy GM, the goal is to sell a player when his value is at its peak and buy them when their value is deceptively low. Thus, let's take a look at who has seen their productivity spike, and whose value has dipped.
Jason Kidd – Dallas Mavericks: Apparently, reports of Kidd's demise have been greatly exaggerated. Kidd is currently the #3 overall ranked player in nine-category fantasy leagues. While he has lost a bit off his fastball, Kidd is absolutely still a triple-double threat every single time he steps out on that court. However, although we know he'll continue to rack up copious amounts of points, rebounds, and assists; we have to assume his abnormally high shooting percentage (his career mark is 40% and he currently hitting 45.7% of his shots) and three-points makes (2.2 per game) will drop back down to earth.
Amare Stoudemire - Phoenix Suns: His stock can't really rise much higher considering he was a consensus top-4 pick, but Amare has been the game's most dominant fantasy player early on this season. Amare is making MVP noise by steamrolling through the Suns first five games. Thru Friday's games, he led the Suns in scoring, rebounding, FG%, FT%, blocks, and steals. And his monster night versus the Pacers earlier this week was legendary. Per the Elias Sports Bureau: Stoudemire led the Suns to a 113-103 win at Indiana with 49 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals. Stoudemire was the first player to reach those levels in each of those four categories since the NBA started keeping track of steals (in 1973-74). Golden State's Rick Barry (64 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 5 steals) was one rebound shy of doing it in a 143-120 win over the Trail Blazers on March 26, 1974. Stoudemire made all 15 of his free-throw attempts on Wednesday night, the third time in his career that he's gone 15-for-15 or better from the line. The only active player with more such games than Stoudemire is Kobe Bryant, who's done it four times."
Marquis Daniels – Indiana Pacers: In Mike Dunleavy's absence (see below), Marquis Daniels has shone brightly. Through four contests, Daniels is playing nearly 37 minutes a night averaging a gaudy 15 point /8 rebound /3.5 assist stat line.
Andris Biedrins – Golden State Warriors: As always, there are some very interesting developments out in the land of Nellie-Ball. The most fantasy-pleasing may be the development of Andris Biedrins. Biedrins has been an absolute beast thus far – posting double-doubles in each of the Warriors first six contests. In fact, dating back to last season, AB has tallied a double-double in 13 straight games. What maybe even more impressive, is the fact that Biedrins has connected on 16 of his last 18 free-throw attempts. If he ever starts making his free-throws at even a respectable clip, watch out…
Nene – Denver Nuggets: Many have argued that Nene has always had the talent to be a beast, if he could only stay healthy. Well early on this season, Nene is proving those believers correct. He is currently averaging 15.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.6 blocks, while shooting 63.8 from the floor and 82.6% from the stripe! Now let's see if he can stay healthy.
Leandro Barbosa – Phoenix Suns: As good as Amare has been for Phoenix, Leandro Barbosa has been just as bad. Barbosa seems lost in Terry Porter's new offense. Through his first six games, Barbosa is playing just 20 minutes and averaging just 7.7 points and 1.8 assists. Can fantasy GM's that burned a mid-round pick on him officially start calling him the "Brazilian Bust?"
David Lee – New York Knicks: What's up with D Lee? Picked by many (including myself) to be headed towards a breakout season, Lee has stumbled a bit out of the gate. Over his last three games, Lee is averaging just 8 points and 2.3 rebounds in 25 minutes of action. This is definitely not what we were expecting from the double-double machine. However, if you won Lee, stay patient. He is a hustle/energy player and he'll get back on track soon. Yes I am worried about Coach D'Antoni starting Wilson Chandler and bringing Lee off the bench, but I do view him as a buy-low candidate right now, if you feel like doing some barging shopping…
Mike Dunleavy – Indian Pacers: It is officially time to really start worrying about Dunleavy. He played only 12 minutes of one preseason game, but the Pacers seemed to downplay his knee troubles back in October. But here we are now, nearly two weeks into the season, and there is still no sign of Lil' Dun. And according to this article, Dunleavy doesn't know when he'll return. "The Pacers are still calling Dunleavy's injury tendonitis, but coach Jim O'Brien said the tendon is unique because "some of it has turned into a bone spur." "It's not settling down as much as we would have liked it to," O'Brien said." This is not good news…
Most of the Chicago Bulls Roster:
Other than Derrick Rose, who is off to a phenomenal start, there are a
lot of ugly stat lines in Chicago. Let's run down the list: Mainly
because Rose has played so well, Kirk Hinrich has rendered relatively
irrelevant. Captain Kirk is playing less than 25 minutes a night has
scored a total of 11 points over the Bulls last three games… Pegged by
many as a solid sleeper candidate coming into this season, Tyrus Thomas
has been largely disappointing. He shows periodic flashes of
brilliance, but they just seem like teases. On the season Thomas is
averaging just 8.5 points and shooting a horrific 30% from the floor…
In the HOOPSWORLD preview content, I had been hyping Luol Deng as an
undervalued, potential stud. But Deng has not been able to find a
comfort zone yet this season and has struggled out of the gates,
averaging a disappointing 12.2 PPG on 37% shooting thru the Bulls first
six games. However, in contrast to Ty Thomas and Hinrich, I am still a
believer in Deng. I think he makes a fine 'buy-low' guy right now.
[Update: Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich may miss three months after an MRI revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament of his right thumb, according to the team. The injury will require surgery, which will be performed on Tuesday, Nov. 11 at Rush University Medical Center. He left Friday's game against Cleveland in the third quarter with the thumb injury. Hinrich may be out as long as 12 weeks following his surgery, the team said in a prepared release.]
Anthony Carter – Denver Nuggets: Carter was playing well and putting up terrific numbers as the Nuggets only true point guard. But with Billups now in Denver, Carter will be a non-factor in most fantasy leagues.