Big Picture: Dealing with Arenas

Big Picture: Dealing with Arenas
By Matt Buser
December 1, 2007

Matt Buser
Yahoo Sports
What to do with Gilbert Arenas has been a hot-button issue over the past week, in the wake of surgery that is expected to sideline him for three months. A number of owners have already gone the way of the straight drop, which isn't something I condone. As of right now, Arenas should be back for roughly the final two months of the season – until we get updates that push that date back, he's worth hanging onto in all but the shallowest of leagues. Head-to-head owners will have a tough time dealing with that, but at the very least, you have to wait for the first updates as to how he's healing before you pull the trigger on an add/drop. If you simply can't bear it, shop him around your league and see what you can get for him. Roto owners should just plan on his taking up a bench spot for an indefinite period of time. As always, fantasy owners need to be thinking about the long haul – in roto, it's a marathon not a sprint; in head-to-head, you just have to make the playoffs, and then it's anyone's game.

Injury Report
Marvin Williams (GF – Atlanta)
Williams missed Wednesday's game with a strained right hip, but he returned to action Friday and scored 18 points.

Acie Law (PG – Atlanta)
Law has returned to practice for the Hawks. He could return to the lineup on Monday.

LeBron James (SF – Cleveland)
James suffered a sprained left index finger in the second quarter of the Cavs' loss to the Pistons on Wednesday. X-rays were negative, but he sat out Friday's game.

Jermaine O'Neal (FC – Indiana)
O'Neal missed his fifth consecutive game on Wednesday with continued left knee and leg problems. The Pacers have made it clear that O'Neal isn't going to play until he's 100 percent, so it's unknown when he'll be able to return to the court, although he has stepped up the intensity of his workouts.

Sam Cassell (PG – LA Clippers)
Cassell left Monday's game early because of a left calf strain. He sat out Friday's game at Denver.

Randy Foye (G – Minnesota)
Foye is expected to miss at least two more weeks because of the stress reaction in his knee.

Luke Ridnour (PG – Seattle)
Ridnour is close to returning to Sonics' practices, according to The Tacoma News Tribune. Ridnour has missed the past two weeks with a torn left quadriceps.

Nick Collison (FC – Seattle)
Collison will miss at least the next two games with a right nasal wall fracture, according to the USA Today, and be re-evaluated by team doctors on Tuesday.

Chris Bosh (FC – Toronto); T.J. Ford (PG – Toronto); Andrea Bargnani (FC – Toronto)
According to The Canadian Press, Bosh, Ford, and Bargnani were all questionable for Friday's game, but Bosh was the only one who wound up sitting it out. Bosh's status is unknown until the test results are returned, and Bargnani said that he his knee bruise "is not a big deal" – he scored 26 on Friday against Cleveland.

Buzz Index – adds
Marko Jaric (GF – Minnesota) 22,810 adds
Jaric's production has spiked along with a recent spike in minutes. Over the past four, he's averaged 16.8 on 57 percent shooting, 1 three, 6.3 assists, 1.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks in 38 minutes per game.
Upshot: Whoever runs the point for Minnesota while Randy Foye is on the mend is simply filler for a few more weeks, and Jaric has never been known for sustained production. The plus D isn't a surprise, but don't count on the rest of the numbers holding up for much longer.

Juan Carlos Navarro (G – Memphis) 17,675 adds
Navarro has been starting at SG when the Grizzlies have used their small lineup. He's started five of the past seven games, averaging 17.8 points on 52 percent shooting, 2.8 threes, 4.2 boards, and 3.2 assists in 36 minutes during those games.
Upshot: It appears that the Grizz are going to stick with the small lineup, with Memphis coach Mark Iavaroni calling it the "long-term approach." Navarro should remain a solid option for similar across-the-board contributions moving forward.

Beno Udrih (PG – Sacramento) 16,248 adds
Udrih was dropped from some fantasy rosters after he injured his right knee, but he missed just one full game and has averaged 18 points on 46 percent shooting, 1 three, and 4 assists over the past three games.
Upshot: The story hasn't changed with Udrih. He's averaged 16 points on 47 percent shooting, 0.9 threes, 4.6 assists, and 0.9 steals in his seven starts for Sacramento, and that type of production should hold up until Mike Bibby gets back.

Jose Calderon (PG – Toronto) 14,774 adds
Calderon has been very productive in his five starts, filling in for T.J. Ford. He's averaged 12 points and 11 assists in 37 minutes per game.
Upshot: Ford returned to the lineup on Friday, but Calderon remained in the starting lineup. He's still worth a roster spot in most leagues when he returns to the bench, however – Ford is good for games off with regularity, and Calderon is still a productive player as a reserve. His season averages in 25 minutes per game include 9.6 points on 48 percent shooting and 7.5 assists.

Antonio Daniels (PG – Washington) 12,417 adds
Daniels is the starting PG for the Wizards as long as Gilbert Arenas is on the shelf – in seven starts thus far, Daniels has averaged 12.1 points on 48 percent shooting, 5.1 boards, 7.3 assists, and 1.7 steals in 38 minutes per game.
Upshot: Simply put, Daniels should be universally owned.

Buzz Index – drops
Sam Cassell (PG – LA Clippers) 13,226 drops
Cassell was sent to waivers in a number of leagues after he left the Clippers' most recent game after just four minutes played with a right calf strain.
Lowdown: Cassell has had a few productive games this season, but he's also had more games with fewer than 10 points (four) than he's had with more than 13 (three), and his stints on the inactive list are surely to trump anything decent in terms of per-game production.

Rashad McCants (G – Minnesota) 12,174 drops
McCants was cut loose by some fantasy owners after a horrific five-game stretch in which he averaged 8 points on 27 percent shooting, 0.4 threes on 13 percent shooting, and 2.8 turnovers.
Lowdown: If the shot isn't falling, McCants has zero fantasy value – his overall line is poor, at best, and turnovers have been the only consistent part of his game thus far. While he did manage to score 17 points in his most recent game, he shot 41 percent from the field, and the rest of his line included no threes, one rebound, one assist, one steal, and two turnovers.

Kenyon Martin (PF – Denver) 10,478 drops
Martin missed his second full game of the season on Tuesday, as he's currently recovering from a bone bruise in his right knee.
Lowdown: Martin has managed 8.6 points and 4.9 boards in 22 minutes thus far, despite 13 starts in place of the injured Nene Hilario. He's posted some nice defensive numbers (1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks), but it's unlikely that he's going to see more than 20ish minutes the entire season, even if he manages to stay relatively healthy.

Andray Blatche (FC – Washington) 11,081 drops
Blatche has resumed his role as a reserve now that Brendan Haywood is back manning the middle for the Wizards. He's averaged 5.7 points and 5 rebounds in 20 minutes per game over the past three.
Lowdown: Blatche has been a polarizing fantasy player, as he also had 9,000-plus adds over the past three days. His season averages of 7.5 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks in 20 minutes per game are reasonable for a C3, and his success while Haywood was injured assures that he'll see steady minutes moving forward. If Blatche is the worst player on your fantasy team, you are doing just fine.

Antoine Wright (GF – New Jersey) 7,546 drops
Wright didn't exactly bust out during his stint in the Nets' starting lineup – in his nine starts, he's averaged 9.4 points on 40 percent shooting, 1 three, 3.6 boards, 0.9 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 36 minutes.
Lowdown: Wright actually averaged more points, threes, steals, and blocks in his six games as a reserve to start the season. Now that Vince Carter has worked his way back up to speed, Wright should be headed back to the bench – Sean Williams and Bostjan Nachbar appear to be the non-big-three Nets with fantasy upside at this point.

Eddy Curry Line Update
the Eddy Curry Line was originally established to put a spotlight on how truly anemic Curry's overall fantasy line is. It can be used to help establish which players are among the best and worst, in terms of efficiency of production, for fantasy basketball. The standard: a player must average more turnovers than assists, steals, and blocks combined – in order to qualify, a player must have appeared in at least half of his team's games and averaged at least 25 minutes of playing time.

EDDY CURRY LINE – BEST AND WORST (as of 11/29)
TOP 10 (Worst) GP MPG POS NEG RATIO
Zach Randolph 10 34.0 23 39 0.59:1
Eddy Curry 13 32.4 20 29 0.69:1
Rashad McCants 12 26.8 34 39 0.87:1
Lamarcus Aldridge 15 33.7 33 33 1.00:1
Lamar Odom 10 35.5 30 30 1.00:1
Mikki Moore 15 26.4 23 21 1.10:1
Drew Gooden 16 35.3 39 34 1.15:1
Tyson Chandler 15 31.4 43 34 1.27:1
Ben Gordon 13 37.5 50 39 1.28:1
Kevin Durant 16 34.1 66 51 1.29:1
BOTTOM 10 (Best) GP MPG POS NEG RATIO
Ben Wallace 13 30.5 56 10 5.60:1
Jason Williams 14 34.4 104 21 4.96:1
Antoine Wright 15 33.1 53 11 4.82:1
Chauncey Billups 12 33.7 116 25 4.64:1
Marcus Camby 15 34.1 118 26 4.54:1
Jamario Moon 11 29.5 44 10 4.40:1
Ronnie Brewer 16 30.1 83 19 4.37:1
Antonio Daniels 15 27.9 87 20 4.35:1
Jason Terry 15 30.7 76 18 4.22:1
Steve Blake 15 29.9 97 23 4.22:1

GP = games played
MPG = minutes played per game
POS = positive stats accumulated to-date (assists + steals + blocks)
NEG = turnovers to-date
RATIO = amount of positive stats per turnover

Matt Buser is a Yahoo! Sports fantasy expert. Follow him on Twitter. Send Matt a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.

Updated on Saturday, Dec 1, 2007 4:37 pm, EST

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