Ah, the hustle and bustle of the early fantasy basketball season – "What's wrong with Kurt Thomas?" … "Smush Parker is going to carry me all season!" … "Why can't Andrei Kirilenko hit a shot?" … "Can someone talk to Larry Brown about Quentin Richardson's average draft position?" – Some people are panicking, others are supremely over-confident, while some know that it's simply too early to get excited one way or another about most of the goings-on to this point.
The key is to find out who is panicking and take advantage. They may have Thomas or Stephon Marbury or Larry Hughes and be willing to part with them for what will prove to be a short-term fix for them and a steal for you in the long-term.
The early season sees the most activity on the waiver wire – another situation that a shrewd owner can take advantage of. Make sure to check it out every day, and don't be surprised if players like Josh Smith and Samuel Dalembert have been dropped by owners who think Austin Croshere or James Singleton are better choices. Keep the Big Picture in mind – the standings matter in April, not November.
Some random observations:
Dwight Howard (PF, Orlando)– He is in a slump along with the rest of the Orlando offense, but it won't last: BUY
Smush Parker (G, LA Lakers)– His is currently ranked sixteenth in the Yahoo! game; the triangle offense may make him a solid contributor, but, no, that ranking won't last: SELL
Larry Hughes (SG, Cleveland)– Will he match last year's production? Perhaps not. Will he continue at his current pace? Absolutely not: BUY
T.J. Ford (PG, Milwaukee)– His assists only seem like they are making up for his 33 percent shooting because it's early and it's such a "feel good" story: SELL
Josh Smith (GF, Atlanta)– His demotion to a reserve role could make him fairly easy to acquire. He won't be a bit player in Atlanta for long: BUY
Kenyon Martin (PF, Denver)– His knee is giving him a lot of trouble, but he's playing through it at this point. The latter may not be the case for long: SELL
Brad Miller (C, Sacramento)– He's struggled in the early going, and if there will be a chance to steal him, it will be now: BUY
Shaquille O'Neal (C, Miami)– Even when he is "healthy," how careful do you think the Heat are going to be with him, especially down the stretch? Save yourself some grief: SELL
Kurt Thomas (FC, Phoenix)– You won't find a more frustrated bunch than Thomas owners. You should be able to get him on the cheap: BUY
Suns' coach Mike D'Antoni has announced the Boris Diaw will start tonight against the Pistons, replacing James Jones. Jones should only be slightly downgraded by this move, but Diaw has real potential to break out. Don't hesitate to pick him up on speculation … Sergei Monia has replaced Charles Smith as Portland's starting shooting guard, but won't be a fantasy factor and won't likely be the starter for long, either. Ruben Patterson should see his minutes steadily increase … Keep your eye on the Atlanta lineup and don't be surprised if Josh Smith is starting over Josh Childress soon … Jarvis Hayes replaced the injured Antonio Daniels in the Wizards' lineup yesterday, scoring 16 and grabbing seven boards. Daniels is day-to-day, so the move won't last … Derek Fisher started the Warrior's second game when Baron Davis' hamstring forced him to miss the game. Fisher is all but guaranteed consistent spot-starts and is getting minutes when the Warriors go with a small lineup.
Stat of the Week
Bonzi Wells' 18 rebounds (11/02 @ Houston) were easily a career high, but Wells is historically an above-average rebounder for his position – his career-high of 6.0 boards looks within reach. His penchant for defense and rebounding already appear to be opening things up for Peja Stojakovic from the outside – Peja has hit 52 percent of his three-point attempts so far, despite a slow start overall.
Stat-Line of the Week
Tim Duncan (11/07 @ Chicago): 24 points (9-15 FG, 6-6 FT), 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 6 blocks, 3 turnovers
- Josh Smith
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