By Matt Rochinski
November 20, 2012
What most fantasy players want is someone who is flashy – a big name who puts up big stats. Ask most fantasy players, “Who’d you get?” following their draft and they’re more than likely to say LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Kevin Love or another perennial all star they expect to dominate the fantasy scene. While their value is not overestimated, the true fantasy player knows it’s the blue-collar guys who can get you wins from week to week, and getting consistent production from guys deeper down your bench is key.
Cats center Brendan Haywood has been the portrait of consistency since coming to the Bobcats. He’s not going to give you those 20+ point outbursts that some NBA big men give, but he’s also not going to not show up on a given night. If Haywood is out there, he will be busting his hump for you, and you usually know what he’s going to give you. Expect somewhere in the neighborhood of eight points and eight rebounds and you won’t be disappointed, but pleasantly surprised on some nights. Since joining Charlotte, Haywood is averaging 7.3 points, 8.0 rebounds (3.3 offensive), 1.00 block and 1.0 assist – his best numbers since 2009-10 in Dallas. If you took Haywood in the back half of your draft, you have to be impressed with his consistency so far.
Speaking of consistent play from the center position – fantasy players know exactly what to expect from Andrea Bargnani when he tips off with the Raptors. This seven-footer can flat out score from almost anywhere on the court. He’s putting up 16.2 points through Toronto’s first 10 games despite shooting a career-worst 35.8 percent from the field. While he’s hit 15 treys already, his 33.3 percent shooting from long range is lower than expected as well. Once Bargnani starts finding his stroke again, a 20+ point average is not out of the question. Just don’t expect the rebounds to come in bunches. He’s bringing down 4.4 boards this season and has yet to have a double-digit rebounding performance.
Looking at the Atlanta Hawks roster, guys like Josh Smith and Al Horford stand out as the fantasy players to own, but have you noticed point guard Jeff Teague might be on his way to a career year? Teague is fourth on the team in scoring (13.8 points), shoots 52.3 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from long range and 93.3 percent from the charity stripe. He’s also adding a team-high 6.3 assists to go with 2.8 rebounds and 1.50 steals. With percentages like that to go with some of the intangibles, Teague is among some of the game’s best at the point from a fantasy standpoint.
The Wizards might be the only team in the NBA as of November 19, 2012 to have a reserve leading their squad in scoring. At the beginning of the week, Jordan Crawford led Washington with 12.4 points a game, while also dishing out 4.0 assists and grabbing 3.5 rebounds in 23.4 minutes off the bench. After failing to hit double-digit scoring in four straight games for the Wizards, Crawford got things going again last week, tying a season high with 21 points in a 107-101 loss to the Mavs on November 14, and following up with a 20-point performance on November 17 against Utah.