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InsideHoops [Fantasy Basketball] Feb. 19, 2004

Fantasy Basketball Answers




The Answerman is the first and only Fantasy Basketball and Romance advice columnist on the web. He is here at Inside Hoops to answer all your questions (or at least the interesting ones).

Ok readers.

Close the door.

Speak in hushed tones.

Tell no one in your league about this column. No one.

This column is for those of you in Head-to-Head Playoff leagues.

The Theory:

You did not sign up in order to finish the regular season in first place, nor are you happy just to be in the playoffs. You joined up to win the thing.

The Set-Up:

Playoffs generally last over the last two and a half weeks of the season (Monday to Sunday, the last week ends on a Wednesday). Over the course of those playoffs most teams have 8-9 games on the schedule. Some teams are different.

Therein lies the key.

Which teams have the most/fewest games over the period from March 29th to April 18th.

The Secret:

7 game teams - Denver Nuggets & Orlando Magic

10 game teams - New Jersey Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Golden State Warriors & Portland Trailblazers.

The Strategy:

You want to win your league, get 10-game players in your lineup, and lose your 7-gamers.

Here are some trades to mull over. I suggest them because the disparity in talent is big, but the disparity in production will be minimal over unequal periods of time. You can also get additional compensation in the deals.

The Deals:

I have no faith in Tracy McGrady's back on a losing Magic team for the fantasy playoffs. In light of this, I'd rather have 10 game Richard Jefferson (with some compensation).

McGrady Jefferson
Points: 190.4, 171
Rebounds: 41.3, 58
Assists: 39.2, 34
Steals: 9.1, 12.7
Blocks: 4.9, 3.7

McGrady wins - barely (19 points, 5 assists, 1 block). But you guilt your trading partner to toss in extra compensation, 10-game Steve Francis is ideal, Cuttino Mobley or Damon Stoudemire on the low end. You win.

Speaking of point guards, Andre Miller has had a great season. For your playoffs, you can match his production with the underrated Jeff McInnis of the 10-game Cleveland Cavaliers.

Miller McInnis
Points: 109.2, 113
Rebounds: 30.8, 26
Assists: 44.8, 53
Steals: 11.7, 8.8
Blocks: 1.7, .8

Again Miller comes out ahead - slightly - but look who wins points and assists. Why do we have players like Miller and McInnis on our teams again? Not the 4 rebounds or .8 block difference. The extra compensation is key here, get yourself a big - like 10-game Erick Dampier. It looks fair, it's not.

Speaking of Denver, I fear Carmelo Anthony, I fear his rookie wall. I fear defenses crunching down on him during their real-life playoff run. Most of all I fear his mere 7 games. You can get similiar production from the oft-maligned 10-game Damon Stoudemire.

Anthony Stoudemire
Points: 144.8, 127
Rebounds: 43.4, 34
Assists: 18.9, 62
Steals: 8.9, 11.6
Blocks: 4.2, 1.4

Carmelo comes out ahead, slightly, but do you see the assist difference? Is there an owner in this world - aside form those reading this article - who wouldn't grab Carmelo in a heartbeat? Make the trade "really" about Anthony for Richard (T-Mac) Jefferson and ask them to "toss in" Stoudemire if you throw in something else.

Speaking of marginal big men, Nene is a starter. Nene gets press as a good ball stealer and a massive big man. For fantasy playoffs, I'll take pine riding, 10-game Maurice Taylor.

Nene Taylor
Points: 80.5, 119
Rebounds: 45.5, 56
Assists: 15.4, 13.0
Steals: 9.8, 6.1
Blocks: 3.9, 7.4

Mo Taylor wins by a lot. There will be no resistance to dealing Taylor, except from the guys who think you are dumping. Let's really make this move count ... How about you give up Carmelo and Nene for Zach Randolph and Taylor.

Look at my deals. They think they took you. You'll win. They'll all sit around at your celebratory dinner saying "How'd that happen?" You'll shake your head and say "I just got lucky, I guess."

Yeah...Lucky to to read the

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