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InsideHoops NBA [FANTASY BASKETBALL] Dec. 8, 2003

Fantasy Basketball Answers




The Answerman is the unofficial, unauthorized, unrelenting, uncompromising, unpaid, unliscenced, uneducated though highly effective advice columnist at He also dabbles in matters of the heart. He is here to answer all your questions.

A lot of you have been asking the same questions lately. Here's your million-dollar help:

Ray Allen, Elton Brand, & Chris Webber: Each of these guys had been out since the very beginning of the season. (Elton Brand has now returned.) If you have Ray and Webber, your team is struggling and you are getting ready to panic.

The offers are starting to come in. Yesterday you got an e-mail saying something like of, "My guy can help you right away, you are too far behind, I'll take Webber off your hands".

Listen to the Answerman and please relax. Webber is back in December, and Allen is also back around New Years. You are never too far behind in December. I have a no panic rule until the All-Star break.

Tracy McGrady, Kobe Bryant, Shawn Marion, Paul Pierce, & Pau Gasol: Each of these guys are performing below expectations. Now is the WORST time to trade them because their values are low. Buy low, sell high.

However, if you cannot stand to look at them in your lineup anymore and must move them, then please wait for a 30 point game. It is coming from them in the next two weeks. That morning, when they are featured in Daily Shots, Game Smack etc., for their good game, make your offer.

Rasheed Wallace: Rasheed is a consistently disappointing fantasy performer. If you drafted him, I have no sympathy for you. However, because I care about my readers, I will help.

Rasheed is still lumped together by analysts as a "top forward" with "all the tools" along with Chris Webber, Kevin Garnett, & Tim Duncan. As a result, Wallace does have trade value. You can get Shawn Marion from a panicky owner, Andrei Kirilenko from an uneducated owner, or Ricky Davis from a fair minded owner.

Ronald Murray: We all knew this was coming. If you have Murray, be thankful for the surprise boost he gave your team this past month. Appreciate his contribution, the way you appreciate good porn on a lonely evening. However, the thrill is short term, and eventually you have to clean yourself up and return to the video store.

What I want all ex-Murray teams to realize is that it was a good move to pick him up. You did well to see a pattern of good play emerging and reacting to it. The way to make the move a complete success is to know when to walk away.

You can still try to trade him. In a deep league you can get Aaron McKie, Dwayne Wade, or Kelvin Cato. Most of us will just have to drop him and move on to the next hot player.

In any event, its good strategy to keep a lineup spot open for "hot players", especially in a head-to-head league, where you can fill that spot with a player with several games in the upcoming week.

My "hot player" recommendation is Stromile Swift. He is valuable for a couple of strong two week periods a year. It feels like the start of one of those periods now.

Finally as a holiday bonus from the Answerman...

Francisco Elson: I haven't seen anyone else mention him, so I am declaring myself the first to introduce him.

Elson left California in 1999 with Shareef Abdur-Rahim. Now, 5 years later, he is a 27 year old rookie. This happens with big men - Phily's Marc Jackson comes to mind. They aren't big enough upon drafting to play, but they fill out in their mid-20's and can help. Elson is reported at 7'1, 230lbs and has started a few games for the Nuggets.

The critical element to Elson as a fantasy player is that he is Marcus Camby's back-up. What is the over/under on Camby's season ending injury? Game 25? 30?

Couple his destined starter status with his Center eligibility and the fact that they block shots and play for steals in Denver and you've got a genuine prospect. He has been inconsistent but occassionally quite effective this season.

I am not saying to "pick up" Elson right now. He's not ready and Camby is not seriously injured, yet. Just keep an eye on him - a close eye.

In summary: don't panic; buy low and sell high; and know when to walk away.

If you have any questions, be sure to ask the

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