This will be an abbreviated version of the Wakeup Call due to the fact that there were only two games on the schedule last night. I could just give you the box scores of both contests but thought better of it.
Kevin Durant, Thunder
vs. Memphis Grizzlies
35 points, 10 boards, 6 dimes, 4 blocks
While his team may be an afterthought in the NBA, Durant still manages to capture the spotlight with his freakish stat lines from time to time. He's still got that wiry frame that looks fragile to the untrained eye and is about as pure of a scorer this league has seen in quite some time.
But as the Thunder improve in the next couple years, Durant's fantasy value has the potential to skyrocket. Right now opposing defenses know that the way to stop the Thunder is to shut down Durant. But with the emergence of rookie point guard Russell Westbrook and teammate Jeff Green, Durant's future certainly looks promising.
He's a must keep in every league format as long as you are aware of the fact that like most scoring machines, there's a price to pay in terms of field goal percentage and turnovers.
It has been a mixed bag for me so far in my top fantasy hoops league, a keeper auction league set up by BlogsByFans. I currently sit in third in the 12 team league, and, like everyone I'm sure, I've made some good moves and some bad ones. Spending $26 bucks on Gilbert Arenas? Ouch. But one of my savviest picks was drafting Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani, who is in the midst of a monster stretch up in Toronto.
Two ESPN fantasy writers debated Bargnani's value for the rest of the season today.
Hopefully you've jump on Bargnani already, he's been putting up big numbers with Jermaine O'Neal out nearly all of January. Just look at his recent game log:
The first thing you'll notice here in the minutes. In his last five games, Barngnani is averaging 41 minutes a night. That's rule number one in fantasy hoops: lots of guys can play, but there are only so many minutes to go around. If Toronto keeps riding Barngnani's hot hand - and there is talk of O'Neal getting traded to Miami for Shawn Marion, which only open up more minutes for our man AB - he's a great fantasy option.
ESPN % owned: 15%
Varejao's performance against the Lakers on Monday is a perfect example of what he should be able to bring to fantasy teams routinely: 10 points, 12 boards, three blocks, two assists. He'll never be a fantasy star, but while Big Z is out, Varejao can be a solid injury replacement for a big man on your team. You know what you're getting out of him: rebounds, blocks, and maybe a handful of points.
ESPN % owned: 38%
Unlike Varejao, Outlaw isn't going to contribute in a lot of categories. He'll score, but more importantly, give you some three-pointers. Outlaw went 4-for-5 in a game on 1-12, and followed it up hitting 3 of 4 against the Nets on on Jan. 15. If you need a little extra help in the three-point department, Outlaw is available in most leagues.
Since there were only two b-ball games last night, we're going to try something a little dangerous: throw some hockey knowledge into the mix. That isn't to say I understand the game completely - pin that one on Bill Wirtz for not televising Hawks games during my formative sports viewing years - but fantasy hockey is a pretty big deal to some people out there, so we may as well point out the day's top performers.
Earlier today I gave you a little taste of the topic of this afternoon's post.
Taking a look at Los Angeles Clippers rookie dynamo Eric Gordon's stat line this morning, I suddenly realized how ridiculous the class of rooks was this year. And even more startling was how closely it resembles the rookie class in the NFL this season.
Dunleavy returns to action for the first time since last April for the Pacers tonight. This squad has missed his quasi-veteran presence in the lineup and will take some of the pressure off of wunderkind Danny Granger.
He's currently owned in a wide majority of leagues, but if he's still dangling on your waiver wire I wouldn't shy away from scooping him up if you've got the space or someone just wasting space.
Excuse us if we're late to the party, but the gents here at The Fantasy Factor like to make an entrance worthy of your attention.
Alright, I can't stand the guilt. I can't lie to you. T
We've been too busy crying ourselves to sleep after our fantasy football teams got bounced from the Super Bowl to do much of anything.
But we're back, and we'll be focusing on some fantasy Association talk up until pitchers and catchers report. Today we'll take a look at some guys on the waiver wire you might want to take a look at.
Just like football, it's tough to let go of the guys you know that are nothing but mediocre, in exchange for someone you've never heard of. But it's a necessary evil and if you want to win, you'll pay attention.