By Rob Shaw, FantasyFanatics.com
We are now two weeks into the season, and the surprising fast starts are suddenly something to consider. Here’s a look at the topics being discussed over the past week on the FantasyFanatics.com fantasy basketball forum:
Brendan Haywood a Center Worth Owning: Over the last decade, the Washington Wizards have been an exciting team because of their guard and forward play, but suddenly Brendan Haywood is drawing interest from fantasy owners as well. His Sunday performance epitomizes the potential that has fantasy owners flocking to the waiver wires to pick him up. Against the Hawks, Haywood scored 13 points, grabbed 12 rebounds, and even blocked a shot. In 6 games, it was Haywood’s fourth double-double. He also averages over 2 blocks per game and is staying on the floor a career-best 29 minutes per game. At 28 years old, Haywood is in his prime, and should hold his ground against a weak crop of centers in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Paul Is Healthy and It Shows: Last season, the Hornets suffered through a tough season thanks to the injuries of their franchise player Chris Paul. He missed 18 games on the season, and also missed having the team’s sharpshooter Peja Stojakovic to pass the rock to. While his statistics were still a very impressive 17 points and 9 assists, you had the feeling that there was still some untapped potential in the tank. Sure enough, this season with a healthy Peja knocking down threes, Paul is putting on quite a show. He leads the NBA with 11.5 assists, and offers 2.8 steals, 18.5 points, and 4.7 rebounds per game as well. There aren’t any detectable flaws in his game, and by next season, Paul is looking like an early first round pick.
Everyday Eddie House Is A Sharpshooter Worth Owning: Put down Eddie House on your “Snipers Specialists” list for three pointers. He should be mentioned amongst the names of Mike James, Kyle Korver, and “Bad” Vladimir Radmanovic if you are in need of some treys. The Celtics have shown confidence in letting House run the point at times, so he is averaging over 25 minutes the last three games. The naysayers will tell you that this won’t stick considering he has played for 8 teams in 6 seasons. However, what that fact might tell you is that he is always in demand. That certainly holds true at the moment when it comes to fantasy sports.
Who Do I Want? Parker or Pietrus: I like Toronto’s Anthony Parker better than Golden State’s Mckael Pietrus, although it is very close. Parker has been very inconsistent so far, but has a better shot at consistent playing time going forward. Pietrus current situation gets shady, especially when you consider Stephen Jackson is coming back from his 7-game suspension, and Kelenna Azubuike has been solid in his first season as a starter. It seems like the Warriors have too much of a good thing. They rock in scorers, but what is surprising to me is that when Pietrus first came into the league all the talk was on his defense. The last few years he seems one-dimensional as a scorer only. These days he has become a sharpshooter, however, foul trouble combined with great depth for the Warriors has limited his playing time to just 24 and a half minutes per game. Anthony Parker is the better start these days.
Yi Jianlian Pays Immediate Dividends: Looks like the Bucks 7’0 rookie isn’t that much of a project after all. The fourth pick of the 2007 draft scared many general managers in the NBA because in an era in which rebuilding is not en vogue, taking a chance on a project such as Yi Jianlian is quite a gamble. Early on, it sure looked like it would take some time for Jianlian to perform, as he struggled immensely in the summer leagues and preseason. However, the Bucks coaching staff must have seen something they liked in practice, because Jianlian was starting from the opening tip off of the season. The most hyped match he has played thus far came in Houston against fellow Chinese big man Yao Ming. With much of his home nation watching, he knocked down 2 threes, grabbed 9 rebounds, scored 19 points on 58% shooting. He also made 2 steals, and 1 block with just 2 turnovers in a career high 34 minutes. Fantasy owners would like to see his rebounding improve, and for him to stay out of foul trouble, but at the moment, Jianlian is worth starting as he finds a way to contribute in nearly every category.
Lamar Odom is Back: He was once a triple-double threat that every fantasy manager wanted to get their hands on, but these days Lamar Odom is an afterthought thanks to injuries and that Lakers swingman who hogs the spotlight nearly as much as he hogs the rock on the court. Nonetheless, if Kobe Bryant does get traded, Lamar Odom could become the focal point of the offense, and that could lead to 20-points, 10 boards, 5 assists, with a little love at steals, blocks, and even threes. In the interim, Odom should be fine as well. He scored 18 points with 10 rebounds in his first game of the season. This might be the perfect opportunity to grab him while you can, before his value skyrockets, when inevitably Kobe Bryant does get traded.
Top 10 Fantasy Ballers In Week 2:
RANK LAST WEEK
1. Shawn Marion UNRANKED
2. Marcus Camby 4
3. Kevin Garnett 1
4. Steve Nash UNRANKED
5. Jason Terry 10
6. Rashard Lewis UNRANKED
7. Allen Iverson 2
8. Chris Paul 6
9. Manu Ginobili UNRANKED
10. Richard Jefferson 7
NO LONGER RANKED LAST WEEK
43) Josh Howard 3
88) Jamal Crawford 5
26 ) Chris Kaman 8
51) Danny Granger 9
Rob Shaw is the Lead Expert for FantasyFanatics.com, the premier fantasy sports community. Need help deciding who to site and who to start? What about help with a big trade? Come chat with the fantasy basketball experts on FantasyFanatics.com.