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by Jon Loomer

League Office | Next Vote Begins January 29! | Public View

Let the excuses begin.

My team stinks. In my first full week of control of the PFC Lakers, I lost -- as expected -- to the steroid-laced PFC Trailblazers. Deron Williams, Anthony Parker, Tracy McGrady, Zach Randolph, Emeka Okafor and Jamaal Tinsley. Not impressed? People. Thirty teams. This is their starting lineup. Their weakest player is Parker, but he is hardly a weak link. Disgustingly good.

In comparison, I court Marcus Williams, Brandon Roy, Morris Peterson, Ersan Ilyasova (I can't help but laugh when I read his name), Pau Gasol (although even he hadn't been acquired yet for this week's match-up) and Damon Stoudamire. This means that I have four starters who are clearly worse than Portland's worst player, and you can make an argument for Roy and Parker being close to even. Needless to say, I threw a party when I lost 6-2. Better than a shut-out.

It may not have made a difference this week, but my decision to execute part one of a two part trade to bring in Gasol did not work in my favor. I brilliantly pushed my trading partner into agreeing to send Marcus Williams for David West prior to the start of last week so that I could have a healthy body in my lineup (I was forecasting an unhealthy trio of Redd, Knight and West, and we only have a two player bench). Williams did nothing spectacular. West returned. And blew it up.


Then I started thinking. The winner of this thing will be the first person to be inducted into the Fantasy Basketball Hall of Fame. How silly would it look if my mug were to be displayed in that spot? It would be akin to George Steinbrenner being the commissioner of baseball and leading the Yankees to a championship, followed by his inducting himself into the Hall. Looks shady.

No one likes shady. Also, the top four teams are invited for a return next season. I'd be a mean guy by taking one of those spots. Spread the love.

Do I tank? Of course not. That's poor form. Instead, the rest of the season I will focus on doing what I am best at: Being mediocre.

PFC contestants, you are welcome in advance. Hugs aren't necessary.

Up Against the Wall

This is it. One last week to win some games before the final public vote of the inaugural PFC season. I feel horrible for NOK's Brad Jorgenson. He took over the Hornets following the most recent vote. Dude is struggling, and his team is not healthy. That said, he has Tyronn Lue and Primoz Brezec in his starting lineup, and both players are hurt. For his sake, I hope he turns it around because I really don't want to make a second dip into the D-League Hornets.

This week, the vast majority of teams facing possible elimination are the usual suspects -- teams that have lost all season long. The Hornets, Bulls and Kings have already locked up a bid into the final voting pool. The Spurs, Celtics and Pacers need nothing short of a miracle to escape your wrath. I'm safe, because I said so. The Knicks, Warriors and Clippers all have reasonable shots at escaping.

Props to the Knicks' Allen Redmon who remade his roster into a bunch of no-names but has managed to turn things around to the point where this once laughing stock is now competitive. And I apologize for this jinx. You will now be shut out and the third GM to be removed from this league.

Current YTD
Team W L T W L T
New Orleans/OK Hornets* 1 15 0 1 15 1
Chicago Bulls 7 17 0 31 62 3
Sacramento Kings 7 15 2 42 50 4
San Antonio Spurs 8 16 0 44 49 3
Boston Celtics 8 16 0 45 48 3
Indiana Pacers 9 15 0 42 51 3
Los Angeles Lakers** 2 6 0 2 6 0
New York Knicks 9 13 2 27 65 4
Golden State Warriors 10 14 0 39 54 3
Los Angeles Clippers 11 13 0 37 56 3
* Week 1 of period doesn't count against Hornets since team was inherited mid-week.
**LA Lakers are immune from vote

There are only three teams that have a winning overall record but currently own a losing record for the month. The Cavs are a lock, and the Rockets should begin putting together their exit strategy. The Pistons need a big week. Regardless, my guess is that the public protects any or all of these teams if they were to appear on the final ballot.

Current YTD
Team W L T W L T
Cleveland Cavaliers 7 17 0 50 44 2
Houston Rockets 8 15 1 47 47 2
Detroit Pistons 10 14 0 57 36 3

There are some good stories to tell this month, kids. Memphis and Seattle are far from out of the woods, but all they need to do is finish with a tie this week to guarantee their safety. New Jersey and Phoenix don't have a drink in the shade locked up yet, but only a disaster would push them out of this competition at this point. Following are our four teams with losing overall records but at least a .500 record so far this month.

Current YTD
Team W L T W L T
Memphis Grizzlies 12 12 0 45 50 1
Seattle SuperSonics 12 11 1 37 57 2
New Jersey Nets 14 10 0 43 48 5
Phoenix Suns 14 9 1 44 50 2

League Moves

Waiver limit? Who needs a waiver limit? These boys keep on spending, and more often than not they are spending wisely. Although some teams are running low on funds (see the Lakers, Knicks and 76ers as examples), there are still a handful with $70-plus remaining. What are they waiting for? A Steve Nash drop?

The Golden State Warriors add Ike Diogu for $36 and drop Chuck Hayes
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $49

Timing is everything, and I believe the timing of the Warriors-Pacers trade forced GSW's hand here. There was a lot of speculation about Diogu being a central figure in this trade. Although he may still have a bright future in Indiana, he is currently buried on the bench having played a total of 10 minutes throughout his first two games. I don't hate on the move, but Diogu just isn't worth $36.

The Houston Rockets add Kendrick Perkins for $4 and drop Josh Boone
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $70

On the other hand, Indy could have spent $5 to pick up Perkins, who is getting more time and will probably be more productive. Not to mention, Perkins is one Al Jefferson injury away from being starter worthy in this league.

The Indiana Pacers add Sergio Rodriguez for $23 and drop Nate Robinson
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $64

This is a knee-jerk move reacting to Sergio's 23 points against the Nuggets on January 14. Picking him up isn't a bad move, I just don't think that $23 was necessary to put down on him.

The Los Angeles Lakers add Ersan Ilyasova for $4 and drop Brian Cook
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $12

I'm not immune to criticism. I have to be honest here. I was experimenting with possible pick-ups earlier in the week with the expectation that I would review prior to waivers being run. Hey, my bad. Careless on my part. I like Ersan, but I should have either held off or dropped Rasho instead. I didn't have much waiver money to work with, and this move doesn't improve my team for the short term. Long term, both Cook and Ilyasova will lose time and value once their respective teams get healthy.

The Miami Heat add Eddie Jones for $1 and drop John Salmons
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $71

Hey, it's a buck. I'd pick up Paul Mokeski for a buck just to say I did.

The Milwaukee Bucks add Jeff McInnis for $3 and drop Keyon Dooling
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $76

Dooling was just added last week, which is always interesting. I'm stubborn. Even when I know I screwed up, I hold on to a player for at least a month, waiting for people to forget I added him in the first place. That's pride messing with me.

The Minnesota Timberwolves add Travis Diener for $13 and drop Michael Finley
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $53

The T-Wolves may be targeting threes here, but so far this deal has not paid off. Finley is currently the superior fantasy player with ease, and not based only on his 1999 stats.

The New York Knicks add Marquis Daniels for $19 and drop Damien Wilkins
The New York Knicks add P.J. Brown for $5 and drop Kurt Thomas
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $16

New York took a flier on Marquis, hoping he'd get the bulk of playing time with Stephen Jackson out of town. Not a bad idea, and still too early to tell if this was a good or bad move. Considering he dropped a productive player in Wilkins, the prospects aren't particularly good. Kurt Thomas is hurt, so adding his clone was the logical move.

The Phoenix Suns add Steven Hunter for $3 and drop Trevor Ariza
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $50

Hunter has paid off admirably so far (10/15/3 on 1/21), and Ariza is out for another month-plus. Good, low priced move.

The San Antonio Spurs add Steve Francis for $2 and drop Marc Jackson
Waiver Wire Money Remaining: $1

I can't believe we've come to this. Two seasons ago, Francis was averaging 21 points, six rebounds, seven assists, and a steal and a half per game. Now he's being picked up for two bucks midway through the season in a 30-team league. In other words, the Spurs said that they'd be willing to drop Marc Jackson for him, but $3 was too steep.

One week, these guys may just give me a rest and let me end my article with a quick couple of paragraphs. Looking forward to the trade deadline.

The Dallas Mavericks acquired Matt Carroll from the Miami Heat for Matt Barnes

A swap of Matt's. I like them both, but clearly Carroll is the better bet right now. I have a hard time believing that Barnes can go from emerging fantasy stud to battling for 10 minutes overnight. It is apparently happening, just hard to believe. Advantage: Dallas.

The Detroit Pistons acquired Jarrett Jack from the Orlando Magic for Luke Ridnour

After acquiring Ridnour last week, Detroit quickly turned him around for Jack. I'd take Ridnour and his potential should Watson go down. Advantage: Orlando.

The Phoenix Suns acquired Juwan Howard from the Utah Jazz for Jorge Garbajosa

I like this deal for the Suns. Garbajosa is an inconsistent rookie, and Howard is an underappreciated commodity who could inevitably play out the season at top form if Yao stays out. Considering Phoenix is fighting for a playoff spot, this is a risk that makes sense for them. Advantage: Phoenix.

The Cleveland Cavs acquired Corliss Williamson from the Orlando Magic for Sarunas Jasikevicius

No comment. Advantage: Who cares?

Matt Carroll was swapped for Matt Barnes this week in the PFC.
(Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

PFC Quick Facts
The PFC is a global fantasy basketball competition with 30 of the world's best players vying for the title.
More than 9,000 people worldwide applied for the opportunity to compete.
Each participant is the fantasy general manager for an NBA team. Each GM picked a franchise player from their assigned team and built their roster - with players from any other NBA team - from there.
Every general manager has selected eight players for their fantasy squad.
Participants run the risk of losing their spot in the competition should they underperform. The public votes who will lose their job, and another top applicant will take over as a new GM.
For more in-depth information on the PFC, read here.

Overall Records

Eastern Conference

Detroit Pistons 57 36 3
Milwaukee Bucks 55 40 1
Cleveland Cavaliers 50 44 2
Indiana Pacers 42 51 3
Chicago Bulls 31 62 3

Toronto Raptors 50 45 1
Philadelphia 76ers 47 45 4
Boston Celtics 45 48 3
New Jersey Nets 43 48 5
New York Knicks 27 65 4

Miami Heat 67 27 2
Washington Wizards 55 41 0
Atlanta Hawks 54 41 1
Charlotte Bobcats 52 42 2
Orlando Magic 49 44 3

Western Conference

Portland Trailblazers 65 29 2
Utah Jazz 55 40 1
Denver Nuggets 51 42 3
Minnesota Timberwolves 48 45 3
Seattle SuperSonics 37 57 2

Phoenix Suns 44 50 2
Sacramento Kings 42 50 4
Golden State Warriors 39 54 3
Los Angeles Clippers 37 56 3
Los Angeles Lakers 35 58 3

Dallas Mavericks 59 35 2
Houston Rockets 47 47 2
Memphis Grizzlies 45 50 1
San Antonio Spurs 44 49 3
New Orleans/OK Hornets 32 63 1