League Office | Public View
By Jon Loomer
I would personally like to thank Keith Wayland of the PFC Denver Nuggets for writing the most comprehensive fantasy league preview article of all time last week. That's sarcasm. Ok, I do appreciate the amazing work, but the sarcasm comes from my inability to now find anything to write about. You are a jerk, Wayland.
Playoff preview out of the way and only two days into the PFC Playoffs as I write this, I am seriously limited. So, it's time to get a little creative.
This week, I am going to predict the participants in the PFC Finals without looking at match-ups. Has this guy been drinking the sauce? Maybe. Mmmmm... Good sauce. Let's get at it.
In head-to-head, we all know about the luck factor. The biggest "luck" factor that is actually somewhat under the owner's control is games played. You can curse the fantasy gods all you want, but if you lose your Fantasy Semi-Finals because Elton Brand and the Clippers only played two games during the second to last full week of the season, that's your fault for owning Elton Brand.
I know, it's frustrating. It's impossible to assure yourself of a high number of games every single week. That said, if you are in the playoffs -- and you expected to make the playoffs -- you should have prepared for these final few weeks.
Your players won't all have four games every week, but the key at this point is to have consistency. If you look only at games played for the next three weeks, guys like Artest, Bibby and Martin appear to be safe bets with 10 games played each -- average for that period of time. The problem, though, is that the Kings play a two game week sandwiched in between two four-game weeks. Great for those four-game weeks, but you may not get out of the two-game fiasco.
So consistency is the first thing. No two-game weeks. As many four-game weeks as possible. And of course, the key: This consistency and high number of games from your star player.
Let's take a look at how the teams in the PFC Playoffs stack up in terms of games played over the next three weeks (including this week).
| Team || Week 1 || Week 2 || Week 3 |
| Minnesota || 23 || 23 || 20 |
| Utah || 22 || 23 || 21 |
| Washington || 22 || 23 || 19 |
| Sacramento || 22 || 20 || 22 |
| Charlotte || 21 || 21 || 22 |
| Atlanta || 22 || 21 || 19 |
| Portland || 22 || 21 || 19 |
| Indiana || 21 || 22 || 18 |
| Miami || 21 || 22 || 18 |
| Toronto || 19 || 24 || 22 |
| Philadelphia || 19 || 25 || 20 |
| Houston || 19 || 24 || 18 |
| Orlando || 17 || 23 || 18 |
| Denver || 19 || 22 || 20 |
| Dallas || 19 || 20 || 20 |
| Phoenix || 18 || 22 || 21 |
| Average || 20.4 || 22.3 || 19.8 |
Ok. Believe in the chart. What this crazy chart tells is the frequency that each team has more or fewer games than the league average for all weeks. For logical reasons, the importance of having more games than the average is more important for the first week, followed by the second, and then the third. If you can't get out of the first week, the next two weeks don't matter.
If a team has more games than the league average (signified by red font), the team is either at an advantage for that week or is on a level playing field. Being at a disadvantage for games played is huge. Regardless of your talent level, you can and will lose if you have four fewer games than your opponent.
Immediately, there are two teams that I see as being PFC Championship favorites based on the game factor, since both teams have more games than the average during each of these three weeks: Minnesota and Utah. Both of these teams reside in the PFC Western Conference.
Out East, there is one team -- Washington -- that has more than the league average number of games for the first two weeks. Other teams with a shot are Charlotte (more than the league average in weeks one and three, two under for week two), Toronto and Philadelphia (just under the league average for week one, over for the next two weeks).
So what is the deciding factor for these teams? Games played by their respective central star.
| Team || Week 1 || Week 2 || Week 3 |
| Minnesota (Garnett) || 4 || 4 || 3 |
| Utah (Kidd) || 3 || 3 || 3 |
| Washington (Arenas) || 4 || 4 || 4 |
| Toronto (Bosh) || 2 || 4 || 4 |
| Philadelphia (Iverson) || 4 || 4 || 4 |
| Atlanta (Brand) || 4 || 3 || 2 |
| Sacramento (Josh Smith) || 4 || 2 || 4 |
| Indiana (J. O'Neal) || 4 || 4 || 3 |
| Miami (Okur) || 3 || 4 || 3 |
| Charlotte (Iguodala) || 4 || 3 || 4 |
| Portland (McGrady) || 3 || 4 || 3 |
| Denver (Anthony) || 4 || 4 || 4 |
| Dallas (Nowitzki) || 4 || 4 || 3 |
| Houston (Yao) || 3 || 4 || 3 |
| Phoenix (Bryant) || 3 || 3 || 4 |
| Orlando (Carter) || 3 || 3 || 3 |
Some teams have more "stars" than others, but regardless. If you have your best player sitting more than your opponent's big star, you're at a disadvantage.
In the West, it's easy to like Minnesota and Garnett's 11 games played. His games played are consistent -- never playing less than three games and playing four games twice. Their main competition -- Utah -- suffers since Jason Kidd plays three games each week.
Out East, you have to like Washington and Philadelphia. Arenas (Washington) and Iverson (Philadelphia) play four games each week while Toronto could struggle to get out of the first week given that Bosh is playing only two games in the week that they are under the league average overall.
That leaves Minnesota and Washington, Charlotte or Philadelphia. First, the best player among these teams resides on the Wizards in the form of Gilbert Arenas. Iguodala has struggled of late. All things being equal between Charlotte and Washington, I go Washington in a heartbeat.
Take it one step further. Philadelphia is a team built around two stars with little else, the other being Dwight Howard. The Magic play only eight games over the next three weeks -- the fewest in the league. That leaves Howard playing only two games twice, including the first and current week (the same week Philadelphia is under the league average for games played). Washington's second best player, on the other hand, is Jason Terry. Terry plays 11 games, including two four game weeks.
And so, my prediction is clear. Facing off in the first ever PFC Championship will be Minnesota and Washington. Call it luck or call it preparation. These two teams are the best equipped for a fight.