After months of waiting, hoping, praying and snacking, the 2006-07 NBA Fantasy season is finally underway. Remember that lineups are set weekly, so do not forget to change that up for next week. Wait, I forgot that I am dealing with the smartest, brightest and best fantasy minds in the game here so that goes without saying. Of course, many of us (and I include myself in that mix) have yet to prove their fantasy genius as of yet. Only three weeks remain until one GM is canned, so stay sharp, stay focused and watch your players every night with League Pass.
As you have hopefully figured out by now, the waiver wire has been open for business for several weeks. Instead of your standard add/drop waiver wire, the PFC has an auction-style waiver system. From the beginning of the season until the very end, each team has only $100 to bid on free agents. That means if you want Lakers guard Jordan Farmar, you have to put in a bid for him. Two dollars might be a good start, but if another team has also placed a bid of greater value, well then you have lost out. At least you got to keep your case, so bid wisely and make it last.
As for potential pick-ups and how to work the waiver wire, we'll leave that to the objective fantasy experts...
Of course, it wouldn't be a column, though, if we did not look at some of the moves already made.
This past weekend, the New Jersey Nets made guard Kirk Snyder the most expensive waiver pick-up of the young season, spending $52 on the third-year Rockets player. Snyder started out the week strong, scoring 13 and 12 points respectively in 30.5 minutes in his first two games. However, Snyder only scored six points in 15 minutes of action last night in a 96-90 loss to the Hornets.
The Philadelphia 76ers bought second-year swingman Francisco Garcia for $43 last weekend, only to drop him a week later after he failed to score a single point in his first three games with the Kings. The third most expensive acquisition of the first two weeks was made by the Los Angeles Lakers, who tabbed forward Jason Maxiell for an even $30. He has also since been dropped, but not before averaging 5.3 ppg and 2.3 rpg as a starter for the Lakers injury-plagued lineup.
Among the waiver wire geniuses in the first week were the Denver Nuggets, who scored Lakers center Andrew Bynum for $21. In less than 20 minutes per game, the second-year pivot is averaging 11.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg and shooting 68 percent from the floor. Is he ready to play big-time minutes yet, though? We'll see. For $21, he is worth the gamble. The Sacramento Kings also moved on Spurs center Francisco Elson for $13, though that may be a bit steep for the reserve player, but the Knicks put in a bid for him, so obviously we thought he could add value (though we put in a $2 bid... we lost).
Available players with the best numbers so far... Grizzlies
point guard Chucky Atkins, Hawks point guard Tyronn Lue and Pacers guard Darrell Armstrong. Remember, this is a deep league. You do not always have the luxury
to think ahead and sacrifice a roster spot for an injured player. But your loss
will almost definitely be someone else's gain. Maybe mine. We could sure use the
Team Of The Week
At 7-1, the Cleveland Cavaliers got off to the best start in the league and have vaulted to the top of the Premier Fantasy Championship's Central Division. Of course, franchise player Lebron James has a lot to do with that. In knocking off the Detroit Pistons this week, James totaled 77 points, 29 rebounds and 16 assists (all team-highs). Cavs teammate Rip Hamilton pitched in with 76 points of his own and Al Harrington grabbed 23 rebounds in three games. Rookie utilityman Andrea Bargnani opened his fantasy career with 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks in his first three games.
Other top performers include the San Antonio Spurs, who pasted the preferred (if not favored) New York Knicks, 6-1-1; the Minnesota Timberwolves (also 6-1-1) and the Philadelphia 76ers (5-2-1). Allen Iverson led the way for the Sixers as he led the NBA in scoring in Week One. Dwight Howard also poured in 20.5 ppg, 10.0 rpg, 2.5apg and shot 66 percent from the floor. For the Wolves, Kevin Garnett is off to another great start, averaging 23.7 points, 12.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists. If he stays on this pace, all three would be career bests.
Game of the Week
In a matchup that featured two of the marquee franchises in the NBA, the Miami Heat knocked off the Phoenix Suns, 5-3. The defending champions got off to a better start in the fantasy world than they did in the real world, winning in points, rebounds, blocks, field goal percentage and three-pointers made.
a superstar performance from the league's top rookie from Week One, Portland's
Brandon Roy. Roy, Adam Morrison, Rudy Gay and Craig Smith are the only four rookies
whose scoring average is currently in double digits after the first week of competition.
As far as rookies go, only six are playing more than 20.0 minutes per
game, so be wary of how many minutes the top rookies you may have selected are
playing: Roy - 38.5, Morrison - 31.7, Gay - 25.6, Rajon Rondo - 22.8, Yakhouba
Diawara - 21.4 and Jorge Garbarjosa - 20.2.
Seattle Sonics at Atlanta Hawks: Two teams with winning records in Week One square off. The Sonics feature a smaller lineup led by Ray Allen. With four guard-eligible players, the Sonics could face a tall task inside with the Hawks' five post players. Allen is scoring at his usual clip (28.0 ppg) but is shooting less than 35 percent from downtown. He is joined by Minnesota's Mike James, Corey Maggette (also misfiring from 3-point range so far) and Brevin Knight. Blazers rookie Rudy Gay is the player to keep an eye on here as his potential is limitless. The Hawks picked up Walton for $2 off the waiver wire last week, and he has been inserted into the starting utility spot after averaging 14 and five last week. Elton Brand and former teammate Chris Wilcox have rejoined forces in the Atlanta lineup and could be a formidible force down low.
Until next week,