Fantasy Outlook: Big Al's Status
Fantasy Outlook: Big Al's Status

By Matt Rochinski
November 11, 2013

The Cats and fantasy owners alike got great news after shootaround on Nov. 11 when Head Coach Steve Clifford announced that Al Jefferson would be starting against the Atlanta Hawks. Jefferson has missed Charlotte’s last five games after returning for the season opener in Houston on Oct. 30 but claims he’s ready to go now.

So just how ready should you be to get Jefferson into your fantasy lineup this week? Much of that depends on if you’re in a league that makes weekly or daily changes. The Cats have a coveted four-game week this week, which means Jefferson could be in line for a nice workload depending on his conditioning – something that is always unpredictable following a layoff. It may take some time for Jefferson to get back into game shape and its going to be interesting to see how it responds with the full slate of games this week after getting tested in game action for the first time in almost two weeks.

If you’re in a league that allows daily changes, this one’s a no-brainer – get Jefferson in your lineup and hope for the best from game-to-game while we see how Big Al responds.

If you’re in a league where you have to set your lineup today for the rest of the week, it’s up to you to weigh your options and make the call. Are you better off getting 80-100 percent production from a guy like Jefferson in four games or taking a flyer on someone you drafted in the later rounds? This is where you have to go with your gut, but in fantasy I always say to play your studs. You drafted them for a reason, so I think you need to have them in your lineup if they’re playing. Think of it this way – do you really want to leave a guy on your bench for four games who has the capability of putting up 20 points, 10 rebounds, a couple assists, a steal and a block while shooting 50 percent from the field? Unless you’ve got a reserve who’s capable of matching those numbers, I say take a chance on Jefferson this week.

On the opposing front, the Cats will be taking on some of the top names in the NBA, as well as fantasy basketball this week. Both Al Horford and Paul Millsap have been fantasy monsters in the paint for the Hawks early on this season. Jeff Green has stepped up to take on the scoring load for Boston and already has three 20+ point games this season. Kyrie Irving always stacks up against the best fantasy point guards out in Cleveland, and the Heat have those LeBron James and Dwyane Wade fellas that help win games and help fantasy owners win leagues. It should be a fun fantasy week.

Past Fantasy Outlooks:
Nov. 4: Walker and Jefferson Cats 1-2 Punch