Blogs > N-H Fantasy Sports

News-Herald Assistant Sports Editor Kevin Kleps doesn’t just write headlines and stories. He also checks on his fantasy sports teams. A lot. See if the moves and news from the world of sports affect your fantasy teams.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Two for Tuesday: Fantasy NBA

We're obsessed with lists. Fans, reporters, columnists, bloggers, draft gurus, fantasy freaks, Web sites that insist Minka Kelly is hotter than Halle Berry, as if anyone is hotter than Halle Berry.

OK, maybe I'm revealing a little too much here. Anyway, a list can be an essential (read: lazy) way of doing a blog. There are also times lists are relevant. Hopefully, this will be more of the latter and much less of the former.

We'll try to do this on a weekly basis, especially during football season.

Until then, we'll concentrate on baseball and the NBA.

1. Tracy McGrady just played back-to-back games.

That shouldn't be news for an NBA player. Unless said player is the notoriously brittle T-Mac, who until Monday hadn't played back-to-back games since Dec. 22 and 23.

Apparently, Rockets coach Rick Adelman joined fantasy owners in getting tired of McGrady's habit of skipping any part of the schedule that had Houston playing on consecutive days. The Rockets recommended McGrady rest his ailing knee until he was healthy enough to play consistently, and after missing six games, T-Mac returned to Houston's lineup Sunday.

In a combined 68 minutes against the Pistons and Knicks on Sunday and Monday, McGrady scored a combined 35 points and added 10 assists and eight rebounds. Those are numbers you can expect from McGrady, even when he's playing on one leg. Numbers that are also common: His 13-for-34 shooting line (38.2 percent) in the two games.

At this stage of his career, McGrady -- who had missed a combined 62 games the previous three seasons -- is a decent scorer who will also get you five rebounds, five assists and one or two steals per game.

He's no longer a 25-point threat, as his 15.5 scoring average is on pace to be his worst since 1999-2000, when he played with his cousin, Vince Carter, in Toronto. McGrady's 4.5 rebounding average is his worst since his rookie year.

Still, in deeper leagues, a player who's averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 boards, 5 assists, 1.2 steals and is shooting 82.1 percent from the free-throw line is worth starting during weeks in which he is scheduled to play three or four games.

If you do play McGrady, though, be prepared to have your field-goal percentage suffer. He is shooting only 38.8 percent from the field this season, and his shooting percentages since 2003-04 read like this: 41.7, 43.1, 40.6, 43.1, 41.9 and 38.8.

If field-goal percentage is a category you need in order to win each week, McGrady should be a reserve or be traded to an owner who might somehow overlook he or she isn't getting the T-Mac from 2002-03.

Otherwise, he should be safe to start when he's scheduled to play at least three games in a given week. Just know he's going to get injured again, and if you're really unlucky, it will happen on a Monday night and you'll be stuck with him in your lineup all week (not that I'm bitter or anything).

2. Ramon Sessions is valuable again.

After averaging 15.6 points, 5.8 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 44.4 percent from the field and 80.9 percent from the line, in November, the Bucks -- being the Bucks -- relegated the second-year guard to the bench for much of December and January.

Luke Ridnour played decently as the starting point guard, but that didn't adequately explain Session's lack of minutes.

If you kept him on your roster, you were rewarded when it was announced Michael Redd would miss the rest of the season because of a knee injury.

With Redd out, Sessions started alongside Ridnour on Monday against Minnesota and had 18 points, four rebounds, two assists and three steals in 33 minutes. He was 7-for-12 from the field and 4-for-5 from the free-throw line.

If he continues to start, and he should, he's worth starting in fantasy. Sessions won't help you in the 3-point area -- he is only 5-for-29 from beyond the arc this season -- but he will score, rebound decently for a guard and be good for four or five assists and one or two steals per game.

He's worth using as a utility player in fantasy, and you might be surprised to know he's available in most leagues.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home