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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.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fantasy focus: Nazr Mohammed and Ty Lawson

Nazr Mohammed has never averaged in double figures and might be best known as the starting center in one of the worst NBA Finals ever.

You might remember (if you're lucky, you don't) the 2005 Finals, a season that concluded with Mohammed's Spurs defeating the Pistons in seven games. The average margin of victory for the seven contests was 14.4 points, and only one team scored 100 points -- the Pistons in a 102-71 Game 4 victory.

What do the 2005 Finals have to do with Mohammed the fantasy player? Nothing, really, other than it's nice to see the veteran center contribute something much more important than playing a small role in a championship I would only rewatch if I was forced to choose between Game 7 and an interview with Snooki and The Situation.

Mohammed is available in 98 percent of the leagues on, a number that is every bit as confusing as the "Jersey Shore" phenomenon.

The Bobcats center has had at least 10 rebounds in five of his last seven games, and his numbers from the last six read as follows: 14.3 points, 11 rebounds, one block, 66.1 percent from the field and 70.6 percent from the free-throw line.

Some owners might be scared off by the fact Tyson Chandler is back after missing almost two months because of a foot injury. But in the two games, the oft-injured Chandler has played a total of 22 minutes and had seven points and four rebounds. Wednesday, with Chandler logging all of 12 minutes, Mohammed started and had 21 points, 20 rebounds, two steals and one block in 40 minutes.

For the season, the 12-year veteran is shooting 57.3 percent from the field and averaging 10 rebounds per 33 minutes.

Unless Chandler starts playing significant time, Mohammed -- as a center who can help you in points, rebounds and field-goal percentage -- is a starter in deeper leagues.

Don't hold the summer of 2005 against him.

-- Backup plan: Chauncey Billups owners might be among the few who have noticed the production of his protege, Nuggets rookie Ty Lawson. If you are playing Billups, who has been bothered by sprains to both ankles, and you're in a weekly league, Lawson is a must-have.

The rookie, who is owned in only 11.3 percent of the ESPN leagues, had 25 points, four assists and four rebounds when Billups missed a loss at Utah on Feb. 6. Even with Billups back, Lawson tallied 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds on Tuesday.

The latter is averaging 9.6 points in 22.5 minutes per game. He's shooting 51.2 percent from the field, 43.5 percent from 3-point range and 78.3 percent from the line.

If you're in a daily league, the choice on Lawson is more difficult because you use everyone on your roster and he doesn't play significant minutes. But he is playing enough of late (24.5 minutes in January and 24.8 this month) to make an impact.

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