Fantasy Recap: Week 5

Posted on 01. Dec, 2009 by David Bellenghi in NBA Fantasy

Five weeks into the season and it’s evident just how unpredictable pre-season rankings can be. Every season, experts pre-rank players (as best they can), based on historical production, off-season moves, chemistry, coaching, offensive schemes, and many other variables. Many players are often pegged to carry the load of a team, and a tumultuous season has other ideas. Likewise, other players rise from the shadows of their superstar teammates to make solid yet unexpected contributions. I’ve found some players in this week’s Monster group that might surprise some of you, especially considering how little they are owned in many fantasy leagues. Similarly in the Bust ledger, I’ve focused on a couple of underperforming stars whom may or may not be able to turn their respective fantasy campaign’s around.

Fantasy Monster

Greg Oden
I live in Portland, so it warms my heart to say that I think Oden is finally putting up the numbers people were expecting. GO is among the league leaders in FG% (.633) and blocked shots(2.3). His rebounding prowness (8.2), and ppg (11.6) won’t hurt you either. Oden will only get better as he learns to read the game, avoid cheap fouls, and eventually, play while in foul trouble. Already this season, he’s well ranked amongst the centers in this league, ahead of guys named Brook Lopez, Troy Murphy, Dwight Howard, and Al Jefferson. Currently, ranked 35th in the league overall in the 9 category system, GO is silencing his critics. The cat is out of the bag.

Carl Landry
For a man who was pre-ranked this season at 182 overall, Landry has turned some heads. Averaging career highs in minutes(24), points(15.6), FT%(90.5), rebounds(5.6) and blocks(0.8), Landry has become relevant in fantasy circles. And while some of these stats may seem pedestrian at first glance, when you put them all together, it’s good enough to earn the 48th overall ranking in the 9 category system. Landry is a complete utility player, doing a little of everything, and he’s doing it off the bench. Best of all, Landry is still a secret. He’s owned in a paltry 66% of leagues. Almost a quarter of the way through the season and it is shocking that nobody believes in Carl.

Fantasy Bust

Brandon Roy
Having written my kind words of Oden, it’s worth mentioning his underperforming teammate, at least from a fantasy perspective. Anyone who’s been following the team knows they are working through some chemistry issues. The addition of Andre Miller has injected more than just offense into the locker room. There have been some well documented struggles between Miller and Roy. The simple fact is that to this point, Miller’s existence on this team has affected Roy’s numbers negatively. Coach McMillan has spotted this and Miller was moved to the bench. But with Steve Blake injured, Miller is starting again. Put simply, owners are looking for more from Roy this season. He came into this year pre-ranked at 11th. His current producing position is 71st. I still see him as that 11th overall ranked player, but his team is going to have to work through the chemistry issues to get him there. Roy is the star, and in the end, the ball should be in his hands. A potential buy low candidate, his current owner might be disappointed in him and willing to let him go for less than he’s worth.

Rashard Lewis
The season started off on the wrong foot for Lewis, whom was suspended for 10 games after testing positive for a banned substance a season ago. Now seven games into his season, and Rashard has not impressed. Lewis’ FG% is a jaw dropping .372. That’s a worrisome statistic for a player that shoots more than 13 times a game. Last season he averaged a staggering 2.8 treys a game. Thus far he is burying 1.8 per contest, a trend that’s likely to continue when you consider Howard’s touches are down. It’s not clear why, but they are no longer playing the inside out ball that worked for them a season ago. To make matters worse, the real explanation as to why Lewis is not as effective, might just be a new teammate named Vince Carter. Vince and Rashard have a similar playing style and they kind of clash when on the court together. Rashard was pre-ranked 36th to begin the season and his current position is 156th overall. Unless offensive philosophy changes, Howard gets more touches, or Vince Carter’s minutes decline, the trend spells bad news for current Rashard Lewis owners.

Sleeper of the week

Mike Dunleavy Jr
Back from injury and what sounded like a very arduous recovery process, Mike Dunleavy is back on the court. After just one game, and only 16 minutes of play, he put up numbers well enough to claim a 13th overall ranking had he been playing since the start. It’s highly unlikely this production can continue at such a high efficiency, but Dunleavy will fit nicely into Indiana’s plans and get some good run the rest of the way. More interesting to me though, is the fact that he’s a smart player. He doesn’t rely on his speed or strength to be effective. Instead, Dunleavy is a cerebral player, relying on his ability to read the game. It’s this cunning that has likely only improved after watching the game from the sidelines. I believe Dunleavy Jr can provide similar production to what he posted two seasons ago and if he is even close than he will improve your team. Perhaps, the juiciest detail of all is that he’s only owned in 46% of leagues, meaning many have not yet noticed his return. Make sure he is on your roster when they do.

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One Response to “Fantasy Recap: Week 5”

  1. Diceman

    01. Dec, 2009

    about time that 40 yr old played like he was 21.

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