Fantasy owners, regardless of the sport in question, have a horribly perfect tendency to pay attention to the teams that, for all intents and purpose, do not really matter in the overall, championship picture of things.
But they might matter in your championship quest.
Without a doubt your playoff hopes are indubitably going to be tied to the likes of Michael-Carter Williams on the supposed to be woeful 76ers. Who cares how Miami is doing? You already know that Lebron is a stud and whatever team he’s on he’s staying there all year.
One team you should probably start paying attention to is the Los Angeles Lakers, and not just because Kobe Bryant is coming back soon.
Tinseltown’s favorite basketball team (No Clippers. No one likes you) has a surprising number of sleepers that can really help your already 0-3 team in a number of different categories.
The most important fantasy Blake in L.A. hails from Maryland and looks like a nerdier version of Eminem.
Even though he looks like he belongs in the mosh-pit of a Nickelback concert, lil Stevie has been phenomenal (well, phenomenal is a strong word. He’s been pretty above average), averaging a near double-double.
You might be laughing at that last sentence, but the numbers back me up. Over the Lakers’ last five contests, Blake is averaging over 12 points and 9 assists, not to mention 4 rebounds, a steal, and a couple of three pointers.
Supposed to be superstar Steve Nash is out for the for-seeable future, and in general looks like a truck with only two wheels: it’s just not going to happen for the hall-of-famer in LA. Anyone with half a brain playing fantasy basketball should have already tried to pick up the former Terrapin, but I’m guessing a good number of you play in leagues with idiots, so pick him up while he’s still available.
Another guy who is horrendously underrated is Laker big-man Jordan Hill.
If you haven’t noticed the guy is a double-double machine. He’s one of the best offensive rebounders the league has seen since Dennis Rodman, and he just seems to find the ball at all times.
An extremely active player, Hill has been getting increased playing time lately. He started off the season as a reserve and has worked his way into the regular rotation. He’s had four straight contests with double digit-points, including a 24 point 17 rebound night on Sunday in a dominating win against Detroit that features a front line with the likes of Josh Smith and Andre Drummond.
Unlike Blake who will see decreased production as other players (Read: Kobe Bean Bryant. And I guess what’s left of Steve Nash), Hill’s production can easily continue as the season progresses.
Conclusion: get Hill now! The guy’s a machine. He’s averaging a double-double in just 20 minutes, and he’s only going to get more and more time as D’Antoni figures out who the hell is even on this team.
(Sidenote: has there ever been a more ambiguous Lakers team? The boxscores each game show zero consistency. One night Nick Young scores 25 the next he’s on the bench in favor of Xavier Henry. I’ll tell you what though, as a diehard Lakers fan, it’s a refreshingly fun albeit frustrating ride.)
In general, pay attention to this Lakers team. They don’t have the superstars that you’ll rely on night in and night out (Until Kobe comes back), but they have a number of guys who are showing their beleaguered head man that they can play (Nick Young, Xavier Henry, Jodie Meeks, etc.) in the 7 seconds or less system.
As the rotation gets more set in stone some of these no-name guys will become valuable fantasy commodities, so think about picking a few of them up while no one else is paying attention to the LakeShow.
Or don’t. It’s not me who has to get a fantasy tramp stamp for losing the league.
Best of luck and happy tinkering!