Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Master of the Schedule

As part of my pre-draft preparations I make a spreadsheet with each team's weekly schedule. Yes, I know I am pathetic -- spending as much time creating this calendar as the other teams in my league spend getting ready for the draft, period. I colorcode each number of weekly games, two's, three's, four's and five's (yep, a few westcoast teams have five-game-weeks during the year). I then sum up the total of four and five game games and put a little designation next to the teams with favorite fantasty schedules.

This document comes in handy throughout the year, beginning with draft-night. One would expect there top five or six players to play in weeks with three or more games, and our top one to three picks to play even with a two-game-week. Managing your squad's third-tier players puts you one-up one your competitors.

On draft night, if I have two guys rated equal but one has 12 four-game-weeks and the other only 9, I'm going with the one with 12. If I take a flyer on a young guy it typically will be one with a four-game heavy second half that I can be patient with, hoping for the payoff in the long-run.

Over the next two weeks the Clippers and Suns have the much-coveted five-game-week, respectively, on the docket. I have Elton Brand and Boris Diaw, both of whom are capable of stuffing the stat sheet. I don't have any droppable players at the moment; I have Josh Childress and Ryan Gomes hanging on by a thread. There are FAs on our waver wire to consider for these special schedules --Tim Thomas, Vlad Rad, Sean Livingston -- but no one that is a must (the one must was picked up the other day, Raja Bell, who could have given me some threes).

Overall, my squad, currently in a mild freefall, has a pretty good schedule over the final five weeks. I'll be shuttling in and out my lower tier boys with four-game weeks (Jameer, Rafer, Delonate, Iggy, Eddie Jones, Childress) and pray for the best.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

In The Tank

This happens every year in our league. The same bottomfeeders give up the final two or three months of the year, don't return calls/emails and eventually stop putting in their weekly lineups. Those in contention bitch and moan that their offers aren't even acknowledged and those that fail to manage their lineups have an adverse affect on the outcome of the league.

What to do? What to do? Do you kick out the dregs of the league who are good for chipping in their entry fee but never content and give up halfway through the season? Do you follow the path of least resistance and continue the cycle for another year?

A suggestion made by a friend in another league said they have monthly awards for the final two months of the year, which keeps everyone interested until the end. I suggested for our league this year but the concept was poo-pooed.

While thrilled my squad is currently in 1st it is a drag there are members of our league that continually give up each year, and don't return calls.

With six solid guards and a number of players qualifying at G/F, and four solid players at F/C I traded Mike Bibby before Monday's deadline for Boris Diaw, who qualifies as a forward. So far this week Bibby has been unbelivable for two games and Diaw was amazing in his lone game.

It's been a bad week for injuries for Krewtime. I made a prudent decision on Monday by benching T-Mac, concerned he and his balky back might miss a game or two or three this week, and activating Rip; it appears he will have played in one-half. However...I rolled the dice with Delonte and his bad hammy; he missed his first two games. personal tormentor, Eddie Jones, is active and also has yet to play this week.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Players that drive you nuts...

Eddie Jones has been driving my batty all season. He typically sucks during the weeks I play him and contributes in six categories on the weeks I bench his ass. I played EJ last week and he contributed next to nothing. In two games this week he is ripping it up, averaging 3 trifectas, 6 FTM, 19 ppg, 4.5 boards, 5.5 assists and 2 steals and 50% from the field.

After a disappointing first half of the season Andre Iguodala parlayed his dunk contest hype into an awesome first week of the second half. At the last minute on Monday I benched Skip Alston for my man Iggy. Iggy has responded by averaging a whopping 5 ppg and doing little else. Thanks.

On the FA circuit, I contemplated a few weeks ago taking a flyer either on Josh Childress or Darko; I chose the 'Fro, basically because he's been putting up numbers similar to last year's second half (when I rode him as well) and the Hawks play four-game-weeks almost every week. Josh has been putting up solid numbers for my squad over the past two weeks. Darko's liberation seems to have lit a fire under his underacheiving ass.

When Braker dropped Jameer (out of desperation in need of a PG for the week) last week I jumped all over him, hoping to package another PG with either T-Mac or Memo for a stud. We'll see what happens.

Friday, February 24, 2006

A night that sucks...

Going into last night I was psyched there were only three games and I had five of my 10 guys playing. Considering none of my boys could throw the rock in the Atlantic Ocean standing at the edge of the beach in Atlantic City, the joke was on me; Spanish Fly, Eddie Jones, Rip and The Prince combined for about 5 for 42. Only worse was that I was fighting off The Sandman to watch my man Bibby chuck a bunch of 3-balls in the first half, only to check my stats this morning which jarred my memory that I benched him this week. Argh.

Lo and behold, my squad somehow gained three points, increasing my delicate first place lead to eight points. Yippy!

Last night's FA question was whether to take a flyer on Flip Murray, who was traded to the Cavs at the trade deadline and should be starting next to LBJ23. Will he excell? Will he have a better final game than Pietrus? That's always the questionmark with free agents. I kept Pietrus, seeing he had five four-game weeks left to Flip's three. Who knows?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Four nights without my NBA League Pass left me like an addict without a fix. Thank goodness I got back in my regular routine last night: Riley goes to bed at 7:30, I whip up a quick dinner, Brooke and I watch a bit of Seinfeld and by 9, she's getting ready for bed and I am guiltlessly flipping channels 749 through 759 (I missed you and your creepy finger Fred Carter, nice to see you again last night).

This is one of those weeks that the NBA schedule is unkind. Three of my weekly plays have only two games: CB4, Mike James and Bibby. I learned my lesson earlier this year when I played Elton Brand during a two-game week and he surprisingly did not play in either game. I benched all three of my guys this week to play it safe. I so didn't want to be disgusted in case CB4 and M James blew up that I eschewed watching my two Raps playing against my Grizzlie, Spanish Fly. All in all, my benched trio each had solid games last night, but none that left me cursing the fantasy Gods.

Therefore this week is a bit of a crapshoot for Krewtime, activating inconsistent/lower level players on my squad such as Delonte, Eddie Jones, The Prince, and my newest FA flyer, Josh "I have the ugliest jumper in the League" Childress who each have four games. On any given week perhaps one of these guys makes my lineup. On night one this week three of the four put up more than respectible stats, especially Delonte; only Eddie Jones sucked, so I can't complain too much.

Other FA crapshoots currently on radar: Darko, Pietrus, Baby Al Jefferson, Jameer, and Pryzbilla.

Thank you, Elton Brand, for your five swipes and four swats last night. T-Mac, I hope your All-Star performance has woken you from your funk. As the chuckster suggested your time on the hardwood is the time to forget about those personal issues--espcecially when Krewtime is counting on you!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The key to a successful fantasy hoops season is the draft. Sticking my nose up at the web's so-called fantasy experts (especially you, Talented Mr. Roto!) I have my own scoring system and rank each player based on projected stats. Our league has nine teams, each drafting 15 players, for a total of 135 players. We're a standard 8-cat league, including FTM.

With picks 8 and 11 and knowing the seven picks preceding me would be LBJ, KG, Diggler, Kobe, AK-47, Marion and Shaq I was destined for T-Mac (this, although having Flash rated higher but feared his all-out hustle would send him to the IL sooner or later) with my first pick and Brand (who qualifies as a F/C in our league) as a solid second pick.

After the first 15-ish picks our draft is unpredictable. With picks 26 and 29 I was hoping to steal either Vinsanity or Ron-Ron and hoped CB4 or Dw Howard (does he have a catchy name yet?) would drop. Ron-Ron and VC were snatched up within the first 23 picks. Qualifying as a F/C and averaging nearly 20-10 over the second half of 2005 I WANTED Bosh and traded up two spots in round 3 to get my second center (I just missed Dw Howardby one pick).

My draft overall was hugely successful, drafting, in order: McGrady, Brand, Bosh, Bibby, Peja, Iggy, Memo, The Prince, Baby Al Jefferson, Eddie Jones, Zaza, Mo Pete, Mike James, Wally World and PJ Brown.

good news:
1) my squad (Krewtime) is looking in the rearview mirror at the All-Star break, this with McGrady missing a slew of games and crawling to the first half finish line.
2) I traded Peja at his peak early in the year, along with PJ Brown, for Spanish Fly, who now qualifies as a F/C.
3) I traded Zaza at his peak for Rip.
4) Memo, with Brand, CB4 and now Spanish Fly, gives me four of the top centers in our league (the only FA center of note in our league this season is Kaman).
5) Mike James is Tim Hardaway reincarnated (for real, check out his game if you haven't watched him).
6) Among my myriad FA flyers it appears Delonte and Skip are keepers.

bad news
1) I got sick of watching Wally World and Mo Pete suck the first month of the season, had no patience and dumped both of their asses. Sure would like to have them back, huh??
2) I had patience and still have Baby Al, The Prince and Iggy, who have not lived up to my hopeful hype.

I'm holding first place with nine long weeks to go. T-Mac, I'll go as far as you will take me.