16 weeks into this fantasy bball season and I have decided to keep a little blog/journal of my team. There’s a lot I could probably write about. Trades, LM cheating drama, the draft….I’ll just start with the current matchup. Further description of my team and the season so far will be a different post.
Currently, “pls be a man and let it go” is 96-45-3 and in 1st place with a 5 game lead over the 2nd place team (“Fuck Jon Lee”). Three weeks (including this one) to go and we have arguably the hardest schedule to go with matchups vs the #2 and #4 teams, and a relatively easy bottom feeder we are 16-2 vs this year already.
All Star break has come and gone and honestly it came at probably the best time possible with the mountain of injuries that my team suffered leading up to it. The longer break was definitely fortuitous for my squad, even if some of them are still nursing those injuries. Four months into the season, injuries are to be expected. I probably should be grateful that no one on my team has suffered any major injuries this year (knock on wood).
My opponent has been riding Russell Westbrook all the way to 2nd place. Luckily for him, Durant is supposed to be out for the whole week, meaning Westbrook is going to be getting oodles of usage. Looking deeper, his team is constructed around punting FG%. Players like Ariza and Covington are excellent for this strategy, bolstering the 3PM and STL categories while their FG% doesnt matter for this strat. The bonus of this strategy, is you are more free to pick up players that operate with higher volume as the expense of efficiency. This can result in higher totals of 3PM (generally a harder shot -> lower efficiency) and PTS. The player that shoots 7/21 FG still has made more shots then someone who shoots say 4/6 FG. In a H2H category league such as ours, you want to win as many categories as you can during the regular season, but when playoffs come around, all you need is one more category than your opponent. Sacrificing one category to ensure two or more others is a valid and reasonable strategy.
His team is further anchored by Vucevic, Gortat, and Pek. They all sport good FG%, opening the possibility of, on a good week, winning the category he is trying to punt. Griffin was supposed to be a dbl dbl machine this year and found himself being taken in the 2nd round. However, as he has taken his game further from the basket, the rebounds have not been as plentiful. While you hope for more STL and BLK from a player you spend a high pick on, the potential for dominating four categories (FG%, REB, PTS, DD) could justify the choice in the 2nd round. Fortunately for me, Blake is out with a staph infxn (nasty stuff) and wont be available for this week.
Due to injuries, my opponents roster has taken a bit of a hit. But that weakness can also be a strength. The roster spots previously dedicated to core players are now more flexible. Instead of being bound to a player, he is free to mix and match and stream players with good matchups, whoever is riding a hotsteak, or whoever can contribute to areas of need for his team. Punting FG% gives him further flexibility as he is mostly just looking for players that will contribute to counting stats. This is a huge advantage for him over my roster particularly, as all my players are better than available free agent (FA). While we are limited to 7 acquisitions per matchup in this league, those are a possible 7 extra games, of presumably good matchups/the hothand for him to add to his counting stats.
A probable playoff opponent, it’ll be nice to see how my squad fares against his. If my team has any glaring weaknesses coming out of the ASB, this week will be a good litmus test to see where I need to make adjustments. Even if he doesnt have Blake, Westbrook alone make his team a scary opponent. My prediction is a 5-4 result (FG%, AST, STL, BLK, DD vs FT%, 3PM, PTS, REB). Good enough to increase my lead over him for first a little, but ultimately more for bragging rights (opponent is an old high school buddy and notorious shit talker).