Another week down, and this time with a big 7-2 victory over “Fuck Jon Lee”. I somehow managed to survive the F5 hurricane that was Russell Westbrook. Some unfortunate injuries reduced what was a promising matchup to a one-sided affair, but Im certain “Fuck Jon Lee” will be looking for redemption in the playoffs. Our 2nd and final regular season matchup, I took both weeks off of “Fuck Jon Lee” for an overall record of 12-6 (2-0). I stayed #1 overall (103-47-3), while he fell to 10 games out of first place (94-58-1), but still good for #2.
As predicted, I was able to win FG% (which he was punting), AST, STL, BLK, and DD. However he also came up short in the REB and PTS categories. Looking closer, I held the games played (GP) and minutes (MIN) edge 48/1556 to 45/1409. Not the greatest difference, but when those games are minus Blake Griffin and one game of Russell Westbrook, you can really see the impact star players can have in a matchup. Barely edging out victories in most of these categories, I would expect the next time we face each other to be a lot closer. It’s also possible that my opponent could have streamed players a little more to make up ground in some counting categories. He is solidly entrenched in the #2/3 seed. With two weeks of our regular season remaining and no advantage for “home court” in our playoffs, I could see a scenario where he values the players already on his roster over any FAs available, thus holding him back from streaming fully. But even moves like picking up DJ Augustin (who was available) once Westbrook went down would have been justified. For the owner with the third most number of roster moves in the league, the decision not to act is a curious one. I suppose with injuries, my opponent deciding not to use one of his (in my opinion) biggest advantages vs my team (streaming players) also worked in my favor this week, ending up in the one-sided result we got.
Some misc notes on players from both teams
– Boston Trio: Evan Turner, Marcus Smart, Isaiah Thomas – These three were the perpetual thorn in my side this week. The perfect fits for a team punting FG%. Turner, a disappointment of a 2nd overall pick, packed the box score all week, accentuated by a triple-double. Boston showed they were committed to letting Smart come into his own as a NBA player, regardless of his inefficiency. He’s shown that he is capable of shooting the 3-ball and racking up STLs however. Thomas has the green light to shoot at will in BOS. He got hot early vs GS, but cooled down. He will be a good source of PTS, FT%, and 3PM for his owners.
– Russell Westbrook – what else can be said. When Durant is out, Westbrook just may be the best player in fantasy. Three straight triple-doubles is insane in the current state of the league. Im sure it would have been four had his teammate not smashed his face (and jeopardized Russell’s modeling career). I should be grateful triple-doubles isnt a category like it was in last year’s league.
– Terrance Jones – Someone I thought was the weakest player on my team and a candidate to be dropped. Turned out one of the strongest weeks of any player on my team. Even though I had him benched for his 26/12 explosion vs BKN, I hope he continues to help ground my team’s FG% and REB even when Howard returns. Would consider selling high if my team wasnt so desperate for help in those categories.
– Tobias Harris – Still working his way back from his knee injury. Has been steadily improving each game since he has returned. With that brutal ORL playoff schedule, a serious candidate to be traded if his value continues to rise.
– Alex Len, Rudy Gobert, Nerlens Noel – While Noel was drafted from day 1, Len and Gobert have been revelations. Huge beneficiaries of trades and their teams wanting to see what they have in these big men. They have been amazing pick ups, catapulting my team from being solid in BLKs to absolutely dominant, while also helping out bottom-line in FG%, REB, and DD. While I also expect growing pains, Im also going to enjoy the ride with these young stud centers.
– Brad Beal – Finally back from his stress reaction. Looks like WAS could really use his offense as they are mired in a huge slide at the moment. Unfortunately he is kind of locked into my team’s IR spot at the moment as there are no obvious drops or new injuries to move him. One of my team’s real sources of 3PM, that category will have to be a real piece-meal effort from everyone else as long as he remains stashed.