Little update with the goings-on of Bench Spot #5 in the ATML…
[Alee] Rose/Oladipo/Zaza for [Reff] Bropez
1/28 – Back when Rose was struggling and Alee was desperate to move on from him but couldn’t stomach just dropping him, Dylan approached with an offer of Bropez for the package of Rose/Dipo/Zaza. Zaza and Dipo had sentimental appeal but the chance to get out from under the relative inconsistency of Rose and Dipo while landing a top flight big man got the deal done. Since the trade, Rose has had bright spots, particularly since Butler went down with injury (what is in the water in CHI??), but has also continued his maddening trend of missing random games to rest/soreness. Dipo had a bit of a hot streak, since the trade, but has cooled down to solid top50-ish value. His well-rounded lines and strength in STLs made him a strong fit with Team Reffe before they moved Paul George. While the additions of Jennings and Ilyasova have muddied ORL’s rotations beyond Skiles’ normal tinkering, Dipo’s minutes have been consistently high (37.2 mpg past 30 days). Zaza also has come down from being the DD machine he was to start the season, but still provides decent REB/DD production. Not even the stink of the Nets can slow down Bropez this season; still not the prodigious REB you would hope for from your C, his strong %ages and defensive stats in addition to his scoring make him an ideal fit for Alee’s team.
[Adrian] Horford/Kanter for [Lopez] Love/Crowder
2/1 – Well this one incited the popular “MONEY BACK PLS” reaction from the league (myself included), but amusingly this may have cost Adrian a week when Crowder was fighting thru an injury and Love was slumping a bit. After ending two consecutive seasons with pectoral injuries, I wouldn’t blame you if you saw Horford as a ticking time bomb, but as of late, he has been ballin. His contributions across the board, particularly in 3PM/AST for a C have made him an incredibly valuable commodity. Much like Wade, Pau, and Bropez, these long-time studs have shown that injury/age concerns can sometimes be overstated (me = guilty). Since the ASB, Crowder has fought back to being the 3PM/STL fountain he’s been most of the year. Love has had strong performances, but still hasn’t had a significant stretch of dominant games as he continues to try and find that balance between him, Lebron, and Kyrie in CLE.
[Alee] KAT/Markieff to [Reff] and E’twann Moore to [Han] for Gallo/Hood/George Hill
[Reff] Paul George/D’angelo Russell to [Han] and G. Hill to [Alee] for KAT/Markieff/Booker
[Han] Gallo/Hood to [Alee] and Booker to [Reff] for Paul George/D’Angelo/Moore
2/11 – After multiple offers of Gallo/Hood/Booker for PG straight up, it took getting Alee involved to grease the wheels and pry him away from Dylan’s team. Looking for 3PM/PTS help and another PG to supplement Curry, Alee was looking to move one of his stable of bigs (Hassan was main piece he was trying to move iirc). In Gallo and Hood, I had plenty of 3PM/PTS to spare, but didn’t have a strong enough PG to get a trade done on my own nor was I really interested in acquiring a big man. It took some coaxing to sell Dylan/Shehan on letting George and Hill go, but the allure of adding KAT to a Pau/Boogie duo was strong. Hill does have his ups and downs, but in a #2 PG behind Curry on a big man-centric team (that is punting AST), Hill’s contributions in 3PM/STL without draining FG% (usually) fit what Alee was looking for in the position. I was leery of sending away about 6.0 3PM/g and ~60 ppg’s worth of players, but couldn’t pass up the chance to acquire a 3PM/STL stud and top-20 player, especially one I had been incessantly chasing for the better part of two months :P. Of all the trades Ive ever made in fantasy, I think this one was the most satisfying not because I got Paul George, but bc of how we got to the final names and bc of how mutually beneficial the trade was for all of the parties involved.
[Han] Lebron for [Aria] Anthony Davis
2/19 – Aaaaaannddd LeBron’s gone again lol. Hot off a few DD’s and big AST nights, I was looking to move Lebron before he started to take games off. I aimed high and proposed another 1 for 1 swap with Aria even after the last one burned me so horribly. The day after I made the offer, I was about to cancel it – I was playing Aria next week and didn’t know if I wanted to concede a ~25 AST swing (40-50 total) to a team already touting Kemba/Lillard/Kyrie – but Aria had already accepted. With Turner and Bogut, I began to flirt with the idea of building up BLKs. This year especially, BLKs seem hard to come by, and a lot of the best sources hurt will hurt your FT%. In AD, you have a potentially prolific source of BLKs but also big contributions elsewhere. I blame Curry’s historic season and unfair expectations of being the consensus #1 overall pick in FBB this year for AD’s “disappointing” season, but a top10 season still isn’t anything to scoff at.
[Varma] Drummond/Gobert/Draymond/Capela for [JL] Durant/McCollum/Beal/Goodwin
2/23 – After committing to punting FT% by opting to build his team around Drummond rather than Harden, Shubh pivoted completely, and made the jump for Jon’s top scorers. Quietly amassing heavy 3PM specialists in Redick, Crawford, and JR Smith, Durant and McCollum should make that category and easy win most weeks now. Waffling between building up FT% around Durant and losing it with MCW/Rondo/Faried, Jon hard committed for punting FT. Interestingly, with Rondo, Draymond, and the newly acquired Elfrid (sorry Elfredo!), Jon’s new team is one of the rare punt-FT% teams that doesn’t punt AST as well. The bigger a trade is, the harder it is to get a read on, but I like the way it crystallized how each team wants to win each week now. Something I wondered as I chase a playoff spot however, is the value of a team that punts categories when each win is so crucial for making up ground in the standings.
Around the League:
Team Chandra/Pops still sitting pretty in first place, no real changes to their team besides Deng’s strong run a little while ago. Sassa fras/Team Reffe shuffling around the top a bit, but still maintaining top-4 positions. Pride leads to destruction slipping a bit, but still holding onto 4th place. The Squad still within striking distance of that last playoff spot. MILLFAP ABBY predictably falling as they are hemorrhaging wins without Butler to top teams. Team Varma, MILL$AP ROCKY, Team Lopez round out of the bottom of the league.
Bench Spot #5
During my last update, my team was sitting in 7th place. Since then, we’ve rattled off 7-2, 5-4, 8-1, and 7-2 weeks to surge to 5th place. With two weeks remaining in the regular season, we are 1.0 games back from that final playoff spot with matchups vs Alee this week and vs Adrian next week.
Week 14 – vs MILLFAP ABBY (7-2)
My plan going into the matchup was to take the big man cats (REB/DD/BLK) from Adrian’s relatively light team while contesting 3PM/AST/STL/PTS. Adrian’s team eschews volume for efficiency, so I wasn’t too worried about the %age categories if it meant taking the volume categories. My early streams centered around building REB/BLK leads with Portis and Taj until around mid-week when I realized I had a strong hold on those cats. Instead, I tried to make up ground in STLs with Danny Green/Thabo/Gary Harris pickups, but came up short. Adrian has historically been loyal to guys on his team so that meant few add/drops most week, but that requires you to maximize each roster spot. With Barnes relatively ineffective and Tyreke injured, I won primarily through sheer volume with a 53/1644 to 39/1204 GS/Min played edge. I’d also consider myself fortunate that CP3 only had 1 DD out of 4 games this week, letting me take that cat. This week showed the weakness of building through %ages at the cost of volume since if an opponent can take one of those %age cats off of you, it’s hard to take a volume cat off of them (7 volume cats to 2 %age ones). Lebron shooting 24/28 FT (86%) was a total aberration, but with Gallo shooting 27/31 (87%) and Harden shooting a whopping 44/46 (96%) from the line, my FT was robust enough to absorb some minor hits to it from Turner/Bazemore.
Week 15 – vs The Squad (5-4)
Considering that we are both fighting to make the playoffs, a nearly even 5-4 split was probably the most amicable result between me and JL (tho Im plenty happy to take that 1 game edge 😉 ). Coming into the matchup, I figured I had the edge in 3PM/PTS while he had the advantage in REB/DD/BLK; we’d probably split the %age cats, so that left AST/STL as the major categories of contention. The majority of my pickups centered on bolstering my AST/STL with guys like Chalmers/Harris/Evan Turner. I got greedy with a BOS streamer again by add/dropping Turner only to see Adrian burn a waiver to acquire him. Jon’s decision to sit Ibaka one night left the BLK cat open a bit, but streaming WCS wasn’t enough to try and close the gap. I was pretty salty to see Barton nab 2 DD’s this week, but vs Gortat/Rondo/Faried, I wasn’t expecting to win DD this week. Wall/Gallo/Lebron/Hood/Booker/Wiggins/Harden all provided huge scoring outputs to help me take PTS, tho 3 game weeks from Durant/McCollum also helped secure the cat. My lead in AST is partly due to streaming PatBev/Chalmers/Turner, but also slightly due to the difference in how Jon and I approach the AST cat. His team’s ASTs are built upon the back of Rondo (and to a lesser extent, MCW) with contributions from McCollum/Durant/Goodwin/Marc Gasol; AST totals from those supplementary sources are more susceptible to variance and places a lot of faith in Rondo. While not as prolific as Rondo, Wall/Lebron/Harden and to a lesser extent, Elfredo, are a more robust cohort of AST sources. I held a bigger lead early in the week, but JL and his team fought hard to bring it back to 5-4 by the end.
Week 16 – vs Team Lopez (8-1)
I wasn’t sure if playing the last place team during the weeks around the ASB was a blessing or a curse. On one hand, the two week matchup can wreak havoc on your plans if (real) teams decide to rest players heading into the ASG. On the otherhand, in a longer matchup with more games played, the better (fantasy) team should win out. Besides a mishap with sitting Roco when he went off for 6 STL/6 3PM, it was a pretty comfortable 8-1 win. ESPN gave us 14 acquisitions to use during the 2-week matchup and with a roster spot opening up after dropping Moore from our 3-team trade, I tepidly streamed the spot. Even after picking up Korver like twice, Im pretty sure he never actually recorded a game of stats for my team lol. I did get kind of aggressive with my moves on the last day to ensure I took 3PM/PTS but it was pretty moot after AD went off for 59/20 in the early afternoon game.
Week 17 – vs Pride leads to destruction (7-2)
My big concern coming into this matchup was that giving Aria Lebron on top of Lillard/Kyrie/Kemba would make winning AST a challenge, but Lebron did me a solid and rested for one of CLE’s 4 games this week. With AlJeff parked in his IR spot (or maybe just indifference), Aria didn’t make a single move this week while I happily streamed away, helping me secure 3PM/STL. Versus Thad/DeAndre/Porzingis, I wasn’t expecting to win REB/DD/BLK, but ended up stealing REB/DD somehow even with AD only playing 2 games this week. I also nearly stole BLK if not for Biyombo recording 2 straight games of 0 BLKs ( :salt: ). Amsuingly, I wasn’t able to win FT% vs a team with DeAndre, but to be able to make up 5 games on someone ahead of me in the standings was huge so I cant really complain.
Week 18 – vs sassa fras
Currently in the middle of a matchup with Alee. The loss of Gallo and Hood/Curry to early, minor injuries has put Alee in a hole in the 3PM/PTS cats, but his advantage in bigs has kept the matchup a manageable 5-4. With Hassan still to play PHL twice, Im pretty leery about trying to stream BLKs even tho Im only a few behind atm. FT% seems to be the most contested cat currently, but I’ll let the fantasy gods decide that winner.