The Hidden Truth: Block Party Edition
Well, the NBA season is headed down the home stretch and you may find yourself in a situation where you need to attack certain fantasy categories. For those rotisserie basketball guys, you may need to shore up in some cats and catch up in others. Blocks is a category that usually has more teams closer together due to the fact that this is just not as plentiful a commodity as other stats like points, rebounds, and assists. With that said, if you pick up a few regular ball swatters and give them some play, you may find yourself gaining faster in blocks than any other category. Here are a list of guys that may be available in your league that put up solid block numbers.
1. Chris Andersen, F, Denver Nuggets – They call him Birdman for a reason; white boy got hops. Andersen is a mad man on the court who specializes in the art of rejection. For the year, he is averaging 2.33 blocks per contest, but in the past two weeks — much of which has seen Nene out — he has been even better, averaging 3.75 a game. You can almost justify giving someone a starting gig in fantasy if they block nearly four shots a game. That is like having a gunner that drops 30 a night. Birdman also gives you boards and a nice shooting percentage.
2. Ronny Turiaf, C, Golden State Warriors – Turiaf started getting more playing time with Andris Biedrins out, and he produced. So now, even with Biedrins back, Turiaf is getting some clock. He’s averaged over two blocks a game for the year, and is certainly going to contribute with some scoring and boards when he gets his minutes.
3. DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers – As long as Chris Kaman, Marcus Camby and Zach Randolph keep missing action for various reasons, Jordan will get you blocks and rebounds. The blocks, 11 in his last three games, is the real key to why he may hold value. Kaman is supposed to come back soon if his MRI goes well, so make sure to pay attention to that if you decide to go after Jordan.
4. Dominic McGuire, F, Washington Wizards – Although McGuire has recently cooled down in the blocks department, he is still averaging about 1.7 a game for the last three weeks. He is a young, energetic guy who the Wizards figure to use a lot as they participate in the Blake Griffin Tankfest of 2009.
5. Anthony Randolph, F, Golden State Warriors – If you have seen the Warriors play over the last two months, I am sure you have seen the raw ability of Randolph. In addition to being in good favour with coach Don Nelson right now (although he all know how that can change at any moment), he has at least one block in every game in March. Randolph can score and rebound in addition to blocking, so he is a prime late run pickup if you have a roster spot to spare.
6. Kendrick Perkins, C, Boston Celtics – With Kevin Garnett still out a few more games, Perkins will receive elevated minutes on the court. Perkins is a double-double threat every time he gets enough clock, and he’s also a capable shot blocker. If he is a free agent, he is a decent option at centre.
7. Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers – Hibbert can not seem to stay on the court more than 20 minutes a game because of his inability to stay out of foul trouble. This big stiff is assured of at least a block a game if he just puts his hands up. I am not in love with him as a fantasy option, but if you are in a deep league or are desperate, it could work.
8. Andray Blatche, F, Washington Wizards – Blatche has all the tools to be a stud, but he is still a bit lackadaisical on the floor. As discussed above, the Wizards will give young guys a lot of minutes as their season fades away into oblivion. Blatche, when he gets PT, is good for over a block a game.
9. Joel Pryzbilla, C, Portland Trail Blazers – As long as Greg Oden stays out, the Vanilla Gorilla will continue to swat shots in the Rose Garden. If you really need a centre, consider Przybilla, as he will rebound and block shots for you.
10. Brandon Bass, F, Dallas Mavericks – If you are so, so desperate, Bass has averaged a block a game in the past three weeks. He could do more if he got a chance, but he only sees 15-20 minutes a game, so it is hard to put up great numbers.