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Friday September 8, 2006 10:55 am

Dropping Dimes Draft Blog: Round 2, Pick 9

Rasheed Wallace Round 2, Pick 9: Rasheed Wallace, PF/C, Detroit Pistons

While jumping on a run of player positions isn’t exactly the smartest thing to do in fantasy sports, ‘Sheed isn’t your average big man.  He doesn’t crash the boards like a Kevin Garnett, he doesn’t dominate in the post like a Shaquille O’Neal, and doesn’t throw down two-handers like an Amare Stoudemire.  What he does do is play in at least 79 games a season in each of the last two years and rack up stats that very few seven-footers can provide.

Not many players can say that they’ve played for three teams in one season (Portland, Atlanta and Detroit in 2003-04) and ended up being a key part of a championship team. 

The pundits may point at Rasheed’s inconsistency, as he has never been a stranger to follow up a 20-point night with a single-digit display.  Others may question his sanity, as those technical fouls do rack up, which could hurt owners later on in the season.  Some fantasy owners want double-digit boards out of their center, and their friends prefer to have a .500+ field goal percentage. 

I say, “Blasphemous!” 

While I’m never one to turn down double-digit boards or a solid field goal percentage, don’t forget that the man currently slated to play at the small forward position for this fantasy team, Kevin Garnett, has been among the top contributors in those categories.  So, with a little role reversal, I’ll take Wallace’s center-eligibility (as this league starts two centers) along with his top-20 stats in blocks per game (1.63) and three-point field goals made (155).  Add in his top-10 finish in steals-to-turnover ratio, and you have yourself quite a fantasy-friendly center. 

Other centers can just kill you in some categories (a la Tim Duncan and his free-throw shooting), while others just hurt you by missing games.  Rasheed Wallace does neither. 

With the blackballing of Darko Milicic to Orlando and the defection of Ben Wallace to Chicago, I fully expect Rasheed’s rebound totals to increase a bit over his career average of 6.9 rpg – possibly back to the eight boards a game that he totaled in 2004.  Combine all of the aforementioned points with the fact he’s still running with one of the most efficient point guards in the game and I think fantasy owners have themselves a solid late second round selection.

Other Team Members:

1.4. Kevin Garnett, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves

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