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Monday April 7, 2008 5:21 pm

Beyond The Arc - Week 24

(Editors Note: Apologies for the tardiness of this post.  While Brandon was punctual as usual, I’m late in pinch-hitting the posting of his piece.  Try saying that five times fast.)

Gilbert ArenasSo, next week is the first week of the league finals in most formats.  Hopefully you are still alive, and even more so, hopefully you’ve had fun this season.  For me personally, this was my best and most fulfilling fantasy season to date.  Take a long look at that roster, see what you can dump, see what you can move around, and take a look at who’s hot and who’s not, because these final two weeks are what it’s all about.  This week I’ll try and focus on guys who you may still be able to pick up.

Here’s next week’s slate of games (4/7-4/13):

Four games: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets, Seattle Supersonics
Three games: Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trailblazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

Hot

In deeper leagues, (over 12 teams) look for Delonte West.  He’s been putting up over seven dimes a game in the last week, and as the Cavs continue to tweak their system to gear up for the playoffs, West won’t get a lot of rest.  Mike Brown will definitely want to teach the team to play as one cohesive unit, and as their starting PG, West is crucial and will get plenty of burn.

In leagues even deeper than that, if you are looking for a quick assist fix, look at Anthony Carter.  I’ll warn you, you won’t want to touch him in anything smaller than 14 teams, but six assists in four games this week is a decent boost.  If you have a PG out or struggle in that category, he may be a guy you look at for 5-6 dimes per.

But for guard help in pretty much all leagues, look no further than Chris Quinn.  In his last week, he’s put up numbers close to 16 ppg and 8 apg.  That needs to be owned.  With Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion out, Pat Riley will likely play the hot hand like crazy and to see what kind of talent his young guys have.  Quinn epitomizes that scenario.

For boards, Joakim Noah is worth grabbing even in 12 team leagues.  He’s been averaging a double-double recently with good blocks and steals.  He’s a nice fill-in for a guy like teammate Drew Gooden, who is hurting a lot of fantasy teams right now.

One would think that the value of Al Thornton would plummet in Elton Brand’s return, but it didn’t.  Grab him now if he’s out there.  He’s becoming a scoring machine and that talent that people like me drafted months ago is finally, at long last, starting to pan out a bit.

It is possible that Josh Boone is still out there in most 12-team leagues.  If so, he should be picked up.  He is a lot like Noah in terms of numbers.  The only difference is, he’s been consistent since he’s been getting minutes, and Noah has been up and down more than Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.

Cold

Ben Wallace isn’t doing much, and at this point of the season he’s worth dropping.  Of course, what I said about Delonte West still applies here, but when it comes to poor production, you can’t be waiting around on potential at this stage of the season.

Nick Young is lingering on some rosters out there because he was pretty good while Gilbert Arenas was out.  In his first game back, he felt the effects.  He, along with Antonio Daniels, is probably droppable, especially in 12 team leagues.  You may even go as far as dropping DeShawn Stevenson too.

Larry Hughes isn’t working out too well in Chicago these days.  If you need his 13 ppg and 3 dimes of late, keep him around, but my guess is you don’t.  He is another inconsistent guy who can kill you in the playoffs.

Did you find yourself waiting on Kirk Hinrich?  I’m glad I was able to deal him when he had his little hot streak, because that’s all it was: little.  Chances are he won’t be picking it up any more this year.  Drop him now, and go grab Quinn or West.

I really hate to say it, but Stephen Jackson deserves some discussion down here.  Don’t think about dropping him in leagues much more than 12 teams deep, but in 10 or 12 team leagues, you might just consider it.  He shot under 28% last week with little production.  That’s not going to cut it if you are going to win a title.

What a roller coaster season it’s been for Mike Miller.  He’s struggle mightily of late and if you find yourself down late in the week, he’s got to go.  Don’t cut him just yet, but watch his minutes and production very closely.

Injury Report

The big news is the returns of Brand and Arenas.  If you kept them this long, here’s to hoping you get enough production from either to make a difference.

LeBron James battled back spasms Thursday.  He may not miss a game, but keep an eye on the situation.

Our favorite coach, Flip Saunders, is resting his whole lineup.  Bench all the Pistons if you have better options, which you probably do.

Drew Gooden is still out.  He’s day-to-day.

Antawn Jamison is reportedly close to returning, but he’s still day-to-day.  Keep an eye on this.

Best of luck, all.

 

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