Thursday, March 26, 2009

Waiver Wire Watch (3/26/09): Streaming

Fantasy playoffs have officially started for those of us in Yahoo leagues. I am sure many managers (including myself) have suffered late-season injuries, and thus are in dire need of replacements or a miracle.

So really, now (actually maybe last week) is the time to buckle down and decide on who you still want on your team. There's no room for continual zeroes when a steal or rebound could be the difference between a first round failure and a championship. Today I want to look at a practice that could potentially win you your league: streaming.

1.) the act of adding/dropping players daily in order to attain higher totals stats across various categories...

I know there are many opposed to streaming
; at initial glance, it appears like a convenient way of accumulating more stats. Honestly, I used to get annoyed when I looked down at the recent transactions section only to see that the "DETROIT BALLAZ" exchanged half their team for free agents every single day.

That being said, streaming is still a legitimate option as long as it's practiced with care and caution. If you're going to stream, make sure you put in your due research before arbitrarily picking up a player. Nothing annoys me more than when I see a manager pick up a player, and drop him three minutes later because he decided that another free agent was better. Meanwhile, the rest of the league is now stuck with a free agent that can't be acquired until the waiver-period ends. Careless streaming will hinder other managers from streaming, thus creating negative feelings get the point.

Anyways, if you are one of those managers that's had your team destroyed by injuries
, you have to play to the strengths of the players you have left. Look at your matchup; if your opponent has Kobe, Durant, Dwight Howard, and averages 800+ points a week, then don't go looking for free agent scorers if your team barely reaches 600pts a week. Also look at the actual NBA matchups; anytime you see a team playing against NY, GS, LAC, or PHX, know that that free agent might be a good pickup. Likewise, if Player X scored 22 pts and went 5/6 from beyond the arc in his last game against Golden State, understand that he probably won't do that again against the Celtics.

Below I've listed some of the players that are on my "stream list"
. Again remember to be thorough (give it more than 4 seconds thought) in your research of free agents. Hopefully these guys can help you on your way to a fantasy championship.

Courtney Lee (10% owned): Courtney Lee has received much praise from his teammates, coaches, and critics as of late. Despite being a rookie, he plays both ends of the court with the composure of a veteran, and because of that, Stan Van Gundy gets him his minutes. In his last five games, he's averaged around 33 minutes and 15 pts a game, has 9 steals, 9 3's, and shot very well from the line and field. Another good sign is that he's doing this even though Orlando has no significant injuries (other than Jameer, who won't be coming back soon). If you need threes or steals, stream him (maybe even consider making him a permanent fixture).

Steve Novak (11% owned): Novak is a guy that frustrates me. In 6 of his last 8 games, he's made 3 or more 3pters. In those other two games, he's had zero points. I've streamed him into my line-up twice, and both those occasions just happened to be the nights where he's scored zilch. However, from an objective point of view, chances are they he'll light it up from 3pt land if you add him into your line-up. Again, if you need threes, look into picking him up.

Will Bynum (5% owned): Taking full advantage of a golden opportunity, Bynum has played himself into relevance in the absence of AI and Rip. In his last 5 games, he's averaged 16pts, 4.4 assists, and 1.4 steals whil shooting .500 from the floor and 83% from the line. If Hamilton is out for an extended amount of time, Bynum is a great option to stream.
It seems like Curry is trusting Bynum more and more as each game goes by. Will plays like a poor man's Allen Iverson (and kind of reminds me of a chubbier Lyndsey Hunter); he's not scared of contact, but is also unselfish.

Anderson Varejao (36% owned): Here's another guy that might deserve to be a permanent member of your team. Ben Wallace is out with a broken leg, giving Anderson the starting PF gig. Other than his questionable FT%, Varejao has been putting together some solid numbers. He's had two games in a row of 16-11, and has shot 22/39 in his last five. I don't see any reason for him to stop his current production anytime soon. As much as I don't like him in real life, I've been streaming him consistently.

Chris Andersen (39% owned): I've given plenty of praise to Andersen in the past. And even though he's not producing as consistently as he was last month, he's still a great source for blocks. With Nene, Kenyon, and the recent emergence of Balkman, Denver's front court is stacked pretty deep. However, Kenyon is known for being injury prone, and Nene is about to serve the 2nd game of his suspension tomorrow night. If you don't have him, at least add him for tomorrow's game.

Flip Murray (15% owned): Murray is a scoring machine. Since Marvin Williams went down with back issues, Murray has seen a boost in minutes and production. He's averaging 19.6ppg in his last five games, and has also made 10 threes. Marvin Williams isn't due back for at least a couple more weeks, so you can count on Murray being a solid plug in any given night. I must warn you that his FT% is very inconsistent; if you can't take a risk with that category, I wouldn't risk it with him.

Others to be streamed: Kyle Korver, Rodney Carney, Anthony Randolph, Quentin Richardson, Craig Smith, Eddie House

Before I end, I'd like to leave you with a video I found from BDL's Bedlam Tournament

He is the only Celtic I like

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