SleepersApril 4, 2005

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Sleeper Watch

By Mike Antoine

So, you’ve made it to the second round in your head-to-head fantasy basketball league? Congratulations! Whether you made it via a first round bye or a first round victory, you’re on your way to the ultimate goal, winning the championship! Now is typically not the time to take risks. However, if you’re like many fantasy owners, you have that one spot that’s a question mark. Will a player come back from injury this week? Will another finally break out of his slump? Yet another guy faces some tough defenses this week (which, by the way, is the reason you don’t want to rely on someone like Rick Brunson this week since he only plays three games, two of which are against a defensive force known as the San Antonio Spurs)!

If you are into taking risks or just plain need a better guard this week, you may want to consider Portland point guard, Sebastian Telfair. Looking at his past statistics, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Ah, I don’t think so,” but if you dig further into the teams Telfair is going to face the week of 4/4 – 4/10, you may want to reconsider. During that span, Telfair faces fairly anemic defenses that include the Utah Jazz, Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings and New Orleans Hornets. Taking a look at how opposing point guards have done against those squads in each teams’ past five games, you’ll see the following:

Average stat line against those four teams:
18 points (on 13 shots), 4 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 turnovers, 1 steal and a 46% FG percentage

Most notably, against Utah, opposing point guards have been averaging 21 ppg on 54% shooting and adding 5 apg. Likewise, against Golden State, opposing point guards have been averaging 22 ppg on 53% shooting, with 7 apg. All this from the likes of Maurice Williams, Chucky Atkins, Mike James and Andre Miller (ok, Stephon Marbury had a good game against Golden State in there, too). Now, Telfair is not an offensive force in the NBA yet, but he has shown flashes of what he can do, as examplifed by his recent game log against the Wizards (54% FG, 17pts, 6 assists and 3 steals).

If you’re not high on Telfair, or simply don’t need a guard this week, then you may want to consider Seattle forward Nick Collison. He’s likely available in most leagues and has been a force over the past several games. Specifically, over his last five contests, Nick has averaged 11 ppg, 8 rpg and 1.4 bpg while shooting 62% from the floor and 77% from the line. Danny Fortson is riding the bench, so if you need some help at forward, ride Nick Collison while he’s hot (just keep in mind that he only plays 3 games this week).

Good luck and hope to see you in the championship game!

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• Other articles by Mike Antoine
Nick Collison by Jamaal Gilbert (posted on 01/11/2007 in Sleepers)
Mike Conley Jr. by Adam Rizzo (posted on 01/04/2008 in Sleepers)
Roto Withdrawal by Mike Antoine (posted on 02/17/2006 in Articles)