StrategyJanuary 6, 2008

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Midseason studs and duds

By Jonathan Huang

Every year there are fantasy monsters, but there are also pieces of junk that you wish you hadn’t wasted a draft pick on (Darn those so called “fantasy” experts for telling me who to draft…). Almost halfway through the year, here are some of those fantasy studs and duds of the 2007-2008 season. We won’t go over the obvious such as Kobe and Lebron, but we will go over the stars who have underperformed or have been massive disappointments to their owners.


Dwight Howard – Well let’s start out with an obvious one. The big man has grown into the Beast of the East. He has stepped up his game even more from last season. Arguably the best center in the league, he is averaging over 20 ppg and over 15 rebounds with a couple blocks to boot. Besides his dismal free throw percentage, what more could a fantasy owner want!?

Chris Kaman – The Caveman has definitely stepped up his game with the absence of Elton Brand. He puts up about 18 ppg, 14 rebs, and 3 blocks per game with a decent 75% clip at the line. He was labeled by many as a dud after a terrible season directly following a contract extension. Kaman is now proving that is not the case.

Richard Jefferson – Many thought Jefferson would never be the same again after the foot and ankle injuries. However, this season Jefferson is once again returning to top form. Plenty of fantasy owners (including me) laid off RJ due to his injury concerns, but now everyone who picked him up in the later rounds is getting maximum production from the small forward.

Caron Butler – The Wizards’ Caron Butler has certainly not disappointed when it comes to fantasy and real life. He has now lead a Gilbert Arena-less Wizards to a decent record in the weak Eastern Conference. He is poised to make another All-Star appearance to the tune of 22 ppg, 7 rebs, 4.5 asts, and 2.2 steals.

Hedo Turkoglu – Definitely one of the big surprises of 2007. With the arrival of Rashard Lewis, Turkoglu’s role was in question. However, he has proved that he can consistently provide an all around game while spreading the floor for Dwight Howard. In fact, coach Stan van Gundy has frequently paired Lewis and Turkoglu together and he has put up very strong and consistent numbers to show for it.

Rudy Gay – In just his second season, Gay is already fulfilling his potential. He is simply dominating in a free-flowing Grizzly offense. It is great to see him doing well and I’m sure his fantasy owners think likewise. He is already a star and will be a stud for many years to come.


Eddy Curry – Oh boy… he was once labeled as a “franchise center” by Knick coach Isiah Thomas, yet immediately following that, Zach Randolph was shipped into town. A similar big man who takes up much space, demands the ball to make an impact, and doesn’t play much defense, Curry was in bad shape from then on. He was okay last year for his scoring, but now his scoring is way down and he does not do anything extra to make up for it. Curry does not rebound, block shots, steal, assist, or make his free throws. Fantasy wise, he’s good for nothing, to New York… he’s good for nothing. Drop the guy now. He’ll kill your team.

Vince Carter – After signing a fat $60 million extension this past off-season, Carter got the sickness many NBA players get after contracts: non-motivationitis. His numbers are way down and plenty of nights he seems like he’s just coasting out there. He’s one year older and no longer has as much quickness and athletic ability as he used to. Hopefully, he’ll decide that New Jersey can still make it to the finals and actually start playing again.

Shaquille O’Neal – Once the most dominant center on the face of the Earth, the Shaq man has become a mere mortal. Fouling out in 3 straight games this season, Shaq no longer has the endurance, agility (yes, agility), and desire to overpower his opponents. His positives no longer outweigh the negatives and this spells a sad end to this future Hall of Fame center.

Larry Hughes – Brought in to be Robin to Lebron’s Batman, Hughes has been far from it. He frequently has terrible shooting nights and is also oft-injured. Coupled with his unattractive contract, nobody even wants to consider trading for the shooting guard that has done terrible this season.

These are just some of the studs and duds. Honorable mention for the studs include the never-aging Jason Kidd, Steve Nash, and Marcus Camby.
The dishonorable mention of duds include Stephon Marbury, just about everyone on the Knicks except for David Lee, just about everyone on the Heat except for Wade, and Isiah Thomas (haha).

Jonathan is a NBA fan who loves the game and has been playing and dominating fantasy leagues. You can find Jonathan posting in the Cafe forums as baller_crimson.
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