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11/02/07 [log]

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Weekly column on Fantasy Basketball






For the 1999-2000 season, sought correspondents to follow the fantasy value of players on their local NBA teams. As a regular participant in ESPN Fantasy Basketball, I auditioned and got the gig of reporting on the Golden State Warriors. The pay was terrible, and the Warriors were even worse. But it was also a lot of fun.



It's not Roger Angell or Jim Murray, but when you've got an itch, you may as well scratch it....




A WOE-rriors Week -- The All-Star break could not come soon enough. The Warriors enter the weekend at 12 and 35 with three straight losses of 20, 20, and 15 points to beatable teams. With a deep Western Conference, the Warriors have an ant's chance of making the playoffs. Garry St. Jean and his staff will work the party circuit in Oakland this weekend, looking for a good trade.

Heating Up

Jamison continues to put together efficient games. This week: 25, 22, and 17 point outputs on 50%+ shooting. While he may never be a monster in all categories, Jamison can put the ball in the hole and, when he's not watching Donyell do it, rebound as well. Mookie had a nice week. In New Jersey, he recorded 18 points, nine assists, 5 steals, and 4 threes--a great game for any point guard. On suggestions that injuries and age were catching up, Mookie said, "I don't care. I'm too old for that stuff." His game was never built on speed, and as a good three-point shooter and defender who can make the pass into the post, he'll stick for a few more years, a la Terry Porter. If the calves hold, he's a keeper all year.

Ice Cold

Dampier and Caffey continue to disappoint. In SI's Swishes & Bricks at Mid-Season Report, their #1 Brick: "The Warriors' free-agent signings. Before last season Golden State locked up power forward Jason Caffey; before this one it re-signed center Erick Dampier. The two have seven-year deals worth a combined $83 million. Dampier has been injured almost all season, and Caffey was averaging 11.3 points and 6.9 rebounds at week's end."

Lineup Shuffle

The Warriors bench was ranked in one pub as the third worst in the NBA, which is where starting SG John Starks belongs. In this week's games, Starks went 3-14, 2-9, and 5-16 with 0-5 from 3 against Miami. If he's still on your IR list, keep him there until he works out the kinks. St. Jean bounced back and forth between Dampier and Foyle at starting center with Dampier getting more and more minutes as the week progressed. Nice game for Dampier in Miami. Foyle could be headed for the bench's end.


Chris Mills has pitched tent on Injured Reserve. After the break, look for the Warriors to activate him and get him significant minutes to move this smart player who'd be great off a playoff bench. As a fantasy player, though, he wasn't, isn't, and won't be worth much. Name his last 20-point game. Me neither. Erick Dampier still isn't 100%, although his knee is improving. He's going stronger to the hole, and the increases in free throws, field goal percentage, and rebounds raise his fantasy value.

Rumor Mill

Before the trading deadline on 2/24, the Warriors will try to move some personnel. Players attractive to other teams include veterans Mookie Blaylock, Chris Mills, and John Starks who can solidify a bench for the playoffs. Mills and Starks are wounded and ineffective. Mookie is playing well. The Mookie-for-McGrady rumor hasn't completely gone away, but if Toronto ships the next Pippen, someone in the front office should be on the same flight.

Fearless Fantasy Forecast

Everyone not named Jamison is on the trading block. If the above guys can't get fair value for St. Jean, don't be surprised to see Donyell on a plane. Here's the case: The Warriors have wanted to move him, and now that he's putting up double-doubles, playoff teams may be interested. Who wouldn't want a productive guy coming off the bench who can back both forwards and, because he's so long, the center spot in a pinch? The playoffs are about defense, and Donyell's D-game has improved. However, he won't get the same fantasy chances elsewhere. This week's schedule includes two with Portland, and Boston and Washington in Oakland. Get Jamison, Blaylock, and Marshall in the lineup. Why not Dampier in the latter two games?

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(c) 2007 Steven P. Olson. All rights reserved. Samples are for demonstration purposes only.