Mother lode or fool's gold
Fortunately, in a couple leagues, I am the team being chased, and in those leagues, it's the same concept: picking up players who will help me maintain my lead. In single-season leagues, the free agent wire most likely looks like an All-Star roster with
Andersen provides the Nuggets with an athletic post presence which leads to solid defensive stats. Similar to
While it may not seem like much, a high energy, above-the-rim player like Andersen can rack up stats in a hurry. In February, the Dirty Bird averaged 7.9 points, 6.0 rebounds and a ridiculous 3.3 blocks. In five March games, the rebounds have increased to 7.2, while the blocks are down to 2.4 and points to 4.0. Andersen hasn't topped five points since Feb. 27 and has played less than 20 minutes in three of the past five games. For being a 6-foot-10, 230-pound big man, Andersen isn't a talented offensive presence, and his rebounding isn't that impressive for someone his size. If you're desperate for blocks, you can't go wrong, but this Fool's Gold won't give you much more of anything.
Furthermore, you won't find Ming or Howard on your free agent wire, so if you need blocks, what should you do? Tap Andersen. He has 15 more blocks in the past 30 days than the next player most likely to be found on your free agent wire. His name?
Mbah a Moute has only played organized basketball for eight years, but his learning curve has been remarkable considering he is only 22 and playing significant minutes for a Bucks team fighting for a playoff spot. Mbah a Moute is considered a "raw" player, but his versatility is undeniable. Legally a Prince in his native Cameroon, can this 6-foot-8 forward prove to be fantasy royalty?
Injuries and poor play have led to Mbah a Moute's increased playing time, and the lanky, long-armed ex-UCLA Bruin has responded. In fact, Mbah a Moute has been the 16th-best player this past week. His shooting percentages are acceptable and the only stat he won't contribute is assists. For complete, all-around production, grab this Mother's Lode, who is only owned in 13 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
For most of the season, Hayes has not been worth a spot on your fantasy team. With an ownership hovering around three percent in Yahoo! leagues, most fantasy owners agree. But a recent hot streak pushed Hayes into the Top 60 for the past seven days. Will Hayes continue to impress, or will he be a fantasy mess?
I suppose that if you need threes, Hayes is an option, but there are much more appealing options if all you are looking for is threes. How about
Is he an explosive scorer? Absolutely not. Can he hit a three here and there while scoring 10 points and grabbing five boards? Absolutely. Toss in solid shooting percentages and 1.0 steal per game and you have a much more complete player than Matt may want to give him credit for. With
Outlaw has been with the Trail Blazers since he was drafted in 2003, and while his minutes have increased annually, he has never taken that expected jump from role player to star. Will a recent surge in production be the catalyst that finally allows Outlaw to reach his potential, or will fantasy owners be disappointed again?
Outlaw has quietly become the third option on offense for the Blazers, and has provided fantasy owners with 45.5 percent shooting from the field, including 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. I would like to see Outlaw generate more rebounds and assists than the 4.2 and 1.0 he averages, respectively, but when you put all of his stats together, they provide good solid production. Don't be afraid of this Outlaw, he's the Mother Lode!
Matt, you mentioned that he hasn't started since Nov. 1. What you meant to say was that Outlaw started the first three games of the season, which was around the time the Blazers decided that he was not suited to be a 35-minutes-a-night player. It still doesn't mean he can't help out your fantasy team, though. While not excelling at anything, he can contribute about 1.0 threes and 4.0 rebounds a game. That's about where it ends though, and as Matt and I have been preaching throughout, this is the time of the year when you need specialists to help you make up statistical ground. Outlaw is a nice player, but not one that you can count on during crunch time. Make like the Blazers and send this Fool's Gold to the bench.