Fantasy Clicks: Golden Nuggets - Sports Illustrated

Golden Nuggets: Fantasy Clicks

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Recent Fantasy Clicks 11-06-08: Regret in the making 11-05-08: Regret in the making 11-04-08: A costly win for the Steelers 11-03-08: Week 9 revelations 10-31-08: Into the great wide open 10-30-08: Planning makes perfect 10-29-08: The last temptation of Kurt Warner 10-28-08: A titanic statement on Monday night 10-27-08: Week 8 revelations 10-24-08: 'Tis better to receive 10-23-08: It's getting drafty in here 10-22-08: We won't get fooled again 10-21-08: Pats turn back the clock 10-20-08: Week 7 revelations 10-17-08: Johnson & Johnson 10-16-08: Who's next? 10-15-08: Who's next? 10-15-08: Deadline deal 10-14-08: Can the 'Boys survive without Romo? 10-13-08: Week 6 revelations 10-10-08: Clash of the titans 10-09-08: Not your father's microfracture surgery 10-08-08: Brian's Song 10-06-08: Week 5 revelations

Golden Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony: AP

The biggest beneficiaries of Monday's Allen Iverson-for-Chauncey Billups swap weren't even involved in the actual trade between the Pistons and Nugs. In fantasy terms, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith get the biggest bump, and their roto-owners will get an unexpected bonus just a week into the season.

Stats to consider:

During the 2006-07 season, before his suspension and the arrival of AI, Melo averaged close to 32 points and 50 percent field-goal shooting in 22 games. With Iverson gone, and Chauncey as a true offensive facilitator, Melo may contend for the 2008-09 scoring title.

In 30 games after last season's All-Star break, Smith averaged 15.7 points, 2.6 treys and an outstanding 49.3 percent -- all in less than 22 minutes per contest. Smith doesn't turn 23 until next week and is a very special shooter; he's just been immature early in his career. With Iverson gone, Smith should see upwards of 35 minutes a night and more shots. It's not crazy to think he could average 19 points and close to three treys if he can continue to mature on the floor.

"Even Practice?" "Practice???"

If you didn't catch the Pistons' Iverson intro presser, be sure to check it out at Need4Sheed.

Some things of interest from the conference:

There's still no doubt that Pistons prez Joe Dumars is the man in charge. Just ask Rasheed Wallace, who came over with maybe more baggage than AI has, but who has been on point most of his Motor City career.

AI said all the right things: he's more mature now, has learned from his mistakes, understands and works "the game" instead of just streetballing for points. I'm skeptical, but as a lifelong Pistons fan, hopeful. At least Detroit has a legit star who can score at will now, and I love the salary-cap freedom the move gives the team the next couple of years.

Be sure to check out the end of the presser, which was classic:

Iverson: "One thing is for sure, I'm going to do whatever the coach wants me to do."

Joe D: "Even practice?"

"PRACTICE?!" Iverson exclaimed in reference to his notorious press conference when Larry Brown coached him in Philly.

Backups Who Stack Up

So you're in a deep points-per-reception league and need help at running back. There are actually some backup tailbacks who can help you out.

The Giants' Derrick Ward, who runs behind starter Brandon Jacobs, has caught at least two passes in all but one game this campaign. He's also racked up at least 80 total yards in three of his past four games. He makes for a nice stopgap option if needed.

Exploring Uncharted Torain in Denver

Ryan Torain: Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Catching a hot running back in Mike Shanahan's offense is like catching an express train on the Metro. If you happen to grab the cross-town Rueben Droughns, you might make it straight to your league's finals. If Shanny shuts down the express train, you'll end up transferring from the Selvin Young local to the Michael Pittman local to the Andre Hall local. At that rate, you may end up going nowhere near the postseason.

And that annual Shanahan running back conundrum -- along with season-ending injuries to Pittman and Hall this week -- brings us to the previously injured Ryan Torain. The rookie had a solid preseason before dislocating his elbow, which caused him to miss the first eight weeks of the regular season.

He made his debut last weekend against the Dolphins, but you can't read much into three carries for one yard.

What we do know is that Shanahan was excited about drafting Torain, and any RB in the good graces of the coach is worth owning in Fantasyland.

Young is banged up (groin) this week, so Torain figures to see most of the action Thursday night against the Browns. Only time will tell whether any of us will ride the Torain train to a title this season. But it's worth buying ticket to see where it goes.

Who Will be Crowned King of Center?

The Kings don't play their sixth game of the season until Friday. That will actually be center Brad Miller's first contest, because he's serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

In the interim, second-year center Spencer Hawes has been solid as a rock, averaging 12.6 points, 9.3 boards, 1.4 steals, 2.0 blocks, great percentages (50.0 percent on field goals, 77.8 percent from the line) and even 1.2 treys per game.

The Kings don't play their sixth game of the season until Friday. That will actually be center Brad Miller's first contest, because he's serving a five-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug policy.

Only coach Reggie Theus knows the short-term answer, but I'll be surprised if Hawes doesn't average more minutes and touches than Miller in the second half of the season. Regardless, the 20-year-old Hawes is on the way up, and the 32-year-old Miller is on his way down in Fantasyland.

Come One, Come All

At long last, has a fantasy football game, complete with all of the drafts, waiver wires, stats and analysis you need. Take the grand tour here and sign up a league. Heck, sign up two leagues if you want. We'll be waiting.

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