Fantasy:Breaking Down The Lakers
It’s been an up and down season so far for the Lakers, but considering how bleak things looked during the off season with Kobe Bryant’s trade demands I don’t think that Laker fans could have asked for anything more. On the nights when they are really clicking the Lakers can be a real force in the league.
Now that we are just over a quarter of the way through the season it’s time to check in and see which Lakers are producing in the fantasy world.
Kobe Bryant: (44% FG, 85%FT, 1.6 3PM, 6.2 Rbd, 4.7Ast, 2 Stl, .6 blk, 26.3 pts)
Kobe scoring and field goal % are down this season, but part of that can be attributed to a lingering groin injury that has led to Kobe shooting under 40% in 4 of the last 5 games and averaging just 22 points in that period. As always, Kobe is one of the top fantasy performers in the league and as soon as he is healthy he should return to scoring around 28 points per game while shooting somewhere in the mid to high 40s. In fact, because of the injury now may be a good time to try to buy low on Kobe.
Lamar Odom: (51%FG, 66% FT, .5 3PM, 8.8 Rbd, 2.3 Ast, .9 Stl, .5 blk, 14.2 pts)
Lamar is still trying to find his game after his off season shoulder surgery. Right now his stats are a little low all the way around, but what fantasy owners have to be most concerned about is his lack of assists. Odom’s claim to fame in the fantasy world was that he would get you somewhere around 10 boards and 5 assists just about every night. As Phil Jackson’s offense this season is using him less as an initiator his opportunities to distribute the ball have decreased. Unfortunately, with Derek Fisher providing a steady hand at the point guard spot we can’t expect Odom’s assists to come back anytime soon. He isn’t a terrible fantasy option, but clearly isn’t the player that most thought they were getting when they took him in the 5th round.
Andrew Bynum: (61% FG, 68% FT, 10.1 Rbd, 1.6 Ast, .5 Stl, 2.1 Blk, 11.1 pts)
Wow. Averaging a double-double, Andrew has shown the world that he is a force to be reckoned with. I could easily see him going as early as the 5th round next season if he keeps up his stellar play. One thing that has to worry fantasy owners though is the impending return of Kwame Brown. When Brown is around he and Andrew split time at center, which eats into Bynum’s fantasy value. Fortunately the trade deadline is fast approaching, and Kwame’s expiring contract makes him the Laker most likely to get traded. Wait for Bynum’s numbers to dip a bit near the end of January if you want to trade for him, then reap the benefits if Kwame is traded at the February deadline.
The Rest of the Bunch (Vlad Radmonovic, Ronny Turiaf, Luke Walton, Jordan Farmar, Derek Fisher): These guys all need to be lumped into one group because for the most part they all are in the same situation. On a given night any one of these guys can heat up and provide fantasy value. The problem is you never know which one it is going to be. Fisher has been the most consistent, and his solid shooting percentages make him a fringe player in most fantasy leagues. However, there are just enough nights where Farmar gets major minutes to keep Fisher from being truly worthy of being added to your fantasy roster. What makes the Lakers roll players so successful this season is that you never know who will be the one (or ones) putting up numbers each night. Unfortunately, what makes them successful also drives fantasy owners nuts. Unless there is an injury or some other change that leads to major and consistent minutes for one of these guys steer clear of them.
That’s it for this week. Make sure you check out my NBA.com Fantasy Blog by clicking the link in my sig. Also, I have changed the format of the Unpossiblog, so stop by and check it out by also clicking the link in my sig.
Till next time…