Liking Byron Buxton | Injury Bug Hits Fantasy Basketball At The Worst Time
First off, let me thank those of you who reached out to me in the wake of my mother’s passing. Your kind words and thoughts helped carry me through the toughest 11 days of my life. However, I know she wouldn’t want me balled up in a corner shaking in tears, so let’s get back to some normalcy, a trait that rarely shows up in Fantasy sports.
I have yet to do a Fantasy baseball draft, though that will change as I partake in nine drafts/auctions over the next eight days (damn my cursed impulsive nature). Friday night will be one hell of a crash course to prepare, so laptop, iPad and iPhone (All In For Apple, as my sister tells me) will be moving through various sites, although all roads will lead me home to the wisdom and knowledge of my RotoExperts family. The evening will also allow me to finally find out what’s in the box that has sat on the table for the past week, with early odds saying it’s a copy of Baseball Prospectus.
My list of sleepers and busts is about as limited as a certain president’s spelling skills yet there are a handful of players I do like/hate.
Likes: Twins OF Bryon Buxton, Mets 1B/3B Wilmer Flores, Diamondbacks P Archie Bradley (30 save potential), Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera (strong rebound candidate), Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez, Braves 2B Ozzie Albies, Reds SP Luis Castillo, Rockies SP Jon Gray, Astros C/DH Brian McCann, Padres OF Manuel Margot (20-20 visions in SD), Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber (power remains but overall numbers rise).
Dislikes: Yankees SP Luis Severino, Astros SP Lance McCullers Jr. (multiple DL trips are a-coming), Dodgers 1B/OF Cody Bellinger, Rockies 1B/OF Ian Desmond, Reds OF Billy Hamilton (the steals aren’t enough to offset the rest of his pathetic work), Orioles 1B Chris Davis (hell, just about any Orioles outside of Jonathan Schoop), Giants 3B Evan Longoria (he will burn a lot of NL-only owners), Rays RP Alex Colome (never trust a closer with less than a 9.00 K/9 rate).
Clip it and save, kids.
Let’s Make Lots of Money (Weekend Edition)
Ben Simmons, G/F, 76ers (vs. Timberwolves, $10,400/FanDuel): Let’s see...a pair of triple doubles and six games of double-digit assists in his last seven entering a showdown against a Minnesota team ranked 27th in defensive rating. He’s money well spent as the anchor of your DFS lineup.
Artemi Panarin, C/F, Blue Jackets (vs. Blues, $7,200/DraftKings): He’s scored at least a point in nine of his last 10 that was highlighted by a 15 Fantasy point night against the Rangers on Tuesday. Panarin, who has 26 goals this season, is approaching 70 points and still has a chance to hit the 30-goal barrier.
— NBA (@NBA) March 23, 2018
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, G/F, Nets (vs. Cavaliers, $22/Yahoo): Opposing backcourts are Fantasy gold against the Cavs of late and Hollis-Jefferson is an ideal play. RHJ is a stat-stuffer who has a pair of double-doubles and at least 30 Fantasy points in five of his last seven games. I have a feeling there’s a 40-plus FP afternoon waiting...
Travis Konecny, F, Flyers (at Penguins, $11,000/FantasyDraft): A season-long quest appears over in Philly as Konecny has become a stablishing presence as the right wing on the Flyers top line. Konecny has scored double-digit Fantasy points in four of his past five games entering what could be a high-scoring affair.
Body Count’s in the House
Sweet Jeebers, the Fantasy basketball injury bug has zero chill. Good ‘Ol IB has shown he doesn’t give a damn about your team’s title hopes, which is why IB dialed up his hatred for all things healthy over the past month.
Kevin Durant’s ribs? Steph Curry’s ankle? Klay Thompson’s thumb? Yeah, the injury bug enjoyed its extended stay in the Warriors’ locker room.
IB also made a brief stop in Houston, one that was long enough to tweak Chris Paul’s knee. Since things happen in threes, why not add Kyrie Irving’s knee for a point guard trifecta?
Those were only the headliners. Devin Booker, Marcus Smart, Brandon Ingram, Gary Harris, Jalen Brown and Wesley Matthews were among the other Fantasy hoops standouts who have been sidelined with injuries at the brink of Fantasy postseason play.
How to resolve the problem? First off...you’ll have to read my weekly Fantasy hoops column. Can’t give away too much basketball here. That would take away all the fun from coming back on Sunday to give it a read.
Jimmy Graham won’t play defense for the Packers but his addition makes Aaron Rodgers a strong bet for 35-40 TD passes this season. Green Bay will play a host of 35-28 style games.
I believe in Patrick Maholmes as a breakout candidate.
The Eagles reportedly are still seeking an impact receiver early in next month’s draft. Even with Thursday’s signing of Mike Wallace, the World Champs might have their choice of SMU’s Cortland Sutton or Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk. As lethal as Kirk could be in Philly, the thought of Sutton reeling in passes from Carson Wentz for the next decade is potential Fantasy gold.
We’re still nearly two months away from the NBA Draft Lottery. The only two things you need to know is that 1) Arizona’s Deandre Ayton will be the first overall pick and 2) will be a top 50 Fantasy pick. If you’re starting up a keeper/dynasty league, Ayton rises into the top 15 range.
On behalf of RotoExperts, I am thrilled to announce we will be working with the Canadian Football League for the 2018 season. I am a full-on CFL junkie and am looking forward to getting things ramped up for a second straight year. Hopefully the Food Poisoning From Hell won’t make a guest appearance again the night before the Grey Cup.
If you follow me on Twitter (shame, shame, shame and pox on your social media house if you’re not following BCWilliams71), don’t be too shocked if I drop a take or two on what I see at the CFL Combine.
A salute to players whose one good year carried many a Fantasy team to success.
Our initial inductee is Rick Wilkins, who hit .303 with 30 homers, 73 RBI and a .937 OPS as the Cubs’ primary catcher in 1993. Slick Rick led my NL-only team (Gulf Coast Hurricanes) to a championship as part of his one shining moment. A top-five catcher in Fantasy leading into 1994, Wilkins hit .227 with seven homers and 39 ribbies that season and never hit better than .243 the rest of his journeyman career that ended quietly with 24 plate appearances with the Padres in 2001.
If you have a One-derful candidate, hit me up on Twitter or email me at BCWilliams71@gmail.com.
Byron Buxton Photo Credit:AP Photo/John Minchillo
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