“These are the times that try men’s souls.” — Thomas Paine
I relate to that quote quite a bit right now, because in one of my eight-category money leagues, I just lost Elton Brand and Andrew Bogut for the season within a couple days of each other. As a result, it’s starting to look like a cold, dark winter.
What’s most heartbreaking is that with those two on the roster, the quality of the team is pretty much unmatched in the league. Take a look and what could have been:
PG: Deron Williams, SG: Manu Ginobili, G: Vince Carter, SF: Rudy Gay, PF: LaMarcus Aldridge, F: Lamar Odom, Cs: Brand and Bogut, U/Bench: Eric Gordon and Ramon Sessions, Derek Fisher, Tyrus Thomas, Courtney Lee.
That’s a pretty sweet roster, even with Rudy Gay’s decline and Brand’s uninspired play. Early in the season, I was waiting for Williams and Ginobili to get healthy. Then Brand separated his shoulder and Bogut’s back began to get sore.
Never was this team healthy at once and now, there is a crossroads. So what road does a fantasy owner take? Basically, I have three options:
1. Ditch rebounds, fill the center slot with shot blockers like Chris Anderson and load the rest of the team with FT%, 3-pointers, assists, steals and blocks.
2. Pull off a trade, shipping off one of my guards for someone who can average 10 rebounds and two blocks per game.
3. Try to plug the missing 20 rebounds and four blocks per game with free agents and try to keep the team as balanced as possible.
Option 2 is a problem, because there are so few big men of that caliber. I’ve tried to get Al Jefferson, Emeka Okafor or Marcus Camby, with no success.
Option 3 is nearly impossible. No one on the waiver wire even has the potential for those kind of numbers.
So I’ve tentatively decided to go with option 1. Aldridge and Anderson with be my centers. The rest of the team will be loaded with FT%, 3-pointers and a mix of steals and blocks.
A core of Williams, Ginobili, Carter, Gay, Gordon, Odom and Sessions should provide a lot of 3-pointers, FT%, assists and steals. Fisher and Lee also add 3-pointers and FT% and Thomas is a beast in steals and blocks.
As the season winds down, I see this team picking up major points in the traditional small ball categories. Due to the limited play of Brand and Bogut already this season, the team is already near the bottom in FG%, blocks and rebounds so I shouldn’t lose any ground there.
A situation like this is the number one reason why fantasy sports is so excrutiating. Being teased with greatness only to have the rug pulled out from under you.
A long, cold winter indeed.