Fantasy Basketball: Two Players Who Will Help You Win Your League

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Mike Conley

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

What do the Memphis Grizzlies’ Mike Conley and the Detroit Pistons’ Brandon Jennings have in common?  Both of these point guards are players you should be targeting in trades to help you win your league.

All-Star weekend is upon us and what better time to sit back, wind down and watch some basketball without thinking of the implications it’s having on your fantasy teams.  If you do that, you’re missing out on a prime opportunity to ready your squad for the stretch run.

While other owners are siting on both their butts and their laurels, you could be working hard, putting the finishing touches on a trade offer that will thrust you onto the fantasy gold medal dais.

Before I get into these two players, I’ll give you my thoughts on how to approach the next few weeks of basketball.

Your team is sitting in one of three places (two, if yours is a roto league.)  You may be up the top and virtually guaranteed a playoff spot. You may be sitting just on the brink of the playoffs – either just in or just out. Or you could right down the bottom of your standings, completely out of contention.

If your squad falls into the last category, my commiserations go out to you and all I can say is to go out there and throw a few cats amongst pigeons in the closing weeks, stealing hot waiver-wire players away from your leagues mates just to keep them on their toes.

If you have locked up a playoff spot or are battling it out for one, now is the time to reassess your squad and perhaps even more importantly, reassess the squads of your competitors.

The way that I approach my team if I’m going to the Big Dance, is to refocus my strengths and punt my weaknesses.  In a category league, all you need to do in the playoffs is win each week 5-4 (or 5-3 in eight category leagues).  Take a look at where you are weak and strong, but also how those strengths and weaknesses compare to the relative strengths and weakness of the other top five to six teams.

Narrow your focus and win your league.

Now it’s my turn to shift my focus to two players who should a significant bump in their value in the remaining two months of the season.

»Mike Conley, PG, Memphis Grizzlies

Perhaps the best thing that could happen for fantasy owners was Mike Conley not coming back as scheduled on Tuesday night.  Missing the Grizzlies’ game against the Wizards and then the game against the Magic on Wednesday has allowed Conley an extra week to rest his recovering ankle and should be primed to come back fit and raring to go.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of Conley sitting out those two games is the fact that it may make his owners a bit panicky.  I can totally envisage the internal monologue of an uninformed Conley owner going something like this.

Hey, what happened to Conley?  He was supposed to be back last Tuesday. And he didn’t play Wednesday as well?  Oh man, maybe his ankle is worse than they are letting on.  This guy has been so frustrating this season.

That’s where you, the savvy reader can swoop in and throw an enticing offer at his owner.

Hey man, I’m keen to get another point guard onto my team, even if he is injured. What do you think if I give you Dwyane Wade for Mike Conley? How about Roy Hibbert or Monta Ellis? You interested in Josh Smith?

Although it’s not common knowledge yet, Conley is a fantasy stud.  He is ranked 20th for the season on Basketball, whereas on ESPN, he is only the 12th ranked point guard.  The difference there is that the ESPN ranking is a cumulative number and penalizes him for missing the seven games.

If his owner doesn’t do his homework and just looks at the ESPN numbers, you can have a steal on your hands.  In the remaining 30 games, don’t be shocked if Conley approaches numbers like 20 points, 7 assists and 2.2 steals per game, which will have you one step closer to your dream of fantasy domination.

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