DeAndre Jordan is the prototypical Boards-N-Blocks guy.
Of course we want guys who consistently put up double-digit rebound games with a few snuffs sprinkled in. And, yes, we love it if you have the ability to post a 20-board behemoth every so often.
But what makes Jordan the perfect candidate for this space is that he scores like he’s playing golf. When you see a game like the 2-point, 19-rebound, 2-block line he compiled in an epic overtime thriller Friday at Portland, you wonder if he’s actually trying to not put the ball in the basket. Anyone who owns him knows he takes the idea of not scoring to the extreme at the free throw line (where he’s shooting 40 percent). It’s almost like it’s a badge of honor for him.
Obviously it’s not that he’s intentionally avoiding points, but what this says about Jordan is that he cares more about stuff like rebounding and blocking shots (13.3 rpg, 2.3 bpg on the season) than he does anything else. And that’s not going to change.
That makes things really easy for fantasy owners. Jordan is a two-category player (three if you’re in a league that counts FG%). Over the past week, he’s averaging 5.8 ppg, 15.3 rpg, and 2.8 bpg, and while the boards and blocks are improvements over his season numbers, the points are actually down.
So if you’re Doc Rivers, or in a five-cat league, Jordan is quite valuable. If you’re in a multi-cat league, not so much. I say if you’re good on boards and/or blocks, or want to punt in those categories, try and deal Jordan to some owner who goos over those stats like I do.
Here’s some other things I saw in the paint over the past week:
Kevin Love – The second-best thing to a guy who boards and blocks is a guy who scores and gets boards, a la Charles Barkley. When I see games like the 45-19 and 33-15 that Love has had over the past week I’m 12 years old again, drooling Lucky Charms over monster Sir Charles box score lines in the morning paper.
Marvin Williams – Following in the footsteps of Rip Hamilton, Williams says he will wear one of those creepy clear masks even though he doesn’t need it. Because it “feels good.” Well apparently so, as he has had a 16-7-2 and a 15-8-1 in his past two games. We tend to dismiss this guy because it feels like he should be 36, but he’s not even 30 yet. Keep an eye on him.
Timofey Mozgov – Got a chance to start with Kenneth Faried out and started off pretty good, but has since fizzled. He basically spent 32 minutes doo-dooing in his pants Saturday in Memphis. Wait until he goes back to the bench and then stream him as needed.
Al Horford – Once again tore his man boob (ouch!) and is gone for the year, which paves the way for … no one as of yet. I can’t say I’ve ever seen a bigger vortex of nothing on an NBA depth chart as the one created by this injury. Elton Brand is in there as the de facto starter, but if you’re serious about winning you don’t use Elton Brand as your starter (See: 2011-2012 Philadelphia 76ers). Brand managed just seven points and two rebounds in 14 minutes in his second start in place of Horford. There’s also Pero Antic, Gustavo Ayon and JB’s guy, Mike Scott. Take your pick if you’re desperate.
Paul Millsap – There will be those who will say that Millsap will actually take a hit with Horford out, that he won’t have any protection down low and dudes will just start hanging on him while leaving all those other jokers wide open. I say the Hawks fill the hole at center with someone who doesn’t need the ball as much as Horford, which will only help Millsap. Get him if you can.
Reggie Evans – The Brook Lopez injury paves the way for the All-Time Greatest Streamer in Fantasy Basketball History. I think I’ve used Evans to win four titles in my fantasy career. He’s like my Big Shot Bob. If you find yourself down in boards on a given week, Reggie is your guy.
Derrick Favors – I really need to start saving old fantasy write-ups and emails to friends. I could just regurgitate the same thing I’ve been saying about Favors for the past four years. “This could be the break-out year, but I need to see it before I believe it.” I said it again this year, and I’m still not seeing it. This month he’s only had four games where he grabbed 10 or more rebounds. Four.
Tim Duncan – At age 37, is having the kind of games that Favors should be having as a fourth-year whipper snapper. He’s a double-double machine and still blocks shots, including six rejections on Christmas.
Joel Freeland – Blimey! This cheeky Trailblazer from Farnham, England is officially on the Boards-N-Blocks radar after yanking down 12 boards on Saturday against the Heat and averaging 8.6 boards over his last three games. If you’re in a deep league don’t piss around mate – pick this chap up already.
Anderson Varejao – Why am I so opposed to having this guy on my team? He runs around like a baby with a full diaper, and that headband-hair combo looks like my crappy Halloween costume, which was a last-minute attempt to be Tommy Wiseau. He will be valuable going forward, though, thanks to the least surprising meltdown of the year, by …
Andrew Bynum – If you’ve been relying on him as a backup or waiting for him to pull it together, the time to dump is yesterday. If you have a roster spot to spare or find yourself in a deep league, hold your horses. Fatboy says he doesn’t want to play, but if he got to hang with LeBron and party it up in South Beach, he might suddenly become a lot more motivated.
Miles Plumlee – Former B-N-B cover boy is back big-time, posting two huge games in his last three: a 17-20-2 against the Lakers and a 22-13-3 against the 76ers. Hopefully you were paying attention and plucked him off the wire. If he’s still there, take advantage of everyone snoozing on their rosters because of some holiday that took place last week.
Thaddeus Young – Averaging almost 10 boards over his past three, and in two of those game he poured in 30 points to boot. Thad also gets blocks and other hustle stats. If he stays in Philadelphia these monster games will continue.
Little Big Man of the Week – Jameer Nelson. How bad are the Knicks? They let a 6-foot point guard get 8 rebounds against them. Nelson followed that up with 6 boards against the Pistons. He’s averaging 7 rpg over the past week and almost 4 per game on the year. He’s not the worst back-up or third-string fantasy point guard in the world, and the rebounds are a nice perk for those who have the pride of St. Joe’s on their roster.