It’s funny how hometown fans and media have a different perception of players compared to those outside of the area. This gap is more like a canyon in Philadelphia. The outside world saw Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid as a wildly successful QB and coach tandem. One racked up Pro Bowl appearances and 3,000-yard passing seasons. The other had the Eagles as the kings of the NFC East and even got the team to the Super Bowl. In Philly, both are regarded as utter failures who never connected with the fanbase.  Scott Rolen and Andre Iguodala were both viewed as multi-talented consummate professionals in their respective sports. They got killed in Philly for being aloof and coming up short.

And most people on the planet Earth see 76ers center Spencer Hawes as a pretty solid center. They’ve seen 20 and 10 lines, they’ve seen seasons with 10 ppg and 7 rpg, and they’ve seen hustle plays and passion on highlights. But this guy is viewed as the poster child for the frustrating and ultimately squandered Doug Collins era. He’s starting for Philadelphia this year because the team is tanking to get Andrew Wiggins in the 2014 draft. This might be almost entirely true.

Regardless, what this means is that Hawes is going to gobble up some serious stats in 2013-2014. The guy really does hustle, and he really can rebound. He even blocks a shot a game. And he’s capable of monster outings, like the beastly night he had on 3-16-13 in a win vs. Indiana: 18 points, 16 rebounds, 8 assists and 7 blocked shots (!!) (and, yes, Roy Hibbert played in that game).

I would call Hawes a bonafide Board-n-Block sleeper, because even on a bad team where fantasy ballers know there will be stats to be had, they’re looking at Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young and Evan Turner first, and their eyes are taken off the proverbial ball even further by the potential Nerlens Noel arrival this year.

I’m projecting 15 ppg, 9 rpg and 1.5 bpg for Hawes. That is, until a playoff team grabs him as a backup for an expiring contract and some crumbs.

And, in other Board-n-Block news:

Nikola Vucevic, C, Orlando Magic – Looked bad in 15 minutes per game for the Montenegro team in EuroBasket 2013, and news out of Magic camp is that new coach Jacque Vaughn is taking it slow with him. With opponents guaranteed to key on Big Nik, Vaughn better come up with a counter quick.

Tristan Thompson, PF, Cleveland Cavaliers – No worries here, because all we care about is rebounds and blocked shots. The fourth pick in the 2011 draft is still 6-8 and 220-plus pounds and should come close to 10 rpg and 1 bpg. But he switched shooting hands for some reason – is that a good idea when you’ve reached the pro level? Wouldn’t that be like Bobby De Niro all of the sudden switching to a Scottish accent in films?

Derrick Favors, PF, Utah Jazz – People added Favors like crazy last season every time he notched double figures in points or rebounds. He will be drafted way too high this year now that the Jazz have cleared house and fans have visions of Trey Burke as the Stockton to his Malone dancing in their heads. The big moment hasn’t happened yet during the reportedly sloppy Jazz training camp, and I won’t quite believe it with Favors until I see it.

  1. Danny says:

    good post. thanks!

    i just drafted today. can i get a 2nd opinion? thank you!


    pau gasol
    jeff teague
    nikola pekovic
    oj mayo
    deandre jordan
    raymond felton
    gerald henderson
    andre bargnani
    shawn marion
    corey brewer

  2. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:

    You did quite well for yourself. I would try and bowl someone over with a 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 package for a stud or even someone stud-ish. Again, the Albright Axion: Get the best player in any trade (I would say Harden, Lillard and Teague are your only untouchables right now). And then use the deep league to your advantage – you can feel comfortable taking a risk on someone who’s scarcely owned like James Anderson on the Sixers. He could easily slot in for Brewer.

    Other thoughts:
    – Gasol at three? You must be on the West Coast. We don’t like him on the East Coast.
    – I’m sure JB would agree you got Teague as a steal in the 4th round
    – Henderson that deep is a great snag too. I like that guy’s makeup, especially as a fantasy contributor.
    – I hated getting Boozer last year but he was pretty toit.
    – Mayo could be rad on the Bucks. He’s the only guy on that whole team who can put it in the bucket.

  3. Danny says:

    Pete Nice,

    Thank you for the insightful opinion! I will be sure to check your blogs daily.

  4. Jay says:

    Hi Pete, after my 9-cat 12-team roto draft and here’s what I got after drafting 6th:

    1 (6) Kyrie Irving (Cle – PG)
    2. (19) John Wall (Was – PG)
    3. (30) Ty Lawson (Den – PG)
    4. (43) Joakim Noah (Chi – PF,C)
    5. (54) Jeff Teague (Atl – PG)
    6. (67) Nikola Pekovic (Min – C)
    7. (78) Jonas Valanciunas (Tor – C)
    8. (91) Tobias Harris (Orl – SF,PF)
    9. (102) Paul Pierce (Bkn – SF)
    10. (115) Jimmy Butler (Chi – SG,SF)
    11. (126) Wilson Chandler (Den – SG,SF)
    12. (139) Kelly Olynyk (Bos – C)
    13. (150) Randy Foye (Den – PG,SG)

    I personally believe I’m lacking some consistent boards and blocks. Would you advice me to trade for one? Thanks.

    • Mr. Ballistik says:


      You should easily be able to flip Teague or Lawson for someone who will grab you boards and blocks. You just have to find a team in need of a PG.

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:

      @Jay: Teague and Olynyk are hot names so I’d put them on the block. I always like the two-for-one so if you want to go high end Al Jefferson’s not a bad guy to target. Someone who they keep calling a “dark horse” and “high-risk, high-reward” is Demarcus Cousins, so I think that makes him a good get as well. I think those labels will end up being misnomers: Not only did the Kings invest in him with an extension, but they also brought in a coach (Mike Malone) to right the ship who Cousins apparently respects. You might be able to do Teague for Cousins straight-up.

  5. Mr. Ballistik says:

    Is PG really as deep as some claim? It seems that after the first 2-3 rounds, you have another tier consisting of Bledsoe, Teague, Calderon, Lowry, and Burke. After that? Tumbleweeds (some people pronounce it “Brandon Knight”). Meanwhile, late-round acquisitions like Hickson, Amir, Kayman, Gortat, Sullinger, and DeAndre seem to be viable options.

    I have the 2nd overall pick. If I miss on Davis in the 2nd and Cousins in the 3rd, would it be wise to take 2pgs from the Jennings, Lawson, Holiday, Conley, Parker universe and patch up my bigs later on down the line with Valanciunas, McGee, etc?

  6. Pete Nice

    Pete Nice says:

    Don’t forget MCW as well.

    I actually think PG is pretty deep. It’s SG that’s kind of thin, especially after the first few rounds. I got a column coming up on that this week so stay tuned.

  7. mr. claus says:

    what do you think of this team? any areas i need to focus on?
    9cat head to head.

    1. (2) LeBron James (Mia – SF,PF)
    2. (23) Ricky Rubio (Min – PG)
    3. (26) Larry Sanders (Mil – PF,C)
    4. (47) Ty Lawson (Den – PG)
    5. (50) Ersan Ilyasova (Mil – SF,PF)
    6. (71) Derrick Favors (Uta – PF,C)
    7. (74) Chandler Parsons (Hou – SF,PF)
    8. (95) George Hill (Ind – PG,SG)
    9. (98) Enes Kanter (Uta – C)
    10. (119) Raymond Felton (NY – PG,SG)
    11. (122) Marcin Gortat (Pho – C)
    12. (143) Isaiah Thomas (Sac – PG)
    13. (146) Markieff Morris (Pho – PF)

    • mr. claus says:

      @mr. claus: forgot to say its a 12 team league

      • Pete Nice

        Pete Nice says:

        @mr. claus: As we’ve been discussing guard seems to be a pretty shallow position this year – it’s a seller’s market and you’re holding a lot of the goods. Maybe package Lawson and Parsons for another big who can board and block.

  8. KJ says:

    10t-h2h league, 8 cat, no FT%.

    I’ve got to keep five with ‘Bron, DRose, Big Al and Rubio all certain keepers. Who do I keep between Teague, Hibbert & R. Anderson (unlikely)? Thanks in advance!

    • Pete Nice

      Pete Nice says:

      @KJ: With that mix of your certains I’d say it has to be down to Hibbert or Anderson. Teague could be tight but looks like you’re covered on assists and other guard-ish intangibles between The King, Rose and Rubio. You need some beef. You need some Hibbert. I loves me some Roy Hibbert.

  9. Joseph Martin says:

    Hi Pete,

    Nice articles you got on this site. I’m on my 2nd year playing fantasy basketball. I got LBJ as a 2nd pick overall. League i’m playing is 9cat 12 team h2h. So here’s my team so far.

    1st Rd: (2nd pick) – Lebron James.
    2nd Rd: (23rd pick) – Al Jefferson
    3rd Rd: (26th pick) – Ricky Rubio
    4th Rd: (47th pick) – Mike Conley
    5th Rd: (50th pick) – Ersan Ilyasova

    I’m yet to pick in the 6th rd. And my general strategy is to stock up on assists and steals early working on getting blocks in the middle rounds and 3pt made late. Is that a good strategy when you have Lebron?

    I’m looking forward to see if Bledsoe as an SG or Kemba Walker as 3rd PG fall to me as my 6th rd pick and go for blocks in my 7th pick either Valanciunas or Javale. What are your thoughts?

    Also how do i hedge against Lebron sitting in fantasy playoffs?

    Tips comments, and scrutiny are most welcome.


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