(USA Today Sports)
This season I will try to highlight a notable player, based on the games played each night, who’s available in at least 60% of Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball leagues.
Side complaint: in reviewing the Yahoo! recap of the Boston-Milwaukee game, I noticed half of the 28 photos related to the game are about the Boston Red Sox. Meanwhile, there are zero photos of Vitor Faverani. Way to stay on point, Yahoo.
When I first saw Faverani’s stat line and blank profile photo from the Celtics’ first game against Toronto, I assumed he was a Greg Stiemsma clone, another former Boston center who occasionally started, got some good block numbers, but was ultimately jerked around in minutes. I neglected the fact that Stiemsma was competing with Kevin Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal for court time, while Faverani is competing with Kelly Olynyk.
Then there’s also the fact that Faverani is just a better basketball player. 18 rebounds every night is too lofty an expectation from him, but 12 points seem plausible as that’s around what he’s been getting in the regular and preseason on a wide array of offensive weapons. That’s not to mention this is a guy who’s averaged 4.5 bpg and 32 mpg in two games so far. Yes, that is way too small a sample size to rely on, but who else does Boston really have in the middle right now?
Is he legit? The opportunity is there. In real-life basketball, Faverani is an intelligent scorer and has the length and skills to be the Celtics’ best post defender, though that’s not exactly a competitive field. I’m not sure what will happen when Jared Sullinger is back to being fully healthy, but I can’t imagine Boston playing a lot of him together with Brandon Bass since both seem undersized and have redundant skills. Meanwhile Kris Humphries has fallen out of the rotation, and Olynyk doesn’t look as impressive playing against actual NBA players as he did against summer league fodder. I don’t know how long the Faverani train will run, as he also doesn’t seem like the best-conditioned player, but feel free to ride it as long as you can.
Other Notables: The only reason Zaza Pachulia is not the pickup tonight is because Faverani is a starter and Pachulia is not. As mentioned on Wednesday though, you can expect Pachulia to get a good run whenever Larry Sanders isn’t having a good game, which has now happened twice in a row now. I should mention that John Henson also had a nice game today and will also compete for playing time…I’m not a fan of Jarrett Jack‘s game, but he was a productive backup in Golden State last year and looks to be again in Cleveland…Rodney Stuckey came back, but Will Bynum still produced. This might be the end of his run, though, as Brandon Jennings returns on Sunday…We’ve seen Nate Robinson be productive before as a sparkplug off the bench, though the Nuggets play a deep rotation…Brandon Bass is a classic low ceiling, high floor guy for those in deeper leagues.
Accountability: I certainly hope everyone picked up Trevor Ariza (53% owned) and not Xavier Henry (24%). You know, just like I told you all to do…