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Most fantasy basketball campaigns allow you some time to measure how effectively you drafted. You can let the slow starters find their way, while you monitor whether fast starters still on the waiver wire are flashes in the pan or the real thing.
But with a short season moving at a fast clip, you may need to make these decisions more quickly this year, and jump to the waiver wire or the trading table earlier than you expected.
Here are a few players I drafted this year who are already skating on thin ice:
Josh Smith, SF/PF, Atlanta: A notoriously inconsistent player I gambled on because he almost always does something in every stat category every time he hits the floor. However, his field goal shooting is hovering around .350, and has him averaging only 10 PPG, with other stats running light. I'm already thinking about trading him for a better pure shooter.
Richard Hamilton, SG/SF, Chicago: I saw huge upside for Hamilton as a late-round sleeper with a chance to deliver 20+ PPG by filling a void for the Bulls. However, Hamilton isn't getting the minutes and is nursing a groin injury. I'm cutting him now to fish the waiver wire, with a plan to look in on how he's doing later in the season.
Rudy Gay, SF/PF, Memphis: Flirted with 20 PPG his first two seasons, but .350 FG shooting has him at 13 PPG now, with assist and steals also off his usual averages. Rebounds per game, however, are up this year to about 8.3, so I'm keeping him and hoping he can beef up the rest of his stat line.
John Wall, PG, Washington: Another bricklayer, with a woeful .317 FG shooting mark. PPG and assists per game are just below his rookie year averages, but 2.0 steals per game and 1.6 block per game are a nice surprise. I'll keep him, but might bench him if I'm going into the last day of the week with a victory hanging on FG%.
Lamar Odom, SF/PF, Dallas: A shocking 8-for-41 from the floor, Odom is having an even harder time adjusting to his new team than anyone. I drafted him well below his preseason rank, and I'm still disappointed. He will be seen as a buy-low for the opportunists out there, so I don't know if I even want to trouble myself with a trade. My team is otherwise strong at SF and PF, so I may just dump him for somebody setting the waiver wire on fire.
* Yahoo! Court Report says Manu Ginobili, SG/SF, San Antonio, could be out six weeks with a broken hand. Too bad, since he seemed to be starting fast this season.
* Give Me The Rock notes that Jarrett Jack, PG, New Orleans, is doing well replacing Chris Paul. Eight assists per game are close to Paul-like.
* ESPN's Fantasy Basketball Blog reports on the return of Andrew Bynum, PF/C, LA Lakers, who may stand to deliver greater returns with Odom gone from LA.
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