Fantasy sports: Hidden value in hoops

Marc, not Pau Gasol, is currently a top-5 fantasy player.

Chicks dig the dunks, points, rebounds and assists. Winners want the guys with the knee pads diving on the floor.

Fantasy basketball is a category game, not a raw points game. Winning rebounds is nice, but it’s not worth anything more than winning free-throw percentage. If we build our team around the less glamourous categories, we’ll be ahead of the game.

Use the player rater
If I told you Marc Gasol is a top-5 fantasy player, would you be surprised? Only three players are averaging at least 2.0 blocks, 1.0 steals and shooting at least 50 percent from the field: Gasol, JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard. Sneaky categories rule the player rater.

Attack with defense
Adding a pure scorer to your team isn’t going to generate much movement in the points category. But adding an elite thief or shot-blocker can turn things around in a hurry. While 23 players are clustered between 16.0 and 22.0 points per game, just nine block 2.0 shots or more. And only six nab 2.0 steals a night.

Key percentages   
Although one player can’t win you free-throw or field-goal percentage, one guy can lose it for you. We should be simply ignoring high-volume gunners like Stephen Jackson, Danny Granger and DeMar DeRozan. And if a guy gets to the line five times a game, he better be shooting at least 70 percent. Howard, Blake Griffin and Josh Smith are category-killers.

Baseball bullpens

Wrapping our brains around who will get the saves is vital to a successful season. Some closers in new homes:

1. Jonathan Papelbon, PHL
— The Phillies gave Paps $50 million to be their ninth-inning man. His career 2.33 ERA and 1.02 WHIP will fit well with Ryan Madson gone.

2. Sergio Santos, TOR — This Blue Jays team won 81 games a year ago and is getting better. Santos, acquired in a trade with the White Sox, will have plenty of chances.

3. Andrew Bailey, BOS
— It’s all about health with Bailey. When available, he’s among the most dominant relievers in the game.

Top NBA pickups

Drew Gooden

C, Bucks
With Andrew Bogut (ankle) possibly done for the season, the Bucks’ offense will revolve around Gooden. Averaging 17.3 points and 8.9 boards as a starter this year.

Roddy Beaubois
G, Mavericks
Jason Kidd is breaking down in terms of both health and effectiveness at age 38. The future is now for Beaubois, who once scored 40 in a game back in 2010.

Trevor Booker
PF,?Wizards
Even if Andray Blatche (calf) was healthy, Booker would be pushing him. The second-year man plays the right way, leading to blocks, steals and strong field-goal percentage.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…