THE FANTASY DISH By: David Kovsky, Pistonsforum.com Staff Writer Edition II (11-13-2006) Welcome back. Week three of the 2005-2006 NBA season is in queue and it's time to spread some fantasy know-how in the second edition of The Fantasy Dish. My life was pretty boring over the last 10 days, so there is not much to recap. The following is a list of 5 players to BUY and 5 players to SELL. If you want to compete for a fantasy title, you need to manage your portfolio. Before we dive in, I want to leave you with one quick piece of advice, resist the temptation to shake up the core of your team this early in the season. You drafted certain players for a reason and if they are slumping right now, it can get dicey. But, I implore you to stay the course for one more week before you start reevaluating your team's central theme. BUY: 1. Larry Hughes: People are getting very anxious about Larry Hughes' production right now. His numbers are down across the board and people are pointing to the LeBron James affect. Not so fast my friends. Hughes is learning a new system right now and it takes more than 6 games. Check out how his numbers steadily improved during his first year in Washington. Over his first 15 games he was averaging roughly 8 point per game. But, once he learned the system he finished out the season notching nearly 13 points per game for the Wiz. Now is a great time to get him on the cheap. 2. Luke Ridnour: Coming into this season Ridnour was a favorite sleeper in leagues across the plains of Fantasyland. He got drafted with people expecting an improvement on his 10.1 point and 5.9 dish average from last year. It hasn't materialized yet and many Ridnour owners are looking to cut their losses and hop on a Jose Calderon or Leandro Barbosa bandwagon. I think his numbers will go up, particularly seeing that Rashard Lewis did not miss much time with his shoulder injury. You should be able to easily pluck Ridnour from a short sighted GM. 3. Joel Przybilla: The Portland big man was supposed to be a steady work horse in the trenches for fantasy teams in search of rebounds and blocks. Przybilla has been a huge disappointment so far and has not produced double digits in points or rebounds yet. If that isn't discouraging enough, Theo Ratliff yanked down 14 boards in the Blazers' last game. In the short run, Ratliff might eat into Przybilla's minutes but in the long run, Ratliff's day has come and gone and it is Przybilla's job in the middle. So far the only bright spot in drafting Przybilla has been his 2.2 blocks per game. Trade for him if you can, his numbers can't get any worse and he stands to improve as the season progresses. 4. Desmond Mason: When Mason got traded to New Orleans everybody thought he would see a ton of burn and have some hugely inflated numbers on the woeful Hornets. So far, the Cowboy has averaged 7 points, 2.6 rebound and 0.4 dishes in 20.4 minutes of burn. By contrast, Bokie Nachbar, the starting SF, is averaging 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.8 dishes on 24.4 minutes of action. I promise that minute distribution won't last because Mason is a way better cager than Nachbar. If someone is getting impatient with Mason, take advantage of them. 5. Emeka Okafor: Last year's Rookie of the Year is struggling a bit right now and he is being pushed hard by newcomer, Sean May. There are even rumors swirling that Bernie Bickerstaff is not happy with Okafor's conditioning and that has led to his recent down turn in points and rebounds. Listen, Okafor is nasty. He was nasty last year, he will be nasty this year and he will definitely be nasty for years to come. If you can find someone dismayed by Okafor's play right now, and I bet that you can, go get him and just smile when he goes on another 15-20 game streak of double-doubles. SELL 1. Baron Davis: B-Diddy played 28 games last year and 18 games the year before. With 6 games already under his belt this season, in which he is averaging 17.2 points and 8.5 assists per game, he is ripe to be moved at peak value. If you wait much longer, you are assuming a serious injury risk. 2. Vince Carter: If you are treading softly around B-Diddy's fragile body, you better tiptoe around VC. One of two things will definitely happen to Vinsanity. Either he will get hurt or he will stop trying. Sell him now. 3. Marcus Camby: Marcus Camby is a monster fantasy stud. His rebounding and blocking acumen is a hard match for any other big man in the game. On top of boards (12.8) and blocks (3.2), Camby is averaging 15.8 points per contest—serious stud numbers. It is so hard to part with numbers like that, but at the same time, right now is when you can get some serious talent for him. Trade Camby for a "Magloire plus one" or "Okafor plus one" kind of deal. When he goes down with a hangnail you'll be thanking me. 4. Mehmet Okur: I love Okur. I loved him when he was a chubby little kid in Rick Carlisle's dog house and then again was he was a chubby older kid in Larry Brown's doghouse. And, today, I love him as a skinny stud that looks like he should still be fat on Jerry Sloan's injury-plagued Jazz. Okur is averaging 22.6 points and 10 rebounds per game but Boozer and Kirilenko are both sidelined with injuries. As they work their way back into the fold, expect Okur's numbers to go down. If you can move him now, you might be able to fetch more than your money's worth. 5. Larry Brown's Team: Until Larry Brown can settle on a starting lineup, stay away from his players. It's only been 2 weeks and Larry is already launching negative salvos at his starting PG, at Jerome James, and at the level of talent he was given to work with. I can't wait until he tells Peter Vescey that his dream is really to coach Kobe in Tinsel town. Pound-for-Pound is going to get run out of The Garden within 2 years. In the meantime, avoid his squad until he settles on a rotation. MAILBAG There were no questions this week. If you have any questions, please write to firstname.lastname@example.org.