FANTASY NEWS

Strategy for BIG3 Fantasy Call-Up Week
Craig Ellenport

Okay, here we go. It’s Call-Up Week in BIG3 Fantasy, so this is your chance to kick-start your squad and make a run at the title.

Since this has never been done before, we’re going to look at an actual 4-team league that is currently being played out. Each league will vary in terms of which players are franchised and who might be available to add to your roster of franchise players. This example should give you a good idea how to proceed.

We’ll call these Teams 1 through 4, with 1 being the first-place team and 4 being in last. That means Team 4 will have first priority among the Call-Ups. Here are the franchise players for each squad:

TEAM 4

Charles Oakley, Killer 3s

Allen Iverson, 3’s Company

Kenyon Martin, Trilogy

You can see why this team is in last. Oakley and Iverson are player/coaches – Oakley has yet to play, Iverson has played very sparingly. K-Mart went down with an injury in Week 1, but he is due back in Week 5. Rumor has it Oakley will suit up this week, but there’s a better chance that A.I. plays a little more than Oakley the rest of the way. So Team 4 will drop Oakley.

TEAM 3

Rashard Lewis. 3-Headed Monsters

Stephen Jackson, Killer 3s

Cuttino Mobley, Power

This team must be making some pretty shaky free-agent pickups from week to week, because this lineup of franchise players is hard to question. Lewis is the BIG3’s scoring leader. Jackson is second in scoring and Mobley is third. Team 3 should stand pat and not call anyone up – unless they want to consider dropping Mobley and adding one of the league’s top rebounders. But since scoring is cumulative and it doesn’t matter where the fantasy points come from, Team 3 will stand pat. Remember: Just because it’s Call-Up Week doesn’t mean you have to make a move.

TEAM 2

Jermaine O‘Neal, Tri-State

Chauncey Billups, Killer 3s

Ricky Davis, Ghost Ballers

O’Neal and Billups are among the best players in the league – but both have missed games in the first half of the season. Considering the fact that Billups has averaged 18 points in the two games he’s played and he can easily explode in the second half, it might seem crazy to drop him. But is it just as risky to keep him and see him sit another game or two? O’Neal has averaged a respectable 10 points per game, and he leads the league in assists despite playing only three games. Team 2 will roll the dice and drop Billups.

TEAM 1

Mike Bibby, Ghost Ballers

Rashad McCants, Trilogy

Derrick Byars, Ball Hogs

Team 1 has a very solid trio of franchise players, especially with the unexpected strong play from Byars. This team might be inclined to stand pat, but last week’s trade that sent Xavier Silas to the Ball Hogs might alter that thinking. Will the addition of Silas cut into Byars’ production? It certainly did last week – Silas scored 17 in his Ball Hogs debut and Byars scored 10 – after averaging 16 through the first three games. Team 1 will drop Byars.

THE CALL-UPS:

With 12 players franchised in a four-team fantasy league, there are still plenty of good players worth adding. Keep in mind that when you select a player to call up, you rank three players in preferential order and get the top player on your list that is available. So Team 4 is guaranteed its top choice.

Since Team 3 is not making a call-up, that guarantees Teams 2 and 1 will definitely get one of their top three choices.

Here is one man’s ranking of the top 10 free-agents in this league available for call-up:

1. Al Harrington, Trilogy: Fourth in the league in scoring, second in offensive rebounds and a clutch player who has already hit a couple of game-winning shots.

2. Andre Owens, 3’s Company: Third in rebounds, tied for second in assists and tied for 11th in scoring.

3. Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf, 3-Headed Monsters: After a slow start, he’s scored 39 points over the last two games, and he’s quietly fourth in the league in assists.

4. Rasual Butler, Ball Hogs: Even though he was slowed by a sore knee in Week 4, Butler is still sixth in scoring and second with 13 3-pointers.

5. Reggie Evans, Killer 3s: Leads the BIG3 in rebounds and can get buckets as well.

6. DeShawn Stevenson, Power: Seventh in scoring and first with 16 threes. Two of those 3-pointers earned bonus points as game-winners.

7. Jerome Williams, Power: On top of being second in total rebounds, JYD leads the BIG3 with 19 offensive rebounds.

8. DerMarr Johnson, 3’s Company: Versatile player who is tied for third in the league with eight 3-pointers and tied for second with three 4-pointers.

9. Kwame Brown, 3-Headed Monsters: Fourth in rebounds. As long as he’s got Lewis and Abdul-Rauf putting up points, Brown will get his share of rebounds and assists.

10. Bonzi Wells, Tri-State: Sixth in the league in rebounds and averaging almost 11 points per game.

Here’s a prediction of what might go down in this league’s Call-Up Week:

TEAM 4: Replaces Oakley with Harrington

TEAM 3: No moves

TEAM 2: Replaces Billups with Owens

TEAM 1: Replaces Byars with Abdul-Rauf

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