Andray Blatche quickly made himself a fantasy "darling" by scoring 33 points on Wednesday.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
Let's see if you "gray beards" can remember far back in history, all the way back to 2006, when the Washington Wizards were a source of delight for fantasy owners with three star performers.
There was Gilbert Arenas averaging 28.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 6.0 apg, Antawn Jamison putting up 19.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg, 1.9 apg, and Caron Butler posting 19.1 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 3.7 apg and 2.1 spg.
The team was fourth in the league in scoring (104.3 ppg) that season and watching a Wizards game was fun.
Oh my, how things have changed in the three and a half years since then.
We all know about Arenas' troubles. First it was health with knee injuries limiting him to 13 games in 2007 and two games last year. And of course legal troubles in 2009-10.
Now at the trade deadline, General Manager Ernie Grunfeld has completely blown apart the "Triplets" sending Jamison to Cleveland and Butler to Dallas.
The remaining Wizards are left with little talent, even less cohesiveness and plenty of cap space for 2010-11.
But they are still an NBA team and will play 48 minutes-a-night, meaning some combination of players are going to score 90+ points and pull down 40 rebounds every night. Which means there are opportunities for players to become "fantasy-worthy."
Here are the suspects; Andray Blatche, Josh Howard, Mike Miller, Al Thornton, Earl Boykins, Nick Young and Randy Foye.
Blatche quickly made himself a fantasy "darling" by scoring 33 points on Wednesday and looked for all the world as everyone's next pickup as he scored 14 first-quarter points along with eight rebounds against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. Then after the halftime break, Blatche disappeared, was held scoreless and I don't know what to make of him.
Howard looked pretty good in his first game for Washington, shooting 8-for-11 and scoring 20 points. Perhaps a change of scenery was just what he needed. And Thornton led the team in scoring, putting up 21 points off the bench in his first game since leaving the Los Angeles Clippers.
In the meantime, two guys I thought would excel with more opportunities, Miller and Foye, each shot an ugly 1-for-6 on Friday night.
Over the next few weeks it will be interesting to see how the team distributes the ball and who will get the majority of the chances. Right now, it looks like Blatche is the No.1 option, Howard No.2, Foye No.3 and Miller No.4.
But it's still too early in the "getting-to know-you" process so you'll have to pay attention to the next half dozen Wizards games to see how it works out. I know it's tough work watching a Washington game, but the reward could be picking up a solid fantasy option for the final 25-game stretch run.