Fantasy

Is Iverson your Answer?

Allen Iverson signed a one-year deal to return to the struggling Philadelphia 76ers.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Allen Iverson has been a fantasy stud for many years and one of the best "little guys" the NBA has ever seen, but the question before us is whether Iverson can help your fantasy lineup in 2009?

On Wednesday, Iverson signed a one-year deal to return to the struggling Philadelphia 76ers.

In Philadelphia, Iverson will get the one thing he couldn't get anywhere else in the league - playing time. The 76ers are 21st in points scored and 23rd in offensive efficiency and that's before the injury to point guard Louis Williams.

Williams broke his jaw on November 24th and will likely be sidelined for about eight weeks. So right off the bat, there is Williams' 17.4 ppg, 12.9 shots-per- game and 34.8 minutes available for the taking. Knowing Iverson as we all do, he'll gobble most of those minutes and shots right up.

At 34-years-old, Iverson might not be able to average 35 minutes-a-game for a full season, but he can certainly do it for a month or two, once he gets back into playing shape. That means he might be able to give you six-to-seven weeks of big numbers.

It also means that if you were hoping that your late-round pick of Jrue Holiday was about to pay off, you are out of luck. The rookie guard out of UCLA may be the future of the 76ers, but he won't be the present. Holiday is averaging 4.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg and 2.0 apg in 13.7 minutes through the first 12 games, but didn't play well when given more minutes following the Williams injury. He averaged just 6.5 ppg, 3.8 apg and 26.6% from the field in 25 minutes of court time over that span.

As for the fantasy value of other 76ers, the addition of Iverson may lower their assist totals as Iverson handles the point, but the threat of "AI" might open up some better opportunities to score.

I would expect Andre Iguodala's point total to either stay steady or increase slightly, but his 5.9 apg may take a hit. Forwards Thaddeus Young and Elton Brand can only be helped by an outside shooting threat. No other Philadelphia players have any fantasy value.

The bottom line is that Iverson should be a solid fantasy option for the next six-to-eight weeks. He is currently owned in just 13% of all leagues, but that number won't stay down there for long. Pick him up today because by tomorrow, someone in your league will.

Allen Iverson Career Statistics
Year Team Gm PPG RPG APG SPG BPG FG% 3PT% FT%
1996-97 PHI 76 23.5 4.1 7.5 2.1 0.3 41.6 34.1 70.2
1997-98 PHI 80 22.0 3.7 6.2 2.2 0.3 46.1 29.8 72.9
1998-99 PHI 48 26.8 4.9 4.6 2.3 0.1 41.2 29.1 75.1
1999-00 PHI 70 28.4 3.8 4.7 2.1 0.1 42.1 34.1 71.3
2000-01 PHI 71 31.1 3.8 4.6 2.5 0.3 42.0 32.0 81.4
2001-02 PHI 60 31.4 4.5 5.5 2.8 0.2 39.8 29.1 81.2
2002-03 PHI 82 27.6 4.2 5.5 2.7 0.2 39.8 29.1 81.2
2003-04 PHI 48 26.4 3.7 6.8 2.4 0.1 38.7 28.6 74.5
2004-05 PHI 75 30.7 4.0 7.9 2.4 0.1 42.4 30.8 83.5
2005-06 PHI 72 33.0 3.2 7.4 1.9 0.1 44.7 32.3 81.4
2006-07 PHI/DEN 65 26.3 3.0 7.2 1.9 0.2 44.2 31.5 79.5
2007-08 DEN 82 26.4 3.0 7.1 2.0 0.1 45.8 34.5 80.9
2008-09 DEN/DET 57 17.5 3.0 5.0 1.5 0.1 41.7 28.3 78.1
2009-10 MEM 3 12.3 1.3 3.7 0.3 0.0 57.7 100.0 50.0


Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.