Fantasy Fiction: Guard-ian Angels


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[This week’s Fantasy Fiction features the team of Kyle Soppe on stats and Connor Huchton on fiction. Enjoy! -Ed.]

They met at a Dairy Queen. She ordered a milkshake; he chose fries. One could not live without the other – at least, not the way one is meant to live. Their hands touched at the drink fountain, and they thanked Pepsi for its sweet, sweet justice. They died that night, and were reborn in the slowly acceptable light of uneasy processing. 

Wes Matthews – The 27-year old was busy blazing a trail to the top for his fantasy owners, a trend that very well could continue into the future since Portland lacks backcourt depth. This past week saw Matthews connect on an NBA-high 17 triples and shoot 62.5% from the field (55% from distance).

The administrators arrived in the winter and wore clever hats. I asked one for his name, and he told me it was Rick. I think he was lying.

One night, as I trudged home from the mill, I watched him throw a snowball. It struck his friend in the mustache. They laughed and tackled each other until the sun ruined their fun. They called each other brother, friend, compatriot, enemy, ally, lord, servant, king, Subway Jared, Carmen Sandiego, Waldo’s descendent, high-fiver, colleague, villain, hero.

But never Rick.  

In addition to the marksmanship, Matthews managed to pull down nearly four rebounds a night and record 1.3 steals. He was the most valuable fantasy player over the last seven days, and while I don’t expect him to be a top 20 option for the entire season, he figures to be a great fantasy asset due to Portland’s other talent setting him up with good looks and his 34 minute-per-game average.

Her glorious victory at the Iowa’s Got Talent finale could hardly be considered a surprise. Since the auditions, since the initial broadcast on KTVR-14, no one had stunned the hearts of families everywhere with such comfortably libidinous passion.

“Watch this one, Marty,” Lillian said, “she’s got something special.”


Had she formulated a country remix of R.Kelly’s “Ignition” in time for the final showdown, her place as Greatest Living Iowan would never’ve been questioned again, her plaque at the local Holiday Inn secured until eternity or accidental breakfast fire, whichever came first.  But she chose otherwise, and enjoyed her reign all the same. 

Martell Webster – The Wizards won three of their four games this week, and that’s quite an accomplishment given that they had only won two of their first nine games this season. Their success was due in large part to Webster’s ability to fill up the stat sheet in extended minutes (over 40 per game this week) for the injured Trevor Ariza. He averaged 15 points and shot a very respectable 46.5% from field, given that nearly 75% of his attempts came from behind the arc.

“What do you want, Larry?”

“Same thing as everything else. Same thing you want. It’s not complicated.”

“Seems like it is.”

“Just give me the Doritos.”

“You’ll regret it later.”

“Then I’ll get some more Doritos.”

His 13 made three pointers ranked third in the NBA, but it was his ability to help in other statistical areas that allowed him to standout this week. The 6’7” Webster averaged five rebounds and notched 7.5 assists for every turnover this week, the top ratio among guards with at least 15 assists last week. Ariza is due to return to the lineup tonight against the Lakers, but Webster has earned a consistent role for the Wizards and for your fantasy lineup after an impressive week.

I love cycles. I’ve eaten three meals every day of my life. I don’t like surprises. I wish you wouldn’t tell me about interesting stuff. I don’t want to feel I missed anything. I want to feel I consumed the world in my time, all of it, in 12-hour increments. And please, don’t let me dream of escape.

Matthews and Webster had great weeks, but that doesn’t help you now. Fantasy sports (especially daily/weekly gamers) are all about looking forward, so who has a good shot at making this list next week?

“I’m calling about your service. It says here that time is limited, but I just read that time is merely a human construction and that we are all experiencing everything, always and forever. What do you think about that? Hello? You there? Ok, can I just get this plate napkin? Hello?” 

Kyle Korver (vs Orlando, @ Houston, vs Dallas, @ Washington): Much has been made about Korver’s 87 consecutive games with a made three pointer (two games away from tying the all time record) and fantasy owners are loving the consistency. He has one of the sweetest strokes in the game (2.6 3PM at a 53%  clip this season) and is finally getting the type of minutes (34 mpg) that maximize his fantasy value.

The greatest player I ever met was Bob. We played three times a week at the local Y. I doubt he knew my name. He always called me Man, like I was the very first one. We only ever talked a few times, always about the game, always more understated congratulations than anything else. But he played amazing defense and only took open threes.

I think he was my best friend. 

The casual fantasy owner surely knows that Korver is off to an elite start when it comes to shooting the basketball, but he/she may not realize that this season is actually the most well rounded campaign we have seen from KK in a long time. He is quietly grabbing 4.4 rebounds and recording 1.1 steals (his highest averages since the 2004-05 season) to go along with a career best 2.6 assists and 0.6 blocks. Those numbers aren’t going to knock you over, but every bit of value helps, and Korver figures to continue his best fantasy season over the next seven days.

“What did I tell you about leaving the sink running, Larry?”

“You said I should always leave it running, never check it, and just kinda chill? That right?”

“Good job.”


“Well, I’m heading out. Get it together by the time I get back.”

“Oh, if you’re leaving, I think the sink’s running. Might wanna turn that off.”

Kirk Hinrich (@ Utah, @ Detroit, @ Cleveland): Nobody likes what happened to Derrick Rose, and with Jimmy Butler also out for “a while,” the Bulls are a team in flux. The injuries have paved the way for Hinrich to have an extended opportunity to produce, and I fully expect him to capitalize. He’s a career 38% shooter from distance and will be counted as much now as ever to handle the perimeter shooting and play-making.

Do you remember Providence in the summer? How the clouds felt out of place? No? Not even the mall, not even the fresh air of independence? Nothing? Not even me? Fine. Just sign for this check. 

The Bulls catch a break this week, as all three of their opponents are giving up over 100 points per game and two of them (Utah and Detroit) rank among the four worst defenses in the NBA when it comes to FG% against. Hinrich ranks 14th among all guards who average at least 4.8 assists with a 2.38 assist to turnover ratio, and also ranks inside the top 20 in rebounding for point guards. He won’t take over games or make highlight plays like DRose, but he can be a productive fantasy player in Rose’s absence, especially over the next seven days.

“I trust you.”

“I know.”

“I don’t actually trust you.”

“I know.” 

“So you were lying?”

“I just wanted to see where you were going with this.”

“I knew I could trust you.” 

Hardwood Paroxysm