Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Fantasy Ballers On The Brink - Sean Williams

There's a good chance you only know Sean Williams as the troubled kid out of Boston College that the Nets took a chance on with the 17th pick in the 2007 NBA Draft. Soon enough however, more people are going to know Williams for his play on the court, specifically his freakish ability on the defensive end.

Like many rookies, Williams' numbers have been up and down this season due in large part to the inconsistency in the minutes he receives. Williams has actually been starting for over a month (since December 18th to be exact) and has put up serviceable numbers of 8.6 points, 6.4 rebounds and an excellent 2.2 blocks in that time. Unfortunately, in those starts he is only averaging 24 minutes a night due to a combination of foul trouble and the play of Josh Boone.

Looking at Williams' numbers from the 9 games this season where he has played 30+ minutes begins to show the potential this kid possesses as a fantasy contributor. In those 9 games Williams is averaging 12.6 points, 7.7 rebounds and a ridiculous 3.6 blocks per contest. In only 21 minutes a night this season, Williams is still maintaining a 2 blocks/game average, thus 3+ blocks/game is a distinct possibility if he is given 30+ minutes on a more consistent basis.

To put Williams block numbers into perspective, only three players - Marcus Camby, Josh Smith and Chris Kaman - are averaging 3 or more blocks a game this year. Further, stud fantasy centers and renowned shot blockers like Dwight Howard and Amare Stoudamire are putting up 2.6 and 2.4 blocks a night respectively. It is important to remember that all of the aforementioned players are averaging 35-40 minutes a night, nearly twice as much as Williams.

With the return of Nenad Kristic a week or so away, Williams playing time may remain stationary in the short-term. However, As the Nets continue to struggle and the Kidd trade rumors pick up steam, there is a good chance that Williams, who the Nets see as a future building block, will be given more playing time later on in the season. Having already cracked the starting rotation and exhibited discernible talent, the only place for Williams to go is up this season. Keep a close eye on his playing time if Kidd is finally dealt.

In the meantime, Williams' gritty defensive-oriented style is a better complement to Kristic's game than Boone. Thus, he should continue to see over 20 minutes a night, keeping him fantasy-relevant for owners looking to bolster blocks and add rebounding to their roster.

1 comment:

spit said...

Williams could break out in the second half but it all depends on who the Nets get back in a Kidd trade. The scenario being reported has Kidd going to Dallas with Travis Outlaw and Channing Frye coming to NJ via Portland (who get Devin Harris). If that happens, you'd have to write off Williams' fantasy impact for next year.