Why Jon Barry matters

4 03 2009

I’ve typed the name Jon Barry a ton recently.  I’m tempted to change the name of this blog to youlikeadajonbarry.com.  I envision Jon Barry’s mom googling him and stumbling onto this site, and being very confused, though perhaps somewhat amused.

The reason I’m interested in Jon Barry, and in Matt Bonner and James Posey, who look like this year’s Jon Barry MVPs for my league, is that they illustrate an interesting concept for fantasy purposes: they’re the best available replacement player (BARP).  There are a number of interesting observations to make about BARPs:

  • They tend to outperform a lot of owned players.  Bonner and Posey are ranked 67th and 91st in my league, in which 144 players are owned.
  • Presumably then, most managers would be well-served by adding them and dropping someone off their team.
  • Managers generally don’t do so, and the same players appear near the top of the waiver wire all season long.

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Michael Lewis Doesn’t Play Fantasy Basketball

16 02 2009

In the New York Times, Michael Lewis writes a feature on Shane Battier, the “no-stats all-star”, describing how Battier manages to help his teams win without racking up conventional statistics.  If Lewis had played fantasy hoops, he might have written the column three years ago, having noted that Battier does indeed acrue some stats.  Battier’s career averages are 44.7 FG%, 74.9 FT%, 10.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 treys, 1.2 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.1 turnovers and his yearly average don’t wander too far.  Those stats make for a highly playable fantasy starter, and Battier’s had top 50 value a number of seasons.

I agree with Lewis’s criticism that basketball stats miss a lot–I think the big three of points, rebounds and assists are particularly suspect–but in the case of Battier, the stats are there.