FBA: Market Watch Feb. 5

Updated: February 5, 2007, 8:30 PM ET
By Neil Tardy | Special to ESPN.com
As one who plays fantasy basketball, I've developed some basic philosophies. I want good shooters. I crave blocks and steals. I try to limit my team's turnovers. And if that means I miss out on Baron Davis' assists because he's a career 41-percent shooter, Richard Hamilton's points because his hustle numbers are flatter than North Dakota, or Gilbert Arenas' threes because he makes more turnovers than Pepperidge Farm and Rex Grossman combined, so be it.

As one who writes about fantasy hoops, I've run into a hard reality. I think it applies not just to the things I write, but to most articles you'll see on basketball or any other fantasy sport. If you read that a player is on a hot streak, it's a safe bet that said player will cool off a bit soon thereafter. And if a player is tanking, assume he'll bounce back, provided he's healthy, and provided his team sticks with him. "Seinfeld" aficionados will recognize this as the Even Steven principle. Essentially, all of the NBA's fantasy studs are Jerry, only taller and possessing better acting skills. But, as with Seinfeld, things surely will even out for these guys.

I mention this because I want to talk about Gerald Wallace. Hulking, glass-cleaning, rim-rattling man-child Gerald Wallace. Wallace is a freak, and lately, he's been even freakier than usual. In 10 games since returning from a right shoulder separation, the 24-year-old is averaging 22.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.1 blocks and 53.8 percent from the field. Wallace is putting up numbers like few in the Association right now, and I'd recommend that you try to acquire him. But, while you're salivating over those blocks and steals, I'd also recommend that you keep in mind the rule of Even Steven: The fella is injury-prone. He's shooting less 70 percent from the line. And he can't possibly stay this hot. Yes, I love Wallace. You love Wallace. But don't go crazy here. Keep in mind your team's needs, and make a good deal. Things really do have a way of evening out.


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Neil Tardy | email

Fantasy Basketball
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com