Web Exclusives: From the P-Nut Gallery
a column by Nate Sellwyn firstname.lastname@example.org
The Magical Fairyland of Princeton Sports
So, the P-Nut loves a good fantasy. Not the Dungeons & Dragons
kind. Not the Wizard of Oz kind. Not the kind with hobbits and wizards
and talking loaves of bread and flying bikes. No, the fantasy sports
kind. The P-Nut loves sitting down at midnight every night to pore
over boxscores and sift through the waiver wire. The P-Nut loves
grabbing Edgar Alfonzo the night before he hits his first ever grand
slam. The P-Nut loves trading for Peyton Manning the week before
he throws six TDs. The P-Nut loves four consecutive years of Fantasy
Basketball Championships. The P-Nut loved taking Jason Allison in
the 10th round of his hockey draft. The guy puts up a point per
game, for crying out loud! In today's NHL!
For the confused, fantasy sports are the means by which unathletic
persons such as myself involve ourselves further in sports. They
enable sports fans to live the ultimate dream: Running their own
sports team and competing for a league championship. A fantasy sports
manager "owns" a virtual roster of real-world athletes
in a specific league (NFL, NBA, MLB, etc.) and manages that team
like a real sports team's general manager in competitions against
other fantasy team owners. Team owners succeed based upon the compiled
real-world performances of their "drafted" players. Make
Fantasy sports began as a pastime for hard-core fans known as
"StatHeads," who would follow 300-400 major league players
and their respective statistical performances. Now, though, sites
like Yahoo have made the fantasy process both simpler and easier
on the neophyte.
This week I decided to take a look at which Princeton players
could be considered fantasy studs. Well . . .there aren't many.
The big fantasy-stat-friendly teams baseball, basketball,
hockey, football just aren't very good lately.
Even so, the best fantasy guys are not always the guys on winning
teams. In basketball, for example, Elton Brand is a fantasy monster
he puts up boards, points, and blocks, all while shooting
a good percentage. Playing for the Clippers doesn't hurt him.
The Princeton problem is not one of success, just of mentality.
The teams lack individual stars. That said, there are some stand-outs.
Thomas Pauly '04/05, for one. A junior last year, Pauly actually
put up some real fantasy numbers last month. Playing for the Cincinnati
Reds' "A" affiliate in Dayton, Ohio, Pauly has a 1-1 record
and a 2.30 ERA. More impressively, he has a WHIP (Walks or hits
per inning pitched) of 0.79. On top of that, he's thrown 12 strikeouts
in just 15 innings. I'd love a guy like this on any of my fantasy
Pauly was also a fantasy stud here at Princeton. His WHIP was
actually higher, coming in at a fairly average 1.31. He posted a
1.46 ERA, however, and hurled 74 strikeouts in just 55 innings.
Not only that, but like the Twins' Johan Santana this year, he made
the move from bullpen to starter late in the year, and pitched two
Baseball is the only Princeton sport with a guy like that, though.
Hockey has no stars, although Matt Maglione '04 posted decent numbers
(14 points in 29 games, 22 penalty minutes) for a defenseman. For
a hockey guy, though, I look for someone who is either going to
give me a shot at some points every game, or really sit in the box
awhile. Patrick Neundorfer '06 might turn into something this year.
He only managed 8 points in 28 games last year, but sat in the box
for 47 minutes. Given increased time this season, he could turn
into the kind of guy I'd consider picking up.
Basketball? No one even close. I need a guy who puts up at least
15 points a night and has the potential to fill another category
(assists, rebounds, steals, blocks). Every team in the NBA has at
least two guys who can do this, and many have three or four. The
Tigers? Well, to be fair, Judson Wallace '05 finished the year with
numbers I'd consider. He topped the 20 point mark three times in
the season's last four games, and led the team in rebounding three
times also. He also put together 2 assists per game, a steal per
game, and almost a block per game over the course of the season.
On top of that, he made almost four three-pointers a game. Only
a select few NBA players Rasheed Wallace, Shawn Marion, and
Cliff Robinson are the ones I can think of right away manage
a block, a steal, and a three in every contest. So maybe Wallace
has potential for this year.
Football... I mean... Last year there were guys, I'll say that.
Cameron Atkinson's final game? 233 yards and three TDs? Those are
Priest Holmes numbers, and Priest is easily the most valuable fantasy
guy in the NFL when he's healthy. This year, though, is just ugly.
When the team can't crack the 14-point mark, it's tough to find
a valuable fantasy guy. B.J. Syzmanski '05 has caught for a respectable
76 yards a contest, but with only one TD, he wouldn't make my team.
The rushing corps doesn't even have a contender. The guy who could
turn it around is quarterback Matt Verbit '05. He's throwing a respectable
274.5 yards per game, and doesn't throw the ball away. That said,
unless some of those passes find the end zone, he remains made for
the waiver wire.
Nate Sellyn '04 is an English major writing a creative thesis,
and thus actively looking for employment. Seriously. You can reach
him at nsellyn@Princeton.EDU