As I have been tweeting on twitter, I am being flown out by KRPC to take part in a flyaway for Sunday Night Football. I’ll be sharing my experiences after I come back, but before leaving, I always think about what else I can do. Before the SNF game, I hit up the Dallas Mavericks game on Dec. 1st to watch them take on the Detroit Pistons.
Though superstar forward Dirk Nowitzki was out, this was still a fun and exciting game. The Pistons are an up-and-coming young team, with stars like Greg Monroe and Brandon Knight, while the Mavericks are relying heavily on veterans this season like Vince Carter, Shawn Marion, and Chris Kaman.
What really stuck out to me in this game was the point guard battle. According to reports from people close to the Mavericks organization, veteran Derek Fisher was to be the starting point guard after they signed him on Thursday. Fisher, new to the role, faced off against Brandon Knight in this game. Dallas also has Darren Collison at the point, who came off off the bench in this contest, but saw limited minutes. Fisher looked a little rusty in the game, but Knight had a great fantasy night by dropping 20 points on the Mavs.
This season, Knight’s been a bit of a fantasy disappointment after having a fantastic rookie season. However, Knight is still having a decent year, as he came into this game scoring 13.1 points per game, adding 5.8 assists and sinking the three ball almost two times per game at a clip of .453%.
As for the Detroit Pistons, Rodney Stuckey has been replaced from the starting lineup with Kyle Singler; a rookie averaging near 10 points a game. Though Singler has been quite bad, Pistons coach Lawrence Frank has stated that Stuckey will continue to come off of the bench. As we all know, Stuckey is a very good player, and when he gets out of the doghouse, he will be a fantasy stud.
As for what I saw during the game, Pistons starting power forward Jason Maxiell looked All-Star worthy. He swatted five shots, grabbed 12 boards, and scored double-digit points. Though Maxiell’s production doesn’t look pretty over the whole season, he’s very capable of having huge fantasy games like this. Another standout in this game was Maxiell’s twin tower, Monroe, who only scored eight points, but grabbed FIFTEEN rebounds! Monroe isn’t exactly known for his work on the glass, so this was a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners. If he can continue to fight for boards every night, we could see 18/11 the rest of the season.
What I liked from the home team was their willingness to fight back and give the fans what they wanted – a win. After going into the second half trailing by six, Dallas outscored the Pistons by 14 in the third quarter and ended up winning by 15.
This wouldn’t have been possible without the great game from O.J. Mayo, who scored 27 points. After struggling in the past three games, Mayo looked like he was back on top of the world. This is a nice time for fantasy owners to sell high on Miracle Whip. The other standout player for Dallas was their power forward, Elton Brand. Brand has been inconsistent with his play this year, but when he’s on his game, it’s hard for teams to beat Dallas. Tonight proved that.
Again, this is what I what I did outside of the Sunday Night Football game on my trip to Dallas.
As for the football game, the Dallas Cowboys will be facing off against the Philadelphia Eagles in what is considered to be a game of the bottom-feeders. However, I strongly feel that both teams are stronger than their records imply. One thing the Eagles and Cowboys have in common is that they are symbols of the United States – oh, and they both have bad coaches.
With Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy ruled out, the Eagles will have a tough time winning this game. This likely means Philadelphia will be relying heavily upon Bryce Brown for the second week in a row. When they did that last week, he ran for 178 yards and two touchdowns in a loss to the Carolina Panthers. Though the Panthers’ run defense is much worse than the Cowboys’, Dallas can effectively be run on. They’re ranked 13th in the NFL against the rush, giving up 110.5 yards per game. Look for Brown to have another huge fantasy performance this week.
The biggest factor for the Cowboys will be something they’ve struggled all year with, blocking. If the offensive line can find a way to give quarterback Tony Romo time in the pocket, Dallas will likely win this game.
Romo is the top-ranked fantasy quarterback for some because of the matchup, as he faces the Eagles pathetic pass defense. While they are still ranked 13th in the NFL, they have been horrible in the last three games, and they’ve allowed a 20:7 touchdown-to-interception ratio on the year. Quite juicy, eh, Romo owners?
Another fantasy factor in the game will be how Dez Bryant performs. He’s got all the talent in the world, but his mind gets in the way. If he can contain his emotions and produce on the field in what is sure to be a chippy game, Dallas will fair very well. If both Romo and Dez can hook up, fantasy owners will love them.
This was a huge fantasy weekend in the city of Dallas and I am glad to have shared my experiences. There are still some big fantasy matchups on the plate today, including this big game in Dallas.