FOB Five and Bulls Face Off for the No. 1 Seed
FRIDLEY REC+: Week 8 Predictions
By Jake Gave | Fridley Media Associate
7 p.m. - No. 9 Jumpshot Hustlers (1-6) vs. No. 4 Bigsmash (5-2)
Our first matchup of the night pits the Jumpshot Hustlers against Bigsmash. The Hustlers have been struggling as of late and could use a big momentum boost heading into the playoffs. However, Bigsmash could wind up with the No. 4 seed if they win and The Originals lose, so they will be coming out firing on all cylinders. The Hustlers will have to find a way to slow down the three point prowess of Bigsmash, who ranks third in 3-point percentage (41 percent) and in total scoring (82.9 PPG).
PLAYERS TO WATCH
On the Jumpshot Hustlers side, David Stommes has been a beast all season for this team. If it weren’t for his spotty attendance, this squad would definitely have a couple more wins. He leads the team in both scoring (19.0 PPG) and rebounding (11.3) and sits at eighth in the league for PPR (22.3). Bigsmash will need to know where he is at all times and get a body on him.
For Bigsmash’s side, Joe Suek is the man to try and slow down. That is no easy task considering he can do just about everything. He is averaging 24.6 points per game, 11.2 rebounds, 6.2 assists, and 1.6 blocks. All of those marks are top five in the league. Not to mention he shoots 58 percent from the field and 40 percent from beyond the arc. Have fun trying to stop him.
PREDICTION: Bigsmash -12.5
7 p.m. - No. 3 The Originals (5-2) vs. No. 6 Bakke’s Bombers (3-4)
On the main court at 7 p.m., The Originals will look to bounce back after their defeat at the hands of FOB last week. They will take on Bakke’s Bombers who picked up their third win of the season last week and are trying to get back to .500. While this game won’t mean much standings-wise for the Bombers, The Originals could fall a bit if they were to lose this one. I expect them to come out with a lot of energy to try and get back on track.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
For The Originals side, the guy to keep on eye on is Josh Hoyle. He isn’t leading his team in any statistical categories volume-wise, but his shooting efficiency is at an unprecedented level. Everyone knows of the 50/40/90 club but Josh is on a whole different planet in the 70/70/90 club. He is shooting 71 percent overall, 75 percent from deep, and 90 percent from the line. Maybe the best strategy to slow him down is to never let him touch it in the first place.
For the Bakke’s Bombers squad, Lomumba Ismail is a guy to keep on eye on. He leads the way in PPR at 13.7 and is a beast in the paint. He is averaging 12.6 points on a solid 52 percent shooting, most of which comes in the low box post up. He commands double teams down low and abuses the D if they don’t come. Look out for Lomumba on the offensive boards as well or the man is going to eat.
PREDICTION: The Originals -8.5
8 p.m. - No. 7 Uncle D.A. and the Killers (2-5) vs. No. 8 Triple Double (1-6)
On the main court at 8 p.m., two struggling teams will face off with hopes of gaining some confidence heading into the playoffs. Depending on how the tie-breakers all work out, this could even be a possible play-in game preview. Both of these teams are coming off a loss in the previous week so they will be hungry. These squads are also both in the top four defensively and the bottom four offensively, so this one is sure to be a grinder.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
On the Killers side, the man to watch as of late is Aaron Delaney. He was a late addition to the squad and has only played four games, but he leads the team in scoring at 17.8 points per game. He has been very effective from beyond the arc as well by knocking down 43 percent of his attempts. Aaron hasn’t only gotten it down offensively either. He averages 1.8 steals per game, a mark that puts him tied for eighth in the league.
As for Triple Double, the key guy for their squad all season has been Justin Fenster. Justin plays very one-dimensional on offense, and his game is all about the three ball. He is averaging 18.3 shots per game, and 16.5 of them are coming from long distance. He is hitting on a 45 percent clip from deep too, which is insane for that high of volume. This 3-point sniper leads the league in scoring at 25.2 points per game and is definitely the guy to watch out for.
PREDICTION: Uncle D.A. and the Killers -3.5
8 p.m. - No. 5 Wolves (4-3) vs. No. 10 Team FOE (1-6)
Our other matchup at 8 p.m. will see the Wolves take on Team FOE. The Wolves are looking to improve to 5-3 and hope for some help from the teams above them so that they can move up a spot. Team FOE is also trying to get a big win which could help them get a more favorable opponent for the play-in round. Team FOE has given up the most points to opponents this season (99.3 PPG) so they will need to find a fix for that ASAP if they hope to keep pace with this pack of Wolves who love to outrun their opponents.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
On the Wolves end, the guy to watch is Chris Palmer. Chris has been very consistent all season and has climbed his way into the top ten for PPR (21.5). He does a bit of everything and has been the anchor in the paint for this squad. He is averaging 19.0 points and 8.2 rebounds and 50 percent shooting from the field. He has also been a big assist on the defensive end for this team. Look for him to have a big impact in this game.
For Team FOE, the key cog all season has been Andre Thomas. Andre is one of the smaller guys in the league but that doesn’t stop him from scoring in bunches. He leads his team in scoring and is tied for fifth place in the league (24.6 PPG). He has shot the ball with great precision this season, posting marks of 56 percent overall, 52 percent from deep, and 88 percent from the line. The Wolves will have to make sure that they don’t let Dre heat up or he will hurt them in a hurry.
PREDICTION: Wolves -14.5
9 p.m. - No. 1 FOB Five (7-0) vs. No. 2 Bulls (6-1)
For our final game of the night, we saved our best game of possibly the entire season. With only one loss between these two teams, whoever wins this one will capture the No. 1 seed heading into the playoffs next week. FOB Five is trying to cap off a perfect season with another signature win, while the Bulls will try to ruin their day and extend their own win streak to seven games. This one will definitely be a must watch, so bring your popcorn and get ready.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
On FOB’s side of things, the easy pick is Adam Hoven who has been putting up ridiculous numbers as usual. He leads the league in PPR by a healthy margin at 34.9 and is in the top three for rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks per game. Hov is the definition of a stat stuffer and his impact can be easily seen in FOB’s 7-0 record. What may be more impressive is the fact that he has been leading the squad as the team’s big man and has had to take on that challenge defensively week in and week out.
For the Bulls, I still think Mahlon Thomas is the biggest game changer just due to his size. Derek Hamner and Da’Jon McKnight have been huge as well, but Mahlon has a presence in the paint matched by very few in this league. He is averaging 19.6 points per game and 9.2 rebounds. Those marks are good enough to have him ranked sixth in PPR. This game could be another chance for him to break out considering FOB doesn’t have very much size at all.
PREDICTION: Bulls -2.5