Fratello’s Fantasy Pick: Carl Landry

Fourth-year PF Carl Landry turned out to be a critical pickup for the New Orleans Hornets, and he may also be valuable to Fantasy owners down the final stretch of the regular season. Landry’s acquisition from Sacramento in February added depth to the Hornets’ roster, and now that insurance policy is paying off.

Starting forward David West went down with a season-ending knee injury in the Hornets’ 121-117 overtime win at Utah last Thursday. With the loss of the team’s leading scorer (West averaged 18.9 ppg this season), Landry has landed in the starting lineup as the Hornets continue their playoff push.

Landry averaged 21.5 points and 8 rebounds in his first two starts. He contributed 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in Friday’s 106-100 win over Phoenix. And though the Hornets will finish the regular season winless against Los Angeles, Landry followed up with another huge performance in Sunday’s 104-82 loss to the Lakers, cashing in a season-high 24 chips in the contest on 8 of 16 shooting from the field. He also added 10 rebounds, 1 block and 1 assist in 44 minutes.

Carl Landry is a hardnosed competitor who has a steel mill mentality. He’s a terrific team player who works hard and sets a great example for young players in the league. Landry’s midrange jump shot has improved over the last couple years, bolstering his offensive game. After he was traded to Sacramento last season, Landry averaged 18 points over their final 28 games.

NOLA teammates and fans are counting on Landry to come through with another big finish and to continue to produce over the remaining eight games in order to fulfill their postseason quest. New Orleans (42-32) currently sits seventh in the West, just ahead of Memphis (41-33). The Hornets will be helped out by a five-game home stretch and are slated to play three games this week beginning with a matchup against their Western Conference foes – the sixth-seeded Trail Blazers on Wednesday.