Egad, what a week for injuries. It’s time to separate the walking wounded from the sure to be dropped. Every week Pick n’ Roll will be hitting you up with a list of what’s new, puzzling, or downright exciting in the wide world of fantasy hoops. In our fourth installment we’ll be looking at this week’s rash of injuries (plus some other stuff) to see how it affects you fantasy squad.
Now is the winter of my discontent, at least as it relates to the current spate of NBA injuries anyway, as I managed to draft every single player who suffered a significant injury this week. One man’s ruin is another man’s opportunity though, and there are lots of moves to be made and deals to be had as GMs start shifting their lineups around to deal with various injuries. Let’s start with the good news guys first, and let the column roll naturally down hill from there….
Jeff Foster is out for a couple of weeks with hangnail, and that’s good news for Roy Hibbert owners. Big Roy has responded magnificently and is averaging 13.7 points, 12.3 boards, and 3.7 blocks over his last three games. That’s a whole lotta business there, and if Hibbert is somehow still languishing on the wire in your league then you need to add him now. And if you dropped Hibbert recently, this is my chance to say ha-ha.
Nate Robinson will be out for another week with a gimpy ankle, and that has given Larry Hughes the chance to have his predictable good couple of weeks. He does this pretty much every season, and every season he predictably goes back to looking like a waste of a roster spot. Enjoy the ride while it lasts though, just be ready to press the eject button when this bandwagon comes to a crashing halt.
Is it 2003? Because that’s what I thought when I saw Erick Dampier averaging 10 and 12 with 4 blocks over his last 3 games. I seriously doubt that Erick has found the fountain of youth in a box of crackerjacks, and I don’t expect that level of production to last. Riding the hot hand is always good though, and Damp is only 40% owned in Yahoo leagues right now, so if you need help at C look no further. Reality will reassert itself at some point however, so start interviewing replacements right away.
Andre Miller is finally starting in Portland, with Steve Blake starting next to him at SG, and Brandon Roy sliding over to SF. That’s great news for Miller owners, and terrible news for Fernandez, Outlaw, and Webster owners. Nate McMillan has said that he may try this lineup out for a couple of weeks, so keep your eyes glued to the box scores to see how it pans out.
Mr. Potato Head puts in his angry eyes for…
Don Nelson. That sack of suet needs to go back to sipping Mai Thais on the beach and stop tossing sticks into the spokes of the Anthony Randolph bandwagon. Thankfully Randolph actually got to play some in his last game, so I may yet call off Tonya Harding. If Nelson can see his way clear to letting Randolph have reasonable minutes over the coming week then I can see my way clear to letting him keep his knee caps in their current condition. I’m not dropping Randolph yet at all, but I’d want to see something out of him soon or my trigger finger is going to get mighty itchy.
Kevin Martin opted for surgery and will be out for at least 6-8 weeks. Beno Udrih will replace him in the starting lineup and I’d expect him to pick up short term value, but I’d keep half an eye on Sergio Rodriguez too. Udrih’s just not that good, and if he falters then our little Spanish friend could be in for some solid PT. Mostly you’re going to want to hold on to Martin, but owners in shallower non-keeper leagues could cut bait now and hope to pick him back up on the flip-side.
Union rules dictate that if one K-Mart closes it’s doors the rest will follow, and Kenyon Martin has obliged by suffering a ‘lower leg contusion’ and could miss a couple of weeks as a result (although confirmation of that time line is lacking). Chris Andersen should play more in his absence, and should be able to up his blocks to about a zillion a game. If Martin is going to miss real time, then Andersen is a short term option in all formats, and the opportunity could easily jump-start his production out of that block-free early-season funk he was suffering though. Fly Birdman, fly!
The Nets. The poor, poor, New Jersey Nets. Yi sprains a knee, Devin Harris is groinally impaired, likely for at least another couple of weeks, Courtney Lee has some sympathetic groin strainage of his own now and CDR has the sniffles. They just can’t catch a break. If Lee misses any kind of substantial time then we could be in for a whole lot of Chris Douglas-Roberts, who’s worth an add in most formats (although he was getting there anyway). There’s some short term value in Rafer Alston and Josh Boone as well, but the guy I think most likely to play take-and-hold with minutes during this stretch is Terrence Williams. T-Will dropped nine dimes last night against the Sixers, and that kind of play will keep him the 30 MPG range, at least short term.
Tyrus Thomas broke his arm lifting weights and will miss 4-6 weeks. I think at this point someone needs to step up and explain this rash of weight training related arm breakages in the NBA. Was he using an exercise ball? Inquiring minds want to know. While he’s out we should see solid minutes for Taj Gibson. If Gibson plays well, then Thomas could potentially lose any shot he might have had at stepping back into a starting role. That’s a worst case scenario of course, but I own TT, and I’m starting to look at permanent replacements now, just in case. I’d hold on dropping him for a little while anyway, and take a look at how well Gibson is playing. The better he plays, the more you may want to consider jumping ship.
Team Games by Week – Week Three
Teams with 4 games: DAL, GS, HOU, LAC, MIN, NO, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, TOR, UTA
Teams with 3 games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, LAL, MEM, MIA, NJ, NY, ORL, SA
Teams with a paltry 2 games: IND, MIL, SAC, WAS
That’s all for now folks. Send get well cards or pink slips as required this week.
Adam Laforet is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Adam in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Fenris-77.
Want to write for the Cafe? Check out the Cafe's Pencil & Paper section!