If you have been watching the NBA since the ball dropped in Times Square, you probably know the pain of losing a key player to your favorite team or your fantasy team. Injuries have struck the league in full force this season with big names going down in these past couple weeks especially. This epidemic is without a doubt poisoning everyone’s fantasy leagues, including my own, but please trust that it’s not all bad… opportunities will arise.
Clean Up Time
So your roster has gone to crap and you’re starting to have anxiety attacks already, huh? Well let’s just start by cleaning up the messes and filling the holes that these injuries have caused. These players are your best bet.
-J.J. Redick, G Clippers
There is no need for me to explain why you should pick this guy up; we all know he is a huge boost to any team’s points and 3-point categories, as well as averaging less than one turnover per game. If he is still available in your league because whoever drafted him foolishly let him go, please throw him on your roster. With Chris Paul out until after All-Star Weekend, he is surely going to be having worthy games even in those smaller eight-team fantasy leagues.
-Gerald Green, SG/SF Suns
For those who lost Eric Bledsoe, Paul, Ryan Anderson, or are just in need of some 3’s, then this is the man for you. With Bledsoe out indefinitely, Green will be the starter for this Phoenix team and will obviously see more time. This is your time to act because he is only owned in 50 percent of Yahoo leagues this very second! Averaging 13.2 points a game and just under three 3’s a game are definitely helpful, especially in larger fantasy leagues.
-Big Men: Jared Sullinger, PF/C Celtics; Anderson Varejao & Tristan Thompson PF/C Cavaliers
Tyson Chandler, who seemed like a solid pick-up after his return, has failed to put up his usual numbers and Ryan Anderson was carted off the court last week with a horrible back injury. My point here being that your bigs are not an easy thing to come by in this league and rebounds play a key component to your weekly matchups. Jared Sullinger has been racking up some minutes in Boston, getting over 25 a game now for the club. Scoring 13 a game and grabbing 7.5 boards to go with it is pretty substantial. Look also to the post in Cleveland who just got rid of Andrew Bynum for Luol Deng, who is already shooting quite a bit, and increasing the number of offensive boards that Varejao and Thompson are picking up. Thompson has picked up double-doubles in six of his last nine games and Varejao has averaged 11 points and 15 boards since Bynum left. These two are similar in many ways so use caution when choosing between them and make haste; they both are 70 percent owned in Yahoo leagues.
Don’t get excited this is still basketball, not The Hunger Games. These are just a couple of players to keep your eyes on as they heat up. One Laker that has been making some noise is guard Nick “Swaggy P” Young who has been having plenty of games with 20-plus points in recent weeks for the club. He is only owned in a little over half of Yahoo leagues and is dropping 16.2 points per game with an improving field goal percentage. This is no doubt the result of the move that the Lakers made bringing up point guard Kendall Marshall from the D-League, who has been running the Lake Show like Magic used to and has picked up 15-plus assists in three of his starts for the team. He almost averages a double-double with 9.9 points and 8.9 assists per game. Lastly, guard Avery Bradley of the Celtics has had a hot couple of weeks reeling in 24-plus points in three of his last four games. He may even continue to have value once Rajon Rondo returns to compliment him.
If you own any of the injured players that we have talked about today, it may be time to say goodbye to them. Trust me, I know it’s hard. I had to say bye to Bledsoe and Anderson just this past week and have had to hold on to CP3 with faith and hope, or possibly ignorance. Players like D-Rose, Al Horford, Javale McGee, Steve Nash, and even the great Kobe himself should return to the waiver wire to sit for the season. It is what’s best for your team, and remember… You’re the Manager.