This week I’m going to discuss some recent injury updates, team roster moves, player buy-outs, a couple of impressive performances; and will break it all down for your fantasy basketball use and appreciation. So without further ado let’s get this party started.
I’ve put out a drop order on Stephen Curry of the Warriors recently, surrounding the uncertainty of his return timeline (or lack thereof), and consequently am now recommending that Nate Robinson be added. I personally grabbed Nate-Rob in a league where I’m making a push this week to get that critical first-round bye in the fantasy playoffs. So far, I’m experiencing a mixed reaction as I watch his games (well his stats) on the computer. His scoring is a lot less than I’d be happy with, as he only managed to score eight points against the underpowered New Orleans Hornets. I was, however, pleased with the 10 assists, two steals and two treys he did add to my teams campaign to win the counting categories. Overall, Nate has been a good call and I’d even recommend him as an add in shallower than standard leagues.
Curry isn’t the last of our fantasy point guard woes, Houston’s Kyle Lowry has officially been categorized as being out indefinitely. Not good news for Lowry owners out there who have been holding onto him for a late fantasy playoff push. It should be noted that Goran Dragic is officially a must-add in all league sizes and formats as he’s just exploded out of the gates averaging 15.8 PPG, 9.7 APG, 1.7 3PPG, and 1.8 SPG as a starter for the Rockets. If you’re in a daily changes league, Lowry may just be too much dead weight lately for your team and you may want to consider seeking more productive help.
On the East coast, Derrick has been downgraded to “week-to-week” from “day-to-day”. This blow is even tougher to deal with compared to Lowry’s situation as Rose is a first-round pick and may be on many league “Can’t Drop Lists”. C.J. Watson is still a far cry from what Rose owners are pining for at the moment, but then again, there are rarely suitable options in the fantasy FA pool this late in the season.
Danilo Gallinari has been told that his broken thumb may take up to four weeks to heal. That news, accompanied by word that Rudy Fernandez is set to undergo lower back surgery and is consequently done for the season, has officially catapulted recently-signed swingman Wilson Chandler into the forefront of most people’s fantasy basketball consciousness. Chandler is set to deliver instant impact for any fantasy team at this point and should be owned. Gallo, on the other hand, can be dropped if your team needs that key bench spot for a late playoff push.
The addition of Monta Ellis has appeared to have had some kind of a therapeutic effect on Carlos Delfino’s game as he’s recently woken up from a shooting slump. Delfino has flourished best in the past when he IS NOT the focal point of the team’s offense, but instead best suited at nailing his long-bombs when found open as a role-player. He’s not known for consistency and this season has been filled with many highs and lows. He is now on officially a “high alert” and shallow-league managers may want to consider riding out this recent wave of productivity.
J.J. Hickson was promptly snatched up off the waivers by the Portland Trail Blazers after he and the Sacramento Kings reached an amicable separation agreement. He was just rotting away in the back of Sacramento’s big man rotation and is now suddenly a candidate to get some major minutes at PF and C for the Blazers. He was dealing with some back issues, but is already being reported to be “good to go”. It may just be a matter of games before Hickson sneakily steals away Joel Przybilla‘s starting job.
Tristan Thompson has been announced as the Cleveland Cavaliers’ new starting center. He’s had both an underwhelming performance and an impressive one. At the end of the day, inconsistency will be the likely trend for this rookie. The Cavs are clearly attempting to hasten his development as current power forward Antawn Jamison may not be with the team anymore by the start of the 2012-13 season. Thompson is still a marginal add at this point, but can be acceptable if you’re in a deep league and desperate for big man numbers.
Ben Gordon exploded for 45 points (9-9 from downtown) while regular starter Rodney Stuckey was out due to a toe injury. While that was an obvious temptation to go out and grab Gordon, Stuckey has a lock on the starting gig and will likely take it back once he’s able. Gordon and consistent are two words not commonly seen in the sentence this season (this may have just been the first). Stuckey owners should stand pat for now and wait out his recovery as he’s still listed as day-to-day. Unless there’s a turn for the worst and Stuckey will miss more time than expected, leave Gordon in your FA pool. His performance may reward him with more minutes down the road, but as history has shown it may not necessarily translate into fantasy-viable productivity.
Luke Ridnour of the Minnesota Timberwolves is in the midst of a slight slump lately. Thankfully for the T-Wolves, J.J. Barea has picked up some of the slack and has been taking care of distributing the rock to his teammates. Barea has averaged double digit assists over his last couple of games and may be in line to eat up a chunk of Luke’s force – and by force you know I meant playing time, right? Keep an eye on the situation as Barea’s value, now that he seems to be 100% healthy, may just be on the rise.
New Orleans’ Jason Smith has recently overtaken Gustavo Ayon as the team’s starting PF. Smith was dealing with concussion symptoms and has been sidelined for quite some time. He appears to be healthy now and may just squeeze into that Trevor Booker value range. He’ll be able to chip in some points, rebounds and the occasional block; but it’s Smith’s fantasy-friendly free-throw shooting that makes him an appealing add consideration in deep leagues right now.
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