Welcome back to Blasts and Bombs fantasy fans.
This week, we have an onslaught of players stepping up to help their teams because of injuries to star players. Also, a player who is putting up big numbers under the radar and a couple of veterans who are not producing to the same level of the past.
Let’s check out the fantasy up and downs for Week 9.
The injuries to the Dallas Mavericks’ roster have helped a couple players out, including DeShawn Stevenson. This man is shooting 46 percent from beyond the arc for fourth best in the league; can you say ON FIRE??
In the Mavs’ last three games, Stevenson has been grabbing boards and dishing the ball as well as scoring points in his extended minutes.
What he’s done:
-Sunday, he had 21 points off 5-of-12 from three, four assists and three rebounds against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
-Tuesday, he had 18 points off 4-of-9 from three , three rebounds and two assists against the Portland Trailblazers.
-Thursday, he had 14 points off 4-of-8 from three and four rebounds against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Stevenson is owned in only 8 percent of ESPN leagues. If he is available in your league and you need someone who is going to get 10-15 points a night and raise shooting percentages, grab him off the waiver roster ASAP.
Injuries always affect the league around this time and this year isn’t any different than the past. I’ll start with Dallas because these two key injuries are opening the door for Stevenson.
Caron Butler is out for the season with a tendon injury in his knee. He has averaging 15 points during his 30 minutes a game. This is a huge loss to the Mavericks and fantasy teams, especially mine, because the only person I could replace him with will be a bomb later in this post.
Dirk Nowitzki is going to miss his seventh consecutive game on Saturday with his reoccurring knee injury. He is eighth in the league with 24 points a game and is in the Top 30 in rebounds with 7.4 a game. More so than Butler, Nowitzki is a must on any team and is usually a first round fantasy draft pick in the Top 20. Without him the Mavs are struggling, losing four of their last six games and fantasy teams are also struggling because of the numbers he puts up points, rebounds and shooting percentage wise.
Leaving Dallas but staying on the west coast…
Houston Rockets Yao Ming is out for another season after re-injuring his left ankle that he had surgery on Thursday to repair. I haven’t drafted him the last two years because of this issue and I think it’s safe to say if he comes back next season, the only way he should find a roster is off the waiver wires mid-way through the season.
The point guard in Houston, Aaron Brooks, has been nagged with injuries this season and hasn’t been able to produce the numbers he was expected to. Dropping him might be a bad idea because the season isn’t even at the half way point, but getting a point guard who can score 15 points a game and dish out 4-5 assists would be a good idea.
Brandon Roy is out of the Portland Trailblazers’ lineup indefinitely because of his chronic knee injuries. At first, his left knee was bothering him, but since he put most of his body weight on the right knee, it, too, is sore and forcing him to be sidelined. He is too high of a draft pick to write off because of his early season injuries, but he probably won’t be a factor to a fantasy team taking a league championship. If anything, he will cause a roster’s numbers to become stagnant, to say the least.
With Brooks in and out of the lineup, Kevin Martin has returned to the elite scorer he was known to be before he had a couple of injury ridden seasons. Against the Trailblazers on Wednesday, he scored 45 points off 13-of-18 from the field and knocking down six three-pointers.
For the season, he is averaging 23 points a game to make him a sure starter for any team.
DeAndre Jordan plays on the horrible Los Angeles Clippers, but he is putting up great numbers. This is a guy people are not looking at to produce in huge ways, especially with someone named Blake Griffin next to him, but he is.
In four of the Clippers’ last six games, Jordan has 11 or more rebounds, including his effort Wednesday against the Denver Nuggets when he grabbed 20 boards and scored 14 points. Jordan is only owned in 40 percent of leagues, meaning 60 percent of you are sleeping on a big guy who is becoming a 15-point and 10-rebound insurance policy every game.
The only reason I would ever call the Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony a bomb is because he is listed on ESPN as the 62nd best fantasy player. He may have only went down because of the five games he missed because of his sister’s death at the end of December, R.I.P., but he needs to find a way to pick up his head and get back to the top of the leader boards for his fantasy owners.
I think he has already done this because he has scored 26 points or more in three of the four games since his return. Hopefully his fall in the listings is just a temporary vacancy and he quickly moves up the list.
The Charlotte Bobcats are the worst team in the NBA. Charlotte’s two stars, Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson, are having bad seasons and can’t stay healthy. Nazr Mohammed and Tyrus Thomas are missing games as well to put four players on the sideline in street clothes. The sad thing is, even if they were all dressing, they still couldn’t be trusted to get a win against any team in the NBA.
My replacement for Butler is Boris Diaw, who is the only bright side on the Bobcats at this point. Unfortunately, this teams one bright side is still a so-so addition to a fantasy team. On Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Diaw shot the ball 20 times but finished the game with only 16 points. This is horrible, but is a consistent stat with Diaw this season.
J.R. Smith is having a rough time shooting the ball this season with 38 percent from the field. He is the second best scorer on the Nuggets and is there to put points on the board, but he isn’t doing it. In his last three games, he has combined for 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. This looks similar to some players one-game stat line, not three.
He needs to pick up his game before his market ability for trades or a spot on a roster drops to a level where he gets no love, Lil’ Wayne and Eminem style.
Jason Kidd is one of my favorite point guards to ever play the game and will be in the Hall of Fame, no doubt about it.
He is a blast because he is fifth in the league in assists with 8.7 a game and is tied for first with Russell Westbrook as the best rebounding point guard with five a game.
On the other hand, he is scoring at an all-time low for the NBA great. His averages of 8.1, and shooting percentage from the field of 34 are career lows, while his three-point shooting percentage of 33 is the lowest of his career since 2001-2002 when he was with the New Jersey Nets.
Having 8.7 assists a game is a rarity, especially if five rebounds are added, but he is hurting teams with his percentages and lack of scoring. He should be owned, but should not be a main starting point guard unless a ton of scoring comes from other positions on the roster.
If there are any trades or players fantasy owners have questions about, contact me and I’ll make sure to discuss it on Blasts and Bombs.
Have a great week.