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Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball: Grab Tyler Zeller Off Waivers

Tyler Zeller, Anderson Varejao - Cleveland Cavaliers

Frank Victores – USA Today

After an incredibly hot start to the fantasy basketball season, Cleveland Cavaliers C Anderson Varejao was on pace for career-highs in points, rebounds, steals and assists.

Unfortunately, a quad injury struck and sidelined him Dec. 18, and following his surgery, he was expected to miss only two more months. However, just when things seemingly couldn’t get any worse, doctors recently found a blood clot in his right lung. While he thankfully will make a full recovery, the Cavs have shut him down for the rest of the season as the team is essentially out of the playoff picture.

Second-year forward Tristan Thompson has already been taking advantage of the injury, snatching up all the rebounds left by Varejao’s absence. He is now averaging 11.9 rebounds in the month of January, up from 8.1 per game in November. Thompson, however, was already a starter and is now almost universally owned, so he will be very tough to acquire with the way he has been playing as of late.

Tyler Zeller on the other hand is owned in just 25.9 percent of ESPN leagues, and that number is rising fast. He is going to be the biggest beneficiary, with Varejao done for good and he has really come in to his own as of late with 41 points, 39 rebounds and 12 blocks in his past four games alone.

Zeller’s minutes have been up since Varejao first went down, but he has averaged 34.7 minutes per game this January to go along with his impressive scoring and rebounding totals. His recent stats warrant adding the seven-foot center in not just deep leagues, but all formats, as he has a starting spot locked down for the rest of the season.

Rich Arleo is a fantasy sports expert with Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rarleo and add him on Google+