It’s still early in the basketball season, but injuries are wasting no time impacting fantasy hoops teams.
I’m no medical expert, but I am here to breakdown some of the significant injuries around the fantasy hoops land. Who sees a bump in fantasy value? Should you target them? These questions and more await.
It may be comical to watch the difference between centers for the Knicks. Chandler, arguably the best defensive center in basketball, has suffered a fractured right fibula and is expected to miss about 4-6 weeks. It’s going to be odd for the Knicks to be missing the massive presence in the paint. Chandler is averaging nine rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game. The former defensive player of the year is gone for fantasy teams for the foreseeable future, which will take a hit in the rebounds and blocks department.
Meanwhile, Andrea Bargnani will step in and become the team’s starting center. It’s not like Bargnani is bad, but he is the polar opposite of Chandler. A guy who is a terrible defender and doesn’t play like a seven-foot center, Bargnani is only averaging 4.8 rebounds per game in his career. However, if you are in need of some three-pointers, Bargnani is your guy. Currently averaging 1.2 threes per game on 3.3 attempts, Bargnani will shoot the three at will. And when he’s hot, he can light it up in the scoring category. Kenyon Martin may see an uptick in minutes as well.
McGee can relate to Chandler, as the Nuggets big man suffered a stress fracture in his left tiba and will be out indefinitely. The 25-year old center wasn’t producing much, averaging just 7.0 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game this year. While many think Timofey Mozgov will inherit the starting job, I’m not so sure. I really like newly acquired J.J. Hickson. He has more experience starting at center, and has actually got the nod over Mozgov in a few straight games. During his start on Monday night, Hickson Hickson logged 29 minutes, scoring 14 points, while adding nine rebounds and a block. It looks like Denver will continue to roll with him until he proves them otherwise.
Nash is on the final stages of his career, and honestly, it’s sad to see. The 39-year old point guard has been diagnosed with a nerve root irritation, and is expected to be sidelined for the next two weeks, at least. His name value was the only reason he has been rostered in 10-team formats, and if you were afraid to drop him then, feel free to pull the trigger now. Meanwhile, point guard Jodie Meeks is very, very quietly leading the Lakers in scoring (12.2 points per game) and will likely see an uptick in playing time with Nash out. Meeks was already logging about 27 minutes per game, so perhaps he eclipses the 30-minute mark. Still, Meeks offers very little fantasy value across the stat sheets. He is a pure shooter who is shooting .480% from beyond the arc thus far.
Instead, Steve Blake would be the guy to target on waivers. He is averaging 31.3 minutes per game, and got the start at point guard on Friday, scoring 13 points and adding eight assists in the process. He’ll give you the best all-around fantasy production. Jordan Farmar is also worth a look as well.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.