Most of the headlines in the Los Angeles Lakers’ backcourt to this point in the season had surrounded injuries, from when Kobe Bryant will return from a torn Achilles’ to Steve Nash’s lingering back issue that will now sideline him for at least the next two weeks. So right now there is an opportunity for others to step up, for better or worse, but should fantasy basketball owners pay attention?
Steve Blake has started all nine games so far this season, and his best game of the season came last Sunday against the Minnesota Timberwolves when he scored 19 points (5-for-7 on three-pointers) with eight assists, three rebounds and three steals. He scored just five points against the New Orleans Pelicans Tuesday night, but added a season-high 10 assists along with one rebound to bolster his overall impact for fantasy owners.
Blake, Jodie Meeks and Jordan Farmar are likely to get all the playing time they can handle in the near future with Nash and Bryant out, with the only question being how coach Mike D’Antoni chooses to deploy them on a game-by-game basis. Blake’s ability to handle both guard spots would seem to give him an edge in terms of consistent playing time, and thus he is the more viable waiver wire addition in fantasy leagues.
Nash will have his playing time monitored closely even after he returns to action, and he is unlikely to play on back-to-back nights, so Blake should start a lot of games at point guard over the course of the season and see a lot of playing time even if he comes off the bench at times. Fantasy owners should not expect elite level production from Blake even in a best-case scenario, but he could be a valuable piece in deep leagues all season long and is available in 67 percent of Yahoo! leagues right now.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.