If there has been one reoccurring theme in the NBA this season, it’s been the one thing fantasy owners can’t control.
And not only have there been a plethora of injuries, but many of them have surrounded star players in this league. You’ve got Kobe Bryant (or anyone on the Lakers, seemingly), Derrick Rose, Brook Lopez, Al Horford, and that’s not even close to all of them. It’s been a maddening process for fantasy owners, replacing key players. And now, with Chris Paul being sidelined, the injury bug continues to troll fantasy players.
It also headlines this week’s waiver wire.
Note: Ownership percentages are based off ESPN leagues.
Darren Collison, Los Angeles Clippers (41.7%): Stop reading and start clicking. Collison needs to be owned in 100 percent of leagues after the news broke that Chris Paul suffered a separated shoulder, keeping him out of action for the next six weeks. During his first two starts with CP3 out, Collison was solid, averaging 17 points, five assists and two steals, logging a healthy 35.5 minutes per game during that span. With the way Blake Griffin is playing this season, who is averaging 80.8 touches per game and 0.27 points per touch, Collison should have no trouble racking up the assists.
Gerald Green, Phoenix Suns (62%): Another injury opens the door for someone else to step in. With Eric Bledsoe (knee) out for at least the next week, Green has received the start at shooting guard as of late, while Goran Dragic handles the point guard duties. After a season-high 24 points on Saturday night, Green has now eclipsed 20 points in four of his last seven contests, and at 6’8″, he should have strong scoring chances against smaller shooting guards. He’s played well this year when Bledsoe has been out, and a guy who can block shots, score, has posted nine steals over his last two games with four games (and strong matchups), Green is a very strong play for the short-term.
Iman Shumpert, New York Knicks (43.5%): With injuries surrounding the Knicks backcourt, Shumpert has now logged at least 30 minutes in three straight games, resulting in strong production. During that span, the talented swingman is averaging 20.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, two assists, 2.3 steals and 4.3 triples per contest. At this point, with the way the Knicks are shaping out, why not just slide Shumpert to the point guard position? He may be a bit raw, but he is vastly more talented than the likes of Beno Udrih. He gets three games this week, including a mouth-watering game against the 76ers.
James Johnson, Memphis Grizzlies (8.8%): Johnson hasn’t received a ton of fantasy hype lately, likely because of his lack of scoring, but he’s been very productive in most categories. A defensive stud, Johnson is averaging over one block and steal per game on the season. Over his last five, he is sporting an outstanding 1.4 blocks, 1.4 steals and 5.6 rebounds, while also netting 7.4 points. He may not be starting, and only played 29 minutes combined over his last two games, but the Grizzlies have to give him an uptick in minutes. He simply provides more upside than the aging Tayshaun Prince. Try to pounce on this kid now before everyone else hops on the bandwagon.
Al-Farouq Aminu, New Orleans Pelicans (2.3%): With Ryan Anderson suffering from a potentially serious back issue, Aminu should see a major uptick in minutes. Here’s a guy who can rebound, shoot three-pointers, force steals and perhaps a block or two. In games where he’s played at least 30 minutes, he easily posted double-digit points and close to double-digit rebounds. Expect similar numbers, assuming his minutes vastly increase.
Pero Antic, Atlanta Hawks (1.8%): Antic has made a name for himself in fantasy land over the last two nights, averaging 12.5 points, seven rebounds and 3.5 triples per contest. He’s a guy who can shoot the three-ball, rebound, and with Al Horford out for the foreseeable future, Antic should continue to see minutes that will warrant him fantasy relevant. If you need a center, he is essentially out there in every single league.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.