Fantasy Basketball 2014: Injury Report
Cruel, cruel fantasy gods.
I don’t remember a season with more injuries in the NBA, especially to big name, fantasy superstars. I mean, of course you have Kobe Bryant, Derrick Rose and others, but if you assumed the injuries would stop there, well, you know what happens when you assume.
Something about you, me and an a- nevermind.
So, with plenty of injuries filling the league, so do a handful of fantasy implications. For those who aren’t sure which guys will see an uptick in fantasy value, let’s fix that, shall we?
Jrue Holiday (tibia)
I’m not 100 percent sure what a tibia is (yes, it’s in your foot), but I am sure that Holiday will be out indefinitely after suffering a stress fracture. Indefinitely is a pretty broad term that doesn’t necessarily mean anytime soon. The Pelicans have had a rough season thus far, watching Holiday, Ryan Anderson, Tyreke Evans and Anthony Davis all battle injuries. So, with the starting point guard who was logging almost 34 minutes per game sidelined, who will benefit in the New Orleans backcourt?
It appears Brian Roberts will man the point guard position in his absence. Roberts, a capable player, had some big games in relief for New Orleans last season, posting a few 30-35-point fantasy outings. He’ll be the team’s point guard, but it may be Tyreke Evans who sees an uptick in offensive touches. In games where Holiday has been out this season, Evans has seen a usage rate of about 32 percent. When he plays over 30 minutes, he’s very good, averaging 17.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 7.7 assists per game. He’s also posted an impressive triple-double in one of those games.
Eric Bledsoe (knee)
Bledsoe was one of the top fantasy guards in the league to start the season, but after suffering a serious knee injury, his status for the foreseeable future is in doubt. He underwent surgery on his knee on Friday, keeping him sidelined for a while. When he was on the court, Bledsoe and Goran Dragic would often share touches, but now Dragic will continue to run the offense by his lonesome, making him virtually a must-start option. Gerald Green should see a spike in production and usage, especially in categories leagues where he will make an impact from beyond the arc. Green is firing up a ridiculous 6.7 triples per contest, and is going to log around 30 minutes per game from here on out.
Kobe Bryant (knee, Achilles)
Bryant (and the Lakers) have had a rough season. First, their beloved superstar, Kobe returned from a 2012 Achilles injury, only to be sidelined with a broken knee a few weeks later. He hasn’t played in a game since December 17th, but head coach Mike D’antoni just stated that he is hoping for a return to the lineup on January 28th. The Lakers head coach also added point guard Steve Nash to that mix, who hasn’t played since November 10th with a lingering back injury.
If Kobe returns, guys like Nick Young and Jodie Meeks will see a decrease in value, but if Nash returns, I still actually believe the team will roll with Kendall Marshall, who is the prototypical point guard for a D’antoni offense, which I wrote about a few weeks back. Marshall, a lefty, creates easier opportunities for Pau Gasol to score in his sweeter spots on the court, and has really played well since taking over the starting job.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.