The Los Angeles Lakers got some bad news on Tuesday, with guard Kobe Bryant still dealing with pain and swelling in his left knee and he will now not even be examined again for another three weeks. One of the positives to come out of Bryant playing just six games so far this season is the emergence of Jodie Meeks, who had another good game Tuesday night against the Indiana Pacers (21 points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist) and is averaging 18.9 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.9 steals per game in 14 games this month.
A recent foot injury had Meeks’ status up in the air, but he was cleared to play Tuesday night and the injury does not appear to be a lingering concern. Should fantasy basketball owners be optimistic about his ability to play at a high level over the rest of the season?
Meeks started the season solidly, averaging 12.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.2 steals per game through the end of December (32 games-25 starts). But the new year brought an increase in playing time (38.2 minutes per game in January) and shot attempts (12.7 per game; 10 per game prior to that), so it’s not too surprising his scoring production has followed suit with Bryant sidelined.
Meeks is still available in close to half of Yahoo! leagues right now (54 percent ownership), but that has a chance to change dramatically soon with the uncertainty surrounding when or if Bryant will return this season. Meeks’ fantasy value will be driven almost entirely by his scoring, with little in terms of notable contribution in other categories on a consistent basis, but with a lot of playing time and opportunities I think he’ll sustain solid value from here on out.
Brad Berreman is a Senior Writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.