There seems to be a whole lot of injury news coming out these last few days and in a lot of cases they are long and extended trips to the IR. These are big names too including Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol, Kevin Love and Anderson Varejao. The other side of the coin with injuries in fantasy basketball though is that someone has to replace these guys. Often times that means someone not on the fantasy radar becomes fantasy relevant in a hurry. Last night we saw several players who have a shot to claim big minutes making a big splash.
Make sure to check out all the notes here to see who is benefiting from these injuries and so much more:
- Brandon Jennings – PG, Milwaukee Bucks: There wasn’t a big injury in Milwaukee, but a coach was fired and it’s always interesting to see how a team reacts after something like that happens. So far so good for Milwaukee as they won their second game under their new coach and Brandon Jennings has lit it up the last two nights. Last night Jennings had35 points with 6 assists and 6 rebounds. This coming on the heels of a 29 point and 9 assist game the night before. Combined in the two games Jennings also hit 10 three-pointers. Jennings was having success with Scott Skiles as well, but clearly the offense seems a bit more opened up the last couple of nights and Jennings has been a big beneficiary of it. If Jim Boylan is going to let the offense loose a bit more you may want to try and snag Jennings in a trade now because big things could be in store.
- Tyler Zeller – C, Cleveland Cavaliers: Here is one of the guys who will be benefiting from an injury. Zeller is going to be the Cavs starting center for a while as Anderson Varejao is slated to miss 6 – 8 weeks with a knee injury. Last night Zeller had an 11 point, 12 rebound double-double, not quite the dominant performance of Varejao, but solid nonetheless. Zeller is struggling with efficiency on offense, shooting just 43% so far from the field. The offense is raw, but overall Zeller is a decent rebounder who is going to get a fair amount of blocks and steals and should be playing 32 – 35 minutes per game. That makes him worth owning in most leagues at this point.
More News and Notes You Need to Know
- I’m not sure when the Spurs will fully commit to Tiago Splitter as their starting center, but it’s been nice to see him get more minutes the last four games. Last night Splitter had 14 points, 14 rebounds and a block in 35 minutes. This was his second double-double in three games. If the Spurs would commit to giving him 25 – 30 minutes a night he’d be an asset in all formats.
- While not the product of a recent injury, Amir Johnson is still benefiting from the injury to Andrea Bargnani that happened a while ago. Johnson turned in another solid line last night of 19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block and 1 steal. Not counting the game that Johnson fouled out of in nine minutes Johnson has 55 points in three games.
- One of the streakier shooters in the league is at it again in Ben Gordon. Last night Gordon dropped 20 on Utah and is averaging 21.7 per game his last three games. He’s also shooting well over 50% the last few games which you can’t count on, but as long as he’s hot, you roll with him. Simple fantasy basketball logic.
- Los Angeles Lakers lost not one but two big men in the last week in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol, both out indefinitely. Earl Clark stepped up in their absence last night and put up 22 points and 13 rebounds. Howard and Gasol could both be back next week, but if it ends up being more serious than that Clark could have value.
- Another solid game last night for Metta World Peace whose game has been as unpredictable lately as his mood. Last night he had 23 points, 8 rebounds and 7 steals. In the last three games he has 63 points, 11 three-pointers, 18 rebounds and 12 steals. Prior to this mini-run though he wasn’t doing much of anything for a stretch. His big games have come much more often this season so you should hold on to him, it might just be a bit of a roller coaster at times.
- Playing a team high 34 minutes last night Jared Sullinger dominated the Suns frontcourt for 12 points, 16 rebounds, a block and a steal. Sullinger’s minutes have been erratic, but when he has it going the Celtics have shown their willing to roll with him, he just has to get it going more consistently.
- With Kirk Hinrich sidelined by a knee injury, Nate Robinson was running the point for the Bulls last night. His defense was nothing to write home about, but he provided a spark on offense with 19 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 three-pointers. That’s a stat sheet stuffer right there. I wouldn’t want Robinson running point for my real team, but in fantasy I love him getting starter’s minutes.
- It was a crushing blow to the Timberwolves and fantasy owners alike to find out that Kevin Love is out for 8 – 10 weeks because of a broken hand. Dante Cunningham started in his place last night, but it was Derrick Williams making the big impression with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Williams has been in Rick Adelman’s doghouse, but he almost has to play him now and Williams has 16.3 points per game the last three. I’d add him in almost all formats right now.
- Just yesterday I wrote about how you should hold on to Kenneth Faried until his value picks back up because he wasn’t playing up to his potential. Last night he goes out and steps his game up with 19 points and 19 rebounds, as well as 2 steals and 2 blocks. Faried had nine offensive rebounds which helped account for his scoring boost. If he strings together a few games like this you may want to think about trading him just because of the inconsistency. Just don’t trade him in a keeper league, that’d be a grievous mistake.
- Right now Chris Paul is on a whole other level of fantasy goodness than other point guards. Paul had 19 points, 16 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals last night. In his last four games he’s averaging 24.8 pts, 11 asts and 5 rebs. Paul is putting up MVP type numbers and is pressing Durant LeBron for most valuable fantasy players as well.