by Will Overton
Staying on top of the injury news around the league can be one of the ways to get a leg up on your competition in fantasy basketball. It’s important to know when a guy goes on the shelf and even more important to know what the effect that injury is going to have on the team
Grabbing guys off the waiver wire who are getting an increase in minutes because of injury can be the kind of boost your fantasy team needs to get over the top. With that in mind here are some of the recent injuries around the NBA and a discussion of who will benefit:
Jae Crowder Sprains His Ankle
The Celtics are saying that Jae Crowder is going to miss at least a couple of weeks if not more with his high ankle sprain. With this we may very well just see the Celtics go three guards a whole lot more, but there are two guys on a lot of waiver wires who could benefit from Crowder’s absence.
Evan Turner isn’t available in all leagues, but he’s out there in some still. Turner’s ability to do it all, score, pass and rebound gives him an underrated amount of value in fantasy leagues, even though he can’t shoot too well. The other benefactor is Jonas Jerebko who is available in almost all leagues. Jerebko got 26 minutes of game action last night and scored 17 points with a couple of threes. Jerebko can be the stretch four guy like Crowder when the Celtics want to go smaller and that should earn him enough minutes to make him relevant for deep leagues.
Memphis Grizzlies Without A Point Guard
Almost simultaneously the Grizzlies saw Mike Conley go down for what could be a month with Achilles tendinitis and Mario Chalmers go out for the year with a more serious ruptured Achilles. This left the Grizzlies scrambling for point guard help and they ended up with Ray McCallum and Briante Weber. As of now it looks like Weber is going to get the most playing time with 35.3 MPG in three outings. His offensive game is lacking, but he can get assists and steals, and has been a surprising rebounder in three games. Meanwhile I think McCallum may end up being the better fantasy option because he is better offensively and can hit threes which Weber doesn’t do. McCallum also has a pair of steals in each of his games with the Grizzlies.
The other guy I think is a must add is Lance Stephenson, though he is dealing with a wrist injury as well. Stephenson is available in about 50% of leagues right now, but should be owned in all of them. While he has struggled in his last two stops in Charlotte and LA this seems right up his alley as he’ll get to have the ball in his hands a lot and can be a sneaky good playmaker at times.
Blake Griffin Remains Out For Who Knows How Long
We aren’t really sure when Blake Griffin will be back as he has apparently fallen behind schedule on his return and the Clippers don’t seem to be in a huge hurry to bring him back. While Griffin’s injury isn’t new, his return may not be as imminent as we thought and that’s very good news for Jeff Green who is also available in a lot of leagues. Green has been starting to find his footing with the Clippers, averaging 15.5 PPG in his last four, three of those games against three of the best teams in league in San Antonio, Cleveland and Oklahoma City. Green isn’t getting a ton of rebounds unfortunately, but he is hitting threes giving him one more layer of fantasy value to pair with his scoring. I’d still rather have Lance Stephenson or Evan Turner (unless I need those threes), but Green has value until Griffin comes back.