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Fantasy Weekly: Life Without LeBron

POSTED: Jan 7, 2015 7:50 PM ET

By Jon Hartzell, NBA.com

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Cavaliers Essay

Jared Greenberg breaks down the 2014-15 Cavaliers roller coaster season.

LeBron James played more games (34,364) before the age of 30 than any player in NBA history. After such a grind, it's only right that he takes two weeks to rest his sore knees and back.

How will other fantasy contributors on the Cavaliers be affected by his absence?

Kyrie Irving

Irving's field goal attempts were through-the-roof during his first three games without James as he shot 25.7 times per game. The volume was a nice up-tick over his season average of 16.4. But he only shot 39 percent and threw in four turnovers per game with the increased usage. Now sidelined for at least Monday's game against Philadelphia with a sore back, Irving's chance to shine with James on the bench is off to a poor start.

Kevin Love

With James and Irving sidelined, Love scored a season-high 30 points against the Mavericks on Sunday to go along with ten rebounds and three 3-pointers. This performance followed a 27-point outing on 60 percent shooting against Charlotte on Friday. It's obvious the points will stay high for Love as he moves into the number-one scoring role with James out and owners should finally see numbers that match the high draft slot (average selection at pick 8) that he was picked.

Tristan Thompson

Thompson's minutes saw a heavy increase after Anderson Varejao's season-ending injury and his usage will continue to rise with James on the bench. He's averaging 13.6 points and 12.4 rebounds over his last five games and should remain a consistent double-dobule contributor. But don't expect much other production as he's totaled just two steals, four assists and five blocks over that same five-game span.

Week 11 Schedule Breakdown

Four games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, NYK, PHI, PHO, POR, UTA, WAS
Three games: DAL, DEN, GSW, NOP, OKC, ORL, SAC, SAS
Two games: MIA, TOR

Pick 'Em Up

Jusuf Nurkic - 10 percent owned

The 20-year-old rookie from Bosnia is averaging 23.9 minutes over Denver's last three games with 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists. The minutes should remain for Nurkic as the Nuggets turn their focus to development over wins and he looks to be a solid standard league option going forward.

Let 'Em Go

Larry Sanders - 58 percent owned

After missing four straight games because of illness, Sanders remains sidelined for "personal reasons," according to coach Jason Kidd. There's no timetable for his return and Kidd indicated Sanders would have to earn his starting job back from Zaza Pachulia whenever he rejoins the team. This stretch just adds to the list of disappointments for Sanders, who is averaging 7.3 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on the season.

Fantasy Insider

Rick Kamla looks ahead to the upcoming week in fantasy hoops.

FANTASY WEEKLY

Week 10: Top Stat Lines of 2014

Week 9: How Does Rondo Affect Dallas?

Week 8: Rise Of Draymond

Week 7: Best Point Guards

Week 6: The Rondo Problem

Week 5: Sell High Options

Week 4: Buy Low Options

Week 3: Don't Doubt Drummond

Week 2: Who Will Step Up In OKC?

Week 1: Fantasy Draft Kit

Be sure to follow @NBAFantasy and @HartzellNBA on Twitter for analysis, tips and advice throughout the 2014-15 NBA season!