Fantasy Forecast: The Injury Bug Bites Fantasy Owners
The problem with trying to win a league title is always key injuries just when you need the players the most. And, this season is no exception. So, how do you navigate the injury minefield and know the difference between fact and fiction? That is why you come here… to get the scoop on what it all means. Let’s go through a few players, their injuries and what their outlook is to finish out the season.
Kobe Bryant: Kobe missed his fifth straight game Sunday, but he has no plans to shut it down in order to get ready for the playoffs. I would consider him questionable for the Tuesday game, but it sounds like he will be back in this season so he can knock off the rust.
Dwight Howard: Howard is out for the rest of the regular season, and is iffy for the post-season. You can cut him loose right now for standard leagues, and those in playoff leagues will want to give some serious consideration to moving on as well.
Kevin Love: With six games left this season, it is uncertain how much Love will see the court after suffering a mild concussion and neck strain last week. I’d go ahead and drop him if you can find a FA that is producing.
Steve Nash: Nash is dealing with hip problems and he is quoted as saying it was “killing” him before Saturday’s game. I’d consider him day-to-day, but not likely to shut it down.
Goran Dragic: Dragic is a waiver wire gem that is going to finish out the season as a top 2-3 play at the PG position. Over the last 15 days Dragic is averaging 21.0 points, 7.6 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.7 3-pointers a night. Feel confident in running him out there each and every night until you win your league title.
Klay Thompson: Thompson has been red hot over the past month, averaging 17.7 points, 1.3 steals and adding 2.4 3-pointers per-game. The problem with Thompson is that he doesn’t provide any other help to your fantasy squad unless you count free-throw percentage. His FG percentage is at 44.1 percent over the past month, and he been getting 2.9 rebounds and 2.6 assists a night over that span. SG is a scoring position anyway, and with the Warriors playing 5-games this week, I’d put Thompson in the top-5 at SG this week.
J.R. Smith: Smith qualifies at both SG and SF, so he has some versatility for fantasy owners. Smith is a streaky player, and when he is on you want him in your line-up. Right now he is on, averaging 16.3 points and 2.5 3-pointers a night for the Knicks. The downside to a streaky player is he can go cold at any moment, not to mention Smith’s propensity for landing in the coach’s doghouse. However, since he is good to go right now, ride this bandwagon until the wheels fall off!
Kevin Seraphin: I’ve been telling people about Seraphin for a few weeks now, and he has been making me look like a smart man. The kid is putting up 15.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.8 blocks a night over the last two weeks, incredible numbers from someone off the waiver wire in the second half of the season.
J.J. Hickson: Hickson is a PF, but qualifies at C. Because of that he can be a great asset for someone looking for production off the waiver wire. His 16.0 points and 11.0 rebounds a night over the past week would certainly be a welcomed sight for Howard and Love owners hurting for points and boards this week.
Darren Collison: Collison has missed four straight games with a bad hamstring, and with the Pacers rolling along under George Hill’s play, may want to just cut Collison altogether. Hill has the team playing well around him, which means the Pacers won’t put Collison back in until he is 100 percent ready.
Nick Young: I spent some time with Swaggy P this past summer, so I was excited to see how he would handle playing with the Clippers since he is from L.A. The results have not been the greatest as he has struggled to find his role and is averaging just 9.8 points in 24.9 MPG over the past month. Even worse is his FG percentage, which is a putrid 36.0 percent during that timeframe. Young is a sniper from the outside, and as long as his scope isn’t dialed in, you will want to let him be someone else’s problem.
Trevor Ariza: Did you know that almost 40 percent of people still own Ariza in ESPN leagues, and another 49 percent own him in Yahoo leagues? I can only assume that these are the players that live in the outskirt cities of the north and south poles because Ariza has been one of the worst fantasy players over the last 15 days. Ariza has managed to average just 8.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and is clocking 24.0 MPG. Not to mention he is logging the dreaded DNP-CD (Did Not Play – Coaches Decision) lately. If you are one of the 40-50 percent of people that are holding out hope for Ariza, just give it up and cut him loose while you still can.
Glen Davis: Davis left Sunday’s game after just 7 minutes due to a sprained knee. With Howard already out, the Magic can’t afford for Big Baby to be out as well. Monitor this closely as the MRI will tell us all we need to know. For right now, I’d sit him until we know for sure how severe the sprain is.
DeMarcus Cousins: If you looked up inconsistent in the dictionary, Cousins would be pictured right next to it, smiling and holding a Coca-Cola. Granted, the guy is a rebounding machine, grabbing double-digit rebounds in 4 of his last 7 games. The problem is that it is an every other game production, and he has complete garbage games in between. I personally don’t want to deal with the mental problems, nor the rollercoaster ride of stats that come with Cousins, so I am sitting him to finish out my fantasy season.
For more Fantasy advice, follow James Morris on Twitter or on Facebook and tune into SiriusXM channel 87 and Sirius channel 210 every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CT when he talks NBA fantasy hoops.