Original to RotoExperts.com
Much like the calendar year, many ankles are starting to turn in the NBA. Injuries to high-profile players are piling up. You have sprains, bumps, bruises, tears and flu-like symptoms as the main culprits. So, naturally, you need to make due off the wires. This week I’ve decided to go around the league and touch on the most Fantasy-relevant injuries in the NBA. We’ll talk short-term and long-term injuries, plus point to a few players who can help you while you’re dealing with a gimpy player.
Atlanta: Marvin Williams (back) is not expected to play for the Hawks this week. Jamal Crawford has seen more minutes due to Williams’ absence, though he’s not going to be available in your league. Deeper leagues could look at Maurice Evans, but he has no real place in 12-team leagues.
Boston: Paul Pierce sprained his ankle on Sunday against the Raptors, but the injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Unfortunately, the Celtics have to turn around and play again on Monday. He is considered a game-time decision. … Kevin Garnett is out for another 10-14 days. With that being the case, Glen Davis is a must-own in all formats.
Charlotte: The Bobcats will be without Gerald Wallace on Monday night due to an ankle sprain. He is listed as day-to-day and Gerald Henderson will replace him in the starting lineup. Henderson is not worth a look in 12-team leagues. … Tyrus Thomas is expected back in the lineup on Monday night. He’s played well under new head coach Paul Silas, and with Wallace out he should get some nice run against the Heat.
Chicago: Center Joakim Noah is out until sometime in March. Taj Gibson is the add while Noah rehabs his thumb.
Cleveland: Anderson Varejao did not play on Sunday due to a broken bone in his cheek. He is, however, expected to play on Wednesday, hopefully wearing a mask! … Daniel Gibson was out on Sunday with a thigh injury. He too is expected back on Wednesday, so you’ll probably want to downgrade Ramon Sessions.
Dallas: The Mavs may have lost Caron Butler for the rest of the year to a tendon tear in his knee. Some reports have him returning in two months, but those are the more optimistic of reports. Shawn Marion is now a must-own in all formats. … Dirk Nowitzki is expected back at the end of the week. Strangely, it is DeShawn Stevenson who is getting the biggest bump in the Nowitzki injury. He can be added for the next two games, but once Dirk returns he should be returned to the wires.
Denver: Al Harrington is a game-time decision forMonday night. I wouldn’t bother starting him though, since he’s been struggling of late.
Detroit: The Pistons expect to have Rodney Stuckey (flu) back in the starting lineup on Monday. Go ahead and make the appropriate roster moves.
Golden State: Big man Andris Biedrins is out for at least another week with a sprained ankle. Lou Amundson has seen an increase in playing time, though he really has very little Fantasy value. Same goes for Ekpe Udoh.
Houston:Chuck Hayes will miss the next 2-4 weeks with an ankle sprain. The Rockets have tried Jordan Hill at center, but he hasn’t been anything worth sniffing at in standard 12-team leagues. They’ll likely make due playing smaller and moving Luis Scola to center at times, slotting in Brad Miller off the bench to help.
Los Angeles Clippers: The Clippers expect to be without Chris Kaman for another few weeks due to a severe ankle sprain. Until then you can look to the talented, yet highly inconsistent DeAndre Jordan for rebounds, blocks and a nice FG%.
Los Angeles Lakers: None.
Miami: The Heat are still trying to work Mike Miller back into the rotation. He has played in only four of six games since returning on December 20. He’s averaging seven minutes per game and scoring less than a point per contest. When healthy he should be owned in all leagues. Until then, however, keep him on your bench.
Milwaukee: The Bucks are expecting to have Drew Gooden back in the lineup this week. He has been out with a foot injury. Gooden is a nice Fantasy play in 12-team leagues when healthy, but you probably want to wait to see him back on the court before you go and snatch him up. … Brandon Jennings (foot) and Carlos Delfino (head) are both out for an extended period.
Minnesota: Jonny Flynn (ankle) is expected back in the lineup on Monday night, though that doesn’t mean he’ll see much playing time. He has been backing up Luke Ridnour at point guard and is expected to do so while Ridnour continues to produce.
New Jersey: Troy Murphy missed this weekend’s action with the flu. He should be good to go this week, though you should not have him in your lineup. … The Nets are hoping to get Anthony Morrow (hamstring) back sometime in the middle or end of January. He’s one of the top shooters in the league, which makes him a two- or three-category filler when healthy.
New Orleans: None.
New York: Danilo Gallinari injured his knee late in the Knicks victory against the Pacers on Sunday. He is going to be listed as day-to-day, but should be ready to play against the Spurs on Tuesday. … Eddy Curry is, well, I’ll be kind and say that he is “injured.”
Oklahoma City: None.
Philadelphia: Andre Iguodala remains out with a sore Achilles. He is expected to miss at least five more games, possibly more. While he’s out, Andres Nocioni will start in his place, though he isn’t really an enticing option for Fantasy owners. As a starter, Nocioni is averaging 10.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.2 threes, and 0.7 steals (12 starts). Decent numbers, but nothing special.
Portland: It’s likely that the Blazers are going to be without Brandon Roy for an extended period of time thanks to his ailing knee. Right know we’re hearing he’s out “indefinitely,” but that probably actually means we won’t be seeing him until after the All-Star break, if I’m reading into that correctly. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are worth adding in all leagues while Roy remains out.
Sacramento: Beno Udrih injured his knee on Sunday and is listed as questionable for Tuesday night against the Hawks. If he can’t go expect Francisco Garcia to see a bump in value along with Omri Casspi. Both have 12-team value with Udrih out.
San Antonio: None.
Toronto: Andrea Bargnani (calf) did not play on Sunday and is questionable for Tuesday night. Joey Dorsey has started at center for the Raptors while Bargnani has been out. Dorsey is a decent play, as he proved on Sunday with his double-double against the Celtics. He has three double-doubles on the season, but he’s also been known to put up a two-point, four-rebound performance on any given night.
Utah: Mehmet Okur is dealing with a sore back and is listed as questionable for Monday night… C.J. Miles has the flu and he too is listed as a game-time decision.
Washington: Kirk Hinrich is day-to-day with a thigh injury. He still remains a must-own player in all formats, but while he’s out you can run with Nick Young as a nice scoring option. Once Hinrich returns, however, Young has little value. Especially with John Wall healthy.
*All stats as of Monday, Jan. 3 (prior to the start of Monday night’s action).
You can contact Tom at Lorenzo@RotoExperts.com. Send him your Fantasy questions and he’ll make sure to get back to you in no time.