Welcome to the Damn Lies & Statistics Monday Live Blog, where Jeff Andriesse, Greg Fox and Tom Lorenzo will post late-breaking news and analysis to help you prepare to set your weekly lineups. Send us your questions on Twitter, and we’ll do our best to answer them here. Follow us at @JeffAndriesse, @TomLorenzo and @gregfoxy5.
Check back throughout the day for updates to this post.
9:50 a.m. – Morning all! For most fantasy owners, it ain’t a good morning. So many “day-to-day” fantasy stars, I’ve nearly lost count. This is what we’ve steeled ourselves for since the lockout lifted. Hardly any training camp, players in various stages of “shape”, injuries from the summer that trainers couldn’t attend to, and just the general wear and tear from a 66-game slate… it all adds up to the following list of iffy players for Week 5: Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Chris Paul, Andrea Bargnani, Spencer Hawes, Joakim Noah, Rajon Rondo, Gerald Wallace, Luol Deng, Ray Allen, D.J. Augustin, Arron Afflalo. We’ll be keeping close tabs on each of these guys throughout the day, and we’re sure there will be a few more added to the list, so hopefully you have some reinforcements at the ready. We know Nowitzki is out for three more games at least, and should be benched. Augustin will miss a few games as well with an inflamed toe. Feel free to send us your add/drop or lineup questions, either on Twitter or in the Comments, and we’ll do our best to answer them without pulling something ourselves. – Jeff Andriesse
10:12 a.m. – It warrants mentioning that Roy Hibbert broke his nose in last night’s game vs. the Lakers. The reason he’s not on the above list is that he’s expected to play. The Pacers have four games this week – two vs. Dwight Howard, though – and it is possible Hibbert might not have a great week. Still, it’s only good news that he’s set to play. Start him. – Jeff Andriesse
10:33 a.m. – Twitter questions from @conradburry:
avg-based league: start Mullens, P. George, or Parsons? (also, start Melo in that same league?)
Avg-based league: Are G-Wall and/or Bargs safe to start? Diaw is my GWall backup and Teague is Bargs backup at my flex…
I’d say Paul George is the start out of those three. Carmelo Anthony is a little banged up (bad wrist) but that’s probably just a cover for his awful shooting lately. Start him. I think you’ll see both Wallace and Bargnani back this week, but the question is: when? My guess is they both miss one game of their four-game weeks. Jeff Teague should probably be in your lineup anyways, and no, I wouldn’t start Boris Diaw over a three-game week from either Wallace or Bargs. – Jeff Andriesse
It’s strange seeing “should I start Melo?” questions popping up, but there’s certainly some cause for concern. If you’ve watched the Knicks last few games you can tell that he’s banged up and bothered by his wrist injury. His shooting has just been awful. That said, you can also see that he’s been the only true offensive option on that team (see: the last 22 minutes against the Bucks). I say you start him. He’s trying to push through whatever’s bothering him, and while his percentages might hurt you, he’s still going to make sure he gets his (scoring-wise, that is). On that second question, I agree with Jeff. Start Teague and (please!) sit Diaw. We might have already seen the best of Diaw, and we’re still only about a third of the way through the season. He’s a Rec League player, at best. – Tom Lorenzo
11:14 a.m. – The New York Post‘s Marc Berman reports that Baron Davis is set to practice with the Knicks today, and that the team is hopeful Davis debuts on Saturday in Houston. Wow. Okay, so it is time to make sure Davis isn’t available in your leagues. The Knicks are desperate for a shakeup in the backcourt and need a true point guard like Davis to step in. The numbers might be more ugly than pretty, but if he starts strong he could solidify himself as a nice addition to any fantasy team in need of assists and maybe some threes and steals. Just remember, this is Baron Davis we’re talking about – he is likely in questionable shape, a shell of his former self, and a candidate to get hurt again at any time. – Jeff Andriesse
12:22 p.m. – We’re talking some mighty ugly percentages here. And yes, he will get hurt. – Greg Fox
11:43 a.m. – No Spencer Hawes tonight. Elton Brand is a game-time decision (illness). – Jeff Andriesse
12:16 p.m. – Nikola Vucevic might be worth a spot start. – Greg Fox
12:39 p.m. – Derrick Rose is a game-time decision but K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune says that Rose is likely to play tonight vs. New Jersey. He also reports that Luol Deng and Taj Gibson are out and Joakim Noah is “likely in”. It looks like Rose’s toe injury won’t fully heal this season. I’m sure he’s itching to get back out there. Meanwhile, Kyle Korver and Omer Asik could have nice games tonight, not to mention Richard Hamilton.
12:53 p.m. – Noah isn’t completely healthy, so Asik should still get around 25 minutes. He seems to do a lot with a little, particularly in rebounding and shot-blocking. – Greg Fox
1:40 p.m. – Jamez Estrella on Twitter asks:
is now the time to drop (DeJuan) Blair for (Tiago) Splitter?
This is a key question facing fantasy owners right now – what to make of Tiago Splitter? I think he’s a solid deep-league pickup right now, and you certainly have to take a chance, but I’m loathe to just drop Blair for him. Both players will alternate having nice nights, especially if Tim Duncan gets regular rest. If you are in a shallow league and need to make a move, Splitter’s the hotter play right now. This seems like one of those situations where as soon as you drop Blair he’ll go for 14 & 12. – Jeff Andriesse
2:30 p.m. – Blair’s minutes have been truly disappointing this year and he will not block any shots regardless. Between the two, I’d take my chances with Splitter, who has finally found his confidence. – Greg Fox
3:47 p.m. – Carmelo and Gerald Wallace are in. Derrick Rose is a gametime call. His big piggy still isn’t 100 percent. – Greg Fox