Mondays at Damn Lies headquarters during the season are similar to the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after, say, the collapse of a European economy, or a major oil spill in the Gulf. The only difference is that we take our fantasy basketball WAY more seriously. We oscillate between spittle-heavy adding and dropping on the waiver wire to catatonic stares lasting upwards of a half hour at the latest injury news as it rolls in. In the latest Damn Lies live blog, we try to harness our calm and rational thoughts into something useful for fantasy owners. Throughout the day today we’ll be discussing the latest news around the league and offering our analysis in hopes that we can all set lineups that won’t have us walking into traffic by halftime of the first game tonight.
Follow along throughout the day, and feel free to send your lineup, add/drop or trade questions to us on Twitter. Follow Jeff here, Tom here and Greg here. We’ll answer some questions in this post. You can also check out Greg’s Start, Drop & Roll advice column here, and Jeff’s Week 6 Lineup Rankings here. Good luck!
10:05 a.m. – We have our eyes on several players this morning, waiting for news on if they’ll play this week. Varying reports on Rajon Rondo place him either back tomorrow night (Doc Rivers) or out until the All-Star Break (Rondo himself). Luol Deng didn’t play vs. Miami yesterday but is apparently very close to returning. The Bulls play tonight against the Wizards, however. Deng could rest for one more game. Ty Lawson also sat out Sunday in a game he was thought to return in, so we’re proceeding with caution this week. Kevin Martin and Carmelo Anthony should both play this week, but we’re on the hunt for clearer information all day. – Jeff Andriesse
10:11 a.m. – Tom & Greg: Are you buying in on Jerryd Bayless? He was inserted into the starting lineup in Toronto and could wind up putting up some nice numbers. The Raps certainly need scorers with Andrea Bargnani out indefinitely. – Jeff Andriesse
Jeff, I’m buying into Bayless. I think you look at the fact that Leandro Barbosa can never stay healthy as a key here. Bayless is a talented kid, and not having someone like Barbosa breathing down his neck looking to steal minutes allows him to relax a little. I could see him posting around 13-15 with 3 and 3, plus a three and an occasional steal — throw in the random high-ceiling game, too. That’s not too shabby off the wires. – Tom Lorenzo
The fact that this Raptors team actually won a game with Bayless contributing in 34 minutes is a good sign for him. I’d pick him up in a heartbeat as this team desperately needs his scoring. – Greg Fox
10:39 a.m. – First Twitter question comes from our Norm, Conrad Burry:
Avg-based pts (stats = 1pt, asts = 2pts, TOs = -1pt): Start 2 of these (at least 1 F): Elton (Brand), Beas (Michael Beasley), AndyV (Anderson Varejao), Roddy (Rodrigue Beaubois), & (Brandon) Knight?
Conrad, I think I’d go with Varejao and Knight. Brand has been playing pretty well in terms of defensive stats but his minutes, rebounds and points have been inconsistent. Varejao is just a workmanlike producer you can count on. And with the Pistons playing five games and Ben Gordon hurt, Knight’s a must-start. – Jeff Andriesse
I have to agree with Jeff here. I’m big on Knight right now, especially with Gordon out. And really you can’t go wrong with Varejao. You’re looking at a near nightly double-double with solid defensive stats. Plus, he starts off the week against the Celtics, a team he always seems to play well against. – Tom Lorenzo
As long as he stays out of foul trouble, you know that Varejao will give you a tiny double-double with decent defensive stats. Can’t get hurt with him. Knight is a solid start with five games, but I love Beaubois this week as J-Kidd should remain out. He’ll help in scoring and assists, but he’s also blocked 10 shots over his last three games. That’s outrageous. – Greg Fox
12:01 p.m. – Early injury updates: Spencer Hawes is out tonight (ugh) and Kevin Martin is expected to play. – Jeff Andriesse
Remember when Hawes was considered one of the top value picks over the first month of the season? Yeah, me neither. – Tom Lorenzo
12:26 p.m. – The Nets have put out a statement that MarShon Brooks has a broken little toe on his right foot and is out indefinitely. This on the heels of him coming off the bench and Avery Johnson saying he’d limit his minutes. Not good. Owners of Anthony Morrow, rejoice (or maybe just joice once). I just dropped Brooks for Jimmer Fredette in one of my leagues. – Jeff Andriesse
Don’t sleep on Jordan Farmar either, especially in deeper leagues. Farmar is getting 23-25 minutes nightly, with Brooks and DeShawn Stevenson hurt, and he’s seeing time alongside Deron Williams in two-PG sets. There’s no doubt that Morrow is the better scorer, but Farmar has a complete repertoire as a playmaker (he had 7 assists last night). He should be looked at in 12- to 14-team leagues. – Tom Lorenzo
12:53 p.m. – Attention Al Jefferson owners – you might want to look away. Here’s Brian Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune:
Largest limp Jefferson’s shown this season. Would be surprised if he takes court vs. Blazers.
Jefferson’s dealing with an ankle problem should be considered day-to-day and highly questionable for tonight’s game vs. Portland. – Jeff Andriesse
As a MarShon Brooks and Al Jefferson owner, I continue to ruin the careers of many unsuspecting NBA players. Good news for both Anthony Morrow and Derrick Favors, but I also agree with Tom that Farmar could be a nice add. – Greg Fox
Oh, and Steve Nash (thigh) is a game-time decision tonight. Thought you’d enjoy that one, Greg. – Jeff Andriesse
I’ll start Nash and he’ll miss the entire week. – Greg Fox
3:37 p.m. – Question for the peanut gallery: Is Reggie Williams worth monitoring? The kid can score, and he’s due back this week for Charlotte. They are awful and he can be, at worst, a solid third guard behind Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson, if not the starting small forward until Corey Maggette returns in 2023. – Jeff Andriesse
Yeah, I’m definitely keeping an eye on Williams. He definitely fills a big need in Charlotte. They can use any scorer they can get right now — heck, any live body will do. I wouldn’t necessarily add him just yet, but I’m definitely going to keep an eye on him. After all, his coach loves him. How can you go wrong with a Paul Silas guy? Wait, never mind… – Tom Lorenzo
5:50 p.m. – According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post, Andray Blatche is out 3-5 weeks with a calf strain. Oh, Andray. How you perpetually disappoint us so. I suppose Jan Vesely and Trevor Booker benefit, but I’m lukewarm on both. – Jeff Andriesse
6:08 p.m. – Final items: Luol Deng is out tonight vs. Washington. No surprise. He might return this week but nothing is official yet. Richard Hamilton will also sit tonight with a groin injury. Jameer Nelson (concussion) is out for the week. Grab Chris Duhon but keep expectations low. No Jason Richardson (knee) tonight for Orlando. J.J. Redick should have a good week. – Jeff Andriesse