There are plenty of injuries around The Association. We take a look at the most important injuries for Fantasy owners, analyzing not only the injured player and when he’ll be back, but who benefits from his absence.
The Atlanta Hawks welcomed back PF Paul Millsap (knee) to the starting lineup Friday, and Fantasy owners everywhere rejoiced. Well, except the Fantasy owners of Mike Scott, who will now be irrelevant in most formats once again. Millsap is a must-start when healthy, but keep an eye on his minutes totals over the weekend. He could have a minutes restriction in his few couple of games. If he plays without any cap, it will be safe to play him in all Fantasy leagues.
As expected, Boston Celtics C Vitor Faverani (knee) had an arthroscopy to repair a torn lateral meniscus, and he is done for the season. Really, it isn’t a tremendous loss for Fantasy owners, but if you were holding out hope he would return, you can safely drop him.
Brooklyn Nets PF/C Kevin Garnett (back) was sidelined again Friday due to his ailing back, so C Mason Plumlee stepped into the starting five again. Garnett has looked old and broken down this season, and it is a shame to see a once great player age so quickly. As far as Fantasy value is concerned, it is PF Andray Blatche who continues to roll right along, while Plumlee is serviceable only in deeper formats.
Chicago Bulls C Joakim Noah (thumb) suffered a sprained thumb last time out, but the plan is for him to play through the nagging injury. It is the type of injury which could affect his shooting, although he isn’t a tremendous scoring threat anyway. The real key will be to see if the injury affects his rebounding ability or his blocked shots. As long as he suffers no setback over the weekend, he is a must-start in all Fantasy leagues going forward.
Houston Rockets PG Patrick Beverley (nose) plans to play through a broken nose, and the team’s official website reports that he might try to play without a protective mask. For Fantasy concerns, as long as he isn’t hit in the face again, suffering further damage, he will be worth using in most Fantasy leagues in the upcoming week.
Indiana Pacers PG C.J. Watson (elbow) is nursing an elbow injury which cost him a second straight game Friday. Really, he is only worth retaining in the deepest of Fantasy leagues now that PG George Hill is back from his injury. Plus, the presence of recent acquisition Evan Turner doesn’t do much for Watson’s Fantasy appeal.
Los Angeles Clippers SG Jamal Crawford (calf) missed a third straight game Thursday due to a strained left calf, although it multiple reports seem to indicate Crawford’s return will come sooner, rather than later, and perhaps as early as the weekend. Wait until he can play a full game to prove his health before plugging him back into your active Fantasy lineup. … SG J.J. Redick (back) continues to sit, and there is no word when he’ll be back. Keep him on your bench or injured reserve spot until further notice.
The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be without SF Nick Young (knee), and it is uncertain when he will return. The emergence of SG Kent Bazemore has certainly lessened the blow of Young’s absence, however. … The Lakers were also without big man Jordan Hill (knee) Thursday in Denver due to a sore right knee. Lately, Hill had been limited to a total of just 12 minutes in two games last week, so even when he is healthy, head coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t appear to have much faith in Hill.
Milwaukee Bucks PF Ekpe Udoh (knee) continues to be hampered by a knee injury, and it is uncertain when he’ll be able to return and play effectively. Plus, there really isn’t a rush, since the Bucks are horrible, and newcomer SFJeff Adrien has done an admirable job gobbling up rebounds in Udoh’s stead.
The Orlando Magic have PG Jameer Nelson (illness) and SG Victor Oladipo (ankle) traveling with the team, and it is possible they play Saturday. If you’re a Fantasy owner of either, watch how they play, if they play, Saturday. If they are able to make it through the game without any setbacks, it will be safe to play them in the upcoming Fantasy week.
Philadelphia 76ers head coach Brett Brown provided an update on a pair of injured players, and neither sound like they’ll be returning anytime soon. Rookie C Nerlens Noel (knee) is slowly progressing, but Brown said he is not close to playing, and it sounds unlikely that we’ll see the rookie this season. … Brown does not expect swingmanJason Richardson (knee) back this season, either, and frankly, it would be shocking to see him play given that the team has all but packed it in. … F Brandon Davies (finger) is still at least a week away from returning from a dislocated finger suffered in mid-January. When he is able to return, he might see some decent minutes down the stretch, making him worth a look in deeper leagues.
Portland Trail Blazers big man Thomas Robinson (knee) is back from a strained left patella tendon, and that is the good news. The bad news is that PF/C LaMarcus Aldridge has since returned from injury, splashing cold water on Robinson’s Fantasy value. He is only worth a look in the deepest of formats until the Portland frontcourt is struck by another injury.
Toronto Raptors SF Terrence Ross (ankle) was in the starting lineup for Friday’s game against Sacramento, and he only missed one game as a result of the injury. Check his progress Friday and over the weekend. If he is able to post decent stat lines without the injury affecting his shot, get him back into the active lineup.
Washington Wizards swingman Martell Webster (back) was able to practice Friday, and all signs point to him suiting up for Saturday’s game against the lowly Milwaukee Bucks. If he makes it through that game without any setbacks or limitations, it will be safe to use him in all Fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams. … Meanwhile, PF/CKevin Seraphin (knee) did not practice, and his return date remains unclear. With the big man Nene (knee) potentially out for the rest of the year, Seraphin could be a vital cog in the offense in D.C. once he returns. For now, PF Trevor Booker continues to log heavy minutes, and has some appeal in deeper leagues and daily formats for his cheap salary.