The Denver Nuggets are struggling with injuries and they’re forced to mix and match players at different positions. For some, it’s good news because leagues with lax eligibility requirements might find more positional versatility for their Fantasy options.
For instance, PF Kenneth Faried made the start at center Sunday against the New Orleans Pelicans. While he didn’t look entirely comfortable in the role, misfiring on five of his six field goal attempts, he is expected to see all the minutes he can handle with several injuries in the frontcourt, and the potential added eligibility is a plus.
Faried is seeing time in the middle with F/C Darrell Arthur (calf) and C Jusuf Nurkic (ankle) each sidelined. Arthur is nearing a return, but those in deeper Fantasy leagues will want to keep him reserved until he can officially return and prove his health in at least one full game without any setbacks. As far as Nurkic is concerned, he has emerged as a must-start when healthy. However, it appears he will be sidelined for an extended period, as head coach told The Denver Post that Nurkic will be “out a while.”
With the injuries, F/C Joffrey Lauvergne has emerged as a sleeper for Fantasy owners in leagues of 12 or more teams. He has double-double potential in a starting role. J.J. Hickson came off the bench Sunday, but he is still receiving starter-type minutes and is worth using as a No. 5 or 6 forward in most formats.
There is good news for swingman Wilson Chandler (groin) and his Fantasy owners. He was back in the starting lineup Sunday, and it appears safe to get him back into the starting lineup in most formats.
In other news, former Nuggets big man JaVale McGee was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers so he can pursue a deal with a contender down the stretch. The 76ers agreed to buy him out, and he is expected to ink a deal for the minimum at a chance to play in the postseason. His situation requires monitoring, as he could find some playing time in the right situation, and he could potentially re-emerge as a Fantasy option in some formats.
Miami Heat PG Goran Dragic (back) is dealing with a back injury, and he is questionable for Monday’s game against Phoenix. It’s hard to imagine he won’t do everything in his power to play against his former team, but know he is a bit of a risk for Fantasy owners heading into the new week. If he sits Monday and beyond, PG Mario Chalmers is likely to be the biggest beneficiary. There will be an update before the lineup lock, so grab Chalmers in Daily Fantasy if Dragic is officially ruled out. G Shabazz Napier also might see some extra run if Dragic is held out.
The Oklahoma City Thunder played Sunday’s win at L.A. Lakers without PG Russell Westbrook, who sat out with a facial injury. He might be back for the team’s next game Wednesday. With just three games on the upcoming schedule, he is a risky play since news of his availability for Wednesday will come well after lineups lock for those in standard leagues. PG D.J. Augustin will continue to start as long as Westbrook is on the mend.
The Thunder did get good news when PF/C Enes Kanter (thigh) was able to return Sunday after a thigh bruise caused him to miss a game. He responded by posting 16 points with 15 rebounds, so feel confident plugging him back into your starting Fantasy lineup.
Philadelphia 76ers big man Nerlens Noel (calf, quadriceps) shook off multiple leg injuries to play Sunday, and he responded with 10 points and 12 boards to go along with three blocked shots. After the double-double and solid amount of swats, it appears safe to plug Noel back into the active lineup in standard weekly formats, especially since the team has four games on tap this week.
Sacramento Kings SG Ben McLemore (finger) suffered a finger injury in Sunday’s game against Portland, and he was seen wearing a sleeve on his finger after the contest. However, he expects to be fine, so Fantasy owners will want to keep him in the starting grid. The Kings have four games in the upcoming week, and he has been posting respectable numbers lately, including 12 points with two rebounds, two steals and a pair of triples Sunday.
Lastly, Rotisserie owners will be glad to use Charlotte Hornets PF/C Bismack Biyombo (knee) again. He returned Sunday after a lengthy absence due to a bone bruise. He is worth adding in all deeper leagues for his rebounding and blocked shot ability.
Teams with four games (18): Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Sacramento, Toronto, Utah
Teams with three games (12): Atlanta, Detroit, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Portland, San Antonio, Washington
MON Phoenix at Miami (7:30pm NBATV)
TUE Houston at Atlanta (7:30pm NBATV)
WED L.A. Lakers at Miami (8:00pm ESPN), Portland at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm ESPN)
THU Oklahoma City at Chicago (8:00pm TNT), Dallas at Portland (10:30pm TNT)
FRI Phoenix at Brooklyn (8:00pm ESPN), Dallas at Golden State (10:30pm ESPN)
SAT Phoenix at Cleveland (7:30pm NBATV)
SUN Chicago at San Antonio (1:00 pm ABC), L.A. Clippers at Golden State (3:30pm ABC), Toronto at Oklahoma City (7:00pm NBATV), Dallas at L.A. Lakers (9:30 pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy Hoops play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
POINTS PER GAME
Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento (13.8 PPG past six games)
Tony Snell, SG, Chicago (13.6 PPG past seven games)
Wayne Ellington, SG, L.A. Lakers (13.0 PPG past six games)
Henry Walker, SG, Miami (11.8 PPG past four games)
Alexis Ajinca, C, New Orleans (11.7 PPG past seven games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Jason Thompson, PF, Sacramento (8.2 RPG past six games)
Omri Casspi, SF, Sacramento (7.0 RPG past six games)
Ian Mahinmi, C, Indiana (7.0 RPG past five games)
Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, Dallas (6.8 RPG past eight games)
Joffrey Lauvergne, PF, Denver (6.8 RPG past four games)
Elijah Millsap, SG, Utah (6.6 RPG past seven games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
Tim Frazier, PG, Philadelphia (6.0 APG past four games)
Dennis Schroder, PG, Atlanta (4.9 APG past seven games)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami/New Orleans (4.3 APG past six games)
Spencer Dinwiddie, PG, Detroit (4.2 APG past six games)
Ish Smith, PG, Philadelphia (4.0 APG past four games)
STEALS PER GAME
Elijah Millsap, SG, Utah (2.1 SPG past seven games)
Nick Calathes, PG, Memphis (2.1 SPG past seven games)
Kent Bazemore, SF, Atlanta (1.7 SPG past seven games)
Markel Brown, SG, Brooklyn (1.7 SPG past six games)
Joe Ingles, SF, Utah (1.6 SPG past five games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Miles Plumlee, C, Brooklyn (2.0 BPG past five games)
Bernard James, C, Dallas (1.8 BPG past four games)
DeWayne Dedmon, C, Orlando (1.7 BPG past six games)
Dante Cunningham, PF, New Orleans (1.6 BPG past seven games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Tony Snell, SG, Chicago (17 3PT past seven games)
Charlie Villanueva, PF, Dallas (16 3PT past six games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Detroit (15 3PT past seven games)
Luke Babbitt, SF, New Orleans (13 3PT past seven games)
Alan Anderson, SG, Brooklyn (13 3PT past seven games)
(statistics through March 1, 2015)