The injuries are piling up in Fantasy Basketball and for those owners in rotisserie/category formats, the show must go on. We have to continue to find ways to accumulate statistics regardless of the circumstances. Some big names already on the mend include DeMarcus Cousins, Nerlens Noel, Tyson Chandler, Ricky Rubio, Luol Deng, Harrison Barnes and now, Al Jefferson. That could potentially be somebody’s entire Fantasy team! Nonetheless, young players are emerging while veterans are providing consistent production. Take a look at the list below and pick and choose based on the categories you need.
Last season, C.J. Miles was an undervalued 3-point specialist and it appears he’s headed for the same path this season, based on his ownership percentages. Despite the fact that he made 13 three-pointers last week in just three games played, he’s still owned in just 58-percent of Yahoo! leagues and 54.5-percent of ESPN leagues. Monta Ellis was expected to help shoulder the scoring load for the Pacers this season, but thus far he’s averaging a career-low 12.8 points per game. Miles has certainly picked up the slack in recent weeks. Over his last nine games, he’s averaging 16.8 points, 3.2 three-pointers made, and just over one steal per game. He’s been a productive player throughout his career but for him to be a legitimate Fantasy option, it all comes down to playing time. Through 13 games, he’s playing a career-high 28.2 minutes per game. Since he’s so reliant on his shooting, the field goal percentage will fluctuate as seen with most shooters. He should be owned in all leagues that have three-pointers made and three-point percentage as a category.
Looking Deeper: The aforementioned Deng is dealing with a strained hamstring and the beneficiary of his absence has been journeyman Gerald Green. Green has transformed his game from human highlight reel into an efficient long-range shooter, if nothing else. He’s started in Deng’s absence, averaging 14.8 points per game over a four-game span, including a 25-point outburst against the Knicks. During that time, he’s also contributed 2.3 three-pointers made per game. Deng will return later this week, but Green will continue to be one of the first guys off the bench for Erik Spoelstra.
The injury to Tyson Chandler has influenced a ton of players on the Phoenix Suns but perhaps none more than T.J. Warren. The 22-year-old sophomore has seen an increase in playing time over the past four games and he has the numbers to show for it. During that span, Warren is averaging 19.3 points on nearly 60-percent shooting to go along with 5.3 rebounds per game. Warren is still a young kid but it’s obvious he can be a legitimate scorer at the NBA level. It would take improvement on the defensive end for him to overtake P.J. Tucker as the starter in Phoenix. In the meantime with Chandler out, Warren is proving himself. He was a serious scoring threat in college at North Carolina State, as well as a willing rebounder. In his final season at the college, he averaged nearly 25 points along with seven rebounds per game. There’s no doubt he can play, but like most other players at this level it just comes down to playing time. While he keeps this up he’s worth owning in 12-team leagues and deeper.
Looking Deeper: Veteran swingman Matt Barnes has come on of late, partially due to a Zach Randolph injury, which allowed him to earn more minutes at the small forward position. Barnes has scored in double-digits in each of his last six games, adding at least one steal and one 3-pointer made in five of six contests. He’s averaged nearly six rebounds per game over that span and with a team fluctuating as much as the Grizzlies, they could sure use some of Barnes’ consistency. His upside is certainly limited but with his usage rate the highest it’s been in three seasons, he’s worth a look in 14-team leagues or deeper.
Once Kevin McHale was fired as the Head Coach of the Houston Rockets, interim coach J.B. Bickerstaff claimed there would be changes to starting lineup as well as the overall rotation. He wasn’t lying. One of those early moves has been inserting 21-year-old Clint Capela into the starting lineup to play alongside Dwight Howard. Entering the league, Capela was considered a raw prospect out of Geneva, Switzerland but he’s made tremendous strides in just his second season. In the seven games he’s been on the court at least 22 minutes this season, Capela has averaged 12.4 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game. Capela was inserted into the lineup to help tighten up the interior defense. He and Dwight together are a formidable duo, both standing near 7-feet tall. He showed consistency in the D-League last season as well, averaging 16 points, 9.7 rebounds, and three blocks in just over 24 minutes of play each night. His 88.5-inch wingspan makes him a legitimate shot-blocker and rebounder. Assuming he stays in the starting lineup, Fantasy owners could be looking at a double-double machine with a couple of blocks per game. He’s worth spending up to 10-percent of your FAAB budget to acquire.
Looking Deeper: As a New York Knicks fan, it’s been an up and down season thus far, but perhaps none more down than for Robin Lopez. The 27-year-old veteran was brought in to sure up defense and rebounding in the Big Apple but really he been very ineffective to this point. So much so that Head Coach Derek Fisher has called upon Kevin Seraphin to play minutes at center of late. Seraphin earned 32 minutes of playing time in his most recent game, scoring 14 points on 7 of 10 shooting to go along with seven rebounds, four blocks, and, unfortunately, five turnovers. Seraphin has always been a gifted offensive player, but his struggles with foul trouble have really been his Achilles heel. He won’t overtake Lopez as the starter just based on politics within the game (Lopez’s hefty contract) but he could establish himself as the first big man off the bench. He’s worth keeping an eye on in deeper leagues for now.