The big news this weekend was about an injury to yet another Fantasy starter.
Minnesota Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio (ankle) might miss seven to eight weeks due to the severe left ankle sprain he suffered Friday night in Orlando. The good news is that nothing was broken, but an MRI Saturday revealed a severe sprain. Now Fantasy owners are forced to make up for Rubio’s 9.4 points per game (PPG) and 10.0 assists per game (APG).
Veteran Mo Williams has not had his named bandied about much by Fantasy owners early on, but he is now front and center off the waiver wire. Don’t get too crazy blowing your FAAB budget on Williams, but he could be in the starting five for the next two months, so budget accordingly.
Friday night also saw Boston Celtics PG Marcus Smart (ankle) go down, and it’s a shame for his Fantasy owners. He was taken off on a stretcher, and initially the rookie’s injury appeared worse than Rubio. The good news is that X-rays were negative, and he is only expected to miss two to three weeks due to a bone bruise and sprained ankle. Smart would have seen an uptick in playing time Saturday in Chicago with PG Rajon Rondo (hand) out.
Rondo had a procedure Saturday to remove a screw from his surgically repaired left hand. That’s the bad news for his Fantasy owners. The good news is that Rondo is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday against Oklahoma City. Fantasy owners can feel confident using him in the upcoming week. However, keep in mind that the Celtics have just two games in the upcoming week, so those in cumulative Fantasy leagues might want to sit Rondo just to be on the safe side, in case he has some kind of restrictions against OKC.
With Smart out of the mix, G Phil Pressey and swing man Evan Turner should see more run, but only E.T. is worth grabbing in most Fantasy leagues right now. Pressey should only be an option in the deepest of leagues, unless G Avery Bradley also suffers some sort of injury in the coming weeks.
Lastly, Chicago Bulls G Derrick Rose (ankle) has been dealing with sprains of both of his ankles, and he was again inactive Saturday night. The team said he will be re-evaluated Sunday. The Bulls are on tap for three games next week, so even if he is forced out of one more games the blow will not be too tough to take. However, you knew what you were getting when you drafted Rose, a lot of uncertainty and a guy with a propensity for injury. The good news is that his injury is not knee-related, but it is still a problem since he has sprains in both ankles. The team has shut him down for two games, so it appears to be more than just a day-to-day thing. Start him at your own risk at this point.
Teams with four games (10): Atlanta, Detroit, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Lakers, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, San Antonio, Utah
Teams with three games (16): Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto
Teams with two games (4): Boston, L.A. Clippers, Philadelphia, Washington
MON Atlanta at New York (7:30pm, NBATV), San Antonio at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm NBATV)
TUE Orlando at Toronto (7:30pm NBATV), San Antonio at Golden State (10:30pm NBATV)
WED Indiana at Miami (7:30pm ESPN), Houston at Minnesota (10:00pm ESPN)
THU Chicago at Toronto (8:00pm TNT), Brooklyn at Golden State (10:30pm TNT)
FRI Denver at Indiana (7:00pm NBATV), San Antonio at L.A. Lakers (10:00pm ESPN)
SAT Brooklyn at Portland (10:00pm NBATV)
SUN Houston at Oklahoma City (7:00pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
It will be a big week for the San Antonio Spurs, who face a four-game schedule against a handful of teams that struggle defensively. Sure it’s early, but the Los Angeles Lakers are allowing 116.8 points per game through their first five outings. Kawhi Leonard and company will surely add to their woes. And the Spurs also face the Los Angeles Clippers, who have been very giving so far despite having a winning record. And lately, Sacramento has been involved in high-scoring games, which would make Paul Westhead proud; so look for a banner Fantasy Hoops week from your Spurs.
As mentioned above, four teams have two-game weeks, and that’s a killer in cumulative head-to-head Fantasy formats. With the exception or Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, all Los Angeles Clippers should be reserved in cumulative H2H formats. However, just take the bullet in H2H category formats, as things will even out, especially in the turnovers category. For the Philadelphia 76ers, all players should be reserved in said formats, but keep your Philly players active in leagues which average points per game in a single scoring period. The same is true for all of your Washington Wizards not named John Wall.
There are plenty of teams with three games on tap for the upcoming period. Dallas Mavericks fans and Fantasy owners are going to like the production of their players against the defensively challenged Kings, 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves this week. It should be an especially fruitful week for G Monta Ellis and F Dirk Nowitzki.
As expected, Milwaukee Bucks SF Jabari Parker has separated himself early on as one of the best first-year players. He is averaging 11.3 PPG, the only rookie averaging double digits in points to date. If he can improve in the free throw category (he is just 6-for-12 to this point), he will really be a standout for his Fantasy owners.
In Orlando, Magic PG Elfrid Payton had a lot of hype, but he was a bit of an unknown and some people weren’t buying in. At this point, he has shown well with 9.0 PPG while averaging 30.5 minutes per outing, tied with Parker for the most run of any first-year player. There have been growing pains, as he is shooting just 35.6 percent from the field and he is just 50 percent from the charity stripe. But he also is averaging 4.6 rebounds per game (RPG) and he has 6.4 APG. You can’t argue with that, and he has picked up the pace defensively with eight steals over the past three outings.
Brooklyn Nets SG Bojan Bogdanovic continues to see plenty of playing time, averaging almost 27 minutes per outing through five games. He is averaging a respectable 7.6 PPG with 2.0 RPG and 1.4 APG, and he has connected on six 3-pointers so far. In deeper leagues, he can be helpful for his long distance shooting and help on the boards from the guard spot.
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
Garrett Temple, SG, Washington (14.1 PPG past six games)
Evan Fournier, SG, Orlando (13.8 PPG past six games)
Gary Neal, PG, Charlotte (13.7 PPG past six games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Chicago (13.1 PPG past six games)
Lavoy Allen, C, Indiana (12.8 PPG past six games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Lavoy Allen, C, Indiana (7.5 RPG past six games)
Quincy Acy, SF, New York (6.8 RPG past five games)
Chris Kaman, C, Portland (6.2 RPG past five games)
Reggie Evans, PF, Sacramento (6.1 RPG past six games)
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, SF, Philadelphia (6.0 RPG past five games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
Aaron Brooks, PG, Chicago (4.3 APG past six games)
Ronnie Price, PG, L.A. Lakers (4.2 APG past five games)
Steve Blake, PG, Portland (4.0 APG past five games)
Brian Roberts, PG, Charlotte (3.8 APG past six games)
Kostas Papanikolaou, SF, Houston (3.5 APG past six games)
STEALS PER GAME
Tony Allen, SG, Memphis (2.7 SPG past six games)
Moe Harkless, SF, Orlando (1.7 SPG past three games)
Garrett Temple, SG, Washington (1.7 SPG past six games)
Shane Larkin, PG, New York (1.5 SPG past six games)
Ronnie Price, PG, L.A. Lakers (1.4 SPG past five games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Alex Len, C, Phoenix (1.7 BPG over past six games)
DeWayne Dedmon, C, Orlando (1.2 BPG over past five games)
Festus Ezeli, C, Golden State (1.0 BPG over past four games)
James Johnson, PF, Toronto (1.0 BPG over past six games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Garrett Temple, SG, Washington (14 3PT over past six games)
Jason Terry, SG, Houston (13 3PT over past six games)
Evan Fournier, SG, Orlando (11 3PT over past six games)
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Houston (11 3PT over past six games)