Spencer Dinwiddie – PG BKN
The Nets incurred a big loss last week when De’Angelo Russell went down with a knee injury that required surgery. The timetable for Russell to return is “sometime this season,” which doesn’t instill confidence that it will be anytime soon. This will be a big loss for the Nets’ offensive box score, as Russell was averaging 20.9 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 5.7 assists in just 28 minutes per game.
Luckily, Russell’s backup, Spencer Dinwiddie, has filled in and hasn’t missed a beat. In his first two games since Russell’s injury, Dinwiddie has averaged 32.5 minutes, 18.5 points, four rebounds, and eight assists per game, matching or exceeding Russell’s stats. Dinwiddie seems more eager to spread the ball, and he has been a machine from 3-point land, hitting 44.6 percent of his long shots. Among players with 50-plus attempts, he ranks 17th overall (second among point guards). He should be, at worst, an average starting point guard, which is valuable in the Fantasy world.
Derrick Favors – PF UTAH
Derrick Favors has had back-to-back good games for the Jazz, including Saturday when he scored 25 and notched 11 rebounds for a double-double. He is without a doubt benefiting statistically from the loss of Rudy Gobert, who is out for the next three to four weeks with a bone bruise on his knee. Gobert had been averaging 34 minutes this season, so that is a lot of court time to be spread around.
Favors has gotten some of those extra minutes, but his recent boost in output seems to have more to do with his usage than his extra playing time. While he has gotten a few extra minutes here and there, he has almost doubled his shots taken since Gobert’s injury, going from 31 shot attempts in the five games before the injury, to 58 in the five games since. With Gobert slated to be out for a while longer, Favors should be owned in all leagues until at least the end of 2017, at which point owners will have to re-evaluate following Gobert’s return.
Rajon Rondo – PG NO
Rondo is not normally a name you’d find on the Waiver Wire at this time of year, but he has been below 50-percent ownership all season due to a hernia he sustained earlier in the year that has kept him off the court. He has made three appearances since coming back from the injury, each with more minutes than the last. He played just five minutes in his first game back, then just 14 and 25 in the next two games. But as he gets going, he should be back in the mid-to-high 30-minute range.
This is an especially good time for Rondo to come back, as the Pelicans are experiencing injuries all over the court right now. Anthony Davis is out with a concussion, which will probably keep him out of the lineup for a week, and possibly two or even three depending on how bad the concussion is. The Pelicans are also missing backup big-men Alexis Ajinca and Omer Asik. With DeMarcus Cousins as the only big guy left healthy, the Pelicans will likely go for a three guard look, and Rondo will be of even more importance. Look for him to start getting back into the groove of things, scoring double-digits every single night, and regularly dropping double-digit assists as well. He will be a great bench add, and may even be a Top 10 point guard again as he ramps up.
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