There are plenty of injuries around The Association. We 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.
Hawks C Pero Antic (back) had emerged as a useful Fantasy option with C Al Horford (shoulder) sidelined for the season. However, Antic has been sidelined himself due to a nagging back issue. He is averaging 10.6 PPG with 4.8 RPG in five January games, but should be reserved for now.
Nets PG Deron Williams (ankle) did not travel to London for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, and that was his team’s only game for the current scoring period. The next chance for D-Will to prove his health will be an afternoon tip on Martin Luther King Day, and by then lineups will be locked due to earlier tips. As such, he is a very risky play for all Fantasy owners in the upcoming week, especially with a back-to-back situation to kick off the new period.
Celtics PG Rajon Rondo (knee) has been recalled from Maine of the NBDL where he has been rehabbing his injury, and it appears Rondo is poised to make his season debut as soon as Friday. That’s great news for Fantasy owners who have patiently had him stashed away. The return of Rondo is terrible news for owners of PG Jerryd Bayless, who will now have to hold off PG Phil Pressey for the No. 2 spot at the one.
Mavericks SF Shawn Marion (shoulder) showed absolutely no rust in his return to the lineup Wednesday at L.A. Clippers, connecting on six of his nine field goal attempts for 14 points. If you had been wringing your hands over whether to activate Marion in Fantasy leagues, fret no longer.
Nuggets PG Andre Miller (shoulder) remains sidelined indefinitely, and that has been great news for PG Evan Fournier. The Frenchman has shined recently, hoisting up 26 3-pointer attempts in the past six games, and hitting 15 of them. In eight games in the month of January, he has averaged 11.9 PPG with 3.8 RPG, doubling his season totals of 5.8 PPG and 1.9 RPG. When Miller is healthy, he might have a hard time pushing Fournier out of the way.
Warriors C Nemanja Nedovic (hamstring) will be sidelined at least two weeks due to a strained left hamstring. He had been tearing it up with Santa Clara of the NBDL, but his Fantasy value with the Warriors is negligible.
Rockets PG Aaron Brooks (knee) has been dealing with a bout of tendinitis, and the ailment forced him to miss Wednesday’s game in New Orleans. Lately, his shot has gone south, and when he is able to return, he’ll only be able to help Fantasy owners in deeper leagues. That’s because PG Patrick Beverley (hand) is rounding the corner and looks to be ahead of schedule in his return from a fractured right hand. He is aiming to return before the calendar turns to February.
Lakers PF/C Pau Gasol (toe) was listed on the injury report this week due to a nagging toe injury, but it has not set him back. He has hit 19 of his 33 field goal attempts over the past two games, averaging 22.0 PPG with 10.5 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.5 BPG. The issue is not bothering him, so start Gasol in all Fantasy leagues as you normally would.
Pau’s brother, Grizzlies C Marc Gasol (knee), is fresh off the Injured List. He looked decent in his return Tuesday, posting 12 points with four rebounds in 24 minutes. However, he was scoreless with four missed field goal attempts in just 14 minutes Wednesday. The good news is that he played in back-to-back games, but the bad news is that he probably should not have. It was his first scoreless game in nearly five seasons. The good news is that he is back, and if you can swing a deal for Gasol, Fantasy owners of his might be a little nervous and he could come on the cheap.
Heat PG Mario Chalmers (Achilles’) did not play Wednesday in Washington. It wasn’t because his feelings were hurt after President Barack Obama poked a little fun at him in the team’s visit to the White House, but due to a nagging Achilles’ injury. As long as he is sidelined, PG Norris Cole will man the point, but Chalmers is day to day and should return shortly.
Bucks SF Khris Middleton (ankle) shook off an ankle injury to play Wednesday, and he managed to hit just one of his six field goal attempts in 12 minutes off the pine. He has been awful from the field lately, hitting just six buckets on his past 35 field goal attempts. That’s a rotisserie killer, and he needs to be benched or dropped until he re-discovers his shot.
Pelicans swingman Tyreke Evans (ankle) is nursing a bone bruise in his left ankle, but he is aiming to return Saturday. If he is able to play this weekend, Fantasy owners can safely plug him back into the active lineup. But if he remains sidelined, he’ll be too risky to use heading into the new work week.
Thunder SF Kevin Durant (wrist) continues to play despite a sore left wrist suffered during a fall Saturday. The issue hasn’t set him back one bit, as he has 30-plus points in each of his past four outings, including 37 points on 15-of-28 shooting Tuesday in Memphis.
Magic C Nikola Vucevic (concussion) remained sidelined Wednesday due to his concussion, and it’s unclear when he will be able to get back onto the court. With Vucevic sidelined, PF/C Glen Davis has been starting in the middle with PF Tobias Harris assuming the starting duties at the four. Harris has really flourished lately, going for 13.8 PPG with 8.3 RPG in eight games in the month of January. If he is available, Fantasy owners need to pick him up, as he’ll have a role on Jacque Vaughn’s team even when Vucevic’s cobwebs clear up.
76ers rookie C Nerlens Noel (knee) is inching closer to his regular season and career debut, as he was cleared for basketball activities this week. However, before Fantasy owners get too crazy, head coach Brett Brown warned that Noel is far from “game shape,” so keep that in mind. The rookie is a nice stash option if you can afford the roster spot, but don’t go activating him until he officially returns and can play at least two full games without any setbacks.
Spurs SG Danny Green (hand) suffered a non-displaced fracture in his left hand that will keep him sidelined about a month. That’s terrible news for his Fantasy owners, but great news for those who have Gs Manu Ginobili or Marco Belinelli rostered. In fact, Belinelli has really made a push to overtake Ginobili for the starting job lately.
Kings rookie SG Ben McLemore (ankle) is dealing with an ankle issue, but is targeting a return Friday. He has been up and down this season, and lately he has been really down. In seven games in the month of January, he is averaging just 3.3 PPG with 2.0 RPG. If you have been relying upon him in Fantasy leagues, it is a good idea to reserve him even when healthy, at least until he finds his shot again. He is hitting just 23 percent from the field in January.
Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward (hip) has been battling a sore hip recently, and while listed as day to day, he has now been sidelined for over a week. The good news is that he continues to travel with the team. If he is able to return either Friday or Saturday, Fantasy owners should plug him back into the active lineup, barring any setbacks. If he doesn’t play in either game, keep him reserved for the new week.