Probably the second most dreaded fate for a Fantasy sports GM is to see one of their key players get injured. Often it means that you've blown a coveted high draft pick on a guy that will now be sitting in street clothes, as you battle with your buddies for fantasy supremacy.
Now, I did say second most, didn't I? The only thing that stings more is to see a player you traded absolutely explode under the mentorship of a new owner, whilst the guy you received turns into Eddy Curry.
This season has been particularly gruesome when it comes to injuries to big name players. We've seen stars Manu Ginobili (hand), Luol Deng (wrist), Jason Kidd (calf), Dirk Nowitzki (knee), Zach Randolph (knee), Brook Lopez (foot) and Andrew Bogut (ankle) to name just a few, all miss time so far this season. There is no doubt that the condensed, post-lockout schedule is having an impact on players' bodies.
So, what do you do when one of your soldiers gets injured? You have to weigh up all of the pros and cons and make a judgement call -- that's all part of being the big boss that you are.
As most NBA Fantasy leagues these days have removed the injured/inactive list from the realms of possibility, an injured player means a piece of dead weight being carried by your roster, like driftwood down the river that is the NBA season. There are a number of factors you need to consider when deciding whether or not to drop a player from your roster.
The smaller the rosters are in your league, the less likelihood that you can afford to carry a man down. If you happen to be in a league with roster sizes of 10 or less, I wouldn't even consider carrying a seriously injured player. In rostered-leagues, you've got more scope to play with and thus would include this as one of the factors to consider.
In other words, who is sitting on the free agent list and waiver wire? The size of your league, ie the number of teams, will determine how easy it is to pick up quality players as and when you want to. You need to consider this in the equation.
How many other injuries are you carrying?
Once your roster starts to look more like a hospital ward than a basketball team, you really can't call yourself a Fantasy NBA GM any more, can you? You're the CEO of one of the most expensive hospitals in the world. You really don't want to be carrying more than one long-term injury at a time. You simply can't afford to have that many missing games, as your opponents will punish you for it.
Are you likely to make the playoffs whilst carrying this guy?
It's a tough call, but you need to think about whether your team can realistically make its way into the playoffs whilst carrying this injured star on the bottom of the bench. You don't need to come first in the regular season, but you do need to get into those playoffs. If the answer is a considered "yes", then perhaps you are best hanging onto that player. He will be your secret weapon when you hit the playoffs, rather than punishing you when someone else picks him up.
Get your calculator out
This is the real crux of the situation. The hard cold numbers. It's easy to let emotion get involved in your decision making as a Fantasy GM, but the reality is, you can't afford to. Fantasy sports are all about numbers and nothing else, at the end of the day. So these are the numbers that you need to consider:
- How many games is your player likely to miss (don't be overly optimistic either!)?
- What are the stats that your injured player averages?
- How long is left in the season?
- What type of stats do the replacement players average who are available on the free agent list?
Now, what you need to do is look at the stats your guy averages and pro-rata them based on how many games he will play the rest of the way. So if you have 48 games left in the season and your guy will miss 24 of them, then he becomes half the player that he was, right? In other words 24/48 = 1/2. His stats of 20.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.5bpg become 10.0ppg, 5.0rpg and 1.25bpg.
Are those reduced stats better than the type of guy you can pick up on the free agent list? That makes your decision, right there.
On the other hand, if your guy is only going to miss 12 games out of the remaining 48, then he loses 1/4 of his value. That makes his 20.0ppg, 10.0rpg, 2.5bpg become 15.0ppg, 7.5rpg and 1.88bpg. Those numbers may be quite hard to find on the waiver wire.
We hope that this article helps you to make a decision on your injured player(s) and that it carries you to Fantasy victory this season!
For more advice, contact us on twitter or on facebook (hit "Like" below).
Think you have a player that you should sell high on? Alternatively looking for a player you might be able to pick up on the cheap? Here are some options according to The Fantasy Dudes:
Serge Ibaka, PF, Oklahoma City Thunder: Had a rather slow start to the season, but is now starting to put things together. Rebounds are on the up, and he has averaged 3.3 blocks a game over his past 7.
Amar'e Stoudemire, PF, New York Knicks: Would the real Amar'e please stand up! He made one of the all-nba teams last season, but based on his recent play (14.3 pts, 7.1 rebs, 0.4 blks over past 7 games), he wouldn't be worthy of an all-star position. With Baron Davis returning to the court shortly, and given the Knicks horrid run, expect more plays to come his way. Look to take advantage of a frustrated owner.
Lamar Odom, PF, Dallas Mavericks: The 6th man of the year has struggled to find his feet in Dallas, and you can't really blame him. However, with Dirk shelved for a week or two, Lamar has been promoted to the starting lineup. Expect his stats to improve.
Chauncey Billups, PG/SG, Los Angeles Clippers: .321 fg, .765 ft... that is not Billups. That will improve, as will is current points production of 14 ppg over his past 4 games,
Kobe Bryant, SG, Los Angeles Lakers: Ok, i know what you're thinking... seriously, Kobe? The guy is averaging over 30 ppg! Actually, over his past 8 games, KB24 has averaged 34.1 pts, 5.5 rebs, 5.0 assts and 1.9 stls... pretty good! I don't see those stats going up, and with injury concerns, and a condensed season, why not try and see who you can get for him? Perhaps a Joe Johnson or Kevin Martin plus another to improve the deal. Who knows, someone might give up a Kevin Love, Durant, LeBron or Rose for him.
Carlos Boozer, PF, Chicago Bulls: The Bulls are stacked, and can even win without D-Rose around. Boozer has impressed lately to the tune of 15.6 pts, 8.7 rebs and 1.3 stls over his past 9 games (on terrific shooting). How long can his health keep up? Why wait around? Sell him now...
Brandon Jennings, PG, Milwaukee Bucks: Not a huge fan of the Bucks from a fantasy perspective this season, however Jennings has been one of the bright spots. He has had a strong past couple of weeks, but I can see inconsistencies ahead, including a return to poor shooting %'s and high turnovers. 4 solid games in a row suggests now is as good a time as any to sell.
Al Harrington, PF, Denver Nuggets: 20.3 pts, 7.7 rebs, 3.7 threes over past 4 games... no way is that sustainable. SELL!!!
With the Divisional games in the books, with some rather surprising results (how many of you picked the upset of the Giants over the Packers?), The Fantasy Dudes look ahead to the Championship matchups and who we think will win.
Here is how we have performed thus far:
We again differ in one of the matchups, so its a chance for Michael to get one back:
New York Giants @ San Francisco 49ers
Andre: 49ers by 6
Michael: Giants by 4
Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
Andre: Patriots by 10
Michael: Patriots by 7
Who do you think will win?
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Ty Lawson, PG, Nuggets: Lawson is a fully-fledged fantasy star these days, but his name doesn't yet carry the weight of his counterparts. Averaging 17 points and 6 assists this season (easily career bests), Lawson is also shooting an astonishing 50.7 FG% for the fast flying Nuggets. The clincher? Nearly 2 steals a game so far in the earlygoings.
LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, Trailblazers: Enjoying playing in the faster pace with Ray Felton, Aldridge has enjoyed some huge games of late, averaging 23 points and 8 rebounds over the last 6 games. I expect his output to continue in a similar fashion going forward, although it would be nice if he lifted his blocks rate somewhat (0.7 per game).
Luol Deng, SF, Bulls: Deng's points may be down this season (15 points), but he has picked up his game of late, averaging 19 points and 8 rebounds per game over his last 4. Deng just plays too many minutes (a whopping 39 per game) not to remain a fantasy relevance for long.
Josh Smith, F, Hawks: With Horford going down for 3-4 months, Smith will carry far more of the load in the frontcourt, and he's already shown he's ready for this challenge, with a huge 30 point 13 rebound game on Friday against the lowly Bobcats. A notorious slow starter, I expect Smith's blocks and steals to pick up in coming months.
Ricky Rubio, PG, Timberwoles: Rubio is his real folks, and his move into the starting lineup will only improve his stats. He's already averaging 8 assists and nearly 2 steals per game for the revamped T-wolves.
Eric Gordon, SG, Hornets: Gordon has averaged only 65 games over the last season, and has already missed the last couple of weeks this season. I just don't trust him to stay healthy, and if you can get 90 cents on the dollar for him, now might be the chance to trade him.
Danny Granger, SF, Pacers: Granger's stats are down across the board, and with David West in town, and Paul George's emergence as an offensive threat, Granger no longer carries the weight of Indiana's offensive game. He's shooting an atrocious 33% from the field, and scoring a whopping 6 points less per game.
Following the wildcard weekend, The Fantasy Dudes are back with their selections in the divisional weekend. Before we get into it, let's take a quick look at how each 'dude' went last week:
Michael picked: Texans, Giants, Saints, Steelers = 3/4
Andre picked: Bengals, Giants, Saints, Broncos = 3/4 (thanks Tim Tebow)
Ok, so this is who we have this week:
New Orleans Saints @ San Francisco 49ers
Michael - Saints by 3
Andre - 49ers by 7
Denver Broncos @ New England Patriots
Michael - Patriots by 10
Andre - Patriots by 14 (tough given i'm a Broncos fan and picked them correctly last week)
New York Giants @ Green Bay Packers
Michael - Packers by 7
Andre - Packers by 10
Houston Texans @ Baltimore Ravens
Michael - Ravens by 3
Andre - Ravens by 7
Who do you think will win?
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Former All-Star and Team USA shooting guard Michael Redd makes his debut with the Phoenix Suns tonight as they host the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Redd is a 20.0ppg career scorer, who provides plenty of threes and modest returns in other areas, but doesn't hurt you in any of the percentages or turnover categories. At his peak, Redd averaged 25+ ppg and over two treys per game. However, he hasn't played more than 33 games since 2007/08 and hasn't played 80 games since 2005/06.
Look for him to get his feet wet with the Suns in their back-to-backs (the Suns play the New Jersey Nets the following night), but not to be a huge contributor.
"I don't know what the limitations will be, but we just have to get him out there and get his feet wet," Suns Head Coach Alvin Gentry said of Redd's return to an NBA floor. "I don't think he'll start tonight, but I'm not 100 percent certain that he won't either."
It'd be worth keeping a close eye on Redd, because if he is in form quickly, he will likely get snapped up immediately by your rival fantasy owners, particularly those looking for threes.
He battles Jared Dudley, Shannon Brown, Grant Hill and Josh Childress for minutes at the SG/SF spots.
Here are The Fantasy Dudes latest fantasy basketball waiver wire suggestions:
Iman Shumpert, PG/SG, New York Knicks: Has now moved into the starting lineup at the expense of Tony Douglas (who can now be dropped). Over the past week, Iman has averaged 14 pts, 4 rebs, 4 assts, 2.5 stls, 0.5 blks and very handy %'s. He is a must add, especially in deeper leagues. Iman is owned in 50% of standard leagues.
Mario Chalmers, PG, Miami Heat: Feeling the pressure from Cole, and injuries to Wade and James has pushed Mario to succeed. Over the the past 4 games, Mario has averaged 15.5 pts, 5 assts, 2.2 stls, 1.8 three's, and great shooting %'s. Mario is owned in 61% of standard leagues.
Richard Jefferson, SF, San Antonio Spurs: No Manu, no problems. Over past 5 games has averaged 15.5 pts, and close to 4 three's a game... yes, 4! If you need 3's and strong %'s, add the veteran. Owned in 70% of standard fantasy leagues.
Nate Robinson, PG/SG, Golden State Warriors: He's only just been signed, but the injury to Curry couldn't have come at a better time for him. Since joining the Warriors, has averaged close to 15 pts, 5 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 three's a game. He is worth owning in deeper leagues. Nate is owned in just 10% of standard fantasy leagues.
Anthony Morrow, SG/SF, New Jersey Nets: Injuries galore at the Nets. Over the past 4 games, Anthony has averaged 16 pts, 3.5 three's, and 0.8 steals a game. Suggest picking up in deeper leagues. Anthony owned in 55% of leagues.
Trevor Booker, PF, Washington Wizards: Has seen an increase in playing time recently, and has responded to the tune of 9.5 pts, 6.5 rebs, 2 stls, 1.5 blks in 26 mins of play (over past 4 games). Trevor is owned in only 2% of standard leagues.
Matt Barnes, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers: Announced as permanent starter for the Lakers this week. Over past 4 games has averaged 10 pts, 7.5 rebs, 0.8 stls, 0.8 blks, 0.5 three's and very good %'s. Owned in just 23% of standard fantasy leagues.
Evan Turner, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers: Still coming off the bench, however getting plenty of minutes and that will continue. Over past week has averaged 12 pts, 7.2 rebs, 0.6 stls and 0.4 blks a game. Evan is owned in 28% of standard fantasy leagues.
Spencer Hawes, C, Philadelphia 76ers: Has been a great find for fantasy owners this season. Don't worry about the stats, if he is available, add him now. He is owned in 80% of standard fantasy leagues.
Amir Johnson, PF/C, Toronto Raptors: Much like Hawes above, Amir is a fantasy stud to find off the waivers. Strong in rebounds, steals, blocks and %'s. Amir is owned in 57% of standard fantasy leagues.
It's only Week 2 and we've already seen a number of big names with injuries. Stoudemire, Ginobili, Randolph, Bogut, Curry and Eric Gordon all among the big names to miss time and inflict migraines on their fantasy owners. Last week I had a terrible run with injuries to Gordon, Conley, Nelson and Delfino together with Bynum missing 4 games for his cross-checking Barea in last year's final.
Now it's important to note that this is not a regular season and the abbreviated timetable has significant implications for the value of players. Here a a few points to note:
1. The regular season of most league formats means a season of 12 or 13 weeks. If a player is out for 4 weeks he is out for a quarter of the season. He is out for 6 weeks, that's half the season. Take for example Manu who is out for 6-8 weeks from this week. This means he may be only available for the last 3 weeks of the season.
2. The abbreviated season also means more games in each week. On average teams need to play 3.8 games a week to make up their 66 games over 17 weeks (up from 3.1 games per week over 26 weeks). So if a player is out for 4 weeks that's 16 games, not 12. For a mid-level player on your roster averaging say 11.5 ppg 5 rpg 3 assists, this translates in 184 points, 80 rebounds and 32 assists. Not nice unless you have an injured player roster spot to stash him away until his return.
What does this mean? The fantasy impact of injuries is higher this season than ever. If you have an injured fantasy stud, look for someone foolish enough to take them off your hands at a discounted price. If it's a fringe roster player look to cut them earlier. Carrying multiple injured players is a risky proposition.
Remember to use you adds/drops carefully. I lost 3-6 (head to head) to fellow Fantasy Dude, Michael Alperstein, by a steal and 1 trey. Had I picked up Luke Ridnour or Mario Chalmers and dropped some under performing hack (say Jameer Nelson) it may been enough to avoid a disappointing defeat.
Have a fantasy basketball question you want answered? Speak to The Fantasy Dudes!
By the way, if you aren't already, you should be following us on twitter and Facebook :)
The NBA season is only a mere foundling at this point, barely able to leave it's mother's womb and stretch its legs, however, already we have seen some suprises in the Fantasy Basketball ranks. Of course, any fantasy hoops fan worth their salt will tell you that the first week may well be the most important of the season, as fantasy owners stalk out the sleepers and bargain buys off the waiver wire, with NBA depth charts settling into place.
So who have been the surprises so far this season? Which players have pleasantly exceeded expectations; and which have truly disappointed their owners who spent high draft picks on them? Let's take a look at which players have made Dwight happy and which have made him sad...
Spencer Hawes (C, Philadelphia 76ers)
The big man, who prior to this season has been a "serviceable" centre for the Sacramento Kings and Phildelphia 76ers in 301 NBA games, has turned some type of corner this season. In five games this season, the 7'1" pivot has averaged 13.0ppg, 11.4rpg, 3.4apg, 2.2bpg and 1.0spg. He is shooting .674 from the field and is only committing 1.8 turnovers per game in over 32 minutes per game.
Those are All-Star type numbers right there! Hawes entered the season with a bang, falling one assist shy of a triple double against the Portland Trail Blazers on December 26. Can he keep it up? Who is to say he can't...
David Lee (PF/C, Golden State Warriors)
Ever since Lee's huge 2008/09 New York Knicks explosion, fantasy owners have been salivating over his prospects as a consistent double-double threat that provides no negatives for his owners. Better still, with his arrival in Golden State, the run'n'gun style was meant to unleash even bigger numbers for the PF/C.
However so far this season, as with early last season, Lee has gotten off to a slow start. His scoring is still there, but his rebounding, assists, steals, field goal percentage and free throw percentage are all well below expectations. In short, he is performing as a very mediocre fantasy player right now, when most owners will have spent a lofty pick on him, expecting big things. Wait for that resurgence to come.
Kyle Lowry (PG, Houston Rockets)
The speedy, powerful, strong-rebounding point guard is currently the second best player in fantasy basketball. Yes, read that sentence again...
In the first six games, Lowry is averaging 15.3ppg, 10.0apg, 6.2rpg, 2.0spg, 1.8 3PM and shooting .926 on free throws. And get this, only 98% of teams own him in Yahoo! leagues. That's right, 2% of leagues are too behind the times to have picked him up. So take a look on your free agent list right now!
Josh Smith (SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks)
Well known as "fantasy gold" with his contributions across the board, Smith has been subpar so far in the early going. He is averaging 10.8ppg (down from 16.6ppg in 2010/11), 0.7spg (1.3spg in 2010/11), is not yet hitting threes (0.7 3PM in 2010/11) and is shooting a woeful .385 from the field. These are simply not the numbers you expect from a Top 20 draft pick.
So far Marvin Williams has been lapping up much of the slack, so look to add him if you have a need at F. However, don't give up on Smith by any stretch, as he will be back at some point, dominating.
Iman Shumpert (PG/SG, New York Knicks)
The Knicks seem to have a knack for picking hustling, immediately-contributing rookies. Shumpert is another in the lineage that includes the likes of David Lee, Landry Fields and Toney Douglas.
Currently ranked around 45th in all of fantasy basketball, Shumpert is giving his few owners a handy 14.5ppg, 4.5rpg, 2.0apg, 2.0spg, 0.5bpg and a very solid 2.0 3PM. He could stand to improve his FG% (.391) and watch his turnovers (2.0pg), but regardless, he is a solid bench piece for most teams, providing a kick across the board.
Get this: only 9% of Yahoo! leagues have picked him up. So there's a very good chance that he is ripe for the picking on your free agent list or waiver wire.
John Wall (PG, Washington Wizards)
Is this the dreaded sophomore slump, or just a slow start to the season for the 2010/11 rookie sensation?
Either way, .329 (at high volume) from the field, .705 from the stripe and 3.7 turnovers per game just doesn't cut it for a Top 40 pick. However, on the positive side, Wall is giving you Dwyane Wade-esque defensive numbers in 1.3bpg and 1.8spg. His points, rebounds, assists and shooting are all down on last season, in similar minutes. Surely it is just a matter of time before J-Wall returns to show the huge potential we all saw last season.
Then again, the 0-6 Wizards have been pretty terrible across the board. The only Wiz worth touching right now is the impressive JaVale McGee. It's unlikely that his superb 2.8bpg and 9.8rpg are available in your league, but if they are, grab them.
Who has impressed or disappointed you so far this season? Hit us up in the comments section. You should be following us on twitter and Facebook too.
Looking for some candidates to trade for while their value is low? Look no further because The Fantasy Dudes have put together a quick list of those players to target in your fantasy basketball leagues. We have included some high draft picks in the list just in case you have some managers with itchy feet:
Eric Gordon, G, New Orleans Hornets: Returning from injury, someone may decide to ship him. If they do, jump on it. Eric's stats will only be on their way up, and we like him to finish as one of the best at the SG position at the end of the season.
Dorell Wright, SG/SF, Golden State Warriors: Numbers down pretty much across the board from last season, in particular his shooting. Expect him to pick it up, especially with injury concerns with Steph Curry. A fantastic contributor in 3's and steals.
Deron Williams, PG, New Jersey Nets: He has requested that the Nets bring in reinforcements, and if they want to keep him, management will do just that. Dwight Howard anyone? If this happens, his value increases quite a lot... but if you wait, it may be too late. At present however, he is struggling with his shot and the turnovers, so you will have to put up with that in the short-term.
Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder: Seems like his relationship with Durant is impacting on his game. Shooting percentages down on last season, as are his assists. If the Thunder are to make a run this season (and we think they will), they need Westbrook to play much better... and we expect him too!
Rudy Gay, SF, Memphis Grizzlies: With the injury to Z-Bo, someone will have the step up. We see it being Rudy. His points production is down on his career average, however we see this increasing to the 20 ppg mark, especially as his finds his shot (FG % currently down).
Lamar Odom, SF/PF, Dallas Mavericks: We have received a few queries from our followers about what to do with Lamar. The answer is clear... keep him. If you can get him on the cheap from another manager, do it. The move to Dallas was very sudden, so of course it is going to take time to adjust. The 6th man of the year will come good, and we hope it is for your fantasy team.
Kris Humphries, PF, New Jersey Nets: From one Kardashian to another (well ex), Kris is the little brother in terms of statistics to Kevin Love... ok, a much smaller brother, but he is still averaging a double double this season in points and rebounds, and this is coming off a shortened and rather turbulent off-season.
DeAndre Jordan, C, Los Angeles Clippers: This guy is an absolute beast... if only he could stay on the court. Current rankings have him outside the top 100, particularly because of his poor FT shooting, however if you need/want blocks, make a trade!
Jodie Meeks, SG, Philadelphia 76ers: A great source of 3's and steals last season, Jodie's stats are also down across the board... don't expect this to continue. Buy low!