It was another rough week for injuries in the NBA while a new name makes his first appearance as the top shooting guard.
Fiasco Sports team of the week:
Point guard – Chris Paul (25.0 PPG, 12.3 APG, 5.3 RPG, 3.8 SPG, 1.0 3PG, FT% 87)
Paul had arguably his best week of the entire season so far, however it surprisingly didn’t translate into wins for the Clippers who lost two of four games.
He was a terror on the defensive end all week, collecting nearly four steals per game to go along with his elite combination of points and assists.
Shooting Guard – Lance Stephenson (20.3 PPG, 7.3 APG, 8.7 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.0 3PG, FG% 52, FT% 93)
Stephenson produced a great all around week to take the top shooting guard spot, collecting a league high third triple double while leading the Pacers to an undefeated week.
He has been flirting with a triple double in nearly game the past few weeks and would have to be one of the leading candidates for Most Improved Player and an outside chance to make the All Star team as a reserve given his team’s excellent record.
Small Forward – Kevin Durant (32.0 PPG, 10.7 RPG, 5.7 APG, 1.0 SPG, 3.0 3PG, FG% 57, FT% 80)
LeBron James missed a game to end week nine, allowing Durant to take back the top small forward spot with another big week.
With his All Star team mate Russell Westbrook potentially sidelined for an extended period of time Durant could be in line for some big scoring totals in the coming weeks.
Power Forward – Kevin Love (34.3 PPG, 15.1 RPG, 4.3 APG, 2.7 3PG, 1.0 SPG, FG% 59, FT% 87)
Love continues his dominant run as the game’s premier power forward, collecting over 30 points and 15 rebounds per game for the second straight week.
To put into perspective the incredible level Love is playing at, his 25 point/11 rebound performance in a win over Washington was referred to as a quiet, ‘sub-par’ outing.
Center – DeMarcus Cousins (26.7 PPG, 15.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.7 SPG, 1.0 BPG)
The mercurial Cousins continues to make his case for an All Star birth this season in a Western Conference frontcourt crowded with elite big men.
He had another huge week, averaging over 26 points per game to go along with 15 rebounds per game.
Start or Sit?
Larry Sanders was on injury watch in week seven and returned for the Bucks’ final two games of the week.
If you have him stashed away on the bench or in an injury reserve spot then it’s worth putting him back in your starting line up next week as he has the potential to put up elite numbers in rebounds and blocks if he can remain healthy.
A big call for everyone in weekly leagues fortunate enough to own LeBron James (groin) is whether or not to play him in week 10.
Miami have a four game week coming up and James was a game time call against the Trailblazers, meaning he shouldn’t be far from returning.
Even if he doesn’t return immediately, two or three games of production from James is still better than what any back up small forward can give you so feel free to start him next week.
Al Horford (right pectoral tear) is reportedly out for the remainder of the season in what will be huge hit to Fantasy teams as he was in the midst of an outstanding year.
He unfortunately needs to be cut loose for another option on the waiver wire below.
Westbrook (knee) underwent knee surgery in week nine and is scheduled to be out until after the All Star break (six weeks).
He has been an extremely durable player for his entire career and was given a similar timeline to return from knee surgery (four to six weeks) at the beginning of the season only to shock everyone by playing after less than one week.
Sit him on the bench, or in the injury reserve if available, for now and don’t be surprised if he returns quicker than expected.
Andrew Bynum looked like a player worth avoiding to start the season and has had a tough season to date.
His troublesome knees (and attitude) have led to limited playing time throughout the season, culminating in a recent suspension for ‘conduct detrimental to his own team.’
If he’s cut by the Cavaliers there is a chance another team might take a risk on Bynum in reality, but in Fantasy it’s best to leave him on the waiver wire and look elsewhere.
If Reggie Jackson is still available in your league then he’s a must add while Westbrook is sidelined.
He should slot straight into the starting line up for the Thunder and produced solid all around numbers in every category except field percentage while his team’s starting point guard recovers from surgery.
After missing a few games with injuries (toe, ankle) Jimmy Butler returned in week nine and has been thrown into all the minutes he can handle with Derrick Rose (knee) out for the season and Luol Deng sideline with an Achilles issue.
He is another must add off the waiver wire if he’s available in your league as a player who should fill up the stat sheet playing big minutes for the injury hit Bulls.
Anderson Varejao has been inserted back into the starting line up for Cleveland after Bynum’s suspension and is available in 40 per cent of leagues.
While he is a massive injury risk, Varejao will put up excellent numbers in rebounding and defensive categories as long as he remains healthy and is worth adding as a backup center for as long as he’s healthy.
If Varejao is already taken in your league and you need a replacement for Horford then Terrence Jones, available in 57 per cent of leagues, could be the answer.
After moving into the starting line up for Omer Asik he had been a little inconsistent before putting together some recent great performances, averaging close to 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks in week nine.
Jones’ scoring numbers might be up and down playing alongside Dwight Howard and James Harden but he seems to be getting consistent minutes in the starting line-up and should be a solid replacement for Horford.
Written by Jonathan Boyd