: an unexpected amount of money that you get as a gift, prize, etc.
The term “windfall” is used often when describing lottery winnings and things monetary in nature, but in the case of fantasy basketball it can be directly related to your league’s waiver wire. Over the course of the first month of the NBA season a number of productive fantasy basketball players have been befallen by injuries. Derrick Rose and Marc Gasol are two major players who will miss a significant amount of time, Rose for the entire season, and Gasol for up to 10 weeks (although he says it’ll be closer to 3 or 4). If the likes of Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Kosta Koufos and Ed Davis are still available in your fantasy basketball league, then, well, it says something about the competitiveness of your league, but assuming that’s not the case, there are likely a number of guys still floating around just waiting to be plucked off the waiver wire. The following is a list of some prominent players who were recently injured and the suggested players who are worth adding or monitoring based on their current situations. It’s also important to keep an eye on any news of when the player they’re replacing may be inching closer to a return, as you don’t want to be stuck with dead weight when they get back on the court.
(All suggested players assume a league of 12 teams or greater; stats are through Sunday night’s games)
Anthony Davis, C (Pelicans); non-displaced fracture of the left hand, out 4-6 weeks: Losing Davis has gotta hurt if you own him on your fantasy basketball team. Depending on your leagues scoring, he’s probably in the Top 5 overall. It’s an injury that could sideline him 2-3 weeks, or it could be 2-3 months depending on which bone was broken in the hand. The nightly double-double and the 3.6 blocks per game aren’t going to be replaceable, but the Pelicans have some decent options who will be called on to pick up The Brow’s slack. Jason Smith (7.2% owned on ESPN; 19% owned on Yahoo!) averaged 11 points and 4.6 rebounds while filling in for an injured Ryan Anderson during the first 9 games of the season, so it’s not unthinkable that he’d be able to produce similar numbers, and possibly gain some value with Anderson back in the fold and drawing coverage outside. Another player to consider is Al-Farouq Aminu (0.1 % owned on ESPN; 5% owned on Yahoo!). Smith might be the more consistent of the two, but Aminu probably has greater upside. He’s averaged an underwhelming 4.9 points and 5.3 rebounds in only 20.7 minutes, which is a little less than 7 minutes off his per game average from last season, but coach Monty Williams has not shied away from the accolades, and he has big game potential (9 games with 13+ rebounds last season).
Bradley Beal, SG (Wizards); stress injury to proximal right fibula, will be reevaluated next week: Like Davis, Beal was another player having a breakout sophomore season until an injury struck. This is very similar to the stress fracture he endured last season, although higher up in the leg, which ultimately required him to miss the remainder of the season. The initial two-week timetable seems like it is just giving him time for swelling and pain to go down, but fantasy basketball owners shouldn’t expect the young star to be back in their lineups next week. The Wizards are being very cautious, and that seems like the right approach, especially given his age and the history he has with a similar injury. The red-hot Martell Webster won’t be available in most leagues because he was probably picked up when Trevor Ariza went down, but a few other options exist. Chris Singleton (0% owned) just came back from an injury himself — a Jones fracture in his foot that caused him to miss the entire season up until this point — but the former 1st-round pick has a chance to contribute if given decent minutes. During his rookie season in 2011-12, he had per-36 minute averages of 1.8 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.1 three-pointers. It’s definitely a wait-and-see approach, but keep an eye on him. Nene’s lingering Achilles issues could force him to miss time and would thus move everyone (Trevor Booker, Jan Vesely) up a rung in the depth chart, creating more playing time for everyone. The one player to add if you’re a Beal owner — if you have the patience — is Otto Porter Jr. (6.1% owned on ESPN; 25% owned Yahoo!), the Wizards’ top pick from this summer’s draft. The 3rd-overall pick has been battling a hip injury since training camp, but finally seems poised to play in his first regular season game after participating in practice this week. Last year at Georgetown he averaged 16.2 points (48 FG%), 7.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 1.4 threes and 0.9 blocks, suggesting a nice blend of size and versatility. There’s a very good chance he plays shooting guard when he steps back on the court, and at 6’8″ he would have a very nice height advantage over his defenders. He’ll undoubtedly endure some growing pains due to his lack of experience and because he’s had almost no chance to play at game speed with his new teammates, but if you can afford the roster spot, he’s the most provocative of Beal’s replacements.
Paul Pierce, SF (Nets); non-displaced fractured of the right hand, out 2-4 weeks: Pierce, along with almost every other Net, was off to a horrid start, but that doesn’t mean his possible replacements can’t be fantasy basketball relevant. Alan Anderson (0.3% owned on ESPN; 3% owned on Yahoo!) stands to gain the most from the injury. Even before Pierce’s injury, the former Michigan State Spartan was averaging 10.2 points and 1.8 threes over his last 9 games. He averaged nearly identical numbers in Toronto last year, so the baseline is there, and there’s definitely room to grow with expanded minutes. If you’re not concerned about his terrible field-goal percentages (39.6% career), he’s the first guy to go after on the wire. Mirza Teletovic (0% owned on ESPN; 1% owned on Yahoo!) has been a huge bust since the Nets signed him to a three-year, $9.7 million deal last summer, but he has a chance to carve out a role now with Pierce out and the Nets flailing at 5-12. Although they were mostly garbage-time minutes, Teletovic averaged 17.5 points, 9 rebounds and 3.5 threes in consecutive games vs. the Lakers and Rockets this past Wednesday and Friday. With injuries mounting up, coach Jason Kidd has been giving his bench a lot of playing time, so it’s not unreasonable to think Teletovic will get a shot to prove his worth in Brooklyn and on your fantasy basketball team.
By Seth Klein (@SethDaSportsMan)
Seth is a writer for FantasyTrade411.com, specializing in fantasy baseball, basketball and football. Although he was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, he is a die-hard New York Giants, Knicks and Yankees fan. Seth is also a writer for BucketsOverBroadway.com, a New York Knicks website, and you can find his “expert” fantasy basketball rankings on FantasyPros.com. If print is not your thing, let his angelic voice soothe you on @ThaSPORTSKRIB, a weekly podcast dedicated to sports. Seth attended the University of Arizona, where he majored in “tardiness”, and is now a certified personal trainer and fitness nutrition specialist. Feel free to send all your fantasy sports questions to Seth on Twitter: @SethDaSportsMan