Injuries have been both a disaster and a blessing for fantasy owners, depending on what side of the equation you’re on. While a Derrick Rose or Marc Gasol injury is killer, it’s a welcome sight by the rest of the league because it likely means they can snag up the injury replacement off the waiver wire. Let’s take a look at who’s up, who’s filling in, and who needs to dumped like week-old Thanksgiving leftovers.
Channing Frye: After a slow start, Frye has come alive of late, averaging 15 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and 2.3 three-pointers per game while shooting 54 percent from the floor and 47.5 percent from downtown in his last seven games. Over his last four games, Frye is averaging 18.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.8 steals, and 3.5 threes while shooting 57 percent. Obviously Frye can cool off as quick as he’s heated up but last time we saw Frye, back in the 2011-12 season, he averaged 14.5 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per 36 minutes though he hasn’t shot above 45 percent in a full season since 2008.
Jared Sullinger: Sullinger has solidified himself as a starter in Brad Stevens’ lineup and has put up excellent numbers since moving into the starting five. Over five games in the lineup, Sullinger is averaging 15 points and 10.2 rebounds while shooting a decent 47 percent from the floor. Though he played the first 10 games off the bench, Sully is averaging 18.9 points and 10.6 rebounds per 36 minutes all season.
Martell Webster: We were worried that the return of Trevor Ariza would limit Webster’s value but, with Bradley Beal out, Webster should continue to see a steady flow of minutes. In seven games since being moved into the starting lineup, Webster is averaging 16.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 3.3 three-pointers per game while seeing over 40 minutes of court time. As long as he’s in the lineup, he’s a must-start.
Andray Blatche: Earlier this season, we billed Blatche as a good source of rebounds and steals but lamented his lack of scoring. Since then, Blatche has gotten more court time with the Nets dealing with a plethora of injuries and is scoring at a very attractive rate. Blatche has scored double-digits in seven straight games and is averaging 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.0 block per game while shooting 56 percent from the floor over those seven contests. Those numbers are on just 27 minutes per game so he doesn’t need to be a starter to be fantasy relevant.
Kosta Koufos: Unlike Blatche, Koufos still can’t score despite moving to the starting lineup to replace the injured Marc Gasol. On the other hand, he is a dominant rebounder and shot blocker and can be a big help in filling out your stat sheet. In two games since being named the starter, Koufos has put up 26 rebounds and five blocks and should continue to produce at that pace as long as he’s starting. Last season, Koufos averaged 12.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes.
Aaron Brooks: With Jeremy Lin out for a couple of weeks, Brooks is an appealing short-term rental. Since returning from his injury problems, Brooks has averaged 16.7 points, 3.3 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 3.7 threes, and 1.7 blocks while shooting a phenomenal 56 percent from the floor and a ridiculous 65 percent from downtown over three games despite averaging just 23 minutes per game. He played a season-high 27 minutes on Wednesday, nailing four threes and putting up 21 points, and should continue to see that kind of production (although not consistently) while he sees the added court time.
Caron Butler: Butler is no longer starting and no longer producing after a hot start. He averaged a solid 13.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, and a steal over his first seven games, albeit while shooting just 36 percent from the floor. He looked even more appealing after a 38 point explosion against the 76ers on November 22. In three games since, he has played just 22.6 minutes per game, averaging 6.0 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and shooting a miserable 27 percent from the floor.
Brandon Knight: Knight has only played in five games this season due to an injury suffered against the Knicks in the first game of the season but, when he has played, he’s looked downright terrible. Over five sparse games since October, Knight is averaging just 6.0 points, 4.6 assists, and shooting a terrible 22 percent while playing 23 minutes per game. He has shot 18.5 percent over his last three games, nailing just five of his 27 field goal attempts.
Iman Shumpert: There wasn’t much appeal to the Knicks guard in the first place but his lack of production has been hard to watch. Over his last 10 games, Shumpert is averaging just 4.9 points, 2.9 assists, 3.9 rebounds, and shooting a rough 34.5 percent from the floor. He’s been involved in a lot of trade talks so maybe a change could help him but there’s zero reason to own Shumpert right now.