With how the year is going, Father Time is no longer the sole enemy of active players that deserves its capitalized status. Father Injury might just be joining its rarefied air soon.
High-profile injuries have become such a page-one-worthy issue this year that the NBA itself is pondering whether the season should be reduced to 66 games (or, around that number). While the league officials go over a new NBA reality in their heads, however, fantasy teams are a-hurting.
So, XN Sports has rounded up ten players to coast on in an injury-ridden league. The advice even comes with how many days to logically expect to be able to ride their current wave of production.
Darren Collison (35-45 Days) – In just a few games since CP3’s injury, Collison’s stock has gotten red-hot. Yet, somehow he’s still not owned at a 100-percent mark in ESPN leagues and has yet to breach 60 percent in Yahoo’s platform. It’s just head-shaking stuff, really. With only about a week passed since Paul’s ugly tumble, Collison can see at least a month of second-round production. Scoop him up like a Lob City lob.
Kendall Marshall (15-20 Days) – Jordan Farmar is due back sometime in early February. Same with Kobe. Xavier Henry‘s due-back date is up in the air. So is Steve Nash‘s. The other Steve, the one with the Blake surname, is the closest to return but could be limited since he suffered a nasty elbow calamity. Marshall should remain one of the most tantalizing waiver wire pickups at least for the remainder of the month and could still be a nice pickup while L.A.’s backcourt eases into sturdy minutes. Who knows, as a 22-year-old prospect and former D-Leaguer the close-to-tanking Lakers might want to give him a long-term chance.
Gerald Green (35-40 Days) - Streaky could be the nickname on the back of this year’s nickname jersey for Green but he’s been a valid waiver wire option all year regardless. With Eric Bledsoe hobbled for a considerable amount of time, Green’s exploits should only increase with added comfort on the court.
Jodie Meeks (‘Till End Of Season) - It’s no secret that when the Black Mamba is on the bench for season stretches, Meeks improves considerably. Though his shooting numbers have suffered lately, he’s averaging over 19 points in the month of January along with 3.0 assists and 2.0 steals. Kobe is due sometime in February but as we saw age has caught up with him considerably. There’s a high chance Meeks remains the Lakers’ starting shooting guard even if the Black Mamba wouldn’t have it so.
Tyreke Evans (‘Till End Of Season) - Though Evans is owned at a high clip, there’s still plenty of times you’ll find him stored in owners’ benches. A big no-no. He remains day-to-day at the moment with an ankle malady – which is a recurring problem this season and should be monitored – but with Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson injured Evans will be both scorer and distributor in the weeks to come. Even with the other two young stars in the mix, Evans has proven capable of filling up stat sheets.
Avery Bradley (‘Till End Of Season) – Bradley has a reputation for being a defense-first shooting guard who scores little and shoots worse. But this year, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. He’s averaging a respectable 14.1 Points Per Game on 45.0 percent shooting from the field, practically 40 percent from deep, and a modest 71.4 from the charity line. In light of Rondo’s imminent return, he also figures to be someone in the Celtic backcourt – unlike Jordan Crawford – who will benefit from playing alongside an elite distributor.
Mike Dunleavy Jr. (Until, And If, He Remains A Bull) - If the Rockets snag Dunleavy, he won’t remain the steady option he should in a Deng-less Bulls team. So, a rental of Dunleavy should be taken with that in mind. If he remains a Bull, he can be somewhat of a J.J. Redick of the East with a higher rebounding rate and an ability to block shots somewhat consistently.
Shaun Livingston (On/Off Until End Of Season) - Though the super-sized point has been a solid snag all year, he’s recently been someone worth added attention as Jason Kidd has been plugging him into more lineups, even with Deron Williams healthy, and the Nets are winning as a result. He’s not a high-assist point guard in all games but can score at an efficient clip, can rebound well for his position, can contribute with defensive categories, and also adds nice assist numbers every other night.