Yesterday was the Omaha Beach of fantasy days. It was not fun. There were tons of injuries to big-name players that went down and today we're going to assess as much as we can by talking about which players will benefit. I ranked 60 (!!) guys that are owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN leagues (or are close and have ownership trending down).
1. Tyrus Thomas- He blocked nine shots and stole four last night. Ty Tom should have remained owned in most leagues, but actions speak louder than words when it comes to fantasy.
2. Anthony Morrow- Damion James is out for the year so Morrow should have less competition at the three. Morrow had a hot streak a few weeks ago and has recently played in 35.3 MPG over his last three. Yes MarShon was out, but Morrow should be able to attain 32 MPG even with the rookie back in action.
3. Drew Gooden- When Andrew Bogut gets hurt, you add Drew Gooden. It's pretty simple. The Jayhawk was pretty solid with 11 points, two boards, two assists, a steal, a block and a three in 28 minutes last night. If Bogut misses a month, he'd be a lot higher. Although it seems like Bogut will only miss a couple weeks. Stay tuned.
4. Chandler Parsons- CP2 (Chandler Parsons Project) was getting minutes for a while and wasn't putting up the numbers to match. On Wednesday he did just that with 16 points, seven boards, five assists, two steals and two swats. He also shoots the three and has nice upside as a multi-cat guy. Oh and Chase Budinger got a DNPCD.
5. Linas Kleiza- Kleiza has quickly become my boy. I've mentioned him on Twitter countless times because of his ability to increase Toronto's offensive punch. Andrea Bargnani is probably going to be out for a while (MRI today) and it would make perfect sense to use Kleiza in 30 MPG. The Raptors have gone small against the Suns (a team that doesn't have size) and the Jazz (had size), so the matchup factor is almost a moot point. Kleiza's line was 25 points, five boards and four threes in 33 minutes. This was the second game in a row where he played down the stretch and was a major factor in giving the team the victory.
6. James Johnson- James Johnson doesn't really have the offensive skills that Kleiza does, however, Kleiza has no chance to guard small forwards on the the wing. Johnson should have no problem getting 30 minutes and should flirt with 3.0 BPG + SPG while Bargnani is out. He had six blocks last night and averaged 37 MPG in his last two.
7. Chuck Hayes- J.J. Hickson and Jason Thompson are garbage. Hayes is likely to return this weekend and owners needing some boards, points and a mixture of other stats should certainly think about pouncing on him.
8. Marcus Camby- He's healthy. In his last two he has averaged 19 boards and 2.5 blocks in 28 MPG. Of course he's going to get hurt and his owners should give him a really short leash once he finally goes down.
9. Landry Fields- Fields last five: 15 points, four boards, four assists, 1.6 SPG, and 0.6 3PM on 56 percent from the field. He should be able to get minutes even with Baron nearing a return. He has stepped it up while Melo has fallen apart.
10. Mike Dunleavy- Mike Jr. has carved himself out a nice role as the sixth man for the Bucks. In his last two games he has 17.7 PPG in 29.5 minutes. The Duke product was putting up some decent numbers to start the season before he went down with a groin injury. He hit three treys last night and has a knack for adding secondary stats, too.
11. Byron Mullens- Obviously Mullens is not trending upward at all and I put him on here as a measuring stick for those of you that own him. It seems that the NBA coaches figured out that Mullens doesn't have much of an arsenal when it comes to creating his own shots. It was fun while it lasted, but the loss on Wednesday is an indication that the Bobcats might give Biyombo more of a look. What's more, if you look at the Charlotte roster, you have to wonder why they don't push the pace a bit more. They are a guard-heavy team and have an athletic Tyrus Thomas to play the four. Diaw would have to stop super sizing.
12. Evan Turner- The depth of the Sixers is his undoing. He did hit the jackpot last night with a 7-7-7 line in 29 minutes. Lou Williams is playing fantastic ball right now and Turner is unlikely to have a breakout year with both Will and Jrue Holiday healthy.
13 .Ersan Ilyasova- The Turkish Roller Coaster, which is probably my favorite nickname I've ever given out, has lived up to the billing yet again. His last three have been at the apex of the roller coaster with 11 PPG and 12 RPG. He is one of the most inconsistent players in the league and will not be fun to own. He has a decent ceiling since he shoots the triple though.
14. Jimmer Fredette- Marcus Thornton is still going to miss 10 days or so with his thigh injury. The Jimmer had himself a useful night Wednesday with five triples on his way to 19 points in 36 minutes. He's a nice player to add and should put up numbers sans M.T. I'd strongly consider shopping him in a week before Thornton comes back (more on that later).
15. Derrick Favors- Al Jefferson will undergo an MRI on his gimpy ankle and is a GTD for Friday. The GT Yellow Jacket put up some numbers with 16 points, 12 boards, a block and a steal in a whopping 42 minutes. If you're in a shallow league and have Jefferson I would highly suggest grabbing him as a handcuff.
17. Gordon Hayward- Raja Bell is a GTD with back and knee ailments for Friday's game. Bell played 38 minutes and I'd expect Hayward to shoulder most of the load. At first glance, Hayward didn't do much last night with only two points. However, he shot it nine times, grabbed seven boards, dished out three dimes, stole two and blocked one in 37 minutes.
18. Baron Davis- He could be back this weekend. Warning: Baron isn't going to set the world on fire right away and he almost has to be eased back into a regular spot in the rotation. He has some upside and owners that need a PG might want to make a proactive move. By the way, don't hastily cut Iman Shumpert despite his 22-minute game last night.
19. Leandro Barbosa- A lot of Raptor love here, folks. They've went small in the last two games and they've won them both, as previously stated. The Blur played 27.0 MPG and scored 17.0 PPG in his last four games and looks like he could get on a nice little run with Bargnani likely out.
20. Austin Daye- Daye had one of the biggest lines of the night with 26 points, six boards, a steal and four from downtown in 30 minutes. Tayshaun Prince did not play, so it's not hard to figure out where this out-of-nowhere production came from. Daye has huge Parsons-like upside (what?) since he brings D and hits triples. Maybe Lawrence Frank decides to play the kids and Daye would have some value at a 24 MPG clip in deep league.
21. Carl Landry- He has played in 29 MPG and scored 17.3 PPG in his last three games and is getting back into the groove. The former King and Rocket buried 11 free throws and is one of the better bigs for FT% once/if he starting humming. Chris Kaman left his wallet in El Segundo and didn't play. A healthy scratch.
22. Mehmet Okur- 30 MPG, 1.6 3PM, 7.6 PPG and 4.8 RPG yer game in his last five games isn't terrible. He is healthy and owners that need a center could do worse. Brook Lopez will be back in a few weeks though.
23. Jordan Crawford- Michael Jordan Crawford has been all over the place. So is the life of a trigger-happy SG. He's going to be a headache to own even with his upside.
24. Corey Brewer- Ty Lawson hurt his ankle and the Nuggets are decimated in the backcourt. Arron Affalo and Rudy Fernandez are both ailing as well. Brewer had 15 points, three steals and a block in 32 minutes. Of course he made 7-of-19 from the field, his Achilles' heel as a fantasy asset.
25. Jonas Jerebko- J.J. he is in cruise control as a low-upside big with some consistency. Owners in deep leagues shouldn't swing for the fences 100 percent of the time and he is a guy that should be reliable.
26. Jason Smith- Chris Kaman is lost in the Mesozoic era. 8-4-2 for J-Smooth last night. Too bad Smoove was taken.
27. Marvin Williams- T-Mac is starting to run out of gas which should help feed Starvin' Marvin some more minutes. He played 27 and put up eight points and nine boards last night.
28. Rashard Lewis- The NBA's most overpaid man is playing 25 MPG in his last five games and isn't completely dead. Since he can shoot the three and doesn't hate his coach, he might have some value.
29. Ronnie Brewer- Luol Deng is reportedly going to play Sunday. This news obviously cripples Brewer's value despite the enormous 20 points, 10 boards, five assists and three steals in 42 minutes last night.
30. Courtney Lee- Budinger's Houdini means Lee should be a bigger part of the rotation. He took 10 shots last night and only made two of them though. CL-Smooth shoots the three and isn't too shabby on the defense either. Plus, he would blow up in the event of a Kid-Mart injury. Which happens a lot more than it should.
31. Derrick Brown- Brown followed up his 15-point gem on Tuesday with a mild 10 points on Wednesday. He is going to start with DJA on the mend for the next few games and should not have a problem maintaining the 31 MPG he has played in the last three games. Gerald Henderson is also hurting with a bruised coccyx bone and is likely just DTD.
32. Jordan Farmar- Farmar is really just a double-handcuff guard now that MarShon Brooks has missed two games. He would gain tremendous value if Deron Williams goes down; he was also good last night sans Brooks with 12 points including two bombs in 27 minutes.
33. Jodie Meeks- 36 minutes, eight boards, a block and a steal last night on top of his two threes. He's usually a one-trick pony though.
34. Darko Milicic- Maybe Darko was a better pick than Carmelo Anthony after all. I'm kidding of course. Darko flirted with a trip-dub with eight points, seven boards and seven blocks. This is his second good game in the past four games. Oh and maybe Khloe Kardashian should talk to Darko about how to make Lamar Odom a submissive little baby.
35. Anthony Parker- He is over his back injury and played 27 MPG in his last two games. Wednesday's game was an adequate 13 points, two triples and a steal. The Cavs are very weak on the wing and need some more scoring in their backcourt, so maybe Parker can go on a little hot streak.
36. George Hill- He's a decent guy as a sixth man and has some upside as the backup PG. He's another guy that is trending downward and his owners in deep leagues might want to consider other options.
37. Ekpe Udoh- Udoh is another guy that I can't help but like. He seems like such a great fit for the way Golden State should move the ball up and down the court. Mark Jackson does seem a bit too prideful for that though. But I digress. The Baylor Bear played 27 minutes, pulled down seven rebounds, swiped two and eradicated two on Wednesday.
38. Bismack Biyombo- It might be time for #BiyomboBrigade. He stil is very, very raw and doesn't have much to his offensive game. He gives the Bobbies a nice presence inside and obviously has upside for owners dying for blocks.
39. Ron Artest- Those Peace puns are out of control.
40. Jon Leuer- Could be on the upswing with Bogut out. Hasn't done anything in the past week though.
41. Daniel Green- Spurs players do not get anything written about them.
42. Roddy Beaubois- He looks so good when he gets minutes. He doesn't though.
43. Isaiah Thomas- There is a whole lot to like about Zeke Jr. He has a great understanding of the idiosyncrasies of the point guard spot and has some nice skills, too. 16 points, six assists and two threes in 30 minutes also shows his upside. He's just a watch-list guy for now though. He is also another reason why I'm a little bit down on Jimmer.
44. Matt Carroll-We'll see how bad Gerald's tailbone is.
45. Wayne Ellington- 39 minutes, 15 shots, 16 points and two blocks. That probably won't happen again and Beasley will be back relatively soon. He's a decent spot-start guy though.
46. DeShawn Stevenson- Decent spot-start wing for treys.
47. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute- The Bogut injury is a mess.
48. Jared Jeffries- He's really just a player most owners will use as a plug-n-play guy in daily moves with no max moves. He is taking triples and should play 20-25 MPG with Jorts out.
50. Goran Dragic- More fallout from the jettison of Budinger.
51. Nikola Pekovic- 13 and seven in 20 minutes.
53. Mike Miller- Wade should be back very soon.
54. Gustavo Ayon- Too bad this guy doesn't play minutes. He is pretty potent for fantasy when he's out there.
55. Cory Higgins- Might be a decent deep add while/if Gerald is on the mend.
56. Alonzo Gee- Casspi stinking it up again.
57. Kirk Hinrich- He's back. He won't hurt Teague.
58. Xavier Henry- He actually played.
59. Jan Vesely- The Wizards actually ran plays to him on Wednesday. Six points, six boards, three blocks and a steal.
60. Yi Jianlian- Spot-start with Dirk out. The Mavs actually used him.
Personally, all of these injuries have forced my hand to jam out to my cheer-me-up playlist on my iPhone (loaded with Tribe Called Quest, Pete Rock, The Pharcyde and De La Soul). It's kinda working and I stopped looking to see where antifreeze, ropes and cinder blocks are on sale. Kidding of course. Please don't call the suicide hotline for me.
Thanks for reading!
Bonus! Hey for those of you that checked out my rushed work before I was able to edit it, I feel pretty bad about not proofreading it (I didn't have time and it was pretty bad). To make it up to you guys, let's rank the players that might have some eight-cat value for tonight:
1. Marc Gasol
2. Rudy Gay
3. Chris Paul
6. Paul Pierce
8. Mike Conley
10. Kevin Garnett
11. Hedo Turkoglu
12. O.J. Mayo
13. Avery Bradley
14. Chauncey Billups
15. Caron Butler
16. Jason Richardson
17. J.J. Redick
18. Jameer Nelson
20. Tony Allen
21. Mo Williams
22. Keyon Dooling
23. Brandon Bass
24. Reggie Evans
25. Greg Steimsma
26. Mickael Pietrus (expected to play)
27. Ryan Gomes (sorry, Jim Calhoun)
28. Randy Foye
29. Glen Davis
30. Earl Clark
31. Dante Cunningham
32. Quincy Pondexter
33. E'Twaun Moore
35. Chris Duhon
36. Marquis Daniels
37. Josh Selby
38. Sam Young
39. Hamed Haddadi
40. Sasha Pavlovic
41. JaJuan Johnson
42. Solomon Jones
43. Jeremy Pargo
44. Josh Davis
45. Von Wafer
46. Larry Hughes
47. Justin Harper
Thanks for reading (again)!