Bad gets worse for Cavs
Cleveland injuries may not be best thing for fantasy
By: Corby Yarbrough | 1/10/11, 7:54 PM EST
So Anderson Varejao is out for the season. Can it get any worse for the Cleveland Cavaliers in the post-LeBron era?
But the beauty of fantasy, you and your team can just move on and find another replacement. Or someone else in your league might already have that replacement where they can benefit from the injury or trade you what you need. Either way, one of you should benefit in the fantasy world as J.J. Hickson's value increases in the real world.
A torn tendon in Varejao's ankle will sideline the team's leading rebounder and shot blocker for the year, leaving the door wide open for someone else to take care of the inside for the Cavaliers.
Hickson should be that someone else. He is already averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 boards to go with a 44-percent clip from the field. Since the turn of the year (four games for Hickson), he has averaged 17 points, nine boards to go along with 1.3 steals and one block per game. In 21 games as a starter, Hickson has averaged 25 minutes per game, 12.1 points, six boards and shot .447 from the field this season.
He has forward-center eligibility in Yahoo leagues and is still available in 38 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Monday afternoon.
CAVS SESSION, PART TWO
Daniel Gibson, the Cavs' starting point guard, also has an ankle issue, a sprain that is expected to sideline him for the three games Cleveland has this week. In steps Ramon Sessions.
Sessions has started seven games this season, playing nearly 30 minutes per in those games, scoring 11.9 points with 4.1 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 0.9 steals. He has also shot a miserable 37 percent from the field in those starts. Overall, Sessions averages 10.2 points, 4.2 assists, 2.8 boards and 43 percent from the field in 22 minutes of action over the 36 games played this season. He is available in 72 percent of Yahoo leagues and can be used at both guard spots.
The Cavs play the Jazz, Lakers and Nuggets this week and score just 94 points per game this season — good for 26th out of 30 teams in the league. So while there may be two openings for Cleveland players on your roster, keep in mind the team's lack of production before you hit "Add Player" to your roster.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?
Pardon my hack line, but Lakers guard-forward Shannon Brown may be able to do a lot for you with the injury to fellow reserve Matt Barnes (torn meniscus in his left knee).
I had Brown earlier in the season when he was scoring in double digits nine times in November, shooting 48 percent from the field, 95 percent from the stripe with 1.7 3s and 2.7 rebounds during that time. But I bailed after a little slump and it seemed like he and Barnes were canceling each other out when there might have been more consistent options out there.
Now with Barnes expected to miss two months, Brown and his guard-forward eligibility and the fact that the Lakers are starting to score again, makes him a solid pickup option. He is available in 72 percent of Yahoo leagues.
HORNET SHOOTING GUARDS STILL STING
Call me bitter. Hi, I'm bitter.
I was really hoping New Orleans shooting guard Marcus Thornton would cash in on his sleeper status. He walked into the preseason as the starter but lost the job to Marco Belinelli and has not seen the starting lineup all season.
Then I see on one of my go to blogs _ Razzball _ that New Orleans is 4-0 when reserve shooting guard Marcus Thornton plays 21-plus minutes. In those four games, Thornton averages 15 points, five rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.5 steals in those four games. He averages 6.1 points, 2.5 boards, 0.7 assists and 0.3 steals for the entire season.
Belinelli, who earned the starting nod in the preseason and has had it for all 38 games, averages 11.3 points, 2.1 boards, 1.4 assists and 0.6 steals in 28 minutes per game.
So I had to get my Thornton frustration off my chest, and don't look for him to catch fire anytime soon. He hasn't scored in the last four games and has not hit double digits since Dec. 22. He also hasn't played over 10 minutes this calendar year and hasn't hit the teens since Dec. 29 (16:48), which ended a string of eight games where he played less than 16 minutes just once.
NOT WORTH THE TIME
Andre Iguodala has missed the last seven games with an Achilles injury, and may return Tuesday night when the 76ers play the Pacers. He returned to practice Monday, and with just two games this week — also playing Friday against Milwaukee — it is probably not wise to lock Iguodala or any of his replacements (i.e. Andres Nocioni who has averaged 11.4 points, seven rebound and 1.7 assists during those seven games) in to your roster.
While Shawn Marion and Jason Terry see increased production with the absence of Caron Butler (out for season) and Dirk Nowitzki (sore knee), the subject of Nowtizki's return will be answered when you see him on the court.
Nowitzki has missed seven games, and the team starts a three-game week at Indiana Wednesday night. Will the streak reach eight?
"We'll let you know when he's going to play," Mavs coach Rick Carlisle told reporters.
That doesn't do a lot for fantasy players who are trying to set rosters early in the week. I would keep riding the replacement wave of Marion and Terry this week and then see how it pans out when Nowitzki returns — which will affect both Dirk owners and those who have benefited from the depleted Dallas lineup.
FAITH IN EVANS
Add sprained ankle to the ailments reigning Rookie of the Year Tyreke Evans has to deal with.
The point guard has apparently decided to battle through the plantar fasciitis that has plagued him all season, but the ankle may cause him to miss his second straight game when the team plays Washington Tuesday.
This puts Evans' owners in a tough spot. The Kings have a four-game road slate with Washington, Boston, New York and Detroit this week. He is a warrior and his status is only iffy right now for Washington. So I would take as iffy as maybe and then be hopefully for him suiting up for the next three games.
NINE OUT OF 10 SAY ... BE THE OTHER ONE
Orlando's Hedo Turkoglu is heating up and his three-position eligibility (SG/SF/PF) is nice too boot.
He has averaged 13.8 points, 6.3 boards, 6.8 assists, 1.6 steals and two 3-pointers a game since the Christmas Day win over Boston (eight games).
Turkoglu is still available in 10 percent of Yahoo leagues, so if you are in one of these leagues go get him.
A NEW BREW?
Minnesota guard-forward Corey Brewer has taken over the starting 2-guard gig from Wes Johnson and is available in 87 percent of Yahoo leagues.
His shooting percentages are terrible (.359 from the field and .254 from 3), career-worst terrible. But in the four games he has managed to start this season, he's shot .395 from the field, .583 from beyond the arc and seen his scoring go from 8.4 to 12.0.
Where Minnesota is different from another terrible team like Cleveland is that the T'Wolves average an eighth-best 102.8 points per game as opposed to a 26th-best 94 a game.
Give Brewer and his guard-forward eligibility a shot this week as the Timberwolves play a three-game week against the Spurs, Wizards and Magic.
Gerald Wallace's ankle has forced him out of the lineup again, this time for the last three games. There's talk that he may return Wednesday against Chicago. That would still give him a three-game week with Boston and the Hornets still to go.
The downside is that these are three defensive minded teams that control possession, so there might not be a lot of opportunities for Wallace. If you have better options, although his high ADP suggest you won't, I would hold off on Wallace.
— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter
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