You have to love fantasy basketball. After gushing over Andre Drummond all year, a stress fracture was revealed in his back, keeping him out for 4-6 weeks and killing any fantasy value he would have had. I can’t do anything but apologize for putting all your eggs in Drummond’s basket. Yet it’s a long season and these things are unavoidable, even for the best of players. Still, our teams have to push ahead as the weeks become increasingly more important. The wire is still pretty thin right now, but here are some suggested pickups to try and ease the pain.
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Byron Mullens (44 percent owned in Yahoo!, 57 percent in ESPN)
Byron Mullens was a hot waiver wire addition at the beginning of the year, but most owners jumped ship when an ankle injury kept him out for 19 games. Charlotte is very dependent on Mullens as a post presence (sadly), and more crucially for your fake team, he has the ability to step outside and knock down the trey. Mullens has put up 15.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.5 treys so far in four games back and will get plenty of run as long as he’s healthy, making him a sold pickup in all standard leagues.
Jonas Valanciunas (11 percent owned in Y!, 13 percent in ESPN)
With Toronto shipping Ed Davis out of town and rumors spreading of Andrea Bargnani’s departure, it seems like they are putting a lot of faith in Jonas Valanciunas. The rookie center has responded well so far, dropping 12.5 points, 11.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his last two games. Valanciunas has tons of upside and with minutes opening up left and right for him, he should be able to post solid big man statistics.
Earl Clark (44 percent owned in Y!, 78 percent in ESPN)
Earl Clark has already been recommended as a pickup at Dime, but Pau Gasol’s most recent injury has thrust Clark into a much safer fantasy role. He has averaged 14.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.3 blocks over his last six games, and is the prototypical four that has to play next to Dwight Howard. While Clark might not be the most complete player in the world, he’s all the Lakers have to work with right now so he should see plenty of floor time over the next six weeks.
These guys were mentioned in last week’s edition. You have permission to grab them if they’re still around.
As long as he’s getting the minutes, Beasley has the offensive capability to stay fantasy relevant.
As long as Memphis stands pat at the trade deadline, Prince should have plenty of efficiency in his role.
These players will be out for an extended period of time, but if an impatient owner cuts them and you can afford to sit on an injury for a while, they are well worth the wait.
Derrick Rose (should be back in the next few weeks)
Tim Duncan (considered day-to-day)
Andrew Bynum (should be back in the next 1-3 weeks)
Danny Granger (should be back in the next 1-3 weeks)
Kevin Love (should be back just in time for the fantasy playoffs)
Manu Ginobili (considered day-today)
J.J. Redick (considered day-today)
Pau Gasol (check your league settings, out six weeks but could be back for the fantasy playoffs)
Who are you looking to drop and grab heading into the stretch run?
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