QUESTION OF THE WEEK:
Question of the week comes from Sarah. She asked.
When do you think it is appropriate to pick up high quality players who are in the waivers but are injured? For example, I have Manu Ginobili, Brook Lopez, and Zach Randolph sitting in my waivers. I want to pick them up before someone else does. How early should I pick them up?
So here is the answer to your question…
First let us analyze each player. If you have any questions of what players you should drop for who. Feel free to ask any questions, and an expert will be there for you.
Player: Manu Ginobili
Return Date: Mid-Late February
Role Before Injury: Easily the best player on the Spurs, he would fill up the stat sheet.
Spurs During the Injury & Moving Forward: Kawhi Leonard has come out of nowhere to become a 10+ Point, 6+ Rebound threat. While Richard Jefferson did not take advantage of his opportunity, case and point last night (0 Points in 30+ Minutes). Manu Ginobili has been missed and is easily the far more effective player than Leonard. When Manu returns he will resume his role. 15 Points, 2 3PTM, 1 Steal, 5 Assists, will be a great sign if he returns with a line like this.
When to Pick him up: If you have a solid player, but someone who is inconsistent such as a Richard Jefferson or even a Carl Landy. I would drop them for Ginobili now. You want to drop someone who is not a clear cut starter, or someone who has to fight with a lot of other players to stay fantasy relevant. Manu can give you numbers in one month that completely change your team, so if you can suffer for a month with a role player while Manu sits then you got to make the move NOW.
Player: Brook Lopez
Return Date: Early-Mid February
Role Before Injury: The #2 Scoring option on the Nets behind Deron Williams.
Nets During the Injury & Moving Forward: No center on the Nets can replace Brook Lopez. But what did happen is Kris Humphries has gained a lot of confidence as a capable PF to continue to rip rebounds away from Lopez when he returns. MarShon Brooks out of nowhere came onto become the new #2 scoring option. When Brook Lopez comes back he will resume his spot as the center for the Nets, and they will try to have a capable team now that other guys have stepped up. 15 Points, 7 Rebounds, and 1 Block, would make his fantasy owners happy when he first returns.
When to Pick him up: If you are in any league you should pick up Brook Lopez NOW. He has the chance to be a solid #1 Fantasy Center who can easily pass Greg Monroe in the rankings. He is less than a month away from returning and will make a huge IMPACT on any fantasy basketball squad.
Player: Zach Randolph
Return Date: Mid-Late February
Role Before Injury: The beast of the team down low. 20 Point, 10 Rebound games expected on the reg.
Grizzles During the Injury & Moving Forward: Marc Gasol has stepped up his game to a whole new level with Randolph out. During that 9 game span of no Randolph, Gasol has played less than 40 minutes only once. He has scored two 20+ games, and has had double digit rebounds every game. Rudy Gay has found his confidence and is back to being the Fantasy Beast he was before the injury of a season ago. Mike Conley has stepped up his game as well, and is now heading in the right direction to being a top tier PG in the NBA. Marreese Spreights has filled in very nicely becoming a solid low post scorer. When Zach Randolph returns, he will resume his role as the starting PF. But his touches may not be there as often as you would hope with the emergence of his team around him. 16 Points and 8 Rebounds, will be a good starting block for Randolph to build off of when he comes back.
When to Pick him up: Randolph is an elite talent, who now has some competition for touches. Though he is one of the best post players in the NBA and can go off any night. So if you have a player like Tyler Hansbrough on your bench, somebody who is inconsistent and just has pure potential as your worst player. Then drop him for THE BEAST who will dominate down low. The Grizzles need him to be elite so they can make it to the next level of winning the Western Conference. Add him NOW.
Player: Baron Davis
Return Date: Late January- Early February
Role Before Injury: Washed up PG who has one last glimpse of hope playing in the bright lights of NY, with superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire.
Knicks During the Injury & Moving Forward: They started the season rolling with Toney Douglas, who was quickly replaced by Iman Shumpert who is now a fan favorite. On top of that Mike Bibby, is also on the Knicks bench and his role is already small enough as is. Then when Baron Davis comes back he has to fight for shot attempts with Carmelo Anthony, and Amare.
When to Pick him up: If you have a weak-link on your team, someone that you would never consider playing. Then you can make the move now. Baron Davis does have some potential, but he has a tough road ahead to see consistent minutes, and consistent production. He could be worth the gamble, but if you have players on your roster who are giving you solid production. I would wait to drop one of those and see Baron prove himself before joining my fantasy roster.