There are a lot of injured players in fantasy basketball right now. Each one has a different injury or a different timetable and you need to set rosters for today right?! I’ll take you through the biggest injury question marks early in the season.
Love is the biggest fantasy basketball asset on the shelf right now. He was a consensus Top 3 pick before injuring his hand preseason. Love expects to see a hand specialist next week for reevaluation, but is still looking likely to miss another 4-6 weeks. The end of November is his targeted return date at this point, but that’s not based on much information. Love is an elite stash, especially if he can keep his games missed under 15. As you’ll see, I’m not a big fan of stashing player, but Love is the exception to the rule. He is elite when healthy and that should be sooner than later. Both AK47 and Chase Budinger should help you fill the void of Love if you need a placeholder.
Amare used to be one of my favorite players to watch in the league, but injuries have sapped him of what was once Shawn Kemp-like explosiveness. He recently underwent left knee surgery and is expected to miss 6-8 weeks. At this point, the Knicks are Carmelo Anthony’s team and knee surgery timetables are usually given to when a player can start playing again. This means conditioning is left out of the equation. I would expect Amare to miss closer to 10 weeks and he is droppable in almost every format. I wouldn’t stash him until we hear good news about him working out. JR Smith should be the biggest beneficiary of Amare’s absence.
Bynum was a guy being taken in first rounds of fantasy drafts right up until the last week. They kept talking about his knee surgery measures as preventative, but that was obviously misleading. He currently has no timetable for his return, but is flat out too valuable to be cut at this point. The 76ers beat writers are currently predicting he misses at least the first 7-10 games. He did start conditioning, which is a good sign, be sure to try and add Spencer Hawes, who should provide must-own value until Bynum returns.
Gordon went from being a game time decision for opening night to being “out indefinitely”. Gordon says his knee is very painful, but the trainers say its structurally sound. This is making for an interesting situation for both Hornets fans and fantasy basketballers. Gordon is an elite, and I will say it again, ELITE, fantasy asset when he is on the floor. The problem is, we rarely know when that will be. He is probably the toughest situation to judge. If you drop him and he returns in a couple weeks, you will regret it, but if you keep him and he sits the season, you’ll probably regret that more. I would trade him to the least risk-averse owner in your league for any must-own player. Think Kawhi Leonard or Byron Mullens. That saves you the hassle of dropping him for waiver wire fodder, while also avoiding a black hole of a roster spot for the whole season.
Dirk wasn’t himself last season due to the lockout and a change in the team dynamic. He looked to be back on track this preseason before a knee injury derailed him. Dirk’s timetable isn’t really known. He has even said he can’t predict one. It looks like 2-5 weeks is the range at this point, but I would assume it’s a lot closer to the 5 than the 2. He didn’t even travel with the Mavericks to their first game, so he is obviously still in the early stages of rehab. He is still a must-own and if you can own Brandon Wright or Shawn Marion to help fill the void I recommend both. Stash Dirk and dismiss the lowball offers you’ll get. Once he gets to full strength, he will once again be a huge fantasy asset.
Granger was one of the most surprising out of all of these players. We hadn’t heard much about his knee woes until it was too late. He apparently just has left knee soreness at this point, but who knows what that means. He is going to get a second opinion and that should deliver us a timetable. I can’t do anything but hold if I own him until we get a timetable, but if Gerald Green is somehow still out there or prematurely dropped, I would make sure to own him as he led the Pacers in minutes the other night starting in Granger’s absence.
Verdict: Stash until we have a timetable
Rose, as everyone knows, tore his ACL in the playoffs last season. That is most times a 12-month recovery process. He is excpected to be out until around February at the earliest. I completely left him off my pre-draft rankings for daily leagues, because in that format you lose so much with an inactive bench player. I love Derrick Rose and his game, but there is ZERO reason to stash him at this point. We have no solid updates on his recovery or any reason to think he’ll be back in less than the 4 months it’s looking like. Drop him and don’t consider adding him until we have a real timetable.
Rubio is in a similar boat to Rose, but much further ahead in the recovery process. Rubio has a timetable already and hopes to be back with the Wolves in mid-December. Now that’s a timetable I can get behind! I don’t own Rubio in any leagues, but that was more because of how high others drafted him than me trying to avoid him. I love the team in Minnesota when they are healthy and think that he is going to improve on his numbers from a year ago even after surgery as he didn’t have a game that relied on athleticism in the first place.
Wall was one of the earliest of the preseason injuries. He injured his left patella working out and was projected to miss 8 weeks following the initial diagnosis. He remains on that timetable, which should have him returning shortly after Thanksgiving. Wall is a great stash because of his upside and the fact that there is so much depth at point guard. I recommend adding Luke Ridnour or JJ Barea to your team if you own them as they should be able to bide you time until Wall returns if you need stats now.
If I missed anyone feel free to let me know in the comments and I’ll either respond or add them.