Little was known about the severity of LaMarcus Aldridge’s thumb injury when he missed Wednesday’s game. I was texting with Razzball’s own JB about the Blazers and JB voiced his concern that Aldridge would “be out a while.” After undergoing another MRI on Thursday, the Trail Blazers announced that Aldridge would be out 6-8 weeks with a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Is JB some sort of psychic? As his college roommate, I can neither confirm nor deny that, but what I do know is that owners will be hard pressed to replace Aldridge in their lineups. He was averaging 23.2 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 1.2 bpg. Those are some pretty huge shoes to fill.

The Blazers are already shallow in the frontcourt, since Robin Lopez and Joel Freeland are also ailing. As a result, they will use Dorell Wright and Thomas Robinson more at the four. Wright started Wednesday against the Suns (15 points, 5 assists, 3 threes), but then Robinson started Thursday’s game against the Celtics (9 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks). It’s unclear who will start or if coach Terry Stotts will play matchups. Unless someone gets the majority of minutes, Wright and Robinson will eat into each other’s playing time, limiting their fantasy appeal.

To make matters worse, Nicolas Batum left early in the third quarter with a wrist injury. An upcoming MRI this weekend will reveal more information, but this could be even more devastating to the Blazers.

Prior to Wednesday’s game against the Lakers, the Pelicans announced that Jrue Holiday would be out for 2-4 weeks with a stress reaction in his right leg. After missing four straight games due to ankle inflammation, Holiday underwent further testing, which revealed the stress reaction.

While initial reports have Holiday out only 2-4 weeks, owners should note that Holiday had a similar injury last season. Holiday was limited to 34 games, after undergoing surgery to repair a stress fracture in the same leg. There’s no definite information that the injuries are related, but it is something for owners to monitor, if Holiday suffers any setback.

In a season where there has been some dominant point guard play, Jrue Holiday has held his own, averaging 15.2 points and 7.1 assists per game. As a result, the Pelicans and owners will need to find a replacement for Holiday.

Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon will take on more of a role on offense, but both players are owned in the majority of Yahoo leagues, at 88% and 62% respectively. With Evans running the point, Dante Cunningham should start at small forward, but is not worth picking up.

The Pelicans are in need of a point guard, after Holiday’s injury and trading away Austin Rivers. They signed Nate Wolters to a 10-day contract last week. Although he’ll see increased minutes and is the only true point guard on the roster, he’s not worth signing to a 10-day contract to your fantasy roster. Since the Pelicans are only a few games out of a playoff spot, it’s not crazy to think that they’ll make another trade or signing for depth. Either way, Holiday owners should look at whether Jarrett Jack (56% owned), Elfrid Payton (61%), Mo Williams (46%), or Evan Turner (36%) are available in your leagues.

Wednesday wasn’t a good day for Kobe Bryant either. In the Pelicans’ and Lakers’ game, Bryant injured his right shoulder in the second half after a two handed dunk. Bryant sat for a few minutes, before returning and shooting jumpers with his left hand! Coach Byron Scott took Bryant out after that play and remained out for the game.

On Thursday, an MRI exam revealed a tear in the rotator cuff in his right shoulder. The Lakers have sent Bryant back to Los Angeles for further testing. He’ll miss Friday’s game against the Spurs and the team will give an update then.

The Lakers had already begun resting Bryant, in order to preserve him for next season prior to Wednesday’s injury. As a result, Bryant has played in only six of the Lakers’ eleven games in 2015.

We’ll know more about the severity of the injury on Friday, but it’s clear that the Lakers want to be as cautious with Bryant as possible. Wesley Johnson and Wayne Ellington will see increased opportunities. I personally prefer Wesley Johnson for his ability to average close to a three, block, and steal per game, but both should provide some scoring, threes, and rebounds.

Nick Young should also see increased opportunities as well. Swaggy P will have fewer players to share the ball with and could see his numbers rise to last year’s averages. While these guys could be good pickups in your leagues, don’t forget that the Lakers are in full rebuild mode and could trade away any of those guys to contenders.

Held out for 11 straight games, George Hill is questionable to play on Friday. Hill has returned to practice and appears close to returning to the lineup, even if he doesn’t play on Friday. Hopefully he doesn’t suffer any setback this time around.

Deron Williams has begun to make progress with his ribs injury, having taken part in non-contact work this week. Williams is out until at least next Monday, which means that Jarrett Jack will have a couple more starts. Yes, this is the second time I’m mentioning Jack’s name. He’s starting for the Nets and somehow is available in 44% of leagues. He’s averaging 16.2 ppg, 6.4 apg, and 3.4 rpg in the last 5 games. Pick him up already!

Joakim Noah will rejoin the Bulls on their road trip this weekend, but remains questionable with an ankle injury for Friday’s game. Owners of Noah and Taj Gibson should monitor the injury report before inserting either into their starting lineups.

Deep leaguers should be aware that Danilo Gallinari will suit up for Friday’s game against the Celtics. He’s missed the last month with a torn meniscus so the Nuggets will ease him back into the lineup. Don’t run out and get him yet, but he may be worth a pickup, if he can prove he’s healthy and productive.

Fellow Nugget teammate JaVale McGee is also nearing a return. He practiced in full with the team on Thursday, after missing most of January with a sore tibia. While he could return as early as Friday, a better bet is a return on Sunday or Monday. Just like Gallinari, he’s someone to watch once he’s proved he’s healthy. At the very least he’ll be adding to his Shaqtin’ a Fool highlight reel.

  1. Bye Felicia says:
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    Wes Matthews & Lillard’s stock just went up with those guys out. Too bad I couldn’t get 3 good games out of Batum before I traded him. I’m about to cut him for Eric Gordon if he’s out a month or more. I can’t afford 3 DNP on my bench for 6 weeks

  2. Dante Green says:
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    As a Batum owner, the possibility that he misses several games(or the remainder of the season.LOL) doesn’t affect me much anymore, he has already proven himself to be one of the most annoying players to own this season! I feel bad for LMA’s owners tho, that’s one huge blow. It might cost them the championship trophy.

    • Bye Felicia says:
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      @Dante Green: I just dropped him for Giannis. I’m done with Batum. I haven’t gotten one good game out of him. Even the last 6 three game I benched him so… that’s that. Someone else can have the headache. I already have 3 hurt guys on my bench. I can’t afford having 4

      • Dante Green says:
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        @Bye Felicia: Dude I wish I got the courage to do that too! He’s been out of my lineup since like forever! How are your boys performing in your league? I’m currently sitting at 4th, surviving even tho i wasted my 3rd pick on batum!! I’d probably wait it out until he returns and then one good game(which is close to impossible LOL) from him I’m gonna sell his ass right away!

        • Bye Felicia says:
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          @Dante Green: I’m in 3rd place (9 1/2 ) games out. I’ve moved on at this point. I’m not telling you to do the same. Just had enough. I’m really not going to miss him in a 10 teamer. Plenty of streaming options

          • Dante Green says:
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            @Bye Felicia: yea I’d probably do that sooner than later, i’m just hoping somebody makes a wrong decision and drops a decent guy..

  3. Sneaky Pete says:
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    AYO Razz Nation!

    What do you guys think about robert covington vs thaddeus young in a points league? It’s hard to imagine but I am a little impressed by covington nonetheless

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Sneaky Pete: At the beginning of the season, you’d be crazy to think that these guys were that close. Halfway through the season, it’s clear that Young just isn’t who we thought he was and Covington has come from nowhere.

      They are pretty close for me. Young has a little better field goal percentage and steals, while Covington shoots better from outside. If you’re deciding to pick up Covington, maybe you can trade Thaddeus Young with another player to make room for him. Young still has the name value for a potential trade.

  4. Mike says:
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    I like Young and Galloway

  5. Mike says:
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    Hope Whiteside plays Sunday, I need his field goal percentage and blocks.

  6. Joe says:
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    My team is currently in first place but am now down 8-1 this week and will lose hold of first. Have Aldridge, Batum, and Jrue (obviously awful week for me). My league has 2 IR slots that I can stash Aldridge and either Batum or Jrue on. Took a gamble and traded Rondo, Collison, and Ibaka for A Davis. Good move? Team below

    G: Steph, (Jrue), E Payton, Jarrett Jack, (Batum), Gordon
    F: Durant, Covington, Anderson
    Pf/C: Davis, (Aldridge), Gortat, Sullinger, Whiteside

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Joe: Getting Anthony Davis is great. Looks like you have the depth at point guard to make that trade. Sounds like Aldridge and Batum will try to play through their respective injuries so you might not have the ability to put one of them on the IR. But looks like a strong team. Can’t believe you have Steph, Durant, and Davis.

  7. Valentino13 says:
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    Hello, I play in a 18-man league. I have atm Hodiday (IR) and Bledsoe, Calderon, Ginobili, W.Johnson, P.Gasol, Jefferson, Len, K.Martin, C.Watson, T. Allen, T.Robinson, Mahinmi. Shall i get Snell or D. Powell(and keep in case of a Dallas injury) instead of a player I have? My many injuries have resulted in my owing 20-30 games more than most players in my league. Thanks

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Valentino13: No, I wouldn’t pick up either of those guys. I think your current roster has the better players on it.

  8. Joe says:
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    Have Aldridge, Batum, and Jrue all injured this week
    G: Curry, (Jrue), Rondo, Collison, E Payton, Jack, (Batum), E Gordon
    F: Durant, Covington, R Anderson
    C: (Aldridge), Ibaka, Gortat, Sullinger

    League has 2 IR slots. Trade Ibaka, Collison, Jack for Anthony Davis?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Joe: Looks like I answered your question above, but if you can get him for Jack instead of Rondo, then that’s even better.

  9. Chicken Dinner says:
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    So, when is it going to come out that draft kings is rigged?

    Yet another “winner” with 10 team teams, at $2 a piece, winning $17000.

    Not ONCE. For YEARS have I RANDOMLY got 1st place. BUT…..Peeps be rolling in the dough wit some random shizz on the reg.

    Do we Know the winners? Can we regulate who’s who? Can the owners of the site be plugging winning lineups in as it happens? OF COURSE! WHY NOT! GREED IS THE NAME OF THE GAME!

  10. DK says:
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    Always appreciate the help, Peter.

    14 teams, 9 cats H2H. KD owner wants Millsap + Duncan/Lawson. Trade or just keep my roster as is?

    My roster seems decent. Not sure if KD will help. Giving Millsap+Duncan means losing plenty of rebs and blocks. And my FA is quite dry. Millsap+Lawson seems more doable, but I would really have to have steal replacements cos that’s losing quite a big chunk of steals.

    Guards: Curry, Lawson, Dragic, DJA, Lou
    SF/F: Draymond, Covington, McDaniels. T.Jones
    PF/C: Millsap, Gortat, Duncan, Mozgov

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @DK: I’m fine with trading away Duncan because he should be benched more down the stretch to preserve him for the playoffs. However, I agree with your assessment that without Millsap and Duncan, you would be pretty weak at the PF/C position. When Terrence Jones gets back, he’ll provide some boards and blocks, but I don’t think you should trade both Millsap and Duncan. If you can get away with Duncan/Lawson, then definitely do it. KD’s toe injury shouldn’t be long term. Or see how if he values Dragic more than Lawson.

      • DK says:
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        @Peter Kap: Yeah I agree with you. Trading Millsap and Duncan creates huge holes unless I’m going for AD, don’t think the owner wants. I am losing too much reb, stl and Blk. KD owner specifically wants Millsap with either Duncan or Lawson. I rather try moving Duncan first and see about Millsap Lawson trade later.

        What do you think good trades for Duncan is? I’m currently looking at Deandre. Not very sure on Dieng cos someone is getting benched in Min when kmart starts. I tried for better bigs like Gasol Bros, ibaka… But owner doesn’t want.

        • Peter Kap

          Peter Kap says:
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          @DK: Are there particular stats you are looking to improve? If you want to upgrade in blocks/rebounds, then DeAndre Jordan or Andre Drummond would be fine (but watch out for FT%). If you want threes, maybe Kevin Love or Dirk Nowitzki, though you might have to throw in someone else like Williams or Mozgov to make it work. Perhaps owners are scared of Aldridge’s injury or Al Jefferson, and you can try to get one of them in a 2-for-1 trade.

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