We start this week’s injury report with some good news. The 76ers welcomed back Michael Carter-Williams and Nerlens Noel to the court on Thursday night. MCW immediately contributed, posting a 19/8/5 line off the bench. It was good to see him play 30 minutes in his first game back, and I expect to see him starting soon.

Nerlens Noel came off the bench as well, after missing two games with a sprained ankle. Although the 76ers were glad to have them back, it really didn’t matter. The Mavericks destroyed the 76ers 123-70. The Mavericks scored more points in the first half (73) than the 76ers scored in the entire game!

Now for the bad news: Derrick Rose is hurt again. Rose left Thursday’s game with a hamstring injury late in the 4th quarter. His status for Saturday’s game is up in the air as we await more information. In the games he’s played, Rose looks like his old self. The problem is that he hasn’t played that many games. He’s missed four games already with a pair of sprained ankles. Even if the hamstring injury isn’t serious, expect to see him miss some games here and there. The Bulls are more concerned about Rose’s long term health and having him ready to go for the playoffs.

When Rose doesn’t dress, look for Aaron Brooks to provide value. He’s shown in the past that he can still produce when given the minutes. Brooks has averaged 16 ppg, 6 apg, and 2.75 spg in the four games that Rose has been out. The minutes won’t be consistent, but Brooks will have upside for starters’ minutes off the bench and is a great start in daily salary cap leagues whenever Rose is ailing.

A recurring theme in the comments section last week was the status of Ricky Rubio. He left last Friday’s game against the Orlando Magic with an ankle injury. Fortunately for Rubio and fantasy owners, he did not break his ankle, but instead has a severely sprained ankle. The injury will keep him out of the lineup for the next 7-8 weeks, putting a return somewhere around late December. Rubio is an elite contributor in steals and assists and it will be difficult to replace those stats on the waiver wire.

Most people assumed that the Rubio injury would open the door for backup point guard Mo Williams. However, just because a guy is the backup on the depth chart, doesn’t necessarily mean he is going to get the first crack at minutes. Coach Flip Saunders decided to insert Zach LaVine into the starting lineup, instead of Mo. He prefers to have LaVine surrounded by older veterans in the starting rotation, allowing Williams to run the younger second unit. Hopefully you didn’t rush to add Williams and drop someone more proven.

A rookie, LaVine will be doing a lot of learning on the job. The minutes will be there (30 mpg in two starts), but there is a reason he only saw 5 minutes of court time before Ricky Rubio went down. In two starts, LaVine has put up 13 points, 13 assists, and 9 rebounds on 4/14 shooting from the field. There is definitely some value to be had in the assist department, but he’s only 19 years old and was drafted as a project.

Mo Williams has only seen 18 mpg since Rubio was injured and didn’t do much with those minutes (4 points, 11 assists, 6 rebounds in two games). Williams will continue to come off the bench, unless LaVine really struggles, but the Timberwolves are in total rebuild mode so I doubt that will happen. LaVine is the better fantasy player since he’s starting and getting more minutes, but I don’t think either is a must add, except in deep leagues.

The Celtics also received an injury scare to their guard last Friday. Marcus Smart was carted off the court on a stretcher with a leg injury. After undergoing further tests, he was diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and bone bruise. He is expected to be out for the next two to three weeks. Smart was not owned in nearly as many leagues as Rubio, but this injury still affects fantasy leagues.

Avery Bradley will get a slight uptick in minutes, though he was already seeing around 30 minutes a night. Bradley won’t get the assists of your traditional point guard, but will provide solid scoring, steals, and 3 point shooting (15.7 ppg, 1.0 spg, 1.6 3PTM so far this season). Owned in only 59% of leagues, I’d rather pick up Bradley over LaVine or Williams, though Bradley won’t replace Rubio’s stats.

There was some worry that Rajon Rondo might not be ready to start the season. He not only started opening night, but also has been a triple double threat every night. Rondo did miss a game last week to remove a screw from his surgically repaired hand, but should be 100% going forward. More concerning to his fantasy prospects is a trade from the Celtics.

Updating David Lee’s hamstring injury, he will be out at least another week. The MRI he underwent last week revealed that he has an aggravated strained left hamstring. The good news is that Lee was able to test out his leg during Wednesday’s practice. He did some running up and down the court, but is not expected to be evaluated again until next week at the earliest. Owned in 73% of Yahoo leagues, run to pickup Draymond Green off waivers. He continues to start and see 30+ minutes a night while Lee is sidelined. Unlike a lot of injury replacements, Green should have value even when Lee returns.

Portland Trailblazer Nicolas Batum is day to day with a right knee contusion, after banging knees with teammate Robin Lopez. Unfortunately for Batum, that’s the only banging Sideshow Bob does. Batum missed two games on Tuesday and Wednesday, but there isn’t a specific timetable for his return. Allen Crabbe has started in Batum’s place, but isn’t worth picking up. For now, expect Batum to miss another game or two, before returning back to the starting lineup. Given his slow start and injury, now is the perfect time to buy low on Batum. Already averaging 7.7 rpg and 5.7 apg, his 9 ppg will rise. He’s not going to shoot 36% from the field all season.

  1. Spencer says:
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    Tyson Chandler for Jose Calderon?

    H2H 8-Cat where I’m leading FG%, REB, BLK, and PTS. Middle to lower in AST and STL.

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Spencer: That’s probably a fair offer. Calderon is currently ramping up activities in hopes of playing soon. The only downside is that Calederon has an injury history so there’s no guarantee that he will stay healthy. He’s averaged about 70 games in his 9 season career.

  2. Ujiri Prokhorov says:
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    Fantasy Lords,

    Do either of these sound good to you: 14 Team, 10 CAt league

    Batum & Isaiah Thomas for Lowry (I own Lowry)
    or
    Batum & Thomas for MCW & Copeland (I own MCW and Copeland)

    Embrace me with your Wisdom.

    • kisses says:
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      @Ujiri Prokhorov: I would much rather have Batum and IT2 over MCW and Copeland. Losing Lowry would be a bit much, imo.

      • Ujiri Prokhorov says:
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        @kisses:

        Thanks for your input Mr. or Mrs. Kisses..

        Not accepting either trade is also an option btw. lol

        • Peter Kap

          Peter Kap says:
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          @Ujiri Prokhorov: I agree with Kisses. I would do the second trade. Copeland’s usage is going to go down when George Hill and David West return. You’re buying low on Batum and Thomas is only a slight downgrade from MCW.

  3. Bgrizzle says:
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    Kevin Martin for Jonas Vala?

    I really needed Martin to boost my FG% but other than that I good to let him go. Does JV turn it around and give be better value?

    • kisses says:
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      @Bgrizzle: who are your other bigs? I just moved KevMart for a big since I don’t trust that offense without Rubio. His FT% and treys are all I’m going to miss, but that already looks like it’s disappearing without Rubio.

      • Bgrizzle says:
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        @kisses:

        My bigs are kinda nasty…. ALjeff, Horford, Ibaka, Tjones

        • Peter Kap

          Peter Kap says:
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          @Bgrizzle: Martin isn’t really going to boost your FG%. His value really comes from his scoring, threes, and free throw percentage. You’ll want someone shooting closer to 50% to really boost your FG%.

          Valanciunas has been good in limited minutes, but the problem is that he hasn’t gotten a lot of time on the court, though the minutes have been increasing. He finally got over 30+ minutes for the first time this season on Saturday and responded with a 17/14/2 line. Since you have solid bigs already, I would hold onto Martin or move him for a position that is more of need. Valanciunas has the skills, but I still need to see the Raptors give him more playing time before I invest.

  4. hamtime says:
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    woud you drop elfrid for henson oquinn, or tim hardaway jr? elfrid’s time looks to be compromised with ola back. shump may have been inured..

    • hamtime says:
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      @hamtime: looking also at dropping elfrid for lamb, shawne williams, or henson in my 16man 11cat

      • Peter Kap

        Peter Kap says:
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        @hamtime: You’re right that Elfrid will be coming off the bench now that Oladipo is back from injury. Payton might have some fantasy value later in the season for his assists/steals, but he wasn’t even doing much in the minutes he was getting. Henson’s minutes are also unpredictable. He’s going to help with blocks in limited minutes, but that’s about it. O’Quinn is still hurt and has competition for minutes, when he does return.

        Lamb and Williams are getting the most minutes and are probably the wiser pickups, even though their minutes may only be short lived. Why not pick up one of those guys until their teams get healthy and/or they cool off? Who knows, maybe Williams remains the starter all season.

  5. Mehdan says:
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    I have Goran Dragic, IT2, and Markief Morris on my roster and im too phoenix heavy.

    looking on trading IT2 off but not sure what would be a good prospect.

    Oladipo and Collison are both free agents, would it be worth it to trade him off for one of those guys?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Mehdan: If Oladipo and Collison are free agents, you should do a 2-for-1 trade and then pick up one of those guys off waivers. I like them both better than Thomas, but I wouldn’t straight out drop Thomas either.

  6. BrokebackLopez says:
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    Drop Varejao for Miles Plumlee? Love gobbing up all his boards…varejao averaging 5 boards?? Miles trending up, what do you think

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @BrokebackLopez: It’s still early, but I would hold onto Varejao. The Cavs are going to figure things out and Varejao will see his rebounds rise. Plumlee has been playing well, but his numbers aren’t that much better than Varejao’s. The real concern isn’t Varejao’s low rebounding rate, but that he’s had a history of injuries. While he’s healthy, I’d rather own him.

  7. kb24 says:
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    Drop Gerald Green for Mclemore?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @kb24: I think both players are going to be inconsistent, mixing in great games with poor ones. Kind of a toss up for me, but McLemore is getting more minutes.

  8. Tyler says:
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    Drop beverley for chalmers or james johnson?
    Trade jrue + draymond for batum?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Tyler: I rank Chalmers and Beverley pretty closely so it depends on what stats you need more. Chalmers offers more consistent scoring and assists; Beverley provides more rebounds and steals. I wouldn’t drop either of them to pick up James Johnson. Jrue and Draymond for Batum is pretty fair, though there’s no guarantee that Lee will get his minutes back when he’s healthy. The Warriors will ease Lee back into the lineup so we might be seeing a lot of Green all season.

  9. Zebo says:
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    Are you guys buying what Roy Hibbert is cooking?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Zebo: We’ve seen Hibbert play well before and I’m not surprised that Roy Hibbert’s numbers are up with all the injuries that the Pacers have. If he keeps this up when David West and George Hill return, then I’m buying into Hibbert.

  10. hamtime says:
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    joe harris?? is he worth a pickup? looking to drop elfrid for someone of value. thinking: rivers, henson, sims, or yes, harris.. 16man h2h

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @hamtime: All of those guys are going to be inconsistent so it’s tough to recommend one over the other. Payton has been regulated to bench duty and wasn’t doing much when he was starting. Joe Harris and Rivers are playing more and are probably the better short term pickups. I could see Payton becoming more valuable with assists/steals as he develops his game.

  11. Stan says:
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    You guys seem down on Wroten. I know it’s a small sample size but after 2 games at SG with MCW back, he seems fine. I think he’s still 15 pts/3.5-4.0 rb and ast/ 1.5 stl. That’s a valuable player even in 10 teamers. Your thoughts??

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Stan: I’m not down on Wroten. I wrote about him last week and believe his minutes are going to be fine even with MCW back. His usage rate is going to go down, but I think your projections are reasonable. Should be a top 100 player the rest of the season, with upside for even better than that.

  12. Manshi Shah says:
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    Should I drop anyone for Amir Johnson? In a FAAB how much should I bid? I have $62 left

    MY TEAM: 14 Team H2H League 9 Standard Categories (Daily Lineup)

    PG- MCW, Elfrid Payton, Goran Dragic

    SG- Nicolas Batum, Anthony Morrow

    SF- Chandler Parsons, Kawhi Leonard, Danilo Gallinari

    PF- Nikola Vucevic, Jared Sullinger

    C- Roy Hibbert, Jonas Valanciunas, Chris Kaman

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Manshi Shah: I’m not sure how people bid in your league so you’ll want to see how much other guys have gone for. That being said, I would be prepared to add him for $10-15, while dropping Kaman or Payton. You have some solid bigs as well so it’s not like you’re desperate for Johnson’s blocks or rebounds.

  13. Wen says:
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    Hi Peter, I have Draymond Green and I am afraid David Lee will hurt his value. Would you trade Draymond Green for Jose Calderon, Jared Sullinger or Jeff Green? Who should I target first for long term value? Thanks for advice.

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Wen: The Warriors are 8-2 so they aren’t in a rush to get Lee back. You never know what coaches are going to do, but there’s no guarantee that Lee will immediately replace Green when healthy. But if you’re concerned that Green’s value is going to go down, then I think Jeff Green is a fine offer. Or someone like Monroe, Josh Smith, or Tony Wroten. I wouldn’t trade Draymond Green for Sullinger or Calderon.

  14. Jim. says:
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    I have a trade proposed:

    My Kevin Love, Eric Bledsoe, and Tobias Harris for — Steph Curry and Al Horford.

    What do you think of this trade?

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Jim.: I’d rather have the Steph Curry and Horford side. Curry is one of the top fantasy players and Horford is a top 30/40 guy when he’s healthy. This side is getting two of three best players in the deal.

      Love’s stats will improve as he gets accustomed to the Cavs lineup, but I think Lebron and Irving are going to take away rebounds and points from Love, lowering his value slightly from last year. Harris is having a breakout year, but I think consolidating some of the value is a good move, especially if this is a shallow league and you can pick up someone helpful off waivers.

  15. Wen says:
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    Hi Peter, I have a center heavy team. Would you trade Derrick Favors, Marcin Gortat or Zach Randolph for Rondo? Thanks for advice.

    • Peter Kap

      Peter Kap says:
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      @Wen: Rondo has been great this season, putting up near triple double numbers every night (10 ppg/11 apg/8 rpg). However, he hurts you in the free throw and 3pt departments, which keeps him from being an elite fantasy point guard. The other concern is that Rondo may be traded to a team where his numbers suffer a little.

      Gortat or Randolph may be a stretch to acquire him, but iIf the owner doesn’t want Gortat or Randolph straight up, maybe you could throw in another back end player to sweeten the deal. I wouldn’t trade Favors for Rondo, as Favors is on absolutely fire and I believe he keeps it up.

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