It was recently revealed that Brandon Roy has no menisci in his knees. I'll leave the gory details to our resident injury guy, Jeff Stotts. But like most fantasy players, I know a fair amount about the anatomy of the knee at this point - enough to know that "no menisci" is bad news.
The meniscus is the cushion in each knee that prevents bone-on-bone contact; it's one of the body's shock absorbers. Now imagine driving a car with no shocks. On the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. In February, when the potholes are in full bloom. Not pleasant, right? Well, that's the "regular person" equivalent of what Roy goes through every time he plays a game.
There's only so much bone-on-bone contact a body can take before it needs a rest; it seems inevitable that Roy is going to miss time on a regular basis. At some point, Roy might be looking at the dreaded microfracture procedure, which is designed to spur the creation of new shock-absorbing tissue.
Fantasy players would be wise to take a look at Rudy Fernandez (13% owned), who would stand to gain if Roy is sidelined for any length of time.
In other knee news, Suns center Robin Lopez will be sidelined for the next few weeks, after straining a number of things with the initials "C" and "L".
The injury could create opportunities for fantasy owners by removing some of the knots in the Suns' tangled frontcourt rotation. The biggest beneficiary should be Channing Frye (65% owned), who will move into the starting rotation and should start getting more than 27 minutes per game. Hakim Warrick (27% owned) should get a boost in his production as well.
Players in deeper leagues may also want to take a look at Earl Barron, who is expected to sign with the Suns any day now. Barron was surprisingly productive during a late-season stint with the Knicks last year, and could have a similar chance to contribute in Phoenix.
Picks for the Week
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
Mike Dunleavy (57% owned) - Dunleavy's injury history is off-putting… but his recent production certainly is not. He's scored in double figures in four straight games - including a 31-point explosion against the Nuggets on Tuesday - and consistently playing 30-plus minutes.
Daniel Gibson (55% owned) - Gibson's production has been one of the keys to the Cavs' surprising start - and he should continue to play significant minutes while Mo Williams works his way through a variety of injuries.
Kirk Hinrich (39% owned) - Flip Saunders is telling people John Wall's sprained foot is minor… but the rookie was on crutches on Monday. He might be worth a roster spot - if only as a short-term "handcuff" to Wall.
Jonny Flynn (25% owned) - Flynn should make his season debut this week. Luke Ridnour - Flynn's backup - has been sidelined as well, suffering from a bum hamstring. It's worth watching how Kurt Rambis splits minutes between the two when both are healthy.
Rodrigue Beaubois (8% owned) - Get your claims in now - Beaubois is still a ways away from a return to the floor, but he's getting closer, and no longer has to wear a walking boot.
DeAndre Jordan (4% owned) - Jordan will move into the starting lineup with Chris Kaman (ankle) sidelined for the next few weeks.
Delonte West (2% owned) - West is eligible to return to the active roster after serving a ten-game suspension. He's expected to serve as a backup to Ray Allen, who has been logging heavy minutes thus far. It's not outrageous to think West could cut into the playing time of Marquis Daniels and/or Nate Robinson over time.
Jason Maxiell (2% owned) - Maxiell has been elevated to the starting lineup, replacing Austin Daye. He won't score a ton, but he has been blocking a shot per game despite averaging just 18 minutes.
Vladimir Radmanovic (1% owned) - Getting a boost in playing time due to David Lee's absence. Lee could be sidelined for another two weeks after tearing up his elbow on Wilson Chandler's teeth.
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