Under the Radar
By Kevin Payne
RotoWire Staff Writer
The last week saw a bunch of injuries sideline players across the league, the most common ailment being an ankle sprain. One night after dropping 55 on Minnesota, Tony "my wife and I are PCs" Parker suffered a grade 2 ankle sprain that will sideline him for up to a month. Devin Harris put up 38 against the Pistons on Friday night, but twisted his ankle late in the game, keeping him out of Saturday and Monday's game. Josh Smith suffered a left ankle sprain in Friday night's game that will have him out for the next 2-4 weeks. The Sacramento Kings leading scorer, Kevin Martin, will miss at least a week after spraining his left ankle. Let's look at what these injuries mean to their respective teams.
The following players have seen an increase in playing time, leading to greater fantasy production.
Roger Mason, SG, SA - Mason will pick up the majority of minutes due to the Tony Parker injury. Already missing Manu Ginobili, the loss of Parker makes Mason the second scoring option behind Tim Duncan. Look for him to be a valuable source of scoring and three-pointers over the next month.
C.J. Watson, PG, GS - One of the players highlighted in the "Situations to Monitor" in my week 1 article, Watson has supplanted DeMarcus Nelson as the starting PG for Golden State. After averaging 15 minutes in the first four games, Watson has seen more than 33 minutes in his last three games. With these minutes, Watson will emerge as a good source of assists.
Keyon Dooling, PG, NJ - Harris's ankle is the least severe of the injuries discussed above, but if he is out for a week or two, Dooling is a good short-term play. In the first two games Harris missed, Dooling played 39 and 38 minutes respectively, to the tune of 17.5 points, three rebounds and four assists per game.
Bobby Brown, PG, SAC - Insert Whitney Houston joke here. Brown will see a bump in minutes with the injury to Kevin Martin. Already surpassing Bobby Jackson on the depth chart at PG, Brown could see some time at SG. A good outside shooter, Brown has started the season, going 7-for-13 from beyond the arc.
Need help in a specific fantasy category? Check out the players below.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, PF, MIL - Mbah a Moute was so popular at UCLA, the students started a cheering section called the "Cameroon Crazies." Coach Scott Skiles has taken a liking to his rookie, as well, giving him 32 minutes of playing time over the last four games after playing 31 minutes total in the first two. Mbah a Moute has started off on fire, shooting more than 58 percent from the field. The 15th-leading rebounder in UCLA history despite not playing his senior year, expect him to produce 12-14 points and eight rebounds a night.
Solomon Jones, C, ATL - Jones won't be starting with the injury to Josh Smith, but will see more time than starter Zaza Pachulia. In the last two games, Jones has averaged 9.5 boards and 2.5 blocks, sustainable numbers until Smith returns.
Sebastian Telfair, PG, MIN - After missing the first three games of the season due to suspension, Telfair has taken over the starting point guard role from Randy Foye. He's only played in three games, but his 7:1 assist-to-turnover ratio is impressive. Foye may eventually return to the starting lineup, but Telfair can still be counted on for 10 points, seven assists, a three and a steal per game.
Brendan Wright, PF, GS - With Al Harrington dealing with back spasms and demanding to be traded, Wright becomes a viable fantasy option. He had his option for the 2009-2010 season picked up on Halloween, meaning the team sees a future for him. The former Tar Heel has stepped with Harrington out, averaging 11.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and three blocks. As long as Harrington is out (at least two more weeks) and being shopped, expect Wright to continue to put up these kind of numbers in Don Nelson's offense.
Raja Bell, SG, PHO - Available in many leagues, Bell has averaged more than two three-pointers made per game the last three years. He is one of the few players who offers little help in the other categories, but will help you in three pointers if needed.
Zach Randolph, Drew Gooden and Udonis Haslem have logged enough time to pick up center eligibility. Marcus Camby, playing alongside Chris Kaman, has acquired forward status in most leagues.
Article first appeared on 11/12/08