Built a fantasy team around Derrick Rose, did you?
Yeah, me too.
Sucks, doesn't it?
Before last season, I drafted Rose in a 16-team dynasty league. All the other players are fantasy hoops writers and experts. I drew a crappy draft slot, which meant that I wouldn't have a chance to draft a LeBron James or Kevin Durant, or even an up-and-coming star like Kyrie Irving.
So, I came up with what I thought was a novel strategy. I'd write off the first season of the dynasty league and try to get value in the draft by picking players who wouldn't contribute that much in the first year.
I drafted players like Rose. And Iman Shumpert – also coming off a torn ACL. And Eric Gordon. And Jonas Valanciunas.
Needless to say, I finished dead last, and I've taken up residence in that same spot this season. (On the bright side, RotoWire hasn't been completely skunked in that league. Kyle McKeown's squad looks primed to go on a run like Jordan's Bulls.)
Now, the dynasty format makes Rose's injury much harder to deal with. Owners in one-year leagues actually got a break when it was announced that he won't play at all this season. There's no need to keep him on the roster, or wonder if he'll come back in late March or early April to get back in shape for the playoffs. In situations like these, closure is a good thing.
Kirk Hinrich is the obvious player to add after Rose's injury, and he's still available in about 68 percent of all Yahoo! leagues. Second-year pro Marquis Teague is probably worth a look as well, but don't expect much fantasy production. Teague has played 34 minutes in the Bulls' last two games combined, missing all eight of his attempts from the field and notching just one assist in that span.
Derrick Williams for Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
The trade that sent forward Derrick Williams to Sacramento for utility man Luc Richard Mbah a Moute came as a bit of a surprise, if only because you don't often see teams trading a 22-year-old No. 2 overall pick in exchange for a role player. But Timberwolves president Flip Saunders made the reasoning behind the deal perfectly clear. After years spent hoping that Williams would develop into an option at small forward, the team finally realized that Williams is best off playing power forward. And the T-Wolves already have a pretty good player at the four. Kevin Love? I imagine you've heard of him?
Williams should have a much clearer route to playing time in Sacramento, where he'll be competing with the likes of Jason Thompson – who has been on the trading block for his entire NBA career to date – and wildly overpriced veterans like Travis Outlaw and John Salmons.
Williams is just 10 percent owned in Yahoo! as I write and seems well worth a flyer in most leagues.
Incidentally, so does the other guy in this exchange. Mbah a Moute has a pretty good track record as a rebounds/steals/blocks guy. Assuming he gets 25 minutes a night in Minnesota, he'll be worth a roster spot in extended 12-team leagues, and he's available almost everywhere (1 percent owned).
Picks for the Week
All percent-owned stats are from Yahoo!
Arron Afflalo (88%) – OK, he probably won't shoot 50 percent from three-point all season long, but there's no reason he can't continue to be the featured scorer on a team that could really use a veteran to step up and take a leadership role. I find it hard to believe that 12 percent of all Yahoo leagues can't find a place for this guy.
Dion Waiters (58%) – The Cavs have reportedly put last year's fourth overall pick on the block. He might not be a great fit next to Kyrie Irving, but in the right situation, he could put up impressive numbers. Chicago is reportedly one of the teams talking about a deal. Could Waiters be this year's Nate Robinson if he were traded to the Bulls?
Channing Frye (30%) – Frye has rebounded nicely after an awful start to the season and once again looks like one of the better "stretch center" options in fantasy leagues.
Kosta Koufos (25%) – Koufos has taken over the starting center job in Memphis while Marc Gasol recovers from a sprained MCL in his knee, which could take a month or more.
Reggie Jackson (16%) – Jackson is thriving as the Tunder's third guard and Russell Westbrook's backup. He exploded for 23 points in just 26 minutes off the bench Wednesday. Nights like that could inspire coach Scott Brooks to give Jackson more run as the season goes on.
DeJuan Blair (10%) – Blair has been carving out a nice role for himself in the Mavs' frontcourt. He's averaging a near double-double (10 points, nine rebounds) in his last four games.