The Boston Globe is reporting that Rajon Rondo broke his hand on Thursday as a result of a fall at his home. They are also reporting that he had surgery to repair the injury on Friday. It's expected that Rondo will miss six to eight weeks. With the Celtics' first regular season game just over four weeks away, it's all but certain that his injury will cause him to miss some regular season games.
As with most fantasy basketball questions, the impact of this injury on Rondo's value depends on the type of league you play in, Rotisserie or Head to Head. We'll first examine the impact to his rotisserie value.
Below is RotoWire's 2014-15 season projection for Rondo, prior to his injury:
Rondo is an elite fantasy producer in assists and steals and puts up solid rebounding numbers, particularly for a guard. Beyond that, he produces only replacement-level production in three-pointers made and points and below-replacement level production in blocks, FG%, FT%, and turnovers.
His inability to positively impact more than two or three categories, combined with his negative impact on four categories resulted in him being ranked 95th overall in RotoWire's preseason 9-category rankings, far below both ESPN's rank of 21st overall and Yahoo's rank of 32nd overall.
Part of the reason for his low ranking was that RotoWire only expected Rondo to play in about 85% (70 out of 82) of his games next season. His latest injury will likely cause the guard to miss somewhere between 7 and 14 games to start the season. If we assume the he will play 85% of his games once he returns from the hand injury, here is what his new projection would look like for rotisserie leagues.
First if he only misses seven games due to the broken hand:
Missing the first seven games would cause Rondo to fall in our rankings from 95th to 120th.
Here is his projection if he misses the first 14 games due to the broken hand and 85% of the remaining games:
This decrease in games played causes Rondo to fall in our rankings from 95th to 140th.
In roto leagues, Rondo was probably already being drafted too high for the value that he provides, and missing 7-14 games will drop him out of the top 100, perhaps as far as 140th. Unless you can get him at the end of your draft, I would recommend staying away from him on draft day. There just isn't enough upside to justify the risk in rotisserie leagues.
Head to Head Leagues
Rondo is significantly more valuable in head to head leagues because of his ability to be an elite producer in two categories is far more beneficial in head to head leagues. As a result, Rondo ranked 26th in RotoWire's preseason head-to-head rankings before the injury, worth $28 in an auction.
Rondo's risk of missing games during the fantasy playoffs was already baked into our head-to-head league ranking for Rondo, so this new injury shouldn't impact his value very much unless you believe this will end up being a knuckle push up situation that derails Rondo's entire season. On the flip side, if we believe he will be functioning at his full capacity well before the head-to-head playoffs as roughly a top-25 player, and you feel like you can survive your first few matchups of the season without him, he could end up being steal in your head-to-head draft.
Do you have an opinion about Rondo or his injury that you'd like to share? Would you like to know how he would rank at a different level of games played? Please leave a comment below, or contact me on twitter @MarcFRoberts.