With Greg Oden once again going down for the season, two fantasy players in particular should benefit from his absence. Marcus Camby, who had a similar Oden injury stretch, should see his numbers really benefit. His increased minutes thus far should continue and reward owners who grabbed him early on in anticipation of Oden being knocked out. From here on out he should be a great source of rebounds and blocks.
The main player who should benefit is Joel Przybillla. He should continue to see some increased minutes as he continues to come back from a knee injury. As with all of Portland’s centers, Przybilla will not get you much in scoring, but he should give you a fair amount of rebounds and blocks. With him still not at 100 percent, I would wait to grab him until he proves that he will be on the court every night. Nicolas Batum and Lamarcus Aldridge should also slightly benefit with a increased number of rebounds.
Kevin Love Proving Once Again Why Bad Teams Produce Great Fantasy Players
Thus far Kevin Love’s numbers have already made him a fantasy steal. He has been averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds, albeit some of these numbers are inflated by his 30-30 performance earlier this season. In any case, with the Timberwolves’ overall lack of talent they are forced to put in players like Love for long stretches. With these players being put in for long stretches it means an increased amount of rebound and point chances. Good players on bad teams can end up putting up inflated numbers mainly due to the fact that someone has to.
Love benefits from the fact that he does not have to fight Andrew Bynum or Paul Gasol for rebound and point chances. If you put Lamar Odom on the Timberwolves, he would have no trouble putting up a fair amount of points and rebounds. In the end, one of the most important factors in picking a player is who is around him. In all fantasy sports, bad teams can produce fantasy championships.
Pickup of the Weeks
PG- Kyle Lowry (HOU)
Looking for some point guard depth, look no further then Kyle Lowry. Lowry’s numbers are a little down in the point aspect as he is only averaging 7.4 points a game, but remember points scored is only one category in fantasy basketball. Lowry’s others numbers do a lot to make up for his lack of point total. The former ‘Nova guard has managed to grab 4.3 rebounds, dish 6 assists, and also managed 1.8 steals. Grabbing players like him can be the difference between losing a matchup and winning.
SG- Marco Belinelli (NO)
As noted at the beginning of the season, grabbing new starters can turn into fantasy steals. One such steal that remains available in most leagues is Marco Belinelli. He is putting up super efficient numbers as a three point specialist, with 12.8 points with 2 three’s a game. He also should not hurt your field goal percentages with a 45.3 percent clip and should up your free throw percentage at 83.3. His other numbers are lacking with only 2.3 rebounds, 1.4 assist, and 0.5 steals a game, but matching up a player like Belinelli with a player like Lowry or a strong rebounder/low point scorer could help you win all of the categories every week, instead of picking and choosing which to lose.
SF- Shane Battier (HOU)
I am surprised every year when Shane Battier goes undrafted. He never has and will never will be a point scorer, but the way he produces in other counting stats always makes me wonder how he is available. Battier once again is putting solid numbers with 4.8 rebounds, 3.0 assist, 1.2 three’s a game, and 1.2 blocks a game. His point total is only 7.2, but has increased with Yao Ming being out of the lineup. With Ming continually being forced out of the lineup, Battier’s numbers should be relatively safe.
PF- Kris Humphries (NJ)
Kris Humphries has been rewarded for his hard work at the beginning of the season with a spot on the New Jersey starting five. He has put up solid numbers with 7.8 points and 7.3 rebounds and an absurd FG percentage of 66.2. With him in the starting lineup his rebound and point total have exceeded double digits. With Humphries’ stable production and New Jersey content to have Derek Favors come off the bench, as he continues to develop, Humphries should continue to be a fantasy stud.
C- Thiago Splitter (SA)
The question is not whether or not Splitter has the talent to be a fantasy force; it is whether or not he will get the minutes needed. With Splitter splitting time between Dejaun Blair, Antoino McDyess, and Tim Duncan, his minutes will be in up in the air. When given minutes he has managed to put up solid fantasy numbers. The only problem is thus far he has only one game of over 20 minutes. Until this changes he should continue to stay a free agent. Until then you should continue to monitor Splitter and if he starts to get the minutes he could quickly turn into a top 10-fantasy center.