Sunday, December 13, 2009

Fantasy Basketball Week 7 News and Notes

It could have been worse, but Danny Granger owners received some bad news early this week, as the Pacer fantasy monster succumbed to a heel injury that will put him on the shelf for a minimum of four weeks.

After a slow start, Granger was beginning to heat up, and at the time of the setback that finally shut him down, he was averaging better than 24 points, six rebounds, and almost three converted three-pointers per game. Unless you are in a ridiculously shallow league, there is no single player out on the wire that could possibly approach the huge numbers that Granger posts. Hopefully, the four to six weeks doesn't turn out to be two or three months. What better place to look for relief than the Pacers themselves.

The most attractive Pacer that may be available on your waiver wire is Dahntay Jones. If the Duke product is not available, Brandon Rush may be able to provide decent scoring and three's. Assuming Mike Dunleavy is not available, other Indiana plug-in's include Tyler Hansbrough, who's begun scoring and rebounding well, albeit in limited minutes, or Roy Hibbert, whose recent woes have likely found him waived by many fantasy owners. Regardless of who you grab, you'll need additional help while Granger is out. Let's hope for a speedy recovery.

The devastating season-ending knee injury to hard-luck Greg Oden has created an opportunity for veteran Joel Przybilla, although the real benefactor here is Lamarcus Aldridge, who will likely enjoy a jump in both rebounding and scoring numbers.

Josh Howard returned to the Dallas lineup earlier than expected, and wasted no time as he dropped 20 points in 26 minutes in his first game back from a nagging ankle injury. Howard owners may want to temper their expectations, however, as the Mavs coaching staff is going to continue to bring him off the bench, and keep him out of back-to-back games for awhile.

Owners that are in need of point guard stats may want to consider grabbing Jarrett Jack, in anticipation of lengthier than projected absence of Raptor starter Jose Calderon. Jack had been playing well off the bench for Toronto prior to Calderon's hip injury, and could provide some short-term value.

After a 26 point tease, rookie James Harden returned to single digits and is really trying his owners' patience. If you haven't already dumped the underachieving former Arizona State guard, it may be time to cut your losses.

In Motown, Rodney Stuckey has strung four straight 20-plus point performances together. The Pistons court general was being pushed by Will Bynum earlier this season, but has taken hold of the starting gig. Stuckey won't continue to average over 20 points per game, especially with Rip Hamilton returning to the court, but count on "Hot Rod" to continue to post consistent lines night-after-night.

Up in Beantown, a healthy Kevin Garnett and the red-hot Celtics are running on all cylinders. KG is sizzling, having shot an absurd 77% over a five game stretch. Point man Rajon Rondo has been equally as proficient, turning in a week that saw him produce 16 points, over 12 assists, over 2 steals per game."Double R" added a triple-double to his rapidly improving resume as well.

Finally, a "slightly" older point guard, 2-time league MVP Steve Nash continues to defy father time, as he leads the league in assists, including an 18 dime effort earlier this week. Nash is also putting up stout scoring numbers this season, routinely surpassing the 20 point mark.

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