Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

If the first half of the 2015-2016 NBA season can prove anything it's that injuries happen. Often.

Eric Bledsoe and Jarrett Jack, some of the bigger names, and Daily Fantasy favorites, have been shelved for the season, while Mr. Lob City, Blake Griffin, has missed an extend amount of time as the timetable for his return is still in question after his recent Mayweather-like impression during practice. Plenty of questions emerged in the wake of their absences.

Does this mean Brandon Knight is a sure thing now?

Should I pick Shane Larkin or Donald Sloan? Which one will start? Who will play more minutes?

Will Chris Paul benefit the most from Griffin's absence, or will DeAndre Jordan?

These are all warranted, for sure, so we can start here, before addressing other questions that should be asked, and answered, in the case of unexpected injuries.

Now, the Phoenix Suns weren't exactly contenders with Eric Bledsoe in the lineup, as they were 12-18 in games he started before being sidelined with a torn meniscus in his knee. Considering the Suns currently stand at 14-31, winning just two games since, I'd say his loss and his 20 20-plus point performances in 30 contests are direly missed on the court. In the midst of his own battle with injuries, Brandon Knight hasn't done anything spectacular filling in for his fellow backcourt mate, but was the automatic go-to option once Bledsoe went down.

Knight has strung together a couple of solid performances, but the problem with relying heavily on him is that 1) He plays better with Bledsoe in the lineup, shown by his stats earlier in the season (16 20-plus point performances before to five after Bledsoe's injury, including a triple double, three double-double's, and three 30-point showings) 2) Knight was heavily owned, cancelling out his hopeful performances, especially in head-to-heads.

So instead of looking to the Suns' second best player, why don't we check out who's replacing Bledsoe, and other unlikely producers on the court around him. Devin Booker, Bledsoe's replacement at the two-spot, has averaged a little over 16 points a game since Bledsoe went down; especially productive for his lower, more affordable price. Archie Goodwin, third-string shooting guard, has recently emerged with two straight 20-point performances. And that's really all there is to say about the Suns.

Of course this isn't always the case, but now let's look at one scenario where two, young, unestablished point guards step in for a seasoned veteran.

In 12 games without Jarret Jack this season, the Brooklyn Nets have gone 2-10, rounding their record out to 12-33. But they have been able to showcase two of their potentially promising guards, Shane Larkin and Donald Sloan. They're both very cheap in DFS, and not necessarily threats, but both could give your lineup a boost. Although the question to be asked is: which one? There really is no clear favorite here, as both have performed sporadically, as both have appeared to emerge as the favorite at times, despite who starts or comes off the bench. In this situation, it's best to pay attention to the trends, to who's been getting the ball more. Sloan has been playing more minutes, but that doesn't always equate to better stat lines for Daily Fantasy. So when dealing with an injury in this situation, observe who can sprinkle more stats, the assists, rebounds, and steals, into more categories.

When it comes to Blake Griffin missing an extended amount of court-time, it becomes a bit easier. Good problems arise. For Griffin's case, it's not a matter of if Paul or Jordan will shine, it's more so who will shine brighter. Which would then fall on situational matters, matchups, and what team gives up more fantasy points to their respective positions.

Side-stepping away from these three examples, let's move out from within, away from inner-team matters, and focus on how else we could benefit from injuries, how else we can manage our lineups in wake of them.

It's also important to pay attention to who the injured player's team is facing. With a star held out of action, plenty of doors open to take advantage of that leak in both offense and defense. For example, Hassan Whiteside, center of the Miami Heat, recently missed a game against the Chicago Bulls. The intriguing play here would be Pau Gasol, the opposing center, who happened to drop 19 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, along with two assists and two blocks in the loss, resulting in close to 50 fantasy points. Miami is weak at the center position behind Whiteside, so the right move would be staying away from any replacements. The best bet is to study a team's depth chart, and go from there.

It's pretty obvious to jump on players that'll likely see a boost in minutes because of an injury. And that's a productive strategy as well. But the team they're playing against, especially if good, will most of the time remain the same, as backups are now called upon to shut down starters.

Injuries are inevitable. But instead of letting them hurt us as well, let's use them to better our lineups.