When Tweeks Turn Into Weeks

Posted by By at 16 January, at 15 : 11 PM Print


As teams get into grooves and team rosters grow more used to each other, the level of play becomes more competitive due to chemistry and players growing used to one another.  Players get used to teammates habits, movements and get a stronger feel for where they’re going to be on the court.  This is easier to take note of as we watch teams rack up lengthy winning streaks and as they march up the NBA standings.

As you closely monitor your fantasy team and examine player stats day in and day out tough decisions have to be made.  Are some players performing at a higher level because they are getting additional playing time due to injury, or are they going to be a staple in their team’s lineup and will receive steady minutes nightly?

When a player goes out because of injury, it’s only natural that someone might step up and fill the void in the lineup.  The problem is that these players are typically short-term fixes and the length of their rise up the fantasy board is unknown.  Why is this? Why is it so difficult to decide whether or not to pick up a waiver wire player who is performing on another planet?

The answer to this is simple.  Injuries happen almost nightly.  Sometimes these injuries are innocent tweaks and sprains and the substitute player is hard to gamble on.  What seems like a twist of the ankle or a “tweak” of a knee will sometimes turns into a lengthy stay on the injured list, thus providing extended playing time for a fill-in player.  We have seen some great examples of this so far this season with some pretty impactfull players and its becoming difficult to decide whether to pick up the “fill-in” player or not because the timetable for return of the star player is unknown. 

Dirk Nowitzki injured his right knee 9 games ago.  The Mavericks were rolling along and were right at the top of the Western Conference standings when Dirk “strained his right knee”.  This strain has turned into a 9 game hiatus form the team and there is no set time for his return to the lineup.  The Mavs have gone 2-7 since he got injured and its not known when he’ll be returning.  In his absence, players like Shawn Marion and Deshawn Stevenson have benefited and have tried to pick up the slack.  Is this a time to make sure these players are in your starting lineup or do you leave them on the wire with hopes that Dirk returns shortly.

In Portland, Brandon Roy has all but shut it down for the season with the problems he is having with his knees.  Latest word out of Portland is that he may opt for arthroscopic surgery on both knees.  This example is more clear cut than the Nowitzki case as Roy has indicated that he will be out a few weeks to let his knees heal, and has recently been heard saying that he may have a scope to fix the issues that are plaguing him.  In his absence, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Mathews and Rudy Fernandez have been given opportunity to step their games up but so far have not been a steady source of stats that we Fantasy nerds all need.

In Charlotte, Gerald Wallace “tweaked” his ankle a couple weeks ago and he is finding it far too troublesome to return to the Bobcat lineup.  The severity of his pain is unknown and only returned to action on Wednesday night as he was out for a couple weeks, leaving a huge void in the Bobcat lineup.  Any potential replacement was no where close being stat stuffers or anything resembling a fantasy replacement adding yet another possible hole in your Fantasy lineup.

Other supposed short-term tweaks that have happened of late and may become lengthier injuries include Grant Hill, Michael Beasley, Kevin Martin, Al Horford, Lebron James, Tyreke Evans.

Fantasy lineups are becoming easier to manage with the assistance of the internet and the number of sites that are always updating player statuses.  What isn’t easy to do is decided whether or not to add a player who may be a fill-in temporarily or whether it will be a long-term fix. 

As a Fantasy basketball participant annually, you will get a better handle on who is capable of what and what players are suitable fill-ins when a player goes down.  It seems like these players will always be available on the waiver wire at one point or another.  The question is whether you wish to take a gamble on them or not!


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One Comment

  1. Andy T, 10 years ago Reply

    So annoying…not having Dirk on my roster is killing my fantasy team!!!

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