The guy with the bum knees is back. Well, almost. With the news that Portland Trail Blazers star guard Brandon Roy is feeling better and will soon rejoin the team on the court, fantasy owners everywhere are scrambling to see if he’s available on the waiver wire, or kicking themselves for trading him.
Yeah, we never thought he’d make it back in 2011, either. Grab him if you can, but if not, check out some of the other risers to see if they can’t help your lineup. And on the flip side, watch out for this week’s fallers:
Brandon Roy, G/F, Portland Trail Blazers
Multiple reports leaked earlier this week that Brandon Roy was planning on returning to the Portland lineup this weekend, either against Toronto on Friday or Detroit on Sunday.
Since then, Roy told The Oregonian that he won’t play this weekend as he originally hoped. The team doesn’t have an official timetable on his return, or whether or not there will be a cap on his minutes when he does, but a majority of leagues cut Roy loose when Portland shut him down indefinitely early in the season.
We’ve seen what he can do when healthy (or at least close to it) so if he’s still available he’s definitely worth a speculative pick-up. The only question is whether or not his return will have negative effects on Nicolas Batum and Wes Matthews – their fantasy value has peaked in Roy’s absence.
DeJuan Blair, F/C, San Antonio Spurs
Blair scored a career-high 28 points on 14-of-21 FG last night in Toronto while throwing in 11 rebounds, 2 blocks and steal.
He’s posted a double-double in each of his last three games, averaging 18.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and .7 blocks in that span. Dating back to Jan. 29, he’s put up solid numbers across the board in about 28-30 minutes a game as a starter: 15.0 points (56.6 FG%), 10.5 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks.
Blair had streaks similar to this early in the season. After averaging 13.7 points and 11.0 rebounds in a week-long stretch in December, he followed that up with just 2 double-digit scoring and 0 double-digit rebounding performances in his next 8 games.
But the fact that he’s put up 5-6 solid games across multiple weeks speaks well for him going forward. He’s not going to be a double-double guy every night but when he gets minutes he’s capable of putting up strong numbers.
Roy Hibbert, C, Indiana Pacers
The Pacers have won 5 of 6 since Frank Vogel took over as the interim head coach and no player has flourished more in his presence than Roy Hibbert.
Hibbert, who had been dealing with confidence issues throughout the season, has shown signs of the guy who averaged 16.7 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in Indiana’s first 11 games. Since Vogel took over, he’s putting up 18.7 points (51.1 FG%, 73.3 FT%), 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 blocks per game.
Vogel has been very positive with his young team, trying to boost the confidence of young guys like Hibbert, Darren Collison and Paul George and so far he’s been quite successful. Hibbert is owned in most leagues but don’t waste any time if you’re in search of points, boards or blocks and he’s available.
Anthony Morrow, G/F, New Jersey Nets
Morrow was a bit of a gamble early in the season – he was playing in a new system under a coach that intensely demanded defense and he wasn’t going to be able to take as many free-wheeling three-point shots as he did in Golden State.
He had some strong games early in the season but a hamstring injury forced him to sit out 17 games. He struggled initially but now has really hit his stride in the last two weeks. He’s made at least one three-pointer in his last 9 games and scored 10 or more points in 8 of those contests. He’s moved into the starting lineup in New Jersey’s last three games and has enjoyed even more success, averaging 16.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 three-pointers. As long as he remains New Jersey’s only consistent deep threat, he’ll get a bulk of minutes (either starting or coming off the bench) and be a nice three-point option in fantasy.
Jodie Meeks, SG, Philadelphia 76ers
I was a little surprised when I saw Jodie Meeks was only owned in 6% of Yahoo! leagues and 2% of ESPN leagues. He’s a hot hand capable of putting up good scoring nights and figured he’d be on roster in most deep leagues.
After a quiet stretch in mid-January, he’s really picked up the pace in Philly’s last 7 games, averaging 13.7 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals. On top of that, he’s connecting on 43.9% of his three-point attemps (18-of-41) in that span.
Earlier this week, John Schuhmann of NBA.com detailed how Meeks is part of a five-man unit (along with Jrue Holiday, Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young and Elton Brand) that is the best in the league in terms of point differential per 100 possessions. He really provides great floor spacing as Philly’s consistent lone perimeter threat, and if you’re need of three’s then jump on him while he’s hot.
Carl Landry, PF, Sacramento Kings
When DeMarcus Cousins started to emerge for Sacramento, Landry’s value took the biggest hit. He did have a nice stretch at the end of January with five straight double-digit scoring games off the bench but he’s had a horrendous February – 6.5 points and 2.5 rebounds in about 18 minutes a game.
He hasn’t cracked 20 minutes in three of those games. As long as Cousins remains in the starting lineup, Landry isn’t going to make much of an impact.
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston Rockets
The gaping difference between Brooks’ numbers as a starter and coming off the bench were displayed a few weeks ago and things haven’t gotten much better for the four-year guard out of Oregon recently.
After being pulled in the fourth quarter of a game of last Saturday’s game against Memphis, Brooks walked right past the bench and into the locker room out of frustration. He was suspended by the team for Monday’s game against Denver.
He returned Tuesday and played 20 minutes off the bench, going just 1-of-8 from the field (0-of-5 from 3) and scoring 5 points. Until he finds a way to get back in the starting lineup, expect last year’s most improved player to continue to struggle.
DeAndre Jordan, F/C, Los Angeles Clippers
Jordan had owners buzzing with his strong play at the beginning of January, highlighted by a 20-rebound, 6-block game against Denver. He’s put up decent numbers since but he’s been rather limited in five February games.
He had a decent night against the Knicks yesterday, with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in 36 minutes but it was his first double-digit scoring game of the month. Worse yet, he hasn’t had a game with more than 8 rebounds since Jan. 26.
He’s still shooting a strong percentage from the field (75.0%) but his point (6.6), rebound (4.4) and block (1.4) numbers are all down this month.
Hedo Turkoglu, G/F, Orlando Magic
Turkoglu thrived when being re-acquired by the Magic in mid-December, knocking down 3s, rebounding at a career-rate, tallying steals, posting triple-doubles, and even putting up 17 assists in an early January game.
But he’s really hit the wall recently. In Orlando’s last 8 games, he’s shooting just 30.3% from the field (23-of-76) and 25.9% from the three-point line (7-of-27). He also isn’t getting to the line – he’s shot more than 2 FTs in just one game during that span.
Games against Washington and Boston last weekend were the low points – a combined 3-of-20 shooting for just 11 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists and 1 three-pointer in two games. He could very easily bounce back soon enough but he’s been suffering from nagging knee and back injuries and his struggles have coincided with Orlando’s recent swoon.
Charlie Villanueva, F/C, Detroit Pistons
Villanueva has been the odd man out of the rotation for Detroit since in the last two weeks, recording over 20 minutes just one time in the last 8 games.
He’s averaging 5.4 points and 1.6 rebounds in February. The Pistons seem content to get Greg Monroe and Austin Daye minutes so Villanueva, for now, is the odd man out. We’ve seen John Kuester change his rotations frequently this season but it’s hard to conceive Villanueva becoming a real fantasy contributor again in the foreseeable future.