Fantasy Fast Break: Will Darren be dangerous?
With Chris Paul likely out a while, how much of an impact will Darren Collison make? What is Kurt Rambis doing with his rotations in Minnesota? Our Sergio Gonzalez takes a look at that and more in his weekly Fantasy Fast Break.
Each week, Fantasy Basketball Writer Sergio Gonzalez takes a look at situations that Fantasy owners should monitor over the course of the upcoming week. Have a look at the top storylines in Fantasy hoops and how they might affect your team going forward.
What happens in New Orleans with Chris Paul sidelined?
The Hornets announced Monday that Chris Paul will be out for an indefinite amount of time. Most estimates have him missing anywhere from a month to two months and that will leave both the Hornets and Fantasy owners searching for solutions.
For both, the solution may not be too hard to find.
Darren Collison sure looked like Chris Paul on Saturday when he dropped 17 points and 18 assists on the Grizzlies. He even added six rebounds with a block for good measure. Collison played 47 minutes in that game and with the team having traded away some of their guard depth last week when they moved Devin Brown to the Chicago Bulls, expect heavy minutes for Collison.
Let's get something straight, however. Collison is not Chris Paul and to expect him to put up the numbers he put up Saturday, or anything close to it, is ridiculous. However, with Collison there is a track record -- however brief -- of solid play in replacement of Paul. In nine games as a starter this season, Collison is averaging 15.1 points and 7.7 assists with 3.4 rebounds.
By comparison, a player like New Jersey's Devin Harris -- who was drafted in the first few rounds of most Fantasy drafts -- is averaging 15.3 points and 5.9 assists with 3.1 rebounds per game. Collison may not be able to keep up those numbers over the long term, but what is certain is that he will be more than just a regular stopgap measure for however long CP3 is out.
But that does not mean Collison will be the only player to benefit.
When Paul missed time earlier this season, Peja Stojakovic enjoyed his best stretch of the season. Stojakovic averaged 17.6 ppg in that run of six games in late November and had his best overall performance of the season -- a 25-point, 13-rebound game against the Suns on Nov. 19. Look to see if his numbers also get a boost this week.
And with no Brown around this time, there will be more touches to go around for fewer players in the back court. That includes recently promoted Marcus Thornton , who got the starting shooting guard job following the trade. Thornton had 14 points and nine rebounds Saturday against Memphis. Overall, Collison's combination of scoring and assists will likely lead to more Fantasy production than Thornton (he won't be bringing down nine boards per night by any stretch of the imagination), but Thornton's value will get its second boost in as many weeks.
Will Jason Thompson regain his lost Fantasy appeal?
Jason Thompson came into the season as a high-end breakout candidate with a lot of promise. For the first two months of the season, he did not disappoint.
Thompson averaged 15.3 points and 9.6 rebounds in November, following that up with 16.6 points and 8.9 rebounds through December. But in January, he became increasinly inconsistent and had his worst month of the season. He averaged 9.1 points and 7.8 rebounds per game.
The biggest reason for the lack of production was a decline in playing time. He went from averaging 37 minutes per game in December to 27 minutes per game in January. The emergence of Omri Casspi as well as the return of Kevin Martin had a negative impact on his overall production.
In fact, since Martin returned from his wrist injury on Jan. 15 in Philadelphia, Thompson has scored in double figures just four times in nine games entering Week 15. He has posted back-to-back double digit scoring performances just once in that span.
Saturday's 12 points and 16 rebounds against the Bobcats was a step in the right direction and a reminder as to why Fantasy owners need to show patience with him.
Eventually, Thompson will find his place again in the team's scheme. That place is now somewhere alongside Casspi in the front court and with the team still getting very inconsistent play out of Spencer Hawes , there is certainly room for more improvement.
Keep up with his production in Week 15 to see if he's ready to break out in February to make up for a forgettable January.
How much of an impact will Paul Millsap have with Carlos Boozer hurt?
We've been here before, haven't we? Carlos Boozer is out with an injury and Paul Millsap is there to pick up the pieces.
Boozer is likely to miss at least the first two games in Week 15 due to the calf injury he suffered last week and possibly longer. Millsap will get a chance to reward the 80 percent of CBSSports.com owners who have stashed him through his inconsistency this season.
They've stashed him for games like the one Millsap had on Friday against Sacramento. Millsap put up 32 points and 14 rebounds with seven assists against the Kings in an effort that should not be written off as a fluke.
Millsap has started 42 games in his career, averaging 16.4 points and 10.3 rebounds. That's not too far behind Boozer's 19.2 points and 10.7 rebounds per game this season.
Fantasy owners will want to keep close tabs on Boozer's recovery. But if he's ruled out for any amount of time beyond Week 15, Millsap should make the most of it.
What is going on with the Timberwolves rotation?
With the Timberwolves losing five straight games from Jan. 20-27, coach Kurt Rambis was looking to change things up when he moved Ryan Hollins into the starting lineup at center.
Just like that, the T'Wolves went on a two-game winning streak and Hollins has emerged as a potential option for Fantasy owners.
Hollins scored 19 points against the Clippers on Jan. 29 and followed that up with 16 points against the Knicks on Jan. 31. He saw 30 minutes in each game. With the Timberwolves winning both games, expect Rambis to stick with this current lineup for a while and if Hollins can back those performances up with another few solid stat lines in Week 15, Fantasy owners will be flocking to him off the waiver wire.
Owners in leagues that require starting two centers should be stashing him already with an eye on Minnesota's games against the Mavericks and Grizzlies during the team's two-game scoring period.
Rambis has found a way to get Hollins 30 minutes while also keeping Al Jefferson and Kevin Love -- who is coming off the bench -- in the 30-minute range. That may be hard to maintain, especially while also looking to keep players like Ryan Gomes and Corey Brewer in the mix.
But if Rambis can figure it out and keep it going, Hollins is going to be a viable Fantasy center going forward.
What is happening with the center situation in Phoenix?
When Robin Lopez took over the starting job at center for the Suns, it looked like he'd be the only viable Fantasy center in the desert.
Channing Frye did his best last week to get back on the Fantasy radar, however.
Frye posted back-to-back 20-point games against the Jazz and Bobcats and saw a boost in playing time as a result. It was Lopez's defense and the size he gives the team and not his offense that got him into the starting lineup over Frye. The two games served as a reminder that Frye's offensive upside is still high. It is definitely higher than that of Lopez and what has emerged in Phoenix is a virtual timeshare between the two players.
Expect to see the hot hand get the chance to take a bigger share of the minutes going forward and matchups in Week 15 against the Hornets, Nuggets and Kings favor Frye as the Suns face teams that the Suns will want to run the floor against.
If Frye can produce a couple more games like he did last week, it won't matter if he continues to come off the bench or not. Fantasy owners will once again know they can rely upon him as a No. 2 center option in most standard formats.
Do you have a Fantasy hoops question for our staff? You can e-mail us at DMFantasyHoops@cbs.com. Be sure to put Attn: Fantasy Fast Break in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state. You can also now follow Sergio on Twitter ( @CBSGonzalez ) where he'll also answer questions.
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