While injuries are part of the game, Fantasy owners were once again dealt an unexpected blow when the Celtics announced Rajon Rondo would miss the remainder of the season after tearing the ACL in his right knee. This is the second week in a row we have seen a high-end guard go down with an ACL injury as Lou Williams was sidelined with the same injury at the end of Fantasy Week 12 (Jan. 14-20). Still, the loss of Rondo is a major blow to Fantasy owners as the 26-year-old is one of the elite options at his position and his loss leaves a gaping hole in the Celtics' starting lineup -- as well as in the 97 percent of Fantasy lineups he was active in prior to his injury. Coach Doc Rivers said the team will look in-house for a replacement, which means Courtney Lee and Avery Bradley will be asked to play a larger role moving forward, along with Jeff Green and Jason Terry. Lee started in place of Rondo during Boston's win over the Heat Sunday afternoon and will likely see the biggest boost in playing time during Rondo's absence.
Lee actually began the season as a starter, but got off to a very slow start, forcing Rivers to send him to the bench. He spent the better part of the next 27 games as a reserve and averaged 7.0 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists over that stretch while shooting 47.9 percent from the field. Lee was seeing around 25 minutes per game over that span, but his playing time was reduced to around 18 minutes per contest once Bradley returned from his injury. However, Lee will find himself back in the starting lineup -- at least for the start of Fantasy Week 14 (Jan. 28-Feb. 3) -- which should easily bring his minutes back up into the 22-27 range most nights. While an increase in playing time usually results in an increase in production, owners will have to temper their expectations with Lee. He is averaging 9.5 points, 2.9 rebounds and 1.1 assists over his 11 starts this season and we wouldn't expect much more than that from the fifth-year man out of Western Kentucky. Lee has not been a reliable Fantasy option over the years as he doesn't bring much to the table outside of some low-end 3-point help as well as low-teens scoring. Still, owners scrambling for a last-second replacement heading into the upcoming scoring period could do worse than adding Lee. The Celtics are scheduled to face the Kings, Magic and Clippers this week.
Find a place for 'em
Will Bynum, G, Pistons(MIL, @IND, CLE, LAL): After spending the first two months of the season in and out of the rotation, Bynum is finally seeing consistent minutes and has been very quietly putting together his most productive stretch of the year. He is averaging 13.7 points and 4.7 assists over his last seven games and is shooting 53.5 percent from the field over that stretch, while seeing more than 22 minutes per night. Coach Lawrence Frank has been so impressed by Bynum's recent streak that he decided to list guard Rodney Stuckey as a healthy scratch in Detroit's win over Orlando on Sunday night. Bynum and Stuckey have been blocking each other from seeing consistent minutes for much of the season, but it appears Bynum has moved ahead of him in the rotation for the time being. While the 30-year-old is nowhere close to being a high-end option, Bynum can be counted on as a decent source for low-end scoring and assists when he is seeing minutes. And his 45 percent shooting percentage and lack of turnovers are a plus for owners in Rotisserie formats. With matchups on tap against the fast-paced Bucks, Cavaliers and Lakers, owners looking for some help at the guard position in Week 14 should consider rolling with Bynum. (owned in 12 percent of leagues)
J.J. Redick, G, Magic (@BKN, @NY, @BOS, @MIL): We listed Redick as one of our starts of the week heading into Fantasy Week 12 as he had caught fire on Orlando's West Coast trip a few weeks back. The 28-year-old has yet to slow down. In fact, he has been playing so well that coach Jacque Vaughn inserted him into the starting lineup. Redick is shooting a whopping 56.7 percent from the field since we last profiled him and is averaging 20.4 points over that stretch to go along with three assists and three rebounds. However, the most impressive part of Redick's game during his hot streak has been his proficiency from beyond the arc. He has made 20 treys over his last five games, including eight in Orlando's most recent win over the Pistons on Sunday night. Redick's ability to knock down long-range shots has always been his best asset to Fantasy owners and he has not disappointed in that category of late -- especially since his move into the starting lineup. He now looks to have some fairly favorable matchups on tap this week, which should make it easy for him to continue his productive ways. The Lakers and Bucks have had their fair share of troubles defending the three-point line this year, while the Nets are allowing opponents to connect on 37 percent shooting from behind the arc, which ranks 25th overall. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with Redick's hot hand in the upcoming scoring period.(owned in 84 percent of leagues)
Alan Anderson, F, Raptors(GS, @ATL, LAC, MIA): Anderson is in the midst of putting together a career season in Toronto as he has turned into the Raptors' primary scorer off the bench. The 30-year-old has been especially hot over the past few weeks, scoring in double figures in each of his last six games and is averaging 18.2 points over that stretch to go along with 3.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals. While Anderson is only shooting 38.5 percent from the field on the season, he has made 44 percent of his shots during his hot streak and is also giving owners 2.2 treys per game. Anderson's poor field-goal and 3-point percentage does hurt his value in Rotisserie formats, but his recent scoring surge has helped make up for his shooting deficiencies. He should continue to see around 30 minutes per game off the bench most nights and looks to have a somewhat favorable schedule on tap this upcoming week. Anderson put up 20 points in his lone meeting against the Heat this season, while the Clippers and Hawks are both allowing opponents to make more than 36.9 percent of their shots from behind the arc. While we would not recommend Anderson as a long-term option in most Rotisserie formats, his recent hot stretch, and upcoming schedule, make him an intriguing option for the next scoring period. (owned in 36 percent of leagues)
Marreese Speights, F, Cavaliers(GS, @DET, OKC): Speights thought he was going to Cleveland when he came out in the 2008 draft, but instead was scooped up by the 76ers with the 16th overall pick. However, two teams and three years later, Speights finds himself a Cavalier and will immediately be counted on to provide some help in the team's depleted frontcourt. The 25-year-old had a hard time seeing the floor in Memphis as he was averaging just 14.9 minutes per game playing behind Zach Randolph. Minutes won't be an issue anymore as the 26 minutes he logged in Cleveland's win over the Raptors on Saturday night was the third most minutes he has played all season. While he will continue to come off the bench for coach Byron Scott, Speights is expected to see around 25-30 minutes most nights. To put things in perspective for owners, Speights saw more than 25 minutes three times this year and averaged 16.3 points and nine rebounds over that stretch while shooting 47.5 percent from the field. While the fifth-year forward has never been known as a stat-sheet filler, he has proved he can be a decent source for points, rebounds and field-goal percentage when he sees quality minutes. Owners looking for help at the forward position in deeper Rotisserie formats should consider taking a flier on Speights this week. (owned in 25 percent of leagues)
Tiago Splitter, C, Spurs (CHA, WAS): Splitter has very quietly been playing some of the best basketball of his career down in San Antonio over the past few weeks. The 28-year-old has scored in double figures in each of his last 10 games and is averaging 14.1 points and 8.7 rebounds over that span. Splitter also continues to be a great source for field-goal percentage as the 7-footer is shooting 64.6 percent from the field during his hot streak and his 60.6 clip on the year currently ranks second in the entire association. He is also making 74 percent of his free throws and seeing around 30 minutes per game most nights. While Splitter's stat sheets usually don't cause many double takes, his consistent production has made him a very nice low-end option in Rotisserie formats. Despite the Spurs only scheduled to play twice during the upcoming scoring period, owners should continue to roll with Splitter in the majority of category-based formats this week.(owned in 70 percent of leagues)
Put 'em on your bench
Thabo Sefolosha, G, Thunder(MEM, @CLE): Sefolosha continues to earn starts at shooting guard for coach Scott Brooks and despite constantly being overshadowed by Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and even Kevin Martin, the veteran has found his niche on Oklahoma City's squad. Sefolosha remains one the better 3-point shooters on the Thunder's roster and he is once again making more than 40 percent of his shots from behind the arc this year. However, the 28-year-old seems to be stuck in a bit of a shooting slump from deep as we head into Week 14. Sefolosha has made eight treys over his last seven games and is shooting just 35 percent from the field over that stretch. While that is still better than most, Sefolosha doesn't bring much to the table other than his 3-point shooting, so when he is missing on those, he can actually do more harm than good for owners in category-based formats. With the Thunder only slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period, and Sefolosha a bit off the mark of late, owners should consider sitting him heading into this week.(owned in 14 percent of leagues)
Danny Green, G, Spurs (CHA, WAS): Green can't seem to buy a bucket of late as he is coming off an 0-for-5 shooting night in San Antonio's win over the Suns on Saturday that resulted in him being shutout for the fourth time this season. Unfortunately for Fantasy owners, Green's biggest asset is his ability to knock shots -- especially treys -- so when he is not doing that he becomes more of a liability to owners in Rotisserie formats. While Green has knocked down 13 3-pointers over his last 11 games, he is shooting just 30 percent from the field over that stretch, which is well below his season average of 39.8 percent. Green continues to see starts at shooting guard, albeit owners may want to think about sitting him down until he starts knocking down some shots again. The Spurs are one of just three teams scheduled to play two games during the upcoming scoring period, so owners may want to take advantage of San Antonio's light schedule and sit Green in Week 14.(owned in 37 percent of leagues)
Trevor Ariza, F, Wizards(SAC, @PHI, @MEM, @SA): The Wizards are finally starting to get healthy and are playing some of their best basketball of the season lately. While everyone seems to be elevating their game during Washington's hot streak, Ariza does not fall into that category. The 27-year-old has not looked the same since returning from a calf injury that cost him 16 games earlier in the year. Ariza wasn't exactly lighting it up before his injury, but he was giving owners 8.4 points, 5.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.8 steals over his first 14 games. However, he has posted a 6-4-1 stat line since his return to the lineup and is not even averaging a steal or block per game over that stretch. The nine-year veteran has never really been much of a force on the offensive end of the court, but his consistent low-teens scoring combined with his solid all-around production made him a very solid low-end option in Rotisserie formats. He just doesn't look like the same player he was prior to his injury and has also yet to regain his spot in coach Randy Wittman's starting lineup. Fantasy owners should consider sitting Ariza down until he gets himself back on track.(owned in 25 percent of leagues)
Jason Thompson, F, Kings(@WAS, @BOS, @PHI, @NY): After averaging 13 points and 7.2 rebounds during a 13-game stretch last month, Thompson has been stuck in a bit of a rut. The 26-year-old has managed to score in double figures in just two of his last 10 games and is averaging 6.6 points on 43.8 percent shooting from the field over that span. He has failed to pull down more than five rebounds over that same stretch and has even been losing a bit of playing time to rookie Thomas Robinson over the past few nights. Normally Thompson can be counted on as a decent source for field-goal percentage, points and rebounds, but he isn't exactly excelling in any of those categories right now. While Thompson should be able to turn things around sooner than later, he looks to be a bit of a risky play heading into the upcoming scoring period – especially against the defensive-minded Wizards, Celtics and Knicks. Fantasy owners should seek out a more productive option heading into Week 14.(owned in 65 percent of leagues)
Tyler Zeller, C, Cavaliers( GS, @DET, OKC): Zeller continues to earn starts at center for coach Byron Scott, but the rookie has really been struggling with his shot of late. In fact, Zeller has made more than 50 percent of his shots just once over his last 18 games and is shooting just 31 percent from the field over his last 10 contests. He has failed to score in double figures in six of those contests and while he is averaging 7.8 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over that span, his poor field-goal percentage continues to hurt his value in category-based formats. Most thought once Zeller got settled in as the starter he would be able to improve his shooting numbers but that hasn't been the case thus far. With the Cavaliers being so depleted in their frontcourt, Zeller should continue to earn starts moving forward, but that doesn't mean Fantasy owners have to follow suit. Despite center being such a thin position, owners should consider leaving Zeller reserved until he starts knocking down some shots. (owned in 80 percent of leagues)