I decided to take a quick trip this weekend, ahead of the start of the basketball season, and all hell broke loose. First, Bradley Beal suffered a wrist injury that will likely keep him out deep into November, and then Kevin Durant went down with a Jones fracture in his foot that could cost him a month or more of the season.
No big deal, it's just Kevin Durant, the top Fantasy option in any format. He has played in 97.5 percent of the Thunder's games since joining the NBA, including the playoffs, so he will almost assuredly miss a career-high number this season, whatever the final number ends up being. And I was stuck in a museum, unable to react beyond firing off a couple of quick tweets.
The moral of the story is, I'm never going on vacation again. Sorry to have failed you.
I am back now, and took the opportunity today to update the rankings in light of Durant's injury. I dropped him down to sixth among forwards in Rotisserie formats, though he remains 3rd in H2H. The reason for that is pretty simple; though you will be without Durant for the first month of the season, he will be there for your Fantasy playoffs in H2H formats, when it matters the most. If you get him with the seventh overall pick, that should work out quite nicely for you.
Additionally, I bumped Perry Jones into the top-100 in the Roto rankings, though not too high. He is nestled between Caron Butler and Steve Novak at No. 94 overall. Jones is still an interesting talent, but he also scored in double figures just five times last season, so I need to see it from him before I buy in. Take a late-round flier, if you must.
I am higher on Jeremy Lamb, who moves up to 57th in Roto 55th in H2H among guards in the rankings. Though Lamb is not a natural fit to replace Durant in the lineup, his skillset seems more likely to make up for what the Thunder will be missing than Jones or Andre Roberson, who could also see his role increase. Lamb's perimeter scoring acumen should play up nicely while Durant is gone, and could lead to the much-awaited breakout that never came a year ago.
The Wizards are in a bit more trouble with Beal's injury, though he should return sooner than Durant. The departure of Trevor Ariza and absence of Beal and Martell Webster (back) leave them perilously thin on the wing. Paul Pierce should make up for some of that, but the 37-year-old's waning skill set might offset the increased role he could see. Still, John Wall is an expert at setting teammates up for good shots on the perimeter, so I bumped Pierce into the top-30 at forward for Roto and the top-35 for H2H.
Hopefully, with less than two weeks to go until the start of the regular season, we can avoid any more major injuries as we get into the heart of draft season.