Editor's note: FanDuel.com hosts one-day Fantasy Basketball contests for real cash prizes for each day's slate of games. It's easy to sign up and join Enter now!
Three players with first-round Fantasy ability made huge drops in the Fantasy trade value chart this week, none bigger than Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. Anthony, whose value hasn't topped 20 in weeks, fell completely off the chart after speaking openly about the possibility of getting shut down for knee surgery after the All-Star break. Nothing has been confirmed, but Anthony really doesn't have any trade value at this point given that it seems all but inevitable that his season is going to end in the next few weeks.
Dwight Howard almost joined Anthony off the board, but it isn't quite clear if his season is over yet. Last week, it seemed like he was going to miss a month, but the reports that he will need 6-8 weeks to recover from a bone-marrow injection in his injured right knee change things a bit. If you can afford to stash Howard, he might get back in time to help you in the Fantasy playoffs, but I wouldn't give up any kind of starting-caliber player for him.
The headliner of this group, however, is Clippers forward Blake Griffin. He was firmly entrenched in the top-10 of these rankings last week but falls all the way to 61st overall after undergoing surgery to remove a staph infection in his elbow. This shouldn't be a season-ender, but missing a top-10 player for three to four weeks -- especially right before the playoffs -- might be enough to sink your season. So, what should we do with Griffin?
If you own Griffin, your plan of action is going to depend entirely where you are in the standings. If you were able to pair Griffin with Damian Lillard or Kyle Lowry this season, you're probably in a pretty good spot overall, with a pair of top-10 players on your roster. If you are in first or second place in your league with a four-game edge on the last playoff spot, your best bet is probably just to wait it out and hope Griffin can get 100-percent healthy by the time your first-round matchup starts. There's no need to make a panic trade if you've given yourself a cushion.
However, if you drafted Griffin in the middle of the first round and pair him with a disappointing mid-second option like Dwight Howard or Chris Bosh, things might not be so rosy for you. Griffin has been so good this season that you are probably still in it, but he is no guarantee of contention on his own. If you find yourself fighting tooth and nail every week for a chance to get into the playoffs, you probably don't have the wiggle room to wait for him to get back healthy. It might be time to consider a panic trade.
Your options for trading Griffin are pretty limited, of course, because nobody who wants to make the playoffs is going to give up anything good for him. You're probably going to have to aim low and offer Griffin up for an unappealing option like Eric Gordon or Josh Smith. Gordon has a ton of short-team value, but you would be trading for him with the knowledge he probably won't have much to offer in the Fantasy playoffs, assuming Jrue Holiday can get back by then.
It stinks that your season might be derailed by a complete freak injury, and that really is what this is. From 2010-11 through 2013-14, Griffin played in 308 of 312 games, good for the fourth-most in the league in that span. He has been a model of consistency, someone you could count on to carry your team, and now you have to move forward without him. However, this doesn't mean your season is over; you just have to play the hand you were dealt smartly.