Kyrie Irving Out 4 Weeks With Broken Finger

Kyrie Irving will miss the next four weeks with a hairline, non-displaced finger fracture.

Fantasy Analysis – Wow, tough break for Irving owners.  At least he’ll avoid surgery on this injury.   Irving also had a hand injury over the summer which caused him to miss most of camp.

It’s hard to figure out who will benefit here, but the best guess is Donald Sloan will get his chance to start at PG for the Cavs with Jeremy Pargo also being a possibility.  I don’t really know much about Sloan, but if he’s going to get 30 minutes a game, he might be worth an add.  Same for Pargo.

I would say Daniel Gibson would pick up some minutes, but he’s also hurting with an elbow injury which caused him to miss his last game.  Dion Waiters will have to start and log big minutes, but his value might decrease without Irving getting him the ball in his preferred spots, much like Bradley Beal’s problems without John Wall.

Jameer Nelson, Waiver Wire Addition

Jameer Nelson ($6200) rejoined the starting lineup after missing six games with an injury.

Fantasy Analysis – Nelson logged 32 minutes and put up 13 points and 10 assists Friday night.  He also picked up a three and two steals.  I’ve seen Nelson floating around on several waiver wires due to some owners cutting him when he got injured, but any guy that can drop double digit assists shouldn’t be out there.  If you have an underperforming player and need assists and threes, then you’ll definitely want to grab Nelson off the wire.  I dropped Rodney Stuckey in one league for Nelson.

As for E’Twaun Moore ($4800), he’s probably not worth holding unless you are in a very deep league or a keeper league, although there is the possibility that Nelson reinjures himself at some point, therefore Moore could be held as a handcuff.

Deron Williams Having Minor Ankle Problems

Deron Williams is having some ankle problems and fantasy owners might want to take notice if they are using a high draft pick on him.  Williams has missed the last two practices with left ankle inflammation that has been termed ‘left ankle synovitis’.  He had a cortisone shot in the ankle Thursday, but hasn’t been back on the court.

There are also some reports that forecast Williams needing surgery to clean the ankle up sometime in the future, possibly in the offseason.  It appears to be something that isn’t going away anytime soon.

Fantasy Analysis – This is definitely going to knock Williams’ fantasy value down a little bit and be especially annoying for daily fantasy roster moves.  If you own Williams, it might be a great idea to handcuff  C. J. Watson on the bench.  Watson did a great job filling in for Derrick Rose last season when he went down with the ACL injury and would likely do just as well in Brooklyn.

Joe Johnson would also see a bump up in value with Williams out.  Johnson has some playmaking ability and can definitely pick up his scoring when needed.  If Johnson takes on some point guard responsibility, then Marshon Brooks could slide into the starting SG spot, but that scenario probably wouldn’t be too likely if Watson is available.

Keep an eye on Williams and if he starts missing games it might be a good idea to explore trade possibilities.

John Wall Out 8 Weeks, Who Starts at PG for the Wizards?

John Wall has been diagnosed with a patella tendon injury and will miss about eight weeks of action, including four weeks of camp and the first four weeks of the season.  The Wizards are pretty bare behind Wall, so who is the favorite for fantasy stats at the PG spot in the first month of the season?

Shelvin Mack – Mack is a second year player and looks to be in the lead by a nose in the competition for the starting PG spot.  Mack is not an offensive minded player, but he is a great distributor, which is just what the Wizards need right now.  He had a good preseason game yesterday with 7 assists, but just 1 of 6 shooting.  He didn’t turn it over a single time.  Mack is the best defender the Wizards have at PG and he’s also the most familiar with the system.

A. J. Price – Price got the start in yesterday’s preseason game, but did absolutely nothing with it.  He only managed one assist and 3 of 10 shooting.  The troublesome stat from yesterday was the five turnovers, compared to zero for Shelvin Mack.  The Wizards have other scorers, but what they need is someone to run the offense and distribute, which doesn’t seem to be Price’s strength.

Jannero Pargo – Pargo has some NBA experience, but he’s out right now with injured ribs.  Pargo has never really excelled at running an offense and at 33 years old it’s doubtful that he’s developed any new skills that would put him in the lead in this PG battle.  It isn’t clear how long he’s going to be out, but if neither Mack nor Price can do the job, then Pargo will get his shot.

While none of these guys are really draftable in standard fantasy leagues, if you own John Wall one of them could be very valuable for your team as a last round  handcuff.  It’s just the first week of camp, but Shelvin Mack looks like the play here, even if only for a couple of weeks.

Austin Rivers Has Ankle Surgery

News:  Austin Rivers underwent surgery to clean up bone spurs in his right ankle.  He should be 100% by the start of training camp.

Fantasy Advice:  Rivers, the 10th pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, could possibly be a great rookie sleeper this year if he can grab the starting PG job in New Orleans.  The Hornets traded away Jarrett Jack, so the only person competing with Rivers will be Greivis Vazquez.  Vazquez might have the inside track right now due to his impressive performance filling in last season, but the Hornets probably aren’t going anywhere this year and will look to get Rivers and Anthony Davis as much experience as they can handle.  Training camp will go a long way in determining Rivers’ final draft ranking, but right now he’s a late round pick in one year leagues, but a very enticing early-middle round pick in keeper leagues.