Fantasy Red Flags: Dirk Nowitzki

I’ve loved having Nowitzki on my team in the past, but I definitely think it’s time to hop off the bandwagon before it goes crashing over the cliff.  The latest reports have Dirk suffering from a lingering knee injury and talking possible surgery, but you also have to wonder just how much of his attitude could be disgust with Mark Cuban and the dismantling of their team as Dirk winds down his career.  Curious timing to say the least.

So where should we draft Nowitzki and who else might benefit if he is sidelined?  I’ve currently got him slotted as the sixth best power forward on the board, but that was before I ran across the latest news report about the knee.  I could easily see moving Greg Monroe ahead of him, possibly David Lee and likely Zach Randolph if Randolph shows to be back to full health.  If you are in a keeper league, then you have to drop Nowitzki behind guys like Paul Millsap, Serge Ibaka and maybe even Amare Stoudemire.

If Nowitzki does end up having surgery, or even if he’s just seeing a big decrease in minutes, the guy that stands to benefit the most is Elton Brand.  I’ve pretty much written Brand off as nothing more than a 25 minute per night backup, but he could really gain some value if he’s getting big minutes backing up Nowitzki, as well as seeing good minutes backing up Kaman in a smaller lineup.  Keep an eye on Dirk’s health and keep Brand in mind at the end of your draft, and most definitely as a handcuff if you decide to roll the dice on Dirk.

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