We’re knee-deep in the fantasy hoop playoffs. Sadly, there’s already been too many injuries to name in a span of a week with the only good news coming in the form of Westbrook’s non-injury. The basketball gods sometimes do smile upon us. That said, there’s a crop of players—either bogged down by injuries or a fall in execution—threatening your playoff standing. These five, in particular, should have you sounding the alarm (and looking for greener pastures).
Andre Iguodala – It makes sense for a team like Golden State, who can threaten a win on any night even when not fully healthy, to give AI some time to fully recuperate. But patience can be a guillotine during the fantasy playoffs. It also doesn’t help that Iguodala has been a disappointing contributor this season and that the Warriors are plagued with the league’s worst playoff schedule. There are better pickups than Iguodala out there, a good starting point might be Markieff Morris.
Eric Gordon - Knee tendonitis is what is keeping Iguodala out of contention and is what is now plaguing Gordon. The only ray of light is that it’s bothering his left knee and not his chronically hurt right knee. Still, for a young player who relies on his explosiveness, tendonitis of any knee is not something worth gambling on this late in the season, especially with the Pelicans a good deal out of playoff status. If you need a double-digit scorer who can pass the ball, shoot the three, and contribute with steals take a look at Marco Belinelli or Randy Foye.
Wilson Chandler - As detailed in our latest injury report, Chandler is going through some hip issues that required an injection. Never a good sign. His production is certainly indicating that he’s hurting as he’s only had one good game in the last seven. And guys like Kenneth Faried, Aaron Brooks, and Foye have been covering up the Denver slack. If you’re in the market for a high-scorer who can shoot threes and rebound, perhaps look at DeMarre Carroll, PJ Tucker, Nick Young, or even teammate Foye.
Carlos Boozer - Between Taj Gibson and Boozer, the better player in these last five weeks has been Gibson both in a fantasy and real-world sense. Boozer still has the capacity to go off on any given night but not consistently enough to be a trusty fantasy weapon. On March 15, for example, against a subpar Kings team with subpar power forwards, Boozer only posted nine points, five rebounds, four assists, and a steal. He followed it up with a nice showing against OKC but then posted seven points and six rebounds against a lackluster 76ers squad. Sound the alarm and part ways with the Booz.
Jameer Nelson - Old man syndrome has cost Nelson considerable playing time in the last three years. In the 2011-12 season he only played in a total of 57 games. In 2012-13, 56 of them. And in this one, he’s on pace to play in something like 65 to 68 of them. He proved to be a very good low-radar point guard, despite injury concerns, but the time to give up on him might be now. He’s missed a handful of games now, has not been consistent throughout the year, and the Magic aren’t chasing a playoff spot. There’s also no indication that Nelson is going to factor into the team’s long-term plans which might open up more playing time for guys like Victor Oladipo and Moe Harkless in the games to come.