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Monday, March 21, 2011
Deron Williams' season at risk


Deron Williams owners received devastating news this weekend, as the Nets sat him for Sunday's matchup against the Wizards and will keep him on the bench for the next two contests, and possibly the rest of the season, as he rests his sore wrist. This makes Jordan Farmar worth picking up in all leagues as a short-term option that could turn into a fantasy starter for the rest of the way if the Nets do decide to end Williams' season. Farmar dazzled on Sunday, scoring 10 points with a whopping 17 assists and two steals, and has played well when given increased opportunities this year, averaging 15.0 points, 8.8 assists, 1.6 3s and 1.3 steals in eight starts. Those are clearly numbers worth owning and starting in basically every format, so rush to add Farmar if he's available in your league, as he'll put up start-worthy numbers for the next two contests and possibly more. If Williams does sit the remainder of the year, he'll be an interesting topic in next season's draft, as he currently ranks fifth on the player rater when sorting by averages, but drops to no.17 overall due to the time missed. He had some highlights and lowlights after being traded to the Nets, as he did average 13.1 assists in his eight games with New Jersey, but also shot just 32.7 percent from the field, good for 14.8 points per game. I think those numbers, along with his late season injury, will make him undervalued in next season's draft; He's first round material any time he plays, and arguably a top-five pick, although his late-season circumstances could see him fall out of the first round. For now, though, it's important to get him on your bench and add Farmar if available.

Looking Back:

Eric Gordon returned from his extended injury Saturday night, and proceeded to drop 29 points with five assists and six 3-pointers in 41 minutes of play. He followed it up with 10 points in 40 minutes of play on Sunday, so he's still working off some rust, although it became immediately apparent that he's going to get serious minutes and is ready to resume his role as go-to perimeter scorer for the Clippers. Get him back in your lineup ASAP, although don't be surprised if he shows some inconsistency after missing so much time. ... Luis Scola returned Sunday night after missing five games with a knee injury, but scored just four points in 20 minutes of play. He did have eight rebounds, three blocks and a steal, although overall the downward statistical trend that began before he was sidelined continued, as he's averaging just 12.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in his last five games played. Patrick Patterson was impressive in his absence and is looking like a critical part of the Rockets' future, so don't be surprised if Scola sees fewer minutes for the rest of the regular season. He's still worth getting back into your lineup, although it doesn't appear if he's going to have a strong finish. Patterson, by the way, scored 14 points with 13 rebounds in 28 minutes off the bench Sunday, and as I detailed in "Working the Wire" on Friday, is a worthy pickup in deeper leagues as he earns more playing time and has an opportunity to flash his well-balanced repertoire. ... Luc Richard Mbah a Moute had his third consecutive game with double digit points on Sunday, scoring 19, including going 13-for-13 from the stripe, with eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals. He's averaging 10.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in his past five games, and if he could put up double digit points with any sort of consistency he'd be worth owning due to his career averages of 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks per game in just 25.4 minutes. His minutes have increased significantly lately, as he's averaging 32.5 per game in March, so in deeper leagues Mbah a Moute is surfacing as a decent option for defensive stats. ... Kris Humphries frustrated owners with his inconsistent minutes for most of the season, but ever since the Nets traded away Derrick Favors, he's been a must-start in all formats. He scored 18 points with 17 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals Sunday, and most importantly played a team-high 39 minutes. He's averaging 15.4 points and 15.4 rebounds with 1.9 blocks and 0.7 steals per game in his past 10 contests, and should be in consideration for most improved player of the year. Don't be shocked if he leads the league in rebounding from this point forward, especially given Kevin Love's recent groin injury.

Looking Ahead:

Tyreke Evans has been cleared to practice and should return in the next week or so, although I'd wait until he sees floor time before putting him back in your lineup. It'll be interesting to see how he plays alongside the new king of the Kings, Marcus Thornton, who is averaging 21.2 points per game in 13 contests since joining Sacramento. As I mentioned, Kevin Love left Sunday's game with a sore left groin after scoring zero points with four rebounds in 14 minutes of play. There's no update on his condition as of this writing, so keep a close eye on what they're saying about the extent of this injury and make your start/sit decisions accordingly. Carlos Boozer practiced Sunday, although it's not clear if he'll be a go for Monday's game against the Kings. It'll be a game-time decision, so check the update before the game, as you'll want to get him back in your lineup if he's a go after missing his past five games with a bum ankle.