Could Andrew Bynum be in for extra rest?
Andrew Bynum tweaked his right knee at the end of the Lakers' loss to the Nuggets on Sunday, and even though it isn't believed to be serious, you have to believe the team will take it easy on him down the stretch, as they'll want him to be as healthy as possible for the playoffs. If this means limited minutes, it'll be a tough blow to fantasy owners who've been depending upon Bynum's impressive production during the past month-plus. Bynum finished March with spectacular averages of 11.3 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per game while shooting 64.6 percent from the floor in 11 games. Those are difference-making numbers in three categories, as Bynum elevated himself from frustrating injury risk to unquestioned fantasy starter.
Monitor his status closely, as he could miss some time for precautionary measures, or at least see his minutes limited. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom will pick up the slack if he does miss time, as they have all season, so look for a strong finish for both if Bynum is sidelined at all. The fact that it'll be such a devastating blow to fantasy owners if Bynum does sit illustrates the fact that he had developed into a terrific fantasy player, though, one worth keeping in keeper leagues and starting in every format, although he needs to put up a full season of effectiveness before shedding the injury-prone label.
Landry Fields' magical rookie season is ending on a sour note, as he scored just two points Sunday, marking the sixth game in his past seven contests in which he's had a single-digit scoring effort. He's still in the starting lineup, although Toney Douglas regularly sees more minutes than Fields off the bench, and his prospects playing on a team with Carmelo Anthony aren't as promising as they were before the trade. 'Melo is a good rebounder for a small forward, and sucks up a lot of the boards that Fields used to get. Fields averaged just 4.8 rebounds in March after averaging at least 6.4 in every other month this season. Feel free to drop Fields for a more productive late-season option. So much for Deron Williams taking it easy, as he notched 41 minutes against the Heat on Sunday, scoring 18 points with 12 assists. One of Avery Johnson's primary goals for the final games is figuring out how his teammates play with Williams, so it doesn't look like he's going to be shut down, something which was previously expected. Be sure to get him back in your lineup, even if he's favoring his wrist and might see limited minutes in most games. He's simply too good when he's on the court not to start, as evidenced by the 27 assists he's tallied in the three games since returning. The Jazz signed Kyle Weaver to help fill the void left by backcourt injuries to Devin Harris and Ronnie Price, and after playing in Israel this season Weaver stepped up in his second game with the team Sunday, scoring 19 points on 7-for-11 shooting, including three 3-pointers, two blocks and a steal in 30 minutes. Weaver is scrappy player with a defensive mindset and solid outside shot who is likely seeing this as an audition for the league for next season, so look for him to come out swinging. He could become an option in deep leagues for the final games of the season, so pay attention to Weaver's minutes, as he'll at least be better than that injured player who's burning a hole in your roster. Jerryd Bayless had an impressive weekend, starting in place of the injured Jose Calderon on Saturday and Sunday, dropping 26 points with eight assists, two 3s and a steal Saturday and 23 points, eight assists, three 3s and a steal Sunday. Calderon's status is unclear, as he's plagued by a sore hamstring, which can be unpredictable, and with the Raptors way out of the playoff hunt and Bayless playing so well, he likely won't be rushed back. Feel free to rush to add Bayless as a short-term option, as he's demonstrated in stints this season that he puts up productive numbers when given the minutes. Carl Landry is playing like he did much of last season when he was an unquestioned fantasy starter, and after scoring 18 points on 6-for-9 shooting with eight rebounds Sunday, he's averaging 20.2 points on 53.6 percent shooting from the floor and 79.4 percent from the stripe in his past five contests. Those who predicted he'd explode after David West's injury were spot-on, as he's become a must-start and major helper in the percentage categories with his efficient scoring.
There are no games on the schedule for Monday night, as the nation focuses on the NCAA men's national championship game. This provides many dinged-up players with a day to rest, and makes for stacked nights Tuesday (13 games) and Wednesday (12 games). Be sure to check in on your injured players prior to Tuesday's contests, as every single game counts at this point.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.