Phil's Fantasy Basketball: Must-have replacements for Russell Westbrook and Al Horford

Jeff Gross

Guest columnist Phil Naessens of the Phil Naessens Show gives out three must have Fantasy Basketball replacements for Russell Westbrook and Al Horford, and also highlights the Spurs' Patty Mills, Danny Green and Marco Belinelli

We’re heading into week ten of the fantasy basketball season. Friday we learned Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook would be out until at least the All-Star break after having his third knee surgery this season. Later in the day we discovered Atlanta Hawks Center Al Horford would miss the rest of the regular season after tearing his pectoral muscle.

Obviously this isn’t good news for fantasy-basketball owners. Today I'll try to give you some relief by providing you with three alternatives to replace Westbrook and Horford.

Let’s begin with the point guards.

D.J. Augustin, PG Chicago: With the injury to Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich being day to day Augustine has made the most of his time on the floor. In his last 10 games he’s been scoring (10 ppg) and dropping dimes (6.3 apg). He’ll even steal a ball or two and grab the occasional rebound. Chicago has four games this week (Memphis, Toronto, Boston, Atlanta) and he’s currently owned in just 20% of ESPN leagues and in 22% of Yahoo leagues. As long as Augustine gets the minutes he should make a nice band-aid for the Westbrook broken arm. (Stats)

Avery Bradley, PG Boston: Bradley is an odd one in that for a point guard he won’t provide any relief in the assists column. Bradley is a scorer averaging 16.0 ppg in his last 10 games. He’ll also rebound (5.8 rpg) and he shoots well from the field (45%) and hit a triple or two per game as well. Boston has four games this week (Chicago, Atlanta, New Orleans and Oklahoma City) and is currently owned in 49% of ESPN leagues and 63% of Yahoo leagues. Bradley’s available and would make a fine addition to your Fantasy roster. (Stats)

Mario Chalmers, PG Miami: Miami has their own injury problems but Chalmers has seemed to avoid them for the most part. He scores (9.1 ppg) drops dimes (5.0 apg) picks pockets (1.9 spg) and hits the trey (1.3 pg). Chalmers generally stuffs the stats when it’s necessary. The Heat are so darn good Chalmers hasn’t always been necessary to do anything but just turn up. Lately though he’s been necessary and has delivered. The Heat has four games this week (Denver, GoldenState, Orlando, and Toronto) and with Chalmers owned in 53% of ESPN leagues and in 61% of Yahoo leagues he’s a very good choice this coming week. (Stats)

Let’s move onto the centers.

Larry Sanders C Milwaukee: Sanders was poised, or shall I say predicted, to have a breakout season. Sadly for the Bucks the only thing he broke was his thumb on some dude's face. He began the season horribly and wound up in coach Rick Adelman’s doghouse. Now that he’s back, there just isn’t much to judge him by. Milwaukee has three games this week (Lakers, Utah, and Phoenix) that should provide him some major opportunities to show us what he has to offer. Sanders is currently owned in 66% of ESPN leagues and 86% of Yahoo leagues. He just might be the replacement you’re seeking. (Stats)

Anderson Varejao C Cleveland: Getting minutes seems to be Anderson’s biggest problem this season. When he does Varejao is having a decent season for Cleveland and the recent troubles with Andrew Bynum has raised Varejao’s Fantasy value. He scores (7.9 ppg) rebounds (8.8 rpg) and kicks it to his teammates (2.1 apg). He also has the occasional block and maybe will net you a steal or two. Cleveland has four games this week (Indiana, Brooklyn, Orlando, Indiana) so maybe taking him on a flyer and playing him against Orlando and Brooklyn might be your best bet this week. Varejao is currently owned in 53.6% of ESPN leagues and 71% of Yahoo leagues. (Stats)

Robin Lopez C Portland: We’ve talked about Lopez before and now with two top centers in his brother Brook and Horford being out Robin becomes more attractive every day. Lopez is as solid as Sears averaging 9.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game. He throws shots (1.8 bpg) and shoots well from both the field (53%) and from the line (77%). I suppose of the three he’s the best of the bunch. Portland has four games this week (New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Charlotte, Philadelphia) and Lopez is currently owned in 64% of ESPN leagues and 70% Yahoo leagues. (Stats)


Spurs to watch this week

The Spurs have three games this week ( Brooklyn, New York, Los Angeles Clippers) so Coach Gregg Popovich being Pop quite a few Spurs will see plenty of action this week.

Patty Mills, PG: With games against Brooklyn and the Knicks this week Mills might get some extended floor time. When he does he usually makes the most of it. He’s a deep league option only and is owned in .02% of ESPN leagues and 2.3% of Yahoo leagues. (Stats)

Danny Green, SG: "Icy Hot" was red hot against the Mavericks and is a decent option this week, especially against Brooklyn and the Knicks. He’s currently owned in 47% of ESPN leagues and 65% of Yahoo leagues. (Stats)

Marco Belinelli, SG: When he gets the minutes Marco produces. He should see some this week and if he starts grab him. He’s currently owned in 2.6% of ESPN leagues and 12% of Yahoo leagues. (Stats)

On today’s Phil Naessens Show Rotowire’s Kyle McKeown and I discuss injuries and tons more, Indy Cornrows Tom Lewis and I discuss all things Indiana Pacers and author David Frauenfelder joins me to discuss his latest novel, The Skater and the Saint, the sequel to his book Skater in a Strange Land. You can listen below or download the program here.

PtR Fantasy League

In spite of injuries to LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, Duncan Donuts remains undefeated. Some outstanding matches took place, including the big upset by SavedByTheBellinelli over Pops Beard. You can check out all the scores here.

Thanks fellow Pounders and guests for taking time to read and as always I’m looking forward to your input!

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