Fantasy News: Kobe Bryant Injury Changes Roles of Many Lakers

jodie meeksAfter sustaining a season-ending injury, Kobe Bryant is done for the 2012-13 season and possibly even longer.

With only two games left in the season and fantasy championships finishing shortly, there are Lakers that can help put you over the top without Kobe.

Here are some fantasy options heading into the final couple games of the NBA season.

Pickups:

Metta World Peace

Chances are MWP is on your waiver wire and now is the time to snag him. MWP is still recovering from the knee surgery he had a few weeks ago, but without Bryant, he’s going to be on the floor a lot.

World Peace will replace the void of toughness that isn’t there without Bryant and coach Mike D’Antoni will need to realize that.

Since he’s come back from his injury, MWP is only averaging 17 minutes and five points, but should see increased productivity in the next two games.

In two games against the Spurs this season MWP is averaging 17.5 points and in three games against the Rockets, he’s averaging 16 points.

MWP should see an increase in minutes, which will mean more chances to put up points and win you your fantasy league.

Jodie Meeks

Just last week, Meeks was an easy player to cut due to his inability to capitalize with his increased minutes.

Meeks should slide into Bryant’s vacated two-guard spot and without a clear backup, Meeks should be on the floor down the stretch as well.

While Meeks hasn’t done much against the Spurs this season, he’s averaging 7.3 points and two three-pointers per game against the Rockets.

The Lakers don’t have much depth in the backcourt and Meeks is a cheap alternative in finding points and three-pointers.

Steve Blake

Blake has started the past five games with point guard Steve Nash still sidelined by a balky hamstring and hip.

As the starter, Blake is averaging nine points, five rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 three-pointers per game.

With Nash’s status up in the air and without Bryant being the primary facilitator, Blake should see an increase in assists and points.

It will be interesting to see how D’Antoni subs Blake in and out, but he should see anywhere between 35-40 minutes per game as the Lakers try and solidify their playoff position.

Whether or not Nash comes back in the next two games, Blake will also see time at the shooting guard position, making him an attractive pickup.

Drops:

Antawn Jamison

Jamison has really struggled in his past six games and has seen quite a decrease in his playing time.

Jamison is averaging 7.1 points and 3.1 rebounds as his wrist is really starting to bother him while D’Antoni has lost some confidence in him.

With the loss of Bryant, look for D’Antoni to ride forward Pau Gasol and center Dwight Howard into the ground in the next two games.

He hasn’t looked like the former All-Star player for the entire month of April and won’t help you in the next two games.

Steve Nash

This is a pretty easy call here as there is no clear timetable as to when Nash will be back in the lineup. With an aging veteran like himself, Nash has taken longer than expected to recover from his injuries and can’t be counted on to contribute.

The best case scenario for Nash is to return Sunday against San Antonio, but in lieu of Bryant’s injury, the Lakers would err on the side of caution in the amount of minutes he’d play.

If your league for some reason includes playoffs, then Nash would be an attractive option since without Kobe in the lineup, Nash would be able to facilitate and be the primary ball handler.

 

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