Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
You could make up an All-Star team of injured players already and we're not even into 2011 yet. That means your roster depth is playing a huge role in where you are in the current NBA fantasy standings.
Let's see who's sitting on the sidelines, for how long and who is getting their minutes.
Brandon Roy, Portland - Roy has been playing with a knee problem all season and it shows in his statistics. The career 19.9 ppg scorer has averaged just 16.6 ppg this season and both his rebounding and assists numbers are down as well. He may very well be shut down for the rest of the season which would be a huge blow to the team and fantasy owners. Wesley Mathews will get more opportunities to score without Roy in the lineup as he showed last night with 30 points against Utah. But it should also be a bonus for Nicolas Batum.
Kevin Garnett, Boston - Garnett has been just a borderline fantasy starter over the past three seasons, so his loss for about two weeks shouldn't be a major blow to fantasy owners. He was averaging 15.0 ppg and 9.5 rpg which was certainly better than last year's numbers of 14.3 ppg and 7.3 rpg. The Celtics have plenty of big men to play the position, with Shaquille O'Neal, Glen Davis and Jermaine O'Neal. None of them will post "Garnett-like" numbers and none are recommended replacements, although if you must choose one I'd go with Davis.
Joakim Noah, Chicago - Noah was having a fantastic start to his season, averaging 14.0 ppg, 11.7 rpg and 2.7 apg. He'll be out another six-to-eight weeks, but don't you dare cut him from your roster. Kurt Thomas is his replacement, but he's not a fantasy-worthy scorer and Noah's rebounds are being gobbled up by Carlos Boozer, not Thomas.
Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas - Nowitzki's knee injury isn't a long-term issue and he's day-to-day. There is no one on the Dallas roster that can take up his role either scoring or rebounding and likely no one on your fantasy roster who can cover for him for any length of time. Fortunately, he's due back soon. Brian Cardinal started in his place against San Antonio and had nine points and three rebounds.
Yao Ming, Houston - Yao (19.0 ppg, 9.2 rpg career average) is out for the season but after missing all of last year the team is prepared to play without him. Luis Scola has taken up the role in the middle and become a fantasy star. His scoring has jumped from 12.7 in 2008-09 to 16.2 last season and 20.1 ppg through the first 31 games this year. He's been a consistent eight rebounds- per-game guy whether Yao is in or out of the lineup.
Chris Kaman, Los Angeles Clippers - Kaman is a solid fantasy player when he plays, which unfortunately isn't very often. He's played more than 60 games just once in the last three years and has played just 10 games in 2010-11. With rookie Blake Griffin doing the rebounding and scoring from the forward spot and DeAndre Jordan clogging up the middle, the Clippers have learned to play without him.
Brandon Jennings, Milwaukee - Jennings had an excellent rookie season (15.5 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 54.7 apg) and was improving on those statistics when he broke a bone in his left foot. He'll miss about one month. Keyon Dooling is his replacement in the starting lineup and in the six games since he took over the starting role is averaging a solid 12.3 ppg and 5.8 apg.