Big-time NBA fantasy performers hurting

The Bobcats are hurting without Jason Richardson's offense.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - You could build a pretty good NBA All-Star team with the players who are injured and questionable for their team's next game. How about a starting five of Deron Williams and Jason Richardson in the backcourt with Yao Ming, Josh Howard and Carlos Boozer manning the frontline?

Deron Williams, G, Utah - Williams' injury has given Ronnie Price a chance to play and his 16-point, six assist night on Wednesday shows he can produce decent fantasy stats.

Jason Richardson, G, Charlotte - Without Richardson's offense (17.6 ppg, 39.3 3Pt%), the Bobcats are short of shooting, particularly from three-point range where they went 1-for-10 on Tuesday night against Dallas. The team has no one to replace those shots.

Michael Redd, G, Milwaukee - Redd (21.3 ppg) is still questionable with a sprained right ankle. Richard Jefferson, Charlie Bell and Ramon Sessions should all benefit from his absence.

Steve Blake, G, Portland - Blake (9.4 ppg, 3.8 apg) is probable for Friday's game against Sacramento, but even if he doesn't play the Trail Blazers have plenty of talent at point guard with Jerryd Bayless, Sergio Rodriguez and even Brandon Roy if necessary.

Carlos Boozer, F, Utah - Mehmet Okur came back just in time for the Jazz because now Carlos Boozer (20.5 ppg, 11.7 rpg) is doubtful with a strained left quadriceps. Okur should see improved numbers as will Andre Kirilenko and C.J. Miles, who scored 25 against Milwaukee on Wednesday night.

Luol Deng, F, Chicago - A sore left groin could keep Deng and his 14.4 ppg and 6.0 rpg out of the lineup against Atlanta. Ben Gordon and Derrick Rose will likely take up the slack.

Josh Howard, F, Dallas - Howard (20.3 ppg, 8.2 rpg) is still questionable with a sore left ankle. More shots for Jason Terry and Dirk Nowitzki.

Kelenna Azubuike, F, Golden State - Azubuike is questionable with a sprained left knee and the loss of 15.6 ppg and 4.5 rpg would hurt most teams. But as the Golden State's fifth leading scorer, either Stephen Jackson (21.9 ppg), Corey Maggette (17.7 ppg), Anthony Morrow (17.0 ppg) or Andris Biedrins (16.8 ppg) will pick up the slack.

Yi Jianlian, F, New Jersey - A strained neck has Jianlian (9.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg) questionable for Friday's game against Toronto. Most likely Brook Lopez (7.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg) will have to fill the void by crashing the boards and adding a few more shot attempts. That might make Lopez a viable fantasy option.

Yao Ming, C, Houston - Yao (16.9 ppg, 9.5 rpg) has been upgraded to probable which mean forward Luis Scola's numbers will return to normal.

Al Hortford, C, Atlanta - With Hortford (9.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg) questionable due to a sprained right ankle and Josh Smith still on the sidelines, the Hawks are missing a lot of firepower. Joe Johnson, Mike Bibby and Marvin Williams should have big games.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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