The Replacements

Mason Plumlee
Keith Allison

No, the vast majority of fantasy basketball leagues do not use Minutes as a category, but that doesn’t mean the stat should be ignored. In fact, playing time is arguably the most important factor to consider when making lineup decisions and waiver wire additions. On that note, let’s take a look at a few players who opened the season riding the pine but either have or will be seeing increased playing time due to an injury to a starter or a trade.

Mo Williams
With Ricky Rubio out since early-November due to a severe ankle sprain, Williams has done a nice job handling the bulk of the point guard minutes for the Timberwolves, averaging 6.5 assists and 1.3 three-pointers per contest through 20 games. But Rubio is expected to return soon, meaning that now is the time for Williams owners to cash in their profits and try to trade him while he still carries some value. The return won’t be great, but it will be better than nothing.

Mason Plumlee
Brook Lopez just can’t seem to stay on the court, and though he did make his return this past Tuesday, playing eight minutes, it could take him some time to build up his stamina to the point where he can significantly cut into Plumlee’s playing time. As of Friday, the second-year center is averaging 18.1 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks over his last seven games. Even with Lopez back in the fold, Plumlee owners should hold onto him for now, as he’s earned more minutes with his strong play. Plus, it is likely only a matter of time before the injury-prone Lopez is sidelined again.

Marcus Smart
The trade of Rajon Rondo has opened the door for Smart to take the Celtics starting point guard job and run with it. But in addition to being injured for a good chunk of the season, the 20-year-old rookie has underperformed so far, and Boston could choose to go with newly acquired veteran Jameer Nelson as their starter until Smart delivers on a more consistent basis. Although he is worth a pickup in most leagues for his potential contributions in assists and steals, his owners will need to be patient.

About the Author

Zach Steinhorn

Zach Steinhorn

Zach Steinhorn has been playing fantasy sports since the turn of the century. A graduate of New York University, where he majored in Journalism, Zach served as a writer and broadcaster for WNYU Sports radio. Zach has worked at in New York City as a production assistant, fantasy baseball writer, researcher and blogger. He is also an editor and weekly columnist for Mastersball and a KFFL contributor.

In 2012, Zach began competing against other industry gurus in Tout Wars. A New Yorker and lifelong Yankee fan, he roots hard for his team... except when they are facing one of his fantasy starting pitchers.