We’re now about two-and-a-half months in the NBA season, and it’s getting increasingly more difficult for fantasy basketball owners to uncover gems on the waiver wire. If you were quick enough to snag an Arron Afflalo, John Henson, Terrence Jones or Trevor Ariza off your league’s waiver wire – well, then congratulations are in order. Waiver wires are mostly bare at this point and if you’re going to unearth another Lance Stephenson or Miles Plumlee it’ll either take ESP or another proven method – the injury stash. The Lakers’ trio injured point guards — Jordan Farmar, Steve Blake and Steve Nash — are three of the more appealing players who could be plucked off the wire and are worth stashing if your fantasy team can afford the roster spot.
» Farmar has been battling injury issues since December 1, when he tore his left hamstring vs. the Blazers. He rehabbed it, and after missing 10 games, made a return to the court. Unfortunately, just four games into his comeback, he re-tore the same hamstring. The Lakers will be more cautious this time around, but he could still make for a decent stash if you think your team may need point guard help down the line. In 22 games this year, Farmar is averaging 8.7 points, 4.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.1 threes, a nice array of stats for someone that may have gone overlooked on your league’s waiver wire. He has been getting shots up in practice, but the Lakers still expect him to miss about two more weeks. Farmar is available in 100 percent of ESPN.com fantasy basketball leagues.
» The Lakers actually began the year with Blake (95 percent available) in their starting lineup, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t reprise his role there once he returns from a torn UCL in his right elbow. Kendall Marshall (12.5 points, 10.9 assists since Dec. 29) has been doing a fantastic job filling in, but that may just be a consequence of being a point guard in a Mike D’Antoni offense. After all, Marshall hardly played for Phoenix last year and was cut by Washington this past offseason before landing with the Lakers. D’Antoni seemed to have found a place in his heart for Blake, so even with Marshall currently playing well, Blake should have a shot to reclaim the starting gig. Before going down, the 11th-year player out of Maryland was averaging 9.8 points and a career-high 7.7 assists, which included seven games with double-digit dimes.
» It’s sad to see Steve Nash’s career end the way it is, but such is the life of many athletes. A two-time NBA MVP, Nash has been hampered by a plethora of injuries this year, allowing him to play in only six of a 40 possible games for the Lakers this season. Nerve root damage in his back was rendering him useless even when he was able to play, limiting the 39-year-old to just 6.7 points, 4.8 assists and a career-worst 26.1 field goal percentage. There have been conflicting reports regarding Nash’s status. Lakers Nation.com reported that Nash may decide to sit the season out, but Coach D’Antoni also told the Los Angeles Times that he “hoped” his point guard would be able to return on January 28. If Nash does return, he is someone to monitor in your league. The Lakers have the second-worst record in the Western Conference and have visions of a high lottery pick, meaning they’d have nothing to lose by playing a gimpy Nash. Clearly, he’d probably improve the Lakers chances of getting a top pick and it would let him go out on somewhat of a high note. Nash is currently available in 20 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues.
Even though there could potentially be four point guards vying for one spot, it’s no guarantee all of them make it through their rehabs at the same juncture nor complete them at all, and in D’Antoni’s fast-paced, no defense offense, he’s always looking to bring in fresh bodies that can absorb minutes and keep his bench fresh. Each one of these players offers value in multiple categories and their progress bears monitoring in deeper leagues.