Fantasy basketball owners will have to brave the start of Week 20 without New York Knicks’ center Tyson Chandler.
It’s a tough break for owners, as many fantasy leagues are in the last week of the regular season, and this matchup will decide whether they make the playoffs or not. In Chandler’s absence, Amar’e Stoudemire becomes a must-start player vs. the atrocious Philadelphia 76ers defense on Monday.
Chandler has been outstanding lately, coming in as the 37th-ranked player and 11th best center on Basketball Monster.com over the past month.
Those rankings are well deserved, as the 31-year-old is averaging 12.3 points (55.8 FG%) with 15.0 boards and 1.1 blocks over his last 10 games.
Fantasy owners shouldn’t be too concerned about an injury, though, as Ian Begley of ESPN New York is reporting that the absence will be due to an “urgent personal matter”:
Hearing: #Knicks C Tyson Chandler will not be with the team tonight due to an urgent personal matter.
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 10, 2014
Whether people want to believe it or not, Stoudemire become a top power forward option tonight.
He has actually been playing well lately — even with Chandler in the lineup — and may have warranted an add in many leagues prior to this news.
Over his last five games, the injury-plagued Stoudemire has averaged 16.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks. He is shooting 59.6 percent from the field and 86.7 percent from the free throw line in that span.
Most importantly for “STAT”, is that he seems to finally be in reasonable health, and Knicks’ coach Mike Woodson has clearly noticed that, playing him 26.6 minutes over those five contests. In fact, last week’s games vs. the Pistons and Timberwolves marked the first time all season Stoudemire had played 30+ minutes in consecutive games.
Amar’e Stoudemire is owned in 45.5 percent of ESPN.com leagues and should be added if possible, especially for tonight’s game vs. Philly, who is 26th in fantasy basketball vs. opposing centers over the last month.