Fantasy Basketball: The Heart of the Suns

by Justin "Fensty" Fensterman on October 9, 2012 @ 00:06:44 PDT


In fantasy basketball you must always be aware of injuries and how they affect the playing time of other players.

Channing Frye out indefinitely

Sometimes it impacts only one player on the bench and gives that player a starting role and more minutes ... on other teams it can impact a whole bunch of players while giving them new opportunities to succeed or earn more minutes when the team regains its strength.

Sometimes, though, the injury is so severe it keeps a player out indefinitely and new offensive and defensive strategies must be formed to fill the void...

Recently, Phoenix Suns forward/center Channing Frye found out that he had an enlarged heart, which takes him out of the team's lineup for an undetermined amount of time.

Frye can play up to three different spots in the Suns' starting lineup; now that he is out the Suns will need a few players to make up for his loss.

Suns newcomer Michael Beasley will be one of the main beneficiaries of Frye's absence. Beasley can play two forward positions and has shown he has growing outside-to-inside offensive game while showing major improvements on defense in terms of his aggressiveness. Beasley is a solid middle-of-the-draft player to pick who can possibly play 30 minutes a night or more.

Another new member of the Suns who will see more playing time because of Frye is Luis Scola. Scola is, and has been, a solid forward-center flex player for the last seven years. Scola is a power player who will score inside and also clean up the glass while grabbing a ton of rebounds. Scola might have been starting regardless of Frye, but now the Suns will need him more than ever to fill the void of two players and he could play 35-40 minutes a night. That is valuable playing time.

When Scola isn't sucking down the rebounds, the Suns other power player, Marcin Gortat, will be. The center position is Gortat's with Frye out, and he will need to play outside a bit, too. The Suns will need him to be prominent inside, and, possibly at times, outside defender.

Markieff Morris will also benefit; he will have more of an opportunity to steal minutes from some of the players stated above. We saw the potential of Morris showing that he can play both forward spots if needed. With the team being forward heavy, Morris easily could be lost in the shuffle. However, with Frye down, it might open up a door or two for him to see playing time.

Considering Frye predominantly played the power forward position, it takes some of Jared Dudley's competition for playing time at his position away. If Michael Beasley excels, Dudley might not be playing over 30 minutes a night as he did last season. Beasley might be needed for power forward minutes. Dudley did have a career year though; and, if the Suns frontcourt gets in foul trouble, he will be guaranteed more playing time.

Typically, injuries do not have this wide-spread impact on a team. However, in this case there are plenty of moving pieces that come about due to Frye's situation. As you prepare for your fantasy basketball draft, you must be aware of who is in and out. Take the time to look at depth charts because all it can take is one injury to re-create the heart of a team and your fantasy basketball team.

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About Justin "Fensty" Fensterman

Fensterman covers fantasy basketball for KFFL and joined the team in 2012. He is a Sports Radio Producer on SiriusXM's Fantasy Sports Radio channel, the first channel dedicated solely to fantasy sports. An avid fantasy basketball player, Fensty's biggest accomplishment in the fantasy sports world was in 2004 when he had an undefeated season in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy NBA league and was ranked in the top 30 among all players in the world.

A native from Oyster Bay, NY, Fensty left New York to study Broadcast Journalism at American University in Washington D.C. in 2005. Fensty has previously worked for MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, MTV and News 12: Long Island.

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