Big changes with Pacers

RYAN WOLSTAT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:41 PM ET

A coaching change and some injuries have altered the fantasy landscape if not significantly, at least a little bit.

Jim O’Brien and his rotations — which changed constantly, much to the chagrin of fantasy owners — is out in Indiana and young Frank Vogel is in.

n Vogel has said he wants Tyler Hansbrough and Josh McRoberts to “own” the power forward position. Fantasy players can do worse than to “own” one of them. They are energetic and capable of putting up decent numbers.

Meanwhile, Pacers centre Roy Hibbert, who started the season great before fading amidst criticism from O’Brien, looked revived on Monday against the Raptors (yes, it was the Raptors who make all 7-footers look like studs, but still ...) is once again a potential standout.

Rookie Paul George has been excellent in January and is looking like a potential breakout candidate for next season. For now, George is a guy to consider adding because he will score, make free throws and pick up a lot of steals.

The Pacers are suddenly fantasy relevant again.

n In L.A., the Clippers have seen DeAndre Jordan rise up and basically make Chris Kaman expendable. The team has said it will even consider peddling Kaman and until that happens, Kaman’s value has been significantly reduced.

Meanwhile, Randy Foye, a high draft pick who never has shown much, is getting a chance to produce in the injury absence of Eric Gordon. Gordon should return soon, but Foye might have proven that he is worth a look, even if he is in a sixth-man role.

Ryan Gomes has also seen more minutes minus Gordon and has looked good, but history shows that likely won’t continue.

n The Grizzlies will be without the underachieving O.J. Mayo until mid-February thanks to his suspension and that has opened the door for champion trash talker Tony Allen, as well as Sam Young and even forgotten rookie Xavier Henry.

Henry is an excellent offensive player, but has been buried in Memphis. Young can produce when he is on a hot streak, while Allen is a solid steals specialist if you are short in that category.

n Denver will get shot-blocking standout Chris Andersen back later this week. He’s always worth a pickup if you are short on or want to strengthen blocks. Andersen has missed nine games. Teammate Al Harrington is out with a foot problem, while Nene is also close to a return to health.

n The Pistons continue to sit out guard Rip Hamilton and bring Ben Gordon off of the bench. Tracy McGrady appears to have found the fountain of youth and rookie Greg Monroe has taken off in the new year.

Dropping Hamilton is risky, since he will be snatched up quickly if he is traded, but he’s probably not worth keeping around. Letting him go now and grabbing him back a couple days before the trade deadline might also make sense and might also apply to former fantasy kings that are now AWOL like New Jersey’s Troy Murphy.

Hot and not

Surprises and disappointments (over the last two weeks)

HOT

Andre Iguodala, G/F, PHI

7 GP, 16.4 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 5.9 APG, 2.9 SPG

Marcin Gortat, C, PHO

7 GP, 14.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 1.3 BPG, .650 FG%

Jason Kidd, PG, DAL

7 GP, 9.9 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 7.7 APG, 1.4 SPG

Nic Batum, F, POR

5 GP, 15.0 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 1.0 SPG, 2.2 3PM

NOT

Dirk Nowitzki, F, DAL

7 GP, 19.6 PPG, 4.9 RPG, 1.7 TPG, .426 FG%

Gerald Wallace, F, CHA

8 GP, 11.0 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 1.6 TPG, .395 FG%

Monta Ellis, G GS

7 GP, 22.1 PPG, 3.4 RPG, 5.3 APG, 4.1 TPG, .393 FG%

Big men anybody?

Good frontcourt players are hard to find. Here are a few who have been producing over the past two weeks to less fanfare than they deserve: Chuck Hayes, Rockets - 9.7 PPG, 8.6 RPG, 1.0 BPG, .681 FG%

DeAndre Jordan, Clippers - 8.1 PPG, 8.1 RPG, 2.6 BPG, .676 FG%

Ed Davis, Raptors - 6.8 PPG, 7.6 RPG, 1.1 BPG, ,667 FG%

Greg Monroe, Pistons - 9.9 PPG, 8.7 RPG, 0.4 BPG, .659 FG%

DeJuan Blair, Spurs - 11.5 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.2 BPG, .582 FG%

Trainer’s room ticker/Injury updates

Hornets centre Emeka Okafor will miss 1-3 weeks with a left oblique strain. Okafor had been playing great basketball for the streaking Hornets. He was hurt in Phoenix. Ex-Raptor David Andersen could get a boost in playing time in Okafor’s absence ... Orlando forward Brandon Bass sprained his ankle on Monday. X-Rays were negative ... Lakers centre Andrew Bynum’s knee troubles appear to be back. He missed practice on Monday and was a game-time decision for Tuesday’s game against Houston ... The Nets expect backup PG Jordan Farmar (back) to return either Friday or early next week ... Bucks centre Andrew Bogut hurt his knee when Randy Foye fell on it on Monday, though he is expected to play through it. Bogut isn’t anywhere close to full health, but is still putting up solid numbers ... Detroit continues to bench guard Rip Hamilton even though he is healthy ... Raptors forward Reggie Evans continues to progress from foot surgery but is still a few weeks away from a return. Leandro Barbosa and Linas Kleiza could return next week, though there is no official timetable ... Utah is extremely banged-up with Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko, Memo Okur and Paul Millsap all probable for Tuesday’s game against Houston.

WAIVER WATCH

With fantasy rating out of 5

Rudy Fernandez

Blazers, G

3 stars

Continues to get big minute with Brandon Roy injured long-term and is starting to find his shot. Almost two steals and two threes over past two weeks and 4.2 assists are a very nice bonus.

Ersan Ilyasova

Bucks, F

3 stars

Talented Turk is on one of his hot streaks. Shooting 63% from the field over past eight games and averaging 12.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals during that stretch.

C.J. Miles

Jazz, G

3 stars

Won’t help your field goal percentage category, but much like Fernandez, will get you points, steals, threes and even a couple of assists.

Josh McRoberts

Pacers, F

2 stars

New interim Pacers coach Frank Vogel says McRoberts and Tyler Hansbrough will get a ton of minutes. “McBob” has produced when given the chance so take a long look at picking him up, since he contributes in many categories.

Samuel Dalembert

Kings, C

2 stars

Back in the starting lineup thanks to injury to Jason Thompson and on his best role of the season. Dalembert will get you blocks and rebounds and shoot a nice percentage from the field.


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