Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who dedicated and ultimately gave his life in the fight for civil rights. If you can name the third PG on the Dallas Mavericks' depth chart but are unaware of which city Dr. King organized a boycott of the local bus lines in order to fight racial segregation, then I urge you to take some time and do some research and reading – you may be surprised at the levels of strength and dedication that many people, not just Dr. King, showed during a very tumultuous and formative period of our country's history.
WEEKEND UPDATE: Need-to-know info from the past few days
The news surrounding Jermaine O'Neal's troublesome left knee has gone from bad to worse over the past three days. The gimpy veteran was declared out for at least two weeks by the Pacers on Saturday, and O'Neal himself was quoted as saying, "I don't know when I'm coming back," before Monday's game. O'Neal has been slow to recover from offseason surgery to repair torn meniscus cartilage in the knee, and he's been a major disappointment from every perspective this season – even his per-game rank (93) is significantly worse than his ADP (35.9), which made him a third-round pick on average. There's at least a reasonable chance that O'Neal won't play again this season, as he said that looking ahead to next season was "really the prime option" in terms of what lays ahead. "We're going to rehab now like it was the summer, with an extensive rehab," said O'Neal. "If that consists of a month or the rest of the season, I need to take the necessary steps to not come back on something that's not really healthy." So there you have it – the dreaded indefinite timetable with a real shot at nothing from O'Neal for the rest of the way. O'Neal is set to meet with specialists in New York and Los Angeles soon, according to The Indianapolis Star, so fantasy owners should resist the temptation to cut him now and sit tight until we see if something definitive comes out of those meetings. Troy Murphy and Jeff Foster will see the excess minutes moving forward, and Ike Diogu could also creep back into the picture.
Other injury updates: Gilbert Arenas was cleared to go through extensive shooting drills late last week, and he remains optimistic that he can return to the court for the Wizards sometime after the All-Star break (February 14-18), according to The Washington Post … There is a "realistic" chance that Grant Hill will be able to return to the Suns' lineup on Tuesday after missing the past seven games due to an appendectomy, according to The Arizona Republic … The results of Nene Hilario's biopsy should be available sometime this week, according to The Denver Post. He currently remains on an indefinite timetable after last week's surgery to remove a benign testicular tumor … Kenyon Martin is a possibility for the lineup on Monday night, according to The Denver Post, after missing the past three games with a staph infection in his buttocks … Nenad Krstic felt "really good" after being a partial participant in the Nets' shootaround on Saturday. According to the New York Post, Krstic may attempt to return to the lineup after the team ends its current six-game road trip, which runs through January 27.
Lineup changes/position battles: Don't expect Nate Robinson's productive streak to end any time soon – Stephon Marbury's surgery should guarantee the diminutive guard 30-plus minutes going forward, and he should now be universally owned … If you are still holding on to Ronnie Brewer, it's clear that his minutes have been and will continue to be affected by the Kyle Korver trade. In nine games since the trade, Brewer has averaged 9.8 points and 1.1 steals in 23 minutes per game (12.9 points and 2.1 steals in 31 minutes prior). Korver has averaged 9.6 points and 1 three in 22 minutes for the Jazz … Thabo Sefolosha has started the past four games because of injuries to Kirk Hinrich and/or Luol Deng, averaging 11.8 points on 55 percent shooting, 7.3 boards, and 1.8 steals in 30 minutes. Don't expect anything but a short-term spike in production, however – there just aren't enough minutes available in a fully healthy Bulls rotation … Maurice Evans has passed Keith Bogans on the Magic depth chart at SG, but he's not doing enough to warrant much fantasy consideration (11.6 points, 0.9 threes, 0.9 steals in seven starts). Bogans was at least a serviceable three-point specialist (10.2 points, 2.2 threes, 0.7 steals in 35 starts).
BARGAIN BIN: Top players available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Anderson Varejao (FC – Cleveland)
It's hard to argue with what Varejao has been getting done over the past month or so. In his past 13 games, he's averaged 9.2 points on 52 percent shooting, 9.9 boards, 1.1 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 30 minutes per game. And he's stepped it up a notch in recent weeks, averaging 9.8 points, 11 boards, 1.2 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 33 minutes over the past six games. The 25-year-old is a lock for 30 minutes moving forward and, while he'll have his off nights, his production should remain consistent overall.
MARKET MOVERS: Charting player values
Gerald Wallace (GF – Charlotte) – Wallace has really turned it up a notch, contributing across the board in impressive fashion. Over the past 12 games, Wallace has averaged 26.2 points, 1.8 threes, 8.7 boards, 4.7 assists, 2.5 steals, and 1.2 blocks, and he's the second-ranked player in the Yahoo! game in "Last Month (total)" stats.
Andrew Bogut (C – Milwaukee) – Bogut appears to have turned a corner and his fantasy impact has taken a sharp turn for the better. Over the past eight games, the 23-year-old has averaged 20.4 points on 64 percent shooting, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 1.4 blocks.
Jamal Crawford (SG – New York) – Crawford's fantasy prospects got at least a bit better when Stephon Marbury chose the surgery option. In the 15 games in which Marbury has not played this season, Crawford has averaged 24.3 points on 44 percent shooting, 2.8 threes, 3.1 rebounds, and 5 assists in 42 minutes per game, all above his current season averages.
Jamario Moon (SF – Toronto) – Moon's numbers have improved after down production during the month of December. Over his past 11 games, he's averaged 10.1 points on 51 percent shooting, 0.6 threes, 6.8 rebounds, 1.6 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 34 minutes per game.
Chris Bosh (FC – Toronto) – Bosh has been exerting himself on the offensive end of the court, averaging 27 points over the past 14 games. Over the past six games, he's averaged 30.8 points on 58 percent shooting and 10.5 boards.
Ricky Davis (GF – Miami) – Over the past six games, Davis has averaged just 7.3 points on 33 percent shooting and 3.2 turnovers in 31 minutes per game. His fantasy impact took a hit with the trade to Miami in the first place, and his recent struggles are just a microcosm of how poorly the Heat have been on offense of late.
Andrea Bargnani (FC – Toronto) – You can't whitewash Bargnani's recent struggles. He's failed to score more than seven points in a game since going for 25 on January 4, averaging 4.1 points on 26 percent shooting in 17 minutes per game over the past eight games. Over his past 20 games, he's averaged 5.9 points on 34 percent shooting.
Tayshaun Prince (SF – Detroit) – Prince's numbers are down across the board this season. He's averaged just 11 points on 38 percent shooting, 0.4 steals, and 0.4 blocks over the past 24 games, and his "Last Month (avg)" rank in the Yahoo! game is 163.
Hedo Turkoglu (GF – Orlando) – While Turkoglu's contributions in a number of areas have remained solid, his efficiency has been in a downward spiral. Over the past 11 games, he's shot just 39 percent from the field and averaged 3.2 turnovers per game.
Yahoo! Friends and Family League Update
The top four remain the same in the standings, although I've now managed to creep into a two-way tie for second. Now that I've got Kevin Martin, Ron Artest, and Tracy McGrady all back from injury, I'm hoping to make a run at FBC- Jonathan Tom for the top spot. Transactions this past week included Ryan Gomes, Andray Blatche, Boris Diaw, Luther Head, Juan Carlos Navarro, Luis Scola, and Chris Wilcox, among others.