Yao Ming is reportedly out for the rest of the NBA season with a stress fracture in his left foot, a move that will inevitably cause the Houston Rockets to miss the playoffs and kill some fantasy teams who will be without their first round pick for the playoffs. Yao was one of the top 10 players in fantasy basketball, averaging 22 points/game and almost 11 rebounds/game while adding 2 blocks/game and great shooting percentages. Apparently this is the type of injury that is impossible to play with, and team doctors decided it would be best to shut him down for the rest of the year.
Houston, which has been on a 12-game winning streak and sits at the 7th spot in the West but only 3 games back of the Lakers for first, now apparently has a great chance of missing the playoffs. This is good news for Golden State, Denver, and Portland, which sit at 8th, 9th, and 10th right now in the West.
The fantasy impact for Yao owners is detrimental. Losing a first round pick and a solid contributor in the middle of a playoff run is never good. However, these teams need to keep their heads and look to fill these holes. Luis Scola and Carl Landry, who had been seeing time in the Rockets rotation recently, now look like solid pickups (Scola especially) if they are available in your league. Scola may be forced into Yao’s starting spot and has shown that he can score and rebound, while Landry becomes the first big man off the bench.
Let us know in the comments below whether you think the Rockets (who have a easier-than-normal schedule the rest of the way) will still make the playoffs in Yao’s absence.
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