Things change very quickly in the fantasy landscape, and sometimes you just have to ride the wave. Coming into the season, I'd pegged Marvin Bagley as a potential breakout player and drafted him on several teams. Imagine my chagrin when, just before the first game, the Kings coach announced he was out of their playing rotation for the foreseeable future. That had left me with a dilemma in several leagues...could I afford to use the roster spot on a player that wasn't playing, with hopes he'd eventually work himself back into the rotation?
History has repeated itself this week, as Knicks coach Tom Thiboeau announced Monday that Kemba Walker is out of the rotation. And as the situation with Bagley had reiterated in shallower leagues, I could not in fact afford the roster spot for a non-injured player that simply wasn't contributing. I'd had to let Bagley go, and even though the coaching regime in Sacramento has him back in the rotation and again showing at least faint signs of promise, moving on was the right decision. A non-contributing player, particularly in daily transaction leagues, can lead to early season losses one can't afford.
Bringing it back to Walker, the lesson was to move on quickly and perhaps try to get his replacement. As my colleague Jim pointed out over the weekend, Alec Burks was a potential free agent of interest even before the announcement. But now? You should seriously consider Burks as the hot free agent of the week, particularly if you had Walker on the roster. In the short term, Burks could very well replicate everything you had previously been getting from Walker. And perhaps more.
Let's take a look at five more player that could help your team that are rostered in less than 20% of ESPN leagues.