Fantasy Basketball: With Bynum Out, Buy Lamar Odom Now

John LorgeSenior Writer IFebruary 2, 2009

Five minutes into the Lakers’ Jan. 31 meeting with the Grizzlies, Andrew Bynum went down with a right knee injury that will keep him off the court for anywhere from 8-12 weeks.

While we wish Bynum and the Lakers well (some of us do, anyway), an injury to the league's best emerging center can cripple your roster. On the other hand, it could have just opened the door for you to take the lead in your league.

While Bynum rehabs and works on his PS3 skills, here's what fantasy owners should be doing.

Lamar Odom, F, Los Angeles Lakers

Remember last season when Odom was a double-double machine?

If you don't, let me refresh your memory. Odom averaged 14.2 points and a career high 10.6 rebounds while playing 38 minutes per game.

This season Odom has moved to the bench, but, more importantly, his minutes have dropped to 27 per game. 

Even if Odom isn't the starter, although he should be, he will log close to 35 minutes per game with an increased role on the glass. All of Odom’s stats will rise and he contributes in every statistical category except threes.

Due to his decreased role on the Lakers, many owners were spurned by Odom's production earlier in the year and dropped him. Pick him up and start him immediately.  If he's rostered add him to a multi-player deal as the icing on the cake.

Pau Gasol, F/C, Los Angeles Lakers

Now that he has been with the Lakers for a roughly a full season, you can consider the All-Star Gasol to be acclimated with L.A. This is a good thing, because he will be counted on even more now that Bynum is out.

While Gasol is already averaging nine rebounds per game, there is good potential for this number to jump into double figures. While points might not see a major rise, Gasol will slide into the center position now, giving him more opportunities for blocked shots which he is averaging a career low in.

If you have Gasol on your roster, I wouldn't recommend dealing him unless his increased value has been appreciated in the trade. If you are looking to acquire Gasol, don't overpay, but he should see an increased role for a remainder of the season.

Andrew Bynum, C, Los Angeles Lakers

So what to do with Bynum?

The doctors have determined that Bynum's injury will keep him out 8-12 weeks. Even if Bynum comes back in eight weeks, he will play closer to 25 than 35 minutes per game. 

Unless you are extremely comfortable with your position in your league, I recommend dropping Bynum.