Fantasy Impact: Josh Howard Suffers Season-Ending ACL Injury

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IFebruary 23, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 29:  Andray Blatche #7 of the Washington Wizards celebrates a basket against the New Jersey Nets at the Izod Center on January 29, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Wizards defeated the Nets 81-79.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Fresh off a big trade, Washington Wizards' forward Josh Howard is already waving goodbye to his new team.

The star forward went down in Monday night's game with a knee injury, which is now being reported as a torn ACL, effectively putting an end to his short run with his new team.

Howard performed well in just four games with the Wizards, picking up his feeble average of 12 points per game with Dallas to over 14 points per game, including his last game, where he was only able to log eight minutes due to his injury.

As for Howard's future, he is 29 and will be entering next season as a marked man, as Washington will have the ability to drop his team option, forcing him to play extremely well for a new contract in 2011.

However, when we have one toe in the fast-lane of the NBA, it's always good to work both angles and see how this injury plays out with the Wizards in the fantasy realm.

After all, it's not like the Wizards were about to make a playoff run.

Here's a look at which players will be immediately impacted in fantasy basketball by Howard's injury:


Andray Blatche

The guy was already killing it ever since Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were shipped off, and he'll be asked to log more minutes and take on an even bigger offensive role.

He's topped 24 points or 11 rebounds in three of his past four games, and is seriously elevating his game to a whole new level. If for some reason Blatche is still scurrying around in your waiver wire, pluck him now while you have the chance.


Mike Miller

Miller has a great shot, excellent range, and a beautiful handle. So why is this guy shooting just 6.7 shots per game?

Miller is averaging 56 percent from the field and 55 percent from three, and has made a disgusting (in a good way) 23-of-33 from beyond the arc in his past nine games.

However, since he has taken more than nine shots just once over that span, he's managed to top 10 points in just five of nine games.

With Howard out, Miller may finally be forced to put that sick stroke to good use.


Al Thornton

Thornton was already putting up solid numbers with his new team (after being traded from the Clippers), as he topped 10 points or more in three straight games, and had at least 17 in two of those contests.

Thornton has a nice offensive game and could quickly find himself in the starting lineup, earning big minutes and getting quite a few more attempts.

If you didn't respect his waiver wire status before, let this fresh news change your mind: the guy has opportunity on his side.

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