Carlos Boozer Injury Will Boost Taj Gibson's Fantasy Value

Ken ParkContributor IIOctober 3, 2010

CLEVELAND - APRIL 27:  LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers tries to get a shot off between Taj Gibson #22 and Brad Miller #52 of the Chicago Bulls in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Quicken Loans Arena on April 27, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio. Cleveland won the game 96-94 to win the series 4-1. 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 Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Fantasy GM's who own Carlos Boozer should target Taj Gibson, if they haven't already. Nick Friedell from ESPN Chicago has an excellent summary of how Thibodeau will rely on the 2nd year power forward until Boozer returns. Last season, Taj was highly productive, averaging 12 points, 10 rebounds, 1.7 blks per-36 minutes with decent percentages.

Taj's focus on perimeter shooting during offseason workouts should only help his value this season. Here is an excerpt of an interview with Taj from Bulls Confidential:

What have you worked on this off-season?
"I've been shooting threes actually.  Last season Vinny and his staff wanted to see me step out to 18 and eventually three point range.  This coaching staff is helping me work on threes, and this staff is helping me work on it."

How's your three look?  Are we going to see it this year?

"It looks good, but it's still probably a year away.  They changed my whole jump shooting form to a new, easier, quicker form.  i'm looking forward to using it."

Fantasy Outlook
Taj is not a viable long-term fantasy option, but until December, he should be able to step in nicely for the injured Boozer, especially if your fantasy league uses an Injured List.

Other News
While I'm here, let me recap a few noteworthy headlines ... Leave it to Coach Avery Johnson to start Kris Humpries over Derrick Favors in the New Jersey Nets1st exhibition game against Maccabi Haifa. Nonetheless, the promising rookie continues to intrigue fantasy GM's with an impressive 14 pt and 9 reb performance ... Shaquille O'Neal ran with the 1st unit for the 2nd straight day (don't make much of this) ... and apparently the starting power forward job is Josh McRoberts' to lose. Bump Josh up a few rounds in your mocks asap ... for news on the Knicks' 1st preseason game, take a look at 3 Got Game's Van Wilder's latest.

That's it for now! Have a good evening!

- Ken writes for NBA-Analytiks at