For anyone who has Granderson in a keeper league, you're in deep you-know-what as Granderson's stats are extremely difficult to replace on a fantasy roster, to put it mildly.
Typically, Curtis Granderson is not only valuable because of his power, but because he's in the middle of the Yankees' lineup, which a perennial powerhouse year after year. With the aging and banged-up Yankees' lineup, however, this is just another inopportune moment for them, and it seems like it's been a non-stop barrage of bad news for the Yankees since Derek Jeter broke his ankle on a freak play in the playoffs last season.
In regard to how this affects you and your fantasy draft, the obvious affect is that Granderson's draft value just dropped significantly. Granderson goes from being drafted in the first 3-5 rounds to being drafted in the 7th-15th rounds. In an auction draft, his value just dropped from $35-$45 down the the $20-ish range.
The other affect Granderson's wrist injury has on your fantasy draft is that it provides you with 2 sleeper picks: Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz. Both Rivera (who came over from the Dodgers) and Diaz (from the Braves) are guys who have always had good potential, but have not been able to put it all together to make it as an every-day player. Flashes of brilliance form Rivera and Diaz haven't been enough to give them starting jobs for any significant amount of time. But dropping one of them in the middle of the New York Yankees' lineup could be the boost one of them needs. Depending on who protects them in the lineup, one of them could have a good year, or could at least capitalize on Granderson being out long enough for you to survive in your fantasy league - a boost you'll definitely need in a merciless rotisserie league...
And to expound on that a bit: those of you who have Granderson in a keeper rotisserie league, you may have just seen your season get flushed down the toilet. Frankly, we don't think Diaz or Rivera will do anything to help you.
We want you to draft Travis Hafner or Kevin Youkilis if you absolutely must have a Yankee to replace a Yankee. Those are your better bets if you need to replace Granderson's power on your fantasy team. Hafner looked like he was on his way back to his old self last season... okay, about 75% back to his old self, but then his old injured self showed up and ended his season early yet again. Dropping Hafner in the middle of the Yankees' lineup ay be exactly what he needs. Plus, hitting in New York is almost like hitting in a Little League park these days, so Hafner has a good chance to stay healthy as a strict, no glove wearin' DH for the Yankees.
Kevin Youkilis, however, isn't quite as injury prone as Hafner, and he definitely has something to prove after the Red Sox shipped him off to Chicago last season. This year, the Yankees have signed Youkilis to cover for Alex Rodriguez while he recovers from hip surgery, and the rivalry between the Yankees and Red Sox is definitely the fuel Youkilis needs to come out of the gates on fire.
Of course, we need to mention that Brett Gardner will move over to replace Granderson in Center Field (barring any unforeseen mishaps or injuries), but Gardner isn't exactly going to help replace Granderson's power production. However, you can read our article on how to win a 5x5 head-to-head fantasy league. It will show you how you can use a guy like Brett Gardner to win your league regardless of when (or even if) Curtis Granderson comes back.
Of course, we all want to see Curtis Granderson come back and play because he's a joy to watch. But take heed of the notes above and adjust your fantasy draft strategy accordingly. And as for you, Curtis, we'll see you in May, amigo.