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Fantasy Basketball Fast Break (Week of 1/22)

So much for that smaller injury report we had last week. This week’s report doubled in size, as half of the players in the NBA are nursing some sort of knee injury. It’s ridiculous. The entire NBA is turning into 70-year-old men all of a sudden. However, the biggest injury of the bunch is a recurring quadriceps injury for — yup, you guessed it — Kawhi Leonard. I should just rename the injury report the Kawhi Leonard report.

This is a good week for streaming, as only the Orlando Magic play two games and 13 NBA teams play four games this week. Just watch out for more knee injuries.

Games Played by Team This Week



2 Games: ORL.

Waiver Wire

DeMarre Carroll (SF/PF – BKN)

Due to his lack of elite skills of a high upside, Carroll often gets overlooked. He even got dropped in many leagues after he missed two games earlier in the month. I don’t know about you, but I like top-100 fantasy assets. I know, crazy, right?

That’s exactly what Carrol has been over the last month. He’s been even better over the last two weeks, ranking as a top-30 player while averaging 17.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 2.2 3-pointers on 51.8% shooting and 80.0% from the charity stripe.

Like I mentioned above, Carroll is never going to dazzle you with his statistics, but he’s proven he can provide solid mid-round value on a consistent basis, without prolonged slumps. Surprisingly, Carroll is still available in over 40% of leagues. If your league is included in that 40+%, change that and give Carroll an add.

T.J. McConnell (PG – PHI)

This is likely just a short-term add, but if you need a quick boost in assists, McConnell is your guy. With J.J. Redick out the next week or two, McConnell will soak up some of those minutes as Philly goes with more two-PG lineups. Over his last four games, he is averaging 14.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 2.8 steals. Let’s be honest, everyone needs some assists, and his added contribution in steals is gravy on top of the mashed potatoes. Just remember that his value drops back down when Redick returns.

Larry Nance Jr. (PF/C – LAL)

Nance would have significantly more fantasy value on a different bottom dwelling team. The Lakers have a bunch of bigs and try to get them all minutes. So why am I recommending Nance? Simple. His defensive statistics. Over his last seven games, Nance is averaging 10.0 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, and 1.0 blocks on 67.4% from the field. He’s going to have a dud and a 15-20 minute night here and there, but Nance provides enough in rebounds and defensive stats to be owned in 12-team standard leagues.

Injury Report

Kyrie Irving (PG/SG – BOS)

It looks like Irving’s absence due to a sore left shoulder is going to be for only one game. After missing Thursday’s game against the 76ers, Irving looks good to go for today’s tilt with the Orlando Magic. This doesn’t appear to have any long-term ramifications for the Celtics star.

Jimmy Butler (SG/SF – MIN)

Well, this isn’t good. Thankfully, this sore right knee doesn’t appear to be a long-term injury, but the fact that it came out of nowhere is a tad concerning. I mean, Butler just played 81 combined minutes that last two games and has been one of the hottest players in fantasy over the last month or so. He already missed yesterday’s game and is considered questionable for Monday against the Clippers. Andrew Wiggins’ value rises significantly in games Butler sits.

Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF/PF – MIL)

Guess what, another “general soreness” injury. It’s great that none of these injuries are serious, but they’re still a pain in the butt. Antetokounmpo missed Saturday’s game with a sore knee and isn’t expected to play tomorrow night, either. This is the same knee that gave him problems earlier in the season, too, so that’s a little worrisome. The trio of Khris Middleton, Eric Bledsoe, and Tony Snell all benefit from Antetokounmpo’s absence.

DeAndre Jordan (C – LAC)

Jordan has missed the last four straight games and continues to be ruled out the day before the game. It looks like he might need to miss another game or two before returning to the lineup. Montrezl Harrell is the prime fantasy beneficiary while Jordan is out.

Kawhi Leonard (SG/SF – SAS)

I don’t like to too my own horn, but I called this one. Listen, Kawhi is arguably my favorite player to own in fantasy, but this is not the season to own him. He’s now missed six of the last seven games and now has the dreaded “out indefinitely” tag next to his name. This puts Leonard owner’s in a difficult spot. Trading him right now would only warrant a modest return, but honestly, that might be the way to go. Whatever Kawhi we get to see this season likely won’t be at 100%. Don’t expect Leonard back before the all-star break.

Goran Dragic (PG/SG – MIA)

Yup, another sore knee. Notice a trend? Dragic missed Saturday’s game and is questionable to play Monday night. Josh Richardson’s value will be even higher than it already is for however long Dragic is out.

Myles Turner (PF/C – IND)

Earlier in the week, Turner was ruled out for the Pacers four-game road trip, which includes tonight against the Spurs. However, this likely won’t be the last game he’s going to miss. Turner has both a muscle and ligament sprain in his shooting elbow, which will likely require a multi-week absence. This injury makes Domantas Sabonis a must-add in all leagues.

Lonzo Ball (PG – LAL)

Another knee injury, what a shocker. Didn’t see this one coming. Maybe Ball’s knee got sore from all the weight his loudmouth father puts on his shoulders, who knows. What we do know is that Ball isn’t going to play today and is doubtful to play against Boston on Tuesday. Ball’s absence gives a slight boost to Jordan Clarkson’s fantasy value.

J.J. Redick (SG/SF – PHI)

Redick has missed the last two games after an MRI showed that he has a bone edema and a small cortical crack in the fibular head of his left leg. I don’t have a PHD or anything, but that doesn’t sound like a minor injury. He’s going to miss the next week of action and will be re-evaluated next week. T.J. McConnell will benefit the most from this Redick injury and is a good short-term add if you need a point guard or some assists.

Kris Dunn (PG – CHI)

Concussions can be extremely tricky. Dunn is finding that out right now. He’s still experiencing headaches and dizziness and won’t return until those are gone. How long will that be? No idea. Like I said, concussions are tricky. He’s day-to-day for now.

Thank-you for reading and I hope you can use this article to your advantage and get a leg up on your fellow league members. Got a question about a player not covered here? Then follow me on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask me there.

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