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Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up Week 15

Welcome to week 15 of the complaining-about-injuries fantasy game. This week we have injuries to some of the best basketball players in the world. And our role in this game is to scramble for replacements. You know what they say – one man’s sprained ankle is another man’s increased playing time. It’s all part of the game.

Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up

Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks

Injury: Left ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Doncic left the game against the Suns on Thursday early after turning his ankle on a drive to the basket. The severity of ankle sprains can vary a lot, however, the good news is that the immediately taken x-rays did not show any damage.  Luka’s importance to the Mavericks, and any fantasy team he’s on, is impossible to overstate or replace. In the Suns game, Spencer Dinwiddie did have a very Luka-like stat line with 36 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 5 threes.  Don’t expect that to necessarily repeat though. Tim Hardaway Jr. is another player to look at if Luka misses further games. With Christian Wood out for another week, the Mavs aren’t exactly spoilt for choice.

Recommendation: Luka’s probably fine but in case he isn’t, keep an eye on Dinwiddie and Hardaway.

Nikola Jokic, Denver Nuggets

Injury: Left hamstring tightness

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

The two-time MVP (soon the three-time?) has missed three of the last four games with hamstring tightness. Curiously, he played, and played very well, in the third game of the four and didn’t seem to be limited by an injury. Since the fourth game was a back-to-back, perhaps sitting that one out was only a precaution and he’s good to go. Needless to say, no one can come close to replacing him in the Nuggets lineup. Whatever extra minutes Zeke Nnaji and DeAndre Jordan get at center will only be useful in deeper fantasy leagues.

Recommendation: He’s fine. And, if he ain’t, ain’t nothing we can do about it.

Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets

Injury: Left knee soreness

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Simmons left Thursday’s game against Detroit with a sore knee after 20 minutes of playing time. As frustrating as he can be, Simmons is still a decent fantasy player thanks to his 6.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Not quite where we expected to be with a first overall pick in the NBA draft but, hey – serviceable. With Simmons taking fewer than 6 shots per game and, essentially, no free throws, his potential injury isn’t going to open up a lot for the next man up. In the game against the Pistons, the next man up seemed to be Edmond Sumner who scored 24 points in 19 minutes. Considering the mishmash of so-so guys on the wing for the Nets, it’ll be hard to predict which one will stand out from game to game. Edmond Sumner, Patty Mills, Yuta Watanabe, Joe Harris, Royce O’Neale, and T.J. Warren could all be in line for more minutes if Simmons is out for longer.

Recommendation: Good luck figuring out who the pickup is.

Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks

Injury: Right knee sprain

Projected Return Date: Mid-Feb

Bobby Portis has been diagnosed with an MCL sprain in his right knee and will miss at least two weeks of action. With Portis being one of the three solid frontcourt players on the Bucks’ roster, there doesn’t seem to be an obvious replacement. Khris Middleton is still playing with a minutes limitation. Therefore, look at guys like Pat Connaughton, Jordan Nwora, and Joe Ingles to get a bump in their playing time. Connaughton, in particular, has been playing like a top-75 player in the last 2 weeks and should be rostered in more leagues than he is.

Recommendation: Pat Connaughton

Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers

Injury: Right ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Myles Turner, a top-20 fantasy player for the season, is marked as questionable for Friday’s game against the Bucks. If he’s unable to go, look towards Isaiah Jackson, who put up 10-point-10-rebound-4-block-type stats the last time Turner sat out.

Recommendation: Isaiah Jackson

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