Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Injury Updates – Week 23 Fantasy Basketball
Quinn Cook GSW – Start ‘Em
Steph Curry lasted less than one game in his return from an ankle injury, as he sprained his MCL Saturday. It was diagnosed as a Grade 2 sprain, and Curry will be out the rest of the regular season, at least. Our analytics show a six-week Optimal Recovery Time. In his absence, Cook will start at point guard for the Warriors. He should have a pretty high usage with Kevin Durant (ribs contusion) and Klay Thompson (right thumb fracture) still out. He has averaged 15.1 points, 2.1 triples, 3.3 boards, 2.6 dimes, 0.7 steals and 1.7 turnovers per contest on 51.9 percent shooting since joining the starting lineup, making him a solid Fantasy option. Ride Cook through the Fantasy playoffs, as he should continue to put up solid numbers in Golden State‘s fast-paced attack.
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Stephen Curry GS: Grade 2 MCL sprain
We thought it couldn’t get any worse for the Golden State Warriors when Kevin Durant went down with the rib fracture. Well, Steph Curry proved last week that it definitely could get worse. The point guard was making his return from a six-game absence on Friday when he got rolled up on. He went down in pain, and an MRI later revealed a grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee. This is terrible news for a someone who has dealt with chronic right ankle issues all season. At this point, it’s safe to say Curry won’t be playing in the first round of the playoffs, and when he does return, both his ankle and knee will be a concern.
Tomas Satoransky WAS – Sit ‘Em
John Wall went through a full-contact practice Saturday, signaling that his return could be just around the corner. He’ll likely go through a couple more practices before suiting up, making Thursday’s game against Detroit a possible target for his return. Once Wall returns, Satoransky will return to a bench role, making him an afterthought in the Fantasy world. Also, while he’s played well in Wall’s absence, he has struggled of late, scoring just seven points combined in his last two games. He’s still worthy of a look while Wall remains out, but the end of Sato’s run as a fantasy relevant name is coming to a close.
Julius Randle LAL: Left ankle injury
Julius Randle rolled his left ankle this weekend, but the good news is that he didn’t require X-rays or any further testing after the game. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a grade 1 sprain and a two week Optimal Recovery Time. The Lakers have four games lined up this week, but Randle won’t be playing at 100 percent. Randle should be considered a High Risk/High Reward player in Fantasy hoops this week.
Jeremy Lamb CHA – Start ‘Em
Nicholas Batum remains sidelined for the Hornets as he deals with an Achilles injury. Batum is an Elevated Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, and it seems rather likely that he’s done for the year. Lamb has been starting in his place and has done well when given that chance, averaging 15.8 points, 1.6 triples, 5.7 boards, and 3.3 assists as a starter, making him an intriguing under the radar play. As long as he continues to play 30-plus minutes, which he has in three out of the last four games, he should continue to be a solid Fantasy asset. Give him a look in your lineups this week.
James Harden HOU: Ankle injury
We don’t think this is anything to worry about but it is worth mentioning. James Harden rolled his ankle against the Pistons on Friday, but he didn’t miss any time. He was limited to 30 minutes on Sunday, but that’s probably because the Rockets were up by 24 points at the half against the Hawks. Harden is a sure lock for the Fantasy playoffs.
Marcus Morris BOS – Sit ‘Em
Morris is the latest to join the laundry list of Celtics on the injured list, as he sprained an ankle on Friday. He played through the injury Friday night but was out Sunday against Sacramento. He is now a high Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor. It’s possible the absence on Sunday is just a precaution, but given where the Celtics are in the East (basically locked into #2 seed), it wouldn’t be surprising if such a precaution lasted more than just a game with Morris. With Jaylen Brown also returning to the lineup and Greg Monroe playing well (more on that below), Morris’ opportunities may be a bit limited when he returns as well. Given the injury situation, try and stay away from Morris until he demonstrates he’s back and healthy.
Draymond Green GS: Pelvic contusion
The Warriors only had one healthy All-Star left in Draymond Green, but he also went down with an injury last week. He took a shot to the mid-section in last Monday’s game and was diagnosed with a pelvic contusion. He only missed one game to the injury, but Green is still a High Injury Risk. He’s battled a handful of minor injuries this season and has missed 11 games so far this season. The Warriors need Green at 100% going into the playoffs considering the rest of their lineup is so beat up.
Kyrie Irving BOS: Left knee surgery
Irving underwent surgery on his left knee this weekend to remove a tension wire that was originally inserted in a 2015 surgery to repair a fractured patella. He is expected to return in the next three to six weeks, which is in line with the Inside Injuries Optimal Recovery Time of six weeks. The Celtics will definitely be without Irving for at least the first round of the playoffs and likely longer. His mobility will be severely affected if he tries to return before the six-week mark.
Chris Paul HOU: Hamstring injury
Chris Paul has now missed three straight games with a hamstring injury, but the Rockets expect him to return soon. Paul has battled various lower-body injuries this season including a lingering left knee injury. A grade 1 hamstring injury comes with a two-week Optimal Recovery Time, so Paul won’t be 100 percent for at least another week.
Greg Monroe BOS – Start ‘Em
With Boston’s injury list growing by the day, the aforementioned Monroe’s role has gotten bigger and bigger in the Celtics offense. Since Kyrie Irving has been out, Monroe has posted a 27.9 usage rate and has posted averages of 14.4 points, 7.4 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.2 blocks and 3.4 turnovers per game on 58.8% shooting from the field. The turnovers are a bit alarming, but Brad Stevens has had to make adjustments without so many of his best players, and one of those adjustments has obviously been playing more through Monroe, an old-school big man who is pretty unique in today’s game. While Irving and co. remain out, keep riding Monroe.
Jonathan Isaac ORL: Left foot strain
Rookie Jonathan Isaac has had trouble with injuries all season, which is likely why he hasn’t really broken out yet. He has missed two straight games with a left foot strain, and he still hasn’t been able to practice. The Inside Injuries algorithm is calculating a two-four week Optimal Recovery Time, and we doubt Isaac will be back in time to have any effect on Fantasy playoffs.
Giannis Antetokounmpo MIL: Right ankle sprain
Giannis Antetokounmpo turned his right ankle last week when he stepped on Austin Rivers’ foot, but an MRI only revealed minor swelling in the joint. That was great news for the Bucks, and it was even better news that Antetokounmpo missed only one game. Unfortunately, the Inside Injuries algorithm calculated a one to two-week Optimal Recovery Time for the Greek Freak, which means Antetokounmpo is currently playing at a High Injury Risk.
Derrick Rose MIN: Right ankle sprain
Derrick Rose has a long history of ankle injuries, and he twisted his right ankle again last week. The Wolves will likely take it easy with Rose considering his injury history, but the good news is that the swelling it Rose’s ankle has gone down. Rose has been a High Injury Risk all season and that will continue through the Fantasy playoffs.
Domantas Sabonis IND – Sit ‘Em
Sabonis was supposed to return to the lineup Sunday without a minutes limit, but he tweaked his ankle in warm-ups and will miss his sixth straight game. At this point, it’s unclear whether the tweak is something that will keep him out for a few more games, or if Indiana was playing it safe in holding him out. We won’t know anything until we hear more from the Pacers, but what we do know now is that Sabonis should be kept on the shelf and likely on the waiver wire in your league. He has shown some promise this season, especially as a rebounder, but with Myles Turner, Thaddeus Young and Al Jefferson all ahead of him in the pecking order in Indy, he simply won’t have the opportunity to put up big numbers whenever he is able to return.
Dirk Nowitzki DAL: Left knee tendinitis
The 39-year-old has been surprisingly durable this year and has missed only one game so far this season. That will likely change this week after Nowitzki was listed on the injury report with left knee tendinitis. He should be considered questionable going forward and shouldn’t be considered a safe Fantasy start.
Rajon Rondo NO: Right wrist sprain
Rondo also played through a right wrist injury last spring, but this is the first time he’s dealt with a wrist issue this season. Rondo has been a solid Fantasy value this season and has been an asset for the Pelicans. Given this seems to be a recurring injury, the Pelicans will likely play it safe before the playoffs with their point guard. It’s a shooting wrist injury, which means he can’t be trusted in Fantasy hoops for the next two weeks.
Dennis Schroder ATL: Left ankle injury
Dennis Schroder twisted his left ankle in Friday’s loss, but he was able to return to the game after being evaluated. Unfortunately, playing through the injury probably wasn’t the best idea. The Hawks ruled Schroder out for Sunday’s game and it’s possible his ankle swelled up on him after trying to play through it. The Hawks are tanking, so there is no reason to risk playing Schroder before he’s 100 percent, which won’t be until the end of the Fantasy season.
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