Fantasy Basketball Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em
Terry Rozier BOS – START ‘EM
Rozier will be the primary beneficiary of Marcus Smart being out the remainder of the season and Kyrie Irving likely being day-to-day the rest of the year with a knee injury (Irving was out Sunday against New Orleans). Irving is a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, and the Celtics will likely play it safe with him the rest of the season. Rozier is averaging 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 3.0 3-pointers over his last five games, and he’s played at least 32 minutes in four of those contests. When he’s gotten that workload this season, he’s produced. With Smart out and Irving a question mark the rest of the way, Rozier should be in your lineup.
Dennis Smith Jr. DAL – SIT ‘EM
Smith Jr. has already been ruled out for Tuesday night’s game in New Orleans and has been seen wearing a walking boot, neither of which are good signs for his availability the rest of the way. He’s an Elevated Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, and the Mavs have no real incentive to rush him back. At this point, it’s pretty murky as to how much more of Smith Jr. we’ll see the rest of the season. He definitely should be out of your lineups for the time being, and he might even need to be a cut at this point given how little time we have left in the season.
Nick Young GS – START ‘EM
The Warriors are all of sudden one of the most banged up teams in the league, with Kevin Durant, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson all on the shelf for extended periods. Young has been starting for Thompson and has averaged 18 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.0 3-pointers over his last three games. There are plenty of shots up for grabs with Durant, Curry and Thompson out, and he’ll get plenty up in the Warriors up tempo attack. Young is a volume scorer and should continue to put up big 3-point totals. He’ll put up a dud here and there, but right now his nightly upside is too high to keep him out of the lineup.
Zach LaVine CHI – SIT ‘EM
LaVine is out Monday night in New York, which will mark his second straight game on the sidelines. He’s dealing with a knee bruise and is an Elevated Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries. He has put up some big nights recently, but it’s unknown at this point when he’ll be back. Like with DSJ, it’s hard to tell when a non-contending team will bring back a hurt player. The league recently put pressure on tanking teams to play their veterans, with the Bulls being one of the biggest offenders. We’ll see if that will cause them to bring LaVine back sooner than some might think, but it seems unlikely that we’ll see him all that soon. Keep him on the bench this week, and he might even be someone you have to consider dropping depending on what we hear next about his status.
— NBA (@NBA) March 19, 2018
Josh Jackson PHO – START ‘EM
Jackson went off for a career-high 36 points on Saturday after T.J. Warren went down with a knee injury (more on him later). Jackson has had a bit of an uneven rookie season, but he’s shown plenty of good signs and should stuff the stat sheet if he gets big minutes. With Warren day-to-day, Jackson could see 30-plus minutes a night if he misses a couple of contests. Any sort of breakout should also prompt the Suns to give Jackson, their top pick a year ago, more and more minutes alongside the other pieces of their young core.
T.J. Warren PHO – SIT ‘EM
As mentioned above, Warren left Saturday night’s game with a knee injury and is day-to-day. He’s a High Injury Risk according to Inside Injuries, so Tuesday night’s game looks pretty up in the air for him. With Phoenix only playing three times this week, he might be a drop if he can’t go Tuesday night. With the aforementioned Jackson earning some more minutes, it all looks pretty bleak for Warren from a Fantasy perspective right now. At the very least, keep him on your bench early in the week.
Fantasy Basketball Waiver Wire
Brandon Jennings – PG MIL (12%)
In his return to the NBA, Jennings did what he hasn’t been able to do in the past couple seasons: he was good. He totaled 16 points, 12 assists, and eight rebounds in just 24 minutes of work. Jennings spent last summer and fall in China, and while the competition level is obviously much, much lower, he did well, averaging 27.9 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.0 rebounds per game. Jennings is hoping that that success will carry over state-side.
The biggest worry for Brandon Jennings is that he will not get enough minutes to be a solid Fantasy value, but he does have some upside. If anyone gets hurt, Jennings could get bumped into a starter role. If he can perform like he did in that first game, then he could provide serious upside. And if he doesn’t ever make it, he can be easily dropped and forgotten.
Corey Brewer – SF OKC (21%)
OKC had a big loss several weeks ago when Andre Roberson had to go under season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured patellar tendon. Roberson was the starting shooting guard, and while he hadn’t been scoring a ton of points, he was playing great defense and was getting solid minutes. When he went down, there were many options for the Thunder to go too, but it was hard to see who they would trust with the starting role. The answer has become clear, and it says that Corey Brewer is the new starter.
Brewer has been dominant the last couple weeks. Over his last six games, he has been averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, and a handful of assists, steals and blocks to boot. Like Roberson, Brewer is a fairly aggressive defender, meaning he racks up steals and blocks, which prevents him from being a points-only Fantasy player. He won’t get too many steals or rebounds, but he will get enough to make him a solid bench piece on most Fantasy teams.
Quinn Cook – PG GSW (9%)
The Golden State Warriors have been dealing with a rash of injuries over the past couple weeks. The following is a list of players on the Warriors who are out or questionable for the next game: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Igoudala, and Zaza Pachulia. That is a starting lineup that could win the championship. One of the guys that have stepped up during this injury endemic is Quinn Cook. Cook has not been a major piece for the Warriors this season, as the second-year player has averaged just 15.5 minutes per game. But he has been an absolute Fantasy stud over the last couple games.
Over his last two, he averaged 26.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 3.5 assists. And even in the game before that, when he played less than 30 minutes, Cook tallied 13 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist. Cook is a hot commodity, but most people know he is only valuable because everyone is hurt. But even though Curry, Thompson, and the crew will likely be healthy soon, the Warriors will likely coast into the postseason. They are 2nd in the West, with a 9 game lead on the 3rd place Blazers. They are not likely to push too hard to get into first. This means that those players will get plenty of rest, and Cook could continue to find enough minutes to be of Fantasy value.
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