INJURIES are perhaps the most important factor when it comes to fantasy dominance. Drafting the wrong player can spell doom for your NBA and NFL season. Like how I took David Johnson and Greg Olsen in an NFL draft, or how I took Kawhi Leonard, Blake Griffin and Steph Curry in an NBA one. Why the fuck do I keep doing this to myself.
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*All fantasy stats and numbers are based on ESPN format fantasy leagues.
- SPEAKING of injuries, one of the biggest stars who has lived under an injury cloud for the last five or so years is Derrick Rose (Cavaliers, PG). The poor guy announced that he was taking a break away from the NBA to clear his head in an effort to battle his inner demons. Good news broke the other day that Derrick is returning to Cleveland to be with the team. His fantasy production isn’t what it once was, but still good news for basketball fans.
Image from sbnation.com
- FINALLY after rotting away on the Sixers pine Jahlil Okafor will get his chance to play some basketball. The Brooklyn Nets acquired the 3rd year center and in exchange, they now have Trevor Booker on their team. You might be eager to stash Okafor on your roster but watch a few games to see how his production pans out on the Nets.
- ATLANTA is a bad team in 2017/18, but that isn’t stopping some of their players becoming fantasy relevant. Guys like John Collins, Ersan Ilyasova, Dewayne Dedmon and Mike Muscala were all intriguing, I mean someone has to do something for the Hawks right? Well right now three of them aren’t on the court with their returns up in the air leaving it al too Ilyasova. Since all three were sidelined he has averaged a whopping 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 24 minutes a night. My advice? Avoid all Atlanta frontcourt players not named John Collins.
MUST ADD – Kenneth Faired, Denver Nuggets, PF
WITH Paul Milsap out everyone, the Nuggets were going to lose a key contributor. However, Kenneth Faired has come to the rescue. After averaging 4.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in his first 14 games, Faried has more than doubled his numbers to 11.0 points and 8.9 rebounds over seven games in the starting lineup. As long as Milsap remains sidelined Faried is a solid option.
Other candidates: Jahlil Okafor (Nets, C, 3.2%) & Alec Burks (Jazz, SG, 24.5%)
MUST DROP – Taurean Prince, Atalanta Hawks, SF
SEE above for the frustration that Hawks players are causing owners this season. Prince seems like a well-rounded prospect, but he has a habit of going missing on occasion, which is not what you want of a fantasy player. See ya later.
Other candidates: Emmanuel Mudiay (Nuggets, PG, 6.5%) & Bobby Ports (Bulls, PF, 30.4%)
INJURY NEWS – WITH Kawhi Leonard (Spurs, SF) sidelined Kyle Anderson (Spurs, PF) has been thriving in the All-Star’s absence. An MCL injury to Anderson though has halted him in his tracks and he is expected to miss 2-3 weeks.The illustrious return of the aforementioned Kawhi is even closer to his regular season debut which is scheduled for Saturday against the Suns. Steph Curry (Warriors, PG) suffered a bad ankle rolagainstns the Pelicans and won’t return until December while Nikola Jokic (Nuggets, PF/C) is still sidelined. Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert is the only other star in the injury news circle with the defensive stalwart back in action now.
- IF you were relying on Gronk (Patriots, TE) to come through for you in the playoffs then think again. The Pats tight end has been suspended for a game for his hit on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White. Popular waiver wire options to replace him include Cameron Brate (Bucs, TE) and Julius Thomas (Dolphins, TE)
- MAKING a case against Russell Wilson for the fantasy MVP award is getting harder and harder with each week that passes. Squaring off against one of the best defenses in football, Wilson threw for 227 yards and three scores while rushing for 31 yards as well in an upset Seahawks win. The award is his to lose from here on out.
- WITH Ben McAdoo gone Eli Manning will return for the Giants as their starting quarterback. Last weekend Geno Smith put up 212 passing yards with a touchdown and two interceptions good for 9.8 fantasy points. Expect Eli to outperform those numbers against the Cowboys this weekend.
- AT this time of the year everyone is looking for potential game-changing waiver wire adds to help them through the fantasy playoffs. That person in 2017 could be Josh Gordon (Browns, WR) with his successful return on the weekend (8.5, 12.5 PPR) a potential indicator of what he has in store for the rest of the year. Remember, he is A Cleveland Brown so their is a ceiling on his output, but he’s worth the gamble.
MUST ADD – Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers, RB
THE revolving door at running back for the Packers continues. Despite Aaron Jones missing the majority of the Bucs game, he came on to make a play that ultimately won the game with a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Poised to take back his role atop the depth chart the time to add him is now.
Other candidates: Josh Gordon (Browns, WR, 81.4%) & Marquise Goodwin (49ers, WR, 36.5%)
MUST DROP – Danny Woodhead, Baltimore Ravens, RB
ALEX Collins remains the top back in Baltimore which isn’t good news for Danny Woodhead. Sure the former Charger saw plenty of the field last week, but he didn’t rack up the touches. Until the Ravens game plan looks any different he has got to go.
Other candidates: Corey Davis (Titans, WR, 28.0%) & Raiders D/ST, 18.7%
INJURY NEWS – MATTHEW Stafford (Lions, QB) has been one of the most consistent play callers this season, but his status for Sunday remains up in the air. After Terrell Suggs stepped on his throwing hand Detroit is taking the cautious approach with Stafford, giving him every chance to heal up and play against the Bucs. Tyrod Taylor (Bills, QB) was under the injury cloud himself after he injured himself early in the game against the Pats. He played on before leaving the game in the fourth quarter and is unlikely to play this weekend. Alvin Kamara had his Thursday night cut short against Atlanta as he suffered a concussion and was taken to the locker room. Zach Ertz (Eagles, TE) and Greg Olsen (Panthers, TE) are under a watchful eye but are both expected to suit up.