Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

When Will They Be Back: On Long Term Injuries In Fantasy Basketball


On Friday, DeMarcus Cousins returned to the court after missing almost a full year with a torn Achilles. Cousins looked fine as he entered the Warriors rotation for the first time, starting and playing 15 minutes before fouling out. Cousins scored 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting and was 3-for-4 from deep, giving the Warriors an entirely new wrinkle -- three-point shooting from the five in a lineup that isn't the Hamptons Five. That could be huge down the stretch for the Warriors, who are already the title favorites but could also be the title favorites by, uhh, a larger amount?

Cousins got me thinking about other players who are currently out, and about when they'll be coming back, and about what that means for you, readers, in your quest to win in fantasy basketball down the stretch.

So, let's look at guys who are currently dealing with long term injuries and look at what their timelines look for and, thus, what you should do with them in fantasy.

Editor's Note: Our friends at Monkey Knife Fight have the best, most fun, fastest growing DFS props game! It's super simple to play and to win real money. Just choose your NBA, NHL or PGA game, and make your picks! Get a 100% instant deposit bonus up to $50 using promo code: BALLER. That's $50 for free - don't miss out! Play Now!

 

Fantasy Basketball Long Term Injury Updates

Clint Capela - C/PF - Houston Rockets

One of the more recent injuries on this list, Capela will miss between four and six weeks after having surgery on his broken thumb. That puts his return date after the All-Star Break. If you have Capela in your fantasy league, you've (hopefully) already committed to either stashing him in your IR spot or keeping him on your bench, since the Swiss big man is in the midst of the best season of his career.

Houston's incredibly shallow at the center position without Capela, as they have Nene, who is only able to play limited minutes at this point in his career, and then a pair of centers with promise who haven't offered enough in terms of production to play a part in the rotation (Marquese Chriss and Isaiah Hartenstein). Houston attempted to solve this by adding Kenneth Faried, who the Nets just bought out. Faried can do a lot of the rim-running that Capela can, and he could be lethal rolling to the basket in the pick-and-roll, though he's likely not going to be rebounding as well as Capela was. Still, Faried is worth an add right now in 12-team leagues.

Wendell Carter Jr. - C - Chicago Bulls

Carter is going to miss eight to 12 weeks with a thumb injury, and with the Bulls going nowhere, it wouldn't be a shock at all if Carter's rookie season is over. The Bulls have a lot of options that no one is going to love, including Bobby Portis, who isn't having nearly the offensive season he did last year, and Robin Lopez, who has been pretty hit or miss all year. There's also Jabari Parker, who the Bulls essentially gave up on earlier in the year but who recently worked his way back into the rotation. Parker can put the ball in the hoop, and even though he can't do too much else to help you at this point, he's worth a fantasy look if he's on waivers and you need to fill the Carter hole.

Anthony Davis - PF/C - New Orleans Pelicans

Davis is expected to miss a week or two with a finger injury. In the grand scheme of things, losing Davis for that long isn't a huge deal for fantasy owners, but it can definitely feel that way if you're been relying on him to help you win your weeks. With Davis out, the Pelicans will need to get more from their best players, and I'll be interested to see how Nikola Mirotic plays as his numbers have been all over the place in his five games since returning from his own injury. Also to watch for: How much playing time with Jahlil Okafor get, and will it be enough to make him a streaming option in 14-team leagues? Probably not, but you can add him to your watch list and reassess after we see a game or two of the Davis-less Pelicans.

Goran Dragic - PG/SG - Miami Heat

Dragic is out until at least the All-Star break with a knee injury and has played just 19 games this season. Justise Winslow has played well as the team's new point guard, and with Dragic not being part of Miami's future plans, it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see Winslow hold down his current role even when Dragic returns. He'll be worth adding if he's on waivers in your league, but I wouldn't expect production at his previous All-Star level.

Markelle Fultz - PG/SG - Philadelphia 76ers

You'd be forgiven for writing Fultz off and assuming he was done this season. He's owned in just about 20 percent of leagues right now, and with reports that he didn't plan to play for the Sixers again, holding onto him felt like a mistake in re-draft leagues.

But Fultz has reportedly rejoined the team, with Woj reporting that he plans to continue his shoulder rehab with hopes of playing again for the Sixers this season. When that could be remains a bit of a mystery, and Fultz isn't going to step back into the starting role that he had when the season began, so while it's worth keeping an eye on Fultz and Fultz reports, it's not time to add him back to your team yet.

LeBron James - SF/PF - Los Angeles Lakers

The Lakers are lost without LeBron, but he should be back soon-ish. He should be back at practice this upcoming week and then, depending on how his groin responds, should be back on the court shortly thereafter. Maybe the big question right now for James owners is for those that are in leagues with weekly lineups -- do you activate him and put him back in your lineups in hopes he makes his return this week? The Lakers do start a four-game home stand on Monday, and Thursday's game against Minnesota could be a good spot to peg for his return. But LeBron is also LeBron, and he's not going to return until he's 100 percent sure it's the right time to return, so I'd probably leave him out of my weekly lineups unless we get some more definitive word before those need to be set.

Caris Levert - SG/SF - Brooklyn Nets

When Caris LeVert went down with a foot injury, it looked bad, but then came news that it wasn't quite so bad and that he'd possibly be able to return this season. LeVert recently returned to practice and has been seen shooting the ball pregame, so we're nearing LeVert's return. If he's still on waivers in your league, pick him up. His return likely means a little less shouldering of the offensive load for D'Angelo Russell and fewer minutes for Treveon Graham and Shabazz Napier.

Kevin Love - PF/C - Cleveland Cavaliers

When will Kevin Love return? The original expectation was mid-January would be when Love returned from a toe injury, but recent reports suggest that time frame could be pushed back by at least a couple more weeks, if not an entire month. Love is still owned in about 90 percent of leagues, but if you're in the 10 percent where he's on waivers then we've probably reached the time where you should grab him as he starts to get back into practicing. If he stays a Cavalier past the trade deadline is obviously a major question mark, but for the next month or so you're safe to keep streaming Ante Zizic and Jaron Blossomgame.

Chris Paul - PG - Houston Rockets

Paul could return from a hamstring injury next week, per Mark Berman of KRIV. That's good news for Houston, who can then move either Austin Rivers or Eric Gordon back to the bench and can take a little of the pressure off of Harden, who has had to go wild in Paul's absence to keep Houston on the right track. Rivers feels like the most likely player to take a step backwards in terms of statistical contributions once Paul is back in the lineup.

Kristaps Porzingis - PF/C - New York Knicks

Porzingis won't be re-evaluated until mid-February, and the Knicks would be smart to just keep tanking and not risk Porzingis winding up with a lingering injury...except they also want to keep him happy. Porzingis is owned in roughly half of leagues, and grabbing him the first week of February in leagues where he's still available and then waiting for that mid-February update seems like a good idea, because a healthy Porzingis is instantly something like a top-30 fantasy guy, especially on a Knicks team that has a lot of holes and could really use him.

Isaiah Thomas - PG - Denver Nuggets

Thomas missed the mid-December date to return from his hip injury, and updates were few and far between until a Woj report that Thomas is targeting either February 11th or 13th to make his Nuggets debut. Figuring out how Thomas fits into a backcourt rotation that already has Monte Morris playing really strong will be interesting, but Morris can play some two-guard if you need it, with either Malik Beasley or Torrey Craig seeing a dip in their minutes. However it works out, Thomas is worth an add in most leagues.

Jonas Valanciunas - C - Toronto Raptors

I wouldn't expect Valanciunas back on the floor until mid-February at the earliest, which means the Raptors will continue to lean on the Pascal Siakam/Serge Ibaka frontcourt duo, with some Greg Monroe off the bench. While Monroe isn't someone who'll put up consistent numbers on a nightly basis, Siakam and Ibaka are great players to own during this Valanciunas-less stretch, and it's highly likely that both continue to perform at their current level even when Valanciunas is back.

More Fantasy Basketball Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

Biggest Breakouts Of 2019: Wide Receivers

As we enter the initial phase of offseason activities you have recently completed a painstaking process of creating and managing rosters, with the goal of winning fantasy championships in 2019. Now, many of you have already shifted your focus toward planning your drafts in Best Ball and redraft leagues, while others are contemplating how you... Read More


Tight End ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Conference Championships Matchups Analysis

Welcome to our NFL Conference Championships matchups analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering both of the AFC and NFC contests from the Sunday slate, helping you make the best decisions for your DFS contests this weekend. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries... Read More


Conference Championships Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


Running Back ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, a sure-fire player is expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they end up as a season-long dud, though,... Read More


Dynasty Players to Sell in 2020

Pierre Camus and Chris Mangano share their top sell candidates for dynasty football leagues in the 2020 fantasy football preseason. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller Radio on SiriusXM (channel Sirius 210,... Read More


Biggest Surprises of 2019: Tight End

The 2019 NFL season was anything but predictable. I mean, the Tennessee Titans made the AFC title game! Andrew Luck retired right before the season! [Insert one of many, many other things here, because all lists need three items but I couldn't decide between all the possible third options.] One position where things at the... Read More


Wide Receiver ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward his owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Quarterback

The 2019 NFL season is over, and it's time to look back on what happened. 2019 was a year where some quarterbacks -- Lamar Jackson, Josh Allen -- leaped up to the top of the fantasy charts, while other guys faded from where they were expected to perform. Today, I want to talk about three... Read More


Four and Out: Fantasy Outlooks for Divisional Round Losers

For the four teams that were eliminated in the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs, the offseason has begun. For many fantasy football owners, the days have already started counting down to next season. Owners in dynasty leagues have started to mull over their decisions.  How some guys perform in the playoffs can certainly alter... Read More


Quarterback ADP Winners and Losers: 2019 Season Review

I've always believed that it is easier to lose a fantasy championship than to win it on draft day. It makes sense, as sure-fire players are expected to reward their owners with a lower risk-factor than the other way around and thus they're always drafter earlier. If they put up a season-long dud, though, you'll... Read More


Biggest Busts of 2019: Wide Receivers

After a very interesting season of fantasy football action, many owners were left with a bitter taste in their mouth from a few of the “elite” NFL wide receivers. While Michael Thomas dominated and Julio Jones was his usual reliable self, not all was good if you played it safe by taking a receiver early.... Read More


Quarterback Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

This article will examine the biggest risers and fallers at the quarterback position, which proved to be the most impactful in fantasy leagues as is often the case. Of the top-25 players in fantasy this season, 18 of them played the QB position and none of the 18 scored less than 280 fantasy points on... Read More


XFL Fantasy Football Rankings (Preseason)

As of this writing, there is exactly one month until XFL regular-season action begins. On February 8, the latest upstart professional league will kickoff (again) with spring football. It goes without saying that we hope it goes better than the first time, back in 2001, and lasts longer than the AAF. Before you settle in... Read More


Wide Receiver Risers and Fallers: 2019 Season Review

We continue our series covering the biggest risers and fallers of 2019 with the wide receiver position. I'll look at both 2018 and 2019 statistical outcomes from every player, contrast their performances, calculate differences in each category and come up with the most prominent names going forward. This past season, receivers didn't dominate in fantasy,... Read More