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Fantasy Basketball Injury Report: Week 18

As we near the fantasy basketball playoffs and the end of the fantasy season, these are our final opportunities to make a big move and ensure the results that we really deserve. With only a handful of weeks to go, seemingly small-time injuries to players might necessitate a big reaction. Scroll below for advice on said injuries.

Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Injury Report

Trae Young, PG – Atlanta Hawks

Injury: Left fifth finger torn ligament

Projected Return Date: Late March

Young had surgery on his pinky finger earlier in the week and will be re-evaluated in 4 weeks. That would put it in the middle of fantasy week 22 and, of course, getting re-evaluated does not mean he would return on that date. If anything, they’d hope to get him back into shape for the play-in games, which will take place in mid-April. In the meantime, this is when the Hawks take a look at Dejounte Murray running the show. As far as bench players moving up the rotation – no one’s worth rostering in standard-sized leagues. In a deeper league, Kobe Bufkin might be worth a look.

Recommendation: Time to drop Trae.

Jamal Murray, PG/SG – Denver Nuggets

Injury: Right ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Murray left Thursday’s game against the Heat in the first half with a limp and did not return. Not much is known yet but he could be expected to miss at least a couple of games. Reggie Jackson started the second half, though it is unlikely impossible for him to match or come close to Jamal Murray’s fantasy output. If, indeed, Murray misses some time, expect Jokic and his two main guys (Gordon and Porter Jr.) to carry a bigger load. Reggie Jackson might be a fringe add in standard leagues. Christian Braun and Peyton Watson are only worth a look in deeper leagues.

Recommendation: Reggie Jackson, maybe, if Murray misses time.

Paul George, SF/PF – Los Angeles Clippers

Injury: Left knee meniscus irritation

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Paul George has now missed two games with a knee injury (or irritation) and is marked as questionable for Friday’s game. Hopefully, this won’t drag on for George who has so far been very reliable this season. Surprisingly. If he misses more time, Terance Mann and Norman Powell are the next men up. So far, in the two games, both have played in the mid-30s with Powell getting nearly double the field goal attempts. So, probably, based on that, Powell is the add here.

Recommendation: Norman Powell.

De’Anthony Melton, PG/SG – Philadelphia 76ers

Injury: Back lumbar spine stress response

Projected Return Date: Week-to-week

Melton seemingly reinjured his back after returning from missing nearly two months’ worth of games. The return date kept getting pushed back and, I guess, he wasn’t still ready to return. For those who hung on during the first injury stint, now is probably time to move on. Except for Tyrese Maxey, no one on the 76ers is lighting the world on fire. Tobias Harris is the only other must-roster player with all the guards cancelling each other out. The team is falling apart without Joel Embiid.

Recommendation: Move on.

Deandre Ayton, C – Portland Trail Blazers

Injury: Right hand sprain

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Ayton is listed as doubtful after leaving Tuesday’s game against the Heat with a hand sprain. Whether it’s Jabari Walker or Duop Reath filling in for him, neither is likely to produce enough to be worthy of rostering in nearly any fantasy format. The Blazers are currently on a 9-game losing stream with Ayton’s injury unlikely to help things. And they’re in no hurry to rush him back considering the team are not playing for anything nor is Ayton in contention for a regular season award.

Recommendation: Hope for a quick return for Ayton.

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