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Fantasy Basketball Injury Report: Week 5

You are currently reading the Week 5 fantasy basketball injury report. In said report, we cover the latest in medium to long-term NBA injuries and their relevance to you – a fantasy basketball player. As luck would have it, this past week didn’t feature many serious injuries to fantasy-relevant players. Instead, what we get this week is… well, you’re going to have to scroll down, aren’t you.

Week 5 Fantasy Basketball Injury Report

Bradley Beal, SG – Phoenix Suns

Injury: Low back strain

Projected Return Date: Mid-December?

Finally, there’s official word out on Beal’s injury. He is going to be re-evaluated in early December and will be out until then. The injury seems to be something akin to a pinched nerve in the lower back. The wear and tear of an NBA career seems to have grided Beal’s body down to a point where it may be unlikely for him to be a reliable NBA fantasy stat-producer going forward. He’s, obviously, too good to drop. Stashing and waiting for a good run of games before trading him would be a reasonable plan of action. Until Beal’s return, it’s going to be a lot of Eric Gordon in the Suns’ offense.

Recommendation: Try to weasel your way out of owning Beal.

Marcus Smart, PG – Memphis Grizzlies

Injury: Left foot sprain

Projected Return Date: Late-December

Smart hurt his foot in the game against the Lakers last week and will be expected to miss 3-5 weeks of action. With Ja Morant returning within that timeframe, it’s not completely clear that Smart is a must-own going forward. With both healthy, Smart’s playmaking will surely take a hit and leave only steals as his positive fantasy category. That’s one category out of eight or nine in most fantasy leagues. Unfortunately, there isn’t a hot pickup who’s taken the reigns since Smart’s injury – there have been only three rosterable players on the Grizzlies: Bane, Aldama, and Jackson Jr.

Recommendation: Consider dropping Smart for a productive player.

Jaden McDaniels, SF/PF – Minnesota Timberwolves

Injury: Right ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Early-December

A better real-life than fantasy player, McDaniels will miss the next 2-3 weeks and can safely be dropped for a productive player in most standard leagues. Even when healthy his box-score lines were usually quite sad to look at for a starter. Now this is a great excuse to find a hotter prospect. On the Timberwolves, Kyle Anderson and Nickeil Alexander-Walker will expect to get more minutes, whether this is enough to be rosterable in fantasy is unlikely.

Recommendation: Drop McDaniels.

Jalen Williams, SG/SF/PF – Oklahoma City Thunder

Injury: Left hip strain

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Williams has missed two games with a sore hip and could miss another. The severity of the injury is unclear as there hasn’t been an official announcement. However, the way this is talked about leaves an impression of a very mild injury. Williams should be back, at the latest, by the start of next week. If he does miss more games, look toward Isaiah Joe to fill in. He’s definitely going to keep making five threes a game at a 77% clip.

Recommendation: Don’t panic. Also, Isaiah Joe.

Zach LaVine, SG/SF – Chicago Bulls

Injury: Right foot soreness

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Does Zach really have a sore foot or a bad case of trade-rumoritis? We’ll never know but he is currently in heavy trade rumors and it wouldn’t be surprising if he’ll be held out until a trade happens. Some of the teams rumored to be going after LaVine: the Lakers, Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Kings, and Jazz. Coby White is heating up and will do so even more if LaVine leaves town. Or LaVine will return soon enough and there won’t be a trade.

Recommendation: Coby White.

Dereck Lively II, C – Dallas Mavericks

Injury: Lower back contusion

Projected Return Date: Week-to-week

Lively fell on his back in an ugly moment against the Lakers. The severity of the injury is unclear but we can expect him to miss some time. So far, Lively has been a serviceable fantasy center, which is great for a rookie. If the injury turns out to be severe, there are a couple of options at the C for Dallas: Richaun Holmes and Dwight Powell. Perhaps Holmes, who’s been quiet for a couple of seasons now, could be the preferred choice. It also could be that the center position for Dallas isn’t really fantasy-relevant going forward.

Recommendation: Keep an eye on the injury report.

Bojan Bogdanovic, SF/PF – Detroit Pistons

Injury: Right calf strain

Projected Return Date: Week-to-week

Bogdanovic is nearing his season debut for the Pistons and could be a great source of threes for any fantasy team. There is no guarantee of anything, especially when considering his age and injury history, but his skill set is exactly what the Pistons need.

Recommendation: Pick him up.

Bilal Coulibaly, SF – Washington Wizards

Injury: Left ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Now

While Coulibaly turned his ankle in the previous game, he is off the NBA injury report and seems good to go. Good. Coulibaly seems to be the hottest prospect on the Wizards and will receive the appropriate support from the team. Things will really open up for Coulibaly if any of the useful veterans on the squad get traded.

Recommendation: Pick him up.

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