Welcome to another round-up of the most impactful fantasy basketball injury updates from the previous week. This week’s news is highlighted by Devin Booker’s groin injury. Also – Aleksej Pokusevski! Do you like him? Do you like him ironically? Regardless, he’s injured and you should scroll down for elite-tier fantasy advice.
Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up
Devin Booker, Phoenix Suns
Injury: Left groin strain
Projected Return Date: Late January
Booker attempted to return from the groin injury on Christmas day but decided to pull out after four minutes of game time. Now, he’ll be taking an extended break and getting a re-evaluation on the groin in four weeks’ time. Booker’s immediate replacement has been Landry Shamet. While currently out with an injury too, Shamet will likely return long before Booker and should be rostered in most leagues. Duane Washington Jr. might be a decent streamer before Shamet returns.
Recommendation: Shamet. Also, look out for Cameron Johnson and Cameron Payne returning from their injuries.
Aleksej Pokusevski, Oklahoma City Thunder
Injury: Left tibial plateau fracture
Projected Return Date: February
Pokusevski’s leg injury will be re-evaluated in 6-8 weeks. This will make the decision to drop the fan favourite much easier. While occasionally running hot, overall Poku has been a borderline rosterable player across the season. I have him ranked 144th on a per-game basis this season but outside the top 200 in the last 30 days. It’s unclear if anyone out of the Thunder big-man rotation will rise to rosterable levels of fantasy performance. Currently, Jaylin Williams, Mike Muscala, and Kenrich Williams are cancelling each other out.
Recommendation: Drop Pokusevski.
RJ Barrett, New York Knicks
Injury: Right index finger laceration
Projected Return Date: In a week or so
Outside of points (and turnovers), Barrett doesn’t really offer much in 9-category leagues. If he had the equivalent of 20 points per game in other categories, Barrett would likely not be rostered in 99% of Fantrax leagues. The week off with the injury will put the spotlight on more complete fantasy players Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley. Quickley already scored 36 in the first game without Barrett.
Recommendation: Check out Quentin Grimes and Immanuel Quickley.
Tyrese Maxey, Philadelphia 76ers
Injury: Left foot fracture
Projected Return Date: Friday
Maxey seems to be ready to return after missing 18 games with a leg injury. Before the injury, he was a top 100 fantasy player for the season and ranked around 50th for the season before. It is likely that the Milton-Melton duo will take a hit to their playing time. De’Anthony Melton, in particular, averaged 2.5 steals and 3.2 threes with Maxey out but 1.7 and 1.6 respectively before Maxey’s injury. It is reasonable to still keep Melton rostered in most leagues. Shake Milton, on the other hand, moves closer to the droppable bubble.
Recommendation: Activate Tyrese Maxey. Keep De’Anthony Melton. Or try to sneak him into a trade with a low-information league mate.