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Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up Week 17

The NBA trade deadline has come and gone. Do you know what hasn’t gone? Injuries. Every week, we get a new batch of banged-up NBA stars. I wonder if the proposed 72-game schedule would decrease injuries as well as scheduled rest.

Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up

Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Injury: Left high ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: Mid-March

Curry’s injury from the last weekend will see him re-evaluated after the All-Star game. The word on the street is that these injuries generally take 4-6 weeks, which sets the return date between March 4 and March 18. Depending on your league’s settings, that should still leave him in the mix for the fantasy playoffs. In the meantime, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole will have to hold down the fort – in the two games since Curry’s injury, they’ve combined for 31 made threes. Donte DiVincenzo’s also added nine. Returning to the Warriors, Gary Payton II will have a role to play, particularly during Curry’s injury. He averaged 1.4 steals per game for the Warriors last season.

Recommendation: Beneficiaries of Curry’s injury in this order: Thompson, Poole, DiVincenzo, Payton II.

Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics

Injury: Facial fracture

Projected Return Date: Post-ASG

Brown was inadvertently elbowed to the face by teammate Jayson Tatum during Wednesday’s game against the 76ers and is now expected to miss the next four games as well as the All-Star game. Derrick White and Malcolm Brogdon will be the main players looking to split Brown’s minutes and shots with Brogdon starting the second half in Brown’s stead on Wednesday. If Marcus Smart can return from his injury before Jaylen Brown, he could be a strong contributor as he ranks as the second-best Celtics fantasy player in games without Brown and the 15th-best in the league.

Recommendation: White and Brogdon.

LeBron James, Los Angeles Lakers

Injury: Left ankle soreness

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

After breaking the all-time regular season scoring total, LeBron James took Thursday’s game against the Bucks off. With the Lakers in the hunt for a playoff (or at least play-in) spot, it’s reasonable to assume that James won’t want to miss too many games and will likely play through minor injuries to clinch a playoff spot. On the other hand, if the Lakers fall too far behind the all-elusive 10th seed, James might prefer to end his season early. Just something to consider. Currently, the Lakers are 13th in the West, 2 games behind the 10th seed.

Recommendation: If LeBron were to miss time, look towards players like Schroder, Russell, Hachimura, and D’Angelo Russell.

Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves

Injury: Right groin soreness

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Gobert has missed five of the last 15 games and played fewer than 20 minutes in four more. On a per-game basis, he ranks outside of the top 100 during that period. And his injury replacement, Naz Reid, ain’t so hot either. With Kyle Anderson and Karl-Anthony Towns also likely out of the lineup, it’s very slim pickings for Timberwolves big men. Perhaps Taurean Prince, who had a 12-5-7-2-1 stat line as a starter on Wednesday. A man named Josh Minott had 12 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal.

Recommendation: Taurean Prince? Josh Minott?

Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets

Injury: Right knee inflammation

Projected Return Date: Day-to-day

Before missing the previous three games, Murray ranked as a top 10 fantasy player over the previous ten. His replacement in the Nuggets starting line-up has been Bruce Brown. The problem is, however, that in those three games, Brown ranks outside of the roster spots of a standard league. In the 7 previous games without Murray, Brown ranks as the 34th-best fantasy player in the league so he is definitely worth rostering as the Murray insurance policy.

Recommendation: Brown.

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