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Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up Week 18

Happy All-Star Break, everyone!
With half the league currently marked as day-to-day with nagging injuries, this couldn’t have come at a better time. Surely, the week will be well-spent by the players to recover for one last fantasy push. And, I guess, real basketball too. Regardless, this is a good time to pick up some semi-speculative semi-injured semi-decent players that will likely return after the break. Some names I have in mind are Steven Adams, Larry Nance, Mitchell Robinson, Robert Williams, Tre Jones, and Collin Sexton.

Fantasy Basketball Injury Round-Up

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns

Injury: Right MCL sprain

Projected Return Date: Mid-March

Durant is yet to suit up for his new Phoenix Suns team, however, reportedly, he is training with the team and hasn’t had any setbacks in his recovery. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him back on the court in the first game after the All-Star break. Regardless, Durant will almost certainly return before the end of the fantasy season and play a major role in fantasy title deciders. On a per-game basis, he ranks second in the NBA in 9-cat leagues. Behind Nikola Jokic. Josh Okogie is currently filling in for Durant in the Suns rotation, but, he is unlikely to remain a 20+ ppg scorer once Durant returns.

Recommendation: Not long to wait for now.

Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans

Injury: Right hamstring strain

Projected Return Date: March?

Bad news for Williamson owners as he re-aggravated the hamstring injury that has kept him out of action since January 4. The report of the re-injury claimed “weeks” for Williamson’s return, which might just move him outside the realm of usefulness for fantasy players. Whether to drop him will come down to the league-end date in each league as well as the marginal value of the freed roster spot. It is, certainly, possible for Williamson to return before the last week of fantasy and tear it up in the fantasy playoffs.

Recommendation: Consider a drop.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Minnesota Timberwolves

Injury: Right calf strain

Projected Return Date: Unknown

Towns has been out with a calf strain since November and there isn’t an official public timeline for his return either. Considering the duration of the injury and the unclarity of the return, it wouldn’t be totally outrageous to drop or trade him for a much lower-tier player. Once again, what’s the marginal value of the free roster spot in your league? Towns is, obviously, an elite player, and seeing him ripping it for another fantasy team in the playoffs would be painful. But what are the odds? His return would likely start off with a minutes restriction too.

Recommendation: Consider a drop.

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers

Injury: Left calf strain

Projected Return Date: Post-ASG

Nurkic has missed pretty much the whole of February with a calf strain and is expected to return after the All-Star game, which is in line with the 2-3 week timeline generally associated with the injury. Nurk’s return will likely end the Drew Eubanks fantasy experience, which was marginal anyway.

Recommendation: Move on from Drew Eubanks.

Anferee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers

Injury: Right ankle sprain

Projected Return Date: April?

Simons has been diagnosed with a Grade 2 ankle sprain, which likely puts his return outside of most fantasy leagues. So there isn’t much else to do but drop him. What a shame – Simons ranks in the top 50 for the season in 9-cat fantasy. Cam Reddish, Matisse Thybulle, and dunker extraordinaire Shaedon Sharpe will all get a boost in minutes/touches.

Recommendation: Drop Simons. Take a peek at Reddish, Thybulle, and Sharpe.

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