Fantasy Basketball: Add, Hold, and Cut for the Playoffs

By | March 7, 2024

The three-ball has become perhaps the most important part of scoring in the NBA, so we thought we’d take a few shots from downtown as well. Here, fantasy basketball analyst Dan Titus will break down the three things fantasy managers need to know. Or he’ll break down multiple three-point advice, analysis and more – it just depends on how open he is from Deep.

Injuries are common in the NBA, so today I’ll provide three stops, drops, and additions based on the recent wave of illnesses impacting fantasy basketball.

Three players to keep during fantasy playoffs

Evan Mobley – PF/C, Cleveland Cavaliers

Based on initial reporting from NBA insider Shams Charania, fantasy managers were bracing for an extended absence from Mobley. However, we can breathe a sigh of relief after the Cavs said he will be re-evaluated in a week after spraining his ankle in Tuesday’s win over the Celtics. He left the arena on crutches, but with a clean MRI revealing a sprain, I’d hold Mobley if you can afford it.

The exact scenarios I would hold him in would be if your playoffs have yet to start or you have a bye week. I don’t expect to see him back on the floor until Week 22 at the earliest, but given the way he’s been playing (top 15 over the last 30 days) and Cleveland’s spot in the Eastern playoffs, keep him on the IL if possible.

Walker Kessler – C, Utah Jazz

The second-year center is dealing with a foot injury that has kept him out for four straight games, so there is cause for concern. However, as with Mobley, I’d hold if your playoffs haven’t started yet or you’ve solidified a playoff spot. The Jazz have lost eight of their last 10 games and are 5.5 games back of the Lakers for the 10th seed in the West. With a minimal chance of making the Play-In tournament, there is no reason to play against veterans like John Collins in the final weeks of the season.

The Jazz have nothing to report other than day-to-day injuries, and with only one game left this week, we could see Kessler emerge in Week 20. Even on the bench, he is still one of the best shot blockers. in the league and would be a threat for a double-double in an expanded role.

Scoot Henderson – PG, Portland Trailblazers

He’s still at 47% of Yahoo leagues, but the third pick of the 2023 NBA Draft could return as soon as this weekend. Henderson is a player I’ve been keeping an eye on as a stash candidate for a while, and just as he seemed to be finding his feet in February, he was injured.

Now that he’s on the mend, he’ll rejoin a Trail Blazers team that’s underperforming, especially at point guard. Malcolm Brogdon (elbow) has no timetable for his return, and they have started Delano Banton. Particularly in the points competitions, I expect Henderson to have a productive run to end the season as he and Anfernee Simons will get plenty of use and opportunities with Deandre Ayton (hand) and Jerami Grant (quad) with their respective injuries also .

Three players will be eliminated from the fantasy playoffs

Julius Randle – PF/C, New York Knicks

The Knicks are better than any team at keeping injuries close to the vest, and there is still a lot of news to come regarding Randle’s dislocated shoulder. Knicks HC Tom Thibodeau initially gave a rough timeline of late March, but recently provided a positive development, saying Randle had begun to make light contact with sanitary pads in practice. However, there is none firm timetable for his return, and since he’s not playing with players, it sounds like he’s still a ways away.

The Knicks can’t afford to rush Randle back as he will likely experience some discomfort after opting to bypass surgery for rehab and a chance to play later in the season. There’s no point in letting him return before the playoffs.

So at this point I don’t trust Randle to come back in time to help fantasy managers, so I would go further and expect Precious Achiuwa and Isaiah Hartenstein to carry the load in the frontcourt so Randle will have more time. to play when it matters most.

Joel Embiid-C, Philadelphia 76ers

The Sixers are treading water at the moment, but like the Knicks situation, bringing back the reigning MVP too soon could risk further damage in the long run. There’s a distinct chance the Sixers slide into the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference, putting them in the Play-In Tournament, but a lot of things could happen in the meantime to change who ends up where by the end of the season . In terms of fantasy, Embiid looks like Julius Randle, a return from late March who will likely mix in some rest days with a minutes restriction. While there is undoubtedly a sense of urgency within Philly to win and secure a playoff spot, the priority is to have Joel Embiid as close to 100% as possible for the playoffs. If not, that organization needs to reassess its goals and ambitions.

LaMelo Ball – PG/SG, Charlotte Hornets

Hornets HC Steve Clifford said LaMelo is making progress but still has no timetable for his return. If there’s one thing fantasy managers have learned this season, it’s not to trust anything related to the Hornets’ injury reporting. The Hornets’ decision to trade for Tre Mann and Vasilije Micić gave them enough security for Ball’s absence and opened up some playing time to evaluate other guards who could be rotation players in the future.

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The Hornets have the fourth-worst record in the league, so bringing back Ball, who has had numerous ankle injuries this season, is pointless. Mark Williams isn’t coming back either, so cut your losses and look for Mann and Micić to fill the point guard duties the rest of the way.

Three players to add based on recent injuries

Kyle Anderson, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves (30% selected)

Timberwolves F/C Karl-Anthony Towns will undergo surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee and is out indefinitely. Some may remember Slo-Mo’s success when Karl-Anthony Towns hit the floor last season, finishing as the 66th player in nine categories from November 30 to March 20. He hasn’t been as good this year, but with a boost in minutes, he’s more than capable of hitting a 9/5/5 in a few stocks in the near future. Make him a priority in category competitions over points competitions, with KAT likely out for the rest of the regular season.

Gary Trent Jr., PG/SG, Toronto Raptors (45% selected)

Scottie Barnes (hand) and Jakob Poeltl (hand) are both out indefinitely, and recently acquired Ochai Agbaji is also dealing with knee soreness. Trent Jr.’s score is needed, and while he’s generally a streaky shooter, he’s made enough 3s and swiped enough steals to be streamable. He averaged more than 30 minutes per night in the previous eight games, and with some more volume coming his way, he’s a player to add.

Duop Reath – C, Portland Trail Blazers (30% selected)

As previously mentioned, Ayton is dealing with a hand injury, and while he’s on the everyday roster, I doubt we’ll see much more of him as the season progresses. Reath is playing excellently and has scored in double figures in his last four games without Ayton, averaging 18 points with five boards and 1.5 blocks over that span. Silly season is here, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see Reath as a league-winning type of player. With a sub-30% roster spot, he should be a player for the remainder of Week 19 and beyond.

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