Welcome back, RotoBallers! I hope everyone is staying warm! I’m here to help you stay up to date on injury news, and how it impacts your teams.
I’m writing this the day before you’ll see it; information is accurate as of Monday, February 12, at night. I’ll just cover what has changed since last week.
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Short-Term Injuries for Fantasy Basketball
Fred Van Vleet, PG/SG, Houston Rockets – Groin
FVV suffered an abductor strain and has already been confirmed out through the All-Star break. Amen Thompson is starting in his place and is worth an add. Aaron Holiday also saw a slight bump in usage, but he’s much more of a dart throw.
As we know by now, every week there’s a significant injury on Monday night that we don’t know anything concrete about yet. This week, it looks like the Nuggets decided to give us a double feature. Both Murray and KCP did not return in the second half after exiting before halftime. Based on the box score of this Nuggets and Bucks game, it looks like Reggie Jackson and Christian Braun are the ones to target if Murray and KCP are out.
It was a bad Sunday for the Heat. During their four-point loss in Boston, they lost two of their top guards. The newly-acquired Rozier’s MRI showed he avoided serious damage, but both he and Richardson are labeled as week-to-week currently. Jimmy Butler is also scheduled to miss the next two games, as he’s dealing with a death in his family. Duncan Robinson also picked up a knock during that game in Boston but he looks like he’ll be fine. The Heat are a premiere streaming spot as we head into the All-Star break. Both Robinson and/or Caleb Martin should be high on your waiver order.
Khris Middleton, SF, Milwaukee Bucks – Ankle
Middleton played only eight minutes last Tuesday against the Suns before exiting. After Friday’s comfortable victory in Charlotte, coach Doc Rivers said that Middleton will be out “a minute”, which according to Rivers equates to a couple of games. Given Middleton’s recent injury history, I’d be surprised if he played before the All-Star break. Jae Crowder has entered fantasy relevance as a result and is worth a look.
Malcolm Brogdon, PG, Portland Trailblazers – Knee
Brogdon continues to miss time due to his knee injury, and the team announced on February 11 that he won’t be reevaluated for two more weeks. Matisse Thybulle will likely continue to start in his place, although he’s only useful for defensive stats.
Clint Capela, C, Atlanta Hawks – Abductor
After undergoing an MRI on Sunday, Capela was diagnosed with an abductor strain that will keep him out for seven to 10 days. However, 10 days coincide perfectly with the last game the Hawks play before the All-Star break. Atlanta may hold him out through the All-Star break as he’s been a popular name in trade rumors lately.
Long-Term Injuries for Fantasy Basketball
OG Anunoby, SF, New York Knicks – Elbow
Anunoby’s elbow injury wasn’t initially feared to be anything serious, which is why he wasn’t included in this article last week, but when a guy misses four straight games something is up. Anunoby could very well return for tonight’s game against the battered Grizzlies. However, considering that he’s been ruled out for “inflammation” for two games in a row, I would expect this injury to be monitored closely with the All-Star break approaching.
Update February 8: Anunoby underwent surgery to remove a loose bone fragment in his elbow and will be reevaluated in three weeks.
Joel Embiid, C, Philadelphia 76ers – Knee
We officially won’t see Embiid repeat as the MVP. After hurting his seemingly already shaky knee last Tuesday against the Warriors, it was announced on Sunday that he would undergo a procedure on his torn meniscus. The Sixers have said there’s a possibility he could return this year, but it won’t be until after the fantasy basketball season is finished. Paul Reed is likely long gone from the free agents’ pool, but if you need a big man, Mo Bamba should be involved enough moving forward to be worth a roster spot.
Zach LaVine, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls – Ankle
After a few weeks of trying to let his ankle injury heal naturally, it took rumors of a trade to the Pistons to convince LaVine that surgery was his best course of action. If he’s still available, Ayo Dosunmu has been solid as a starter and should be a priority add with the knowledge that LaVine’s year is finished.
Julius Randle, PF, New York Knicks – Shoulder
Randle suffered a dislocated shoulder against the Heat on Sunday, and while the Knicks are hopeful the severity of the injury is “measured in weeks, not months”, that’s nothing more than wishful thinking until his MRI later this week. If Josh Hart is still available in your league, he’s pegged as the most likely candidate to join the starting lineup according to NY media, but Precious Achiuwa will probably see a little bump in minutes as well.
Update February 1: The Knicks announced that Randle will be reevaluated in two to three weeks.
If the season-ending injury to Ja Morant didn’t end the Grizzlies’ season, surely this pair of injuries will. Bane and Smart suffered their injuries in back-to-back games, and both are expected to be reevaluated in six weeks, which puts their timeline at the end of February. I’d be shocked if the Grizzlies weren’t thinking more about their lottery odds at that point, and you should consider both of these injuries as essentially season-ending ones.
Chris Paul, PG, Golden State Warriors – Hand
The Warriors announced over the weekend that Paul will undergo surgery on his injured hand and miss four to six weeks. If I had to guess, he’ll probably return after the All-Star break (February 16-18). Coach Steve Kerr has indicated Moses Moody will see additional minutes off the Warriors’ bench and is worth looking at for fantasy purposes.
Gabe Vincent, PG/SG, Los Angeles Lakers – Knee
After missing nearly two months with a knee issue, Vincent returned to the Lakers’ lineup for one whole game. He hurt the same left knee that’s been bothering him all year, and the team announced he’ll undergo surgery this week. He’s expected to miss six to eight weeks minimum, but due to the recurring nature of this injury, I wouldn’t be surprised if his absence is longer than that. It seems most likely that rookie Max Christie will rejoin the rotation in his place.
The Tank Corner
OPEN FOR BUSINESS!
The Grizzlies may not have the worst record in the league (would you believe they only have one fewer loss than the Warriors?) but it seems inevitable that the plug will be pulled soon. During their game on January 29 in Sacramento, they had 11 players ruled out. This does include guys who have been lost for the season and injured for a long time, but that doesn’t change the fact that they’re working with scraps. If Jaren Jackson Jr. picks up any sort of significant injury (real or fake), the floodgates will undoubtedly open for the Grizzlies to have the least recognizable roster in the NBA. For the time being, consider them a one-stop shop for all fantasy and DFS dart throws.