Blake Griffin (ankle) is done… in fantasy hoops
An MRI revealed a bone bruise in Blake Griffin’s right ankle and he will be re-evaluated in one week. That means, at the earliest, Griffin won’t be able to get back to the court until Friday, April 6, which would give him a maximum of five more games this season. However, if the Pistons are mathematically eliminated from the postseason by next Friday, there will be no need for Griffin to get back to the court, so there’s a good chance he’s done for the year. Cut him.
Anthony Tolliver got the start in Griffin’s place on Thursday and finished with 14 points (4-of-6 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs), one 3-pointer, two boards, two assists, one steal, one block and one turnover in 32 minutes, so he’s on the radar in deep leagues for anyone seeking a low-end big who can give you some triples.
On the Radar
MarShon Brooks had another solid outing on Friday, scoring 24 points on 8-of-13 shooting (7-of-7 from the line) to go with one 3-pointer, one rebound, two assists, two steals and one turnover in 18 minutes off the bench. He was coming off a 21-point, five-trey effort from Wednesday, so after spending the past three years playing in the G-League and overseas, Brooks has suddenly become relevant again in fantasy hoops. The Grizzlies are ridiculously banged up, so there’s a path to minutes for Brooks, and with averages of 22.5 points, 2.0 assists, 1.5 steals, 3.0 triples and 1.0 turnover per game over the past two on 60.0% shooting, he’ll certainly be someone to consider streaming on Sunday with what should be an uptempo matchup with Portland. Brooks made some noise his rookie season with the Nets, but was never able to recreate that success until now, so it’s nice to see him back in the league.
Amir Johnson got the start sans Joel Embiid (orbital fracture) and finished with 11 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block and one turnover over 17 scoreless minutes while Richaun Holmes came off the bench for seven points, three boards, two assists and one block in 23 minutes. However, it was Ersan Ilyasova who came through with the most impressive stat line sans Embiid, posting a 21-point, 16-board double-double to go with two triples, two assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 30 minutes off the bench. All of these guys will be seeing more opportunity while Embiid is out, and both Ilyasova and Holmes are on the radar in deep leagues. Johnson isn’t very attractive in most formats, even as a starter.
Cameron Payne scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting to go with three triples, two boards, six dimes, one blocks and three turnovers in 22 minutes. Zach LaVine (knee) and Kris Dunn (toe) might be done for the year, so Payne has a good chance of closing out the year as Chicago’s starting point guard. Since entering the starting five, Payne has come through with averages of 9.9 points, 5.6 assists and 1.6 treys per contest on 39.0% shooting. He’s an okay low-end point guard to own in deep leagues.
Cristiano Felicio (back) ripped down 16 rebounds in his return from a one-game absence, adding eight points, one assist and three turnovers through 27 minutes as a starter. Noah Vonleh came off the bench with Lauri Markkanen back from his rest day but still managed to produce eight points, 11 rebounds, one 3-pointer, one assist, one steal and one block in 24 minutes off the bench. Both Felicio and Vonleh are on the radar as low-end bigs to own in deep leagues, with Vonleh offering a bit more upside.
Troy Daniels went 8-of-14 from the field and 7-of-12 from long-range on his way to 23 points and four rebounds across 36 minutes as a starter. It doesn’t seem like Devin Booker (hand) will be back any time soon, so Daniels should continue to hold down the fort at the two-spot and he’s worth a look for anyone seeking a cheap source of points and triples.
Marquese Chriss posted his second consecutive double-double during Friday’s one-point loss to the Rockets, scoring 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting to go with 11 rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks and three turnovers through 33 minutes as a starter. With Tyson Chandler getting shut down and Alex Len dealing with ankle issues again, Chriss should be able to flirt with around 30 minutes as long as he can stay out of foul trouble. He’s been productive for a week now with averages of 11.8 points, 8.3 boards, 1.5 steals, 1.3 swats and 2.0 turnovers per game on 50.0% shooting. He could fall off at a moment’s notice, but Chriss is worth owning in most leagues while he’s this hot.
Tyler Ulis came through with a 16-point, 12-dime double-double to go with three triples, six boards, one steal and five turnovers through 37 minutes as a starter. He’s another Sun who has suddenly been forced into the rotation due to a ridiculous amount of injuries (both Elfrid Payton and Devin Booker have been out), and over the past four games he’s produced averages of 18.0 points, 6.0 assists, 2.0 triples, 0.5 steals and 3.0 turnovers per game on 50.0% shooting. Ulis was pretty terrible this season, but he was a strong finisher last year, so maybe he can have a repeat effort with basically zero depth behind him. He’s worth a look.
Josh Hart (hand) had a double-double in his return from a month-long absence, registering 13 points, 13 rebounds, one 3-pointer, one block and one turnover across 35 minutes. He got some extra burn with Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting ejected by halftime and with Lonzo Ball (knee) on the sidelines, but him earning 30+ minutes in his first game back is obviously an incredibly encouraging sign. Hart’s a master of the points-boards dub-dub and is worth a look in most leagues as the minutes should be there for him with Los Angeles scraping their way to the finish line.
Danilo Gallinari (hand) looked good in his return from a month-long layoff, scoring 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting (3-of-5 from the stripe) to go with two triples, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and two turnovers through 25 minutes as a starter. He was pumping out top-30 value prior to going down, and his minutes limit should ramp up quickly given he was only dealing with a hand issue, so he should be picked up just about everywhere.
Isaiah Taylor scored 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with two rebounds, seven assists, one steal and three turnovers through 30 minutes as a starter. Dennis Schroder (ankle) was ruled out for the rest of the season on Friday, so Taylor will be starting the rest of the way, making him a must-own prospect in most settings. Sure, the shooting wasn’t great in this one, but he’s been hitting 49.2% of his shots as a starter to go with averages of 16.6 points, 5.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 2.8 turnovers per game. He should come through with a more efficient stat line on Sunday in Minnesota.
John Collins was held to five points on 2-of-3 shooting (0-of-2 from the line) but made up for the lackadaisical scoring effort with 10 rebounds, one 3-pointer, six assists, two blocks, one steal and three turnovers in 30 minutes. He hasn’t really exploded this season like some of us were expecting, but he’s been a solid low-end big to own most the year. He’ll be one of my favorite sleepers next season.
Damion Lee ripped away another two steals on his way to 20 points (8-of-17 FGs, 2-of-4 FTs), two triples, four boards, one assist and zero turnovers through 32 minutes as a starter. He’s been a sneaky top-80 prospect over the past five games with averages of 11.0 points, 4.6 boards, 2.4 dimes, 2.0 steals and just 0.8 turnovers per game on 42.0% shooting, so he’s on the radar as a steals specialist in deep leagues.
Jonathan Isaac (foot) was back in the starting lineup following a three-game stint on the sidelines, finishing with four points (1-of-5 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four boards, two assists, three steals, one block and one turnover in 21 minutes. He’s on the radar as a deep league, defensive specialist.
D.J. Augustin scored 15 points on 6-of-16 shooting (2-of-2 from the line) to go with one 3-pointer, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one turnover in 32 minutes. He’ll be a steady source of points, treys and dimes to close out the year.
Rajon Rondo (wrist) returned from a two-game stint on the sidelines, producing seven points, eight assists, one rebound and three turnovers in 24 minutes. If he was cut when he went down, he’ll be someone to consider streaming on Sunday for anyone looking to close the gap in the dimes department.
Rodney Hood scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting to go with two triples, two rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes. He’s as streaky as they come but has been playing well over the past five with averages of 13.8 points and 1.8 triples per game on 50.0% shooting, and he might be looking at some extra minutes if George Hill (ankle) needs to miss time. If you need some points and triples, Hood will be someone to consider streaming on Sunday with a favorable matchup against the Mavericks.
Yogi Ferrell scored 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting to go with two 3-pointers, four rebounds, three assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 29 minutes off the bench. The shooting isn’t always pretty with Ferrell, but he has a clear path to minutes in Dallas and has been a steady late-round guy over the past few weeks with averages of 14.0 points, 4.0 assists, 1.7 triples, 1.1 steals and just 0.7 turnovers per game on 41.5% shooting. Give him a look if those numbers are appealing.
Nerlens Noel hauled in 12 rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench on his way to four points, one assist, one block and zero turnovers. They’re finally letting him play (excluding back-to-backs) and over the past month he’s been flirting with top-50 value in 9-cat leagues behind averages of 5.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.9 steals, 1.0 block and just 0.5 turnovers per game on 54.3% shooting from the field and 55.6% from the stripe. The lame scoring and free throw shooting becomes tolerable due to his elite contributions to the defensive categories. Give him a look.
Royce O’Neale got the start with Ricky Rubio (hamstring) unavailable for Friday’s game and finished with 13 points, one 3-pointer, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and one turnover in 36 minutes. If Rubio can’t play on Sunday, O’Neale will be someone to consider streaming in deep leagues.
Michael Malone said he doesn’t envision Gary Harris (knee) playing for at least another week, and seemed to imply he could be out even longer than that saying: “he’s a ways away.” The Nuggets have not been forthcoming at all with the injury updates on Harris, but even if Harris is able to make it back to the court one week from now, that would give him a max of just three games played. He’ll also likely have a minutes cap upon his return (if he does return), so despite his massive upside, it’s tough to justify hanging onto Harris in most formats. Will Barton will continue to start in his absence with Jamal Murray, Paul Millsap and Nikola Jokic picking up the slack offensively.
Jimmy Butler (knee surgery) has been cleared for contact, but with just a few weeks left to go in the fantasy season, it’s tough to see Butler serving a useful role in most leagues. Tom Thibodeau acknowledged that Butler still needs “to clear a few hurdles,” so it’s safe to assume he won’t be playing on Sunday, and I’d anticipate him to have a minutes limit for at least the first handful of games back. In other words, I wouldn’t recommend hanging on here.
John Wall (knee) is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against the Hornets, and if he doesn’t get out there, it seems there’s a decent chance he’ll be back in action on Sunday. He won’t do much for you in leagues that end at Week-24, but he’s worth a speculative add in all formats that extend beyond that date.
Otto Porter (ankle) did not participate in Friday’s practice and he’s being listed as questionable for Saturday’s game. The Wizards have described Porter’s ankle injury as “mild,” but with Saturday’s game being the first of a back-to-back set, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him sit. Kelly Oubre Jr. will be the primary beneficiary if Porter needs to miss time.
Lonzo Ball (left knee bruise) did not play Friday and he should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game against Sacramento. This is the same knee that cost Ball time on the sidelines earlier in the year, and the Lakers aren’t playing for anything, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him skip a few games. He’s a cut-candidate if this week is your Finals.
Klay Thompson (thumb) practiced in full on Friday and is officially listed as probable for Saturday’s game vs. Sacramento. He should be picked up everywhere.
Kevin Love (concussion) struggled in his return from a one-game absence, scoring eight points on 3-of-11 shooting (2-of-3 from the stripe) to go with eight boards, two assists, one steal and two turnovers in 24 minutes. He did briefly exit the game with a hamstring issue, and while he played through it, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see him sit on Sunday against the 23-53 Mavericks. Owners can expect to get more than a few updates leading up to Sunday’s tip, but if he’s out, Larry Nance will benefit most.
George Hill exited Friday’s game with a left ankle injury and did not return, finishing with eight points and two turnovers in 22 minutes. He was in a good amount of pain, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit on Sunday, which will likely result in Jose Calderon drawing the start with more minutes falling to Jordan Clarkson.
Kyle Korver (personal) did not play Friday and remains without an official timetable to return.
An MRI revealed a Grade 2 ankle sprain for Dennis Schroder, and he will miss the remainder of the season. Isaiah Taylor needs to be owned everywhere, whereas Schroder belongs on the wire in all re-draft formats.
Ricky Rubio (hamstring) sat out Friday’s game against the Grizzlies and he should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game in Minnesota.
Tyler Johnson (ankle) is probable to play Saturday against the Nets.
Wes Iwundu (illness) missed his second game in a row on Friday and should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game in Atlanta.
Jonathon Simmons (wrist) did not play and he’s expected to miss at least one more game. Leave him on the wire.
Wilson Chandler left Friday’s game with a nose contusion and did not return, putting his status up in the air for Sunday’s game against the Bucks. If he needs to miss time, there will be more minutes for guys like Trey Lyles, Torrey Craig and Juan Hernangomez, but that doesn’t mean much in fantasy hoops.
Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) returned from a three-game absence, posting seven points, one 3-pointer, three boards, one steal, one block and three turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench.
John Henson was a late scratch on Friday, which may have been a rest day for the big man on the second leg of a back-to-back with a matchup against the 33-41 Lakers. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in action on Sunday in Denver.
Devin Booker (hand), T.J. Warren (knee), Elfrid Payton (knee), Alex Len (ankle) and Jared Dudley (ankle) did not play Friday and nothing indicates any of these guys will be back soon. Troy Daniels will continue to earn heavy minutes at the two with Josh Jackson running the show on offense. It’s not tanking it’s player development.
Ivan Rabb (heel) returned from a three-game stint on the sidelines, recording four points, four boards, one assist, one block and one turnover in 13 minutes off the bench.
J.J. Barea (personal) did not play Friday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Cavs as well, but he’ll return to the team for Tuesday’s matchup with the Trail Blazers.
Frank Ntilikina (illness) is questionable for Saturday’s game against the Pistons, while Enes Kanter (back) is doubtful and Kyle O’Quinn (hip) is probable. Courtney Lee (hip) is also expected to return to the court on Saturday.
Thon Maker (groin) missed his third game in a row on Friday and should be considered doubtful for Sunday’s game in Denver.
Derrick Rose (washed up) missed his fifth game in a row on Friday, you don’t own him, right?