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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The first week of the season is nearly in the books and luckily there aren’t any new major injuries to report. Every Saturday I’m going to be right here breaking down the weekly schedule and the latest injury report, and I’ll also include some hot pickups for your fantasy team and some players you should consider dropping. Everyone loves rumors, so I’ll also provide some insight on some of the trending topics around the league. For NBA news and fantasy advice, find me on Twitter by clicking here!


Week 2 Schedule: Games Played


5 Games: SAC



2 Games: CHA, MIA


Top 3 Pickups of the Week


Ty Lawson- It’s weird to say this, but Lawson actually looks like he’s turned a corner. He’s averaging 8.0 points, 8.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 turnovers through two games, playing 36 minutes in each contest. He will get at least six more starts before Darren Collison returns from his suspension, and you have to love that the Kings play five times in Week 2. As I’m writing this, Lawson is only owned in 31% of Yahoo Leagues. 


Sergio Rodriguez- Only three games in Week 2, but he played 32 minutes in the opener with 12 points, nine assists, four boards and two treys. It looked like Rodriguez was going to split the PG minutes with T.J. McConnell based on the preseason, but that wasn’t the case on Wednesday. He’s worth owning everywhere and it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when Jerryd Bayless (wrist) eventually returns. Spanish Chocolate is owned in just 30 percent of Yahoo Leagues.


The Grizzlies- More specifically, JaMychal Green (29% owned), James Ennis (4% owned) and Wade Baldwin (7% owned). The Grizzlies are really banged up right now with Chandler Parsons (knee) and Tony Allen (knee) both out, and it sounds like Mike Conley, Marc Gasol and maybe even Zach Randolph will have playing time restrictions this week. Green currently has the best long-term outlook and had 12 points, seven boards and one block in the opener, while Ennis (15 points, six rebounds, two treys) is more of a short-term option until Parsons returns. Baldwin had a crazy opening night with seven points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals and three blocks, so I’m picking up if I have an open roster spot just to see what happens. The Grizzlies play four times in Week 2.


Editor's Note: The NBA Season Pass is up and running. Get weekly projections, rankings, the popular Pickups of the Day column, exclusive columns and customizable stat options. It's the extra tool that can take your fantasy basketball teams to the next level.



The Drop List:


Tony Parker: He was a streaming option in Week 1 as the Spurs were the only team with four games on the schedule, but he averaged 6.5 points and 3.0 assists through the first two games. Father Time is no joke. 


Trey Lyles: He was on my late-round sleeper list, so this one hurts. Boris Diaw shot 1-of-8 from the field in 32 minutes in the opener, while Lyles played just 18 minutes. Not sure what coach Quin Snyder is thinking here, but I can’t trust Lyles now that Derrick Favors (knee) is back. 


Evan Turner- Through two games, Turner is averaging 3.5 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists while shooting 20.0 percent from the field. His contract looks horrible right now and both Moe Harkless and Allen Crabbe have fared much better. 


Jared Sullinger- The oft-injured big man is likely going to be out for at least a few months. 




Trade Rumors: 


The Cavaliers are “listening” to offers for Iman Shumpert and a report by Zach Lowe of ESPN indicated that the Wolves are among several teams who are interested. The Cavs won’t salary-dump him for nothing, but a trade could potentially open up minutes for promising youngsters Jordan McRae and Kay Felder.


According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the three players most likely to be dealt this season are Rudy Gay, Ricky Rubio and Nerlens Noel. Gay is going to opt out of his deal for the 2017-18 season, so it’s an easy decision for the Kings to try to unload him before he walks in exchange for nothing. Kris Dunn is the future of the point guard spot in Minnesota, but I don’t think they move Rubio just yet if they are determined to make the postseason. As for Noel, he was the odd man out prior to his knee injury, and it looks like the 76ers are comfortable moving forward with Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. In the right situation, Noel could be an elite source of rebounds and blocks. 


Marc Stein also added that the Blazers are the most likely to make a trade, which makes sense given their logjam at small forward and in their frontcourt. 



Injury Report:  Accurate as of Saturday at 12:00 ET 


*This report only includes players who have been updated in the past week


Mike Scott (knee) is day-to-day and won’t play vs. the 76ers on Saturday, while Tiago Splitter (hamstring) likely won’t return to the court until at least late November. Mike Muscala has emerged as the first big off the bench and is averaging 21.0 minutes through the first two games. 


Randy Foye (hamstring) is day-to-day, but the Nets won’t rush him back. Sean Kilpatrick and Joe Harris have alternated big performances in Foye’s absence, but you can’t trust anyone in the Brooklyn backcourt other than Jeremy Lin


Marcus Smart said that the swelling in his sprained left ankle has gone down, and he hopes to return to the court by early-November. Terry Rozier has been averaging 25.5 minutes per game in Smart’s absence, making him an option in 14-team leagues. Jaylen Brown will also continue to benefit. 


Kelly Olynyk (shoulder) is still a couple weeks away from game action, but expect his workload to be very limited right out of the gate. Outside of Al Horford, fantasy owners should avoid Boston’s crowded frontcourt. 


Roy Hibbert left Friday’s game with right knee soreness, and we just learned that he had his knee drained prior to the season opener. If the Hornets hold him out of Saturday’s game vs. Boston, Cody Zeller will benefit the most. Frank Kaminsky (foot) also has a decent shot of playing Saturday and could spend some time at center.


Dirk Nowitzki was a late scratch on Friday due to a nasty illness, and he’s not a lock to return on Sunday vs. the Rockets. The Mavs went small with J.J. Barea entering the starting five on Friday. 


Devin Harris has been diagnosed with a sprained right big toe and will be in a walking boot for the next three weeks. He should be considered out indefinitely, opening more minutes for Barea and Seth Curry.


Gary Harris (groin) is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. Portland. Coach Malone wants him to make it through a full practice before he can return, so it’s worth noting that we has just a partial participant at Friday’s practice. Will Barton is still worth owning until Harris returns. 


Darrell Arthur (knee) will not play on Saturday vs. Portland. He experienced some swelling in his knee after returning to practice this week, so the Nuggets will be cautious. Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried will continue to benefit off the bench.


Patrick Beverley underwent successful surgery on his left knee on Oct. 25, and he expects to miss the first three weeks of the regular season. It will be the Eric Gordon show until Beverley returns, with Tyler Ennis getting a few minutes as the backup PG. 


Rodney Stuckey strained his right hamstring on Friday and didn’t return. These injuries tend to linger, so he shouldn’t be expected to play on Saturday vs. the Bulls. C.J. Miles gets a small bump. 


Brandon Ingram left Friday’s game with a sore right knee, and the Lakers forward speculated that he could be dealing with some tendinitis. He should be considered questionable for Sunday’s game vs. the Thunder, but the Lakers are expected to provide an update on Saturday evening. Luol Deng is coming off a double-double and will be a decent plug-and-play option if Ingram is out. 


Coach David Fizdale said he's hoping to have Chandler Parsons (knee) in the next week or two. Fizdale added that Parsons has looked good in practice, but a clear return date hasn’t been set. Expect his workload to be very limited early on. Until he returns, James Ennis will continue to start and is coming off a 15-point performance in the opener.  



Brandon Wright (left ankle) is out for at least the remainder of this week, while Marc Gasol and Mike Conley are expected to see a slight dip in minutes with the busy schedule in Week 2. If Wade Baldwin (knee) is able to play, he’s an interesting streaming option in deeper leagues, especially if Tony Allen (knee) continues to miss time. 


Josh Richardson (knee) is still targeting an early November return, so he shouldn’t be on any waiver wires — the Heat are starting Dion Waiters right now…


Tony Snell (ankle) is expected to make his debut on Saturday after going through practice on Friday. The Bucks apparently want Snell to start, but he has very little upside and most owners should use a wait-and-see approach. 


Tyreke Evans said he plans to return by the end of November, or by December 15th "for sure.” He’s worth stashing everywhere, but he will have some restrictions when he returns. Lance Stephenson will continue to have a large role until Evans returns. 


Nerlens Noel could exceed his initial 3-5 week timetable depending on if or how often he experiences swelling in his surgically repaired left knee. Knowing the 76ers, they are going to take their sweet time bringing Noel back. 


Jerryd Bayless (wrist) did some weight training this week, but he’s at least a couple weeks away from returning. Sergio Rodriguez should be owned everywhere. 


76ers CEO Scott O'Neil said that Ben Simmons (foot) will play during the 2016-17 season, but based on the rumored timetables we have heard, the earliest we would see him is in January.