Hello and welcome back to the Week Ahead. 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 11 Schedule: Games Played
5 Games: UTA
4 Games: BKN, CHA, CLE, DEN, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHO, SAC, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHI, DAL, DET, IND, MIN, NOR, PHI, POR, SAS
Top Three Adds of the Week:
Tyreke Evans (58% owned)- He’s still available in a ton of leagues and I’m not sure why. He has looked dominant in his last two games, averaging 14.0 points, 4.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 triples in just 17.0 minutes per! Coach Alvin Gentry said he expects his minutes limit to increase each week and added that he should be around 20 minutes per game in Week 11. If his troublesome knee holds up, he could flirt with last season’s averages of 15.2 points, 6.6 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.3 triples. He’s the real deal.
Josh Richardson (46% owned)- His ownership was much higher at the beginning of the season, but most of his owners gave up on him way too soon. He’s averaging an impressive 20.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 block and 2.3 triples over his last three games, and while Goran Dragic (back) has missed two of them, J-Rich should be a stud going forward.
Montrezl Harrell (20% owned)- If you haven’t picked him up after his 29-point explosion, it’s probably too late. He’s averaging 16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.4 blocks in 27.0 minutes over his last five games, and he’s going to get the bulk of the center minutes for at least the next four weeks with Clint Capela (leg) out.
The Drop List:
DeMarre Carroll- I don’t care if he’s been cleared for back-to-back sets because he’s been so bad. He’s only seeing around 24 minutes per night and is averaging just 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 triples and 1.6 steals over his last five games. There should be better options on your wire like the players above or someone like a Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Marcus Morris- He’s dealing with a sore left knee and missed Friday’s game, but he hasn’t been playing well for a couple weeks now. You should have already moved on.
Chandler Parsons- I won’t be defending him anymore because he’s been downright awful. Since returning to the lineup from his latest knee injury, he’s averaging just 2.0 points on 21.1 percent shooting. You should be able to find someone on your wire who plays more than 13 seconds per game, but feel free to keep stashing him if your team is in a good spot. He probably won’t be worth deploying until after the All-Star break. On a side note, how much is Mark Cuban loving this?
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Rockets are interested in adding a veteran big and Kosta Koufos of the Kings is a primary target. That doesn’t make sense to me with Montrezl Harrell playing well in place of Capela (leg), but a Koufos trade would create an opening for Willie-Cauley Stein in Sacramento. WCS has been a limited part of the rotation this season, but he has per-36 minute averages of 14.2 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals. The Kings could potentially blow up their roster with a DeMarcus Cousins trade if they fall out of the playoff race, so that would help Cauley-Stein’s outlook as well.
Stein also pointed out that the Suns will likely move on from Brandon Knight before the deadline, but we shouldn’t really be surprised after he logged just nine minutes in their latest win over the Raptors. The Kings have talking with the Suns about Knight since the summer, but it’s not clear what other teams are interested. He has career averages of 15.7 points, 4.4 assists, 3.4 rebounds, 1.0 steal and 1.7 3-pointers, so he’s a great stash if you have the roster spot. A trade can only help his value, especially if he landed in Sacramento.
Zach Lowe of ESPN is reporting that the Kings are “dangling” Corey Brewer in trade talks, but there are no real fantasy implications. Brewer is not the most talented player and is a career 28.5 percent 3-point shooter, so he’s not worth stashing in any format. He’s only averaging 14.1 minutes per game in Houston this season, but a trade could open the door for K.J. McDaniels to have a slightly larger role.
Injury Report: Accurate as of 2:00 PM ET
Note: This only includes fantasy-relevant players who have been updated recently.
Jeremy Lin- After a 17-game absence, Lin managed to appear in seven games before tweaking his left hamstring once again. He’s missed the last two games, but if there’s one positive it’s that this strain isn’t as bad as the last one. This is incredibly frustrating, but his owners just need to stash him for now. Sean Kilpatrick is the only pickup with Lin out, as his usage rate jumps from 18.9 to 26.3 when Lin is off the court.
Avery Bradley (illness) missed Friday’s game, but has a few days off to get ready for Tuesday’s game vs. the Jazz. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t ready, so Marcus Smart is not a great pickup. Smart started on Friday and scored six points on 1-of-7 shooting.
Marco Belinelli (ankle) is expected to miss his fourth game in a row on Saturday vs. Cleveland. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has averaged 9.3 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals in the three games that Belinelli has missed, while Jeremy Lamb is averaging 13.7 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.0 triple in that same span.
Kyrie Irving (hamstring) is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. Charlotte, so it turns out that he’s not just dealing with “cramps” like coach Tyronn Lue said. Hamstring injuries can linger if not treated properly (ask Lin), so the Cavs will be cautious if Irving isn’t close to 100 percent. There are no fantasy pickups if Irving misses time.
Chris Paul (hamstring) is doubtful for Saturday's game vs. OKC, so it sounds like he might’ve rushed his return a bit. I still think Austin Rivers is the player you want to own in the short term over guys like Raymond Felton and Jamal Crawford, but he was ejected after 15 minutes on Friday night and Felton went off 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds in 31 minutes.
Mike Conley (toe) is questionable to play against the Kings on Saturday. He has missed two games in a row and was “expected” to play in his previous game, but we all know how cautious the Grizzlies are. Andrew Harrison has put up averages of 8.4 points, 4.3 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 0.7 blocks, 1.1 steals and 0.7 triples in 14 previous starts this season, but he shot just 28.6 percent from the field. Even Marcus Smart can shoot better than that.
Goran Dragic (back) is day-to-day, but he admitted that he returned to the lineup too soon. The Heat play the Pistons on Sunday before beginning a six-game road trip, so I would expect him to miss at least Sunday’s game, but I’m no doctor. It doesn’t help that the Heat have nothing to play for. Tyler Johnson and Josh Richardson could be monsters in Week 11.
Victor Oladipo (wrist) will play on Saturday vs. the Clippers after a 10-game absence, so Alex Abrines, Anthony Morrow and Jerami Grant will lose most of their value. There’s no word of any limitations.
Cameron Payne (foot) is targeting a return on Jan. 7, but he’s strictly a handcuff for Russell Westbrook’s owners for now. He has been linked in a deal with the Kings in exchange for Rudy Gay, so a trade could help his value.
Evan Fournier (right heel contusion) is listed as questionable for Sunday's game vs. the Pacers, but coach Frank Vogel is hopeful to have him back after a three-game absence. Jodie Meeks isn’t a strong fantasy option even if Fournier misses another game.
Sergio Rodriguez is day-to-day with an ankle sprain, so T.J. McConnell will be a nice short-term pickup if Spanish Chocolate misses time. In two starts this season, McConnell has averaged 14.5 points, 8.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 triples. The 76ers also won both of those games, but who’s counting?
Damian Lillard (left ankle sprain) is doubtful for Sunday's game versus the Timberwolves, meaning he will likely miss his fourth straight game. C.J. McCollum has been a beast in Lillard’s absence, while Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner have both been underwhelming.
Kawhi Leonard (gastroenteritis) has missed two games in a row and his status is not clear for Sunday’s game vs. Atlanta. My guess is he plays, as he’s had a few days now to recover.
Rudy Gay (hip) will not play on Saturday vs. the Grizzlies, but he’s still listed as day-to-day. Unfortunately, there are no great pickups here, as all three of Matt Barnes, Omri Casspi and Garrett Temple get a slight bump.
Bradley Beal (ankle) did not play on Friday, but he was a game-time call which suggests his injury is very minor. Despite Trey Burke’s scoring outburst on Friday, he can be left on the wire. Beal should have a decent chance to play on Monday vs. Houston.