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 4 Schedule: Games Played
4 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHI, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, NOR, NYK, OKC, PHI, POR, TOR, UTA
3 Games: CHA, CLE, DEN, GSW, LAL, MIL, MIN, ORL, PHO, SAC, SAS, WAS
Top Three Pickups of the Week:
Seth Curry- He’s averaging 16.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals and 3.0 treys over his last two games, and while those numbers are not sustainable, he’s finally solidified himself as a big part of the rotation. He’s seen 25 or more minutes in each of his last four games, and Deron Williams (left calf strain) has no timetable for a return. The Mavs will not be a playoff team, so Curry’s role will only grow.
Marcus Smart- With Jae Crowder (ankle) targeting a return on Nov. 16, Smart should be looking at at least two more starts. He looked really good on Friday with 12 points, 10 assists, six rebounds, three steals and two treys, and he’s averaging 31.8 minutes over his last five games. He will likely hurt your team's FG percentage, though.
Tyler Johnson- Goran Dragic (left ankle) is doubtful to play Saturday, so Johnson is fully expected to start. Even with Dragic active, Johnson is off to a sensational start to the season with averages of 14.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 triples. Josh Richardson is also worth picking up if he's available.
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The Drop List:
DeMarre Carroll- He’s been awful, averaging 7.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 1.1 3-pointers on 35.8 percent shooting. He doesn’t look healthy and he’s not helping your fantasy team.
Deron Williams- No timetable to return, we’ve heard this story before.
Al-Farouq Aminu- He’s going to miss at least two weeks, but he's not worth holding onto after he averaged 6.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.1 treys. The Blazers will use a committee approach to soak up his minutes.
Joakim Noah- Averaging 4.9 points, 7.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 0.9 blocks. Is he really helping your team? The assists are the only thing going for him.
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NBA Rumors and Trending Topics:
Chris Bosh changed agents this week, so we can only assume he’s going to attempt a comeback. He will still have to pass a medical and the Heat have pretty much made it clear he doesn’t have a future with the team. There’s no need to add Bosh in fantasy until we get good news on his health and if the Heat unloads his contract.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of the Vertical, Jrue Holiday (personal) could make his season debut on Wednesday vs. the Magic, but it’s more likely he waits until Friday vs. Portland. While coach Alvin Gentry wouldn’t confirm the report, Woj is as reliable as they come. If he’s somehow available in your league, he needs to be picked up immediately. Tim Frazier will take the biggest hit with Holiday back. Holiday could be a top-30 player once he gets his legs under him.
Marc Stein of ESPN said to keep an eye on Willie Cauley-Stein, as he’s hearing that the Kings are open to moving the second-year center. WCS wants a larger role than he has right now under coach Dave Joerger, as he’s averaging just 13.8 minutes, not including one DNP-CD. He could have some sneaky value in the right situation, but won't come alive in Sacramento while Kosta Koufos gets the bulk of the minutes.
Injury Report: Accurate as of 2:00 p.m. ET
Isaiah Whitehead is in the concussion protocol and will miss Saturday’s game vs. the Suns. With Jeremy Lin (hamstring) still out, Sean Kilpatrick should start at PG this week and is a must-own player. The Nets also signed Yogi Ferrell to replace Greivis Vasquez (ankle, waived).
Al Horford (concussion) has missed five straight games, but he’s making progress and could return on the Celtics’ two-game road trip starting on Saturday. Kelly Olynyk is the guy you want to deploy in fantasy if Horford remains out.
Jae Crowder (ankle) is targeting a return on Nv. 16 against the Mavericks, meaning he’s expected to miss two more games. Marcus Smart is the primary beneficiary while Crowder is out. Jaylen Brown was demoted to the bench.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (back) is questionable for Sunday’s game vs. Cleveland, but he’s day-to-day and I’d be surprised if he sat out against LeBron James. Treveon Graham started on Friday and had two points, but he’s not a fantasy option if MKG sits.
Dirk Nowitzki (Achilles) has resumed on-court work and hopes to return to the Mavs' lineup early next week. He said he wants to play on Monday vs. the Knicks and Wednesday vs. the Celtics, but he has to make it through a full practice first. Dwight Powell looks like the player to target if Dirk is out, as he’s averaging 12.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals in 26.5 minutes over his last two games.
Deron Williams (left calf strain) suffered a setback on Thursday and there is no timetable for his return. We’ve seen this story before for Williams and the Mavs will not be rushing him back. Seth Curry should be picked up everywhere, but J.J. Barea will likely have more fantasy value for now. Barea is averaging 17.8 points, 5.8 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 treys in his last four games.
Darrell Arthur (knee) should be considered out indefinitely. He tried to rush his return and now he’s paying for it.
Wilson Chandler (hamstring) has a good chance of playing on Saturday against the Pistons, so go ahead and pick him up if he’s available. He has missed two games in a row, but scored 19, 21 and 22 points in the three previous games. Michael Malone loves him.
Reggie Jackson (knee, thumb) was "moving pretty well" in workouts on Thursday, but he won’t return any earlier than late-November. If you can trade Ish Smith for a fair value, it makes sense to do it this week.
Patrick Beverly (left knee surgery) did "lots of shooting, sprinting" on Saturday and is nearing a return. Beverley wants to return right away, but the Rockets may wait another week. He’s expected to return to full practice early in the week. Fantasy owners shouldn’t pick him up until he gives us a reason to.
Chandler Parsons (knee) was listed as questionable for Saturday’s game vs. the Bucks, a surprising development since the Grizzlies have been off since Tuesday. There’s no word of a setback, but he did complain about some general soreness after playing 21 minutes on Tuesday. James Ennis will be looking at a lot of minutes if Parsons out, especially since Tony Allen (groin) remains on the shelf.
Goran Dragic (ankle) has already been ruled out for Saturday’s game vs. the Jazz after leaving Thursday’s game early. Tyler Johnson will start and see big minutes, while Josh Richardson also gets a huge bump. While Dion Waiters will also have a larger role, Johnson and Richardson are better standard-league options.
Ricky Rubio (elbow) went through shootaround on Saturday and looked good, so he will play v. the Clippers. He was considered out indefinitely, but only ended up missing five games. Hopefully you didn’t drop him.
George Hill (thumb) has missed three straight games, but luckily he’s still considered day-to-day. Hang onto him. Dante Exum may continue to start if Hill misses more time, but he and Shelvin Mack are unappealing fantasy options.
Bradley Beal (hamstring) is questionable for Saturday’s game vs. the Bulls. The injury is minor, but it was enough to keep him out of the lineup on Friday. The Wizards really need him to try and give it a go with John Wall resting. Marcus Thornton and Tomas Satoransky will both see heavy workloads if Beal sits.