The year 2020 almost got off to a bad start with Jonathan Isaac (knee) needing a stretcher to get off the court on Wednesday, but it looks like he escaped without a serious injury. However, it’s been kind of a wild week with a lot of injuries to some key players, so that’s added to the depth of the waiver wire.
A lot of the adds may have more short-term value, so fantasy owners will have to figure out where they stand on getting value now or getting some later.
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Injuries from the week
Jonathan Isaac (knee) isn’t expected to have a serious knee injury, but we should get a more concrete update soon. Aaron Gordon (Achilles) went into last weekend with some Achilles soreness and had to get pulled on Saturday and has been out since. The Magic had to go to Amile Jefferson as the third-quarter starter on Wednesday while Wes Iwundu started for AG. Plus, the Magic did use way more two-center lineups. Khem Birch slid over to PF and there’s more on that below.
The Wolves are razor thin with Karl-Anthony Towns (knee), Jeff Teague (knee), Jake Layman (foot) and Noah Vonleh (glute) banged up while Treveon Graham and Andrew Wiggins are sick. Gorgui Dieng has to be owned until KAT is back, but KAT is starting to ramp up a bit. Jarrett Culver, Kelan Martin, Keita Bates-Diop, Josh Okogie and Naz Reid could be filling in. The Wolves could also be shopping Lord Robert Covington.
Kristaps Porzingis (knee) was a late scratch this week for knee soreness, and now he’s out tonight. Prior to Tuesday, things had gone about as well as they could for KP, so the Mavs may dial him back again. Maxi Kleber looks like the add while KP is out. Dwight Powell’s value also goes up, of course. Tim Hardaway Jr. (hamstring) is likely going to miss a little more time, so Delon Wright, Jalen Brunson and Seth Curry should also see a boost.
Joel Embiid (knee) missed Tuesday’s game in a non-B2B, so the 76ers could be careful on him. Kyle O’Quinn got the start while Mike Scott, Norvel Pelle and James Ennis saw more time. Embiid did practice today, though.
Ricky Rubio (hip) hurt his hip on Wednesday and figures to be on the injury report. The Suns have been mixing it up too much at the other guard positions to trust Elie Okobo, Ty Jerome, Jevon Carter or Tyler Johnson as anything more than a stream or DFS punt.
Blake Griffin (knee) hasn’t really looked right all season, and he might be droppable in shallower leagues. Markieff Morris (foot) is also banged up, so Christian Wood has to be owned in more leagues.
D’Angelo Russell (shoulder) is on the injury report again with a shoulder, and the Warriors are likely going to be cautious given their race up the lottery ranks. Damion Lee needs to be added everywhere while Alec Burks and Glenn Robinson III have more value. Ky Bowman is a good pickup in competitive leagues while Jacob Evans is streamable.
Gary Harris (shin) is questionable for Thursday after missing Tuesday’s game. Torrey Craig got the start, but it may have been due to the matchup against James Harden. Expect more Michael Porter Jr. and Malik Beasley, but it doesn’t sound like Harris will be out long.
Jae Crowder (ankle) missed a game in a back-to-back set over the weekend and he’s questionable tonight. Kyle Anderson got the start, but it just makes more sense to add De’Anthony Melton and just hope he plays more three.
Skal Labissiere (knee) is out indefinitely, so the Blazers may have to use Anthony Tolliver as Hassan Whiteside’s backup. The Blazers sure could use Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and Zach Collins (shoulder), but there’s no return in sight yet.
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Adds from the week
A whole lot of guys are way under-owned who have been talked about as adds for weeks now: Aaron Holiday (36%), Gorgui Dieng (39%), Glenn Robinson III (29%), Caris LeVert (26%), Gary Payton II (31%), Danuel House (26%), De’Anthony Melton (7%) and the list goes on. Not much has really changed with these guys over the last 1-2 weeks, so I assume they’re owned where they need to be. Kevin Porter Jr. has also been covered in here a few times, including being highlighted last week.
Christian Wood (9%) - He and De’Anthony Melton being under 10 percent is kind of wild with both guys starting to get clearer paths. Blake Griffin’s knee is keeping him out in non-B2B games and Markieff Morris (foot) is hurting. Wood has hit 23-plus minutes in three straight, which is more than enough time to give him some standalone value. Of course, the main part of his value is when the Pistons go into tank mode to get Wood possibly into the 30s for minutes. Per 36 he’s at 21.0 points, 11.3 boards, 1.4 dimes, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 treys on a 61/40/66 shooting line.
Jordan McRae (33%) - The Wizards have been a treasure trove of adds with Gary Payton II being a steals monster. Troy Brown (26%) is still a guy who should be owned more with consistent minutes and some more well-rounded stat lines. As for McRae, he was still able to get to 31 minutes even with Bradley Beal back in the lineup on Wednesday. McRae has played 120 minutes next to Beal this season compared to 225 without him, so there’s plenty of overlap for those two together. McRae has shot the ball poorly next to Beal while he’s been stellar without him at a 50/49/73 shooting line. Plus, McRae still has 4.2 dimes per 36 with Beal while it’s at 5.6 without him, also +12.3 net rating. The pace and style are great for Orange Mamba, so there’s a whole lot to like here.
Shabazz Napier (11%) - Jeff Teague (right knee) going down is very bad news for a guy who has run into a lot of injuries over the last 12 months. Teague had left knee soreness last season, but this right knee injury could limit him a whole bunch going forward, especially with the Wolves sliding in the standings. It was a back-to-back set for Teague yesterday, so the impact of his injury would have a lot more weight if Teague is out tonight -- he is doubtful as of Thursday afternoon. Over the last two games, Napier averaged 23.0 points, 4.5 boards, 5.5 dimes, 1.0 steals, 0.5 blocks and 3.5 treys in 32.7 minutes per outing. If Teague is out tonight and you need a point guard, Napier could be your guy.
Enes Kanter (58%) - He was kind of off the radar a couple weeks ago, but he was picked back up in a whole lot of leagues. He was so good in his last game that the NBA drug tested him per his tweet today. He was the first Celtics bench player ever with 13+ points, 14+ boards and six+ blocks in a single game. Sure, the matchup definitely helped against the Hornets, but it’s not like it came out of nowhere. Kanter has kind of been consistent over his last eight, averaging 11.5 points, 11.6 boards, 1.1 dimes, 1.5 blocks and 0.6 steals on 59.2 FG% and 70.0 FT%. Might as well ride the hot hand at least until Robert Williams comes back or if the Celtics pull off a trade.
D.J. Augustin (30%) - He cleared the 30-minute mark on Wednesday for the first time in over a month, but DJA has been productive lately. In his last nine, he averaged 14.9 points, 2.3 boards, 5.1 dimes, 0.8 steals, 1.7 treys and even 0.1 blocks (!) -- shoutout to Ed Davis for being DJA’s only block on the season. Part of the minutes increase is because of some overlap with Markelle Fultz. Over the last nine games, DJA has played 66 minutes next to Fultz, including eight minutes, 12 minutes and 11 minutes over his last three for almost half of that time. It’s hard to buy him long term, but the injury to Jonathan Isaac should force the Magic to go smaller to keep Augustin’s minutes up.
Khem Birch (1%) - He basically slid over to the four with 15 minutes next to Mo Bamba and nine minutes next to Nikola Vucevic for 24 of 26 of his minutes. The two remaining minutes were for garbage time in the final 2:16 next to Josh Magette, Wes Iwundu, Amile Jefferson and Melvin Frazier all checking in. The Magic did use Jefferson to check in for Isaac and Jefferson did start the third quarter in Isaac’s place, too. Even if Jefferson did get starts, there’s just nothing to like about his per-minute output. Birch hasn’t been anything special either, but he’d be the big I’d want to grab following the Isaac injury.
Michael Porter Jr. (14%) - Coach Mike Malone gave MPJ the start on Sunday as a “sneak peek” into the future, playing him 26 minutes with 19 points, six rebounds, one assist and one 3-pointer. However, his minutes were dialed back to just 11 on Tuesday because Torry Craig guarded James Harden while Paul Millsap returned. Gary Harris (shin) is probably going to need to miss time to keep MPJ relevant, but at least Malone is trying to find a role for him. He’s still more of a stash unless we find out Harris out for a bit, but Denver probably won’t reveal much on he or anyone else is anyway.
Isaiah Hartenstein (5%) - He had a big opportunity with Clint Capela out over the weekend, but Hartenstein even saw 18 minutes on Tuesday night against the Nuggets. Eight of those minutes did come in the fourth quarter, so it’s a little misleading and it was a matchup where the Rockets would’ve wanted to use a traditional five. He’s really just a ‘cuff to Capela because the Rockets will use plenty of P.J. Tucker at the five.
T.J. McConnell (4%) - Obviously Aaron Holiday is the guy, but don’t ignore McConnell with his 24.0 minutes per game over the last two. He’s also shown he can be productive over his last eight, averaging 9.4 points, 2.9 boards, 6.3 dimes, 0.8 steals and 0.3 treys. He’s probably more of a stream guy, but you could do worse if you need dimes.
Svi Mykhailiuk (2%) and Tim Frazier (1%) - With Luke Kennard (knee) still out for at least another week, Svi has proven he can be a specialist with 3.0 treys per game over his last four. The problem is he hasn’t added much else besides the scoring, so his nine-cat value is going to top out. Frazier could have some additional value while Bruce Brown is banged up, too.
Ky Bowman (2%) - The Warriors are likely going to get Damion Lee’s two-way deal converted, so it may be tough for Bowman to get a full deal. Although, he should have some value while D’Angelo Russell deals with his shoulder issue.
Frank Ntilikina (3%) - He had his best game in a while with nine points, three rebounds, 10 assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 23 minutes on Wednesday. Frankie Smokes had some nice value in November, so maybe if he has another one he could be an add.
Landry Shamet (11%) - The obvious part of this is that Patrick Beverley (wrist) is banged up and could miss more games, but the Clippers have a busy schedule coming up. They play tonight and get a B2B on Saturday and Sunday, so that means Kawhi Leonard should miss at least a game. His value likely won’t be too good unless we find out Pat-Bev is down for a bit.