Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Joel Embiid Headlines End of Season League Winners

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Joel Embiid Headlines End of Season League Winners article feature image
Credit:

Pictured: Dalano Banton of the Portland Trail Blazers, Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers, and Jamal Murray of the Denver Nuggets for Action Network’s Fantasy Basketball Forecast.

This is the final week of the Forecast until we recap the fantasy basketball season that was on April 8. 

First of all, if you're still in a fantasy season, tell the commissioner that this is unacceptable and that you need to rid yourselves of fantasy basketball prior to the silly season — a.k.a., avoid the end of March as best as you can. 

If you are the commissioner, be a better one. 

(I'm mostly joking, but seriously, have your season end sooner if you don't want good teams to get wrecked by injuries this late into the year.)

This will be our final Fantasy Forecast of the season before we do our season recap a week from now.

Four-Game Teams: 

Atlanta Hawks
Boston Celtics
Brooklyn Nets
Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers
Detroit Pistons
Indiana Pacers
Miami Heat
Milwaukee Bucks
New York Knicks
Orlando Magic
Philadelphia 76ers
Toronto Raptors
Washington Wizards
Dallas Mavericks
Golden State Warriors
Houston Rockets
Los Angeles Clippers
Los Angeles Lakers
Memphis Grizzlies
Minnesota Timberwolves
New Orleans Pelicans
Phoenix Suns
Portland Trail Blazers
Oklahoma City Thunder
Sacramento Kings

Notes:

That is 26 of the 30 NBA teams who play four games this week.

The Cavs, Mavs, Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, T-Wolves, Knicks, Thunder, Sixers, Kings, Raptors and Wizards don't play on Monday.

The Hawks, Pistons and Grizzlies don't play Sunday.

The Celtics, Hornets, Pacers, Pelicans, Magic, Suns and Blazers don't have back-to-backs during the week.

The Hornets are at home for all four games.

The Cavs, Thunder and Blazers are on the road for all four games.

Three-Game Teams:

Chicago Bulls
Denver Nuggets
San Antonio Spurs
Utah Jazz

Notes:

The Bulls are off from Tuesday through Thursday and are the only one of these teams who play Monday.

All these teams play Sunday except for the Nuggets.

The Nuggets are the only team with two games before Friday — everyone else plays Friday and Sunday after having just one game between Monday and Thursday.

INJURY RADAR

(* indicates a player who will be out for the fantasy playoffs, based on reporting and or team announcements) 

  • Denver Nuggets: G Jamal Murray (knee)
  • Utah Jazz: F Lauri Markkanen (shoulder)*
  • New York Knicks: F OG Anunoby (elbow)
  • Sacramento Kings: G Malik Monk (knee)*
  • Sacramento Kings: G Kevin Huerter (shoulder)*
  • Portland Trail Blazers: F Jerami Grant (hamstring)
  • Utah Jazz: G Jordan Clarkson (back)
  • Washington Wizards: G Tyus Jones (back)
  • Memphis Grizzlies: G/F Vince Williams Jr. (knee)
  • Atlanta Hawks: C Onyeka Okongwu (Toe)

Notes:

By nature of where we are in the season, everyone here has to be a drop candidate, but allow for further reporting on the statuses of the day-to-day guys: I.e. most here not named Malik Monk, Kevin Huerter or Lauri Markkanen, before acting.

The guys on tanking teams — Tyus Jones and Vince Williams Jr. could probably be dropped at this point as neither have suited up for multiple weeks. Jordan Clarkson had an awful cameo a few games ago and is otherwise in the same boat.

Because Jamal Murray has three games this week — Monday, Wednesday and Friday — he's a drop if he sits Wednesday, sooner if you're desperate and can't afford to wait.

Return Radar:

C Joel Embiid (Knee)

Philadelphia 76ers

The reigning MVP is back at practice and is nearing a return that is expected to come this week, per ESPN. Conventional wisdom would suggest a minutes restriction as part of ramping up for the playoffs, but if you've held on, you play him if and when he's active regardless. 

G Jalen Johnson (Ankle)

Atlanta Hawks

He participated in shootaround Monday ahead of the Hawks game against the Bulls and is expected to play Monday.

G/F RJ Barrett & Immanuel Quickley (Conditioning)

Toronto Raptors

Both probable to return Tuesday.

Injury Pivots:

Streamworthy players on the waiver wire

G Dalano Banton

Portland Trail Blazers

Silly Season must add right here. Depleted as the Blazers are, with key injuries all over, Banton is leading the "Somebody Gotta Get These Buckets" crew even while off the bench. In March, he averaged 18 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists and 1.5 stocks per contest. Beware of the efficiency if you're in category leagues, but he's a stat-sheet stuffer when logging consistent minutes, which he has for the better part of a month for the Portland Tank Blazers.

G Miles McBride

New York Knicks

Last week I said that McBride could be a league winner if he continues to log 48 minutes. Well, he got very close, toppling 40 or more in all four games last week, and was at 46 twice. Add him if he's available for this four-game week. 

G/F Keon Ellis

Sacramento Kings

The defensive specialist who provides occasional offense ended the week on a salvageable note and should be monitored as a stream candidate this week. The appeal here is stocks, though he only had more than one just once in four tries last week, but he's worth the stream as long as he starts. 

F Grant Williams

Charlotte Hornets

Williams is coming off the bench but is good for 14-5-3 while shooting about 50 percent from the field and 33 percent from three on five attempts per game in his last 10. 

G Reggie Jackson

Denver Nuggets

As long as Murray sits, he's gotta be on your radar, especially with games on Monday, Wednesday and Friday this week. Adding him would free up a weekend slot because you'd drop him Saturday morning — if Murray sits. Mr. October is averaging 16-6 and shooting 46 percent from three on five attempts per game in his last five since Murray's injury. He's averaging 16 points and 5.5 assists per game in starts this season, of which he's had 21.

Active Drop Candidates: 

G/F Jeremy Sochan

San Antonio Spurs

Three games this week, day-to-day with little incentive to play and is averaging about 11-8-3 with 2.6 stocks per game over his last seven — remove the outlier 26 points and 18 rebounds against the Suns last week and it's worse. He's shooting 37/18/73 in that stretch. 

G/F Caris LeVert

Cleveland Cavaliers

Very inconsistent, plus Donovan Mitchell is back, and the Cavs are generally healthy now, so LeVert takes a hit. Add him if Mitchell sits, though. Beware otherwise. 

F GG Jackson

Memphis Grizzlies

Even when he balls out, he mostly just scores. Jackson is down to 12.5 points per game over his last four with just 4.5 boards despite being a big on 33/31/77 shooting. If you play him, it's for the points, but I prefer statistical versatility, so if you added him recently, have him in a drop candidate spot in the event you could get someone more well-rounded on waivers.

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