Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Julius Randle’s Injury, Evan Mobley’s Return, Ayo Dosunmu Rising

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Julius Randle’s Injury, Evan Mobley’s Return, Ayo Dosunmu Rising article feature image

Welcome to Week 15!

Every week going forward is the most important of the season. Many of you have 4-6 weeks until playoffs, meaning, a lot of hard decisions will be made on a regular basis. Who to hang onto, trade offers, streamers, etc.

In future forecasts, we'll touch on these, but look out for standalone pieces around the trade deadline and other important fantasy basketball items before the playoffs.

Onto the forcast.

Fantasy Team of the Week: Denver Nuggets

All but eight teams play four times this week, but the Nuggets are one of few with zero back-to-backs, including a day off between last Saturday and this Monday after Joel Embiid (among others) sat out yet another game in Denver. 

Here's the schedule: 

  • Monday: Home vs. Milwaukee Bucks
  • Wednesday: At Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Friday: Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers
  • Sunday: Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers

Monday is expected to be Doc Rivers coaching debut with the Bucks, so who knows that'll go, but given over three months of sample size, we have no reason to think this will be Knicks-Pacers in 1998. 

At OKC? They lost to the Detroit Pistons without Cade Cunningham on Sunday and welcomed the Minnesota Timberwolves to Oklahoma City tonight. 

And Portland sucks. 

The Nuggets provide top end talent, streaming potential and depth. They're not the machine they should be yet on every night yet, but we know who they are.

Unsittables: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray

You're Not Sitting Them Either, They're Just Not Elite: Aaron Gordon, Michael Porter Jr. 

Streaming Candidates: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Reggie Jackson

Deep League Streamers: Peyton Watson, Christian Braun 

Fantasy Anti-Team of the Week: Detroit Pistons

The Pistons are on our sh*t list this week.

This is the only team in the NBA who doesn't play until Wednesday, and they'll only have two games this week until Sunday. 

The schedule: 

  • Wednesday: At Cleveland Cavaliers
  • Friday: Home vs. Los Angeles Clippers
  • Sunday: Home vs. Orlando Magic

Pesky defenses on the other side, three possible blowout losses, and again, we don't even see you Monday or Tuesday. In fairness, it's manageable afterward, but it's not an exciting time to field a Piston; then again, it might be as good a time as any, given how their season has gone.

Cade Cunningham was a late scratch on Sunday — where they actually beat the Thunder — but that's left knee injury management. He should be playing most games so long as he's healthy. 

Unsittable: Cade Cunningham, Jalen Duren 

Likely Starters: Bojan Bogdanovic, Jaden Ivey

Streamable: Isaiah Stewart, Ausar Thompson

INJURY PIVOT

PF Julius Randle

New York Knicks

The big injury this week is Julius Randle. New York will be without Randle for a few weeks after he suffered a dislocated shoulder in the Miami Heat's game against the Knicks on Saturday. Thankfully, the injury won't sideline him for months after the initial MRI showed no significant damage so he avoids anything serious to recover from.

Team Pivots: Josh Hart, Precious Achiuwa 

Waiver Wire Pivots: Andrew Wiggins, Harrison Barnes, Jarred Vanderbilt

INJURY RETURNS

PF/C Evan Mobley

Cleveland Cavaliers

Cleveland.com says that Mobley is expected to return Monday from a knee injury, where he'd suit up against the Clippers. 

Stock Down Watch: Jarrett Allen, Georges Niang, Dean Wade

PG, SG, PF Ben Simmons

Brooklyn Nets

Ben Simmons is finally expected to return from his seemingly neverending back injury Monday against the Utah Jazz, where he is probable to play. 

Stock Down Watch: Spencer Dinwiddie, Dennis Smith Jr. 

RISERS

SG Ayo Dosunmu

Chicago Bulls

In his last seven games leading up to last night, Ayo Dosunmu averaged 15.3 points, 2.8 assists and 1.7 stocks per game on about 60/50/94 shooting. The efficiency isn't sustainable, sure, but Dosunmu — who started Sunday and finished with 11 points, five rebounds and three assists on 5-of-12 shooting — is someone worth streaming with Zach LaVine expected to miss at least another week, according to head coach Billy Donovan. 

SF/PF Andrew Wiggins

Golden State Warriors

I hesitate to say Andrew Wiggins is back, but I don't hesitate to say he's worth a stream to find out. Including a seven-point, 3-for-13 dud against the Milwaukee Bucks, Wiggins has averaged 15.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.0 assists with 1.5 stocks per game. In that stretch, he's shooting 51/36/73 splits. Again, you question the sustainability, but Wiggins is showing signs of life. 

FALLERS

SF/PF Trey Murphy

New Orleans Pelicans

It's been annoying if you've had Trey Murphy and or Herb Jones, who was on our fallers last week. 

Murphy is at 9.9 points per game over his last 10 appearances with nothing else much to speak of outside of 3.3 rebounds per contest. He's been shooting 36/29/65 during that stretch, and is starting to get dropped in some leagues. Earlier in the year, I'd hold, but right now? If you're in constant must-win situations, dropping is understandable, especially with other forwards who are seemingly putting it together. I expect a Murphy resurgence, but it's difficult to project with the Pelicans.

G Jalen Suggs

Orlando Magic

Suggs looked like a fantasy steal earlier in the year, and I've even dropped him in recent weeks. Shortly after that, he had a very short-term burst, but he's looking pretty droppable again. Suggs is down to just over eight points per game over his last nine starts and shooting about 39/30/80. As a point guard, you've been getting about two assists per game and a large portion of the appeal with Suggs is stocks. He got three on Sunday but was just at 1.0 stocks per game in the eight games prior. 

If you could hold, maybe the defensive upside could be worth it, but Orlando isn't as good as they once were, and Suggs' production has taken a hit. I think he's tough to roster beyond a stream right now. 

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Nick Sterling
Apr 17, 2024 UTC