Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Marvin Bagley III Rising, Herb Jones Fading, Trae Young Injured

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Marvin Bagley III Rising, Herb Jones Fading, Trae Young Injured article feature image

Welcome to Week 14!

Some of you have five weeks left until playoffs, some of you six, and some of you have more — if you do, grow up.

Hopefully, you're like me, and are celebrating Victory Monday thanks to explosive performances from D'Angelo Russell and Malcolm Brogdon late on Sunday night. (My main teams are 11-2 and 9-4 as we head into the playoff stretch.)

Let's get ready for another huge week.

Fantasy Team of the Week: Indiana Pacers

I love the Pacers this week.

Tyrese Haliburton is back, newly acquired Pascal Siakam is being indoctrinated, and the team has four home games. 

Here's the schedule: 

  • Tuesday: Home vs. Denver Nuggets
  • Thursday: Home vs. Philadelphia 76ers
  • Friday: Home vs. Phoenix Suns
  • Sunday: Home vs. Memphis Grizzlies

The Pacers average over 127 points at home and about 123 on the road. No surprise that they're better at pushing pace and implementing their play style in Indiana, where they're 13-8 on the season. 

Now, their pending games aren't easy as far as winning and losing, but the team should value quality weeks for it's fantasy stars as well as plenty of streaming options throughout their rotation, especially with three games in the last four days of the week. 

A couple of guys have been getting dropped due to their recently play, looking at you Obi Toppin and Aaron Nesmith, but are in good bounce back spots with the homestand coming up. 

One caveat, Haliburton could sit one game from the back-to-back due to injury management, and if that's the case, keep TJ McConnell in mind. 

Unsittables: Tyrese Haliburton, Pascal Siakam, Myles Turner, Buddy Hield 

Streaming Candidates: Ben Mathurin, Aaron Nesmith, Obi Toppin, TJ McConnell (if Haliburton is out)

Deep League Streaming Candidates: Jalen Smith, Andrew Nembhard 

Fantasy Anti-Team of the Week: Toronto Raptors

They're the other side of the Siakam trade and they have a frustrating schedule this week. 

The Raptors week looks like this: 

  • Monday: Home vs. Memphis Grizzlies
  • Friday: Home vs. Los Angeles Clippers
  • Sunday: At Atlanta Hawks

Cool, so you're giving me a Monday game, then you're gone until Friday? Just annoying, but they do at least have two games in the last three nights of the week. But after Monday, it's going to be tough if you have a Raptor, or worse, a Raptor stack. 

Oh, and a Bruce Brown trade seems likely, so who knows how that could affect the rotation in the event it does go down this week.

Jakob Poeltl is also still hurt and is due a re-evaluation this week. You play him when he's back, we're just not sure it'll be this week. 

Unsittable: Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Immanuel Quickley 

You're Probably Starting Them, too: Dennis Schroder, Bruce Brown

Streamable: Gary Trent Jr., Jontay Porter

INJURY PIVOTS

PG Trae Young

Atlanta Hawks

Young is in the league's concussion protocol without a true timetable after drawing a charge in the fourth quarter of Atlanta's game against the Cavaliers on Saturday, and he's 100 percent out for at least Monday's game in Sacramento. Given that he's not traveling on the road trip as of now, it won't be a shock to see him miss Wednesday at Golden State as well. 

Team Pivots: Don't even bother 

Waiver Wire Pivots: Jaden Ivey, Alex Caruso, Jeremy Sochan, Luke Kennard, Alec Burks

C Ivica Zubac

Los Angeles Clippers

Zubac will be out for at least a month due to a calf strain, potentially longer given that he's timetable points to a re-evaluation, not a direct return. 

Team Pivots: Mason Plumlee, Daniel Theis

Waiver Wire Pivots: Dereck Lively, Marvin Bagley, Larry Nance Jr., Al Horford

SG Zach LaVine

Chicago Bulls

LaVine is hurt again, what a surprise. The injury-plagued "star" guard is out for at least a week due to an ankle sprain. Hopefully you have Coby White. 

Team Pivots: Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu 

Waiver Wire Pivots: Donte DiVincenzo, Luke Kennard, Vince Williams Jr., Alec Burks

RISERS

C Mason Plumlee

Los Angeles Clippers

With Zubac out, Mason Plumlee is going to get more run moving forward, as is Theis. Plumlee is starting, though, and has better potential regardless as a steady contributor who could be a regular double-double threat with some stocks. 

The last time he was a regular starter was last season in Charlotte in a different situation, but in 56 starts, he logged 28.5 minutes per game, averaging aout 12-10-4 PRA with 1.2 stocks. 

Plumlee was limited to 15 minutes in their win over the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday, but still managed to get seven points and eight rebounds. In his start against the Oklahoma City Thunder beforehand, he logged 28 points, getting 14 points, five rebounds, three blocks, and two assists, while also shooting 5-for-5 from the field, 4-of-7 on free throws, though. 

These are the types of lines to expect. For those of you in category leagues, be weary of the free throws, but otherwise, he poises to be a solid add for the next few weeks. 

PF/C Marvin Bagley III

Washington Wizards

I don't know what the hell is going on with Marvin Bagley, and I'm not sure how long I expect this to continue, but he's been on a tear and is worth adding for the immediate future. 

Bagley was traded from the Pistons to the Wizards and has been going crazy. In his first game with Detroit, he started and logged 20 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals in 39 minutes in New York. In game two, he got to 21 points and 12 rebounds in over 35 minutes against the Spurs. 

On Sunday, he came off the bench and got to 14 points and seven boards in just 18 minutes. Your hope is he'll consistently see at least 20-25 minutes or so while maintaining a steady stream of production. I'm skeptical he's "league-winner" material, but he's worth an add for right now. 

FALLERS

SF/PF Herb Jones

New Orleans Pelicans

I've held on for as long as I could, and maybe Jones will turn it around, but he's been a fantasy bust for several weeks after a great start to the season. 

Jones averaged 11.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.2 blocks per game through 23 contests to start the year. Since December 17 — the last month or so — he's only at 9.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists and just 1.1 stocks per game. 

So 2.9 stocks per game to 1.1. stocks is what's killing you — he's just over one third of where he was on defensive fantasy stats while dipping everywhere else. And moreover, there aren't any signs of a turnaround other than him just playing better. Fantasy wise, he's tough to roster without the stocks, which is the soul of his appeal to begin with. 

PG Dennis Schroder

Toronto Raptors

Since RJ Barrett and Immanuel Quickley's debut with the Raptors, Schroder is averaging 12.2 points and 4.5 assists while shooting 52/35/81 from the field in 11 games. But before the deal was at 14.6 points, 7.0 assists and shot 44/36/87. 

He's down to 28 minutes per game from over 32 minutes per contest. And the Raptors, in general, may not be done making moves. The team still has Schroder on the roster, as well as Bruce Brown, Gary Trent Jr. and Chris Boucher. There's just a lot up in the air in Toronto and outside of a few guys, it'll be an unsteady two and a half weeks until the deadline dust settles. 

It's a tough stretch for Schroder, but I might hold if I'm looking playoff-bound in the event he winds up in a quality situation, be it in Toronto after another move or two or elsewhere.

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Nick Sterling
Apr 20, 2024 UTC