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Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Saddiq Bey on the Rise, Lu Dort Fading, Draymond Green’s Return

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Saddiq Bey on the Rise, Lu Dort Fading, Draymond Green’s Return article feature image
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Saddiq Bey #41 of the Atlanta Hawks dunks against the Boston Celtics during the first quarter at the TD Garden. (Photo by Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)

This week's Fantasy Forecast is loaded, so let's not even bore you with an intro.

Here's why the New Orleans Pelicans are great to have this week.

Top Fantasy Friendly Team This Week: New Orleans Pelicans

This has more to do with the Pelicans non-stars — I'll clarify as we go.

The Pels rested on Sunday but remain in Utah for a second straight game against the Jazz, who gave New Orleans their only loss in what was a 3-1 week. Following Monday's match-up against the Jazz, the Pels will host the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, the San Antonio Spurs on Friday, and then are at the Chicago Bulls on Saturday — that's a shaky turnaround from a logistical standpoint, but the Bulls aren't very good, so whatever.

Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, CJ McCollum and Jonas Valanciunas are almost certainly rostered. Williamson is listed as a game-time decision on Monday, barring anything serious, expect him to play three of four games this week, and if you have him, three Zion games still have the capability of monster production.

McCollum has been out with a collapsed lung, but he returned to practice on Tuesday and is nearing a return.

Last week, I wrote about Herb Jones and Dyson Daniels being fantasy risers. Jones averaged 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks per game on 58/36/75 shooting, which is basically what we're looking for save for the absurd field goal percentage.

Daniels wasn't as good — though, his floor still isn't awful because he's a versatile stat-producer in fantasy, but his offense just wasn't there as he averaged 6.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals per game on 26/12/80 shooting. So, again, barring the points, he was fine — but whew — his couldn't shotput a basketball into a pit last week and might be droppable when McCollum returns.

With four games, it also could open up the door for streamers if you need volume and or injury replacements.

Must Plays: Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas, Herb Jones

Waiver Wire Candidates: Dyson Daniels, Jordan Hawkins

Deep League Streamers: Jose Alvarado, Naji Marshall

Soon to Return: CJ McCollum 

Top Fantasy Un-Friendly Team This Week: San Antonio Spurs

I won't spend long on this confounding group.

The Spurs aren't good this year and play two games this week. Thursday, they're at home against the Atlanta Hawks, and then they'll visit the Pelicans Friday.

Every league has someone with Victor Wembanyama, and most of them have Devin Vassell, Keldon Jonson and Zach Collins rostered. Wemby is delivering, Johnson has been solid, albeit inconsistent, Collins has been fine, and Vassell can score when healthy. With respect to Tre Jones — who I think is being misused — no one else on this team is worth a roster spot this week, save for Jeremy Sochan if you have him in a dynasty league — and in general, might be worth keeping if you already roster him. That's it.

Keepers: Victor Wembanyama, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Zach Collins 

Droppable Players: Everyone else except Jeremy Sochan, more so in dynasty/deeper leagues

INJURY PIVOTS

F Kristaps Porzingis

Boston Celtics

Porzingis sat the C's Sunday game against the Hawks with a calf injury and is said to be re-evaluated "after a week or so," according to head coach Joe Mazzulla. 

Team Pivots: Sam Hauser, Luke Kornet

Waiver Wire Pivots: Santi Aldama, De'Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey

F Jalen Johnson

Atlanta Hawks

Johnson's out for a few weeks with a wrist injury. 

Team Pivots: Saddiq Bey, De'Andre Hunter

Waiver Wire Pivots: Santi Aldama, Harrison Barnes

F Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors

Green returns from his five-game suspension on Tuesday against the Sacramento Kings. Expect Kevon Looney to return to his off the bench role, as should Chris Paul, who started all but last game without Green on the roster. Those two, along with Dario Saric and Jonathan Kuminga, are ones to watch upon Green's return but all four should maintain fantasy relevant roles in the Warrior rotation, plus, it isn't like Green will be taking a bunch of shots from them. 

RISERS

F Jaime Jaquez

Miami Heat

The Heat rookie was excellent last week, averaging 18.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.3 steals per game on 53/59/86 shooting in 31.7 minutes per. Jaquez also logged a start in a game where the Heat were without Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro (who has been out weeks with an ankle injury) and Duncan Robinson. Haywood Highsmith also left the Heat's game against the Nets with an injury on Saturday, further opening the door for Jaquez, who Erik Spoelstra seemingly can't get enough of, especially in fourth quarters. If he's available in your league, he won't be for much longer. 

F Saddiq Bey

Atlanta Hawks

Bey is getting the starts with the aforementioned Johnson out, and he was already logging 25-30 minutes with regularity. 

Bey averaged 14.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game on 54/33/70 shooting in his last six games leading up to Sunday's game against the Celtics. 

Bey can give you points, moreover, he can fill up some rebounds and steals and make three-pointers on high volume. He has a meaningful role even without Johnson, but as a starter, playing off of Trae Young should be to his benefit as a marksman. 

FALLERS

F/G Lu Dort

Oklahoma City Thunder

Good lord. If you have Lu Dort rostered, my sincere apologies. 

Dort is supposed to be a three-and-D guy, and that's basically the floor, but man, he is on the floor from a fantasy perspective. You've gotten just 6.3 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.5 stocks per game over his last eight games on 35/29/73 shooting. He's had one double-digit scoring game since November 8. 

Even in Jalen Williams' absence, Dort's been a Don't. 

To make matters worse, OKC is in Minnesota, home against the Lakers and in Dallas this week, far from an easy schedule. 

Drop him if you're still hanging on.

G/F Ben Mathurin

Indiana Pacers

Mathurin lost his starting spot last week, and while he's maintained a sixth man role, it's worth making him as a faller given the fluidity of Indy's lineup. Tuesday night, they started Tyrese Haliburton-Buddy Hield-Aaron Nesmith-Bruce Brown-Myles Turner. Toppin replaced Nesmith in the two games since, keeping Mathurin on the bench. Mathurin is averaging about 30 minutes in games he's scored 15 or more points, and closer to 21 minutes when he doesn't. And outside of points, you're not getting much. 

Mathurin's averaging 13.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 2.1 assists on 44/34/79 shooting. The Pacers have the Blazers at home on Monday then are at the Heat on Thursday and Saturday. 

This isn't a call to drop, wait and see if he fills into his sixth man role if you have him, but I wouldn't be excited to roster him at the moment. 

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Nick Sterling
Feb 23, 2024 UTC