Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Scott Henderson Rising, Jordan Poole & Cam Thomas Falling

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Scott Henderson Rising, Jordan Poole & Cam Thomas Falling article feature image
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JANUARY 07: Scoot Henderson #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers brings the ball up the court during the third quarter of the game against the Brooklyn Nets at Barclays Center on January 07, 2024 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)

This is going to be a wonky week of fantasy basketball, I'm lettin' you know right now.

And that's the whole preamble — let's get to my Fantasy Basketball Forecast for this week.

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Fantasy Team of the Week: Miami Heat

The word "friendly" has been dropped from the title of this section for a reason: because this is something worth navigating in what is expected to be a tough fantasy week. 

There is one NBA team with four home games this week, and that's the Miami Heat. 

But admittedly, that schedule isn't all that desirable. 

Here's the schedule: 

  • Monday: Home vs. Houston Rockets
  • Wednesday: Home vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Friday: Home vs. Orlando Magic
  • Sunday: Home vs. Charlotte Hornets

But the real reason to target their players, when healthy, is how streamable almost anyone on their roster could be in wake of injuries. 

The Heat are banged up again, so it's difficult to call them fantasy friendly at all, especially as the team is looking for a rhythm with Tyler Herro and Bam Adebayo back, plus Jimmy Butler out. But they did go 2-3 on a road trip and are back home for four straight. 

The Heat, who are 9-6 at home, have played 15 home games to 20 road games, adding to the instability. 

Okay, injuries.

Butler has been dealing with a foot sprain and is out for at least Monday's game. Caleb Martin (ankle) has been out since Christmas and begins the week as doubtful. But Haywood Highsmith has been dealing with a concussion since December 30 and is not on the injury report.

Still, Miami remains a highly streamable team once you know who is actually healthy and what you're looking for since anyone on the roster could get an opportunity on any given night.

But be very careful with this team and pay attention to the injury reports and who starts.

Unsittables: Bam Adebayo, Tyler Herro 

Buy the Slight Dip: Jaime Jaquez Jr., Duncan Robinson

Streaming Candidates: Kevin Love, Kyle Lowry, Josh Richardson

Deep League Streamers: Nikola Jovic (if starting), Caleb Martin (if healthy), Haywood Highsmith (if starting, for defensive stats)

Play If Healthy: Jimmy Butler 

Anti-Fantasy Team of the Week: Phoenix Suns

The Heat aren't totally ideal but are at least giving you volume at home this week unlike others. The Suns? They're on the road for three games this week, which are spread out from Monday to Thursday to Sunday. 

That's annoying.

So if you have a Sun rostered, you go into Sunday having played them twice, and given the amount of teams playing four games this week — many with back-to-backs included — it's not ideal. 

Here's the schedule: 

  • Monday: At Los Angeles Clippers 
  • Thursday: At Los Angeles Lakers 
  • Sunday: At Portland Trail Blazers

Just gross, and on top of that, the team isn't deep, so you're mostly ignoring them outside of any last ditch efforts on Sunday, save for the mainstays. 

Unsittable When Healthy: Kevin Durant, Devin Booker, Bradley Beal, Jusufc Nurkic 

Streammable Options: Grayson Allen, Eric Gordon 

INJURY PIVOTS 

G Chris Paul

Golden State Warriors

Paul has a fractured hand and will be out indefinitely, though it'll probably be several weeks. 

Team Pivots: Brandin Podziemski (this is the guy!)

Waiver Wire Pivots: Scoot Henderson, Tre Jones, Jalen Suggs, Kyle Lowry, Alec Burks

F/G Franz Wagner

Orlando Magic

Wagner sprained his ankle in Wednesday's game against the Sacramento Kings, and while it isn't expected to be an absurdly long-term injury, the Magic are being vague enough to suggest it could take some time. He occupies everything but point guard and center in fantasy, meaning you could be flexible in his absence. 

"Wagner’s return to play will depend on how he responds to rehabilitation and treatment," the team said in a statement, so take that for what it's worth. 

Team Pivots: Jalen Suggs, Chuma Okeke (he's starting but look elsewhere if you could) 

Waiver Wire Pivots: Caris LeVert, Herb Jones, Grayson Allen, Larry Nance Jr., Donte DiVincenzo

RISERS

G Scoot Henderson

Portland Trail Blazers

It feels like we're on the verge of getting the Scott Henderson we've been waiting for. 

As Henderson becomes more and more owned in leagues, but is still widely available in over a third of them as of this writing, we're trending in the right direction now that he's back in the starting lineup. 

Henderson has started the Blazers last six games, averaging 16.3 points, 7.0 assists and 4.0 rebounds, not including a 17-point, 11-assist showing that he put forth in his most recent effort off the bench. 

He's a guy you'll need to add as he becomes unleashed on a Blazers team that could clear more space for Henderson's usage to increase between now and the trade deadline, in points leagues especially because the efficiency won't be a constant in category leagues. 

C Larry Nance Jr.

New Orleans Pelicans

Larry Nance Jr. returned from injury on December 28 and immediately played 25 minutes off the bench. Since then, he consistently logged 18 or more minutes in five apperances until Sunday's 133-100 New Orleans Pelicans win over the Sacramento Kings. 

Nance Jr. has put up 7.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals per game since his return and is playing effective small ball center. He's also cutting into starting center Jonas Valanciunas' minutes, who was averaging 28 minutes per game pre Nance and just 22 since. 

FALLERS

G Jordan Poole

Washington Wizards

I'll leave this dude alone, I swear, but man…

Poole had 30 against Orlando on the day after Christmas, one of just three 30-point games this season from someone who people thought would average that this season. He's played six games since and has scored the following: 14, 5, 13, 8, 2 and 10.

I won't even give you the recent shooting splits becuase the full season ones will do: 41/31/87 — the free throws are reliable when he gets there, but he gets there three times a game, down from five per last season. 

He's probably droppable at this point, and even if he explodes, he gives you little other than points.

G/F Cam Thomas

Brooklyn Nets

Ah yes, another bucket-getter. 

This is another one of them dudes who get the "your favorite hooper's favorite hooper" bullsh*t. Like Poole, Not-Killa Cam's fantasy appeal is just microwave-related. You hope he could explode for 30, and if not, then you're left standing there pissed off that he didn't. 

Thomas is a scoring talent who is still over 20 points per game this season, but he's down to 10.7 points per game over his last seven with four single-digit scoring performances over that span. 

For the season, he's down to 43/36/81 shooting splits and averages just 2.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per contest. 

He's droppable if his minutes remain in the low 20s, which is what he's averaged since being moved to the bench. Even in an overtime game on Sunday, he played just 18. 

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