Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Trustworthy Lakers, Desmond Bane’s Injury, Draymond Green’s Return

Fantasy Basketball Forecast: Trustworthy Lakers, Desmond Bane’s Injury, Draymond Green’s Return article feature image
Credit:

Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors runs off the court after being ejected for a flagrant foul during the second half of the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Happy Week 13! 

Quietly, the playoffs are already looming, which we'll have a primer for in the coming couple of weeks or so. For many of you, the playoffs will begin in two-ish months, around Week 19 or 20, and it's about time to have that on your radar, especially if you're at or near the top of your league standings. 

Let's get into this week. 

Fantasy Friendly Team of the Week: Los Angeles Lakers

Oh, man… I know… I know.

The reason I dropped "Fantasy Friendly" and just made it Team of the Week is to have discussions like these.

So here's the palatable Laker schedule this week.

Here's the schedule: 

  • Monday: Home vs. Oklahoma City Thunder 
  • Wednesday: Home vs. Dallas Mavericks
  • Friday: Home vs. Brooklyn Nets
  • Sunday: Home vs. Portland Trail Blazers

This has to be a get right week for the Lakers. They're down to 19-21, and just went 2-3 in a five-game homestand from January 3 to January 11. 

A lot will be asked of their role players, and sure, you'll have to deal with constant questionable tags, but that's literally the entire NBA right now. And these Team of the Week things are largely based on streaming potential vs. the stars, because duh, you're going to play your stars if they're healthy. 

I think desperate Lakers will be worth streaming in spots, especially with three soft, bottom half-of-the-league defenses following the Thunder and, of course, zero back-to-backs. 

Injuries of note: Davis and James are game-time decisions and probably will be all season long. Davis hasn't missed a game since December 15, and James missed last game on January 13 against the Jazz, but hasn't missed two straight all season.

Cam Reddish could be out "a few games" with left knee soreness, according to ESPN.

Unsittables: Anthony Davis, LeBron James

Boom or Bust, You're Starting Them: D'Angelo Russell, Austin Reaves 

Streaming Candidates: Rui Hachimura, Taurean Prince, Christian Wood

Deep League Streaming Candidates: Max Christie (Cam Reddish out)

Fantasy Un-Friendly Team of the Week: Los Angeles Clippers

This team plays two games this week, and the second one is on Sunday. 

God, that's brutal. But hey, at least they're at home! 

Here's the schedule: 

  • Tuesday: Home vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
  • Sunday: Home vs. Brooklyn Nets 

This sucks, it may come in handy for Sunday streamers, but as the Clippers have gotten better, projecting who steps up out of the usual suspects hasn't been easy either. 

Aside from the stars and mainstays, no need to add a Clipper outside of Tuesday or Sunday. 

Unsittable When Healthy: Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, James Harden, Ivica Zubac 

Boom or Bust, You're Starting Them: Russell Westbrook 

Streamable: Norman Powell 

INJURY PIVOTS

SG/SF Desmond Bane

Memphis Grizzlies

Bane will be out for six weeks with a left ankle sprain for an already depleted Grizzlies roster. 

Team Pivots: Luke Kennard, Vince Williams Jr. (for more on VWJ, check out my story on the post Ja Morant Grizzlies).

Waiver Wire Pivots: Donte DiVincenzo, Tim Hardaway Jr., Duncan Robinson

PG Luka Doncic

Dallas Mavericks

Doncic is doubtful to play Monday, and an absence will mark a third straight miss due to a right ankle sprain. Dallas also plays Wednesday and Friday this week. 

Team Pivots: Tim Hardaway Jr., Josh Green,

Waiver Wire Pivots: Luke Kennard, Brandin Podziemski, TJ McConnell, Jeremy Sochan

SF Jaime Jaquez Jr. 

Miami Heat

Jaquez strained his groin and left early Sunday during the Heat's win over the Hornets. Erik Spoelstra says he'll be day-to-day and will definitely miss Monday's game against the Brooklyn Nets at the very least. This is another four-game week for the Heat, so monitor this closely. 

Team Pivots: Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin, Haywood Highsmith, Nikola Jovic

Waiver Wire Pivots: Donte DiVincenzo, Tim Hardaway Jr., Lu Dort

RISERS

SG Vince Williams Jr., PG Luke Kennard 

Memphis Grizzlies

I wrote about this following Morant's season-ending injury, as mentioned earlier, but it was more focused on Williams Jr., who is lesser known than Kennard.

But with Bane out for six weeks, that puts Kennard in prime position to be an offensive focal point for the Grizzlies, who are down damn near everyone except Jaren Jackson Jr., and even he's questionable for Monday. 

Kennard is already a three-point shooting specialist, but now, the usage will uptick. He's averaging 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game while shooting 56/55/100 in four starts. Expect less efficiency but more counting stats. 

And for Williams Jr., he had 18-7-7 in his last outing and is up to 11-6-4 in January while also getting nine stocks in five games. 

PF/C Draymond Green

Golden State Warriors

Green returns from his indefinite suspension Monday against the Grizzlies. He hasn't played since December 12 when he struck Jusuf Nurkic with Punch 4 from Smackdown vs. Raw 2009, and look at who we're talking about, he's not typically putting up huge numbers. Still, we know at Green's best, he'll stuff the stat sheet in a balanced way. Before his second suspension, and after his first one, he averaged 12.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.2 blocks per game on 51/45/75.

That's the high end of what to expect. For the season, he's at 15 games played, logging 9.7 points, 5.8 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.1 stocks per game. That's more of what you should be looking for. His future is unknown, but he may be worth an add if he was dropped in your league.

FALLERS

SG/SF Max Strus

Cleveland Cavaliers

Strus is a game-time decision with a sore knee for Monday's Cavs game, but even so, he's been sliding back to reality off the statistical high he lived on early in the year. 

The former Miami Heat standout, excluding a January 11 appearance where he left after seven minutes due to a knee injury, is averaging 11.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.3 stocks per game over his last six, only shooting 40/34/0 splits (no free throw attempts in over 200 minutes). 

That stretch is largely uplifted by a 24-point outburst against the Wizards. 

Strus is still averaging about 13-5-4 for the season but is down to 40 percent shooting from the floor and 34 percent from deep. And he just gets 1.4 free throws per 36 minutes. 

He looks like a three-point specialist but he's not. He's a good basketball player who has had more of an all-around game this year, but I was taken aback by his start and would be worried about this production drop off, which will take another hit when Darius Garland sometime later this month. 

PG/SG Malcolm Brogdon

Portland Trail Blazers

As the team turns more to Scoot Henderson, and Brogdon should be heading toward his final days as a Blazer (assuming he's traded this season), his status is murky over the next few weeks. 

Brogdon is down to eight points per game over his last six with just 2.5 assists and shooting 36/36/77. 

He had a good four-game stretch to end 2023, which included two home games against the Spurs, for whom he scored a combined 56 points on 19-of-37 shooting, including 11-of-15 from three. But save for that, Brogdon's largely been giving you underwhelming performances for over a month. 

Oh, and now he's hurt again with a groin injury, and while it doesn't sound serious, his team sucks, so you never know. 

How would you rate this article?

This site contains commercial content. We may be compensated for the links provided on this page. The content on this page is for informational purposes only. Action Network makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the information given or the outcome of any game or event.

Sportsbook Promos
See All
Legal Online Sports Betting

FanDuel & DraftKings Promos: Secure up to $300 in Bonus Bets on Monday Action, All Events This Week

Doug Ziefel
May 20, 2024 UTC