• Welcome to This Week Tonight! It’s this year’s silly season as rookies with unknown ability are getting free reign to jack shots and produce in our fantasy league and generally make a mess of our best laid plans. That also means there’s opportunity to seize upon the best of them and really improve your team during a playoff run. Unfortunately it also means we have guys like Eric Bledsoe getting shut down for the season with “knee soreness” which sounds about like me calling out to work for the the spins from a nasty St. Patrick’s day and calling it “intense vertigo. ”

    That’s the way things go in fantasy though and owners have to adjust. Luckily we here at Hoop-Ball are there for you and have some solutions to help mitigate those losses and give you and edge in the details so you can make the right decisions. Let’s dive into this week’s games and find some value.

    Editor’s Note: Hoop Ball Premium Subscribers get access to even more info, articles, live chats, tools and more. Subscribers to our Hoop Ball Fantasy Pro Service get in-depth analysis on a one-on-one basis from our pros. Check it out!

    Games Played: 

    5 Games: LAC

    4 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, IND, MIL, NYK, PHI, PHX, POR, WAS

    3 Games: CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOR, OKC, ORL, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA

    First things first it’s obviously going to be a massive week for Clippers players who play a whopping five game in the middle of most our playoff runs. You’ll need to look out for DNPs to their major players which could lead to large roles for Austin Rivers, Jamal Crawford, or even Raymond Felton this week. I like Crawford or Rivers as low end adds this week regardless as they’ll likely end up with decent run either way and will end up with decent cumulative value just on virtue of the schedule.

    The Wizards have one of the easiest schedules this week as they get the Celtics, Hawks, Nets, and Cavs. All of these teams are positive fantasy matchups on the season and teams like the Cavs are particularly unmotivated at the moment as their big names are getting rest nearly every week.

    The Grizzlies get a particularly bad week as they draw the Pelicans, Spurs, and Warriors. I’d advise against streaming any of their players and I’d leave guys like JaMychal Green firmly on your bench if you’re thinking about playing them. The only two must starts are Mike Conley and Marc Gasol of course.

    Back-to-back Watch: 

    The Clippers play back-to-back on Monday/Tuesday and Saturday/Sunday and though they’re not prone to resting players they should be monitored carefully as they could end up sitting guys during such a strenuous week late in the season.

    The Warriors play back-to-back on Monday/Tuesday as well.

    The Bucks, Bulls, and Pistons all play on Tuesday/Wednesday, Khris Middleton will likely be rested on that set.

    The Knicks go back-to-back on Wednesday/Thursday which could lead to a DNP for Porzingis or Carmelo.

    The Suns and Nets play on Thursday/Friday. Brook Lopez is always a risk at this time of the season. The Suns are in such tank mode that it’ll be nothing but young guys playing anyways.

    The Timberwolves play Friday and Saturday but I doubt Tom Thibodeau gives anyone a night off.

    The Blazers play Saturday and Sunday but will be unlikely to be resting players as they’re fighting for their playoff lives.

    Top Adds of the Week: 

    J.J. Redick, Austin Rivers, and Jamal Crawford – I included Redick on this list just in case he’s floating on your wire, but he should be owned as he’s a different caliber fantasy player with Chris Paul on the floor. The other two will be line for some better minutes and regardless will have a cumulative effect throughout the week.

    Tyler Ulis – If you haven’t heard the Suns have shutdown Eric Bledsoe with “knee soreness” also known as “draft pick protection syndrome.” Ulis has an incredibly fantasy friendly game put up 17 points with 11 assists on Sunday.

    Joe Ingles Derrick Favors is still dealing with knee issues and Rodney Hood is as well which has paved the way for Ingles to play full starters minutes. He’s not going to score a bunch of points but he can rack up 3-pointers, assists, and steals in a hurry which makes him a must add for owners trying to hit those categories hard.

    Taurean Prince – He’s my favorite add this week as Kent Bazemore was diagnosed with a bone bruise, which has been a particularly tricky injury for players to overcome this year. Prince played 31 minutes on Saturday night and his defensive prowess combined with a trickle of threes and rebounds makes him a wild card down the stretch.

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    Tough Play of the Week: 

    Nikola MiroticFred Hoiberg has rotations that’ll drive any fantasy player mad, and it particularly effects Mirotic who seems to excel in large minute roles with usage and flounder in middling minutes as little more than a 3-point threat. He’s the ultimate boom-or-bust option but he’s the type of gamble that can win owners willing to take the risk a fantasy playoff game or even a championship.

    Injury Watch:

    Kent Bazemore will be re-evaluated in seven days for his bone bruise, I would anticipate him missing another week given the fickle nature of those injuries.

    Paul Millsap (knee) is not going to play in his next two games and it’s not known when the Hawks are looking at bringing him back. They’ll almost surely be cautious with the 32 year old so close to playoff time.

    Jeremy Lin left Sunday’s game against the Mavericks with an ankle injury. He wanted to reenter the game but was held out so owners need to check back for updates.

    Sean Kilpatrick (hamstring) was out Sunday and will likely miss a little more time. Caris LeVert will continue to be busy.

    Isaiah Thomas (bone bruise) is hopeful to play Monday against the Wizards.

    Dwyane Wade (elbow) suffered a fracture and is out for the rest of the season. Denzel Valentine is the biggest winner here.

    Deron Williams injured his hand in Sunday’s game but was cleared to return.

    Kyle Korver (foot) still remains out and has said there’s “still something” with his foot which leaves J.R. Smith open to produce if he can shake off the rust.

    Danilo Gallinari (knee) is questionable against the Rockets for Monday’s contest.

    Wilson Chandler (groin) is also questionable for Monday’s game against the Rockets.

    Chandler Parsons is likely out for the season as he undergoes a procedure to repair a partial tear of his medial meniscus.

    Dion Waiters (ankle) is on crutches and is out indefinitely. Josh Richardson is picking up major time but has struggled to find consistency among his various injuries as well.

    Nemanja Bjelica (ankle) may be out for the season and the Wolves have signed Omri Casspi to compensate.

    Kristaps Porzingis (thigh) is hopeful to play Monday against the Clippers.

    Nikola Vucevic had his Achilles flare up again in Sunday’s practice and will be a big question mark down the stretch of the season.

    Jahlil Okafor (knee) is traveling with the team and will be reevaluated in Orlando for the Sixers game against the Magic.

    Eric Bledsoe (“knee soreness”) is out for the season.

    Rodney Hood (knee) was out Saturday is out for the immediate future.

    Derrick Favors (knee) is targeting late March but at this point owners should just move on.

    Editor’s Note: We have a brand new APP for all of our FREE Hoop Ball podcasts. You can download it for your Apple devices here and for your Android devices here. ALSO, you can subscribe to our flagship show Fantasy NBA Today on iTunes right here and on Stitcher right here.

    Markieff Morris (illness) missed two games last week but should be good to go for this week.

Fantasy News

  • Dwight Howard
    C, Los Angeles Lakers

    Dave McMenamin of ESPN reported that Dwight Howard remains in his Atlanta-area home and the Lakers hope he will eventually join them in Orlando.

    The Lakers do not plan to replace Howard on the roster. They are being patient with Howard, but if he decides to not play in Orlando the Lakers will likely look to sign another center.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter

  • Luc Mbah a Moute
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Shams Charania reported that the Houston Rockets plan to sign Luc Mbah a Moute for the Orlando restart.

    Thabo Sefolosha announced on Wednesday that he will not participate in the Orlando restart, leaving the Rockets with a need for an additional three-and-D wing. Mbah a Moute played 61 games for the Rockets in 2017-18 and averaged 25.6 minutes per game, so he is familiar with their system. Mbah a Moute will be a low-usage player that the Rockets can plug in at the end of their rotation and will provide them more depth, which could be imperative for teams given the COVID-19 concerns surrounding this Orlando restart.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Dwight Powell
    PF, Dallas Mavericks

    Dwight Powell has advanced in his rehab from a torn Achilles as he has been able to do some light shooting, agility work, and has been able to do some jogging on the treadmill.

    Powell suffered a torn Achilles in January and has no chance of participating in Orlando's restart. However, it is always good news to hear a player reach a milestone in terms of their rehab. Powell may not play an NBA game until the 2021-22 season as he continues to recover from one of the toughest injuries in basketball. This is a situation that will continue to evolve over the next year or so.

    Source: Callie Caplan on Twitter

  • Jaren Jackson Jr.
    PF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Head coach Taylor Jenkins told the media that they are "looking good, feeling good" in regards to the health of Jaren Jackson Jr. (left knee), Brandon Clarke (right quad) and Justise Winslow (back soreness).

    Jackson and Clarke missed nine and eight games respectively prior to the shutdown while Winslow has yet to play a game for the Grizzlies due to an ongoing back injury. This appears to be great news for the young team as they will be at full strength when the league does resume. Clarke and Jackson definitely have fantasy appeal as they both finished inside the top-80 on the season. Winslow has potential but he is the riskiest of the three based on a brand new situation and the back injury that has caused him to miss 53 games so far this season. It is probably best to avoid Winslow for the league resumption and re-evaluate his fantasy value prior to the 2020-21 campaign.

    Source: Michael Wallace on Twitter

  • Thomas Bryant
    C, Washington Wizards

    Wizards center Thomas Bryant told the media that he is "100 percent healed" from a stress fracture in his foot and is doing everything on the basketball court ahead of the NBA resumption in Orlando.

    Bryant struggled to stay healthy prior to the league suspension as he played in 38 out of 64 games while the team also had him on a strict minutes limit for several of the contests that he was able to play. He is an intriguing fantasy option for the NBA restart but his recent injury history should be considered at draft time.

    Source: Fred Katz on Twitter

  • Caleb Swanigan
    PF, Portland Trail Blazers

    Blazers forward, Caleb Swanigan, has opted out of the resumption of the NBA season in Orlando.

    Swanigan averaged 13.3 mpg for the Blazers across 20 contests and is off the radar from a fantasy perspective. He will join Trevor Ariza who will also be sitting out the NBA restart. There was very little likelihood that Swanigan would have been part of the rotation in Orlando with Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins returning from injury.

    Source: NBC Sports Northwest

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Thabo Sefolosha will not participate in Orlando when the league resumes.

    Sefolosha was a deep rotation piece for the Rockets as he only eclipsed the 20 minute mark once this season. There isn't much of a fantasy impact here as Sefolosha played in just two of the team's final nine games.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jusuf Nurkic
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    In regards to the health of Jusuf Nurkić and Zach Collins, head coach Terry Stotts said that "they both look great" and will be available for the restart of the NBA season in Orlando.

    Nurkić was close to returning when the league was suspended while Collins was further away from playing basketball in March. However, the additional three months allowed Collins to recover as he has no limitations heading into the restart in Orlando. It is likely that they will find themselves in the starting unit while Nurkić is the more proven player in terms of fantasy production.

    Source: Sean Highkin on Twitter

  • Marvin Bagley III
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    The Kings training staff believes that Marvin Bagley (left foot sprain) will be available for game action shortly.

    Bagley hasn't appeared in a game since January. While Bagley would likely have a bench role, his return may cut into the playing time of teammates like Harrison Barnes and Harry Giles.

    Source: Jason Jones on Twitter

  • Nikola Jokic
    C, Denver Nuggets

    Nuggets coach Mike Malone said that Nikola Jokic "feels great" after suffering from the coronavirus and is expected to join the team in Orlando.

    It was reported in late June that Jokic tested positive for COVID-19. However, he was said to be feeling fine and could potentially play in games when they resume. The center has averaged 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 1.2 steals in 2019-20. Jerami Grant and Mason Plumlee would see more playing time if Jokic is held out of action.

    Source: Mark Medina on Twitter