• Welcome to the Week Ahead, where we take a look at the upcoming schedule for the week, names to snatch up on your waiver wire and who could be hampered by injury this week.

    There’s only a little time left in the fantasy regular season and this week is absolutely loaded with games. More than half the league is playing four games or more this week and every day but Thursday has at least six games on the docket.

    Games Played Breakdown

    Five Games: Kings

    Four Games: Bucks, Clippers, Grizzlies, Hawks, Hornets, Magic, Mavericks, Nets, Pacers, Pistons, Raptors, Sixers, Suns, Thunder, Wizards

    Three Games: Blazers, Bulls, Cavs, Celtics, Heat, Jazz, Knicks, Lakers, Nuggets, Pelicans, Rockets, Warriors, Wolves

    Two Games: Spurs

    With only two games on the schedule this week, the Spurs have little to offer in fantasy potential. If you have weekly lineups, LaMarcus Aldridge is the only guy worth considering to keep in your lineup. Their two games this week are both home games against the Pelicans and Lakers, two teams that Aldridge could absolutely have success against. The teams rank 25th and 29th in opponent points per game respectively. I’d ride with LMA.

    The Kings are stacked this week with five games including a pair of back-to-backs, coming Monday-Tuesday and Saturday-Sunday. They also play on the weakest night of the week, Thursday, which only has four games. It’s the perfect time to roll with a Kings youngster as they embrace the tank on a busy week. If Bogdan Bogdanovic or De’Aaron Fox still happen to be floating around your waiver wire, make your move.

    Another team joining in on the Tankapalooza that has a nice schedule this week is the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks have four games, all at home, against teams that push the ball up and down the floor – the Lakers tonight, the Warriors on Friday and the Suns on Sunday. The only team that slows it down a bit is the Pacers, who Atlanta plays on Wednesday, but the Pacers have a middle-of-the-road defense that the Hawks could have some success against. John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon shouldn’t be on your wire anymore but if they are, snatch them up.

    The Thunder have an excellent schedule this week. They have three road games coming Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – in Dallas, Phoenix and Portland. The Blazers are the only one in that group with what would pass as a solid defense. Tonight is OKC’s only home game and it comes against the Magic, who have become a favorite opponent of Russell Westbrook. In the reigning MVP’s last five games against Orlando, Russ has averaged 41.4 points, 9.0 rebounds, 10.8 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.8 3-pointers while shooting 53 percent from the floor. With how furious he was following Saturday night’s loss to the Warriors, tonight could be an awfully good night to own Angry Russ.

    Wire Watch

    Buddy Hield, SG, Kings

    In a strong week for the Kings, Buddy Hield is my favorite guy to add. His last two games have been gems that have seen him go for 40 points, 17 rebounds and hit eight triples in the two contests combined. While it’s been a strong couple of days, it’s really been a good month for Buddy. Since February 2nd, Hield is averaging 14.7 points, 4.0 boards, 1.1 steals and 2.9 treys. With this being a big volume week for the Kings, it could be a massive week for this sharpshooter.

    JaMychal Green, PF, Grizzlies

    Owners were hopeful that Green would build off of his solid season last year but between injuries and Memphis turning into a fantasy wasteland, the results have been mixed. After the last several weeks though, Green has been a strong with scoring and rebounding. In his last five games, JaMychal is putting up 11 points and nine boards and that includes an abbreviated five-point, five-rebound performance when Green only played 18 minutes thanks to an illness. Green is healthy now and should continue to pile up stats.

    David Nwaba, SG, Bulls

    Justin Holiday sat out the last two for the Bulls and while he’s expected to return to their lineup when the Bulls meet the Nets tonight, Nwaba has stolen the show in Holiday’s absence and could see more time on the floor the rest of the season as the Bulls embrace their youth movement. In the last two, Nwaba was a force, averaging 17.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 65 percent from the field. If his role is effectively increased, Nwaba is a smart add for these final fantasy weeks.

    Injury Report

    Jimmy Butler (knee) dodged a bullet by not tearing an ACL on Friday night. He will, however, be out for at least the next month after undergoing surgery on his meniscus yesterday.

    Paul Millsap (wrist) could return to the Nuggets within the next week or two. This could be massive if he returns in time for the fantasy playoffs.

    Eric Gordon (illness) missed yesterday’s game against the Nuggets and is listed as out for tonight’s game with the Jazz.

    Tyreke Evans (ribs) is day-to-day.

    Jordan Bell (ankle) is questionable for the Warriors’ game with the Knicks tonight.

Fantasy News

  • PelicansCast: Chat with Mark Romig of New Orleans and Company

    Huge episode alert!!! This week on the Pelicans’ Scoop Lyle chats with Mark Romig,  Chief Marketing Officer of New Orleans and Company (and Mercedes-Benz Superdome Announcer).  Lyle and Mark chat New Orleans tourism and the City’s Covid-19 response!

     

    SUBSCRIBE on iTunes and follow @HoopBallPels for Pelicans updates all season long!

    Follow @HoopBallPels for Pelicans updates all season long!

    Check out Manscaped.com and use code HOOPBALL20 for 20% off your order PLUS free shipping! #manscapedpod

     

  • 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