• 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

  • Kevin Knox
    SF, New York Knicks

    Coach Fizdale told the Knicks players that no starters have been determined and players had to earn their minutes.

    Kevin Knox will battle with veteran Marcus Morris for the starting small forward spot. Knox has been working on getting his body stronger to be able to take on more contact on drives to the basket. Last season as a rookie, he averaged 12.8 points on a putrid 37 percent from the field. Knox will look to get more looks closer to the basket and increase his field goal percentage to more respectable levels. Knox provided little else outside of points and rebounds last season and will need to improve his shooting and defense to be considered a standard-league player.

    Source: New York Post

  • Bol Bol
    C, Denver Nuggets

    According to Nick Kosmider of The Athletic, Bol Bol could spend his entire rookie season in the G-League.

    Bol Bol was not drafted to be an immediate impact player, but just fell too late fore the Nuggets liking. The 44th overall pick needs to bulk up and show that he could take the bumps and bruises before having his chance on the big stage.

    Source: Nick Kosmider of The Athletic

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    After speaking with Doc Rivers and Lawrence Frank, Dan Woike's takeaway is that Kawhi Leonard's "load management" will not be as strict as it was last year.

    It was reported in July that Kawhi said he wants to play all next season fully and approach load management on a game-to-game basis so this is further confirmation that he will most likely play more than the 60 games he played last year but surely won't play all 82 either. Kurt Helin of NBC Sports speculates that this could be for several reasons. One could be that Leonard can take on more now that he is a little healthier while he believes the Clippers might also limit his per-game minutes to help him play more games. The other idea is that because the Western Conference is so deep, the Clippers will not be able to get a good seed if Leonard sits too many games. Fantasy wise, Leonard finished last season seventh in per game value but 18th in total value since he played only 60 games. Near the top of the second round would be a great place to snag him if he plays around 70 games this season.

    Source: Dan Woike on Twitter

  • Malik Beasley
    SG, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets want to extend Malik Beasley and Juan Hernagomez before the October 21 deadline.

    The Nuggets already locked up one of their 2016 first-round picks (Jamal Murray) to a long-term deal and now want to do the same with their other two 2016 first-round picks, Hernangomez and Beasley. If not, the two will likely become restricted free-agents at the end of the season. Both players saw stretches of big minutes last season due to injuries but at full health, Beasley was around 20 minutes per game while Hernangomez was at around 10. Fantasy wise, neither player puts up big defensive stats but Beasley is a very efficient shooter with low turnovers, knocking down 2.0 triples per game last year, putting him near top-150 value at only 23.2 minutes per game. Hernangomez is a decent rebounder and knocked down 0.9 triples per game but he would need closer to 30 minutes per game to be a factor in standard leagues.

    Source: Denver Post

  • OG Anunoby
    SF, Toronto Raptors

    Coach Nick Nurse intends to put OG Anunoby "back out there in a primary role."

    With Kawhi Leonard vacating the starting small forward spot, Anunoby is the leading candidate to take the role. Before the arrival of Leonard, Anunoby started 62 games in his rookie season. Last season he started 6 out of 67 games, and missed the entire playoffs due to an emergency appendectomy. He averaged 7.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, 0.7 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.3 blocks over 20.2 minutes per game, while shooting 45.3 percent from the floor, 33.2 percent from 3-point range and 58.1 percent from the free-throw line. He can be picked up as a late round flier in drafts.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Daryl Macon
    PG, Miami Heat

    The Heat have signed Daryl Macon.

    Macon getting picked up by another NBA squad after a solid Summer League campaign is not a shocker. If he were to crack the rotation he would post a nice assist rate, but it is unlikely Macon will be getting playing time unless something goes terribly wrong for the Heat this season.

    Source: NBA

  • Tahjere McCall
    F, Atlanta Hawks

    The Hawks signed Tahjere McCall from their Summer League team.

    This is just a depth signing for the Hawks. He shouldn't see much court time on the NBA floor if he makes the main roster out of camp

    Source: Kevin Chouinard on Twitter

  • Thabo Sefolosha
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Marc Stein is reporting that the Rockets will sign Thabo Sefolosha.

    Sefolosha was among the names at a recent mini camp, and he should make for a nice fit as a defensive stopper off the bench. The Rockets have a pretty thin group of reserves so we'd expect Sefolosha to be a regular rotation player, which puts him on the board as a steals specialist in deep leagues.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Tyler Zeller
    C, Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have signed C Tyler Zeller to the training camp roster on Thursday.

    Zeller played all of six games last season with the Hawks and Grizzlies. Zeller will try to latch on as a third-string C for the Nuggets' deep frontcourt. Zeller is off the fantasy radar.

    Source: Chris Dempsey on Twitter

  • Luke Kennard
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey said that he is not sure if he will start Luke Kennard or have him run a lot of the second-team offense.

    In addition, Casey mentioned that Kennard dealt with some knee tendinitis earlier this summer. Kennard is likely competing with Bruce Brown Jr. for the starting two-guard spot. We'll see how the rotation starts to shape in the preseason, but both players will get minutes either way.

    Source: NBA