• The 76ers have been one of the most talked about teams of the season, and not for the reasons that they would have hoped. Between outside concerns of the fit between their two stars, complementary players and the competency of their head coach, the Sixers now face the issue of weather the storm with Ben Simmons (back) out indefinitely and Joel Embiid (shoulder) potentially facing a lengthy absence. The latter is set to be re-evaluated in a week, but as we know with these “re-evaluated” injury labels, that could extend far longer than anticipated. The Sixers now have to readjust on the fly, relying on players like Al Horford and Josh Richardson, who have struggled mightily all year, to become key players on a night to night basis. Beyond that they’re forced to see what they have in their collection of misfit wings, hoping some of them are able to catch fire and help keep the squad afloat. Below I go over a couple of fringe Sixers’ players who could help in real life, and potentially aid your fantasy team as well.


    Adds of the Night

    Shake Milton, G, Philadelphia 76ers

    The era of Shake N’ Bake is upon us, Milton has now gone off for two games straight and he surely will be the hottest pick up from Thursday’s games. I expressed healthy skepticism of his outlook before tonight’s line simply because we haven’t seen Milton do much of anything for prolonged stretches, but you can’t deny how well he has responded to the call following Ben Simmons’ (back) injury. He’s going to have an even higher usage spike while Joel Embiid (shoulder) nurses his injury for at least the next week, so at the very least he has a wide open window to produce offensively for that stretch. I am still unsure of what type of fantasy player he’ll be when Embiid is back in action, but that has no bearing on grabbing and riding him out now.

    Harry Giles, C, Sacramento Kings

    The Fantasy Hype Train for Giles has been stuck in the station for the last couple of seasons, but the locomotive is slowly starting to get moving as of late for the Duke product. He has seen at least 25 minutes a night since coming out of the All-Star Break, and there’s no reason that shouldn’t continue while Richaun Holmes (shoulder) and Marvin Bagley (foot) remain out indefinitely. While he isn’t going to be this soaring top-50 dude analysts may have hoped he could be, there is a chance he could finish out the year as a standard league value.

    Justin Holiday, G/F, Indiana Pacers

    The middle-Holiday child looks like he could have some low-end rest of season appeal as the Pacers deal with the fallout of the Jeremy Lamb (ACL/MCL) injury. He makes sense for teams searching for some 3-and-D production at the end of their bench.

    Drop Zone

    Kent Bazemore, G/F, Sacramento Kings

    I had sounded the alarm bells on Baze after he shot at least 50% from the floor four games in a row, and he fell back down to earth in this one.His shot is completely broken and the fantasy good-will he was seeing over an impressive stretch as a key rotation guy for the Kings was always due to be short lived. You could find more reliable options out there.

    Aaron Holiday, G, Indiana Pacers

    The youngest Holiday brother lost most of his appeal with Victor Oladipo (back) stepping back into the fold. He could have streamer appeal for whenever Oladipo is out but not much else beyond that.


    Injury Report

    News came down late Thursday afternoon that Joel Embiid (shoulder) suffered no ligament damage in his shoulder and will be re-evaluated in one week. Certainly not the worst case scenario, but we’re not out of the woods on this one yet.

    LeBron James (groin) sat out Thursday’s match up with the Warriors with the primary reason most likely being because the Warriors are bad and not worth his time. Consider him probable for LA’s next game.

    De’Aaron Fox (abdomen) missed Thursday’s game but is feeling optimistic that he can play in Friday’s game.

    Andrew Wiggins (back) was a surprise late scratch for Thursday’s game against the Lakers, and could miss more as we await word on what the exact issue is.

    Trae Young (illness) is listed as questionable for Friday, though it’s worth noting that he was able to play through this same illness in his last game on Wednesday.

    Luka Docnic (thumb) is questionable for Friday as well after he tweaked his thumb in his last game, but similarly was able to play through the pain after that happened.

    Andre Drummond (calf) has been ruled out a day in advance for Friday’s game, indicating this issue could keep him out for a few more moving forward.

    Serge Ibaka (knee) is questionable for Friday’s game against the Hornets.

    Red-hot Coby White tweaked his back at practice and wasn’t able to keep going, so we’ll monitor that situation. Long-time injured teammate Otto Porter Jr. (foot), however, was able to go through practice as he plots his return to the court. Despite that he is still out for Chicago’s next game.


    Situational Stats to Think About

    Damion Lee since the Trade Deadline – 7 games played

    30.2 mpg / .444 FG% / .938 FT% / 15.4 ppg / 3.0 3pg / 4.1 rpg / 3.0 apg / 1.4 spg / 0.3 bpg / 1.7 TO

    Analysis: Lee has seen a jump in his production since the Warriors dumped some of their extra wings, and has been a 9-cat stud as a result. I’ve been touting his upside as a streamer until Stephen Curry (hand) eventually returns to the lineup, but hey may have some staying power afterwards as well given how he has thrived as the starting SG. The Warriors want to see what they have in their collection of young guys as they build out their bench for next season, so they have plenty of reason to continue feeding Lee 30 minutes a night. He should be owned for his production to finish out this week, and potentially beyond. 

    Kyle O’Quinn in games without Joel Embiid – 10 games played

    15.4 mpg / .363 FG% / .400 FT% / 4.8 ppg / 0.4 3pg / 6.1 rpg / 2.2 apg / 0.2 spg / 1.5 bpg / 1.0 TO

    Analysis: O’Quinn has been out of favor with the Sixers’ coaching staff for a while, but the absence of Joel Embiid should bring him back into rotation minutes. While KOQ has a reputation as a per-minute stud he has been far off of that in the games when he has filled in for Embiid. Above are his averages for 10 disjointed games he has seen in the role, and paint a picture of a broads and blocks specialist only with little else to offer. Don’t get too excited about his prospects to break out while Embiid is shelved. 

    Gary Trent Jr. without Damian Lillard – 4 games played

    35.2 mpg / .409 FG% / .571 FT% / 12.0 ppg / 2.0 3pg / 2.5 rpg / 1.0 apg / 2.0 spg / 0.3 bpg / 0.5 TO

    Analysis: Trent Jr. is being force fed minutes while Lillard is sidelined, and he has floated himself to fringe standard league value in this short span thanks to his sky-high 3-pointer and steal numbers. Lillard is probably only going to miss two to three more games with his injury, but if you’re in need of cheap boosts to either of those two categories to close out your week Trent Jr. is a solid option for a Saturday stream.

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