• Hey folks! It’s Erik here, filling in for one of my crew.

    Obviously, it goes without saying that the top story of the night is Stephen Curry breaking his left hand after Aron Baynes landed on it awkwardly. Ouch. He’s going to be gone a while. A long while. It’s a huge punish considering a stud like him is irreplaceable in fantasy. 2019-20 is off to a rough start with so many big-ticket players missing multiple weeks due to various injuries (or suspensions). Yeah, I’m looking at you Zion Williamson, Marvin Bagley and Deandre Ayton! I guess that makes Curry their fourth musketeer. “All for one, one for a lot of missed time on the sidelines…” or something like that.

    On a lighter note, sort of, Joel Embiid and Karl-Anthony Towns went all Ultimate Fighting Challenge on each other (like wrestled to the ground kind of scuffle) after an overly physical boxing-out pushing match escalated. Both players were ejected from the game and could face suspensions.

    Talk about an exciting Wednesday, huh?

    Add(s) of the Night

    Anyone and everyone from the Warriors. Depending on how deep your league is, there’s likely someone on the wire for you to grab to take advantage of that Steph Curry injury. I’m personally like Eric Paschall as an intriguing add, but he will likely drop off when Kevon Looney, whom you can also add, returns from his injury.

    Aron Baynes. Not because he messed up Curry’s hand, but he’s legitimately been playing well lately.

    Nerlens Noel, with a 15-point 14-rebound double-double, reminded us of what’s possible if Steven Adams is traded. Stash him.

    Davis Bertans is just shooting the lights out of everything and everyone. He’s a 3-point shooting machine.

    Isaiah Thomas looked very, and I mean very good in his second game for the Wizards. He’s still ramping up.

    Danuel House of the Rockets is a sweet grab at this point for his multi-cat contributions across the board and his locked-in role with the Rockets.

    Troy Brown Jr. made his debut for the Wizards and will be a force for them on the wings. He’s a deep-league target right now, but could be on the fringes of standard league value, depending on how quickly he gets his legs back underneath him.

    Drop ’em like their Hot Not

    Kris Dunn can be dropped in standard leagues now. His role is with the Bulls is fading and there’s little upside to hold out for.

    The same can said of Dennis Smith Jr., who doesn’t look like he’s going to get a chance to play out of coach David Fizdale’s doghouse any time soon.

    Dewayne Dedmon played just four minutes tonight thanks to the Richaun Holmes party. Dedmon is a drop in shallower leagues, probably even up to 14-team deep, given the Holmes-love floating around.

    Anfernee Simons was a cute flier pick at the end of most drafts, but it’s crystal clear right now that he needs a Curry-level injury to nail Damien Lillard (knocks on wood, rubs rabbit’s foot), in order for him to bring fantasy-relevant production to the table.

    Injury Report

    As mentioned, Stephen Curry suffered a broken hand and will be missing multiple weeks to possibly months, depending on whether he’ll need to undergo surgery or not.

    Steven Adams missed Wednesday’s game with a knee contusion. He’s day-to-day.

    Wendell Carter Jr. played through an eye inflammation and turned in a decent game for the Bulls.

    Jaylen Brown (illness) was out and Marcus Smart started in his place. Brown should be back soon.

    Kevon Looney (left hamstring) is expected to be sidelined for at least the next four games, making it a timely play to consider Eric Paschall or Willie Cauley-Stein (foot), who made his Warriors debut tonight.

    Alec Burks (right ankle sprain) made his debut for the Warriors.

    Myles Turner badly sprained his ankle, did not return to the game and is set to undergo an MRI. While he’s currently day-to-day, we expect him to miss at least a few games.

    Harry Giles was inactive in tonight’s game with left knee soreness.

    Rodney McGruder took to the court for his Clippers debut after being sidelined by a right ankle sprain.

    Hassan Whiteside briefly hurt his knee, went to the locker room, but was able to return and finish the game. Still, it’s Whiteside, so stay tuned for updates.

    Kawhi Leonard was unscathed but was rested by Doc Rivers this evening. Not that I’m wishing he was scathed… Curse you, load management!

    Be wary of the Warriors’ pivot

    With Stephen Curry possibly missing a ton of time, the Warriors’ playoff chances just fell of a cliff and landed on a cluster of jagged rocks covered with poison-tip spikes that are mounted on landmines. This could make the team decide to shift their focus and turn their sights on 2020-21.

    This adds extra sit risk to someone like Draymond Green and to some extent possibly D’Angelo Russell. If that’s a very likely scenario that you want to account for, then stashing some of their more intriguing young players like Jordan Poole, Damion Lee, Eric Paschall, would be a next-level play if you had the bench space in a weekly roster changes league.

    For Curry owners in leagues that don’t have an IL spot. Sit tight. Don’t go off and selling low on him just yet. Wait on the news, then act accordingly as it befits your team’s strengths moving forward.

    Weather the Storm

    I know a lot of you are hurting right now, seeing your top stars get hurt or suspended right now. The best advice I can give right now is to take a step back, breathe, let those emotions and overwhelming rumblings of panic settle down.

    Don’t make hasty trades. There are predators out there in the world, some of whom might be in a league with you, who are looking to take advantage of the carnage and chaos brought about by recent events.

    Crunch the numbers. Recalibrate expectations based on injury timelines. Then make informed and well-thought-out moves. We’re playing in a crazy time right now, so let the dust settle a bit. Listen to the advice of experts, like the ones you have here at Hoop Ball.

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