Fantasy Mailbag: When is it time to drop injured superstars?

Josh Lloyd
·4-min read
Despite being strong fantasy basketball options, injuries to James Harden and Myles Turner mean owners might have to drop them for the fantasy playoffs to open a roster spot. Pictures: Getty Images
Despite being strong fantasy basketball options, injuries to James Harden and Myles Turner mean owners might have to drop them for the fantasy playoffs to open a roster spot. Pictures: Getty Images

I hope you are still active in your fantasy leagues because that means you have had some success this season. But, it’s a vital time of the year, so you had some questions, and I am here to answer them to the best of my ability in today’s mailbag.

What is your best educated guess on if James Harden or Myles Turner comes back before the end of the regular season? Indefinitely makes me nervous about dropping and then regretting it. - @Woobiebeats (Twitter)

My guess is we don’t see either Turner or Harden again in the fantasy season.

I fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Turner doesn’t even play in the playoffs, if Indiana find their way back in.

I feel comfortable enough in saying both can be dropped.

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I know it’s hard to drop a top five player like Harden, but in the playoffs, it doesn’t matter if he comes back for Grand Final week if the zeroes he gives you leading up to that mean you don’t make it in the first place.

Unless you have IL, which every league need a bare minimum of one, you can’t afford to carry dead weight that is likely to miss 2-3 weeks at this point in the season.

Should we pick up PJ Dozier amid Denver's injury crisis? - @yehtungwei (IG)

Yeah, sure. The Nuggets are missing Jamal Murray and Monte Morris, and now starting shooting guard Will Barton is out with a hamstring injury. 

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That will mean likely a week, minimum, of absences for Barton, and Dozier has slotted into his starting spot. 

Malone loves his defensive tenacity, so that he will ply him with minutes, and the Nuggets play four games this week, making Dozier an excellent fantasy pickup at this point in the season.

Which Sacramento Kings guard is a safer bet, Tyrese Haliburton or Delon Wright? - @tim___sexton (IG)

This question comes on the back of the news that De’Aaron Fox will be out 10-14 days due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. 

Haliburton will be the starter, and he is the better player, so to me, it’s comfortably the rookie, but Delon Wright is also going to have great value. 

If Haliburton is available in your league, it is likely relatively shallow, but I would be seeing if I could add both guys, and for those of you who the prospect of seeing Haliburton on the wire is a pipe dream, go and add Delon Wright.

Do you see D’Angelo Russell moving into the starting lineup before the season ends? - @adryenn_ (Twitter)

No, and I don’t think it matters. 

I believe having Ricky Rubio starting is fine, allowing Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards to dominate the ball during those minutes. 

At the same time, Russell comes off the bench and works almost primarily as a shooting guard, getting more time to be a number one option. 

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He pushed over 30 minutes last game, and I think you’ll find his numbers will end up being better if he sticks in his current bench role (assuming he keeps playing over 30 minutes) than if he were to try and slot in next to Edwards and Towns. 

They will have to share the court at times, but for fantasy, I think you want DLo to remain in the second unit.

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