Fantasy Basketball Mailbag: Crucial adds and drops as playoffs draw near

I’m not going to rob you of a fantasy basketball mailbag like Aaron Gordon was robbed of the Slam Dunk Contest title just because it’s the All-Star break, so I took your questions from Twitter and Instagram to try and help you make the most of your fantasy team. Let’s get to it.

@jeyjey1532: Drop or keep Marvin Bagley III? I’m comfortably in the playoffs

This is not specific to Bagley, but if you are comfortably in the playoffs and those playoffs haven’t started, I think holding said player is the prudent course of action.

We haven’t had an update for a while and the last time we heard, Bagley was set to be re-evaluated in about two weeks, right when Jeyjey’s playoffs start.

If you can afford to wait, like this case, you just wait until we get an update. You don’t need to stream in the meantime and when you have a player with upside like that, it’s best to hold.

Now, there is probably a better than 50% chance that Bagley isn’t a factor in the fantasy playoffs, but unless that percentage chance is 90+, I’m holding in these two weeks which basically amount to byes.

@thekarantalwar: Larry Nance Jr. was getting 25ish minutes even with Kevin Love. Is he a must-hold going into the break?

The thing is, he wasn’t getting 25 minutes. He was getting big minutes BEFORE Andre Drummond arrived, but in the only game that Drummond and Love played together, Nance saw 20 minutes, and that was mainly due to the fact it was a 41 point blowout and Love played just 26.

Drummond’s arrival seems to indicate that Nance won’t play any centre. The former Detroit Piston is being backed up by Tristan Thompson and prospect Ante Žižić, who is likely to return from his vestibular condition soon.

A spanner in the works here is Kevin Love’s diagnosis of ‘achilles soreness’ in the last game before the All-Star break.

Maybe the nine day break heals this mystery soreness, but given Love’s injury history, the Cavs’ terrible team and the devastating issues that can arise from playing through Achilles soreness, Nance has every chance of starting a majority of games after the break now and playing big minutes.

So, to answer the question, yes, Nance is a hold, but if Love is healthy, he isn’t likely to get to 20 minutes.

@2020NBAChamps: How much value do you think Steph Curry will provide when he comes back if he’s getting 25-28 minutes? About top 40-50 or even higher?

I have Curry projected to play 30 minutes a night on average when he returns in March and for standard points leagues, it puts him right around the top 40.

Of course, he is likely to play lower minutes the first week or two and then push to 31-32 after that, which would likely push him to the top 25.

Steph Curry is slated to return to the court in March - making him a tantalising Fantasy pick-up for the playoffs. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

It’s to be expected that he misses some back to backs, of which the Warriors have four after March 1, his expected return date.

It’s creeping up, but the Warriors play only five more games before that March 1 target date, so if Curry is on your wire, you probably want to grab him.

@BallDontLie77: Of all the injured players set to make a return in the near future, which do you believe holds the most upside? (Jusuf Nurkić, Wendell Carter Jr., Richaun Holmes, Otto Porter Jr., Luke Kennard)

I’ll go ahead and say don’t worry about Nurkić. He suffered a catastrophic leg injury a year ago and in his first practice back, strained his calf setting back his return.

If he does play, he will be in a limited backup role behind Hassan Whiteside.

Carter is probably going to return the soonest, but Holmes has been the best player out of this group all season.

Now, his diagnosis is a little vague and there is a chance he doesn’t even come back, but if the question is upside, Holmes is the answer.

He is the 69th ranked player in standard leagues this season, almost 20 spots higher than Carter. Carter seems a surer bet to be back, but Holmes has that higher value.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and keep an eye out for the next mailbag tweet to gather your questions.