Fantasy Mailbag: LeBron James' injury, top Lakers pickups

Josh Lloyd
·3-min read
Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma will likely see increased fantasy output with Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined. Pictures: Getty Images
Talen Horton-Tucker and Kyle Kuzma will likely see increased fantasy output with Lakers stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis sidelined. Pictures: Getty Images

We are heading into the home stretch with the fantasy playoffs just around the corner. So, let’s fine-tune our squads and make a push for the title. I took questions from Discord and Instagram to see what problems are vexing the community.

@X not so D (Discord) - Who to grab from the Lakers (with LeBron James’ injury)? Kyle Kuzma and who else? Talen Horton-Tucker?

I think the Lakers will slide Kuzma into LeBron’s starting role, but he had already been putting up solid numbers without Anthony Davis. 

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If he isn’t rostered, go and grab him. But, the player who is available in a lot of places is Talen Horton-Tucker. Tucker will fill into LeBron’s role, while fo course, not being LeBron, well. 

He can score efficiently, defend and get steals, and pass, and I expect him to play at least 25 minutes a night. If he gets over that, it’s a bonus, but THT can be a nice add for the time James is on the sidelines with his ankle injury.

@Kel (Discord) - What does John Wall’s rest of season look like? How big of a dummy am I for drafting him?

Let’s start with the second part. Unless you picked Wall in the top 50, coming off a torn Achilles and no NBA action for two years, he was a worthwhile player to grab in the middle to late rounds. 

He has had numerous injury worries this season, but when he has played, he has been pretty solid. It was a worthwhile pick. 

Nobody expected Houston to be this level of bad (even though it was clear they were bad), and that is playing a factor in Wall’s production. 

As for his ROS output, the report from Yahoo’s Chris Haynes that he will have arthroscopic knee surgery before the end of the season should make you worried. 

I will pretty surprised if Wall is playing games in April. So, if you have him and can get any sort of top 100 player, even if it’s a temporary downgrade, I think you have to do it.

@tim___sexton (IG) - Is Tobias Harris a sell high or hold?

These questions are tough. Theoretically, Harris is performing at a level higher than I expect him to for the rest of the season. So, that could make him a sell high. 

His usage is up without Joel Embiid, but the thing is, who is going to buy? If someone wants to part with a consistent top 25 player for Harris, then yes, but I find it hard to see someone giving up 45 points producer (what Harris has averaged in the last two weeks) in exchange for him. 

Therefore, in the vast majority of cases, you just ride out this nice hot streak.

@_noahheide - Can we give up on Derrick White?

In the end, you can do whatever you want with players on your fantasy team. 

Giving up on Derrick White would mean you believe that he will be a 34% shooter from the field moving forward because that’s where he is at since the All-Star break. 

In that time, he is averaging 23 fantasy points, which is still good for the top 140. 

So, I expect White, whohass been an efficient shooter for a few years to improve in that area and that will push his production back closer to the top 100. I am holding, but I do get your frustrations.

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