Fantasy Basketball News and Notes: Bane Returns, Injuries to Monitor, Two-Game Weeks + More

Fantasy Basketball News and Notes: Bane Returns, Injuries to Monitor, Two-Game Weeks + More

It's officially fantasy playoffs time and Sunday had huge implications in that realm, as Giannis Antetokounmpo sat one out, Nikola Jokic struggled against the Mavs while Luka Doncic went off and Kyrie Irving hit an unreal, left-handed scoop shot from the free throw line for the buzzer-beating win. 

Plus, Victor Wembanyama made fantasy dreams come true by racking up a ridiculous stat line in a win over the Nets. I can't imagine how many fantasy landscapes were shaped by that one -- he single handedly got me into the 30-Deep Final Four! 

Beware the two-game week

Unfortunately for fantasy managers holding Luka, Kyrie, Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively, Tim Hardaway, Vasilije Micic, Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges, the Mavericks and Hornets are the only two teams with a two-game week this week, which is going to be brutal in head-to-head leagues, especially when there are 12 teams that play four times in Week 22.

I guess the good news is that the two-game weeks go bye-bye after this one, so if you can survive this week, it should be smooth sailing from here on in. Charlotte plays at Orlando on Tuesday and at Atlanta on Saturday, and the Mavericks are at San Antonio Tuesday and host the Jazz on Thursday. It's going to be a long weekend without Luka and Kyrie for a lot of us.  

Luka went off for 37 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's thriller, Irving had 24 points, seven rebounds, nine dimes,

It's officially fantasy playoffs time and Sunday had huge implications in that realm, as Giannis Antetokounmpo sat one out, Nikola Jokic struggled against the Mavs while Luka Doncic went off and Kyrie Irving hit an unreal, left-handed scoop shot from the free throw line for the buzzer-beating win. 

Plus, Victor Wembanyama made fantasy dreams come true by racking up a ridiculous stat line in a win over the Nets. I can't imagine how many fantasy landscapes were shaped by that one -- he single handedly got me into the 30-Deep Final Four! 

Beware the two-game week

Unfortunately for fantasy managers holding Luka, Kyrie, Daniel Gafford, Dereck Lively, Tim Hardaway, Vasilije Micic, Brandon Miller and Miles Bridges, the Mavericks and Hornets are the only two teams with a two-game week this week, which is going to be brutal in head-to-head leagues, especially when there are 12 teams that play four times in Week 22.

I guess the good news is that the two-game weeks go bye-bye after this one, so if you can survive this week, it should be smooth sailing from here on in. Charlotte plays at Orlando on Tuesday and at Atlanta on Saturday, and the Mavericks are at San Antonio Tuesday and host the Jazz on Thursday. It's going to be a long weekend without Luka and Kyrie for a lot of us.  

Luka went off for 37 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday's thriller, Irving had 24 points, seven rebounds, nine dimes, three steals, a block and four three-pointers, and Lively added 14 points, eight boards and two blocks off the bench. If you're in a weekly lineup league you're probably still starting Luka and Kyrie. 

Victor Wembanyama balls out (again) on Sunday

After a couple duds earlier in the week, Wemby went nuts on Sunday with 33 points, 15 rebounds, seven dimes, three steals and seven blocks on 14-of-26 shooting as the Spurs stunned the Nets in one of the final games of the week. It was a mind-blowing performance and incredible to watch him be aggressive and dominant in a win. Hopefully, he's ready to do it again for the Spurs in a three-game week.

However, I'm skeptical because they somehow have a back-to-back despite the low number of games, hosting Dallas on Tuesday, getting Memphis at home on Friday and the Suns in Dallas on Saturday. Will Wemby play in all three games? Man, do I hope so, but I could see him sitting out one of those if he's dealing with any sort of soreness or injury of any sort. But regardless of what happens this week, the reason a lot of Wemby owners are in the driver's seat in their fantasy leagues is because of lines like the one he posted on Sunday night. Cam Thomas went off for 31 points for the Nets in the loss, also helping my 30-Deep team move on. 

Giannis Antetokounmpo sits out on Sunday with hamstring injury

Giannis left us just when we needed him most, sitting out Sunday due to left hamstring tendinopathy after participating in warmups. It was a huge letdown for his fantasy managers but the good news is that he was very close to playing and the Bucks are off until Wednesday when they play at Boston.

Unfortunately, their second game is Thursday against the Nets in Brooklyn, so it will be interesting to see if Giannis will play in both of those games. Their third and final game of the week is at home against the Thunder on Sunday, so a lot of fantasy games are going to be decided by what Damian Lillard, Giannis, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Chet Holmgren and Jalen Williams do in that game. If Giannis sits out a game this week, Bobby Portis is the guy to grab after he went off for 31 points, 10 rebounds, three steals and five triples off the bench in Sunday's big win over the Suns.

 Speaking of the Suns, Grayson Allen also went nuts with 25 points, three rebounds, eight assists, a steal and six triples on 8-of-14 shooting despite the presence of Kevin Durant, Bradley Beal and Devin Booker. If you can get Allen, the Suns play three times this week, hosting Philly on Wednesday, the Hawks on Thursday and visiting the Spurs on Saturday. 

Jimmy Butler sits on Sunday, Duncan Robinson shines

Duncan Robinson went off for 30 points and seven triples as the Heat beat the Pistons with Jimmy Butler sidelined with a right foot injury. Butler is iffy for Monday night with the same injury and I don't love the fact it's a back-to-back game. The good news is the Heat play four times this week so pick Robinson up! They are at Philly Monday night, then play at Cleveland on Wednesday, host New Orleans on Friday and host Cleveland on Sunday, meaning no more back-to-backs for the week after Monday. 

Anthony Davis optimistic to play on Monday

Anthony Davis is hoping to play against the Hawks on Monday night and, as you know, they give up monster lines to talented opponents. If Davis' eye heals and isn't swollen shut tonight, he could light up the Hawks for a huge stat line. Watch the Rotowire News Feed closely throughout the day. 

Donovan Mitchell ruled out for Monday due to nasal fracture

Donovan Mitchell won't play against the Pacers on Monday due to a fractured nose, turning his four-game week into a possible three-game week, instead. Darius Garland and Caris LeVert should both see a boost on Monday and LeVert will probably be a hot pickup this week with the four games.  

Joel Embiid limited at practice, no timetable

Joel Embiid was spotted getting some work in on Sunday but remains without a timetable to return from his knee injury. I don't expect him to play this week in any of the Sixers' three games, so look for Paul Reed to have another nice week for the Sixers. 

Desmond Bane: The Return

Desmond Bane finally returned to action after two months off on Saturday and led the Grizzlies with 22 points, seven assists and four 3-pointers on 7-of-17 shooting. He played 32 minutes and the Grizzlies play three times this week with no back-to-backs. I guess I was wrong about Bane coming back and it doesn't look like the Grizz are going to shut him down.

That's also good news for Jaren Jackson, who had 19 points, six rebounds, seven dimes, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Saturday. Jake LaRavia continues to play well for Memphis and had 14 points in that one, while Santi Aldama, GG Jackson and Luke Kennard also contributed positively for the Grizzlies. 

Lottery pick Taylor Hendricks now a hot pickup

Utah power forward Taylor Hendricks is suddenly a hot pickup in fantasy with four games this week. I dropped a two-game P.J. Washington in order to pick up Hendricks in my Rock and Roll league and he's still only rostered in 2.3 percent of ESPN leagues. Hendricks had 15 points, 10 rebounds, a steal, a block and two triples in 33 minutes of Saturday's loss to the Wolves.

He's averaged 8.5 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in his four March games thus far. Other potential pickups right now include Duncan Robinson, Caris LeVert, Simone Fettecchio, Jake LaRavia, Corey Kispert, Harrison Barnes, Sam Merrill, Payton Pritchard, Amen Thompson and T.J. McConnell, among others. 

30-Deep Final Four

On a personal side note, the hardest league in the world to win, 30-Deep, is down the Final Four and I somehow made it. I'll play against my ESPN boss, Joe Kaiser, while my man Rick Kamla will take on Dan Besbris for a shot at the title. All three of these dudes are like brothers to me and it's going to be a wild ride for the next couple weeks. Besbris only gets two games of Kyrie, Kamla still hates his team and Kaiser will be hoping that Kawhi Leonard will power through the whole week. 

My lineup, as of now, is De'Aaron Fox, Payton Pritchard, Cam Thomas, Austin Reaves, Zach Collins, Cedi Osman, Victor Wembanyama and Richaun Holmes. I've got Coby White on the bench for now, but may play him over Holmes or Cedi if I get the sense he might play in two games this week. This dinosaur of a league uses weekly lineups on CBS, and words cannot express how badly I want to win this one. I last won it on the fuel of Jeremy Lin-sanity in 2011. Good luck to us all!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Steve Alexander
Steve 'Doc' Alexander has been covering hoops for more than 20 years and recently joined Rotowire after spending his entire career at NBC Sports.
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