Steve Alexander's Weekend Recap - 10 Notable Fantasy Items

Steve Alexander's Weekend Recap - 10 Notable Fantasy Items

This article is part of our NBA Observations series.

For Weekend Recap this season, I'm going to focus on 10 players who made news or noise over the weekend, whether it be good or bad, and the fantasy impacts that result. Here is some of what you may have missed over the weekend while you were watching football. 

Beware of the two-game week: The Cavaliers, Trail Blazers and Raptors all play just two games in Week 3. That means fantasy managers have to think about sitting guys who only have two games, while marginal players who go four times can be worth a flier if the number of games played matters in your league. Some four-game options include Marcus Sasser, Mike Conley, Luguentz Dort, Grant Williams and Dereck Lively.

Luka Doncic labors through pain on Sunday night: Doncic played through obvious pain and discomfort on Sunday and made an early trip to the locker room. He returned to play through it,  and the Mavericks got a big win over the Hornets to improve to 5-1 on the young season. Luka is possibly dealing with calf and hamstring discomfort, and the Mavs have a quick turnaround with a game in Orlando on Monday. 

That will kick off a four-game week for Dallas, which is great, but Luka could be limited to just two or three games this week. Kyrie Irving, Jaden Hardy and Derrick Jones Jr. would all pick up the slack if Luka misses a game or two, but even if Doncic is out on Monday, fantasy managers still need to think about rolling the dice on him for Week 3. He still had 23 points, 12 rebounds and nine dimes on 8-of-19 shooting on Sunday, but also hit just 1-of-9 three-pointers in the win.   

James Harden will play on Monday: Shams Charania broke news on Sunday that Harden will officially make his Clippers' debut on Monday night against the Knicks in Madison Square Garden. And while I couldn't possibly care less, Clippers fans are undoubtedly excited to see how this experiment is going to turn out. And, of course, fantasy managers have to be thrilled to finally get to load Harden into lineups and see what he can do. 

He's now a must-start fantasy player with four games this week, but the Clippers only play twice in Week 4 (the following week). Expect players like Bones Hyland, Russell Westbrook and Norman Powell to take a bit of a hit with Harden ready to go for his new team. 

C.J. McCollum has a collapsed lung: Charania also broke news Sunday that McCollum is dealing with a small collapsed right lung and will be evaluated in the next 48 hours to determine a healing plan. He also had a collapsed lung issue in 2021 and it cost him a month and a half of time, so this is potentially devastating news for McCollum. 

Guys like Jordan Hawkins, Kira Lewis and Dyson Daniels should all be forced into action, but it's impossible to tell which of them will end up stepping up if McCollum is out for an extended time period. The Pelicans do play four times this week, so if you're in a deep league, keeping an eye on who might replace McCollum in the starting unit is worth your time. Hawkins played 24 minutes and had 15 points, five rebounds and four triples in his last game off the bench, easily outperforming Lewis and Daniels, so he's the first one of them I'd think about targeting in fantasy.  

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (knee) already ruled out for Monday

Editor's note: SGA was upgraded to questionable Monday morning. The Thunder have a history of ruling players out and then upgrading them, and they've been fined for it in the past.

SGA won't play against the Hawks on Monday night, potentially ruining his upcoming four-game week, which is now a three-game week at best. Cason Wallace got the start on Friday, and Vasilije Macic saw a bump in minutes, but Isaiah Joe is the player I'm most intrigued by when SGA misses time. 

Joe had 16 points and three triples on Friday, but the bottom line is that players like Jalen Williams, Josh Giddey, Luguentz Dort and Chet Holmgren will likely pick up most of the leftover slack as long as SGA is out. 

Devin Booker (calf) and Bradley Beal (back) sit again on Sunday: Booker had been dealing with a sprained ankle, but now a new problem has raised its head in the form of a calf injury. Booker and Beal are now very iffy for Wednesday's game at Chicago. It's possible we don't get fresh updates on either player before your league's lineup deadline. 

The Suns only have three games this week. Given the fact that Beal has yet to play a game this season, he should probably be on fantasy benches. Hopefully, we get a fresh update on Booker's status on Monday, or managers are going to have a tough decision to make on one of the league's most prolific scorers and best fantasy producers. Eric Gordon and Grayson Allen are both in play anytime the B-Boys are out for the Suns. Both played well on Sunday.

Jamal Murray (hamstring) won't play on Monday: Murray has already been ruled out for Monday, which is not great news as Denver heads into a three-game Week 3. Murray could still play in two of those, but it's far from guaranteed. 

Reggie Jackson will likely draw the start at point guard against the Pelicans tonight, and he's going to be a popular streamer in daily leagues. Jackson had 16 points, three assists and three triples after Murray left Friday's game early and is worth a flier as long as Murray is out. 

De'Aaron Fox (ankle) ruled out for Monday: Fox has been ruled out for Monday's game against the Rockets, meaning he'll miss his third straight game with a sprained right ankle. Despite the fact Fox was able to return to the game after the injury, it's kept him from playing ever since. 

The Kings' three-game week is now a two-gamer, at best, for Fox. So fantasy managers will probably want to put him on the bench in weekly lineup leagues. Davion Mitchell has filled in nicely for Fox, but the Kings insist that it will not be a long-term absence. And with only three games this week, Mitchell is not an ideal target off the waiver wire in most instances, especially since he'll take a huge hit once Fox is cleared and ready to go. 

Marcus Sasser making noise for Pistons: Sasser might have been one of the most obscure players in the league a week ago but has been making serious noise of late. The 25th pick in the draft went off for a career-high 22 points with three rebounds, four assists, a steal and four three-pointers on 9-of-16 shooting in 30 minutes off the bench on Sunday, and had 19 points and two triples on Thursday. 

That means he's averaging 20.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 4.5 three-pointers over his last two games, and he's also averaging 4.5 assists and 2.5 steals over his last three games. And with the Pistons going four times this week, Sasser should be a very popular waiver-wire target on Monday, despite the obvious risk that will come along with him.  

Bismack Biyombo starts for Grizzlies on Sunday as Xavier Tillman (knee) sits: Biyombo started for the Grizzlies on Sunday after signing with the team on Thursday and had eight points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in 26 minutes. Tillman's injury certainly played a big role in his success, but Tillman hasn't exactly been lighting the league on fire, either. 

You'd have to be in a pretty deep league to be rostering Biyombo before this game, but with Steven Adams out for the season and Tillman currently hurting, Biyombo could be a sneaky three-game option in Week 3. Especially when considering he was anchoring the middle Sunday for their first win of the season. 

Wendell Carter Jr. to miss three weeks with fractured finger, Goga Bitadze now a thing: Bitadze looked good in Saturday's start against the Lakers when he racked up 10 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in 26 minutes of the win. He deserves some consideration for a pick up in fantasy right now. The Magic only play three times this week, and Bitadze is mostly unproven, but if you're in need of a center, picking him up and taking a flier on him makes a lot of sense right now. 

Dillon Brooks leads Rockets with 26 points, nine rebounds on Saturday: Brooks went off for 26 points, nine rebounds, a steal and two three-pointers on 9-of-14 shooting in 38 minutes of Saturday's win over the Kings. Brooks has actually been playing incredibly well for his new team and is averaging 17.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.4 triples on 60 percent shooting thus far. 

While it's impossible to tell how long it will last, or how long the Rockets will keep playing him instead of developing their youth, Brooks is certainly worth using in all fantasy formats right now. Especially when you consider he'll face the Kings again on Tuesday, which is the team he blistered on Saturday. Brooks is a pretty solid three-game option for the Rockets heading into Week 3. 

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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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