The injury bug has bitten a number of the NBA’s top players, from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Durant and Anthony Davis to Zion Williamson, Karl-Anthony Towns and Devin Booker. And that’s not even the complete list!
So which injuries are the most concerning for the remainder of the fantasy basketball season?
Here are André Snellings, Eric Karabell, Eric Moody, Jim McCormick and Steve Alexander to discuss.
Davis is the most concerning injury for me. First of all, he has a lengthy history of injuries and he hasn’t played since Dec. 16. Now the Lakers are “hoping” he will be able to play again before the All-Star break. The talk of him playing in all 82 games this season is a distant memory and LeBron James is probably just hoping to get 40 games out of his talented teammate. We’re currently at 25 this season and holding, and if the over/under on AD’s games played is currently set at 50, I’m taking the under. — Alexander
The Lakers say Davis may return to the court before the All-Star break. Awesome! Then what? I don’t mean to be skeptical, but Davis has a stress fracture in his right foot and a long history of missing games for various reasons. And this is a good reason. OK, so he returns soon. When does he get hurt again? He played 76 games combined the past two seasons. Nobody debates his on-court greatness. These are some of the best numbers of his career, albeit in only 25 games. It’s hard to see him getting to 50 games this season and, unfortunately, in any pending one. — Karabell
When it comes to Chris Paul, I think it’s valid to be concerned beyond this current hip issue given his age and statistical decline before this recent injury surfaced. That said, the key worry for me — like for many others — is AD; arguably the best fantasy option of all of these injured stars this season with his return to elite production on both sides of the floor. Kevin Durant’s situation isn’t ideal, but his team is contending in a tough conference and there’s not as much mystery to his MCL injury as with the vague reporting around Davis’ foot fracture. It’s the combination of this foot injury and his team’s context in a talented and tight conference that elevates concern. If we get into late March and Davis is still dealing with discomfort for a team that might be several games out of the picture, the fantasy playoffs could see him in street clothes. — McCormick
For me, it’s KD, who is currently out with an MCL sprain. My biggest concern is that it’s the same type of injury that derailed his season and the Nets last year. Last year, Durant sprained his left MCL, and this year it’s his right one. At the earliest, he won’t be back until early February. Since Durant was in the midst of an incredible fantasy season, the timing isn’t ideal for managers. As a team with championship aspirations, the Nets are unlikely to rush him back, and Durant could be restricted to a limited number of minutes when he returns. Due to Durant’s average draft position, the nature of his injury, his age and the timing, I am concerned. — Moody
I’m most concerned about the Milwaukee duo, because both injuries seem to be lingering. Middleton missed the first month-and-a-half of the season, returned for two weeks, and has missed the last month. Antetokounmpo has mainly played through his injury, but it clearly took a tole on him in his last three games where he averaged only 12.7 PPG on 34.4 FG%, and he’s sat each of the last four while being listed as questionable in the leadup. Injury uncertainty can lead to longer-than-expected absences, and in the Bucks’ case, they are the oldest team in the league with a championship just two seasons ago, so they don’t seem to care as much about the regular season as they do getting healthy for the playoffs. This philosophy could also lead to them erring on the side of caution and perhaps resting their star players often enough to impact their fantasy hoops values. — Snellings