As Week 4 approaches, the injury bug is rearing its ugly head. Thirteen teams are playing four games in Week 4, and although we typically look there for streaming options, the injury scenarios provide opportunities for longer-term usage. We’ll identify low-rostered options for the upcoming week using data from Yahoo’s Fantasy Basketball platform.
Skylar Mays, Portland Trail Blazers (95% available)
At first glance, Mays looks like a slam-dunk option. Malcolm Brogdon (hamstring) was knocked out of Wednesday’s game, which allowed Mays extended time with Anfernee Simons (thumb) and Scoot Henderson (ankle) also sidelined. He responded with a solid 18-point, 11-assist result. I would qualify a Mays endorsement with one significant fact – Henderson should return by next week, and he is currently 65% rostered in all Yahoo leagues. If the rookie is still available, he’s the better long-term option in this scenario, but Mays should also be considered a stash-worthy guard.
Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat (91% available)
The Heat received some bad news this week, as Tyler Herro‘s injury on Wednesday was diagnosed as a Grade 2 ankle sprain that will knock him out of action for up to a month. Historical data tells us that Robinson was an apt fill-in last season when healthy, but with Josh Richardson on the roster, we may see more of a committee approach during Herro’s absence. Despite Richardson’s presence, I still prefer Robinson as the better long-term option.
Keyonte George, Utah Jazz (85% available)
It might be too soon to tell, but with Talen Horton-Tucker struggling, the Jazz started George in the backcourt Wednesday night, and the rookie responded with nine assists. While one game doesn’t represent a changing of the guard, it’s an encouraging sign for the Baylor product, who has multiple avenues for increased usage. Jordan Clarkson has also failed to get going through the first three weeks of the season, so we could see more of George at either backcourt position if the struggles continue.
Rui Hachimura, Los Angeles Lakers (81% available)
While I can see a reason to add Christian Wood (63% available), I’m a bigger fan of Hachimura, who is finally out of the concussion protocol. Anthony Davis‘ groin injury was a minor issue, prompting a collective sigh of relief from Lakers fans. I imagine it also woke up some of the coaching staff, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Davis’ playing time managed more closely. With Davis sidelined Wednesday night, Hachimura turned in an impressive 24 points and eight rebounds across 26 minutes. Things will shake up again when Jarred Vanderbilt (heel) makes his season debut, but Hachimura is my favorite option in LA’s second unit right now.
Santi Aldama, Memphis Grizzlies (81% available)
The Grizzlies have been hit hard with injuries to its frontcourt. Steven Adams (knee) and Brandon Clarke (Achilles) are long-term absences, and to make matters worse, Xavier Tillman is saddled with a knee injury. Aldama made his season debut last weekend and is already making an impact as a rebounder. Bismack Biyombo has started in Tillman’s place, but Aldama will also see time at the five and also provide backup support for Jaren Jackson, who is definitely overworked.
Dorian Finney-Smith, Brooklyn Nets (54% available)
Ben Simmons (hip), Cam Thomas (ankle) and Nic Claxton (ankle) are all sidelined, and although I considered Royce O’Neale as a potential add, Finney-Smith is showing flashes of production. The versatile multi-position player has scored in single-digits only once this season, and he’s having the best start of his career beyond the arc. Over eight games, he’s averaging a career-high 7.5 three-point attempts with a conversion rate of 45 percent.