The injury bug is real! I got to know this firsthand as I went down with a back injury of my own this past week. The therapy has been hard but I’m feeling better now though I won’t be able to touch that rock that we all love to talk about which is Basketball. This past week we saw both Orlando Magic stalwarts Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon go down with ankle injuries. Vooch would be out for at least 2 weeks according to the latest reports and Gordon for at least a few games. Kemba Walker got stretchered off the court after colliding with his teammate, Semi Ojeleye and hurting his neck. Though reports are still vague at the moment, we might see him out for a substantial amount of time.
Not all news have been bad though in the NBA as it’s been a great week so far for our dynasty prospects. A lot of rookies and sophomores have performed impressively this week as many of them have been given significant roles already. Since we here in The Fantasy Unicorns put more focus in dynasty leagues, we will be taking a look at some dynasty prospects taking a leap in their development. For any questions about your lineups or anything about fantasy basketball, don’t be shy to hit us up on Twitter.
Give Me A Second
The 2018 NBA Draft Class is proving to be one of the best in recent memory. Usually only a handful of players in their 2nd year make a big impact in Fantasy Basketball, but this draft class is simply unbelievable. The 2018 draft class’ top five picks are permanent fixtures in fantasy already with a bunch of 2nd round draft picks giving tremendous value. Luka Doncic will be a top 3 pick next year in redraft leagues and will surely be the No.1 pick in start-up dynasty drafts. While some 2nd year players have already been turned loose, some are just starting to get their bearings just now. Injuries have played a big part for these players’ increased opportunities.
DONTE DIVICENZO – MILWAUKEE BUCKS SG
Strengths: Points, Threes, Steals
Availability: 79% of Yahoo Leagues
Khris Middleton’s injury have opened up a big opportunity for the stable of guards and wing players in Milwaukee. “The Big Ragu” Donte DiVicenzo has run away with being the best short-term pickup while Middleton is out. I’m starting to think that he will soon be the starting shooting guard even if Middleton comes back. In the four games he’s started, he has averaged 14 points, 4.8 boards, 2.3 dimes, 2.0 steals and 2.3 treys on 52/41/75 shooting splits. He ranks inside the Top 50 this past week and his play just continues to be strong. If ever he wins the starting gig with Middleton back, he will definitely have a good shot at being a Top 100 player moving forward.
DUNCAN ROBINSON – MIAMI HEAT SG/SF/PF
Strengths: FG%, FT%, Threes, Points
Availability: 85% of Yahoo Leagues
Even undrafted rookies from the 2018 Draft Class have proven to be a different breed. Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn are both undrafted prospects from the 2018 class that have found their way into the Heat starting lineups. Nunn is already rostered in 75% of Yahoo Leagues. Duncan Robinson has scored in double digits in his last 4 games and shot a career-high 9 treys against the Cavs. This past week Duncan has averaged 17/2/1/1.3 with 4.7 treys and shot 53/48/100 in percentages. He may not be able to sustain this hot shooting and his role might diminish when the Heat gets back their guys but if you need a boost in 3 point shooting and percentages go and give him a look.
MIKAL BRIDGES – PHOENIX SUNS SF
Availability: 66% of Yahoo Leagues
Mikal Bridges have been a bust this season to say the least. He was getting drafted in the 7th to 10th rounds of this year’s drafts. It was because he was a Top 60 player post All-Star break snagging a lot of defensive stats and draining trifectas in bunches. The expectation was that he will be able to continue that level of play since the Suns traded away T.J. Warren to create more playing time for him. Alas the opposite happened as he failed to log more than 30 minutes until his last game. In his last two games he shot 57% from the field and was perfect on the line in 13 attempts. He also scooped a total of 32 points, 11 boards, 3 assists and 5 steals in those 2 games. Hopefully this gets him going.
MORITZ WAGNER – WASHINGTON WIZARDS PF/C
Strengths: FG%, FT%, Threes, Boards
Availability: 71% of Yahoo Leagues
Flamin’ Moe Wagner has been lighting it up since his career night against the Wolves. In that game, Flamin’ Moe lit up the Wolves for 30/15/2/1/1 with 4 treys and an eye-popping 87% from the field. That game helped many fantasy managers win their matchups last week. Well, Moe hasn’t let up since. In only 19 minutes a game this year, he is averaging 12.8 points, 5.9 boards, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.3 threes and an absurd shooting splits of 63% and 81%. What a stud! If Thomas Bryant ever misses time, Moe will be a must-own guy.
As I said earlier, this week was a good one for the rookies. De’Andre Hunter is on a 7-game double digit scoring spree for the Hawks with a 27-point 11-rebound outburst against the Bucks. Coby White cooled off somewhat but is still producing helpful points and treys. Darius Garland also copped a career night against the Mavs scoring a 5-trey infused 23 points with 4 assists. The list goes on but what caught my eye are these guys getting substantial increase in opportunities because of injuries and lack of production from the regulars.
CAM JOHNSON – PHOENIX SUNS SG/SF (6% Owned)
Cam Johnson has averaged 3 treys per game in his last six games and have scored in all but one of those games in double figures. He is quietly averaging 13.5 points, 3.8 boards, 1.2 helpers, and a combined 1.7 steals and blocks in the last two weeks. He is clearly an add right now while he is hot but I do see him taking on a substantial role with the team. Dario Saric has been bad at PF and moving Kelly Oubre to the 4 and inserting Cam at the 3 seems like a good possibility.
NASSIR LITTLE – PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS SF (4% Owned)
Did you know that Nassir Little was the 2nd-best prospect coming out of highschool following R.J. Barrett? Yes he ranked higher than Zion Williamson going into college. So that means something, isn’t? The Blazers have been looking for answers at both forward spots and while others may say that they have finally found the answer in Melo, I beg to differ. Little may just be the answer they’re looking for. His numbers in his last three games may not wow you (his first double-double game wowed me for sure 12/11/1/1/2) but if you watch him play, he might just make a believer in you. With no clear answer at the 3/4 spots I’m inclined to think that his role will only continue to grow as the season progresses.
TERENCE DAVIS – TORONTO RAPTORS SG (4% Owned)
Now this one got me excited! Terence Davis is good. The Toronto Raptors know it, Nick Nurse knows it and soon we will all know it. For awhile he has been trading good games with Norman Powell, but in his last game against the Magic he decided to put on a show. The undrafted guard out of Ole Miss busted out for 19 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 3 treys on 70% and 100% shooting in that game. He flashed a poise of a veteran and made good decisions on the floor as he showcased his all-around game. He is a good stash for those who love late-season surges as I see him getting unleashed as the Raptor regulars get their rest for a playoff push.
KY BOWMAN – GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS PG (7% Owned)
Though this is just for a limited run, Ky Bowman has produced impressive numbers while D’Angelo Russell is out. “The Archer” is averaging 13.8 points, 3 boards, 4 helpers, 1.8 swipes 2.3 treys and get this, 0.3 turnovers, this past week. He is currently on a 2-way contract but with the Warriors’ need for healthy bodies and his ability to produce any given night, he might have played himself to a guaranteed contract. He is currently playing all the minutes he could handle and that alone should keep him rostered in all standard leagues and deeper.