Fantasy Basketball 2019: Streaming Options for Injured NBA Players for Week 24

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistMarch 25, 2019

Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) in the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 132-95.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

For most fantasy basketball managers, it's championship week. As NBA teams shut down players with nagging injuries, the waiver wire becomes a hotbed for streaky pickups.

It's easier to target assets on teams that focus on player development in the last two weeks of the regular season. Once a club has been eliminated from playoff contention, the head coach will often speak about an expanded role for high draft picks and veterans on expiring contracts. 

In most cases, a player set to see more time on the court could log 30-plus minutes as the front office figures out how to approach the offseason. While executives assess the talent on the floor, fantasy owners can take advantage of defined roles late in the year.

One coach provided information that elevates a center atop the list of streaming options. Two of the selections below took advantage of increased playing time over the last week.


Top Streaming Options

C Thomas Bryant, Washington Wizards (33 percent owned)

Nick Wass/Associated Press

At 30-44, Washington Wizards head coach Scott Brooks will shift into evaluation mode.

According to NBC Sports Washington's Chase Hughes, center Thomas Bryant and forward Bobby Portis should see an uptick in minutes together:

Chase Hughes @ChaseHughesNBCS

Scott Brooks framed putting Thomas Bryant in the starting lineup alongside Bobby Portis as an experiment, as in the Wizards are in evaluation mode with “some decisions to make” this summer. They are both FAs and had only played 5 total min together before tonight.

Bryant started the last two outings, logging 35 and 36 minutes, respectively. More importantly for fantasy owners, he's a good bet for a double-double with a spot in the starting lineup. The Indiana product crashes the boards and converts a high field-goal percentage.

The second-year center recorded 39 points, 19 rebounds and two blocks since his return to the first unit. For the season, he's shooting 62 percent from the field and 82 percent from the free-throw line.

If you need a big man, Thomas is a solid pickup with four games on the slate for Week 24.


SG/SF Mikal Bridges, Phoenix Suns (31 percent owned)

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Head coach Igor Kokoskov shifted Mikal Bridges in and out of the starting lineup throughout year. The rookie swingman has struggled with his field-goal percentage (.436), but he's posted double figures in scoring over the last four outings.

Secondly, injuries clear the pathway for Bridges to log a high volume of minutes for the remainder of the season. Kelly Oubre won't return to the floor because of a minor procedure on his left thumb. Josh Jackson could miss more time with an ankle injury. T.J. Warren hasn't suited up since January 22 against the Minnesota Timberwolves because of an ankle ailment.

The Phoenix Suns will probably take a good look at the No. 10 overall pick from the 2018 draft, who they acquired via trade with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Bridges could provide help in three-pointers, assists and steals. He averaged 12 points, 1.3 triples, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals per contest over the last week.


SG Josh Okogie, Minnesota Timberwolves (11 percent owned)

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - MARCH 19: Josh Okogie #20 of the Minnesota Timberwolves shoots the ball against the Golden State Warriors during the game on March 19, 2019 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agr
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Timberwolves won't make the playoffs this year, and they've shut down Robert Covington (knee), Jeff Teague (foot) and Derrick Rose (elbow) for the season.

Guard Josh Okogie moved into the starting lineup January 2 against the Boston Celtics; he's probably going to finish the season in the first unit. 

Okogie could help fantasy managers across the board. The rookie guard will have ample opportunities to score because of the injuries noted above. He also gives full effort on the defensive end of the court. Owners can expect to see him stuff the stat sheet. 

The 6'4", 212-pound guard averaged 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and one block while shooting 52 percent from the field over the last week. He's primed for a strong finish as the coaching staff allots more time to developing talent on the roster.  


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