Warriors SG Alec Burks Fantasy Outlook After D'Angelo Russell's Injury

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 16, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK- NOVEMBER 9:  Alec Burks #8 of the Golden State Warriors handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 9, 2019 at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Zach Beeker/NBAE via Getty Images)
Zach Beeker/Getty Images

Fantasy players who need to find a temporary replacement for Golden State Warriors star D'Angelo Russell would do well to take a close look at his teammate Alec Burks.

The Warriors announced Russell will miss the next two weeks and be re-evaluated at that time after an MRI confirmed a sprained right thumb suffered during Friday's loss to the Boston Celtics

For all of the initial skepticism about how Russell would fit head coach Steve Kerr's system, the 23-year-old was off to an excellent start this season. Some of that has come out of necessity because of the absences of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, but Russell currently has the highest scoring average (24.3 points per game) and shooting percentage (45.5) of his career. 

Losing Russell for an extended period thrusts Burks into the spotlight. A first-round pick by the Utah Jazz in 2011, the 28-year-old is off to a promising start as a bench player in Golden State with 14.2 points per game on 41.2 percent shooting from three-point range. 

Alex Rikleen of CBS Sports discussed Monday why Burks might be able to hold that level of production throughout this season:

"After seeing his court time gradually increase over four games, Burks is now averaging 33.3 minutes and 23.0 points over his last three. He's also adding 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists. While that level of production is far better than anything he's ever done before, it is in range for what he showed when he was at his best earlier in his career. He's 28 years old, so the idea that he's putting up career best numbers makes sense for someone who should be in the middle of his prime."

Burks dropped 20 points in 30.5 minutes against the Celtics and got to the free-throw line 12 times. Golden State will need someone to carry the offense with all of its top playmakers currently sidelined. 

Per Fantasy Pros, Burks is available in 98 percent of Yahoo leagues and 90 percent of ESPN leagues. His main issue has been staying healthy, which has limited how much teams can use him on the court. 

Burks has a 35.9 three-point percentage since the start of 2015-16 but is currently making 41.2 percent of those shots this season on a career-high 3.4 attempts behind the arc. 

If your roster is lacking scoring depth with injuries to other players, Burks is a valuable commodity worth adding now that he's likely to see more playing time for the Warriors.

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