Fantasy Basketball 2019: Lineup Advice for NBA Week 8

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistDecember 9, 2019

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 01: JJ Redick #4 of the New Orleans Pelicans dribbles the ball down court during a NBA game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Smoothie King Center on December 01, 2019 in New Orleans, Louisiana. 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. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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Whether sporadically surfacing in the form of "load management" or lingering much longer with a serious ailment, the injury bug is playing a supersized role in the NBA's 2019-20 season.

It's the same story in the fantasy basketball realm.

Injuries have thinned the field in some cases but also added to it by awakening sleepers with newfound opportunities. Health is one of the biggest drivers behind our Week 8 lineup guide.

The other is volume potential. While most of the Association plays three (10 teams) or four games (16), the Dallas Mavericks, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs and Washington Wizards suit up just two times apiece. Remember at least that last part when locking in your weekly lineup.


Start: JJ Redick, SG, New Orleans Pelicans

When the Pelicans went to work reshaping their franchise around Zion Williamson this summer, JJ Redick seemed like the perfect complementary piece. As a sharpshooter and winner, the veteran had myriad ways he could assist the rookie.

But New Orleans' season has veered off course due to injuries—Williamson's next NBA game will be his first—which has repurposed Redick's role. He's seen more spotlight than expected (eight games with 32-plus minutes) and thrived when asked to do more.

If the 35-year-old logs 30 minutes, as he has in 10 of his last 13 games, he's probably going to look like a star. In those contests, he's averaged a whopping 20.5 points on 46.0 percent shooting, 4.5 threes, 4.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists.

With no major threats for floor time, Redick should continue running wild.

Pressed into a massive role by injuries and some underwhelming efforts around him, Redick has rebounded from a rocky start to become a fantasy juggernaut once again. The Pels play four times this week, including against the 20th-ranked defense (Detroit) and the league's leader in pace (Milwaukee).


Sit: Jeff Teague, PG, Minnesota Timberwolves

While typically a solid producer, Jeff Teague is continuing a long enough decline that it's fair to wonder if Father Time is gaining on the 31-year-old.

He's not a regular starter for the first time since his sophomore season. His minutes are as low as they've been in four years. He's lost more than one assist per game from last year (7.1, down from 8.2), and he's attempting his fewest shots since 2010-11.

He's a good passer and a solid free-throw shooter, but his numbers don't distinguish themselves in other categories.

In the right week, he's worth a start. This isn't that week. The Timberwolves only play three times, two of which come against super-talented defensive teams in the Clippers and Jazz.


Add: Terrence Ross, SG/SF, Orlando Magic

As a streaky shooter prone to brain lapses in the shot-selection department, Terrence Ross isn't always the prettiest scorer. But the Magic are so starved for scoring, they'll take whatever he can give.

They need the 28-year-old now more than ever with Al-Farouq Aminu knocked out by a torn meniscus and Nikola Vucevic still fighting a nagging ankle injury.

Ross has mostly answered the bell. Over his last seven outings, he's gone for 19-plus in four of them. Altogether, he's averaging 16.9 points on 48.8 percent shooting and 2.4 triples in this stretch.

All of those numbers could climb this week. Orlando plays four times and draws the teams ranked first (Milwaukee), second (Houston) and fifth (New Orleans) in pace of play.


Drop: Tim Hardaway Jr., SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks

It feels funny following Ross with Tim Hardaway Jr., since there's a double Spider-Man meme resemblance to their games.

But Hardaway has been more down than up of late. Even with Sunday's 29-point, nine-triple outburst, he's still had 14 points or less in five of his last seven games. He had single digits in three of them and one or no triples in four.

Unless you're a huge believer in momentum—his game log says you shouldn't be, since his last 20-plus-point performance was followed by an eight-point dud—there are no reasons to believe the 27-year-old is on the brink of finding consistency.

The Mavs only play twice this week. One comes against Miami's seventh-ranked defense. Unless you're in a deep league and desperate for offense, it's fine to move on from Hardaway, even during the afterglow of his big night.