Fantasy Basketball 2019: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured NBA Players After Dec 12

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistDecember 12, 2019

Milwaukee Bucks' Ersan Ilyasova, left, of Turkey, drives as Minnesota Timberwolves' Jake Layman defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Nov 4, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Jim Mone/Associated Press

Fantasy basketball owners with Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo on their rosters may have to look down different avenues for production in the coming days.

The superstar was held out of Milwaukee's Wednesday night contest with New Orleans because of right leg soreness, per Matt Velazquez of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

If the Bucks erred on the side of caution Wednesday, they could do the same for back-to-back clashes with Memphis and Cleveland. 

Out in Portland, one of the two Trailblazers tasked with replacing Rodney Hood appears to be a decent fantasy basketball addition. 

After Hood suffered a season-ending injury Friday, second-year guard Anfernee Simons has experienced an uptick in playing time, which has come with a chance to produce higher totals. 

Simons and Kent Bazemore appear to be the early beneficiaries of the hole in Portland's lineup, but the 20-year-old has done more with his opportunity over two contests. 


Waiver-Wire Advice

Ersan Ilyasova, F, Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - DECEMBER 11:  Ersan Ilyasova #7 of the Milwaukee Bucks shoots over Lonzo Ball #2 of the New Orleans Pelicans during the first half of a game at Fiserv Forum on December 11, 2019 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. NOTE TO USER: User expressly
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

With Antetokounmpo out of the lineup, Ersan Ilyasova slid into a more productive role and put up 18 points in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday. 

Ilyasova was one rebound away from a double-double, and he went 8-for-10 from the field as the Bucks scored 127 points. 

The 32-year-old has four consecutive double-digit scoring performances, but the difference between the previous three contests and Wednesday was the minutes increase. 

The victory over the Pelicans marked the first time since November 2 that he was on the court for over 20 minutes. 

With Memphis and Cleveland ahead on the weekend slate, the Bucks could continue to display caution with their star player and hold him on the sidelines. 

The 22-3 Bucks should be able to down two opponents with 13 combined wins short-handed, and if that is the case, Ilyasova may continue to play more. 

Even when Antetokounmpo returns, Ilyasova might be worth keeping as a bench option.

Since November 27, the forward has seven 10-point outings and he has at least six rebounds in four of those contests. 


Anfernee Simons, G, Portland

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Simons recorded his third-best scoring total of the season in Tuesday's win over the New York Knicks. 

In two games since Hood's injury, the 20-year-old has 23 points, eight rebounds and three steals. 

His performances have been much better than Bazemore from a fantasy perspective, as the new starter in Portland only had four points versus the Knicks on 1-for-5 shooting. 

After visiting Denver and Phoenix, the Blazers conclude December with six of seven games at home. 

The first part of that homestand includes meetings with Golden State, Orlando and New Orleans, which could lead to more production from Simons. 

In his three last games, he has shot 50 percent from the field, and in two of them, he made at least a trio of three-pointers. 

If Simons extends that shooting accuracy into the next few weeks, he could be an option to mix in on a regular basis in your lineup. 

If anything, the opportunity will be there all season, so he is worth the addition now before others take notice.


Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference