Fantasy Basketball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured NBA Players Post-Feb. 10

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2021

Fantasy Basketball 2021: Waiver-Wire Advice for Injured NBA Players Post-Feb. 10

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Fantasy basketball managers in need of a boost across several statistical categories should look at the Oklahoma City Thunder's young upstart squad.

    Yes, the Thunder battled the Los Angeles Lakers in a couple of close games, but one player shined in both outings. Somehow, he's still widely available in fantasy leagues. 

    If you're not concerned with specific categories but need to balance roster positions, the Miami Heat have a clear rotation in their frontcourt. Managers can find a productive center within that group.

    Lastly, a three-point specialist has moved into the starting lineup for a star player who's out because of the NBA's COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

    Following Wednesday's action, we'll highlight three players available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo leagues capable of replacing injured contributors on your roster. 

PG/SG Bryn Forbes, Milwaukee Bucks (11 Percent Rostered)

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    David Zalubowski/Associated Press

    Milwaukee Bucks guard Jrue Holiday will miss extended time.

    After a 125-112 victory over the Denver Nuggets, Khris Middleton told reporters that Holiday tested positive for COVID-19. 

    "You definitely think about it, especially for Jrue,” Middleton said during the postgame press conference. “It's nothing to play around with. And once he tested positive, you immediately think about his health, his safety and then his family back home."

    Thus far, Holiday has missed two games, and Bryn Forbes started in his place for those outings, logging a combined 32 points, which included eight triples.

    If you're interested in Forbes, expect nothing more than points and three-pointers, though he's been efficient from the floor and beyond the arc, shooting 49 and 48 percent, respectively.

    Even though Forbes is unlikely to maintain his three-point scoring rate, he's a decent pickup for managers who want to boost their volume in triples without picking up a low-percentage shooter.

PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Miami Heat (38 Percent Rostered)

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    Marta Lavandier/Associated Press

    When a big man trends up, pick him up before he rises to the top of the adds list. They're a rare commodity, especially centers who can routinely knock down three-pointers. 

    Kelly Olynyk isn't a stat-sheet stuffer, but he's a consistent contributor in points, three-pointers and rebounds. The eighth-year veteran recorded a season-high 20 points against the New York Knicks Tuesday. 

    With Meyers Leonard out for the year after season-ending shoulder surgery, Olynyk should maintain his average of 26.3 minutes played per contest.

    Over the last week, Olynyk has averaged 3.8 triples, 15 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He doesn't go to the free-throw line a lot, only 16 attempts, so don't worry about his 69 percent rate from the charity stripe.

    Olynyk has a solid role in the Miami Heat's frontcourt, which bodes well for his fantasy season outlook. He's rostered in well below 50 percent of Yahoo leagues. Make sure the efficient 6'11" shooter isn't on your waiver wire.

SG/SF Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder (42 Percent Rostered)

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    Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

    Last week, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander missed two games with a sprained left knee. He didn't suit up Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers because of the same injury.

    Meanwhile, Hamidou Diallo has recorded double-digit point totals in 11 consecutive contests. He's not going to stretch the floor and shoot many three-pointers, but fantasy managers will appreciate his contributions in points, rebounds and blocks. The Thunder swingman has swatted four shots over his last three outings. 

    In back-to-back games against the Lakers, Diallo logged double-doubles with points and rebounds. On February 5, versus the Minnesota Timberwolves, he flashed some playmaking ability as a distributor, dishing out 10 assists. 

    Even if Gilgeous-Alexander returns to the starting lineup Friday, Diallo should hold some fantasy value with decent stat lines. He's played at least 31 minutes in five consecutive outings. Over the last week, his rostered rate has risen by more than 12 percent.

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