Fantasy Basketball Start ‘Em – Sit ‘Em
George Hill CLE – START ‘EM
The Cavaliers were the big story of Thursday’s trade deadline, shipping out Isaiah Thomas and other players in a dramatic reboot that brought them George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, Larry Nance and Rodney Hood. Of the four players they acquired, Hill probably has the most to offer Fantasy owners. Hill was posting career lows in Sacramento, as the Kings tried to get more minutes from the younger players on their roster.
Hill won’t have that issue in Cleveland, and he should play 30-plus minutes per night on a team that should be a great fit for him. LeBron James will generate plenty of open looks for Hill, who has shot better than 45 percent from beyond the arc this season. Health is always a huge factor for Hill, as indicated by his High Injury Risk designation on Inside Injuries. If he can stay healthy, he’ll a nice Fantasy asset once again. Give him a look this week at the start of his Cavs tenure.
Jordan Clarkson CLE – SIT ‘EM
On the flip side from George Hill, Jordan Clarkson will likely see a decrease in Fantasy value as a member of the Cavs. He will likely get fewer minutes playing behind the veteran Hill, which could really hurt Clarkson who is so feast or famine. Expect him to consistently be in the low 20s for minutes played, running the second unit in Cleveland. He will be a useful player for LeBron and company, but less useful for you as a Fantasy owner as long as Hill stays healthy. Hill’s shaky health status makes Clarkson intriguing enough as a player to stash, but keep him out of your starting lineups for now.
Tomas Satoranksy WAS – START ‘EM
With John Wall out, it looked like Washington had a massive hole at point guard. However, Tomas Satoransky has been a revelation, and he’s coming off his best game yet, in which he scored a career-high 25 points with three rebounds, six assists, two steals and five 3-pointers in 37 minutes against the Bulls on Saturday. He did leave late in the game with a head injury and cut above his eye, but it’s not believed to be serious. Satoransky has become a key player for the Wizards as they survive without Wall, who is likely out for at least another month or so. He has had some scoring dips here and there, but his assist and steal numbers have stayed pretty consistent. With the talent around him in Washington, Satoranksy is a nice Fantasy asset while he plays big minutes with Wall out.
UPDATE – Tomas Satoransky sat out of Monday’s practice and is questionable to play Wednesday due to a head injury sustained during Saturday’s matchup against the Chicago Bulls. He was placed in the league’s concussion protocol Saturday but was cleared by medical personnel prior to Monday’s practice session. Satoransky was fouled by Bulls forward Bobby Portis who was charged with a flagrant foul-2 despite only making contact with Satoransky’s arm.
Bobby Portis Ejected For This Foul On Tomas Satoransky pic.twitter.com/gDXKgtJNF5
— Gustavo Vega (@iamvega1982) February 11, 2018
Waiver Wire Recommendations
Austin Rivers, PG – LAC (*52%)
Austin Rivers returned Friday from an ankle injury that had kept him from playing in the Clippers’ last 18 games, and he looks as good as ever. In his two games since returning, he has averaged 13 points, five assists, and four rebounds. His point total could have been, and perhaps should have been, higher as he hit just three of 13 3-pointers in those two games. If he had been producing at his season average of .405, he would have made one or two more of those 3-pointers for an extra 6-9 points.
The point is that Rivers is getting a lot of minutes and a lot of usage, as he is the starting point guard while Milos Teodosic is out, which should be awhile. And Teodosic has had some pretty serious injury issues this season, so there is no guarantee that he will be able to come back 100 percent at any point this season. So, Rivers may very well hold onto the starting role for the majority of the remainder of the season. Therefore, he is a long-term value add and should probably be owned in all leagues. Rivers remains a High Injury Risk for now, but he hit the Optimal Recovery Time for his ankle injury and should be healthy enough to continue to contribute.
Mario Hezonja, SF – ORL (21%)
Mario Hezonja was a little-known name entering this season. In his two years in the league, he only averaged 16.5 minutes, 5.5 points and 2.2 rebounds per game. In fact, even early this year he was getting similar minutes and points. But in early December, Hezonja got a chance for minutes with the injury to Aaron Gordon, and he took the opportunity and ran with it. In the seven games that Gordon was out, Hezonja averaged 15.0 points and 4.7 rebounds, making him a solid Fantasy option. But when Gordon came back his production dropped a bit.
Well, guess what? Gordon is out again with a hip injury (he remains a High Injury Risk and has a three-week Optimal Recovery Time), and Hezonja picked up right where he left off. In the seven games Gordon has missed since the end of January, Hezonja has averaged 15.3 points and five rebounds, with a handful of assists, steals, and blocks. With Gordon out for the next week or two at the very least, Hezonja is a short-term value add who may even keep some value after Gordon returns.
Dwight Powell, C – DAL (25%)
Dwight Powell should see a bit of a boost soon due to the injury to Dirk Nowitzki, and the continued injury woes of Nerlens Noel. Powell will likely see 30-35 minutes, and that should allow him to continue his recent run of good work.
Powell has hit 17-plus points in three of his last four games, and he has averaged eight rebounds over that span as well. If he gets a 5-10 minute boost, one could expect his scoring and rebound numbers to go up too. It remains to be seen how long Nowitzki will stay out, but Powell will be a good short-term add for at least this week, and he may be worth keeping as a bench player going forward.
*Percentage Owned in Yahoo! Leagues
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Tomas Santoransky Photo Credit: AP Photo/Paul Beaty