After witnessing several severe injuries throughout the first two weeks of the NBA season, from Boston Celtics small forward Gordon Hayward dislocating and fracturing his left tibia, to Brooklyn Nets point guard Jeremy Lin rupturing his patellar tendon, fantasy owners are searching through a list of free agents in hopes of replacing those who have succumbed to the injury bug. Here is a list of players to consider adding to your roster for the upcoming fantasy basketball week:
D.J. Augustin (ORL): Prior to his matchup with the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday evening, Augustin has clearly been a viable short-term fantasy option, as a result of Elfrid Payton’s injury. Augustin has averaged over 24 minutes of play per game as the starter and has been a major component to the Magic owning the best record in the eastern conference (4-1). As a true NBA journeyman, Augustin will continue to shine, as he has already put forth a 19-point performance, while averaging 5.8 assists on the season before Sunday’s game. While Payton is on the sidelines, Augustin appears to be a must-own for managers seeking efficient shooting and assists.
Josh Richardson (MIA): With Miami shooting guard Dion Waiters nursing a bothersome ankle injury, Richardson has seen a noteworthy amount of minutes in the Heat backcourt. Although Richardson struggles with turnovers (14 on the season prior to Sunday’s clash with the Minnesota Timberwolves), it is no question that he is a focal point of the offense down in South Beach. Despite being owned in only 63 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues, Richardson is averaging 13 points and two threes per game.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (BKN): In his first two seasons as a professional basketball player, it was painful for many to watch Hollis-Jefferson throw up long shots in an incoherent system. Shocking many with his defensive tenacity and his improved jump shot, he has been a focal point of Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson’s squad this year. Even though the New York Knicks kept him in check Friday night, Hollis-Jefferson exploded for 19 points and three blocks against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday. Look for him to hover around 15 points per contest while also logging a steal and a block.
Domantas Sabonis (IND): The Gonzaga product has been fitting in quite nicely to the new look of the Indiana Pacers. After a lackluster year in a short Oklahoma City Thunder rotation, Sabonis has quickly turned it around in his sophomore campaign. With Myles Turner out due to injury, Sabonis has averaged close to a double-double as he logs almost 25 minutes per game. If the double-digit points and rebounds are not enough to entice fantasy owners, Sabonis is shooting a lights-out 57 percent from the field. Similar to Augustin, Sabonis is a short-term, must-own player.
Ryan Anderson (HOU): Even though Anderson starts for the 5-2 Houston Rockets, he is only owned in 66 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues largely due to his one-dimensional repertoire. Anderson truly embodies the traditional stretch four as he has attempted a little over eight long balls per game on the year. Under head coach Mike D’Antoni, Anderson surely has the green light to fire away behind the arc. His most recent performances (against the Charlotte Hornets and then the Memphis Grizzlies) featured Anderson attempting 15 and 11 threes, respectively. If you are looking to bolster your 3-pointers made category, Anderson will continue to be an efficient option.