The Week Ahead: Week 4

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The Week Ahead: Week 4

Two Games: ORL, WAS

Three Games: BOS, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, NYK, OKC, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA

Four Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, PHI, PHX, POR

Jaylen Brown will miss 1-2 weeks with a hamstring injury

On Monday morning it was announced that Jaylen Brown will miss the next 1-2 weeks of action as he recovers from a right hamstring strain. It’s been both a frustrating and amazing start to the season for Brown, who has often looked like the best player on the floor for Boston this season, but he’s also had multiple injury scares and is now about to miss his first multi-game stretch of the season. However, considering how hamstring injuries can derail seasons if not treated properly right away, I’m glad that the Celtics are getting on top of this early, and I am not praying for a quick return; I just want Jaylen healthy.

So, who benefits in his absence? Dennis Schroder will probably be the primary beneficiary, as he’ll likely move into the starting lineup, while Jayson Tatum will have full control of the offense. Smaller name players that could also benefit while Jaylen is out will be Josh Richardson, Grant Williams and perhaps Aaron Nesmith, and I would rank them in that order.

Richardson and Williams are guys I would consider grabbing in deep leagues, but Nesmith is someone I’ll be watching from the waiver wire in most settings. In the two games that Brown has missed this season, their averages are as follows:

Josh Richardson: 10.0 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 triple, 1.0 block and 1.0 turnover per game on 45% shooting.

Grant Williams: 9.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 2.5 triples per game on 67% shooting.

Aaron Nesmith: 0.0 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game, and he’s gone 0-of-9 from the field in those two games.

Joel Embiid (COVID-19) now in quarantine

Unless Embiid posted a false positive COVID-19 test on Monday, he will be missing the next few weeks, as he’ll be forced into a 10-day quarantine and will then need to ramp up his conditioning once he’s cleared. The coronavirus has been ravaging the 76ers locker room, with Tobias Harris, Matisse Thybulle and Isaiah Joe all currently in quarantine, so I’d anticipate heavy minutes for the starters this week, and guys like Georges Niang, Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton and Paul Reed are looking like highly attractive streamers for Philly’s four-game week with two games on light days.

Georges Niang (past four games): 16.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 3.0 triples, 0.8 steals and 0.5 turnovers per game on 40.8% shooting from the field and 86.7% at the stripe.

Furkan Korkmaz (past three games): 17.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.7 triples and 1.7 turnovers per game on 59.4% shooting.

Shake Milton (past two games): 14.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.0 triple, 2.0 steals and 1.5 turnovers per game on 47.8% shooting from the field and 83.3% at the line.

Paul Reed (started Saturday): 10 points (5-of-6 FG), five rebounds, one steal, one block and two turnovers

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Down Goes Sexton

Collin Sexton exited Sunday’s game with a left knee injury and when he was re-evaluated in Cleveland, the initial diagnosis was a torn left meniscus, so he's going to miss significant time -- if not the remainder of the 2021-22 season. The clear, primary beneficiary here will be Ricky Rubio, who figures to be locked in as a starter moving forward.

Rubio started the second half of Sunday’s game and went off for 37 points (13-of-19 FG, 3-of-3 FT), 10 assists, three rebounds, eight triples, one steal and four turnovers across 31 minutes as he helped guide Cleveland to a 126-109 win over New York. He was already having a superb season in Cleveland, and now he's looking at even more opportunity and minutes heading his way. There will also be more shots and playmaking opportunities for Darius Garland, and more usage for guys like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen and Lauri Markkanen (COVID-19).

There’s not a clear guy to add with Sexton going down, as Rubio is already rostered in 64% of Yahoo leagues, although I do think that number should be a lot higher. Dean Wade has been starting sans Lauri Markkanen (COVID-19) and Isaac Okoro (left hamstring), but he hasn’t done anything at all impressive. Perhaps once Okoro makes it back to the court he could gain a marginal boost, but he’s been thoroughly unimpressive to this point in his career, and he’ll likely be eased back into things following the hamstring issue.

So, I'll be keeping my eyes on Okoro once he gets back to the court, but again, I don't think there's anyone you can go grab off the waiver wire with this injury who will dramatically improve your fantasy squad. I believe it'll be Rubio, Garland, Mobley, Allen and Markkanen seeing a boost, in that order, with Okoro being a guy to watch from the waiver wire.

Light Games Days

Tuesday – 3 Games

MIL vs. PHI

ATL vs. UTA

POR vs. LAC

Thursday – 3 Games

TOR vs. PHI

IND vs. UTA

MIA vs. LAC

Streamers: Georges Niang, Furkan Korkmaz, Shake Milton, Luke Kennard, Terance Mann, Anfernee Simons