The Week Ahead: Week 7

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·6 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Denver Nuggets
    Denver Nuggets
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Memphis Grizzlies
    Memphis Grizzlies
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • New Orleans Pelicans
    New Orleans Pelicans
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Ja Morant
    Ja Morant
    LiveTodayTomorrowvs--|
  • Michael Porter Jr.
    Michael Porter Jr.
    American basketball player
  • Zion Williamson
    Zion Williamson
    American basketball player



The App is Back! Don’t forget to download the NBC Sports EDGE app to receive real-time player news, mobile alerts and track your favorite players. Plus, now you can check out articles and player cards. Get it here!

The Week Ahead: Week 7

Two Games: DET, LAL
Three Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, DEN, GSW, IND, MEM, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHX, SAC, SA, TOR, UTA
Four Games: CLE, DAL, HOU, LAC, MIA, NOP, POR, WAS

Michael Porter Jr. Undergoes Back Surgery

On Monday morning it was announced that Michael Porter Jr. will be undergoing his third back surgery, and while a timetable for his return hasn’t been released, it’s probably safe to say that he won’t be taking the floor again during the regular season. Unfortunately, that means he’s safe to cut in all re-draft formats, making him one of this year’s biggest busts due to his ADP of 26.8.

Will Barton, Aaron Gordon and Jeff Green will continue to pick up the slack in MPJ’s absence, and while Barton (79%) and AG (77%) are already rostered everywhere, Green is currently only rostered in 13% of Yahoo! Leagues. The 35-year-old vet has been a bit hit-or-miss since MPJ hit the sidelines, but he’s been trending up over the past three games with averages of 19.3 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 triples, 1.0 assist, 1.3 swats and just 1.3 turnovers per contest on 58.3% shooting from the field and 81.8% from the stripe.

Zion Williamson nearing his return

Last Friday the Pelicans announced that Zion Williamson (foot surgery) had finally been cleared for full basketball activities, and he was recently spotted going through some 4-on-4 work. Now that’s he’s taking contact and not limited to certain activities, we know he’s on the cusp of making his regular-season debut, but that doesn’t mean his managers are out of the woods just yet. We still don’t have an official return date for Zion, and considering the Pelicans are just 5-17 on the season, they have no incentive to rush Williamson back to the court. We also still don’t know exactly when Williamson underwent his foot procedure, but we do know that the specific injury he’s recovering from – a fracture to the fifth metatarsal of his right foot – is an injury that can be easily aggravated if a player is brought back too soon and it tends to be a slow-healing injury due to the lack of blood flow to that area.

Considering that Williamson is a walking giant who put extreme pressure on his feet as nearly all of his shot attempts involve him exploding to the rim for a highlight-reel jam, I remain concerned about his ability to hold up this season. However, if all goes well and he’s able to return without issue, then he could pan out to be one of the better draft day steals, and he could also destroy Jonas Valanciunas in the process.

JV got off to a hot start this season, but he’s been slowing down as of late, and it’s tough to see him continuing to churn out double-doubles if he’s forced to share the paint with Zion. For this reason, I’d be looking to sell high on JV before Zion is added to the equation, and if you’re feeling lucky, now will be your final opportunity to float out some low-ball offers on Zion.

King Ja Goes Down

The Grizzlies announced on Sunday that Ja Morant is expected to miss at least “a few weeks” with his sprained left knee, and while it’s certainly possible his absence will extend beyond this loose timetable, the fact that we’re talking weeks and not season-ending should be a massive relief for Morant managers given how bad the injury initially looked.

Memphis is notoriously unreliable with their injury updates, but it is worth noting that last season when Morant went down with a Grade 2 left ankle sprain that was expected to cost him to miss 3-5 weeks on the sidelines, he only wound up missing two weeks. King Ja is still just 22 years old, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him back in under a month’s time.

In the meantime, we saw what things will look like in Memphis with Morant unavailable on Sunday, and it’ll be Tyus Jones moving into the starting lineup, Dillon Brooks and Desmond Bane controlling the offense, and guys like Jaren Jackson Jr. and De’Anthony Melton seeing some increased opportunity. Melton is already rostered in 50% of Yahoo! Leagues, but Jones might be available on your waiver wire, as he’s only rostered in 27% of Yahoo! Leagues – so give him a look if you need some dimes, triples and steals.

Editor’s Note: Play for FREE! Download the NBC Sports Predictor app, make picks and win huge, weekly jackpots. Get started here!

The Hawks Losing Wings

On Sunday the Hawks announced that Bogdan Bogdanovic underwent an MRI which revealed a right ankle sprain for Bogdan Bogdanovic and he will miss at least the next two weeks of action, while Cam Reddish will be evaluated daily with his sprained left wrist. If Reddish is forced to join Bogdanovic on the sidelines for Wednesday’s game in Indiana, then Kevin Huerter will get all the run he can handle as a starter and Danilo Gallinari could see a nice uptick in usage with the second unit. There could also be some more opportunity for guys like Lou Williams, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and Delon Wright, but Gallinari is the guy I would target as a streamer sans Bogdan and Reddish.

As for Bogdanovic, he’s gotten off to a brutal start this season, but he’s also been fighting through numerous injuries, so maybe the time off will do him well. Remember, he was also atrocious to start last season, but then came alive towards the second half with top-50 value, so it’s possible we could see the same thing again this year. His managers are probably quite frustrated with his production thus far, though, so now would be an ideal time to float out some buy-low offers.

Kemba Walker No Longer A Starter

Tom Thibodeau revealed on Monday that Kemba Walker will be out of the Knickerbockers for the foreseeable future and that Alec Burks will be the team’s starting point guard moving forward. Walker had only been providing late-round value on the season, so he’s an easy guy to cut, while Burks (36%) is worth a look in most leagues. He’s coming off a 23-point performance with a full stat line, and per-36 minutes this season, Burks has compiled averages of 16.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 dimes, 3.3 triples, 1.8 steals, 0.5 swats and 1.2 turnovers per contest.

Light Games Days

Tuesday – Five Games

NYK vs. BKN
MEM vs. TOR
GSW vs. PHX
DET vs. POR
LAL vs. SAC

Thursday – Five Games

CHI vs. NYK
MIL vs. TOR
OKC vs. MEM
DET vs. PHX
SA vs. POR

Sunday – Four Games

UTA vs. CLE
CHA vs. ATL
WAS vs. TOR
NOP vs. HOU

Streamers: Alec Burks, Tyus Jones, Svi Mykhailiuk (pending Gary Trent Jr.), Gary Payton II, Danilo Gallinari, Lou Williams, Delon Wright, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, JaVale McGee, Killian Hayes, Anfernee Simons, Coby White, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Eric Gordon