Sunday was supposed to be a big day for Suns guard Devin Booker, who was back in the lineup after missing three games with a sore groin. There was no explicitly stated minutes limit for the All-Star guard, but unfortunately, we never reached the point where we’d find out. Booker exited the Suns’ game against the Nuggets after playing four minutes as he aggravated the groin injury. More will be learned about the severity of Booker’s injury on Monday, and it’s time for fantasy managers to seek out alternatives should he be sidelined for an extended period.
Landry Shamet (16%) and Damion Lee (3%) are the players most impacted by Booker’s injury, as one of those two filled the resulting void in the starting lineup during the three games prior. Shamet has been the better fantasy option recently, offering 5th-round value in 9-cat formats over the last week, and he was the first guard off the bench Sunday night. Shamet finished with 31 points, two rebounds, six assists, and seven 3-pointers, while Lee (18 points, eight rebounds, and four 3-pointers) was also productive offensively and on the glass.
Shamet is the player fantasy managers should target even before the Suns provide an update on Booker, as he could also see time at the point when Chris Paul needs a break. Lee shouldn’t be approached with similar urgency in fantasy leagues, but there’s value to be had there.
Donte DiVincenzo (41%)
DiVincenzo was back in the starting lineup after missing Wednesday’s loss to the Nets, and he played well in the Warriors’ win over the Grizzlies. Playing 31 minutes, he accounted for 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and five 3-pointers, shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Over the last two weeks, DiVincenzo is one of two Warriors producing at a top-50 level, with Stephen Curry being the other. Obviously, Curry is out due to a left shoulder subluxation, and he’ll miss at least two more weeks. Andrew Wiggins (groin) could be back soon, but fantasy managers who have DiVincenzo rostered should hold onto him. And even if Wiggins is back for Tuesday’s game against the Hornets, that’s the first half of a back-to-back. So it isn’t too late to add DiVincenzo, even with Golden State having three games in Week 11.
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Immanuel Quickley (24%)
Quickley wasn’t an “add” before Sunday’s game against the 76ers, but there was an important injury-related development during the Knicks’ defeat. Starting point guard Jalen Brunson appeared to injure his right hip during the fourth quarter, checking out with a little less than five minutes remaining and not returning. Quickley finished with a modest line, playing 22 minutes and scoring 11 points with one rebound, one assist, one block, and two 3-pointers. But he’s in a spot where he’ll be asked to do more if Brunson isn’t available for the beginning of the Knicks’ three-game trek through Texas, Tuesday night in Dallas. Miles McBride, who played six minutes on Sunday, and Derrick Rose (DNP-CD) would also be in line for an increase in playing time, but neither is worth adding.
Austin Reaves (23%)
While Thomas Bryant essentially flamed out in Sunday’s loss to the Mavericks, playing 19 minutes, Reaves’ fantasy value was secure. He played 29 minutes off the bench, scoring 16 points with two rebounds, two blocks, and two 3-pointers. Reaves was one of two Lakers reserves to hit double figures Sunday afternoon, with Russell Westbrook being the other. L.A. continues its road trip Tuesday in Miami, which gives Reaves a shot at solid fantasy value despite continuing to come off the bench. At a minimum, Reaves is worth rostering due to the Lakers’ lack of offensive firepower.
Georges Niang (4%)
With P.J. Tucker still limited due to a right-hand injury, it was a near-even split between him and Niang in minutes played. “The Minivan” picked up the slack offensively, scoring 16 points with two rebounds, one blocked shot, and four 3-pointers. As long as Tucker is playing through the pinched nerve in his hand, Niang will have value. Niang is providing 13th-round value over the last two weeks, and while that isn’t much to write home about, he has been more productive than Tucker during this stretch.
Pat Connaughton (3%)
While Khris Middleton (knee) is sidelined, Milwaukee has flexibly handled the fifth starter spot. Jevon Carter and MarJon Beauchamp have made starts in Middleton’s absence, and it was Connaughton’s turn to fill the void on Sunday. He played 30 minutes in the Bucks’ loss to Boston, accounting for 15 points (5-of-9 FGs, 1-of-2 FTs), four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and four 3-pointers. A solid performance from Connaughton, but it should be noted that that game’s opponent has heavily influenced Mike Budenholzer’s decisions regarding who starts. Connaughton’s combination of size/strength/athleticism made him the best option to start against Boston, even if the Bucks did not win the game. Milwaukee begins a three-game Week 11 Wednesday night in Chicago.
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Reggie Bullock (2%)
Bullock has gotten off to slow starts in the past, and this season was no different. But his Christmas Day performance was solid, with Bullock scoring a season-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. He also accounted for three rebounds, four assists, one blocked shot, and four 3-pointers in his 35 minutes on the floor. Dallas scored 51 points in the third quarter, but Bullock was one of the few who didn’t benefit from the Lakers’ porous defense, as he took just one shot from the field during that period. Dallas being down multiple wings, most notably Dorian Finney-Smith (groin) and Josh Green (elbow), means Bullock will be on the court for longer stretches, even if the shots aren’t falling. With matchups against the Rockets and Spurs in Week 11, now would be a good time to “kick the tires” and see what Bullock can provide.