Why an injured Chris Paul should be on your fantasy basketball radar (0:47)
LA Clippers PG Chris Paul is expected to be out six to eight weeks but could be a valuable asset upon his return in fantasy head-to-head playoffs. (0:47)
Paul, who jumped up to No. 9 in last week’s rankings, is set to undergo surgery Wednesday to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb and is expected to be sidelined six to eight weeks, which effectively makes him unavailable right up until the start of the fantasy playoffs.
CP3’s assists, steals, 3s and points helped carry every fantasy team he was on this season, and his absence creates a situation where owners have to assess whether their team can make it to the playoffs without him. This is especially difficult in leagues without an IR slot, and the decision ultimately comes down to whether your team can afford to wait for Paul to return. Just remember, it’s better to eek into the fantasy playoffs without Paul than it is to miss the playoffs with Paul taking up an empty roster spot.
We’ve dropped him to No. 75 this week, and feel that’s a good spot that reflects his value. Anyone who adds Paul for a playoff run gains a top-10 player so anything below 75 would be too low, but at the same time six to eight weeks is a long time to wait at this critical stage of the fantasy season.
Thomas moved up to No. 16 on last week’s rankings and that seemed pretty high, but as his shot continues to fall we can’t help but continue to place him higher. He cracks the top 10 this week for this first time after averaging 33.2 points, 3.6 rebounds, 5 assists and a ridiculous 5.2 3s per game. For the time being, the Celtics star point guard has vaulted ahead of not only Paul but also John Wall and Kyle Lowry.
Nikola Jokic moves up to 17, one spot ahead of Joel Embiid, following a huge week where he established a new career-high with a 30-point game against Orlando and followed it up with 29 points against the Lakers. He’s averaged 25 points, 11.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.3 steals, 1 block and 1 three in his past five games.
Another notable riser is Zach Randolph, who moves to 72 after consistently putting up big scoring and rebound numbers. He has double-doubles in four of his past five games and has averaged 17 points and 11.8 rebounds in that span.
As for newcomers to the list, there are several of them to point out.
Austin Rivers, who has been playing more than 30 minutes a game lately, enters the rankings at 123 this week and his minutes and usage will only increase without Paul. Similarly, veteran point guard Raymond Felton has played well in recent games and will be asked to play around 25 minutes a night sans CP3. He enters the rankings at 132.