Mar 27, 2018


The big news coming out of the Western Conference this week is the fact the Steph Curry will most likely be out for the first playoff series. In his first game back from an ankle injury, Steph sprained his left MCL. After three years of being on the right side of NBA injury news, the injury bug is finally catching up with the Warriors. Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green are all sitting out with injuries right now, and while they are all expected to return before the playoffs, the Warriors look beatable for the first time in a long time. The questions surrounding the Warriors' health put a special impact on the 7th seed in the west. While the banged-up Warriors are still very much a formidable opponent, NBA teams would much rather face them than the Rockets right now. 

The Timberwolves currently sit in that 7th spot right now, but they have an identical record to the 8th place Jazz, are only a game and a half behind the 4th place Thunder, and are only a game and a half up on the 9th place Nuggets. So with less than ten games left in the season, there are still six teams that could end up in that intriguing 7th spot. The Timberwolves can take advantage of an easy week and climb a spot or two as they play the Grizzlies, Hawks, and Mavericks, all of which sit in the bottom three spots of their conferences. The Timberwolves are also expecting the return of Jimmy Butler soon. Butler was their leading scorer and was averaging over 40 fantasy points per game before being sidelined with a knee injury in late February. The Nuggets have a very opposite week of opponents lined up for them as they try to climb back into playoff contention. They have to face the 76ers, Raptors, Thunder, and Bucks this week, all of whom are playoff bound. Friday’s game against the Thunder is especially important as the Thunder are also in that heated mix in the West. The last time the two teams met, Jokic went off for a 29/13/14 triple-double and 72.6 fantasy basketball points in a 127-124 victory. That was one of Jokic’s best games of the season, and the Nuggets will need a similar performance from him this Friday if they want to stay in the playoff mix. 

There is very exciting news coming out of Philadelphia this week as Markelle Fultz makes his return on Monday. The first overall pick only played four games this season before being sitting out due to issues with his shoulder. The good news comes a day after the 76ers clinched their first playoff berth since 2012. While there are still a number of question marks surrounding the highly touted rookie, his return to action will be fun to watch. The 76ers 'process' is unfolding nicely in regards to Embiid and Ben Simmons, only time will tell if Fultz will find the same success in the NBA.

Two games that Fantasy Basketball players at Draftboard should pay attention to this week are the Tuesday matchup of the Trail Blazers and the Pelicans and the Thursday matchup of the Bucks at the Warriors. The Trail Blazers are in the third spot in the West and hold a two and a half game lead over the Pelicans in the fifth spot. If the Pelicans can climb out of the fifth spot, they will hold home court advantage in the first playoff series. Look for Brow to bring his A-game, and if we are lucky he may even add to his league leading three 90+ fantasy point games. The Warriors game is important because it may be the return of Durant and Green. The two have missed have been absent the past few games, and the Warriors would like them to be back in the swing of things come playoff time. Expect them to see good playing time down the stretch.

Dan Quinn