A look at three players who will have increased roles due to injuries; plus three players to eye on your waiver wire this weekend
POSTED: Jan 7, 2016 4:31 PM ET
Brandon Knight looks poised for a huge second-half of the season with Eric Bledsoe out.
As major injuries unfortunately pile up around the league over the last two weeks, we look at which players are poised to benefit from the increased playing time:
Knight is the biggest beneficiary of the dreadful string of injuries lately. His usage will go through the roof on a Phoenix team that just snapped a nine-game losing streak and sits four games out of the playoffs in the West. There are few other offensive options on the Suns, so Knight should have no problem building off his current averages of 19.6 points on 42.3 percent shooting, 2.1 3-pointers, 5.3 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 36.0 minutes. His turnovers will likely increase due to the increased usage. But his production of points and assists should place him in an elite fantasy group to close out the season. Now is the time to pounce if you want to acquire Knight through a trade since his numbers will begin to balloon real soon. Devin Booker (see below) and Mirza Teletovic should also see an increase in value.
The Raptors turn to Johnson to replace their prized offseason addition in the starting lineup for at least the next month and a half. Johnson has delivered in increased minutes before and is averaging 9.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks this season when playing more than 25 minutes. These certainly aren't eye-popping numbers, but they're indicative of the all-around game Johnson can provide. His combination of high field goal percentage, rebounds and defensive stats make him a valuable piece for most standard league teams when he receives minutes. He's only owned in 3 percent of Yahoo! leagues at the moment, so keep an eye on how he does over the next few games. He is worth a look if he continues to provide high percentages and consistent defensive stats. Terrence Ross should also see an increase in value and is a better option if you are looking for 3-pointers.
It's hard to know what to expect from Larkin as he steps into the starting point guard role for the Nets. A second-year pro out of Miami, Larkin is averaging 10.0 points, 5.0 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 3.0 steals when playing 30 or more minutes this season. Turnovers and field goal percentages will likely be major problems. But if he can control those areas, he could provide enough assists and steals to be worth ownership in deep leagues. The injury to Jack will likely benefit Thaddeus Young, Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic more as they will be forced to create more of the offense for Brooklyn. However, if your guard situation is lacking, keep an eye on Larkin over the next few games. He's currently owned in 27 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues and will likely get scooped up quick after his first big game.
Stat Line Of The Week
Draymond Green's Triple Double
Draymond Green had a tremendous game as he scores 29 points, grabs 17 rebounds and hands out 17 assists in an overtime victory over the Nuggets.
January 2 vs. Denver - 29 points (10-16 FG, 5-9 3P, 4-6 FT), 17 rebounds, 14 assists, 4 steals, 1 block in 44 minutes
Like Knight, Booker will see increased action with Eric Bledsoe out for the season. Over his last four games, Booker is averaging 15.0 points on 46.8 percent shooting, 1.3 3-pointers, 4.5 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.5 steals in 33.7 minutes. He should continue to see usage like this for the rest of the year and he's definitely worth picking up in standard leagues. The Suns matchup with the Heat on Friday.
Withey's hot streak could come to an end soon as Rudy Gobert nears a return. But until then, Withey is worth a look as he has been dominating for Utah over his last four games with averages of 10.0 points on 50.0 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in 31.4 minutes. He has neared a double-double every game over this stretch while providing elite defensive stats. The Jazz matchup with the Heat on Saturday and the Lakers on Sunday.
Turner should continue to see increased usage this weekend as he fills in for injured Avery Bradley (hip). Over his last three games, Turner is averaging 13.7 points on 44.4 percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 36.5 minutes. Give him a look if you need points and rebounds to win your matchup this weekend. The Celtics matchup with the Grizzlies on Sunday.