Who will step up for Phoenix with T.J. Warren out for the year?
POSTED: Feb 3, 2016 1:46 PM ET
Several significant injuries have caused the Suns to rely on some unfamiliar faces.
He's the latest Suns player to go down for the season since Eric Bledsoe suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee a month ago. With two key contributors out for the year, a new coach in charge and Brandon Knight (groin strain) hobbled, the Suns are sure to have a fresh mix of players receive major minutes over the final two-plus months of the season.
Let's dig into which Phoenix players you should keep on your fantasy radar:
Morris is the hot pickup of the day in Yahoo! fantasy on Wednesday after he dominated for a season-high 30 points (13-20 FG, 1-3 3-pointers, 3-5 FT), 11 rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal in a season-high 41 minutes against the Raptors yesterday. It was just the sixth time all season Morris has shot above 50 percent, so this performance could be a flash in the pan. But interim coach Earl Watson said after the game that Morris, "is the main focus of [their] offense moving forward" and "he is going to get big minutes." That's all you need to read to realize Morris is a must pick-up in fantasy if he's still available. Don't forget, Morris is only one season removed from averaging 15.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals for Phoenix. While the loss of Warren will increase Morris' minutes and usage, it's the coaching change that should have the bigger impact on Morris' value. At least until the trade deadline, when he is one of the most likely players to be on the move.
Markieff Morris scores 30 points to go with 11 rebounds and six assists in the Suns' home loss to the Raptors.
The rookie continues to sizzle as a starter for Phoenix with averages of 17.9 points on 45.1 percent shooting, 2.1 3-pointers, 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 0.7 steals and just 2.1 turnovers in 33.9 minutes since the start of 2016. He has attempted at least 15 shots in seven of his last eight games and scored double-figures in 15 of his last 16. His lack of assists is disappointing but expected from a rookie guard. If he can pick up that part of his game, he could finish the year as one of the top-50 players in Yahoo! fantasy. Regardless, he's a must-own player for the rest of the season thanks to his high usage rate, solid shooting percentage and low turnovers. Pick Booker up if he's somehow still available in your league.
Say hello to the only healthy small forward remaining on the Suns! Tucker has received major minutes all season and especially over the last two weeks as he averages 8.6 points on 38.3 percent shooting, 1.3 3-pointers, 6.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.3 minutes since January 19. His minutes will likely rise even higher over the final two months, which should make him a decent option to consider in standard leagues. However, his poor shooting percentage will need to significantly increase for him to become a must-own player. He ranks 108th in Yahoo! fantasy over the last 30 days and is a good short-term source for steals and rebounds if you need a boost at the end of the week.
Goodwin has been solid since Brandon Knight went down two weeks ago with averages 15.6 points on 39.4 percent shooting, 1.1 3-pointers, 4.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 4.0 turnovers in 34.8 minutes as the Suns' starting point guard. These numbers are solid, but the low shooting percentage and high turnovers make him a low-end option and certainly not must-own. The timetable to return for Knight is undetermined, so Goodwin could continue this stretch of increased value for awhile. Give him a look if you need points and assists until Knight is back.
The fourth-year forward out of Bosnia will see some increased time out of position at small forward with Warren out. He has been a sneaky source of 3-pointers all season and is tied for 20th in the league with 2.0 3-pointers per game. Outside of the deep ball, Teletovic hasn't provided enough stats to be worth rostering. That could change with Warren out, but it seems likely Teletovic will remain too unreliable in rebounds, assists and defensive stats to hold onto for longer than a few games. He's averaging 9.6 points on 41.8 percent shooting, 2.0 3-pointers, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.3 steals and 0.3 blocks in 18.1 minutes over 48 games this season.
Leuer returned to the floor on Friday, but continues to fight through pain after missing five games due to back spams. Before the injury, Leuer was a solid contributor for Phoenix with averages of 10.9 points on 52.1 percent shooting, 0.8 3-pointers, 6.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 0.6 steals and 0.6 blocks in 23.9 minutes over his previous 25 games. If he can shake these back problems, he should see a significant increase in action with Warren out. The real boost for Leuer would come if the Suns move Morris before the deadline, which would open the door for major minutes at power forward. He's not worth owning now. But keep him on your radar and don't hesitate to pounce if the Suns deal Morris.