As we make our way through the final days of February, we are heading down the home stretch in Fantasy basketball. There is still plenty of work to be done, especially if you are preparing your squad to make a playoff run.
If you have a question that you'd like answered in next week's column, reach out to me on Twitter @rotomikebarner. Without further ado, let's get to this week's submissions.
What is Kevin Love's value down the stretch? I fear the Cavaliers are going to shut him down to keep him healthy for an offseason trade and better their chances for a top pick in the draft. - @DaglesBagels
If you drafted Love, he's been a win for you up to this point. He's already played in 48 games and is averaging 17.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, three assists and 2.6 3-pointers. He's been the main man on a bad team, so scoring opportunities have been plentiful. The Cavaliers would have likely dealt him at the trade deadline if they could find a taker, but his lack of defense and massive contract left many teams to stay away.
Now that he's not going anywhere this season and the team continues to pile up losses, it would not surprise me at all if he is eventually shut down. He's already missed two of the last four games and very well may not play both games of a back-to-back set again. If you can find someone to send you a reasonable return for him in your league, cash in on what he's provided you so far and pull the trigger on the deal.
Would you rather have Cam Reddish or Kevin Huerter? - @jesus_contero
The last two games have been a disaster for Huerter. He shot a combined 4 for 21 from the field, although he did somewhat redeem himself by totaling eight rebounds, 10 assists and five steals. Before those two games, he had been playing very well by averaging 16.9 points, 3.5 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.1 3-pointers across his previous eight games. He also averaged a whopping 39 minutes a night during that stretch.
Meanwhile, Reddish's playing time continues to fluctuate. After back-to-back games with at least 37 minutes, he only logged 22 minutes against the Sixers on Monday. The Hawks will likely continue to try and expand his role down the stretch, but he's not going to have the same consistent high minutes floor that Huerter does. Huerter can provide more in terms of assists and also has a higher scoring upside, so I'd rather have him moving forward.
Should I drop Luke Kennard from my IR and add Clint Capela to put on it in case he comes back? - @Dewick911
This is an intriguing question. We are looking at two players with injuries on bad teams who have nothing left to play for. Kennard (knee) has started to take some contact in practice, but his return is still not on the immediate horizon. Even when he does come back, he figures to be on a minutes limit for a while since his last game was over two months ago.
Capela (heel) is also reportedly "weeks" away from returning, which is not something you want to hear with less than two months to go in the regular season. There is a very real chance that we don't see him again this season. With that being said, if he does return, he could be a force playing alongside Trae Young and John Collins. I'd rather take a chance on him since his ceiling is so much higher than Kennard's.
Michael Porter Jr. makes me nervous as he gets eased back in. Otto Porter Jr. is not back yet. Meanwhile, Juan Toscano-Anderson is hot and Shake Milton can take advantage of Ben Simmons being sidelined. Are they worth a speculative add, or should I hold onto both Porters in my deep points league? - @S2KrazySmartiz
Plenty of players to discuss here. Let's start out with Otto Porter Jr. since the Bulls continue to hold him out. He reportedly had a possibility of returning shortly after the All-Star break, but he's already missed four games since then. He hasn't played since November, so when he does return, expect him to play limited minutes for several games.
Michael Porter Jr. recently missed six games with an ankle injury and the Nuggets have eased him back in slowly. The good news is that he was bumped up to 22 minutes Tuesday against the Pistons and he cashed in with 13 points, eight rebounds and a 3 pointer. He showed what he can do when given extended playing time earlier this season, so I can now see him playing around 20 minutes a night on a regular basis considering what he did Tuesday.
Toscano-Anderson is the latest Warrior to come out of nowhere to provide value in Fantasy. With their hodgepodge roster, he has been able to carve out a nice role for himself lately, logging at least 22 minutes in three straight games. He had a couple of hot games to start, but came back down to Earth on Tuesday with just three points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals against the Kings.
Finally, there's Milton, who will be asked to help the Sixers offset the loss of Simmons (back). News came out Tuesday that he won't even be re-evaluated for two weeks, so there is a window here for other players to step up. Milton moved into the starting lineup Monday against the Hawks, finishing with seven points, five rebounds and six assists across 26 minutes. In the previous game, he scored 17 points across 22 minutes against the Bucks.
With regards to this question, I'd look at it differently depending on where this Fantasy team is in the standings. If you need immediate production, I could see dropping at least Otto Porter to help get you into the playoffs. However, if you are cruising towards a playoff spot, I'd hold onto both players.
Stephen Curry (hand) is expected to be back this weekend for the Warriors, which is going to take shot attempts away from several players, including Toscano-Anderson. Even with Simmons out, Milton doesn't have as clear of a path to increased playing time now that the Sixers also have Alec Burks. He's logged 21 and 16 minutes across the last two games, respectively. Again, if you do need help now, though, I wouldn't be opposed to dropping Otto Porter for Milton.