Early Christmas Presents: Fantasy Players Wish List
Updated: Jan 3
We're officially ONE week away 'til Christmas! How's your shopping coming along? My personal goal this Christmas season was to buy ALL of my family and friends certified NBA basketballs for Christmas. So far, my plan is going as SMOOTHLY as a Reggie Miller JUMP SHOT!
In this article, we want to highlight and expand on PREMIER Fantasy Basketball Dynasty players who have recently returned to the court OR are coming back soon from injury or suspension.
Before I get into it, I wanted to share a few KEY Christmas memories from my childhood. Those memories include:
Listening to Christmas music in the car with my mom
Hanging ornaments on the tree with my family
Attending Christmas Eve church service
Staying up all night on Christmas Eve watching movies with my siblings
Watching basketball games while opening up presents
These memories I hold near and dear to my heart. There's NOTHING like the joy of attending church on Christmas Eve and being reminded of the true reason why we celebrate THEN waking up the next morning to watch basketball and open up presents from loved ones while eating delicious treats all day. Side Note: My Dad makes the BEST tea cakes and cashew brittle (currently drooling).
Here We Go!
Without further a due, let's get to the players who have recently returned to the court OR are coming back soon from injury or suspension:
Players Who Have Recently Returned
Ayton FINALLY returned from suspension on Tuesday night to the tune of 24 minutes for 18 PTS, 12 REB, 3 AST, and 1 BLK. WELCOME BACK! In his rookie season, he averaged 16.3 PTS and 10.3 REB with little else. There was talk of him shooting more 3's over the summer, which would elevate his fantasy game to the next level. If he can add a 3 per game and work on his blocking, he'll be a FORCE for the rest of the season and beyond.
Grinch'd Player(s): Dario Saric, Frank Kaminsky, Mikal Bridges
Fox made his return from injury last Tuesday against the Hornets and provided a box full of goodies playing 29 minutes for 19 PTS, 8 AST, 2 3PM, and 2 STL. Before the season, I had him pegged as a Top-25 Points League and 9-Cat fantasy player. If he can stay healthy, he should be able to end the season well inside the Top-50 despite missing the last 3 weeks with a Grade 3 ankle sprain.
Grinch'd Player(s): Cory Joseph
Marvin Bagley III
Bagley's return was a welcomed sight despite coming off the bench. It shouldn't be long until Bagley takes his starting job back and produces Top-75 numbers in all scoring formats.
Grinch'd Player(s): Nemanja Bjelica, Harrison Barnes
Hayward was enjoying a RESURGENCE in his career before going down with a broken left hand. Thankfully, he returned well within his original timetable and has played well. Last game he played 37 Minutes for 19 PTS, 4 REB, 5 AST, 1 STL, and 1 BLK. He's showing great chemistry with Kemba Walker and as long as he's starting and playing big minutes, he should provide Top-50 value in both 9-Cat and Points Leagues.
Grinch'd Player(s): Marcus Smart, Brad Wanamaker
Vucevic returned from an 11-game absence last Sunday and immediately played 29 minutes. The Orlando Magic have already stated that he WILL NOT sit out on back-to-back sets, which is incredible news for his fantasy owners. Fire him up as a bankable Top 40 fantasy player the rest of the way.
Grinch'd Players: Mo Bamba, Terrence Ross, Khem Birch
Middleton is the unsung hero in the fantasy realm. He blesses his owners with production ACROSS THE BOARD. The only stat he doesn't produce in is Blocks BUT Im sure his owners will take the elite production in FG%, 3PM, PTS, REB, AST, and STL. Keep firing him up as a Top-25 option.
Grinch'd Players: Donte DiVincenzo, Sterling Brown
Russell has been HOT and COLD ever since returning from injury on December 4th. One game he'll have 6 3PM for 30+ points and the next he'll have 1 3PM for 8 PTS. He's only been back for 6 games, so now is NOT the time to sell-low. Keep rolling him out there in hopes he finds his consistent touch and provides Top-75 numbers.
Grinch'd Players: Ky Bowman, Jordan Poole, Glenn Robinson III
Players Due Back Soon
Please Note: I have added the DATE that the following players are EXPECTED to be back
Perhaps it's too easy just to put up Luka's GAUDY stats and call it a day, but I'm going to do doing it anyways: 29.5 PTS on 48%, 3,0 3PM, 9.6 REB, 8.9 AST, and 1.2 STL. Just WOW. His presence has been sorely missed and will continue to be until he returns shortly after Christmas.
Expected to be out until at least: December 26th
Very rarely do NBA players get suspended for HGH but here we are waiting for the second player to come back from suspension. If you're like me, you've been counting down the DAYS until Collins comes back from suspension. Once he return, he'll go back to his usual role of PF/C providing owners with ELITE FG%, PTS, REB, 3PM, STL, and BLK. Trade for him NOW if you can!
Expected to be out until at least: December 23rd
The Brooklyn Nets have been ON FIRE ever since Kyrie Irving went down with injury. Dinwiddie has been carrying the load for this team and the addition of LeVert will only help them keep winning. LeVert is due back ANY DAY NOW, and once he returns, you can expect similar numbers to what he was posting earlier in the season before the injury (16.8 PTS, 5.0 REB, 4.0 AST, and few stock stats).
Expected to be out until at least: Any Day Now
Washington has been enjoying a FANTASTIC rookie year before breaking his finger. He was starting and producing quality FG%, PTS, 3PM, REB, AST, and STL. He's due back shortly after Christmas so buying low on him might be a fantastic Christmas gift for your fantasy team.
Expected to be out until at least: December 27th
Bledsoe was playing HUGE minutes for the 1st place Bucks before going down with a right fibula evulsion fracture. You know exactly what you get with Bledsoe: Quality PTS, REB, AST, STL and awful FG% and FT%. If you're punting FG% and FT%, go ahead and send some offers for him, but you could probably do better in a 9-Cat league. In a points league, he is A LOT more valuable since percentages are thrown out the window.
Expected to be out until at least: December 30th
Players We Are Wishing and Hoping Come Back Shortly After Christmas
The unquestioned #1 pick in the NBA Draft and Fantasy Basketball Dynasty Rookie drafts, Zion has yet to play an NBA game this season due to a knee injury suffered right before the season began. Such a shame. Thankfully, Zion is on the cusp of making his NBA debut sometime in the New Year. Once he does, he is going to be MUST SEE TV. Get your popcorn ready!
Expected to be out until at least: January 3rd
Both Dynasty and Redraft owners are waiting PATIENTLY for Oladipo to make his return to the court. He was originally slated to return sometime in December, but he and the Indiana coaching staff have both been adamant on taking his time so that he can have a healthy career beyond this year. You've waited this long so continue to stay patient.
Expected to be out until at least: January 5th
I think I speak for all of the Kyrie owners when I say UGHHH. Kyrie was WRECKING the league to begin the season but now he's dealing with a mysterious shoulder injury and has been OUT since November 14th. According to recent reports, Kyrie SHOULD return sooner rather than later, but at this point, I wouldn't hold my breath. This is a maddening case where you can't buy-low because you don't know exactly when/if he'll return AND you can't sell him because you'll get nothing in return. Let's all ask Santa for a Christmas miracle.
Expected to be out until at least: Unknown (Late December/Early January)
Otto Porter Jr
Through the first 9 games, Otto Porter Jr was doing Otto things and producing solid PTS, STL, REB, and 3PM. The small fracture in his foot has left his return timetable completely up in the air. The Bulls are HOPING for a mid-January return, but OtTo owners will need to keep crossing their fingers that he can return at that date.
Expected to be out until at least: January 15th
Bryant owners are SORELY missing those quality PTS, REB, FG%, and BLK. Once Bryant comes back from his foot injury, Bryant should easily step back into his starting role and produce Top-75 numbers for 9-cat and Points leagues. He's a beast and everyone should look to buy-low RIGHT NOW for his services if you have an open IL spot.
Expected to be out until at least: January 5th
Wrapping it Up
This wonderful Christmas season has brought A LOT of top notch fantasy players back into our lives. For those of you who were patient or bought low on those players, congrats! Your patience is being rewarded. To all of you who are STILL waiting on players to return, don't give up! A return is on the horizon. Lastly, for the owners who have been ANXIOUSLY awaiting the season debut of Zion and Oladipo - KEEP HOLDING ON! Once they return, it's going to be a Christmas TREAT to watch!
And before you go, I couldn't leave without sharing with you my list of favorite Christmas songs:
While some of those songs are fun and light-hearted, the other songs such as Angels We Have Heard on High, Silent Night, and The First Noel ALWAYS make me reflect and think about the true reason why we celebrate Christmas. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was sent down to earth to die for our sins so that we may have everlasting life with him in Heaven if we choose to believe in Him. While you're opening up presents from loved ones and watching basketball, I hope you take the time to reflect about all of the things that God has BLESSED you with this year. It's easy to harp on the things that are going wrong, but I urge you to lighten your heart and focus on the positives. God is ALWAYS good!
We Want to Hear from You!
What are some of your favorite Christmas songs and traditions? Also, are there any players that I didn't mention that you would like our opinion on? If so, leave a comment on this article or send us your questions on Twitter!
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God bless you and have a VERY Merry Christmas!
Jacob W. Dunne