The 2019-20 NBA season has already seen its fair share of injuries, and Week 3 was no exception. A number of star players hit the shelf this past week, most notably Gordon Hayward, Kyle Lowry and Ben Simmons.
Hayward is the biggest blow, as the Boston Celtics' small forward is slated to miss at least four to six weeks with a fractured left hand. Lowry suffered a fractured thumb and will be reevaluated after two weeks, while Simmons is currently dealing with a sprained shoulder that will cost him at least three missed games, if not more, as we hit Week 4 of the fantasy hoops season.
Considering the flurry of injuries, here are players you can pluck off the waiver wire, all available in more than 50 percent of Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball leagues.
1. Darius Garland, PG, Cleveland Cavaliers
It was tough sledding early on for the fifth-overall pick of the 2019 NBA Draft, as Darius Garland struggled with his shot in a starting role for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He experienced a mini-breakout, however, on Friday against the Washington Wizards, connecting on six of 11 field goals for 15 points, to go along with six assists and two steals. Garland possesses a pure scoring ability and should also post respectable assist totals as long as he is in the starting lineup. Feel free to take a chance on the rookie if someone dropped him in your league out of frustration. Garland is owned in 21 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
2. Kevin Huerter, SG, Atlanta Hawks
Kevin Huerter is another player who was likely dropped in a lot of leagues following a poor start, and that has him available in 55 percent of leagues. Those early-season struggles can mostly be attributed to the minutes cap he had. Huerter has seen his playing time tick up in recent games though, and he played a season-high 30 minutes against the Sacramento Kings on Friday night. Huerter scored a season-high 17 points in the contest, knocking down four threes while chipping in three rebounds and four assists. While he won't supply too many defensive stats, Huerter can be an asset as an efficient three-point specialist who also contributes some rebounds and assists.
3. Norman Powell, SF, Toronto Raptors
Norman Powell figures to be one of the big beneficiaries of the Lowry injury, as he is likely to enter the Toronto Raptors' starting lineup while Fred Van Vleet slides over to the point guard spot. Powell had his best game of the season Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans, scoring 18 points, and he may now be asked to take on more playmaking with Lowry out of the picture for at least two weeks. He doesn't offer a ton of upside, but will see an increase in minutes that should boost all of his numbers as long as he is in the starting lineup. Powell is available in 86 percent of leagues.
4. Chris Boucher, PF, Toronto Raptors
Boucher is up to 15 percent of owned in Yahoo! leagues, but that still leaves him available in the vast majority. The Raptors suffered two big injury blows Friday night, as backup big man Serge Ibaka also went down with a bad ankle sprain that will keep him out indefinitely. Ibaka's absence will open the door for Chris Boucher to get some legit run over the next few weeks, as the preseason darling was previously buried on the Raptors' bench. Boucher has a lot upside, as his per-36 numbers would indicate, and now has a chance play roughly 20 minutes a game as the first first big man off the bench. He can become a big asset in blocks in this role, as he is remarkably already averaging one swat in just six minutes per game.
5. Robert Williams, C, Boston Celtics
Affectionately referred to as the Time Lord by fantasy basketball junkies, Robert Williams has always flashed his potential, and similarly to Boucher he's already putting up elite block totals in limited playing time (1.7 swats in 16 minutes per game). Williams had a field day against the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night, blocking a career-high six shots while also going 5-5 from the field with 11 points and seven rebounds. Williams can benefit from Hayward's injury if the Celtics decide to reshuffle their front court rotation, and there is always the chance they fully unleash the beast by playing him closer to 25 minutes a game. The upside alone is reason enough to pick up Williams, who is just seven percent owned in Y! leagues.
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