According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Kyrie Irving will return with the Nets on Wednesday, January 5 when they travel to face the Pacers.
That means congratulations are in order for the Fantasy Basketball GMs who took a chance on Irving in their fantasy drafts this year, likely selecting the All-Star point guard much later than is normally available due to the uncertainty that lies ahead. looming on its availability at the beginning of the season.
Your team will get an immediate boost at the end of the season, giving you a prolific scorer and playmaker for your advancement to the playoffs.
But to be clear, Irving will only compete as a part-time player, playing strictly away games (unless his vaccination status changes). As of now, Irving will only be available for a maximum of 22 games.
Brooklyn has 25 road games left this season, but two are in New York against the Knicks and one against the Raptors in Toronto, two places Irving cannot play due to his vaccination status.
So with that said, what can you expect from Kyrie Irving’s 22 games and how will it affect the production of his teammates in Fantasy Basketball?
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Fantasy Basketball: the impact of Kyrie Irving’s return
What can you expect from Kyrie Irving’s 22 games?
The GMs who selected Irving will almost certainly get a lot more production from Irving in 22 games than the player who could have selected in his place at that point in fantasy drafts. In fact, some GMs may have even removed Irving from the exemption cable once the announcement came that he would be returning as a part-time player. (This is the time to state the obvious that Irving should already be added to his fantasy league, but he’s still available in 15.2 percent of ESPN’s fantasy leagues as of this writing, so if you still it’s somehow on the surrender wire, pick it up now.)
Regardless of the format he uses, Irving is prepared to give him a huge boost in points, assists, steals and 3s. It will also increase your percentage of field shots and free kicks if you play in a league of head-to-head categories.
MORE: Four Urgent Questions Irving and Nets Face Ahead of the Star’s Return
Last season, Irving averaged 26.9 points, 6.0 assists, 4.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.8 3-pointers per game with .506 / .402 / .922 split shots. There’s no reason to believe he can’t do the same, even as a part-time player, this year.
Is it worth trying to change Irving?
Absolutely, if you can find someone who will take it knowing that they are a part-time gamer.
However, it is worth noting that Irving should be eligible for “IL” during home games you lose, which is huge for fantasy DJs. you guys should Being able to place him in one of those places and broadcast players in his absence, which gives Irving interesting value, even as a part-time player.
But for the right treatment, it would be foolish not to part ways with a player who can only play half the remaining games of the season, no matter how productive he is when he’s on the court.
MORE: Fantasy Basketball: Time to part ways with injured stars like Zion and Kawhi?
Which Nets players are most affected by Irving’s return?
I don’t expect the fantasy value of stars like Kevin During or James harden be greatly affected by Irving’s return.
Sure, there might be some road games where Durant or Harden don’t see as many shot attempts, but their appearance will only get easier when all three share the court and they should increase assists to add a scorer of Irving’s caliber. next to him.
The player whose value will suffer the greatest impact is undoubtedly Patty Mills.
Mills has become a solid spark plug for the Nets in Irving’s absence, averaging 13.8 points and 3.3 3s per game this season. He became the favorite point, assists and 3-pointer in fantasy this season, and he may have even held on to some teams full-time when health and safety protocols devastated the league.
I’d say it’s safe to let Mills loose after Irving’s return, even though he will play the same role he plays now in home games. That said, if you have Irving on your roster and are looking for a transmission option when the Nets are at home, Mills will always be a solid replacement.