Between injuries and tanking, the league is starting to get volatile. That affects fantasy basketball, so it's important to take a look at players who are trending up and down. We also have some notable recent news related to Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry and OG Anunoby. Let's dive in.

Recent News

Kawhi Leonard exits Tuesday's game with back spasms

Leonard has reportedly been dealing with the issue for a couple of days, but the issue didn't cause serious discomfort until Tuesday's game. Now, Leonard is uncertain for the Clippers' upcoming road back-to-back. If he sits out, James Harden and Paul George should handle more offense, while Norman Powell, Terance Mann, Amir Coffey and Bones Hyland are all candidates to see more action.

OG Anunoby plays well in return

Following a month-and-a-half absence due to an elbow injury, Anunoby returned for Tuesday's decisive win over the 76ers. He played 29 minutes, posting 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Anunoby picking up right where he left off is a great sign, but it also resulted in fewer minutes for Precious Achiuwa. Fantasy managers should keep an eye on Achiuwa's workload moving forward.

Steph Curry out Wednesday, hoping for Saturday return

Curry will miss a third straight game Wednesday at Dallas but intends to practice Friday before hopefully returning Friday at the Lakers. Chris Paul has started in his stead and has racked up 29 points and 17 assists in two games. However, things should go back to normal when Curry returns.

Players Trending Up


With Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) set to miss the rest of the regular season, Kyle Anderson stepped into the starting five. In three appearances as the starter, he's averaged 7.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds across 30.7 minutes. Since Towns has been out, Naz Reid has averaged 19.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 blocks in 30.5 minutes. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is also coming off a 28-point performance. Reid and Anderson will be the main beneficiaries, in that order.


Alperen Sengun is also out for the remainder of the regular season. Coach Ime Udoka went with a small-ball approach in Tuesday's 103-101 win over the Spurs, pushing Jabari Smith up to center while inserting rookie Amen Thompson into the lineup. Jock Landale, a traditional center, came off the bench with increased minutes (26) and produced 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a block. This was only the second game all season Sengun has missed, so Houston's gameplan might be in flux for a bit. Regardless, it looks like Landale and Thompson are the priority waiver adds.

Daniel Gafford, Mavericks

Fantasy managers were right to be concerned when Gafford saw single-digit minutes twice over a three-game span and averaged just 14.5 minutes from Feb. 22 through March 3. But things are looking up. Gafford has started three of the past four games, averaging 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 1.0 assists and 0.8 steals in just 22.3 minutes. He is still a foul machine and sharing center minutes with Dereck Lively, capping both players' upside, but Gafford needs to be rostered if he's playing like this.

Trey Murphy, Pelicans

Murphy finally appears to have found a level of comfort after recovering from a torn meniscus to start the campaign. For his first 27 appearances, he averaged 12.4 points on 43/36/78 shooting, 3.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 25.5 minutes. Over the past 12 games, he's averaging 17.5 points on 47/42/74 shooting, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.9 blocks in 30.9 minutes. The increased workload and usage began when Dyson Daniels suffered a knee injury, and Jordan Hawkins is now being left out of the rotation. Murphy should be rostered in all standard leagues when playing like this.

Dalano Banton, Trail Blazers

The Blazers continue to be horrible, and the injury report continues to be dense. That's resulted in Banton seeing 28.1 minutes per game over the past seven (four starts), averaging 17.6 points, 5.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. His minutes may fluctuate, but I don't necessarily expect Jerami Grant to finish the season healthy, if you know what I mean. As long as Banton can see a fairly consistent 20-plus minutes, he's in streaming consideration.

Jake LaRavia, Grizzlies

As Memphis continues to deal with an absurd injury report, LaRavia is being given consistent run. He's seen at least 24 minutes in each of the past five games. He's scored double digits in all of those games, averaging 15.2 points on 40/30/86 shooting, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in 27.0 minutes. The Grizzlies drafted LaRavia 19th overall in 2022, and he didn't play much last year, so this is a great chance to get him some higher-usage minutes. He's worth adding while playing like this.

Immanuel Quickley, Raptors

Like the Grizzlies, the Raptors are also injury-riddled. Quickley is taking advantage. Over the past 10 games, he's averaging 21.0 points, 8.0 assists, 6.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 36.7 minutes. The increased scoring is due to both increased volume and efficiency, and the increase in rebounding is due to a lack of big men. I'm a touch worried he'll come up with a mysterious injury in April, but managers who are already rostering him should just enjoy this run. 

Players Trending Down

Brandon Ingram, Pelicans

Ingram's shot attempts have taken a step back over the past three games, with the forward averaging 12.0 points on 8.7 field-goal attempts. Two of those games were decisive wins, so he didn't necessarily need to exert maximum effort. It's something worth keeping an eye on though, especially with Trey Murphy playing so well.

Gordon Hayward, Thunder

Hayward got the start in Jalen Williams' absence during Tuesday's loss to the Pacers, posting nine points, five assists, four rebounds and one steal in 30 minutes. However, he's been practically non-existent since being dealt to OKC. In his first 10 appearances with the Thunder, he averaged 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 15.6 minutes. Clearly, he doesn't need to be rostered when everyone is healthy.

Franz Wagner, Magic

Wagner has reached 20 points just three times in his past 12 games, averaging 16.1 points on 46/17/80 shooting. Ultimately, I think this is just a rough shooting stretch from three for the third-year forward. It's extended enough where there's some concern, but don't do something drastic like dropping him.

Isaiah Hartenstein, Knicks

Hartenstein continues to be hampered by an Achilles injury, and he hasn't played 30 minutes in a game since Feb. 6. Over his past eight, he's averaged 5.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.0 blocks in 22.3 minutes. It's possible the minutes will ramp up at some point, but he's not a must-roster player under these conditions.