It’s fantasy playoff time and at this juncture, you need to use any little advantage you can get to advance to glory. With the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook suffering a knee strain on Friday against the Toronto Raptors, Reggie Jackson becomes a must-own player.
In today’s edition of “All Wired Up”, I’ll delve into the fantasy strengths of potential waiver wire gold like Jackson and the Brooklyn Nets’ Mason Plumlee.
» Reggie Jackson, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder (60.3 percent owned on ESPN.com)
25 points (7-15 FG, 10-10 FT), 1 three-pointer, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 steals, 1 block, 3 turnovers vs Raptors.
Thankfully for Thunder fans, and NBA fans in general, Russell Westbrook’s knee injury has been announced as only a sprain, so there’s no major structural damage. But the injury is to his right knee, on which he’s had three surgeries within the last 12 months, so there is every reason to be concerned.
The Thunder were already being conservative with Westbrook, sitting him one game of back-to-back sets down the stretch. Now that he has this strain, I project them to be extremely conservative and wouldn’t be surprised if Westbrook didn’t play at all in the following week. Westbrook did say after the game he won’t miss ant time, but that remains to be seen.
All this means for fantasy owners is that you must add Reggie Jackson. NOW.
Even when Westbrook was playing, Jackson was having decent value as the sixth man as evidenced by his rank of 70 on Basketball Monster over the past two weeks. In that time, he’s averaging 13.3 points, 1.3 three-pointers, 6.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists shooting 95.2 percent from the line.
Those sort of numbers are hard to ignore in a vacuum, but when you consider that Westbrook may miss time as a result of his knee strain, his value and playing time could easily increase. In his last 10 starts replacing Westbrook, Jackson has scored at least 12 points and there’s no reason he can’t continue being a vital cog for the Thunder.
Don’t ignore what Jackson is capable of doing — he’s going to have the chance to really shine yet again. Make sure he’s doing that while he’s on your fantasy team.