Fantasy Fallout: Rubio's abscence opens the door for Kris Dunn

by
Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports

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Here are the fantasy repercussions following the news that Minnesota Timberwolves PG Ricky Rubio is out indefinitely due to a sprained elbow:

Rubio suffered the injury in Saturday's contest against Sacramento and immediately left the floor grabbing his right elbow. It's a significant blow for one of the top assist providers in season-long leagues.

In his place, rookie Kris Dunn will move into the starting lineup. He's worth an add as matchup-based streaming target, as he should provide some points and assists while playing approximately 20-30 minutes per game. The fifth-overall pick in the 2016 draft is more developed than most rookies, having spent four years at Providence.

Projecting Dunn's output

It's a bit aggressive for Dunn to see a full 36 minutes as a rookie under head coach Tom Thibodeau. But even with a more conservative workload of 20-30 minutes, the rookie is going to become a legitimate part of Minnesota's baby-faced starting five.

In his final two years at Providence, Dunn showed a solid ability to add both rebounds and assists to his nightly stat line. He averaged at least 15 points, six assists, and five rebounds in his junior and senior years. He's maintained that profile in his first two games in the Association, tallying 12 points, five rebounds, and five assists in 34 total minutes so far.

Fantasy owners should look for Dunn to provide 10-15 points, and four to six rebounds and assists going forward. One weakness, though, is Dunn's free-throw shooting. He's made just 1-of-4 free throw attempts so far, and his 68 and 69 percent marks in his final two years of school further the concern.

Dunn also won't add much in terms of 3-pointers. He attempted just 113 3s in 33 games last year, and the move to the NBA 3-point line won't make him more comfortable firing away from downtown.

Waiver-Wire Targets

Given that Dunn is a rookie and still has many flaws in his game, better options can be found on the waiver wire in standard 10-team leagues:

SG/SF James Ennis, Grizzlies

  • Ennis has played over 25 minutes in all of Memphis' first three games. With SF Chandler Parsons still yet to resume playing, Ennis has adeptly asserted himself into the Memphis rotation. He's averaged 13 points and eight rebounds thus far.

PG Sergio Rodriguez, 76ers

  • The name is different, but there's a lot of similarities with this Spaniard. Rodriguez is starting to lock himself into the starting role for Philadelphia and has dished out 14 assists in his first two NBA games. The bearded man known as "El Chacho" is averaging 13 points, seven assists, and four rebounds after Philly's first two games.

PG J.J. Barea, Mavericks

  • Barea has taken on an increased workload this season, averaging 34 minutes through Dallas' first two games. He's averaging 16 points and 5.5 assists to begin the season thanks to that uptick. Barea is by far the most established replacement at 32 years old with 10 years of experience under his belt.