The Brooklyn Nets greatest fears for Jeremy Lin's status were confirmed on Monday. Lin suffered a torn patellar tendon in Brooklyn's opener on Wednesday, just 25 minutes into his season, and will miss the remainder of the season. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski first reported word of the news on Thursday morning.
While Brooklyn won't find themselves in the playoff picture this season, the loss of Lin is still a blow. Many expected Lin to play a key role for the Nets this season as the team's starting point guard and see 25-plus minutes per night leading the fast-paced unit. After an injury-plagued 2016 season, this seemed to be the year where Lin could post quality numbers and help make the Nets fun to watch.
Instead, he is sidelined for the entire 2017 season and now leaves Brooklyn with a hole at point guard.
With Lin done for the season, fantasy owners can expect D'Angelo Russell to carry an even more significant role in Brooklyn's offense. Last night, Russell finished with a 30.6 percent usage rate and exploded offensively with 30 points and four assists, while shooting 50-plus percent from the field and the three-point line.
Brooklyn will now put the basketball in his hands more and his usage rating will climb even more as a result of the injury. It's good news for his fantasy stock and should push a top-50 fantasy player into the top-35. Fantasy owners who drafted Russell should feel even greater about the selection and the production he could put up in Brooklyn's offense.
Another fantasy beneficiary from Lin's absence is second-year guard Caris LeVert. As a rookie, LeVert showed flashed in his rookie season and averaged nearly 10 points and four rebounds per game in 23 minutes during the second half. A player projected to have an expanded role in his second season, LeVert played 28 minutes on Wednesday night and scored 12 points on 5-of-15 shots from the field.
He should see 27-plus minutes per game going forward this season and should have plenty of opportunities to score buckets and pick up some assists in Brooklyn's fantasy-friendly offense. Owned in just 4.9 percent of leagues, LeVert is worth stashing in deep leagues and a name to stash away for the coming weeks.