After a two-game absence, the Sacramento Kings will welcome back their best player from the 2017-'18 season. Center Willie Cauley-Stein is expected to return to the lineup on Friday against the Golden State Warriors.
Cauley-Stein missed the team's past two games due to knee soreness he suffered last week. The 24-year-old practiced with the team on Thursday and after he made it through the team's shootaround this morning, so he should suit up for tonight's game and resume his normal role.
The young center's minutes are on the rise from 24.5 minutes per game in November to 27.3 mpg in December and 30.5 mph in January. As Cauley-Stein's usage and minutes rose, a bump in his statistics followed. Last month, he averaged 14.9 points, 1.7 steals, 2.2 assists and 7.9 rebounds per game.
Sacramento's emphasis on using the second half of the season to commit significant minutes to its young players should further provide a boost to Cauley-Stein's fantasy value. If he is available in season-long fantasy leagues, fantasy owners should pick him off immediately.
The young center's ability to provide blocks, steals, eight-plus rebounds and reliable point production makes him a compelling fantasy player to plug into lineups for strong matchups and on nights when Sacramento rests its veteran big men.