For the second time this season, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart will find himself inactive for a substantial amount of time. Tests revealed the 24-year-old suffered a torn tendon in his right thumb that will keep him out indefinitely. Smart is currently contemplating medical options with the team's doctors, so no specific timetable is out yet for a potential return.
Before the injury, Smart would have seen a huge uptick in usage and minutes with Kyrie Irving's continued management of pain in his knee. Instead, Smart goes down just a game after he saw his first heavy workload in Irving's absence.
Smart, who averaged 10.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals this season, will now likely be sidelined for much of the fantasy playoffs. While Boston could certainly use his skills on the court, they are locked into the playoffs and are better off playing things safe with him and not rushing him back when the thumb could prove problematic and limit his abilities.
Now in his absence, the gates are wide open once again for Terry Rozier. The 23-year-old will find himself back in Boston's starting lineup this week and that means wonderful things for the DFS community and fantasy owners. When Irving and Smart previously missed time this season, Rozier shined in three starts with averages of 19.7 points, eight rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.3 steals per game in 35 minutes per night.
Back in Boston's starting five, Rozier should once again put on a show. He'll be a popular play in DFS with his reduced price and previous numbers in the starting lineup, but DFS players shouldn't get cute and fade him to be different. The young point guard has flashed plenty of talent both as a starter and coming off the bench so with 30-plus minutes of work, he should absolutely be in fantasy lineups.
Given the uncertainty of Smart's return, season-long owners without IR spots shouldn't be afraid to cut the cord on Smart and release him into free agency. It's likely Irving is back before Smart, so even the potential upside of Smart getting starts when healthy is reduced.