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How to handle Lauri Markkanen injury in fantasy basketball

The Bulls are now down another front court body, so how should you replace Markkanen in season-long? Garion Thorne breaks it down.

NBA: Chicago Bulls at Philadelphia 76ers John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls PF/C Lauri Markkanen is expected to miss the next 4-to-6 weeks of action after an MRI revealed an early stress reaction in his right pelvis. The former lottery pick had been able to start all 46 of the Bulls’ games in 2019-20 prior to the ailment; however, he had recently been dealing with a nagging ankle issue that had necessitated his inclusion in Chicago’s injury report. This is just another blow in what’s already been an underwhelming season for Markkanen, as the third-year forward has regressed after appearing to take major strides in his sophomore campaign. He’s averaging 15.0 points per contest with a career-low 34.4% 3-point field goal rate.

Fantasy Basketball Analysis: Chicago Bulls PF/C Lauri Markkanen

Markkanen’s absence will leave an already short-handed team scrambling for bodies to fill front court spots. Markkanen joins Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. on the sideline, leaving the likes of Thad Young (27.3% ESPN ownership), Luke Kornet (2.8%), and Christiano Felicio (0.1%) to receive a boost in workload. Heck, Markkanen, a natural four, had been logging 35% of his minutes at center since Carter’s injury. With Young in the midst of a down season, it would seem Kornet and Felicio are the more intriguing waiver-wire targets moving forward, particularly in deep formats. Kornet should continue to start, a role where he’s averaged 11.3 points and 2.5 rebounds in four opportunities; while Felicio, who’s produced 11.3 points and 10.1 boards per 36 minutes for his career, has definitely shown flashes of upside.