NBA Injuries for Jan. 10 and Who to Upgrade
Now that the holidays are over, we’ve got a normal full slate of Friday NBA games. With 12 contests total, we have new injuries to digest while some players are returning to the hardwood.
Some situations require a minimum-salary player to be used in your lineup. Some mean that you need to upgrade one of the higher-salary players with likely increased minutes. Some are too tough to judge and not worth the risk given the high number of games.
Let’s take a look.
(All salaries and FPT numbers are from DraftKings)
Washington at Indiana -9 O/U 185
It looks like Trevor Booker is still starting, but his minutes continue to decrease and should no longer be considered a value play.
Lance Stephenson (knee) is expected to play after missing Indiana’s last game.
We saw how out of sync the Pacers offense was without him against Atlanta. At $5,600, he’s worth consideration and has triple-double potential, but is by no means a must-start.
Outside of that, this game has great potential in a low-scoring game. Indiana is strong defensively at all positions and they are particularly balanced on offense with Stephenson back.
Detroit -2 at Philadelphia O/U 215
Tony Wroten (illness) is practicing again and looks like he should be able to play against the Pistons.
As a bonus note, the 76ers are awful in FPTS allowed at all positions, but they’ve been particularly bad against frontcourt players as of late. They are dead last against power forwards and centers in their last 15 games. Andre Drummond is only $300 more than Greg Monroe, yet he’s more consistent and has a higher ceiling of potential. Plus, given how little Spencer Hawes has pounded the ball inside recently, I wouldn’t be too concerned about Drummond getting in foul trouble.
Houston -2.5 at Atlanta O/U 207.5
Patrick Beverley (hand) is still out.
Chandler Parsons (knee) is doubtful.
Al Horford (pectoral) is done for the year.
In Houston’s last game when Parsons was out, they gave Ronnie Brewer the start, but only grabbed two boards and a steal in 23 minutes. Omri Casspi thrived with garbage FPTS at the end of a second-half blowout, but it’s tough to say which route the Rockets will go this time. Going against a Hawks team that gives up the fifth-most FPTS to shooting guards, I’m more inclined to play James Harden as your top-salary player. He’s logged 40.3 minutes in the last three games and has scored between 54.75 and 59.5 points each time.
Pero Antic at $4,000 is a valid value play, but it’s not great. He’s clearly the starting center, Houston runs the sixth-most possessions per game and the Rockets somewhat surprisingly give up the 10th-most FPTS per game to centers, but Antic has yet to eclipse 28.25 FPTS and play more than 27 minutes. You won’t win any deep pools with Antic, but he’s solid for 50/50s and heads-up tournaments.
Miami -5.5 at Brooklyn O/U 195.5
Brook Lopez (foot) is done for the year.
Deron Williams (ankles) is still out.
Mario Chalmers (achilles) hasn’t played since Jan. 5 and his status is unknown for tonight.
Shane Battier (quad) hasn’t played since Jan. 2 and is still day-to-day.
Shaun Livingston at $4,600 has been starting for Williams, but he continues to only score in the 20s for FPTS. He’s a solid defender and gets 30-plus minutes, but he doesn’t take a ton of shots and his assist count is low. Brooklyn has been taking an absurd amount of isolated jumpers with Joe Johnson and Paul Pierce. Miami isn’t a defense Livingston will thrive against either.
Johnson at $4,900 is the guy to upgrade, assuming LeBron guards Pierce ($5,900). Johnson has scored over 30 FPTS in the last two games and has taken 39 shots. There’s no news of Dwyane Wade being a question mark for tonight, but given how many times recently he’s been a game-time decision or that he’s randomly sat out for rest, it’ll be good to check in before tip and make sure Wade is a go. If Wade doesn’t suit up, upgrade Johnson even more.
As for Miami, none of these injuries mean much. Norris Cole and Rashard Lewis have been starting in their absence, but neither have had much improvement in terms of FPTS. As long as Wade plays, nothing changes.
Phoenix at Memphis -2.5 O/U 195.5
Eric Bledsoe (knee) is out indefinitely.
Marc Gasol (knee) is still out.
Tony Allen (wrist) is still out.
Gerald Green ($5,100), who has been a legit daily fantasy option before this season, really hasn’t gotten it going the last couple games in Bledsoe’s absence. But foul trouble against Minnesota (the refs were incredibly trigger happy) put a dent into his minutes and a non-favorable matchup with the Bulls has plagued him. This won’t last. He’s getting 30-plus minutes, has put up double-digit shots in his last five games and is forcing 2.4 steals over that period. At the same time, outside of the Grizzlies ranking 25th in turnovers, they aren’t the greatest fantasy matchup. Green is a fine play, but it’s not stellar.
As for Memphis, Kosta Koufos has been starting, but he and Jon Leuer keep taking turns as to who gets more minutes and have the better fantasy outing. Mike Miller is doing little to nothing in Allen’s place and James Johnson’s short burst came to a halt. It continues to be the Mike Conley and Zach Randolph show.
Dallas -1.5 at New Orleans O/U 199
Shawn Marion (shoulder, ribs) is out.
Jrue Holiday (leg) is out indefinitely.
Ryan Anderson (herniated disc) is out indefinitely
Anthony Davis is a huge play here. The Mavericks are an average defensive team all around and are 27th in rebounding. With Anderson out and Holiday now joining him, he is the main go-to guy.
But how about Brian Roberts? He’s $3,000 on DraftKings and has been Holiday’s main backup. He was also the primary backup on New Orleans last season. I expect a bump in minutes from the upper teens to about 25 minutes and consequently should be in the 20s FPTS wise. Sure, Eric Gordon ($5,600) and Tyreke Evans ($5,700) might get a slight increase in minutes and role offensively, but neither will play the point-guard role and I don’t see a big increase in value against either of their salaries.
Charlotte at Minnesota -10 O/U 205.5
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (hand) is still out.
Jeff Taylor (achilles) is done for the year.
Chase Budinger is back for Minnesota.
Nothing new here. No need to consider Budinger.
Chicago -4 at Milwaukee O/U 178.5
Derrick Rose (knee) is out indefinitely
Joakim Noah (illness) will play.
Carlos Boozer (knee) will play.
Mike Dunleavy (elbow) is likely to play.
Ersan Ilyasova (hand) didn’t practice Thursday, is day-to-day and his status is unknown.
John Henson (ankle) practiced Thursday and is questionable.
Zaza Pachulia (foot) is still out.
In case you missed it, Luol Deng was traded to Cleveland. Give the biggest upgrade to Carlos Boozer ($5,600). There’s a need for him to become more of an offensive threat, Milwaukee is last in rebounding and the Bucks give up the ninth-most FPTS to power forwards. Boozers minutes shouldn’t be limited and should go for over 30 FPTS.
Also give Jimmy Butler consideration. He’s been scoring roughly 30 FPTS every night and the Bulls lack perimeter scoring without Rose and Deng.
As for Milwaukee, I wouldn’t recommend anyone despite the potential absences from their big men. The Bulls still play at a slow pace and have a legit defense from top-to-bottom.
Cleveland at Utah -2 O/U 191
Jarrett Jack (back) is expected to return.
The biggest thing to watch tonight is how Luol Deng will play in his first game with the Cavs. With Kyrie Irving at point guard, C.J. Miles on fire at the 2 and both Tristan Thompson and Anderson Varejao playing offensive roles, I don’t think $6,100 is a very good salary for him in his first game. With DraftKings upgrading Varejao’s salary to $7,200, Utah playing well in terms of FPTS allowed to power forwards as of late and Miles’ numbers likely taking a hit with Deng, I’d stay away from all Cleveland players.
Orlando at Sacramento -7 O/U 205.5
Nikola Vucevic (concussion) is still out.
DeMarcus Cousins. Enough said.
Boston at Golden State -11.5 O/U 203.5
Rajon Rondo (knee) is still out.
Outside of maybe the Bucks, the Celtics are playing the worst basketball of any team in the league having lost six straight. The Warriors’ 10-game winning streak was just snapped and are back home. The Celtics are in the middle of a grueling road trip. This is all but guaranteed to be a blowout. Be careful of the starters.
LA Lakers at LA Clippers -10 O/U 209.5
Jordan Farmar (hamstring) is still out.
Steve Blake (elbow) is still out.
Steve Nash (back) is still out.
Kobe Bryant (knee) is still out.
Xavier Henry (knee) is still out.
Chris Paul (shoulder) is still out.
J.J. Redick (wrist) is probable to return tonight.
Redick is obviously the news here. However, Redick is still $5,200, which is basically his normal salary. Weirdly enough, Darren Collison, who has been playing fantastically in Paul’s absence (averaging over 30 FPTS in January) had his salary downgraded to $4,700 against the most banged up backcourt and one of the worst perimeter defenses in the league. Redick’s return should cut into Crawford’s minutes and number of field goal attempts. Ultimately, this should help Collison’s assists since Crawford shoots more off the dribble and Redick is more of a spot-up shooter. Collison has superb value tonight.
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