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7:00 PM ET
Cavaliers @ Pacers and Wizards @ 76ers
Injured: Kyrie Irving (Doubtful)
Beneficiaries: SF LeBron James (DK: $10,300, FD: $10,400), PF Kevin Love (DK: $7,800, FD: $8,300), SG J.R. Smith (DK: $5,000, FD: $5,300), SG Iman Shumpert (DK: $3,500, FD: $4,000)
Kyrie Irving is receiving an MRI this morning and is doubtful for tonight's game. LeBron James usage rate rises when Irving misses time, and King James will have to shoulder the load without the starting point guard. The arrow points upward for Kevin Love as he'll be in line to score more often, as will J.R. Smith. The mercurial shooting guard goes from roster afterthought to bargain in the absence of backcourt mate Irving. Reserve guard Iman Shumpert climbs into the GPP play territory with additional minutes falling into his lap.
Injured: Paul Pierce (DTD), Bradley Beal (Out), Kris Humphries (Doubtful)
Beneficiaries: PG John Wall (DK: $8,600, FD: $9,100), PF Nene Hilario (DK: $4,600, FD: $5,000), C Marcin Gortat (DK: $5,200, FD: $5,500), PF Kevin Seraphin (DK: $3,000, FD: $3,500)
Paul Pierce (bruised knee) was a late scratch from Wednesday's contest against the Timberwolves. The Washington Times reported he left the court wincing after trying to warmup before the game. His status is up in the air for tonight. Bradley Beal had hoped to return tonight, but he's been ruled out for the game this evening. Kris Humphries left Wednesday's game with a strained left groin. He should be viewed as doubtful to play tonight after missing morning shootaround today.
The Wizards will rely on John Wall more tonight with Beal out and Pierce questionable. Increased usage should boost his point scoring while he still fills the box score with a robust assist total, above average rebounding for a guard, and steals. The likely absence of Kris Humphries should free up extra minutes for fellow power forward Nene Hilario and leave additional rebounds available for him and Marcin Gortat to corral. Nene and Gortat will also be tasked with picking up some of the offensive slack. Reserve power forward Kevin Seraphin becomes a minimum salary GPP option with an uptick in playing time if Humphries is inactive.
7:30 PM ET
Magic @ Hawks, Hornets @ Celtics, Knicks @ Pistons, Warriors @ Raptors
Injured: Jose Calderon (Out)
Beneficiary: PG Alexey Shved (DK: $3,000, FD: $3,600)
Jose Calderon's Achilles tendon injury will sideline him for at least tonight and possibly the remainder of the season. Trade deadline acquisition Alexey Shved will be force fed minutes with Calderon out and Shane Larkin likely limited after missing three straight games with an illness. Even on a terrible Knicks team that are double-digit betting underdogs against the Pistons, the increased action makes him an enticing GPP selection at the minimum salary on DraftKings and just $100 more than the minimum on FanDuel.
Injured: Andrew Bogut (Questionable), Andre Iguodala (Questionable)
Warriors Head coach Steve Kerr says he will rest Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala during the club's road trip, according to Ethan J. Skolnick. None of the active players figure to receive a boost in value, but anyone considering using Bogut due to his cheap price tag will need to keep tabs on his status closer to tip.
8:00 PM ET
Timberwolves @ Bulls, Nets @ Rockets, Clippers @ Grizzlies, Heat @ Pelicans
Injured: Derrick Rose (Out), Pau Gasol (Out)
Beneficiary: PG Aaron Brooks (DK: $4,500, FD: $4,500), PF Taj Gibson (DK: $4,300, FD: $5,100), Nikola Mirotic (DK: $3,800, FD: $3,700)
Derrick Rose tore his me medial meniscus and will miss, at the least, most of the remainder of the regular season. Aaron Brooks will see more playing time in his stead and gets a slight bump in value as a result. Do not, however, extrapolate his bench production to his extended playing time as a starter.
Pau Gasol left today's shootaround with an illness. It will keep him off the court tonight, and Taj Gibson will almost certainly slide into the starting power forward spot with Nikola Mirotic playing more reserve minutes than he's typically accustomed to. Gibson has played well when forced into the starting five averaging 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.9 blocks in 13 starts this year. His low cost and high level of production as a starter make him a great play in cash games or GPPs as a starter. Mirotic has flashed the ability to stuff the box score when he plays extended minutes, but he's very much a boom or bust play that's best reserved for GPPs.
Injured: James Harden (Questionable), Patrick Beverley (Questionable)
Beneficiaries: PF Terrence Jones (DK: $6,500, FD: $6,300), PF Donatas Motiejunas (DK: $5,300, FD: $5,400), SF Josh Smith (DK: $6,800, FD: $6,400), Corey Brewer (DK: $4,100, FD: $4,600), Trevor Ariza (DK: $5,900, FD: $5,700), Jason Terry (DK: $3,300, FD: $3,800)
James Harden sat out Thursday's practice with a sprained right ankle. The ankle was deemed swollen and sore by Rockets head coach Kevin McHale. "We'll see what 24 hours does," McHale said, yesterday. Harden went through shootaround this morning, but remains questionable for tonight's game. Patrick Beverley returned to practice on Thursday after missing the Rockets' past two games with flu symptoms and also went through shootaround Friday morning, but he remains questionable.
Harden has yet to miss a game this year. If the MVP candidate misses tonight's game he's leaving a ton of production on the table for others to scoop up. The list of beneficiaries above is lengthy because without having seen this mix of players without Harden in the fold. It's largely speculative guess work determining who will step up and gobble up the bulk of his production. Even if his numbers are spread out in a somewhat even fashion, the prices of Harden's teammates are relative to what they've done without the added opportunity for statistics that is possibly present tonight.
Injured: Anthony Davis (Out), Ryan Anderson (Out)
Beneficiaries: SG Eric Gordon (DK: $5,800, FD: $6,300), C Alexis Ajinca (DK: $4,500, FD: $4,400)
Anthony Davis and Ryan Anderson were both injured in Saturday's game, and that leaves the frontcourt thin. The continued absence of Jrue Holiday, coupled with the injuries to the bigs, places a heavier emphasis on Eric Gordon in the offense. The primary beneficiary, though, is Alexis Ajinca. The young big man moves from a seldom used bench role into prominent spot in the rotation. Ajinca has 25-plus minutes available for him, if he can avoid foul trouble that is. His foul woes make him a dicey cash games pick, but his upside makes him a worthwhile risk to take in GPPs.
9:00 PM ET
Jazz @ Nuggets
Injured: Jusuf Nurkic (Out), Darrell Arthur (Doubtful), Wilson Chandler (Probable), Kenneth Faried (Probable)
Beneficiaries: SF(DK)/PF(FD) Joffrey Lauvergne (DK: $3,500, FD: $3,500), PF J.J. Hickson (DK: $3,200, FD: $3,700)
Jusuf Nurkic will miss tonight's game and Darrell Arthur is a strong bet to miss the game with a bruised knee, but both Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried are expected to return to active duty. Joffrey Lauvergne is a wild card as he's still making the adjustment to playing in the NBA after signing with and joining the Nuggets earlier this month after leaving his Russian team. His volatility makes him a contrarian option in GPPs.
J.J. Hickson stands to see more playing time in an injury ravaged Nuggets' frontcourt. Hickson won't fill up the hustle stat categories, but more run will help him in his two strongest categories, scoring and rebounding. He lacks a high ceiling, but he is projectable enough to be used in cash games to offset the high cost of a superstar.
10:00 PM ET
Spurs @ Kings
Injured: DeMarcus Cousins (Doubtful)
Beneficiary: SF Rudy Gay (DK: $7,300, FD: $7,800)
DeMarcus Cousins is battling a pair of injuries, a left ankle sprain and a left hip contusion, and his absence would thrust Rudy Gay into the role of offensive leader. Darren Collison is also out, and Gay is close to a one man show with sharp-shooter Ben McLemore also picking up some scraps.
10:30 PM ET
Bucks @ Lakers, Thunder @ Trail Blazers
Injured: Nick Young (Out)
Beneficiaries: SG Wayne Ellington (DK: $4,200, FD: $5,000), SF Wesley Johnson (DK: $4,000, FD: $4,000), PG Jeremy Lin (DK: $3,800, FD: $4,500)
Nick Young remains out with a knee injury. The hucker's minutes will be divvied up between the trio of starting shooting guard Wayne Ellington, and reserves Wesley Johnson and Jeremy Lin. Ellington played a whopping 38 minutes with Young out Wednesday, and Johnson and Lin should receive around 25-30 minutes of action off the bench. Neither Lin nor Johnson are terribly exciting DFS options, even at their cheap cost. Ellington becomes a stellar option, though, in all game formats.
Injured: Kevin Durant (Out)
Beneficiary: PG Russell Westbrook (DK: $11,200, FD: $11,200)
Kevin Durant has done some light shooting recently, but he remains out. Russell Westbrook, already a stud when playing next to Durant, becomes a fire breathing monster as the alpha dog. Westbrook scored 82 fantasy points at DraftKings yesterday and has averaged 61.9 fantasy points there over the last 10 days. He totaled 74.3 points at FanDuel on Thursday, and he's bested 50 fantasy points there in five of his last six games. Westbrook will be a popular DFS option in cash games and GPPs alike, and with value plays abound, his large salary is more palatable for the huge scoring contribution he'll make to rosters.