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Welcome to Next Man Up, where we will take a look at the injury situation around the NBA and which players stand to benefit from those injuries. We will be examining the most DFS relevant injuries here and the fantasy spin associated with those injuries. Please note, some games on each night’s slate will not be included if there are no injury situations worth monitoring. As you know, a player’s injury status can change rapidly, so be sure to check for news before lineups lock.
Out: Jahlil Okafor, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson.
Probable: Brook Lopez.
Fantasy Spin: The 76ers will remain without the services of Jahlil Okafor as he is still nursing a shin bruise. Jerami Grant should remain in the starting lineup and he has a favorable matchup against the Nets. Brooklyn on the year is allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to power forwards on DraftKings and 11th-most on FanDuel. For Brooklyn, don’t worry about Lopez, he should be in the lineup tonight.
Out: Chris Bosh.
Doubtful: Jimmy Butler.
Fantasy Spin: The Heat won’t be getting Bosh back just yet, but he did receive some promising news and there’s a chance he’s back by the end of the season. Keep Luol Deng under consideration for as long as Bosh is out. Deng continues to flourish as Miami’s power forward as he’s posting some of the best numbers of his career over the past month. For Chicago, Jimmy Butler most likely won’t be back tonight unless he gets a status upgrade later in the day. E’Twaun Moore is a great value play here as his price dipped during Butler’s brief return to the lineup. Moore has 36 points, seven rebounds, and 11 assists over the past two games without Butler.
Out: Kevin Garnett, Nikola Pekovic.
Questionable: Dion Waiters.
Probable: Zach LaVine, Nemanja Bjelica.
Fantasy Spin: LaVine should be alright for tonight’s game, but his shoulder could be an issue for the remainder of the season. He needs to be considered for all leagues based off how well he has played and how reasonable his salary remains across the industry. For the Thunder, Waiters missed last game for personal reasons and may not be back tonight. Andre Roberson started at shooting guard in his place on Wednesday and was reasonably productive, scoring 13 points in 26 minutes. At minimum pricing, he’s worth considering as a GPP punt play.
Out: Marc Gasol, Brandan Wright, Tyreke Evans, Eric Gordon, Bryce Dejean-Jones, Mario Chalmers.
Doubtful: Mike Conley, Chris Andersen.
Questionable: Zach Randolph, Norris Cole.
Fantasy Spin: Two of the most injured-plagued teams in the league will square off tonight in Memphis. The Pelicans elected to sit Norris Cole on Wednesday after he played through his back injury on Monday. If he were to sit again tonight, expect Toney Douglas to see heavy minutes. Douglas played 37 minutes on Wednesday, and although he didn’t post a great game, the opportunity alone puts him on the radar tonight. For Memphis, Lance Stephenson is expected to start at point guard for a Grizzlies team that lost Mario Chalmers for the year and is unlikely to have the services of Mike Conley. Stephenson has played really well since being acquired by the Grizzlies and would be a must-play if he does in fact start at the point. New starting power forward JaMychal Green’s price jumped up in a hurry, but he’s still worth considering tonight as New Orleans has struggled against the position over the past 10 games.
Out: Alec Burks.
Questionable: Bradley Beal, Rodney Hood.
Fantasy Spin: Beal is looking like he will be a game-time decision tonight. If he is forced to miss, Ramon Sessions would be the best value play on Washington. Sessions played 33 minutes on Tuesday, scoring 21 points and adding five assists. He will face a Jazz defense that is tough on opposing guards, but you can consider him a tournament option. Starting shooting guard Garrett Temple can be left out of daily lineups as the production just isn’t there. The Jazz were without Hood on Wednesday and started Chris Johnson in his place. Johnson only played 19 minutes, taking just four shots. He’s not a daily option. Trey Burke saw a little extra playing time and would be a better play than Johnson if you are looking to take advantage of Hood’s possible absence.
Out: DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Vucevic.
Doubtful: Ben McLemore.
Questionable: Elfrid Payton.
Fantasy Spin: With Vucevic already ruled out with a groin injury, Jason Smith will likely start at center yet again. He has scored reasonably well for Orlando over his past two starts, averaging 11.5 points over that span. The four total rebounds over that time frame is not quite as impressive, however. You can probably do better if looking for a value center tonight. Elfrid Payton missed Thursday’s practice with an elbow issue. If he were to miss, Brandon Jennings would be one of the top point guard plays on the slate if he earns the start. Sacramento is in the top-four in fantasy points allowed to point guards on both DraftKings and FanDuel. For the Kings, Cousins will be serving a one-game suspension tonight. Either Willie Cauley-Stein or Kosta Koufos will get the start at center. Both should be decent options against Orlando.
Out: Lance Thomas, Cleanthony Early, Tony Wroten, Blake Griffin.
Questionable: Arron Afflalo, Luc Mbah a Moute.
Fantasy Spin: Afflalo was a late scratch on Wednesday with an abdominal muscle strain. Sasha Vujacic got the start on Wednesday and played well, scoring 23 points in 33 minutes. He would be worth checking into again today if Afflalo isn’t ready to return.