Payton has officially been downgraded from questionable and won’t play in Thursday’s matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a sprained right ankle that has now forced him to miss nine consecutive games. This news is far from surprising considering head coach Alvin Gentry seemed skeptical Payton would be able to suit up for tonight’s contest and believes that Payton will be ready rejoin the lineup following the upcoming All-Star break. Gentry shook up his starting lineup in Tuesday’s loss by replacing Darius Miller and Frank Jackson with Jahlil Okafor and E’Twaun Moore, which enabled Anthony Davis to slide over to power forward and Jrue Holiday to take over the primary ball-handling responsibilities in the first unit. After logging 34 minutes two games ago, Davis was limited to just 24 minutes once again in the previous game, so he is extremely difficult to trust in any daily fantasy format while Gentry and the organization are actively attempting to manage the playing time of their star player.
Parker has officially been downgraded from doubtful and won’t play in Thursday’s matchup against the Orlando Magic due to a strained back that has now forced him to miss four consecutive games, while Bismack Biyombo has already been ruled out for rest purposes even though he’s totaled just 16 minutes over the Hornets previous two games. Devonte’ Graham has typically stepped into the backup role behind Kemba Walker at point guard, but he figures to compete with Shelvin Mack for those duties moving forward after Mack logged 12 minutes off the bench with both Parker and Graham sidelined in Monday’s loss. Unfortunately, with Graham and Mack largely out of the rotation Parker is healthy, they should absorb most, if not, all of Parker’s vacated minutes in the second unit, which leaves very little else for any other players in the rotation to benefit.
Hezonja has been downgraded on the most recent version of the Knicks’ injury report and won’t play in Thursday’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks due to a left leg contusion, while Emmanuel Mudiay will miss a 12th consecutive game with a strained left shoulder. Hezonja was replaced by Noah Vonleh in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s loss, and the demotion to the bench combined with the in-game injury limited him to just six minutes in that contest. As for Mudiay, he hasn’t been active in any of the games since Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan were acquired prior to the trade deadline, so his continued absence won’t have an impact on the current state of head coach David Fizdale’s rotation. Smith Jr. has been mostly consistent from a fantasy perspective while flashing occasional upside in his first six games as a member of the Knicks, as he leads the team with a 30.6% usage rate and is averaging 1.07 DraftKings and 1.10 FanDuel points per minute in a 186.6 minutes sample size over that span.
Huerter has officially been upgraded from probable and will be available to play in Thursday’s matchup against the New York Knicks despite dealing with a sprained left ankle, while Adams has been ruled out with an ankle injury even though he was originally listed as probable on the injury report. With Adams unavailable for Tuesday’s win, DeAndre Bembry served as the primary backup to Trae Young at point guard and procured a mediocre fantasy outing in 23 minutes of action with the second unit. Even so, Young and John Collins will continue to be the main Hawks players to target in all formats moving forward, as Young leads the team with a 28.9% usage rate and is averaging 1.14 DraftKings and 1.09 FanDuel points per minute, while Collins sets the pace with an average of 1.20 DraftKings and 1.17 FanDuel points per minute on the season.
Hezonja has been included on the most recent version of the Knicks’ injury report and is listed as doubtful for Thursday’s matchup against the Atlanta Hawks due to a left leg contusion, while Mudiay is listed out and will miss a 12th consecutive game with a strained left shoulder. Hezonja was replaced by Noah Vonleh in the starting lineup for Wednesday’s loss, and the demotion to the bench combined with the injury limited him to just six minutes in that contest. As for Mudiay, he hasn’t been active in any of the games since Dennis Smith Jr. and DeAndre Jordan were acquired prior to the trade deadline, so his continued absence won’t have an impact on the current state of head coach David Fizdale’s rotation. Smith Jr. has been mostly consistent from a fantasy perspective while flashing occasional upside in his first six games as a member of the Knicks, as he leads the team with a 30.6% usage rate and is averaging 1.07 DraftKings and 1.10 FanDuel points per minute in a 186.6 minutes sample size over that span.
Charlotte Hornets – Tony Parker (D)
Orlando Magic – Mohamed Bamba (O), Markelle Fultz (O), Timofey Mozgov (O)
New York Knicks – Emmanuel Mudiay (O), Frank Ntilikina (O)
Atlanta Hawks – Kevin Huerter (P), Jaylen Adams (P), Miles Plumlee (O)
Oklahoma City Thunder – Dennis Schroder (O), Jerami Grant (O)
New Orleans Pelicans – Elfrid Payton (D), Trevon Bluiett (O)
Johnson has officially been upgraded from questionable and will be available to play in Wednesday’s matchup against the Los Angeles Clippers despite dealing with a sprained right ankle, while T.J. Warren and De’Anthony Melton continue to be sidelined with their respective ailments. Johnson will remain in the starting lineup at point guard once again following a serviceable fantasy performance in 32 minutes of action as in Sunday’s loss. His ascension to the starting role after just one game as a member of the Phoenix Suns was ultimately expected, and the lineup change has allowed Ellie Okobo to assume a reserve role instead of being a nominal starter that only logs minutes in the high-teens on a nightly basis. Josh Jackson has been the primary beneficiary in terms of production and playing time with Warren sidelined, and he owns a 26.0% usage rate with an average of 1.04 DraftKings and 1.06 FanDuel points per minute with Warren and Melton off the court.
Iguodala has officially been downgraded from questionable and won’t play in Wednesday’s matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers due to rest purposes on the second leg of a back-to-back set, while DeMarcus Cousins and Shaun Livingston have already been ruled out and will be rested for tonight’s contest. Iguodala returned from a one-game absence because of a tight left hamstring and logged 28 minutes off the bench in Tuesday’s win, and his absence should theoretically allow Alfonzo McKinnie to take on a larger role in the wing rotation, especially with Livingston also unavailable. Ever since Cousins made his Warriors debut nearly a month ago, Stephen Curry has been the main beneficiary with him and Livingston off the court, as he owns a 36.6% usage rate (+7.3%) and is averaging 1.51 DraftKings and 1.46 FanDuel points per minute in a 161.5 minutes sample size.
Wade has officially been upgraded from questionable and will play Wednesday’s matchup against the Dallas Mavericks despite dealing with an illness. Even following the departure of Tyler Johnson to Phoenix via trade, Wade has been consistently capping out in the high-20s in terms of minutes, which certainly keeps him in consideration for tournament formats on most slates. If he’s limited, it would certainly be a boon to the minute floors of Rodney McGruder and Dion Waiters, though Waiters has already logged at least 30 minutes in each of the Heat’s previous three games, so it remains to be seen how much head coach Erik Spoelstra would be willing to increase his minute workload. This could lead to substantially more run in the second unit for McGruder, who’s played a minimum of 20 minutes off the bench in the last two contests, while Duncan Robinson could be relied upon to soak up meaningful minutes for realistically the first time all season should Wade be unable to suit up.
McCaw is a late addition to the Raptors’ injury report and won’t play in Wednesday’s matchup against the Washington Wizards due to a sore shoulder, and he’ll join Kawhi Leonard and Fred VanVleet on the inactive list. However, VanVleet’s absence in the second unit will be somewhat nullified by the signing of Jeremy Lin, who will make his Raptors debut in tonight’s contest. Head coach Nick Nurse could opt to go in several different directions with his starting lineup sans Leonard and VanVleet, though Norman Powell or OG Anunoby would appear to be the likeliest candidates to receive the starting nod alongside Danny Green on the wing. The presence of Marc Gasol could alter the Raptors current usage allocations in both the first and second units but with Leonard and VanVleet off the court this season, Serge Ibaka and Kyle Lowry each own at least a +3.3% usage rate differential and experience a minimum of a +0.20 increase to their per minute production, making them logical players to target in tournament formats.
Wiggins has officially been downgraded from questionable and won’t play in Wednesday’s matchup against the Houston Rockets due to an illness that has now forced him to miss two consecutive games, while Tyus Jones remains doubtful and Derrick Rose remains probable and fully expected to play in tonight’s contest. In Wiggins’ absence, Luol Deng drew his first start of the season at small forward and was stellar from a fantasy perspective for his price tag in 38 minutes of action in Monday’s win. Dario Saric also replaced Taj Gibson as the starting power forward in that contest, and he procured a phenomenal fantasy outing in 34 minutes, keeping him firmly in consideration as a value option for tournament formats on tonight’s 11-game slate. There isn’t a tremendous sample size with Wiggins, Jones, and Robert Covington off the court, but in that time, Rose owns a 39.3% usage rate (+11.2%) and is averaging 1.44 DraftKings and 1.46 FanDuel points per minute.
Dunn has officially been downgraded from questionable and won’t play in Wednesday’s matchup against the Memphis Grizzlies due to a bruised back that already forced him to miss Tuesday’s practice. In his absence, Ryan Arcidiacano will receive the starting nod alongside Zach LaVine in the backcourt, and he’ll have plenty of maneuverability for an increase in playing time since he’s logged fewer than 18 minutes off the bench in each of the Bulls previous five games. Shaquille Harrison will also be in line for an uptick in minutes sans Dunn, but he’s averaged just 11.2 minutes over the last three games, making him difficult to trust as a punt option in tournaments. Unsurprisingly, LaVine has been the main beneficiary with Dunn of the court, as he owns a 35.0% usage rate (+3.1%) and is averaging 1.30 DraftKings and 1.28 FanDuel points per minute in this scenario.
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