Hutchinson will be a game-time decision as the Wizards play the Toronto Raptors. If he does end up sitting, it should be a few more minutes for Davis Bertans, Issac Bonga, and Anthony Gill.
Joseph and Ellington were both upgraded to probable, and are expected to return to the lineup against the Memphis Grizzlies. Joseph will likely be back from a four game absence due to an ankle injury, while Ellington should return from his four game absence due to calf injury. Hayes remains questionable, but even if he ends up playing, he’ll be tough to prioritize with Joseph expected to be back. If he sits, Joseph would be an even greater play, while Saben Lee and Frank Jackson would have some more upside. Overall, the Pistons are a much riskier ask now that they have a few more bodies, but Joseph is likely the best play for the team.
Before today, the Pistons appeared to have the same story with their point guards, as they prepared to play the Memphis Grizzlies. Killian Hayes would have got the start, while Joseph would sat. Now, Hayes has been listed as questionable due to illness, while Joseph was upgraded from out to questionable with his ankle injury, leaving the Pistons in quite of a mess. Wayne Ellington remains questionable as well, so there are a lot of moving parts behind the Pistons backcourt. If one of Joseph or Hayes sits while the other plays, the active player would be a good play, particularly whoever gets the start as their minutes would be more secure. If both end up sitting, Saben Lee would likely get the start and be a popular value play at a cheap salary. The Pistons have tried various methods to tank, and now it looks like we’ll have to wait to see how they do it this time.
The Pacers will have the same four players questionable as they did yesterday as they prepare to play the Atlanta Hawks. Goga played yesterday off the bench after being listed questionable, while the other three all missed the game. It should be the same winners that we’d expect if players sit today. If Brogdon sits, Aaron Holiday and TJ McConnell benefit the most. If Lamb and Sumner sit, it’s Doug McDermott along with the two Holiday brothers who’d benefit. And if Goga sits, it’s likely more minutes for Oshae Brissett. Goga seems the likeliest to play, seeing as he did yesterday, but the Pacers will keep us guessing until lock it seems.
According to Woj, Noel is expected to return against the Denver Nuggets tonight. Noel missed the Knicks last game, which led to Taj Gibson being a popular value play. With Noel back, Gibson should move to the bench; although he played 32 minutes the last two games, he’d likely return to his role of bench big who’d play minutes in the teens. If Noel has no minutes restriction, he’ll likely play 30 or so minutes, but he may be eased back into game shape.
Burks was listed as probable with a knee injury ahead of the Knicks game against the Denver Nuggets. Burks played 15 minutes in his first game back from a lengthy absence, and appears to be in line to play again today. If he sits, it’d be more minutes for Reggie Bullock and Immanuel Quickley likely.
The Kings will have the same injury designations entering tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers as they did yesterday. Barnes was listed as doubtful with an adductor injury that’s cost him the last four games, while Metu was listed as questionable with a back injury that cost him the last two. We can use yesterday’s game to see how the rotations played out, and project accordingly. Maurice Harkless should start again in place of Barnes; he played 24 minutes yesterday, and should be in line for mid/high 20’s again. Delon Wright got the start for Tyrese Haliburton, and played 37 minutes and dominated the ball and should be an elite value yet again. Marvin Bagley played 30 minutes, but did suffer some foul trouble in the second half that may have cost him a few minutes. Terrence Davis played 30 minutes off the bench and would likely be in line to do the same again today. If Metu plays, he’d likely take a few minutes away from Bagley and possibly Richaun Holmes as well, but Wright and Bagley should be the top values, along with Buddy Hield.
Carter Jr. was listed as questionable due to an eye injury, as the Magic prepare to play the Boston Celtics. The Magic are running out of bodies, as if Carter sits will have only nine healthy bodies, and possibly eight if the newly signed Sindarius Thornwell is unable to make his debut. The Magic game is the first one on the slate, so we should be able to get the news with enough time to make pivots. If Wendell does end up sitting, Mo Bamba would be a clear winner and likely one of the most popular plays on the entire slate. Bamba has averaged 1.25 FPM with all the injured Magic off the floor per CourtIQ. He’s been able to produce in limited minutes, including last game when he had a season high 48 DK points. Moe Wagner and Ignas Brazdeikis would likely pick up a few more minutes if Carter Jr sits, but the biggest winner will clearly be Bamba.
Payne will be a game-time decision as the Suns prepare to play the Cleveland Cavaliers. Payne missed last game with a knee injury, and was a game-time decision last time before ultimately being ruled out. If he sits, Jevon Carter should pick up a few more minutes, along with Chris Paul and Devin Booker likely picking up the rest.
Varejao was signed to a contract with the team, but won’t dress tonight as the Cavs play the Phoenix Suns. Varejao likely signed with the team just to retire with them, but if he is to get minutes, it won’t be today.
Draymond popped up as questionable with a hip injury ahead of the Warriors rematch against the New Orleans Pelicans. Andrew Wiggins was not listed on the injury report despite being questionable yesterday, so he should be all systems go tonight. Damion Lee, Kelly Oubre, and Eric Paschall all remain out. If Draymond were to sit, there would be a major void of minutes to be filled for the Warriors, as they have been playing an eight man rotation recently without some of their key regulars. Juan Toscano-Anderson would likely start in his place, and would have to play even more minutes than he usually does. Mychal Mulder would pick up a few more as well. There isn’t a large sample size with all the injured players including Draymond off, but Steph would have to be even more involved than he already has, while Andrew Wiggins and Kent Bazemore would likely play more minutes and more usage as a result.
Beverley has missed the last 12 games due to a fractured wrist, but was upgraded to questionable to make his return ahead of the Clippers game against the Toronto Raptors. According to Woj, Beverley is “progressing on making his return to the lineup”, which makes it seem like he’s closer to probable. His status won’t likely be confirmed until closer to game-time, but this would be a boost for the Clippers. Reggie Jackson would likely move to the bench, but there’s a chance Beverley gets eased into action and Reggie gets one more start. This will mostly eliminate all value from the Clippers outside of Kawhi and PG-13; the point guard minutes will be split, and players like Kennard and Mann may be removed from the rotation entirely if Beverley plays. Unfortunately, the Clippers game starts two hours after every other game, so it’ll be difficult to monitor, but it’s not a huge slate shaking return either way.
Ahead of their rematch against the Golden State Warriors, the Pelicans may be without two of their regular starters. Lonzo was added to the injury report with a thumb injury, while Steven Adams was added due to a toe injury; both players are listed as questionable. Adams has missed the last two games, leading to starts for Willy Hernangomez, whose price has gone up across the industry. Lonzo’s addition is new; he played 40 minutes last night, and has averaged 36 minutes over the last five games. If Lonzo sits, Kira Lewis would likely start in his place and be a top value option. From a production standpoint, Zion is a huge winner with no Lonzo on the court; he averages 1.42 FPM with no Lonzo on the floor, up from his average of 1.30 per CourtIQ. Taking Adams off the floor boosts him up to 1.48, so Zion would be a great play if either sit. Eric Bledsoe shows some boosts up as well, but this would certainly be the Zion show if either player sits, and even more so if they both due. Kira and Hernangomez are also viable options if Lonzo or Adams sit.
Harris was listed as probable ahead of the Magic’s tankfest of a game against the Detroit Pistons. The Magic are down to nine healthy bodies, and would be down to eight if Harris was surprisingly ruled out. If he sits, it would likely be RJ Hampton joining the starting lineup, while he and Dwayne Bacon play all the minutes they could handle.
Noel was listed as questionable with an ankle injury as the Knicks prepare to play the Memphis Grizzlies. Noel suffered the injury yesterday, limiting him to only 11 minutes. If he ends up sitting, the center minutes should belong to Taj Gibson. Gibson played 31 minutes yesterday, and would likely play minutes in the thirties again, as we know coach Thibodeau has an affinity for him and for playing his starters major minutes. Norvel Pelle and Obi Toppin would likely split the backup center minutes if Noel does sit. Julius Randle may play an extra couple minutes as well as a small-ball center; he averages 37 minutes anyways, so he could be in line for huge ceiling.