As expected, Niang will start in place of Royce O’Neale. Although he won’t have a lot of usage along the Jazz regulars, this secures his minutes floor, and he should be in line for mid 20’s in minutes according to our projections.
Despite being listed as out earlier in the day, Okpala has passed through the health and safety protocols and will be available to play against the Phoenix Suns. Okpala had been playing as the backup center before he missed eleven games due to the protocols. Now that the Heat have Nemanja Bjelica playing that role, Okpala will compete for those minutes, although it’s more likely he needs to get his conditioning up to date before he plays significant minutes.
As expected, Roby will get the start in his first game back from concussion protocol, alongside Bazley and Brown. Kenrich Williams will lose the most minutes, as he was in line to start if Roby came off the bench, but now Kenrich will likely play minutes in the 19-22 range.
Coach Borrego was torn on two decisions, and decided to go with Caleb Martin (instead of Cody), and Biyombo (instead of Cody Zeller). At cheap pricing, both players are likely going to be popular values throughout the slate. Biyombo is likely to get minutes in the mid twenties, while Zeller fills out the rest for him. As for Caleb, he could be pulled in favor of Cody Martin or Brad Wannamaker, but getting the start does give him a bit more security for his minutes.
THT will get the start tonight against the Hornets, and could be in line for big minutes as a result. Although he played 23 minutes last game, he played 34 the game before so he does have the upside to reach big minutes. This is a slight bump to him, with a slight downtick to Wesley Matthews (who was another option to start). Kuzma should also play a few more minutes, as him starting alongside THT makes it less likely Kuzma gets subbed for him.
Clarkson was officially ruled out with an ankle sprain, as expected, as he was ruled out with an ankle sprain as the Jazz play the OKC Thunder. Already without Joe Ingles and Royce O’Neale, the Jazz will have to fill in significant minutes. Georges Niang will likely start in place of O’Neale, while Miye Oni and Matt Thomas should be the main guards off the bench. Because of the heavy amount of minutes that O’Neale and Ingles have played on the year, there isn’t a lot of CourtIQ with them both off the floor. O’Neale only has a 9% usage rate on the year (per CourtIQ), so his absence will open up minutes but not much production there. Ingles averages 0.88 FPM and a 16% usage on the year, so his absence could open up more for the team. Donovan Mitchell should still lead the team in usage, along with Bojan Bogdanovic and Conley. Niang getting the start may lead to heavy minutes, which could make him a good play at a cheap salary. The rest of the minutes will likely be filled out by players who won’t get enough minutes to be worthwhile fantasy plays. It’s likely that the remaining regular Jazz players (along with Niang) are the biggest benefactors of the Jazz’s injuries.
Morris was downgraded from questionable to out, and will miss the game against the Charlotte Hornets with an ankle injury. Talen Horton-Tucker will start in his place, with Kyle Kuzma moving up to the power forward position. Off the bench, Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok may re-enter the rotation, but it’s likely that Kuzma and THT monopolize the minutes at the power forward position. The Lakers usage will run through Dennis Schroder, Andre Drummond, and Kuzma, while THT and Alex Caruso help fill out at the wings and could be good values.
The Lakers had a chance to be completely decimated, but will avoid disaster as they take on the Hornets. Drummond, Gasol and McKinnie were upgraded from questionable to available, while Kuzma and Matthews were upgraded from probable to available. Morris remains a game-time decision, so his news is the only one left monitoring for the Lakers. Drummond should continue to start at center, while Gasol is unlikely to play heavy minutes now that Drummond and Montrezl Harrell are both available. As for Morris, if he ends up sitting, it’ll likely be more minutes for Talen Horton-Tucker and Kostas Antetokounmpo, along with plenty of Kyle Kuzma.
Trae Young was a game-time decision, but was ultimately downgraded to out due to a calf injury and will miss his second straight game against the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks will be severely shorthanded, as they are without Danilo Gallinari again, along with the few players that have been out for an extended time: John Collins, DeAndre Hunter, and Cam Reddish. The biggest winners are Bogdan Bogdanovic and Brandon Goodwin. Bogdan played 40 minutes the last game Trae missed, while Goodwin played 37. Per CourtIQ, Bogdanovic averages 1.07 FPM with no Trae, Gallinari, Reddish, Hunter, and Collins, up from his average of 0.95. Goodwin averages around 0.82 FPM, but should have to play huge minutes. Lou Williams and Kevin Huerter will get an increase in minutes as well in place of Trae. With Gallo out, Solomon Hill will have to play some more minutes, along with Nathan Knight off the bench. Overall, Goodwin, Huerter, and Bogdanovic should have to play heavy minutes, as Trae’s absence is massive for the Hawks.
Rozier was downgraded from doubtful to out, as the Hornets will be severely shorthanded as they take on the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hornets are already without LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, and Malik Monk, so there will be heavy minutes to be allocated. Coach Borrego mentioned that “one of” Caleb or Cody Martin will take the starting spot for Rozier, while Devonte’ Graham will handle the point guard duties. Brad Wannamaker will also likely play more minutes, as the Hornets are short on ballhandlers. As for Washington, Borrego mentioned that “one of” Cody Zeller or Bismack Biyombo start at center; whoever doesn’t start will likely take the remaining center minutes off the bench. There’s no major sample with all of the injured players out, since they’ve all played so many minutes. Graham is likely to be the biggest winner; in an 81 minute sample with LaMelo, Hayward, Washington, and Rozier off the floor, he averages 1.29 FPM per CourtIQ, up from his average of 0.99 FPM. He will need to take a heavy role from a usage and assist percentage as well. Wannamaker played 27 minutes last game, and should have to play around 30 minutes this game. Whoever starts for the Hornets at center and one Martin twin will likely be winners as well.
The hits keep on coming for the Raptors, as Bembry was a late addition to the injury report with hamstring tightness and will miss the game against the Atlanta Hawks. Watson was also downgraded from questionable to out due to the health protocols. With Bembry out along with Kyle Lowry and Malachi Flynn, Malachi Flynn’s minutes become a bit more secure; Bembry had handled the ball at times, but that won’t be the case now. Gary Trent Jr., Pascal Siakam, and OG Anunoby will likely be playing heavy minutes again as they have all year, while Chris Boucher should still be a good play, but he may lose some minutes to Khem Birch. Rodney Hood and Freddie Gillepsie may get a few more minutes as well, but overall, the Raptors starters are the biggest winners, with Flynn and Siakam the biggest of those.
Gallinari was downgraded from doubtful to out due to a foot injury, and will miss the Hawks game against the Toronto Raptors. Young will be a game-time decision due to a calf injury, so we will need to see how he does during warmups. With Gallo out again, the Hawks will have a few different outlets to fill his minutes. Solomon Hill will likely have to play heavy minutes again; he played 37 minutes last game, but usually doesn’t produce at high rates. Nathan Knight will also likely stay in the rotation as he plays off the bench. From a production point, Bogdan Bogdanovic is the biggest winner; he averages 1.07 FPM, up from his 0.93 average per CourtIQ. If Trae ends up playing, he’ll likely dominate usage. If he sits, Brandon Goodwin, Skylar Mays, and Lou Williams all will benefit.
As expected, Luke Kennard will get the start in place of Kawhi Leonard as the Clippers take on the Indiana Pacers. Kennard played 24 minutes the last time Kawhi sat, while Terrence Mann played 25 off the bench. Both players are in play as Kawhi’s team-leading usage isn’t there.
Despite being listed out earlier in the day, both Roby and Hall have cleared the concussion protocol and are available to play against the Utah Jazz. Both players had missed four games while in protocol, but are now available to return. Aleksej Pokusevski and Mike Muscala are out, so there could still be room for these two to play minutes, more so for Roby. Darius Bazley returned from a long absence last game and played 35 minutes, but there should be room for that to come down now that Roby is back. Moses Brown may lose a few more minutes as the Thunder have another option at center, while Kenrich Williams will also likely lose a few minutes now that he’s not needed at the power forward position as much. The return of Roby should lead to minutes in the 20’s, while Hall has a chance to crack the rotation.