Although we have a compact four-game slate on tap, it’s accompanied by a hefty injury report that’s littered with big names. A chunk of those appear headed for absences or are already confirmed out, helping keep some projected totals down and simultaneously opening up some solid value options.
NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written, check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night’s slate, including those carrying injury designations that aren’t listed in this section.
Anthony Davis, LAL (back): PROBABLE
If Davis plays through his ongoing lower-back tightness, he could continue to be in for especially elevated usage if LeBron James (thigh) misses another game.
Joel Embiid, PHI (foot): OUT
Embiid’s absence, coupled with that of James Harden (foot) and Tyrese Maxey (foot), should lead to massive usage bumps for the remainder of the starting five and extra minutes for Paul Reed and Montrezl Harrell.
Nikola Jokic, DEN (COVID-19 protocols): DOUBTFUL
Jokic’s likely absence should lead to another start for DeAndre Jordan and usage bumps for the remainder of the starting five.
LeBron James, LAL (thigh): OUT
Ja Morant, MEM (ankle): DOUBTFUL
In Morant’s likely absence, Tyus Jones should draw another start at point guard.
James Harden, PHI (foot): OUT
Harden’s ongoing absence will keep De’Anthony Melton in the starting shooting guard role.
Tyrese Maxey, PHI (foot): OUT
Maxey’s absence should lead to another start for Shake Milton at point guard.
Tobias Harris, PHI (hip): PROBABLE
If Harris suits up as expected, he should enjoy much higher usage than usual due to the absences of Embiid, Harden and Maxey.
Other notable injuries:
Cade Cunningham, DET (lower leg): OUT
Desmond Bane, MEM (toe): OUT
Chris Paul, PHX (heel): OUT
Jamal Murray, DEN (COVID-19 protocols): DOUBTFUL
Aaron Gordon, DEN (illness): QUESTIONABLE
Bones Hyland, DEN (hip): PROBABLE
Isaiah Stewart, DET (toe): OUT
Saddiq Bey, DET (ankle): OUT
Cameron Johnson, PHX (knee): OUT
We have three players with five-figure salaries on Tuesday’s slate that appear to have at least a 50/50 chance of playing: Anthony Davis ($11,500), Kevin Durant ($11,000) and LeBron James ($10,800). We also have two five-figure salary players carrying doubtful tags in Nikola Jokic ($10,500) and Ja Morant ($10,100).
Davis has scored 58.3 to 71.2 FD points in his last four games and should have a good chance of outpacing his salary once again if James sits out.
Durant kept up his usual production (46.9 FD points) in Kyrie Irving‘s return to action Sunday and is the only player with a five-figure salary not carrying any sort of injury designation.
LeBron may well miss a fifth straight game but at least carries a questionable tag, although it’s fair to wonder if he’d be on any type of minutes limitations if he does suit up.
Jokic and Morant are both very likely to sit out their respective contests, although if Jokic did unexpectedly manage to clear COVID-19 protocols, he’d presumably be in a position to bounce back to his usual level of production assuming he hasn’t been overly ill during his time away.
Other likely chalk plays include:
Devin Booker, PHX ($9,900)
Booker has scored 48.9 to 75.6 FD points in a three-game stretch prior to logging 30.5 over 30 minutes in the easy win over the Knicks on Sunday, and he should remain very popular Tuesday, especially with Chris Paul (heel) still sidelined.
De’Aaron Fox, SAC ($9,600)
Fox has been over 45 FD points in four of his last five games and carries one of the safest floors of the slate.
Domantas Sabonis, SAC ($9,600)
Sabonis dipped to 25.1 FD points against the Spurs two games ago, but he’s scored 41.1 to 61.4 FD points in seven of his other eight November games.
Kyrie Irving, BKN ($8,800)
Irving produced a serviceable 22 FD points in 26 minutes during his return against the Grizzlies on Sunday, and his name value, sub-$9K salary and the expectation he’ll see a bump in production should all help keep him highly rostered.
Jaren Jackson, MEM ($8,200)
Jackson is expected to take the floor without Morant in addition to Desmond Bane (toe), which, when coupled with the fact he scored 52.4 FD points in his most recent game, should keep him in plenty of lineups.
John Konchar, MEM vs. SAC ($6,300)
Konchar is another member of the Grizzlies that should benefit from the projected absence of the team’s starting backcourt, as he’s scored 22.3 to 42.3 FD points in the last four games while holding down the starting shooting guard role in Bane’s absence. The tacking on of Morant’s absence Sunday helped lead to the total at the high end of the range, and Konchar, who’s shooting 50.0 percent, including 45.0 percent from three-point range, during that four-game span, should benefit from a matchup against a Kings squad allowing 49.0 percent shooting and 43.1 percent three-point shooting specifically to two-guards.
Bruce Brown, DEN vs. DET ($6,100)
Brown is another value backcourt piece benefitting from an absence on his team, as Jamal Murray‘s placement in COVID-19 protocols has led to consecutive starts at point guard for the veteran. Brown has responded to the opportunity by scoring 35.3 and 32.8 FD points in those contests with averages of 15.0 points, 7.5 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.0 steals and 48.0 percent shooting. The veteran’s run of solid production actually precedes that brief sample, as he’d scored 28.7 to 42 FD points in the three games prior while coming off the bench. Brown’s Tuesday matchup lines up very favorably for an extension of that stretch, as he’s facing a Pistons team allowing an NBA-high 34.6 offensive efficiency rating to point guards, along with 49.7 percent shooting, including 40.0 percent from three-point range, to the position.
Shake Milton, PHI vs. BKN ($5,800)
Milton will draw another start at point guard for Maxey, a role that he parlayed into 31.2 FD points across 38 minutes against the Timberwolves on Saturday. The fifth-year pro shot 10-for-15 from the field in that contest to push his season shooting percentage to a career-high 51.6, and he could be in for even greater usage Tuesday with Embiid now a third starter for the 76ers that will be out of action. The Nets check in the bottom half of the league in offensive efficiency rating allowed to point guards (27.1), and have allowed the third-most rebounds (7.2) and fifth-most assists (9.6) per game to the position as well.
ALSO CONSIDER: Kevin Huerter, SAC at MEM ($5,900)
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.