The NBA Injury Report already contains multiple injuries with major fantasy impacts. With this article, the work of the other staff members and the amazing NBA DFS projections, those scenarios can be handled much more easily. That allows for pivoting at the drop of a hat, and the NBA Starting Lineup page is an extremely important tool as well. There are seven games for NBA DFS tonight and a few games are full of fantasy appeal.
NBA Injury Report & Starting Lineups Today | Oct. 29
Remember to always place players from the later games in guard, forward and utility slots on DraftKings. Allow maximum flexibility to react to the news that comes out after lock, which will happen in NBA. Additionally, take advantage of the wealth of Awesemo NBA content to get ready for these slates.
Teams Playing the Second of a Back-to-Back
Orlando Magic at Toronto Raptors
Magic – Chuma Okeke, Markelle Fultz, Michael Carter-Williams – IR
These three players have yet to suit up for the Magic and there are no timetables for their return. The team has not changed in any drastic way since the return of Gary Harris.
Raptors – Pascal Siakam – IR
Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets
Pacers – T.J. Warren, Malcolm Brogdon – Out
Caris LeVert – Questionable
This is the first injury that will have a major impact on the slate because Brogdon is a big loss for the Pacers, playing 36 minutes per night. That will thrust T.J. McConnell into the starting lineup tonight in all likelihood, and he leads the team in minutes when Brogdon is off the floor. He only has a 15.7% usage rate and 0.97 fantasy points per minute to go along with an assist rate of 38.1%. Last season the sample (which was over 1,150 minutes) looks kinder at 1.13 fantasy points per minute but Chris Duarte is now involved. His usage is sky-high at 28.2%, and that has held Domantas Sabonis to a 19.7% usage and 1.14 fantasy points per minute. Given the matchup with the Nets who are 19th in defensive rating and 12th in pace, all three of these players have appeal.
The player that could change the complexion of the team is LeVert. He has not played this year and he would slide into a big role while he is on the court. It is expected that he will face a minutes restriction if he is active and the price on DraftKings is still high.
Nets – Kyrie Irving – Out
Nicolas Claxton – Questionable
Claxton was out with a non-COVID illness for the last game, so he could make it back for this contest. It will still be tough to discern which big man to chase since Claxton, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge have all played between 71 and 79 minutes. They played smaller in the last game with Griffin and Aldridge playing just 18 and 11 minutes, which drives home the fact the rotations for the Nets are not set at all outside Kevin Durant, James Harden and Joe Harris.
Charlotte Hornets at Miami Heat
Hornets – Terry Rozier, P.J. Washington – Questionable
These two have been out for the past couple of games and we have a path to follow. Kelly Oubre has been joining the starting lineup with 0.76 fantasy points per minute and that sounds fine until he played 28 minutes and scored 6.5 DraftKings points. That is almost unfathomable, and his price rose by $200. With an 18.8% usage rate, Oubre is not reliable enough for the salary.
If Washington remains out, Jalen McDaniels has risen to the occasion with the backup minutes he has been given with 1.14 fantasy points per minute. It helps shooting 9-for-12 from the field because the usage is 15.4%, which is not a number to rely on. However, the salary is still extremely low, and he has played 22 minutes in each game Washington has missed.
Heat – Kyle Lowry, Bam Adebayo – Probable
Victor Oladipo – IR
Probable tags on the NBA Injury Report do not usually raise eyebrows and that should be the case for Lowry and Adebayo.
Sacramento Kings at New Orleans Pelicans
Kings – None
Pelicans – Zion Williamson – IR
Josh Hart – Questionable
Garrett Temple – Doubtful
Hart has been out for the past four games, and nothing has changed much for the Pelicans. As for Temple, he has only been playing 13 minutes per night, so they appear to be status quo.
Dallas Mavericks at Denver Nuggets
Mavericks – Not Submitted
The official NBA Injury Report has not said anything yet but Kristaps Porzingis and Boban Marjanovic were both out of action last night with back injuries. With travel involved, they could find themselves out again. This game does not start until 10 and hopefully, the afternoon report will shed some light on this situation. If they both remain out, Luka Doncic will once again be popular, along with Jalen Brunson. The latter might be one of the more popular plays on the slate for in part because DraftKings lowered his salary by $200. Even if Porzingis is back, Brunson has an 18% usage rate with 0.98 fantasy points per minute with the big man on the floor.
Nuggets – Jamal Murray – IR
Nikola Jokic – Questionable
The great news for this game is two-fold. The first is Jokic avoided major damage to his knee and the reigning MVP will be alright in the long term. The second portion is if there is no confirmation of his status before lock, there are three games to choose from in the late window that start at 10 PM. For instance, Jokic in the utility slot on DraftKings could easily be swapped for Paul George. The potential for Jokic to sit seems high given he didn’t come back into the last game.
If he does, Will Barton would be the main target based on this season. He has the highest sample with Jokic off the floor and has a 32.3% usage rate with 1.15 fantasy points per minute. The duo of Jeff Green and JaMychal Green would split those minutes. The latter was the first man into the rotation in the second half last game, but both have under 0.70 fantasy points per minute so far. Michael Porter Jr. will also draw a lot of attention, but it has to be at least pointed out how poorly he has started. He only has 0.83 fantasy points per minute on a 20.1% usage rate to go along with a 43.9% true shooting rate. Jokic is such a vital component of the offense that his absence will have massive ripple effects throughout the team.
Los Angeles Clippers at Portland Trail Blazers
Clippers – Serge Ibaka, Marcus Morris – Out
Kawhi Leonard – IR
The largest effect for the Clippers falls to Nicholas Batum, who has much more secure minutes. He played 32 in the last game and Batum needs every minute he can get with a usage of 15% and 0.81 fantasy points per minute. The trio of George, Reggie Jackson and Eric Bledsoe have the vast majority of the usage for this team. Batum is cheap but the ceiling for him would be hard to come by.
Trail Blazers – Norman Powell – Questionable
If Powell misses again, Nassir Little should continue to start for him but he is similar to Batum. The usage is low at 13.6% with just 0.75 fantasy points per minute. The more interesting option could be Anfernee Simons. He needs to score to have a ton of value, but he is playing right around the same number of minutes, but his rotations line up when Damian Lillard or C.J. McCollum are off the floor. That helps explain the 23.5% usage rate and 1.06 fantasy points per minute since he can play as a secondary scorer.
Cleveland Cavaliers at Los Angeles Lakers
Cavaliers – Isaac Okoro – Out
He missed the last game and we saw that it did not have a strong effect on fantasy.
Lakers – Trevor Ariza, Talen Horton-Tucker, Kendrick Nunn – Out
LeBron James, Wayne Ellington, Rajon Rondo – Questionable
Anthony Davis – Probable
The Lakers continue to be beat up on the NBA Injury Report. James has missed the past two games, so he is truly questionable. Davis being probable makes him and Russell Westbrook the safest bets. With LeBron off the floor, they both have a usage rate of at least 33.3% and fantasy points per minute of 1.48. Just as the case is for Jokic, putting one of these players in the utility slot will allow a swap opportunity if needed. If James continues to sit, exposure to at least one of Westbrook or Davis would be a priority.
In that scenario, Malik Monk would continue to be a value play as well. He has played at least 32 minutes but be aware that the usage is just 13.5% and the fantasy points per minute are 0.72. If James gets ruled out early on, not playing Monk could be the route to take if he turns out to be popular. It would be easy to be underweight in GPP formats.
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