We're into April and every National Basketball Association team has about five or six games left, some even fewer. After a day to recharge batteries on Monday, giving the limelight to the Villanova Wildcats and Michigan Wolverines, all but four of the NBA's 30 teams will be in action on Tuesday. However, while a lot of teams will be on the court, there will be plenty of bodies sitting out either due to illness or injury. If you're playing DFS, it will be a tricky minefield to negotiate, and there will be plenty of low-cost bargains working to fill the void. Let's get started!
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The Golden State Warriors have been a mash unit for a while now. It seems when one guy comes back, someone else goes down. The Dubs have plenty of depth on hand to weather the storm, and they're firmly entrenched as the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference, so they needn't worry about forcing a guy back in and risky further damage. Others, they can rest just as a precaution.
If you were tuned on Saturday night you likely saw Patrick McCaw's ugly spill on a layup. Vince Carter of the Sacramento Kings inadvertently undercut him in the paint and McCaw crashed to the floor on his behind. He suffered an injury to his back and needed to be stretchered off. Head coach Steve Kerr had some choice words for Vinsanity, but cooler heads soon prevailed and both Kerr and Kevin Durant consoled Carter who was visibly shaken by the incident. McCaw was taken to UC Davis hospital where he had a CT scan and MRI, but luckily no structural damage was detected. While he will miss Tuesday's game in Oklahoma City, and is set to see a specialist later this week, it at least appears as if he dodged a bit of a bigger bullet.
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McCaw will join Omri Casspi (ankle) on the sidelines, as he has been ruled out already. Swingman Andre Iguodala (knee) and Kevon Looney (illness) are listed as doubtful, so the Dubs will not have a lot of depth in OKC. Looney just made the start in the middle on Sunday against the Suns, but it looks like Jordan Bell will be called upon to fill the void, and JaVale McGee will play big minutes as well. He did a nicer job than Looney in Sunday's game anyway, and he is the big man you'll want for DFS purposes even if he has to face down against Steven Adams who is playing very well lately.
You can expect Quinn Cook to be relied upon very, very heavily in the backcourt. He is likely to see upwards of 40-42 minutes as long as he can avoid the referee's whistle. Cook has done as good of a job as expected with Stephen Curry on the shelf. Kevin Durant, who just returned from a ribs injury, will also be expected to shoulder a huge load in Oklahoma City against his former team. He'll likely relish the chance, although it will be interesting to see how his ribs fare after playing three games in four days. Nick Young is also going to play a bigger role than usual, and Swaggy P could be a cheap DFS alternative with some big upside.
Draymond Green (elbow) and Klay Thompson (thumb) will be good to go despite recent injuries. Green has not looked as confident, but Thompson has been very good after returning from a fractured thumb. He was able to play in a back-to-back situation over the weekend, and not only did he not show any rust, but he played with no restrictions, too. Thompson is about as healthy as they get in Golden State and it will be bombs away in this potential playoff preview game. He is probably your best bet from a DFS perspective outside of Cook.
There are plenty of injuries to big names. Chris Paul (hip) is a risky play since he is listed as questionable, and there is really no reason for the Rockets to push it since they have the No. 1 seed locked up in the West. While head coach Mark D'Antoni said he expects Paul to play, he didn't say how much. He could be eased back in, with Eric Gordon still playing a fair share of minutes. Gerald Green is also likely headed back to a smaller role, although it's a situation you will likely want to avoid completely since there is no telling how D'Antoni will play his hand.
In Los Angeles, the Lakers continue to treat Lonzo Ball (knee) with kid gloves. He was able to travel to Salt Lake City for the battle against the Jazz, but he is still listed as doubtful. As such, the big baller isn't someone you're going to want to roll with until he can officially return and play a game or two to knock off the rust. Brandon Ingram (concussion) is certainly out, so it will be Josh Hart, Kyle Kuzma and Kentavious Caldwell- Pope picking up the slack. Alex Caruso and Hart will fill the Ball void, too. Hart is particularly attractive from a fantasy perspective, although the Jazz allow just 100.1 points per game, second-best in the Western Conference.
Quick Hits: Terry Rozier (ankle) is a question mark for Tuesday's game against the Bucks, although he declared himself ready. Of course, it's never a good idea to trust a player, and you should await official word from the team before finalizing your DFS lineups. What is certain is that Shane Larkin (illness) is out. ... In New York, Enes Kanter (back, wrist) is listed as doubtful to face Orlando, so load up on Kyle O'Quinn. He and Luke Kornet will handle the load in the middle, but O'Quinn is a great DFS bargain with double- double potential. ... Dario Saric is dealing with cellulitis in his right elbow, and he has officially been ruled out for Tuesday. Ersan Ilyasova is likely to be plugged into the starting five and is a nice DFS value. ... The Nuggets also have plenty of injuries, with Gary Harris (knee) sitting out and reportedly not close to a return. Will Barton will be part of the starting lineup, and Jamal Murray could also see a much bigger role. Wilson Chandler (nose) didn't play Sunday against Milwaukee, and he is listed as questionable for the game against Indiana. Even if he can play, he is a risky option. Juan Hernangomez and Trey Lyles could see a larger role if Chandler's nose keeps him stuck on the bench. Torrey Craig actually started last time out, but he did squadoosh. He isn't worth using in DFS, even if he draws in again. ... After posting a career-high 15 points on Sunday, Jonathan Isaac (ankle) is a question mark for Tuesday. It's the same nagging injury which has held him back. If he cannot go, Mario Hezonja could do more heavy lifting and might be on his way to another double-digit point performance. Jonathon Simmons (wrist) is out, so that's also good news for Hezonja.