Daily Dose – The Injury Report Edition
Injury updates, and more injury updates, are the thing that will take precedence on Thursday as owners set lineups in standard leagues as well as DFS as the NBA gets back underway tonight. Here’s what we know as of early Thursday morning.
Joel Embiid is expected to miss at least a week for the Sixers with a sore left knee, although an MRI didn’t show any structural damage. It sounds like the Sixers are simply going to be careful with him in order to have him healthy for the playoffs. While Embiid’s out, I’m going to roll the dice on Boban Marjanovic. I’m not cutting a good player for Boban, but he’s got a cheap salary in DFS and I’m rolling him out there on Thursday against the Heat.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as probable for the Bucks with his sore right knee, and I’ll be shocked if he doesn’t play against the Celtics tonight.
Kawhi Leonard is ready to go for the Raptors through his sore knee and should be in all lineups on Friday.
Kyrie Irving (knee) and Terry Rozier (illness) are due back for the Celtics from their injuries on Thursday and both should be good to go. Obviously, Rozier’s not going to be as fun to own when Irving’s playing.
Clint Capela is set to return for the Rockets on Thursday. He had a hand injury, so I don’t expect him to take much time to get back in the flow. Kenneth Faried’s not dead in the water just yet, but he’s struggling and calling for a life raft.
Chris Paul and Rajon Rondo will square off on Thursday after getting in a bit of a ruckus in the second game of the season. There’s not much to see here, but I can envision Paul trying to light Rondo up in order to make a statement.
Gordon Hayward has a sprained right ankle and is iffy for the Celtics on Thursday. If he’s out, both Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart should benefit. Aron Baynes will miss the next three games with a foot injury, meaning Daniel Theis could be worth a low-end fantasy look.
Dwight Howard is returning to Washington D.C. to start on-court work and should be back at some time in the near future. I think he’ll hurt guys like Jeff Green and Thomas Bryant more than he’ll offer fantasy value of his own, but he is a bit intriguing. Having said that, I’m not looking to pick him up anywhere.
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Myles Turner has ditched his mask and leads the league in blocks. He should be ready to finish on a tear, trying to make people realize that he should be in the running for Defensive Player of the Year for the Pacers, one of the league’s best defensive teams.
Nikola Mirotic says he’s going to play on Thursday after missing the last several weeks with a calf injury. The guy has talent, but I don’t trust him right now, especially playing for a loaded Bucks team.
Gary Harris is due back from his groin injury on Friday for the Nuggets, but I’m expecting inconsistency and more disappointment. I’m all in on Malik Beasley, and find it hard to believe that Harris will suddenly ruin him. The return of Harris isn’t great news for Will Barton, either.
Emmanuel Mudiay is due back for the Knicks on Friday, while Frank Ntilikina (groin) didn’t practice on Wednesday. With Dennis Smith Jr. and Kadeem Allen playing well in NYC, I’m not messing with either Mudiay or Ntilikina right now. Having said that, David Fizdale is saying that he might play DSJ, Mudiay and Ntilikina alongside each other, which might be the most New York thing ever. I love DSJ and am into Allen, but I’m not touching Mudiay or Ntilikina right now.
De’Anthony Melton is due back for the Suns on Thursday. He will hurt Tyler Johnson a bit, and Johnson hasn’t exactly been killing it since landing in Phoenix. T.J. Warren is out on Thursday, but is getting closer to a return from his ankle injury. His return should impact the minutes of Josh Jackson, Kelly Oubre and Mikal Bridges, but I still like all four of these players for now.
Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr. are nearing returns for the Heat. I’m taking a wait-and-see approach with Justise Winslow, while Jones Jr. will go back on the radar in case he gets minutes in Miami. As for Dragic, he could end up with the second unit, which would not be ideal. I’m not tripping over myself to pick him up. With these guys coming back, Dion Waiters could be ready to take a hit.
Kris Dunn is expected to play for the Bulls on Friday, but there’s also talk in Chicago that Otto Porter and Zach LaVine are expected to carry the offensive load. I’m good with holding Dunn until we see how he looks once he’s back from his back problem. Robin Lopez is killing it right now, averaging 16.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 68 percent shooting over his last five games, making him worth owning in all leagues.
Lonzo Ball’s still not practicing for the Lakers and we don’t know when he’ll be ready. Rajon Rondo should continue to start at point guard, and Reggie Bullock should continue to flourish as long as Ball’s out. But I don’t really trust Bullock, even though he’s been pretty good for the Lakers thus far. Mike Muscala and Josh Hart are due back from their injuries tonight, but I’m not messing with either of them.
Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are both candidates to start at center for the Raptors on Friday. This looks like it’s becoming a timeshare situation, but I think there’s plenty of room for both guys to have fantasy value going forward.
Iman Shumpert will miss the next two Rockets’ games with a sore knee, which means Gerald Green should do something for the rest of the this week, if not longer. Austin Rivers is due back on Thursday from an elbow injury, but Green’s the guy I’m intrigued with here.
John Jenkins has agreed to a two-year deal with the Knicks. Good for Jenkins, but I don’t see him making much of a fantasy dent in New York.