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NBA Injury and News Updates for Friday, December 16th

Here’s everything you need to know in regards to injuries and situations we’re monitoring for tonight’s 10-game NBA slate. Be sure to check back frequently or refresh your page as news breaks for our updates, confirmed starters, and the DFS implications.

Update: Solomon Hill (personal) ruled out.

The Pelicans will have 10 available players since the lot of Solomon Hill (personal), Tyreke Evans (rest), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), and Dante Cunningham (right fibula fracture) have already been ruled out. Although he was initially expected to miss 7-10 days, Tim Frazier is surprisingly active tonight. Note that Buddy Hield scored 30 DraftKings points in 33 minutes Thursday, and might even be in store for extended run if Frazier is limited.

 

Update: Tim Frazier (right wrist bone contusion) will play tonight.

Frazier was supposed to miss 7-10 days but will surprisingly suit up and play tonight. The Pelicans will have 10 available players since the lot of Solomon Hill (personal), Tyreke Evans (rest), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), and Dante Cunningham (right fibula fracture) have already been ruled out. Note that Buddy Hield scored 30 DraftKings points in 33 minutes Thursday, and might even be in store for extended run if Frazier is limited.

 

Report: Mike Conley (back) will be on a minutes restriction based on pain tolerance tonight.

 

The Philadelphia 76ers will start Sergio Rodriguez, Gerald Henderson, Robert Covington, Joel Embiid, and Jahlil Okafor.

 

Update: Joel Embiid (left knee contusion) will start tonight.

Embiid was originally scheduled to start, anyhow, but then suffered a left knee contusion in practice Thursday. It now appears that he’s back healthy and will start with another 28-minute limit tonight. Jahlil Okafor will start alongside him for the second consecutive game. Okafor remains a terrific play despite starting next to Embiid since the former has averaged 1.2 DraftKings points per minute in 32 minutes alongside the latter this season. Note that Nerlens Noel has been downgraded to questionable.

 

Update: Nerlens Noel (sprained left ankle) questionable tonight.

Noel played only 10 minutes before exiting his season debut with a sprained left ankle. The injury forced him to miss Wednesday’s contest, and he’s since been downgraded to questionable for tonight. Exposure should be focused towards Jahlil Okafor no matter Noel’s status since the former has averaged 25.9 DraftKings points sans Embiid and 1.2 DraftKings points per minute in 32 minutes alongside the 76ers’ starting center this season. Noel isn’t expected to play enough minutes to make him a viable option in this 10-game slate even if healthy.

 

Update: Tyler Johnson (illness), Dion Waiters (torn pectoral) ruled out.

Just when the Heat seemed to be clear of an unhealthy patch, Johnson and Waiters have both been ruled out for tonight. Wayne Ellington and Rodney McGruder will mop up minutes with the second unit. Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson are both reintegrating into the rotation, as well, though the latter appears more inclined to receive extended run tonight. With a team total under 100, however, the Heat may be a team best left avoided on such a large slate.

 

The Washington Wizards will start John Wall, Bradley Beal, Otto Porter, Markieff Morris, and Marcin Gortat.

 

The Detroit Pistons will start Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Marcus Morris, Tobias Harris, and Andre Drummond.

 

The Brooklyn Nets will start Isaiah Whitehead, Bojan Bogdanovich, Sean Kilpatrick, Trevor Booker, and Brook Lopez.

 

Omri Casspi (illness) ruled out.

Sacramento will be without Casspi and Rudy Gay (hip) tonight. Ben McLemore has stated he’ll play, although he remains probable on the Kings’ injury report. Without Casspi and Gay on the court, DeMarcus Cousins has averaged a 43.4 percent usage rate, over 25 percentage points more than the next closest starter. Despite facing Marc Gasol in what should be a tough matchup this evening, Cousins’ salary is worth paying for in tournaments if only for his ceiling with what should be an uptick in usage and minutes tonight. This news also makes Garrett Temple an intriguing option since he’s played at least 29 minutes in back-to-back performances.

 

Isaiah Thomas (pulled groin, swollen finger) will play tonight, as expected.

Thomas will make his return to the court tonight after missing four games with a groin issue. “I’ll be suited and booted tomorrow and ready to help my team win” was the quote by Isaiah to reporters on Thursday. Head coach Brad Stevens also noted that he wasn’t aware of any minutes restrictions for Thomas. Marcus Smart will lose some value as he returns to his sixth man role, but remains at a fair price on FanDuel at $5,100. Should Isaiah play his full allotment of minutes, he has a prime matchup against a Hornets team that will be without starter Kemba Walker. Charlotte ranks in the middle of the pack for fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards, but if Ramon Sessions starts, Isaiah could feast tonight. He costs just $7,000 on DraftKings tonight – his lowest salary of the season, and $1,100 less than what he cost on the night of his injury.

 

Update: Jeremy Lin (back tightness) will play tonight.

Lin was limited to 20 minutes against the Houston Rockets Monday and was ruled out in the following contest once his back tightened during warm ups. In turn, Sean Kilpatrick logged 31.4 minute Wednesday, producing 36.5 DraftKings points against an uptempo Los Angeles Lakers squad. Now officially active for this evening, Lin is most valuable on DraftKings, where his salary ($5,500) is $1,200 cheaper than that on FanDuel ($6,700). Isaiah Whitehead, however, will still start ahead of Lin tonight. Additionally note that Kilpatrick’s usage rate plummets nearly eight percentage points when playing alongside Lin.

 

Update: Markieff Morris (sore left foot) will start tonight.

Morris was scratched merely eight minutes prior to lineup lock Wednesday due to a sore left foot. Kelly Oubre received his first start of the season and proceeded to log a team-high 40.3 minutes. Now that Morris has officially been ruled healthy, he overshadows Oubre immensely. Morris notably logged at least 32 minutes in eight games prior to injury. Morris is a viable cash game option on FanDuel where his salary ($5,000) costs $300 less than that on DraftKings ($5,300).

 

Update: Nikola Vucevic (lower back contusion) will play tonight, as expected.

Vucevic was considered questionable as of Thursday afternoon, but has since been upgraded. Head coach Frank Vogel told media that his backup center would “give it a go” tonight. There are also reports that he’s ready to play “serviceable minutes”. Evan Fournier benefitted the most without Vucevic, averaging 34.9 minutes and 39.1 DraftKings points in the last three games. While Fournier’s role with the starters is more safe than not, Elfrid Payton’s recent surge of 29.4 minutes and 35.8 DraftKings points without Vucevic is brought into question. He remains a terrific tournament play given that Brooklyn has allowed the most DraftKings points per game to opposing point guards this season. Assuming he plays similar minutes to this recent stretch, Fournier ($5,900 on DraftKings, $5,900 on FanDuel) should still be considered a viable cash game option.

 

Update: Rudy Gay (strained right hip flexor) ruled out, as expected.

Gay continues to be bothered by a hip injury and will officially miss his second consecutive game. Omri Casspi started in place of Gay against the Houston Rockets Wednesday and is expected to start again. Casspi is strictly considered a tournament option since Sacramento will be forced to play 2.1 possessions slower than its average pace against the Memphis Grizzlies tonight. Although Garrett Temple erupted for 31 DraftKings points against Houston and has played at least 29 minutes in consecutive games, it’s worth fading him since he’ll likely play off the bench behind Ben McLemore (quad). Temple’s salary ($3,800 on DraftKings, $4,000 on FanDuel) has risen at least $500 across the industry due to his most recent performance, and he’ll likely garner higher ownership for it, as well.

 

Kemba Walker (personal) ruled out; Ramon Sessions will start.

Kemba will miss tonight’s game against the Celtics to handle a personal matter. Ramon Sessions will make the spot start in Walker’s place, and immediately rises to the top of the list for viable punt options tonight, especially on DraftKings at just $3,700. Sessions has provided little in the way of fantasy production off the bench for the Hornets, but in a string of five spot starts for the Wizards last season, Sessions averaged 17.6 points, 9.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds and helped his team to four wins in eight nights. Of the other Hornets starters, Nicolas Batum receives the biggest usage bump with Kemba off the court, but he has a tough matchup against on-ball defense wizard Avery Bradley tonight. Conversely, it should be noted that the last time these teams met, Bradley went off for 31 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 assists.

 

Update: Tyreke Evans (rest) ruled out, as expected.

 

Mike Conley (fractured vertebrae) available tonight.

Conley was doubtful Thursday night but participated fully in shootaround Friday morning. “Hopefully I’ll be able to play,” Conley said. Head coach David Fizdale failed to provide any information as to whether Conley would be on a minutes restriction or start, but it sounds as if he’ll see minutes no matter the situation. Note that Andrew Harrison and Tony Allen are the only capable point guards ahead of Conley since Toney Douglas was waived Thursday. Pending Conley’s reported restriction prior to lineup lock, it’s worth noting that Harrison has logged over 30 minutes in two of his last three contests, scoring at least 24 DraftKings points in those particular performances.

 

Update: James Ennis (right calf), Chandler Parsons (right knee bone bruise) remain out tonight.

 

Report: The Memphis Grizzlies have released Toney Douglas.

 

Report: Justise Winslow (sore left wrist) will come off the bench again tonight.

 

Dario Saric (right shin contusion) probable tonight.

Saric collided with Joel Embiid in practice Thursday, but the probable tag appears to be more precautionary for the former. Embiid remains questionable for tonight. Saric has struggled mightily to get on the court with Philadelphia now having an influx of available bodies, logging no more than 19 minutes in his last two performances. Even if Embiid is ruled out, Nerlen Noels’ (ankle) availability likely leaves no more than 22 minutes for Saric to play off Philadelphia’s bench. Both he and Noel should be avoided, while Jahlil Okafor remains a tremendous option whether Embiid is active or not. Okafor has averaged 25.9 DraftKings points sans Embiid and 1.2 DraftKings points per minute in 32 minutes alongside the 76ers’ starting center this season.

 

Report: Derrick Favors will be limited to 12 minutes tonight.

 

Update: George Hill (sprained left toe) remains out tonight.

 

Salah Mejri (left ankle) probable tonight.

Mejri participated in practice Thursday and is expected to play despite being listed on Dallas’ injury report. Mavericks-Jazz is the only game that tips off after 8pm ET, making it unlikely that his status is available before lineup lock. Even so, this injury makes Dwight Powell an intriguing option for tournaments despite his average of 12.5 DraftKings points in back-to-back contests. Powell ($3,900 on DraftKings, $4,200 on FanDuel) would be one of only two viable centers available for the Mavericks if Mejri is ruled out, and has more importantly seen his salary plummet across the industry of late. HIs reduced salary alone makes rostering Powell at lineup lock a terrific leverage play in tournaments since he would undoubtedly see 30-plus minutes at a near-minimum cost if Mejri is declared inactive.

 

Update: Dirk Nowitzki (strained right achilles), Andrew Bogut (hyperextended right knee), and J.J. Barea (strained left calf) remain out tonight.

 

Update: Luc Mbah a Moute (sore right shoulder) unlikely to play; Austin Rivers will start if Mbah a Moute is ruled out.

 

Update: Michael Beasley (sprained left foot) remains out tonight.

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