Daily Fantasy Basketball Injury Report: Tuesday 10/25/16
Welcome back to another season of daily fantasy hoops! Even though it's the first night of regular season games, there are still some lingering preseason injuries that are going to have a big impact on this slate.
Easily the biggest injury bug to start the season has settled over Salt Late City. Gordon Hayward is likely out for the first month of the season after breaking and dislocating his finger, and Derrick Favors is potentially another Utah Jazz starter down for Tuesday's opener.
What injuries will impact daily fantasy basketball tonight?
Derrick Favors, PF, Utah Jazz
Favors originally hurt his knee early in the preseason. After trying to play through the pain and swelling, he was shut down by the Jazz. He has just returned to practice on Sunday and Monday after missing three weeks. However, both were limited practice sessions, and he didn't participate in any of the contact portions.
Depending on his shootaround status on Tuesday morning, the Jazz might be down Favors as well as Hayward. His absence does several things from a DFS standpoint, but most importantly, with the Jazz down their top two scorers from last season, they are going to need someone to step up and fill the void offensively.
The trio of likely candidates include Rodney Hood, Joe Johnson, and newly acquired George Hill, who are all priced between $5,400 and $5,600 on FanDuel. Hood and Johnson are both intriguing even more considering Alec Burks is also still out to start the season.
Trey Lyles is the probable starter if Favors sits tonight, and he is a great value play at $4,000. Boris Diaw should also see a bump in minutes, while Rudy Gobert might end up as a great play at center as well. According to NBA Wowy, last year when Favors was off the court, Gobert had a 59.4 percent effective field goal percentage, and he averaged 1.20 points per shot attempt.
Danny Green, SG, San Antonio Spurs
Danny Green is going to be sidelined for the first few weeks of the season due to a thigh injury, and the biggest immediate DFS takeaway from this injury seems to be that it really improves Klay Thompson's prospects in this opening night game. When the San Antonio Spurs play the Golden State Warriors, they are going to have to rely on Green's ability to play man-to-man defense on Thompson with little help. In his their last six games against one another, Green has held Thompson to a 42.4 percent effective field goal percentage. I bet that improves for Thompson tonight, especially with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant taking so much attention on defense.
The other big question is who is going to start for Green. Jonathon Simmons seems like the best bet if he is healthy, but he is also banged up coming out of the preseason with calf injury. Coach Gregg Popovich seems to think that Simmons will play, and he is probably the best bet for the Spurs in this matchup because they are going to need the offense and spacing. In his rookie campaign, Simmons shot 38.3 percent from downtown.
Kyle Anderson is also in the mix with Green down and might be a trendy pick tonight to punt small forward, but Anderson is only a 31.3 percent shooter from deep in his career, so I doubt Popovich puts him in the position of needing to make outside shots and defend Thompson or Andre Iguodala while he is on the floor. A committee at shooting guard is the most plausible scenario for the Spurs until Green is back.
Festus Ezeli, C, Portland Trail Blazers
We're really digging deep for the injuries on the opening three-game slate, but it's often the more overlooked injuries that can end up being the ones that matter by the time the night is over. The Portland Trail Blazers gave Ezeli $7 million per season to back up Mason Plumlee. And with Ezeli out, Plumlee might be forced into a few more minutes, which could really benefit him at just $5,500.
It also opens up minutes for an array of Blazers punt plays at the two frontcourt positions. Meyers Leonard is now a really attractive punt play as are Ed Davis and Noah Vonleh, who are all worth a shot to differentiate yourself in tournaments on this very small slate. Even Al-Farouq Aminu might pick up a few extra minutes.
All of the cheap options are nice, but the biggest takeaway is that Plumlee could be the center in the winning lineup with his combination of high ceiling and floor. His minutes and matchup with Gobert is one to watch tonight from a DFS perspective. In three meetings against one another last year, Plumlee averaged just under 30 FanDuel points per game against Gobert.