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Today we have a 6-game slate which, for once, isn’t riddled by injuries – only a handful of guys are listed questionable, so we know most of what we need to know ahead of time. What a nice change! Here are the injury situations to watch and think about:

  • Norm Powell got the mid-day Q tag today. Mid-day downgrades are usually bad news, so I’d tentatively expect Powell to sit. The main impact this would have is a modest boost to the rates of Lillard and McCollum, who are already in play as it is.
  • Andrew Wiggins is questionable, which would condense the Warriors’ rotations a bit – if he misses and Juan Toscano-Anderson starts in his place, he’s a reasonable high-multiplier tourney option. Also, with Kelly Oubre out, Kent Bazemore looks like one of the stronger options on the slate at a 1.85 multiplier.
  • The Lakers are missing Dennis Schroder. This doesn’t actually open up a ton for us with Anthony Davis back – none of the Lakers’ ancillary plays project extremely well – but I think it’s reasonable to take a shot on Caruso or Horton-Tucker if they start.
  • Steven Adams is questionable but his backup, Willy Hernangomez, is down to a 1.45 multiplier and I wouldn’t personally be playing him here.
  • Finally, Nicola Vucevic is questionable and seems likely to miss. Thaddeus Young is already rating out as a strong play and he would be much stronger were Vuc to miss (with the caveat that the blowout risk here would be very real). 

As we look at each position, if you read this piece regularly, you may have noticed my player pool is getting smaller – that’s because as the season goes on, contest sizes are diminishing (on Superdraft and every other site), and so my response to that is to narrow my player pool. I don’t feel the need to go as off the board in smaller tourneys – I’d rather stick to a smaller core of better-projected options, personally. 

Guard:

Guard is a somewhat narrow position with only 5 guys projecting over 50 points based on the aggregated projections I’m using. In order, they are: Young, Curry, Bazemore, Lillard, and Murray. All are fine plays and I’d lean to being a bit overweight on Lillard (and McCollum) if we don’t get any news about Powell’s status by lock time, because him missing would give them additional upside. Past that core 5 I think you can consider DeRozan as a pivot off of Murray, Clarkson, Barrett, Campazzo, maybe Ingles, and then Caruso or Horton-Tucker if you want to take some shots at low-owned Lakers with big multipliers.

Forward:

Forward is a bit deeper of a core with 8 guys projecting over 50 points: Embiid, Randle, Davis, Porter, Bazemore (again), Ingram, Williamson, and Young. Because he’s eligible at both positions and guard is thinner, I would prioritize playing Bazemore in guard spots today. Wiggins, if he plays, makes a great leverage option off of Curry, while Green can be played with Curry (his big games tend to go hand-in-hand with Curry’s as he racks up a lot of his points by assisting Steph). With Nerlins Noel out for the Knicks you could take a shot on Taj Gibson and his 1.85 multiplier, and Toscano-Anderson if Wiggins is out. 

Center:

We have a really robust center position today with Embiid, Randle, Vucevic (if he plays), Davis, Jokic, Gobert, and Capela all projecting very strongly, and then Nurkic and Collins not much behind them as viable tournament options. Because of how strong center is, I’m inclined to not use one of the forward-eligible guys in my center spot (that’s Embiid, Randle, Davis, and Collins), since there’s only 1 center spot and there are 3 forward spots. If Vucevic is out we still have 4 center-only eligible guys projecting strongly, and I’d want enough exposure on them to push Embiid and the other forward-eligible plays over to forward spots on my rosters.

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