NBA DFS Breakdown: Injuries Piling up in Los Angeles
NBA DFS Breakdown: Injuries Piling up in Los Angeles

This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.

There are 10 games on Friday's slate, with some especially interesting DFS matchups. Both Clippers at Suns and Knicks at Lakers could be full of value – the former due to pace and the latter due to injuries.

Let's check out the extremes from a game script perspective:

Highest o/u: Clippers at Suns (234.0)
Lowest o/u: Pacers at Bulls (200.5)
Largest spread: Hawks at Bucks (-13.5)
Smallest spread: Thunder at Trail Blazers (EVEN)

Time to dive into each contest:

Jazz at Cavaliers

Over/Under: 208.0
Spread: UTA (-9.0)
Cash Plays: Rudy Gobert ($8,800); Alec Burks ($4,500); Dante Exum ($3,900) if Rubio is out
GPP Plays: Donovan Mitchell ($7,400); Tristan Thompson ($6,000); Jordan Clarkson ($5,200); Jae Crowder ($4,800); Alec Burks ($4,500); Rodney Hood ($4,000); Dante Exum ($3,900) if Rubio is out; Kyle Korver ($3,500)
Notable Injuries
Jazz: Ricky Rubio (foot) - Questionable
Cavaliers: Ante Zizic (knee) - Out; David Nwaba (ankle) - Out; Kevin Love (toe) - Out

This contest is far from ideal from a game script perspective. The over/under is the third-lowest on the night, and the Jazz being favored by nine points represents the second-largest spread. A potentially low-scoring blowout makes Jazz players extra risky. Though, at the same time, a blowout shouldn't affect the Cavaliers' minutes – but will they score even 95 points? Both of these teams have been underperforming and volatile, making for few cash options.

I wouldn't be crossing this game off completely from a GPP perspective. Rubio's questionable tag could open up huge value for Dante Exum, who could trend near 10x value in this cakewalk matchup. On the Cleveland side, Friday's marks Tristan Thompson's second game back, and he could see an increase in workload. It's possible $6,000 will be his lowest price for the remainder of the season. The usual trio of Jordan Clarkson, Alec Burks and Rodney Hood have upside of 30 FP.

Mavericks at Celtics

Over/Under: 215.0
Spread: BOS (-5.0)
Cash Plays: Luka Doncic ($7,800); Terry Rozier ($6,100); Al Horford ($6,000); Harrison Barnes ($5,900); Marcus Smart ($4,800); J.J. Barea ($4,500)
GPP Plays: Luka Doncic ($7,800); DeAndre Jordan ($6,800); Terry Rozier ($6,100); Jayson Tatum ($6,100); Harrison Barnes ($5,900); Gordon Hayward ($5,700); Dennis Smith Jr. ($5,400); Marcus Smart ($4,800); Jaylen Brown ($4,500)
Notable Injuries
Mavericks: None
Celtics: Marcus Morris (neck) - Questionable; Kyrie Irving (eye) - Out; Robert Williams (groin) - Questionable; Aron Baynes (hand) - Out

Kyrie Irving's absence continues to open up value on the Celtics, though picking which Celtic to deploy is a tough task. Terry Rozier and Jayson Tatum (and a much riskier option in Gordon Hayward) have upside for 40 FP, while the potential for 30-plus is there for the likes of Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown. This game is a quality target for cash contests due to the established roles of many players.

Aside from the myriad of Boston players available, Dallas has interesting GPP options as well. Luka Doncic is playing at an All-Star level and is price almost always feels too low in my opinion. Both Doncic and Harrison Barnes have solid floors to work with. DeAndre Jordan and Dennis Smith Jr. are true GPP plays, seemingly alternating between boom and bust. Playing them simultaneously could make or break your night.

Pacers at Bulls

Over/Under: 200.5
Spread: IND (-6.5)
Cash Plays: Myles Turner ($8,000); Kris Dunn ($7,200); Domantas Sabonis ($7,000); Thaddeus Young ($5,900); Bojan Bogdanovic ($5,500)
GPP Plays: Victor Oladipo ($8,800); Myles Turner ($8,000); Lauri Markkanen ($7,300); Kris Dunn ($7,200); Darren Collison ($5,900); Antonio Blakeney ($3,500); Chandler Hutchison ($3,500)
Notable Injuries
Pacers: Myles Turner (nose) - Questionable; Doug McDermott (ankle) - Probable
Bulls: Bobby Portis (ankle) - Out

This game script is completely unenticing, and the spread would probably be closer to 10 in favor of the Pacers if the contest was being played in Indiana. Both of these squads are bottom 10 in pace, and Chicago's number is still being held up some by when Fred Hoiberg had them running and gunning. Still, for fantasy owners in cash contests, it's worth leaning on the Pacers considering their established roles, especially in the frontcourt.

Indiana has two players capable of going for 50-plus FP in Victor Oladipo and Myles Turner that can be utilized in GPPs. On the Chicago side, Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn have potential for 40-plus FP. There are a couple fliers worth checking out with Justin Holiday traded away, including Antonio Blakeney (four 20-plus FP outings) and Chandler Hutchison (starting at small forward, two 20-plus FP games).

Wizards at Heat

Over/Under: 213.0
Spread: MIA (-6.5)
Cash Plays: Bradley Beal ($9,700); Josh Richardson ($7,200); Thomas Bryant ($6,900); Tomas Satoransky ($6,400); Jeff Green ($5,800)
GPP Plays: Bradley Beal ($9,700); Hassan Whiteside ($7,000); Justise Winslow ($7,000); Thomas Bryant ($6,900); Tomas Satoransky ($6,400); Trevor Ariza ($6,300); Jeff Green ($5,800); Dwyane Wade ($5,100); Tyler Johnson ($4,900); Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,900)
Notable Injuries
Wizards: Dwight Howard (back) - Out; Markieff Morris (neck) - Out; John Wall (heel) - Out for season
Heat: Dwayne Wade (illness) - Available; Goran Dragic (knee) - Out

Both of these teams are still trying to do everything they can to make the postseason, so I expect this to be a battle. There's plenty of value on the Wizards side with John Wall and Markieff Moris sidelined, and the likes of Bradley Beal, Thomas Bryant, Tomas Satoransky and Jeff Green can probably be deployed in both cash and GPP settings. Each player is more than capable of going for 5x value.

The Heat are a little tougher to read given the sheer amount of players available. Hassan Whiteside is grandfathered into GPP contention, while Justise Winslow, Dwyane Wade and Tyler Johnson make the cut too, but are at risk of posting real duds. Derrick Jones Jr. may be the most intriguing, as he's just $3,900 after combining for 64.2 FP over the past two outings.

Magic at Timberwolves

Over/Under: 212.0
Spread: MIN (-4.5)
Cash Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600); Nikola Vucevic ($9,800); Aaron Gordon ($7,600)
GPP Plays: Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600); Nikola Vucevic ($9,800); Aaron Gordon ($7,600); Evan Fournier ($5,300); D.J. Augustin ($4,900); Josh Okogie ($3,800)
Notable Injuries
Magic: Jonathon Simmons (ankle) - Questionable
Timberwolves: Derrick Rose (ankle) - Questionable; Jeff Teague (ankle) - Available; Robert Covington (ankle) - Out

Karl-Anthony Towns regressed Wednesday against the Celtics, "only" going for 51.9 FP after averaging 76.6 FP over the previous three contests. Boston's defense is notably tough, however, so I think it's fair to expect Towns to move back towards 60 FP again in this matchup against Orlando. He, along with the likes of Nikola Vucevic and Aaron Gordon – showing high floors lately – are worth exploring in both cash and GPPs. Jeff Teague's return diminishes Tyus Jones' value, though it would be unexpected to see Teague play close to 30 minutes.

I don't feel confident in many players for GPPs in this contest other than the aforementioned guys. Maybe you can take a flier on Evan Fournier or D.J. Augustin to separate yourself from the pack. I wouldn't take the risk if I was making just one lineup.

Nets at Grizzlies

Over/Under: 203.0
Spread: MEM (-4.0)
Cash Plays: Marc Gasol ($8,400)
GPP Plays: Mike Conley ($8,400) if he plays; D'Angelo Russell ($7,700); Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,400); Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,300); Kyle Anderson ($6,200); Jarrett Allen ($6,000); DeMarre Carroll ($5,500); Joe Harris ($4,900); JaMychal Green ($4,600); Rodions Kurucs ($4,500); Ed Davis ($4,400); Garrett Temple ($3,900)
Notable Injuries
Nets: Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (hip) - Out; Allen Crabbe (knee) - Out; Caris LeVert (foot) - Out
Grizzlies: Mike Conley (shoulder) - Questionable; Justin Holiday (not injury related) - Questionable

A low over/under doesn't make this game appealing, and it was tough for me to identify anyone other than Marc Gasol who I'd want in a cash setting. Mike Conley would normally fall into that category, but his injury gives me pause for anything other than GPPs.

Still, if you run multiple GPPs lineups, you'll probably want to target players from this game to have at least some minimal exposure to. D'Angelo Russell is a tournament staple, but the other names would scare me off if I was making just one lineup. Jaren Jackson Jr, Kyle Anderson and Jarrett Allen can technically go for 40 FP, but it's so few and far between that the idea of paying around $6K is not enticing. Same goes for the remainder of players mentioned above, but with upper-20s to low-30s FP potential.

Hawks at Bucks

Over/Under: 230.5
Spread: MIL (-13.5)
Cash Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,500); John Collins ($8,300); Khris Middleton ($7,400); Trae Young ($6,600); Malcolm Brogdon ($5,700); Brook Lopez ($5,600); DeAndre' Bembry ($5,400); Jeremy Lin ($4,600); George Hill ($3,800)
GPP Plays: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,500); Eric Bledsoe ($7,200); Alex Len ($5,800); Brook Lopez ($5,600); Dewayne Dedmon ($5,500)
Notable Injuries
Hawks: Taurean Prince (ankle) - Doubtful; Kent Bazemore (ankle) - Out; Miles Plumlee (knee) - Out
Bucks: Ersan Ilyasova (nose) - Questionable; Sterling Brown (ankle) - Probable

This contest has the biggest blowout potential on the slate, though that shouldn't affect the minutes for the Hawks, who are in the midst of a tank. It does make deploying Bucks players risky, however. Still, the high total could help make up for it, so I wouldn't be scared off this matchup completely on the Milwaukee side. There are a variety of cash plays on each team, as each squad has established a core group of players.

The GPP plays are pretty standard too, as there aren't any new injuries opening up value. Eric Bledsoe remains one of my favorite tournament plays at his price with 40-plus FP upside, and I don't exactly trust Trae Young to keep Bledsoe in check. Alex Len has been putting in work in limited action as well, with 79.6 FP over the past two games in 51 total minutes.

Clippers at Suns

Over/Under: 234.0
Spread: LAC (-4.5)
Cash Plays: Devin Booker ($8,800); Deandre Ayton ($8,000); Tobias Harris ($7,400); Danilo Gallinari ($7,300); Lou Williams ($6,800)
GPP Plays: Devin Booker ($8,800); Deandre Ayton ($8,000); Tobias Harris ($7,400); Montrezl Harrell ($7,400); Danilo Gallinari ($7,400); Lou Williams ($6,800); T.J. Warren ($6,200); Mikal Bridges ($4,200)
Notable Injuries
Clippers: Luc Mbah a Moute (knee) - Out
Suns: None

There are essentially no injuries to keep track of in this contest, so things are relatively straightforward. Ultimately, this is a contest I'll be looking to target due to a close spread and a sky-high over/under. Plus, I think there is tons of value to be had in both cash and GPP, as a variety of players seem to be priced right on target.

Of note, Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton, Tobias Harris, Danilo Gallinari and Lou Williams are all priced low enough for both types of contests. T.J. Warren remains one of my favorite GPP options, and he's only more enticing in this high-paced affair. Despite being just $6,200, the forward has seven performances with at least 40 FP – three of which have come since Dec. 17.

Knicks at Lakers

Over/Under: 224.0
Spread: LA (-7.5)
Cash Plays: Josh Hart ($6,400); Noah Vonleh ($6,300; Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,900); Kevin Knox ($5,800); Luke Kornet ($5,500)
GPP Plays: Brandon Ingram ($6,900); Kyle Kuzma ($6,900) if he plays; Lonzo Ball ($6,800); JaVale McGee ($6,500); Josh Hart ($6,400); Noah Vonleh ($6,300); Emmanuel Mudiay ($5,900); Kevin Knox ($5,800); Luke Kornet ($5,500); Enes Kanter ($5,500); Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($4,500)
Notable Injuries
Knicks: Mitchell Robinson (ankle) - Questionable; Kristaps Porzingis (knee) - Out
Lakers: Kyle Kuzma (back) - Questionable; LeBron James (groin) - Out; Rajon Rondo (hand) - Out; Michael Beasley (personal) - Available

There is a ridiculous amount of potential value in this tilt, especially if Kyle Kuzma ends up sidelined. His absence would make Josh Hart, Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope extremely intriguing GPP options – more than they already are. Hart and the consistent trio of Knicks players – Emmanuel Mudiay, Noah Vonleh and Kevin Knox – also make for solid cash options. Luke Kornet recently emerged, but he could function as a cash option too if you don't mind the small sample size.

The amount of GPP plays are almost overwhelming, and fantasy owners making multiple lineups will want tons of exposure. Fantasy owners with three or fewer lineups may want to stick with the GPP options with higher floors – guys who could also be deployed in cash settings.

Thunder at Trail Blazers

Over/Under: 224.0
Spread: EVEN
Cash Plays: Russell Westbrook ($11,600); Paul George ($10,200); Steven Adams ($7,100); Al-Farouq Aminu ($5,700)
GPP Plays: Russell Westbrook ($11,600); Paul George ($10,200); Jusuf Nurkic ($9,100); Damian Lillard ($8,800); Steven Adams ($7,100); C.J. McCollum ($6,400); Jerami Grant ($5,600); Dennis Schroder ($5,300); Maurice Harkless ($4,900)
Notable Injuries
Thunder: Alex Abrines (personal) - Out; Andre Roberson (knee) - Out
Blazers: None

Nothing is out of the ordinary in here in what should be charged matchup between two teams looking to establish themselves among the top tier of the Western Conference. There are essentially no injuries to report, and all the usual suspects are in play, with Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams representing options for both GPPs and cash.

Those looking for some more risk might look towards Jerami Grant and Maurice Harkless. Grant has four games with at least 30 FP over the past seven, but has outings of 21.4 FP and 18.4 FP sprinkled in there as well. Harkless has been over 30 FP in his past three appearances, but averaged 14.7 FP prior.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex writes primarily about the NBA for RotoWire. His work has appeared on CBS Sports, Bleacher Report and other sites. He enjoys both year-long and daily fantasy. Vince Carter and Alex both first dunked during their respective sophomore years of high school.
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