NBA Injury Report: Betting, DFS Impact of Julius Randle, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma Injuries
Photo credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LeBron James
- The NBA Injury Report details the slate's key injuries and their betting and DFS impact.
- There are two key teams with injuries to analyze on Tuesday night: the New Orleans Pelicans and Los Angeles Lakers.
- This piece will detail the impact of the injuries to Julius Randle, LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma and more.
There are seven NBA games tonight with several injuries to note and questionable players. We’ll analyze two key situations in this piece: the New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets and the Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers.
Pelicans PF Julius Randle (ankle) and SF E’Twaun Moore (rest) are out.
Injury background: Randle will miss his third straight game due to a sprained right ankle, while Moore is resting in the first leg of a back-to-back.
Anthony Davis (finger) and Nikola Mirotic (calf) remain sidelined.
Tonight’s impact: With multiple injuries to the frontcourt, Jahlil Okafor and Solomon Hill have entered the starting lineup. Both players were out of the rotation for extended periods of time this season but have averaged over 30 minutes in the last two games.
Okafor has turned back the clock in the prior four games without Davis, averaging 40.9 FanDuel points in that span. Even with an increasing price tag, he has easily exceeded his salary-based expectations as a starter.
That said, Okafor’s salary has aggressively spiked to $7,200 heading into Tuesday. Over 20% of his recent production has come via blocks — worth three points each on FanDuel — and the Rockets rank 23rd in blocks allowed this season.
Okafor still makes for a serviceable option on DraftKings, where he’s underpriced at $6,100 and has an opportunity to reach the double-double bonus.
When Randle, Davis, Mirotic and Moore have been off the court this season, Jrue Holiday has led the Pelicans with 1.69 DraftKings points per minute, per the On/Off tool. With the same players available in Thursday’s loss, Holiday recorded 58.5 fantasy points in 36.6 minutes. He’ll continue to warrant exposure in GPPs.
Darius Miller makes for a more affordable option, as he’ll likely log heavy minutes with a thin rotation. He recorded a team-high 38.1 minutes on Thursday and responded with 36.25 DraftKings points.
The Pelicans are double-digit underdogs against the Rockets, who recently had Chris Paul return from injury, and exposure in cash games might be too risky given a potential blowout.
Lakers SF LeBron James (groin) and PF Kyle Kuzma (hip) are out.
Injury background: LeBron will miss his 17th consecutive game on Tuesday due to a strained left groin that he suffered on Christmas Day. After participating in partial practices recently, the Lakers are optimistic that he can return on Thursday.
Kuzma has been ruled out due to a strained left hip that held him out of the prior game, while Josh Hart will suit up despite dealing with knee tendinitis.
Tonight’s impact: Michael Beasley will once again draw the start in place of Kuzma. In the previous game, Beasley logged 26 minutes and contributed 28.5 DraftKings points. He makes for an exceptional source of value there at just $3,800.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope has benefited from Hart being less than 100 percent, and there’s a good chance he’ll continue to exceed 30 minutes. Caldwell-Pope supplied 36 DraftKings points in Sunday’s win against the Suns, but he’ll face a tougher matchup on Tuesday vs. the Sixers.
With Lonzo Ball (ankle) out past the All-Star break, Brandon Ingram has seen his assist rate climb to 15.9%, while his +3.8% usage rate increase leads all rotation players with LeBron, Kuzma and Ball off the court this season.
The Lakers have also elected to start 21-year-old Ivica Zubac in each of the last two games, and he’s exceeded his salary-based expectations in each outing. He exploded for a season-high 52.5 DraftKings points on Sunday and has registered a FantasyLabs +7.52 Plus/Minus over his last 10 games.
Rajon Rondo rounds out the appealing options for the Lakers, as he has leveraged heavy playing time into three straight games with double-digit assists. All five Lakers players enter the cash-game conversation, but they will face stiffer competition against a Sixers side that returns Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler.
The Sixers are currently favored by 7.5 points on the road, but the Lakers have surprisingly fared well on defense since LeBron’s injury, ranking fifth in the league in that span.