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Giannis Antetokounmpo ruled out Friday vs. Hawks [UPDATE]

Bucks big man is dealing with illness and back injury and won’t be able to suit up in Atlanta.

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo loses control of the ball giants Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford and guard Ben Simmons during the fourth quarter at Wells Fargo Center. Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Giannis has officially been ruled out for Friday night’s game vs. the Hawks. Middleton is the chalk play and I’ve highlight a few other plays I like with no Greek Freak.

Milwaukee Bucks PF Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as doubtful after being probable for Friday night’s game vs. the Atlanta Hawks. Giannis (back) had originally been listed as likely to play in tonight’s game, but now it seems to be the opposite. This is big news for the slate and could impact a lot of lineups/bets.

Giannis had appeared to get injured after being swiped in the face on Christmas Day against the Philadelphia 76ers. He left that game but appeared to just be frustrated with the bad loss. Now, he could miss tonight’s game and would leave the Bucks in a tough spot even against a weak opponent.

Fantasy Basketball Analysis: Milwaukee Bucks SF/PF Giannis Antetokounmpo

So if The Greek Freak is sidelined, I think Khris Middleton ($7,000) is chalk and a lock for almost all your lineups. He may near 60-70% ownership in most GPPs and 50/50s on tonight’s DraftKings slate. The Hawks are an easy matchup and the Bucks would be down Giannis and Eric Bledsoe.

Other options include Ersan Ilyasova ($3,300) and George Hill ($4,200). Ilyasova would likely start at PF for Giannis and Hill could pick up additional minutes off the bench at PG if the Bucks want to go with Hill-Donte DiVincenzo-Middleton looks. DiVincenzo ($5,100) is also a good value option. Really the Bucks overall are a decent stack tonight given the value Giannis’ absence would open up.