UPDATE: Jan. 18, 5:55 p.m. — Walker and Brown have both been ruled out vs. the Suns.
UPDATE: Jan. 18, 12:02 p.m. — Brown has been ruled out, while Kemba Walker has popped up on the injury report as questionable Saturday vs. the Suns.
To sum it up:— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) January 18, 2020
- Jaylen Brown is OUT due to thumb sprain
- Robert Williams remains OUT with ongoing hip injury
- Kemba Walker is QUESTIONABLE with knee soreness
- Marcus Smart sprained his ankle but will play
- Daniel Theis still experiencing knee soreness but will play
Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis are going to play, but it doesn’t seem like either player is 100%. The Celtics are severely banged up right now. This should make things much easier on Phoenix. With Kelly Oubre Jr. out for the Suns, Ricky Rubio and Devin Booker are both strong plays overall. For Boston, Smart will start for Brown again, and if Kemba is sidelined the bruising G/F will probably see 30+ minutes. Gordon Hayward would also be the focus on offense with Jayson Tatum if Brown and Walker are out.
UPDATE: Jan. 17, 4:19 p.m. — Jaylen Brown is listed as questionable for Saturday’s game vs. the Phoenix Suns.
Celtics injury report for tomorrow vs. Phoenix:— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) January 17, 2020
Jaylen Brown - Right Thumb Sprain - QUESTIONABLE
Marcus Smart - Left Ankle Sprain - PROBABLE
Daniel Theis - Right Knee Soreness - PROBABLE
Robert Williams - Left Hip Bone Edema - OUT
Marcus Smart and Daniel Theis are also on the injury report, but they appear fine to play against Phoenix. Brown was ruled out Thursday and the Celtics struggled against the Bucks, though they put up a fight. Kemba Walker dropped 40 points in that game, and if Brown remains out, Kemba would be in line for heavy usage again. The matchup is better, so Walker is in play in DFS.
UPDATE: Jan. 16, 6:17 p.m. — Jaylen Brown has been ruled out Thursday vs. the Bucks.
Jaylen Brown is OUT with a right thumb strain. #Celtics— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) January 16, 2020
With Brown out and Tatum back, Smart should start for Brown, so things don’t change much from Wednesday vs. the Pistons. I think the Celtics are in a bad spot vs. the Bucks on the road and I’m not crazy about playing any of their guys. Kemba Walker and Gordon Hayward are the only appealing plays.
UPDATE: Jan. 16, 2:16 p.m. — Jayson Tatum is off the injury report after missing Wednesday’s game and Jaylen Brown (thumb) is being listed as questionable Thursday vs. the Milwaukee Bucks.
#NEBHInjuryReport vs. Milwaukee:— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 16, 2020
Jaylen Brown (right thumb sprain) - QUESTIONABLE
Robert Williams (left hip bone edema) - OUT
If Brown is out, Marcus Smart should start again. Gordon Hayward and Kemba Walker are good DFS options, though the Bucks are a top defensive team. The way the Celtics played last night, I’d look elsewhere on this five-game slate.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 9:18 p.m. — The Celtics were without Tatum and things did not go well for them at home against the Pistons on Wednesday night. Detroit got out to an early lead and never looked back en route to a 116-103 win.
Boston let me down, among other bettors, failing miserably to cover a 9.5-point spread at home against a team well below .500. The only bright spot for the Celtics and DFS players was Gordon Hayward ($6,300) and Jaylen Brown ($6,500) both put up solid fantasy stats. Hayward had 38.75 fantasy points while Brown finished with a team-high 43.5 FPTS, both scoring over 24 points.
UPDATE: Jan. 15, 6:31 p.m. — Marcus Smart will start in place of Tatum as expected.
Starting lineups just released. Marcus Smart is starting for Jayson Tatum tonight against the Pistons.— Abby Chin (@tvabby) January 15, 2020
Jayson Tatum will not play tonight. Brad Stevens said he has a little tendinitis that they want to be cautious with.— Jay King (@ByJayKing) January 15, 2020
The Celtics confirmed the news and also mentioned that it isn’t anything to worry about if you’re a Tatum owner in fantasy basketball.
#NEBHInjuryReport Jayson Tatum will not play tonight, per Brad Stevens. Coach says he is not concerned with the injury and adds that Tatum will travel to Milwaukee.— Boston Celtics (@celtics) January 15, 2020
So it appears this is just a scheduled rest day with the Celtics on the first of a back-to-back set before facing the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. But let’s focus on how Tatum’s absence impacts Wednesday night’s 10-game slate.
Fantasy Basketball Analysis: Boston Celtics F Jayson Tatum
With Tatum out, I’d imagine the Celtics will go small with Gordon Hayward at the 4 and Jaylen Brown at the 3, moving Marcus Smart into the starting lineup off the bench. Smart can also guard the 3, so it makes the lineup a bit versatile. I’d say Kemba Walker ($7,200), Brown ($6,500) and Hayward ($6,300) are all very strong plays on DraftKings. Smart ($5,400) gets a nice value boost, while Enes Kanter ($5,700) would be another solid choice if Daniel Theis ($4,200) is out again. I don’t have a problem stacking Kemba, Brown and Hayward, to be honest.