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Report: James Harden unlikely to play Monday vs. Jazz [UPDATE]

Rockets All-Star missed Sunday’s game due to thigh injury but probably won’t be back. Russell Westbrook is expected to rest.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden dribbles the ball during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Jan. 27, 3:36 p.m. — Harden is unlikely to play, ESPN’s Tim MacMahon reported Monday afternoon.

UPDATE: Jan. 27, 1:57 p.m. — Harden is now questionable to play Monday vs. the Utah Jazz and Clint Capela is doubtful due to a heel injury. Russell Westbrook is expected to rest tonight.

UPDATE: Jan. 26, 2:07 p.m. — Harden has been ruled OUT for Sunday, per Cayleigh Griffin. Westbrook will play Sunday, but sit on Monday, per beat writer Jonathan Feigen.

UPDATE: Jan. 26, 12:53 p.m. — As of now, Harden remains questionable for Sunday vs. the Nuggets. Let’s say the All-Star is ruled out — which should be the case — then I think Russell Westbrook ($10,300) is the chalk on the early two-game slate on DraftKings.

Russ has been on fire lately, scoring at least 69 (nice) fantasy points in four of the past five games. His usage has been above 30% in four straight and that could get up to 40% today if Harden is out. I also don’t mind Eric Gordon ($5,300) as a value option given he should see more outside shots and the Nuggets are banged up. Same goes for Ben McLemore ($4,000), who could start for Harden is Gordon doesn’t.

If Harden is in there, I can’t envision him being 100% and he’s been in such a massive scoring slump it’s hard to trust him right now. I’d stick with Russ on the early slate and if you’re playing the DK Showdown HOU-DEN contest, I’d Captain Westbrook and fade Harden.

UPDATE: Jan. 25, 1:32 p.m. — James Harden is being listed as questionable to play in Sunday’s game vs. the Denver Nuggets. Harden bruised his thigh Friday night but was able to return. He struggled again with his shot (the recap is below) and Russell Westbrook stepped up again with a huge night. If Harden is out, Russ would be chalk city on Sunday’s slate.

UPDATE: Harden is coming back in the game for the fourth quarter. Harden (29 DKFP) was able to finish the game, but only posted 12 points in 35 minutes on 3-13 shooting. Russell Westbrook on the other hand, went beast mode again. Russ (69.5 DKFP) carried Houston to a 131-124 victory on 45 points 10 assists and six rebounds, shooting 16-27 from the field. With Harden not banged up and in a slump, we can effectively ride Westbrook in DFS.

Houston Rockets star James Harden is dealing with an apparent leg injury during his team’s Friday matchup with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Harden suffered a thigh injury in the third quarter of the contest and was seen riding a stationary bike on the by the bench to deal with the pain.

The league’s leading scorer appears poised to return to the game, but is having an off night. Harden has only totaled six points, five assists, and four rebounds against Minnesota. He is 2-of-10 shooting and has missed all four of his 3-point attempts heading into the final frame.