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Deandre Ayton doubtful Friday vs. Trail Blazers [UPDATE]

Suns center is expected to miss extended time. We break down what his absence means in fantasy and betting.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton reacts against the Toronto Raptors in the second half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE March 6, 1:37 p.m. — Ayton is listed as doubtful for Friday’s game vs. the Blazers. He was deemed unlikely to play earlier in the week and shortly after it was reported that Ayton was expected to miss extended time.

With Ayton sidelined tonight, we should see much more of Aron Baynes and Cheick Diallo in the front court. Both are decent value options on DraftKings under $4K. Dario Saric would be a more trendy play for a bit more salary. He’d have a higher ceiling than both the values, but at the cost of a higher price tag and ownership.

Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton left Tuesday’s loss to the Toronto Raptors early with an ankle injury and is unlikely to play against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Head coach Monty Williams says the the big man underwent an MRI on his ankle and is in a walking boot. Ayton is averaging a double-double for a second straight season with 19.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per contest in through 30 games.

Fantasy basketball analysis: Deandre Ayton injury

With Ayton out of the picture, Aron Baynes is the top candidate to get a start. Although the Aussie has had a diminished role since Ayton returned from a 25-game suspension earlier this year, but can still be productive down low early in the year. He’s averaging a career-hight 10.6 points per games and is also tied for his career high in rebounds per game (5.4) this season.