After a relatively light weekend to begin 2022, the NBA is back in full swing with 10 games on the docket for Monday’s slate. With 10 games comes a long injury report, still headlined by COVID protocols. Here’s a look at the availability for players on Monday’s injury report, along with updates and potential replacements in fantasy and DFS formats.
NBA injury report, January 3
Kevin Porter Jr. (suspension) OUT
Christian Wood (suspension) OUT
Eric Gordon (hamstring) Available
Update — Porter and Wood have been suspended for tonight’s game vs. the Sixers after walking out on the team over the weekend. Jae’Sean Tate ($5,200) and Jalen Green ($5,200) are both strong plays. Really, most of the Rockets’ lineup will have some value given the amount of minutes and usage the two suspended players soak up. The issue is the matchup. The Sixers can easily clamp down the Rockets and hold them under 100 points. This game may be a fade given the point total and potential spread.
PJ Washington (protocols) OUT
Bridges has cleared protocols, but Washington is still in them at the moment. If the forward remains sidelined, look for Kelly Oubre Jr. to continue getting big minutes.
Spencer Dinwiddie (protocols) OUT
Rui Hachimura (protocols) OUT
Montrezl Harrell (protocols) OUT
Aaron Holiday (protocols) OUT
Raul Neto (protocols) OUT
Dinwiddie is in the protocols, which means guys like Bradley Beal and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will see additional ball-handling opportunities. Hachimura has been out for a while, so Daniel Gafford and Kyle Kuzma are still the plays as long as he’s out.
Dillon Brooks (protocols) OUT
With Brooks still sidelined, Desmond Bane is the big riser on Memphis’ loaded roster.
LaMarcus Aldridge (foot) OUT
Kyrie Irving (conditioning/mandate) OUT
Update — LMA has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Grizz.
Irving is out because he can’t play home games, although his conditioning could be close. Aldridge is questionable and his status will impact guys like Blake Griffin, Nic Claxton and Paul Millsap.
Lonzo Ball (protocols) Expected to play
Update — Ball is going to be back tonight vs. the Magic, which is bad news for the Magic. Ball told reporters he had no symptoms and started working out on Friday. A $7,600, Ball is a bit pricey to consider on the slate. With Javonte Green (adductor) out, we could see a three-guard lineup of Ball, Zach LaVine and Coby White with DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. The other option is sending White back to the bench with Derrick Jones Jr. starting at forward.
Cole Anthony (ankle) OUT
Moe Wagner (illness) OUT
With Anthony still out, the Magic should lean on RJ Hampton ($5,000) and Tim Frazier ($3,800) against the Bulls. Ball being back for Chicago hurts the value of Orlando’s backcourt. The Bulls have some solid on-ball defenders.
Khris Middleton (personal) Will Play
Donte DiVincenzo (ankle) OUT
Update — Middleton is going to play tonight vs. the Pistons. We can fire up Middleton at $7,800 in GPPs against the Pistons. The Bucks have a pretty high team total of around 121 and that number may go up a bit with Middleton’s status confirmed. Grayson Allen ($4,300) and Pat Connaughton ($4,400) aren’t worth consideration. All the points will go to the Bucks’ Big 3 and maybe Bobby Portis ($6,800).
Middleton is potentially going to sit out again for personal reasons, while DiVincenzo has already been ruled out. Jrue Holiday, Grayson Allen and Pat Connaughton are the big beneficiaries if Middleton chooses to stay on the sidelines Monday.
Cade Cunningham (protocols) Available
Saben Lee (protocols) Available
Josh Jackson (protocols) Available
Killian Hayes (protocols) Available
Brandon Ingram (Achilles) Available to play
Jonas Valanciunas (protocols) Available to play
Update — Ingram is available to play tonight vs. the Jazz. Both he and Valanciunas are back in the lineup, which helps the Pelicans chances of making this game competitive.
Update — Valanciunas will be available to play tonight vs. the Jazz after clearing protocols and getting some conditioning in. Willy Hernangomez ($5,100) and Herb Jones ($4,600) get a downgrade with Jonas back in the fold. Valanciunas isn’t a bad GPP play at $9,600 but it’ll depend on what Ingram’s deal is.
Ingram’s Achilles injury is not going to be taken lightly, so he’s likely not going to play even with the questionable tag. Valanciunas is in the league’s protocols, but this designation likely means he’ll be cleared and his status will come down to conditioning.
Austin Rivers (thumb) Available
Monte Morris (protocols) OUT
Aaron Gordon (hamstring) Will start
Bones Hyland (protocols) Available
Rivers is probable to suit up, while Gordon is also likely to play through his hamstring issue. If Morris can clear protocols, it’ll be a further boost for a Denver team staying afloat despite significant injuries.
Draymond Green (conditioning) probable
Green cleared protocols Sunday, so he’ll play if he’s up to speed on conditioning. For now, it looks like he’s going to suit up.
Cam Reddish (ankle) OUT
John Collins (protocols) OUT
Bogdan Bogdanovic (protocols) OUT
Reddish is probable to play through his ankle issue and will get a boost with both Bogdanovic and Collins likely to remain in protocols.
Damian Lillard (injury management) OUT
Jusuf Nurkic (protocols) Available to play
Update — Nurk has been upgraded to probable to play tonight vs. the Hawks. Nance ($5,900) takes a hit at that price. Nassir Little and Roberto Covington are both still somewhat viable given their prices but not anyone you should be rushing to play.
Lillard is out managing an injury, so look for Dennis Smith Jr. to be a value play. Nurkic is doubtful to clear protocols, which means Larry Nance Jr. and Nassir Little could get additional minutes in the frontcourt for Portland.
Karl-Anthony Towns (protocols) OUT
D’Angelo Russell (protocols) OUT
Update — KAT IS OUT. I repeat, KAT IS OUT. The tweet meant nothing for tonight. It may mean he returns soon, perhaps this week. Vanderbilt will be a less popular play given we got this news after lock, but should see be pretty chalky.
Update — We’ve got a cryptic tweet from KAT that would suggest he may be back? Go check out Twitter for yourself. Anyway, it’s something to keep an eye on. Obviously his return would impact the slate quite a bit. Towns would turn into an interesting leverage play in tournaments. Jarred Vanderbilt ($4,900) would become a less appealing value if KAT can play. That could sway ownership onto other values in that price range.
Towns and Russell remain in protocols for Minnesota.
Nicolas Batum (ankle) OUT
Luke Kennard (protocols) OUT
Kennard is out, while Batum is questionable to play with an ankle injury. If the forward sits, look for Terrace Mann and Justise Winslow to be value adds Monday.