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Russell Westbrook to rest Saturday vs. the Timberwolves

Rockets guard expected to take a seat for load management against Minnesota. We break down what his absence from the lineup will mean for DFS and betting.

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook drives to the basket as Indiana Pacers guard T.J. McConnell defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

After another episode of the James Harden show on Friday vs. Indiana, Russell Westbrook had another lackluster performance for Houston. It’s not like he was bad, it just isn’t what we’re used to seeing from Russ. The Rockets have been winning, but mostly on the back of The Beard lately. So because of that, and because coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t want to risk any more injuries, Westbrook will take a seat for load management Saturday vs. Minnesota.

Fantasy Basketball Analysis, Houston Rockets PG Russell Westbrook

With no Westbrook, Harden can’t really be ignored even if he’s going to cost you $12,200. I’d argue he’s a chalk play and there will be enough value to fit him in anywhere. Harden has three games of 40 or more points in his past six and he’s just in one of those zones right now. You can’t fade him in fantasy. Not that you ever do.

As far as who will start in place of Westbrook, well, does it matter much? Maybe Austin Rivers ($3,700) or Chris Clemons ($3,000) gets the call? Sure, there will be some value in the backcourt, but Harden should get most of the production anyway. Plus this game should be high scoring with both teams having played Friday and the way both teams play. So I’m OK stacking this game, but it’ll most likely be Harden, Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,100) and a bunch of value.