UPDATE: Jan. 11, 3:13 p.m. — DeRozan has been ruled out for Tuesday’s game vs. the Oklahoma City Thunder as he remains away from the team due to personal reasons. Trey Lyles ended up filling in for DeRozan in the starting lineup for their loss to the T-Wolves on Sunday. That should remain the same. Walker, Murray and LMA will continue to be the main beneficiaries of DeRozan’s absence in fantasy basketball.
San Antonio Spurs G/F DeMar DeRozan has left the team to attend to a family matter and will not play in Sunday’s game vs. the Minnesota Timberwolves. This comes one day after DeRozan dropped 38 points to help the Spurs beat the T-Wolves 125-122 in overtime on Saturday. For now, DeRozan is the only Spurs player expected to be out who isn’t Derrick White (toe surgery). We’ll see how that impacts the lineup for the game.
With DeRozan sidelined, there are a few mid-range plays that are very appealing for the main slate. Dejounte Murray ($6,800), Keldon Johnson ($6,500) and LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,500) are all underpriced a bit. Murray had a great game against the T-Wolves on Saturday, posting 51.5 fantasy points on 22 points and 14 assists. He’ll be a decent chalk play, probably the safest among these three.
LMA hasn’t been great this season with really only one game reminiscent of seasons past. Johnson is in the midst of a breakout season for San Antonio, averaging 14.2 points and 7,4 rebounds per game. He’ll be an interesting option on the slate and I’d put him ahead of Aldridge. Another player to consider is Rudy Gay ($5,300), who is cheaper and could be the main scoring option on the wing with DeRozan out. Lonnie Walker IV ($4,300) is a good value play.
The line on this game is basically a pick ‘em with the spread being 1 point in favor of SA. No DeRozan is a pretty big deal and the T-Wolves played well last night with Karl-Anthony Towns back in the lineup. Generally, we’ve seen these back-to-back sets end in splits. Minnesota has lost seven in a row and Towns played 37 minutes last night. The line has actually shifted to T-Wolves -1, which makes more sense. I’d get in on that line before it moves more.
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