For all the latest updates, visit RotoWire's NBA Injury News page and our comprehensive NBA Injury Report. Below are some of the most recent and relevant injuries for Wednesday. Keep in mind that this is not a complete list. Use your best judgment when evaluating ongoing injury scenarios elsewhere on the slate.
DAL Luka Doncic (calf) - QUESTIONABLE
I expect Doncic to play, but it's best to take a wait-and-see approach to him as tipoff approaches. If he misses,
Kyrie Irving ($10,000) becomes a viable add if Doncic is absent, but he's otherwise too expensive.
CLE Jarrett Allen (ankle) - OUT
Allen's injury represents one of my favorite pivots of the evening. Evan Mobley ($7,400) will likely slide into the center role for Cleveland, but he's a dynamo who can cover a lot of ground at the four as well. Mobley's an excellent scorer, rebounder and defender, and he'll have every opportunity to succeed with Allen off the floor.
For this slate, we will consider elites as players with salaries of $9000 or above.
Unsurprisingly, Luka Doncic ($11,600) is at the top of the heap despite his injury tag, and even with the designation, I believe he represents the best opportunity to succeed at the elite level. The only other players that come close are LaMelo Ball ($9,700) and Trae Young ($9,600), who will be trading shots in a speedy matchup. The other candidates in this range will be productive, but their ability to match value to their salary will be more difficult to attain. I would also consider Kawhi Leonard ($9,400), who should be about $1,000 higher. You'll be able to squeeze in two elites with the available value on this slate.
EXPECTED CHALK AND OTHER TARGETS
De'Aaron Fox, SAC ($8,800) @ UTA
Fox is an example of a player who should probably be about $1,000 higher. I love him in this high-paced matchup against the Jazz, who allowed an average of 25.5 FDFPs to opposing point guards last season. Fox leads a squad that made a huge leap forward last season, and Coach of the Year Mike Brown will have his team finely tuned and ready to go with Fox as their leader.
Jaren Jackson, MEM ($8,200) vs. NOP
All eyes will be on Zion Williamson and the Pelicans tonight, but it will be Jackson who enjoys the best night of the evening. With Ja Morant (suspension) unavailable and Tyus Jones off to greener pastures, the offense will revolve around Jackson and Desmond Bane ($8,100), who I will also gladly endorse in this spot. Both players served the Grizzlies well when Morant was out last season, and we should expect Jackson and Bane to produce 35 FDFPs or more. I have no problem using them as a stack in most builds.
Zach LaVine, CHI ($7,800) vs. OKC
I think several Bulls could use a salary adjustment, but now that LaVine has shed his injury designation, I'm more than willing to endorse him at this salary, especially given his dual eligibility at SG and SF. While most consider LaVine to be a pure scorer, he stuffs the stat sheet in other categories. He's a reliable provider of assists and rebounds, and although you won't see many double-doubles from LaVine, his scoring average will more than make up for that shortcoming. LaVine averaged 24.8 points per game last season. The Thunder also ranked near the bottom in containing shooting guards last season.
Jrue Holiday, BOS ($7,500) @ NYK
I am not a fan of this game, but when was the last time you saw Jrue Holiday at $7,500? Granted he's in an entirely different system, but he's used to an elite stealing the limelight. Swap Giannis Antetokounmpo for Jayson Tatum, and you still have a dynamic All-Star to dish the ball to. Although Holiday isn't getting any younger, I think he's an upgrade from Marcus Smart at this position, and although some have the opinion that Holiday will see a regression with his new team, I'm not as convinced.
Tyler Herro, MIA ($6,700) vs. DET
Now that the Heat are fully healthy, we'll finally see what kind of damage the first unit can inflict on opponents. Herro had trouble staying on the court last season but is good to go for Opening Night, and despite acting as a third scoring option behind Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, I think we'll see Herro return to his high-scoring ways. His fully-healed broken hand should still possess the stroke that made him one of the best perimeter shooters in the league in previous seasons, and with age becoming a factor for the Heat, the 23-year-old still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
Tyus Jones, WAS ($5,700) @ IND
Jones will have the starting job with the Wizards, and it will be interesting to see how he handles life with the first unit. After bailing out Ja Morant for four seasons, he'll finally have floor general duties to himself for the first time in his eight-year career. Jones and Jordan Poole should form an apt backcourt that may find themselves playing from behind frequently, so expect some prolific shooting from the duo this season. Jones is also playing in one of the speediest games of the evening.
Jeremy Sochan, SAS ($5,500) vs. DAL
Even though the 6-8 sophomore seems a little oversized for the role, Sochan is slated to be the Spurs' point guard this season, and all I can say is that this should be an interesting first unit for San Antonio this season. With generational talent Victor Wembanyama set to take center stage, it'll be Sochan's responsibility to feed him the ball and create opportunities for himself at the perimeter, which is a slightly different role than he's accustomed to. He's not known as a three-point threat, so he's likely going to be a bit more like Dejounte Murray was during his days as a Spur. Murray was consistently one of the best rebounding point guards in the league during his tenure in San Antonio, and Sochan's ability to slash into the interior may mirror that style. His dual eligibility at PG and PF only heightens his value.
Bennedict Mathurin, IND ($5,400) vs. WAS
I called Mathurin's number often as the season drew down, and the Pacers expect big things from the youngster after exercising his third-year team option. Mathurin will start in one of the fastest-paced games on the slate, and he'll have an excellent chance to exceed his salary value if he gets enough opportunities. He's an apt defender and an even better pure shooter, and a breakout season could be in the works.
Saddiq Bey, ATL ($5,000) @ CHA
I'm headed back to this fast-paced matchup and will go with Bey, who will take over the role vacated by John Collins. Although other players will try to fill that void, Bey will get the first shot and will have a greater role in his first full season with the Hawks. Collins' departure puts him in a far better position, and it's an upgrade for the Villanova product after wallowing through two full seasons with the Pistons. This will likely be Bey's lowest salary of the season.