Fantasy basketball daily notes for Thursday: Can Heat endure the loss of Bam Adebayo?

Which member of the Miami Heat will step up and fill in after the loss of an All-Star talent? NBAE via Getty Images

By this stage of the season, every NBA rotation has been impacted -- in at least some way -- by injuries. The Miami Heat just lost All-Star center Bam Adebayo to a thumb injury that will require surgery, vaulting Dewayne Dedmon into the starting lineup. On Wednesday, Dedmon immediately rose to the occasion with his first double-double of the season in a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Don't get too excited about Dedmon's success just yet. Cleveland plays one of the league's larger lineups, so we'll want to see how much run Dedmon gets against other looks before going "all in" on him. Still, there is some real potential for interim fantasy value here, as is so often the case when an All-Star is sidelined.

Another injury-driven bump in value (and one that is likely more promising) can be found in Denver's rotation, as the massive loss of Michael Porter Jr. for the season has led to a leap in scoring responsibilities for fellow forward Aaron Gordon.

Once a helpful fantasy contributor as a primary option in Orlando, Gordon's fantasy stock has mostly waned in a "glue role" for the Nuggets. However, during the last six games, Gordon has averaged 18.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.7 assists in 35.4 minutes. With Denver needing Gordon to fill the bucket more, it's helpful to note he's still a free agent in roughly 55% of ESPN leagues.

Wednesday recap


Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks: 40 points (15-24 FG), 12 rebounds, 9 assists

Jae'Sean Tate, Houston Rockets: 32 points (11-15 FG), 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, 5 blocks


Marcus Morris Sr., LA Clippers: 2 points (1-9 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists

D'Angelo Russell, Minnesota Timberwolves: 10 points (3-18 FG), 5 rebounds, 9 assists

Wednesday takeaways

  • In that win over Dedmon and the Heat last night, Cleveland's Kevin Love registered another solid line with 22 points and six boards. Love won't play big minutes in a reserve role with Cleveland, so it's best to still consider him as only a streaming candidate.

  • After downing the Thunder for the second time this week, the Rockets have now amazingly won four straight games since starting the season 1-16, becoming the first team in NBA history to win four straight contests immediately following a 15-game losing streak. The win was even more impressive given starters Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. both left with injuries. Porter's thigh injury isn't believed to be serious, while Wood's foot injury could sideline him for a bit, it appears. Tate had set a new career-high in scoring, but it's his unique defensive upside and passing appeal from the wing that makes him a good speculative add.

  • Sacramento's Terence Davis has played well with Harrison Barnes ailing, knocking down a season-high five 3-pointers for 23 points last night. Three steals filled out a rich fantasy performance, making Davis another one interim addition to consider.

  • Washington's magical start to the season has been fueled in part by the uniquely efficient scoring of Montrezl Harrell, who produced 27 points last night while missing just one of his 12 shots from the floor. He is just the second player over the last three seasons to record multiple games of 25 points and 90% shooting, joining Jarrett Allen.

  • Charlotte's LaMelo Ball scored a career-high 36 points thanks to a career-high eight 3-pointers in the close loss to the Bucks. However, the biggest fantasy takeaway from the game might just be the continued strong play of P.J. Washington as the team's starting center. Charlotte can really open the offense in these smaller lineups. Washington is available in nearly 40% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 13.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.8 3-pointers, and 1.8 combined blocks and steals during the last four games, three of them starts.

Injuries of note

  • The Trail Blazers won't have superstar guard Damian Lillard in the lineup against the Spurs due to an ongoing core injury.

  • The Suns will be without Devin Booker this evening as he deals with a hamstring issue.

Analytics advantage for Thursday

Even with their leading scorer sidelined, Phoenix enters tonight's game against Detroit as double-digit home favorites. Scoop up Cameron Payne wherever possible. Payne has seen his usage rate leap by 4.2% with Booker off the floor this season, producing 23.8 points and 11 combined assists and rebounds per 36 minutes. Detroit, meanwhile, struggles to defend lead guards. If this one gets out of hand early, Payne could lead the show while Chris Paul rests up.

DFS discussion

Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers: With at least 29 DraftKings points in three straight games, and with Lillard in street clothes tonight, Simons is positioned as one of the better values to target during a somewhat limited five-game slate.