There are a couple of injury situations worth keeping an eye on heading into a busy Friday night in the NBA. The biggest name in question is Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins (ankle). He is listed as probable tonight, and he draws a great matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers. However, we recommend double-checking on his status closer to tip-off time before shelling out 18.4% of your cap ($9,200 salary) at FantasyScore.
Keep tabs on the status of the Minnesota Timberwolves' frontcourt, as well. Both center Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and power forward Kevin Garnett (knee) are questionable tonight, and if neither player is able to go, Gorgui Dieng ($5,300, 10.6%) should make a solid mid-priced play against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
G Russell Westbrook, Thunder vs. Timberwolves
$9,500 salary | 19.0% of cap
Westbrook had a bad night by his standards against the Los Angeles Clippers Wednesday and still finished with 44.75 fantasy points. Meanwhile, he is averaging 63.90 points since the All-Star break, and tonight, he faces a Minnesota team allowing the most points per game in the NBA.
G Aaron Brooks, Bulls at Hornets
$4,000 salary | 8.0% of cap
Brooks is settling in as the starter with Derrick Rose (knee) sidelined. He scored a season-high 31 points last time out, and he has topped 25.00 fantasy points in three straight. Plug him into your lineup for some cap relief tonight.
G Elfrid Payton, Magic at Celtics
$4,200 salary | 8.4% of cap
The rookie is enjoying one of his hot streaks, averaging 34.35 fantasy points over his past five games. During the stretch, he flirted with a triple-double on his way to 42.50 fantasy points against the Celtics, and Payton offers a great payoff for the price when the teams meet again tonight.
F Nikola Mirotic, Bulls at Hornets
$4,500 salary | 9.0% of cap
He has been instant offensive for the injury-plagued Bulls recently, and Mirotic is averaging 34.64 fantasy points per game in seven games this month. He should make a solid value play again against Charlotte's banged up frontcourt.
F Markieff Morris, Suns vs. Hawks
$5,000 salary | 10.0% of cap
Morris has taken on a bigger role in the offense since Phoenix revamped its roster at the trade deadline, and his numbers have received a further boost recently with Brandon Knight (ankle) sidelined. Morris has topped 25.00 FantasyScore points in four of his last five games, passing 30.00 three times over the same stretch. With Knight doubtful tonight, Morris should be leaned on heavily once again.
C Nerlens Noel, 76ers vs. Kings
$5,400 salary | 10.8% of cap
Fueled largely by his defensive stats, Noel is enjoying the best stretch of his young career. He has logged at least 33.00 fantasy points in seven straight games, and he has plenty of upside tonight when the 76ers take on a club allowing the third most points in the league and the most blocks per game to centers.
Make your team. Hit the hardwood. Win cash.
G Kemba Walker, Hornets vs. Bulls
$6,500 salary | 13.0% of cap
Walker (knee) returned to action Wednesday, but he played just 16 minutes and scored six points on 2-of-9 shooting. He is expected to receive a similar workload tonight, and Walker is going to have a tough time living up to his price tag while playing a limited window.
F Dirk Nowitzki, Mavericks vs. Clippers
$6,200 salary | 12.4% of cap
He continues to struggle with his shot, and Nowitzki is averaging just 19.69 fantasy points over his last four games. Don't waste your money on the slumping veteran tonight.