The Warriors are smart about fatigue management and have been sure to rest one of their four All-Stars in cushy matchups where they’re not as needed this season. Sometimes their stars are out for legitimate reasons but Kevin Durant did miss a couple of games with a bruise-they can rest for nagging injuries. They are right to do this when they have this luxury. Whether Draymond Green’s wrist will cause him to miss more than just tonight’s game remains to be seen, but we do know that it helps provide opportunity for others for at least one game. Here’s a look at who will benefit most from Draymond’s absence:
We can start with who it won’t help, and that’s Jordan Bell and David West. Bell is still missing time with an ankle injury and it’s likely that he remains out until after the All-Star break. And while I’ve already been asked if West benefits today by those who see that “PF” next to his name, those people aren’t watching Warriors games. West plays all of his minutes at backup center, usually around 16 minutes- maximum 20. While it is possible that he sees slightly higher usage with one of the Warriors sources of scoring out, the bump isn’t enough to warrant targeting him. The final clear non-target is Patrick McCaw, who has benefitted from thinner Warriors rotations before. He has been limited with a thumb injury of late and is questionable for tonight’s game. Even if he does go, I don’t think he plays more than a dozen minutes.
These targets become clearer when projecting out Warriors minutes. The Suns will be down Devin Booker tonight, which makes the blowout potential clear, but for the sake of this assume that Phoenix stays within shouting distance deep into the game.
PG Stephen Curry 32 minutes, Shaun Livingston 16 minutes
SG Klay Thompson 32 minutes, Nick Young 12 minutes, Patrick McCaw 4 minutes
SF Kevin Durant 20 minutes, Andre Iguodala 24 minutes, Patrick McCaw 4 minutes
PF Kevon Looney 16 minutes, Omri Casspi 20 minutes, Kevin Durant 12 minutes
C Zaza Pachulia 12 minutes, David West 16 minutes, Javale McGee 8 minutes, Kevon Looney 12 minutes
Looney has been backing up Draymond since Jordan Bell has been out and is the biggest beneficiary of this news. I will be using him as a cheap target in some lineups tonight, though he hasn’t always been the most productive player with his run. It may be Omri Casspi, who admittedly has a less sure minute load, who is the target tonight as the result of this because he has proven to contribute fantasy output when given minutes. Both players are matchup safe, as they’ll actually play even more if Golden State pulls away with this one early. So long answer short, if you’re targeting a cheap Warrior as the result of Draymond news then use Looney for cash and Casspi for GPP.