The Sacramento Kings have offered fantasy basketball owners plenty of excitement this season. They may have the second worst record in the West, but that hasn’t stopped them from averaging 105.9 points over their last 10 games. DeMarcus Cousins, and new addition Rudy Gay, have been major contributors to the Kings’ high-scoring affairs, but fantasy owners may be without the duo for Sunday’s game vs. Denver.
» Cousins sprained his ankle in Wednesday’s game vs. the Rockets, and although coach Mike Malone hasn’t technically ruled him out yet, it seem unlikely that he’ll suit up tonight when the Kings take on the Denver Nuggets. Foot injuries have been known to linger longer for centers, and it’d be wise for the team to take the cautious approach with their 23-year-old superstar. If Cousins misses the game, the extra minutes will go to Jason Thompson, Carl Landry and Aaron Gray. Thompson (97 percent available on ESPN.com) should be owned in most 12-team leagues regardless, as he’s started 36 of 42 games for the Kings this season, and is in the midst of a five-game stretch where he’s averaged 9.0 points, 8.4 rebounds and a block a game. Landry has started off slow in his first three games since his return from hip flexor surgery, averaging just 5.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 15.7 minutes. He has yet to record a block or a steal. Even though Gray started and played 36 minutes on Friday, he is not on the fantasy map. Landry and Gray are both available in 100 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
» Two clear fantasy winners emerged following Gay’s Achilles injury — Derrick Williams and Marcus Thornton. Well, technically Isaiah Thomas benefited the most, but he’s owned in all leagues. Williams, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 draft, has played a combined 74 minutes in the last two games, averaging 14.5 points and 11.0 rebounds. He hit three treys in Wednesday’s game, but none on Friday. While Gay is out, he is an excellent pickup. He’s shown in his time with Minnesota that he can stuff the stat sheet when given minutes, but as soon as Gay comes back he’ll resume his customary bench role and be a fantasy non-factor outside of very deep and dynasty leagues. Williams is available in 75 percent of leagues. Thornton came out of nowhere last game, draining 7-of-15 three-pointers and totaling 42 points in the Kings’ overtime loss to the Pacers on Friday. The fifth-year pro hadn’t scored in double-digits since January 4 (a span of 10 games), he’s known for his maddening inconsistency and the Nuggets have been somewhat tough vs. opposing shooting guards this season — all signs that point to Thornton being someone you really shouldn’t be targeting for your squad. But if your heart desires, Thornton can be had in 98 percent of ESPN.com leagues. The Kings have listed Gay as a game-time decision, so it’s important to keep your ears peeled for any additional information leading up to tip-off.
Other Injury Notes:
Pelicans forward Tyreke Evans missed Friday’s game with an illness and will be a game-time decision vs. the Magic this afternoon. If he can’t go, Austin Rivers (13.5 points last two games) and Anthony Morrow (21 points, four three-pointers on Friday) should see increased minutes. Both are available in 100 percent of ESPN.com leagues. … The Celtics are listing Jerryd Bayless as a game-time decision. He was initially supposed to miss 7-10 days with a toe injury, but returning today would have him back on the court in five days. If he does play he may be worth a look in deeper leagues. With Rajon Rondo on a minutes limit and Avery Bradley out a couple weeks, Bayless could be pressed into some heavy minutes if coach Brad Stevens doesn’t fully entrust Phil Pressey with starter’s minutes just yet. Bayless is available in 100 percent of leagues. Pressey himself, is a worth a speculative add. The rookie has averaged 14.5 points and 5.0 assists in his previous two games. It’s really tough to guess Stevens’ rotations though, so unless you’re desperate, the Celtics’ free agents may not be the best place to look if you need help.