A wild NBA trade deadline sure made a mess of things with regard to rosters, depth charts and playing time. It creates some opportunities and inefficiency in the daily fantasy basketball marketplace. We outline the studs and duds for Friday, Feb. 20's later games at DraftKings.
C Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat ($7,600)
You think Whiteside was intriguing before? Wait until you see what he does against the Carmelo Anthony-less (knee surgery) New York Knicks, as the Heat deal with their own huge loss, Chris Bosh (lung blood clot), per the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. Whiteside is a poor-man's DeAndre Jordan, a 20-20 threat.
Even if he posts a 15-10 line with a few blocks against the thinned-out Knicks, Whiteside is going to trump his DraftKings price. The Knicks are just 26th against centers, too. Everyone is going to have Whiteside in their lineup.
C DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings ($10,600)
We already know he is a stud, but we get the added bonus of the Boston Celtics being without Jared Sullinger (foot), per Jay King of MassLive.com. That makes the Celtics' weak frontcourt defense—24th against centers at DraftKings—even worse.
Cousins went into the All-Star break with a 65.75-point fantasy performance. He could be in for another one of those against the likes of Brandon Bass and Tyler Zeller. Kelly Olynyk (ankle) is also out, according to King.
"We're going to be small," Celtics coach Brad Stevens told King. "We're going to be real small (Friday against the Kings), so we'll have to figure that out too. ... (Sullinger is) a tough one, and that's one we're going to have to figure out by committee."
SF Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings ($7,300)
It isn't just that the Kings are facing an undersized and overmatched Celtics team, but they are also debuting head coach George Karl and a more aggressive approach, as Gay told Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee:
I just knew it was tough to play against (his teams). They'll pressure you. Offensively they'll come after you and make you work. He's one of those coaches who really wants to pressure people offensively, get shots up, get more shots up and also defend. ... It's one of those offenses where everybody has a chance to be successful. I think the better all of us get, the better our team gets.
Karl also told Jones, Gay will be playing more power forward. Against the Celtics' smaller lineup, it will work and get Gay more minutes and production Friday night at home, where he has been more effective, per DraftKings statistical splits.
SG Eric Bledsoe, Phoenix Suns ($8,000)
The trade deadline leaves Bledsoe pretty lonely for a team that once had too many guards. Gone are Goran Dragic, Isaiah Thomas and Tyler Ennis. In comes Brandon Knight, but he will not be available to play Friday against the Timberwolves in Minnesota, according Kyle Ratke of the Timberwolves' official website:
Not only are the T'wolves 29th at DraftKings against shooting guards, but they are middle of the pack (13th) against point guards. This shapes up to be a 45-plus-minute and 50-fantasy-point night for Bledsoe.
PF Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs ($7,300)
Duncan turned back the clock Thursday night with a season-high 30 points and 11 rebounds in 33 minutes. At age 38, forget about him having the legs to log that time and production again against the Golden State Warriors, who are eight-point favorites, per Odds Shark.
Duncan hit a three and dunked down on DeAndre Jordan's head. Yeah, don't expect that to happen on back-to-back nights. Avoid Duncan at any price.
PG Michael Carter-Williams, Milwaukee Bucks; PG Goran Dragic, Miami Heat; PG Brandon Knight, Phoenix Suns; PG Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics
Here is the deal: All those players traded at the deadline Thursday are either out for Friday night or going to be limited in their debut with their new teams. Of those above, only the Celtics' Thomas has not already been ruled out by various sources. We tend to doubt Thomas will be available either.
You are best off avoiding any player traded Thursday, even if they are announced as in uniform. Additionally, any of their part-time fill-ins look like they can be nice buys, like Bledsoe above.
Eric Mack, one of the giants among fantasy writers, is the Fantasy Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter, where you can ask him endless questions about your team, rip him for his content and even challenge him to a head-to-head fantasy game.