The New Orleans Pelicans will be severely shorthanded when they take on the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night. Zion Williamson will miss his second-straight game with a sprained thumb as he was out of the lineup when the Pels lost to the Magic in overtime last night. Joining Zion on the bench once again will be Brandon Ingram, who also missed Thursday’s game with a foot issue.
The team’s top-two scorers for New Orleans, with Zion averaging 26.4 and Ingram 23.8 points per game, should be considered day-to-day. Lonzo Ball’s injury is definitely more serious as the point guard remains without a timetable to return. The team’s third-leading scorer and leader in assists will miss his seventh-straight game with a strained right hip flexor. Thanks to all these scorers out, coupled with Atlanta’s injury issues to key players, the total at the FanDuel Sportsbook has dropped from 223.5 to 214 points just like that. And oh yeah, starting forward Josh Hart, who played a game-high almost 47 minutes last night, will also be out with a thumb issue.
These injuries have significant implications for FanDuel DFS as several secondary players will now have impacts with almost the entire Pelicans starting lineup sitting. Nickeil Alexander-Walker is a must-start and can be had for a value-filled $5800. James Johnson got in his first game action of the year with his new Pelicans team drawing the start last night and grabbing 17 points in 28 minutes and comes super cheap at $3500 on FanDuel. Kira Lewis Jr. played 32 minutes on Thursday night and will get even more run against the Hawks, and you could do worse than a guy priced at just $4100.