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CJ McCollum remains out Thursday vs. Mavericks [UPDATE]

Trail Blazers SG has been dealing with ankle injury. We break down how to approach his absence in fantasy basketball and DFS.

Portland Trail Blazers guard C.J. McCollum controls the ball defended by New Orleans Pelicans guard Kenrich Williams in the second half at the Smoothie King Center.  Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

UPDATE: Jan. 23, 6:15 p.m. — McCollum has been ruled out vs. the Mavericks.

So Damian Lillard is an elite play in DFS and in the Showdown contest tonight for the Blazers. Gary Trent Jr. is also a decent value option starting in place of McCollum.

UPDATE: Jan. 22, 6:32 p.m. — McCollum is questionable for Thursday’s game vs. the Mavericks. Hassan Whiteside is probable with a groin injury.

UPDATE: Jan. 19, 8:16 p.m. — McCollum will remain out of the lineup on Martin Luther King Jr. Day vs. the Warriors.

So we can fire up Damian Lillard as a core cash-game play with McCollum out again and a tasty matchup vs. the Dubs. Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons are also good values if the Blazers pull away early.

UPDATE: Jan. 18, 1:43 a.m. — The Trail Blazers ruled McCollum (sprained left ankle) out for Saturday’s matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on their injury report.

Gary Trent Jr. ($3,000) and Anfernee Simons ($3,100) saw a surge in minutes after McCollum suffered his ankle injury on Friday. Either could be inserted into the starting lineup against the Thunder on Saturday. Both have a clean bill of health, but Simons filled out the stat sheet much better than Trent in their last outing.

The second-year guard logged seven points, five rebounds, and five assists. Trent only managed three points, one rebound, and one assist. Simons is also the primary backup for Damain Lillard, who tallied 34 points and 10 assists against Oklahoma City. Simons’ ball handling responsibilities give him more upside than Trent.

Portland Trail Blazers SG CJ McCollum injured his ankle in Friday’s game vs. the Dallas Mavericks and was unable to return.

McCollum left in the second quarter after playing 12 minutes, scoring four points with two assists. Damian Lillard had been questionable to play in this game due to an illness, but was able to go. Had he been out, the Blazers would have been in a rough spot with McCollum going down. We’re unsure of the severity of the ankle sprain, so we’ll need to wait for an update. Gary Trent Jr. and Anfernee Simons should see additional minutes off the bench with McCollum not returning.