I haven’t done a team-by-team breakdown yet this year, mainly because they always run long and cut off in the email edition of this column. But I’m feeling motivated and am going to give it a whirl. I’ll try to focus on injury news, as well as starting options in weekly leagues, which can also be applied to dailies.
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Games Played for Week 10
4 Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, GSW, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, NOP, OKC, POR, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BRK, LAL, MIL, MIN, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAN, SAC, UTA
2 Games: DET, HOU
ATL – With three games this week, Lou Williams looks like a decent play, especially with DeMarre Carroll’s thumb hurting, while Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap are nearly must-starts despite the lack of games. Kyle Korver works, depending on your options, while Mike Scott should only be tapped in deep leagues. If you want to mess with Elton Brand or Pero Antic this week, be my guest, but I will not be joining that party.
BRK – The Nets play three times, but Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic look like solid plays in any league. Joe Johnson is 6-of-24 from the floor in his last two games with a total of 15 points, and if he’s not clicking on all cylinders, you can probably find a safer play. Andray Blatche isn’t expected back with the team until Saturday from a personal leave, so stay away from him, too. Paul Pierce has scored 18 and 13 points in his last two games, making him a marginal play if you’re feeling lucky. Andrei Kirilenko may play this week, but given his back problems, I just don’t see him being worthy in anything but very deep leagues.
CHA – I’ve got Al Jefferson as the No. 1 center start in weekly leagues with four games, while Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson also look like nice options. Ramon Sessions, Josh McRoberts and Anthony Tolliver could be useful in certain situations, but owners will want to weigh options carefully with them.
CHI – The Bulls go four times and Luol Deng remains iffy for Monday against the Grizzlies. If he is a go for that one, I’d put him in lineups. Jimmy Butler’s toe is still a bit of a concern, and owners should check on his availability on Monday, as well. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are strong starting prospects, while Kirk Hinrich, D.J. Augustin, Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson are all intriguing four-game starts.
CLE – Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson both look like must-starts this week with four games, while Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Earl Clark and Anderson Varejao are all fine starts, as well. And in case you’ve been in a cave for four days, Andrew Bynum has played his last game for the Cavs, giving Varejao some immediate value.
DAL – The Mavs go four times this week, making Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki strong starts. If you want to roll the dice on Brandan Wright or Vince Carter, no one will laugh at you.
DEN – The Nuggets also play four times, making Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler must-starts. Kenneth Faried (coming off a sprained ankle), Jordan Hamilton (starting at SG), Nate Robinson and J.J. Hickson are all worth a look depending on your options. Timofey Mozgov is interesting, but very risky with Faried back in action.
DET – The Pistons only have two games this week and Josh Smith is feuding with coach Mo Cheeks. Brandon Jennings, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are worth consideration, but in weekly leagues, may be better served on your bench. Rodney Stuckey’s shoulder injury makes him a no-no this week.
HOU – Like the Pistons, the Rockets play just two games this week. James Harden and Dwight Howard are both worth a serious look in all formats, but my guess is you can find more reliable players with more games to start over Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones, who were both quiet on Sunday.
LAC – Another four-game team, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should be in most lineups. Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick may also be useful this week, as I get the sense we’ll see Redick sometime before next Monday. Think about picking him up, but don’t put him in your lineup this week.
LAL – The Lakers have three games this week, but Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks and Nick Young all look like decent options. Pau Gasol should be recovered from his respiratory issues and can also be started if news is good on Monday. Xavier Henry, who I highlighted in Waiver Wired, played just four minutes before suffering a knee injury Sunday, so take him off your list of options this week. If he’s out, it’s more good news for Farmar, Hill, Meeks and Young. Shawne Williams started and had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers in Sunday’s start, but should not be in lineups unless he does it a couple more times.
MEM – The Grizzlies are another four-game team, meaning Mike Conley and Zach Randolph are nearly must-starts, despite Conley’s lackluster play. Jerryd Bayless, Tony Allen and Kosta Koufos are also worth a look, while I like the idea of taking a flier on James Johnson this week. Find out more about him in Waiver Wired.
MIA – LeBron James is listed as doubtful for Monday vs. the Nuggets due to his groin injury, and sat out on Saturday. Michael Beasley should play well in his absence, but I’m not sure I could put him into a weekly lineup. I’m starting LeBron in a weekly league and am just hoping for three games. Mario Chalmers and Chris Bosh look like must-starts, but Dwyane Wade will likely sit out one of the back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. If you like him for three games, roll with him.
MIL – The Bucks only have three games this week and John Henson is iffy for the first one with a sprained ankle. Watch for an update Monday, but I’m not brave enough to start him in weekly leagues right now. Brandon Knight, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders and O.J. Mayo can all be started, depending on options.
MIN – The Wolves go just three times, but Kevin Love is a must-start, regardless of your format. Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin and Nikola Pekovic are decent options, while Corey Brewer has fallen off a cliff. Of those four, I’m most comfortable with Pekovic this week after his four straight double-doubles and big offensive game. He’s averaging 24.6 points and11.4 rebounds over his last five, but just 0.4 blocks.
NOP – Four games for the Pelicans means that Jrue Holiday, Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis are must-starts. Tyreke Evans is also a nice play this week, especially if Eric Gordon continues to sit with a hip injury after missing his last two games. Check back on his status for Monday’s game against the Pelicans. I’m running Al-Farouq Aminu in a couple leagues, as he’s suddenly hot again and is producing in most categories.
NYK – Carmelo Anthony is the only sure bet here with three games, but even he is iffy for Thursday due to his sprained ankle. Raymond Felton, Pablo Prigioni, Metta World Peace, Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin are all too banged up to be in lineups this week, while starting Beno Udrih, Iman Shumpert, Amare Stoudemire or Tyson Chandler is risky business for three games. I’m feeling J.R. Smith again, but am guessing you can find a four-gamer to play over him.
OKC – Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson are all must-starts with four games, while Thabo Sefolosha and Jeremy Lamb are worth a look. Lamb scored a career-high 22 points with three 3-pointers on Sunday, but keep in mind the Thunder blew the Rockets out of the gym, creating some garbage opportunities. Russell Westbrook is out until after the All-Star Break after more knee surgery.
ORL – The Magic have three games this week, making Jameer Nelson, Victor Oladipo, Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris, Glen Davis and Nikola Vucevic shaky starters, depending on your options. They all played well on Sunday, leaving owners with tough choices.
PHI – The Sixers play three times, but Thaddeus Young, Michael Carter-Williams, Spencer Hawes and Evan Turner (who as back on Sunday) are all playing well enough to be started in any league. In fact, Young and MCW look like must-starts.
PHX – With a three-game week, Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe look nearly like must-starts, while C Miles Plumlee is a decent starting option after a huge week. Start P.J. Tucker, the Morris twins, Channing Frye and Gerald Green at your own risk.
POR – Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge are two of the hottest players in the league and are no-brainers. Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum are also must-starts, while Robin Lopez is worth a close look depending on your center options.
SAC – The Kings go three times again this week, but Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins look like must-starts. Cousins had a big week and finished it with 29 points, 14 boards and a block against the Spurs on Sunday, while Thomas lit them up for 27 points, nine dimes and five 3-pointers. Rudy Gay also played well in that one with 24 points, nine rebounds, a steal and a block, making him a solid option, as well. I wouldn’t start any other Kings in a weekly league.
SAN – The Spurs go three times and have no back-to-backs, meaning Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili should be safe starts, and all three played very well on Sunday. Marco Belinelli had four points on Sunday, while Danny Green was 3-of-10 for seven points. Leave both of them on your bench. Tiago Splitter had 11 points, eight boards and a block last night, but is still not trustworthy. Green has scored in double figures in just five of his 14 games this month.
TOR – The Raps go four times and Kyle Lowry is as hot as any point guard in the league, making him a must-start. The same holds true for DeMar DeRozan, while Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross and Jonas Valanciunas are all reasonable starts this week.
UTA – The Jazz have three games, meaning Trey Burke, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are all solid options this week. Alec Burks, Richard Jefferson, Enes Kanter and Marvin Williams are all worth a look, but I would be leery of putting any of them into a weekly lineup right now.
WAS – The Wizards play four this week, making John Wall and Bradley Beal must-starts. Trevor Ariza, Nene, Marcin Gortat and Martell Webster are also playable this week, but I have some trust issues with Nene and Webster right now, and you should too.
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- Deron Williams
- Jordan Farmar
- Lou Williams
- Paul Millsap