Fantasy fringe players of interest in Week 12 (Monday, January 9 through Sunday, January 15)
Montrezl Harrell, Hou, PF (4 games – 39% owned in Y! leagues) – Harrell’s numbers have benefitted from the absence of Clint Capela (broken fibula). In his past eight games, Harrell is averaging 14.8 points, 5.0 boards and 1.1 blocks while shooting well over 60 percent from the field. Of course, you’d like to see a little more glass production from your PF spot, but he does have a combined 17 boards in his past two games, which offers hope that he’s moving that category in the right direction.
Sean Kilpatrick, Bkn, G (4 games – 58% owned) – Though he didn’t get the start on Thursday, Kilpatrick still played a respectable 25 minutes at Indiana, notching 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. He’s a meaningful contributor in Points, Treys and FT%, and will occasionally (like on Thursday) chip in elsewhere. With Jeremy Lin out (hammy), Kilpatrick’s minutes should be fine, even if he continues coming off the bench.
Jon Leuer, Det, PF/C (4 games – 51% owned) – The foundation of Leuer’s top 80 fantasy value is efficiency (.509 FG%, .895 FT%, 0.8 TO). And he’s at least serviceable beyond the arc (0.8) and on the glass (6.2). with four games this coming week, including two against defensive dimwits Sacramento and the LA Lakers, Leuer has glue-guy appeal.
Doug McDermott, Chi, F (5 games – 7% owned) – With five games on tap for Chicago in the coming week, here’s a quick fix for a three-point need, though you won’t get much else. In the past four games, McDermott is averaging 12.8 points and 2.0 treys
Down and out: Players to avoid in Week 12
Pacers/Nuggets (1 game) – Yes, Paul George and Myles Turner, that includes even you.
Eric Bledsoe, Pho, G (2 games) – With just two games on tap in the week ahead, all Suns are ill-advised plays, but the fact that one of those two games is a meeting with San Antonio, arguably the league’s top defense means that making an exception for a top 30 roto commodity like Bledsoe becomes an even bigger dice roll – Bledsoe has averaged a mere 13.5 points, 0.5 treys and 4.0 assists in two games against the Spurs in the past month.
Goran Dragic, Mia, G (2 games) – Same situation here as with Phoenix, where all Miami players are dubious H-2-H plays this week, but with both Heat games coming on the road, and against Milwaukee and Golden State (both top 10 in Defensive Efficiency), it serves to add the exclamation point to the “Do Not Play!” advisory. Dragic shoots just 43% and his points per game average is 4.6 points lower in road contests, in case you needed another reason to avoid him.
Chris Paul, LAC, PG (2 games – hamstring) – Paul is expected to return against Sacramento on Friday night, but with only two games on tap for next week, and after seeing him return from a three-game layoff because of this hammy injury in late December against New Orleans, only to land back on the sidelines for the past four games, Paul is a very risky Week 12 proposition.
Kyrie Irving, Cle, PG (3 games – hamstring) – After sitting out the past three games, Irving hopes to return for the start of the Cavs’ six-game road swing, starting in Brooklyn on Friday night before heading out west for the next five games. Irving has averaged 21 points, 10 assists and 2.9 assists in his past seven games, so he’d be hard to sit even if you think there’s a possibility Cleveland might limit his minutes (or give him a night off) during a back-to-back against Utah and Portland in the middle of Week 12.
Rudy Gay, Sac, F (3 games – hip) – Gay plans to return Friday against the Clippers, the second of Sacramento’s current six-game homestand. Gay owners will have Friday and Sunday (vs. Golden State) to gauge Gay’s health and viability for next week. That he’ll be at home through the entirety of the week ahead is ideal as he continues to work to get back to 100 percent.
Kristaps Porzingis, NY, PF/C (4 games – achilles) – Out the past three games, Porzingis hopes to return to the Knicks lineup in Milwaukee on Friday night, the first of back-to-back games (Indy on Saturday). It’s likely Porzingis will be limited in his next two contests, especially given that they come on consecutive nights, but at least his fantasy owners will have a chance to see how he looks before deciding whether to roll him out for what is a healthy four-game upcoming week. That Week 12 slate includes a road game against the lowly 76ers before returning home the next night to host the Bulls. Porzingis’ owners probably should treat this as a three-game week for the Latvian big man, as it would make sense to let him stay home and skip the Philly game if there are any lingering issues with his achilles come early next week.