Space is limited, so I’m going to take a very quick trip around the league with things to consider when setting your lineups this week. Mike Gallagher will be hosting a free live chat today at 2 p.m. ET – check it out.
4 Games – ATL, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAC, TOR
3 Games – BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, NOP, NYK, SAN, UTA, WAS
2 Games – DAL, DEN, LAL, MIA, POR
Atlanta – Jeff Teague is out Monday and could miss more games with a sprained ankle. Shelvin Mack should benefit. DeMarre Carroll is playing well and Mike Scott is also worth a look, while Elton Brand will also see extra playing time with Pero Antic out indefinitely with a sprained ankle of his own. Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver are obviously good to go with four games.
Boston – Rajon Rondo flirted with a triple-double on Sunday, but the Celtics play back-to-back games on Tuesday and Wednesday, making him a little risky after he sat out a game last week on a back-to-back. Brandon Bass started over Kris Humphries on Sunday, racking up 17 points and eight rebounds. Jared Sullinger came off the bench in the second half for Humps, making all three players a bit of a roll of the dice right now. Jeff Green hit 2-of-13 shots for eight points on Sunday, but had 39 points on Wednesday, and continues to be hit-or-miss. I’m playing him in most leagues.
Brooklyn – Joe Johnson has struggled in two straight and it’s not a coincidence that Deron Williams is back. With those two struggling, it’s hard to rely on any Nets player right now, although Andray Blatche might be the safest of the bunch after leading the team in scoring with 17 points on Sunday.
Charlotte – Al Jefferson is a must-start given his strong play of late, while Gerald Henderson and Ramon Sessions are also options in most leagues. Jannero Pargo should be given a look in deep leagues, but Sessions and Pargo will take a hit once Kemba Walker is back from his ankle injury. I doubt he plays this week.
Chicago – Carlos Boozer is being pushed hard by Taj Gibson, and is no longer a must-start player in weekly leagues. D.J. Augustin, on the other hand, is, while Joakim Noah should also be in lineups. Weigh options before using Jimmy Butler, Gibson and Tony Snell.
Cleveland – Kyrie Irving, Luol Deng and Tristan Thompson are all strong plays this week, while Dion Waiters could have a couple nice lines. Anderson Varejao will have a left knee injury re-evaluated soon and could miss some time this week. If it happens, Tyler Zeller might be pushed into the starting lineup.
Dallas – Devin Harris has scored 28 points over his last two games and deserves a look, while Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis are tough calls in weekly leagues with the two-game schedule. As for the three-headed monster known as the Dallas center, I don’t like any of them (Brandan Wright, DeJuan Blair and Samuel Dalembert).
Denver – Another two-game team, Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler look like possible weekly options, while J.J. Hickson, Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Nate Robinson are all risky given their inconsistency.
Detroit – Starters Brandon Jennings, Andre Drummond, Greg Monroe and Josh Smith all look like solid plays this week, and Rodney Stuckey can be used off the Detroit bench, but I’d stay away from the rest of them.
Golden State – Stephen Curry and David Lee are must-starts with three games, while Klay Thompson and Andrew Bogut are also worth a look. I think I need four games on the schedule in order to start Andre Iguodala at this point. Lee is dealing with a shoulder injury but looked good on Sunday. Hopefully he's ready for Tuesday's game against the Wizards. Bogut is also dealing with a sore knee, but said it's feeling better on Sunday.
Houston – Dwight Howard and James Harden look like must-starts in all formats, while a struggling Terrence Jones, Patrick Beverley and Jeremy Lin can be used in a pinch. Just watch for updates on Harden’s injured left (shooting) thumb on Monday.
Indiana – Lance Stephenson flirted with his fourth triple-double on Saturday, missing it by three assists. He’s hot again and should be in all lineups for his three games, along with Paul George. David West, Roy Hibbert and George Hill can be used in some instances, but you might be able to find a better four-game option.
LA Clippers – The Clips play four times, making Darren Collison, J.J. Redick, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan must-starts. Matt Barnes could also be a sneaky play if he can get hot. Just check the news feed on Monday for updates on Collison’s toe injury and Redick’s sore back.
LA Lakers – With two games, most Lakers should be on weekly benches. Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Pau Gasol and Ryan Kelly are all playing well for the Lakers right now, and are all solid daily plays. Wes Johnson has been demoted to the bench, so I don’t think he’s usable in most leagues. Manny Harris had 18 points on Sunday, but I don’t see that lasting.
Memphis – Mike Conley, Courtney Lee and Zach Randolph all look like four-game must-starts. Marc Gasol has been bad enough that owners should weigh options carefully, while James Johnson continues to play well off the bench. I’ve got JJ plugged into several weekly lineups, and yeah, I’m pretty nervous about it. Lee is one of my favorite pickups for the week and will likely take a hit once Tony Allen returns from his broken hand, but I’m rolling with him for now.
Miami – LeBron James owners in weekly leagues are shaking in their boots with two games this week, although I’m still leaning toward starting him and Chris Bosh. As for Dwyane Wade (shaky knees), he had eight points on Sunday after missing three straight games and he should be planted on all benches, except when there are no other options in daily leagues. At least he doesn’t have a back-to-back this week. Mario Chalmers is also an option, but the schedule hurts in some leagues.
Milwaukee – The Bucks have four games this week, which creates many interesting decisions for owners in weekly leagues. Brandon Knight is the only sure bet, while Ersan Ilyasova, John Henson, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Khris Middleton, Caron Butler, Larry Sanders and Luke Ridnour could all do something this week. I think I’d roll the dice on Ilyasova and Sanders, but you simply can’t trust the rest of them. Start anyone in a Bucks uni at your own risk.
Minnesota – Here’s a four-game week to get excited about, as Ricky Rubio, Kevin Martin, Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic are must-starts. Corey Brewer is also an option, but that’s about as deep as I’d go into the Wolves lineup. Kevin Love’s been playing through a banged up knee, so just watch for updates on Monday.
New Orleans – Anthony Davis had the dunk of the night and a huge line on Sunday and is a must-start with three games. Tyreke Evans scored 23 despite an illness, and along with Brian Roberts and Eric Gordon, looks like a nice option this week. Al-Farouq Aminu is always worth a look, but just hasn’t done enough to be a top fantasy option right now. Anthony Morrow went off for 21 points on Friday and backed it up with two points in 16 minutes Sunday. Forget about him for now.
New York – Carmelo Anthony, who had 62 points on Friday, is a must-start until further notice, while Tyson Chandler is the other reliable Knick. Raymond Felton had 20 points and a full stat line on Sunday, but that was a season-high. J.R. Smith is always an interesting fantasy option these days, and despite struggling with his shot, has scored in double figures in eight straight games, not including the two where his coach put him in ‘time out.’ Tim Hardaway Jr. is worth a look after 18 points and four treys Sunday, but is far from trustworthy, while it’s hard to deal with Iman Shumpert after his dismal numbers this season. The Knicks are still a mess. And in case you missed it, Andrea Bargnani is out indefinitely with an arm injury.
Oklahoma City – Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka and Reggie Jackson with four games? Yes please. Durant had his second triple-double of the season on Saturday with 32 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, while Ibaka had 25 points, 11 boards and five blocks in that one. Reggie Jackson was terrible, hitting just 1-of-9 shots for five points and five assists, but that was a fluke. Start them all with confidence and ignore their teammates, despite the four games.
Orlando – Victor Oladipo had a big week and has become must-start material in all formats, while Arron Afflalo, Tobias Harris and Jameer Nelson are also good to go. Glen Davis has been underwhelming lately, despite the fact we still don’t have a return date for Nikola Vucevic (concussion). He’s traveling with the team and could possibly play on Tuesday or Wednesday, but I don’t have the guts to start him in a weekly league right now. As for Davis, weigh your options carefully before using him.
Philadelphia – With four games, Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young and Spencer Hawes are all good bets for success, while the hit-or-miss James Anderson is also worth a look after scoring 19 points with a full stat line Saturday. I would ignore Hollis Thompson and Tony Wroten except in very deep leagues.
Phoenix – Goran Dragic and Gerald Green are your must-starts, while I’d find a way to play Markieff Morris, Channing Frye, Miles Plumlee and possibly P.J. Tucker (double-double Sunday, although dealing with sprained right hand) this week. Morris is on fire and had another big game Sunday with 27 points and 15 boards. He’s been rolling in six straight games. Marcus Morris is also a possibility, along with Leandro Barbosa, but I don’t trust them. The Suns play the defenseless Sixers on Monday, so loading up on them tonight makes sense.
Portland – Two games for the Blazers is going to make things rough for weekly leaguers. Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, LaMarcus Aldridge and Robin Lopez are still all worth a look, but chances are you can find better options with four games. Matthews is hot, Aldridge is Aldridge and Lillard is struggling. Mo Williams has been playing well off the bench and is worth a close look if he’s on waivers. Nicolas Batum is another story. He’s struggling through a broken finger and news broke on Sunday night that he’s got a right foot injury that has lingered for two weeks and he’ll have an MRI on Monday. Bench him and cross your fingers. Maybe Dorell Wright will get hot if he misses time, but it’s far from guaranteed.
Sacramento – The Kings have four games, but it’s impossible to tell how many of them will feature Rudy Gay (Achilles) or DeMarcus Cousins (ankle). Gay might play in all four, but I’d be surprised to see Cousins in more than two of them, especially with news that he won’t travel to Utah for Monday’s game. I’m rolling the dice on Derrick Williams and Jason Thompson this week, while Isaiah Thomas is the only sure bet in Sacramento right now. Williams took a shot to the mouth and didn’t return on Sunday, but I’d be surprised if it keeps him out Monday. Marcus Thornton came out of nowhere for 42 points on Friday and then had 19 on Sunday, making him a true high-risk, high-reward pluck-and-play right now. I picked him up across the board after the two-game explosion and am rolling with him in weeklies.
San Antonio – Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are your guys here, while Marco Belinelli, Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw are all worth a look right now. Diaw was featured in Waiver Wired should get some nice run with Kawhi Leonard (broken hand) and Tiago Splitter (shoulder) out indefinitely.
Toronto – Kyle Lowry is good to go with four games, and is hot again. And believe it or not, he’s the only must-start for the Raptors this week. DeMar DeRozan is out on Monday with a sprained ankle and could miss more games. Terrence Ross went nuts with 51 points on Saturday, but had been pretty awful up to that point. I like his odds tonight with DeRozan out, so I’d go ahead and pick him up, and use him as long as DeRozan is out. I’m also good with starting Jonas Valanciunas, while Amir Johnson, Patrick Patterson (broken nose) and Greivis Vasquez are all worth a look with the heavy games. John Salmons could get hot with DeRozan out, and he’s a risky, but potentially smart player to look at right now, despite his recent struggles.
Utah – Trey Burke, Alec Burks, Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors are all fine plays with three games. You might get lucky and get decent lines out of Marvin Williams and Richard Jefferson, but you will need some luck for it to happen. Enes Kanter is hot and was featured in Waiver Wired, and I’m in favor of rolling him out there this week.
Washington – John Wall is a must-start, while Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza, Nene, and Marcin Gortat are all guys I would start with confidence right now. With Ariza on fire right now (23 points on Friday and Saturday), Martell Webster isn’t worth using.
Good luck on Monday and throughout Week 14!