Games Played for Week 5
4 Games: ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, PHX, SAS, WAS
3 Games: CHI, CLE, LAC, MEM, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, TOR, UTA
2 Games: SAC
Sitting here at 12:30 a.m. on Monday morning, I’m trying to comprehend how my football experience went so far south, while I also suffered some tough losses in fantasy hoops this weekend, as well. Eric Bledsoe missing all four games, Russell Westbrook’s surprise DNP on Sunday, and the fact Anthony Davis had just two games last week all combined to hurt me.
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Endless Boogie Only Plays 2
DeMarcus Cousins has flirted with triple-doubles in a couple straight games and had 17 points, eight boards and seven assists on Sunday. He also had seven assists in his previous game and has righted the ship in a big way after being benched for a couple the previous week. Daily leaguers are in good shape with Boogie – if the Kings are playing, you’re starting Cousins. But if you’re in a weekly league and own a guy like Nene, who is coming off a big week, I think you have to seriously consider sitting Cousins, as he plays just twice this week. I am probably benching him for Nene in League Freak, but I also have Anthony Davis with four games, as well as Jordan Hill for four. I’m also considering benching Russell Westbrook and Eric Bledsoe (shin), and starting Rodney Stuckey for four games. Westbrook is a fine play this week, but only has three games, while I can’t risk having Bledsoe missing more time while he’s in a weekly lineup.
The Jazz were terrible again on Sunday and look like the worst team in the league, which is saying something when the Bucks also play in the NBA. I love Derrick Favors, and he started at center while Enes Kanter got benched for Marvin Williams in a blowout. But this team is now being led by a rookie point guard and is in shambles, and Favors managed just eight points, nine rebounds and zero blocks in 22 minutes. Burke struggled in his first start with four points and four assists on 2-of-9 shooting, while Gordon Hayward matched his shooting line and scored just five points with six turnovers. Adding insult to injury, Kanter came off the bench and suffered a sprained right ankle, leaving him iffy for the week, while Marvin Williams managed just four points in 22 minutes in his random start. With just three games this week, I think Favors and Hayward are solid starts, but I also wouldn’t be mad at you if you benched both of them for a hot 4-gamer.
Glen Davis is back and has looked good for the Magic, while Tobias Harris actually showed his face on Sunday with six points and one rebound in 16 minutes. They also have Nikola Vucevic, Moe Harkless and Andrew Nicholson fighting for minutes, and I’d struggle with starting any one of them except for Vucevic for three games this week.
The same thing is happening in Phoenix, where Miles Plumlee, Channing Frye, Markieff Morris and Marcus Morris are trading big nights. Frye is heating up and Marcus is playing a little better than his twin, but trying to figure out which one of these bigs is going to have a big night is next to impossible. But at least the Suns play four games this week, so rolling the dice on any of them makes some sense.
MCW Is Back
Michael Carter-Williams and the Sixers play just three games this week, but now that MCW appears to be over his foot injury, I’m not going to leave him on the bench in any league, or any format. He had 29 points, six boards, three assists, seven steals and a block on Saturday, and he’s going to be in my League Freak lineup over both Westbrook and Bledsoe. He also just missed a triple-double on Friday with 12 points, eight boards, 11 assists, five steals and a block. Useful. Tony Wroten is not only dealing with the return of MCW, but also a back injury, meaning he can safely be dropped for the time being.
All Systems Go On Anthony Davis
Davis has a four-game week and should be ready to put up some ridiculous numbers. Eighty points, 60 rebounds, 10 steals and 20 blocks are not out of the question, which is just scary.
The list of injured guys is growing and there are too many question marks out there to start most of them.
Brook Lopez – Ankle injury has cost him five games and counting. If he’s out, keep rolling Andray Blatche out there with confidence.
Deron Williams – Ankle is still bothering him and Shaun Livingston deserves starting consideration, even though he’s looked awful in three straight. Livingston suffered a head injury on Sunday, so watch for updates before using him.
Derrick Rose – Will have surgery on “the other” knee and Kirk Hinrich deserves a close look in all leagues, even though I don’t really trust him. And the updated news from Monday morning is that Rose has now BEEN RULED OUT FOR THE YEAR. I don't care how you feel about Rose, this is just a sad situation.
Jimmy Butler – Could miss another week and I am planning on rolling Mike Dunleavy out on a regular basis, especially in daily money leagues.
James Harden – Has already been ruled out for Monday, sort of, but it does sound like he could play if his feet are feeling better. If he's out, it should mean more good things for Jeremy Lin and Patrick Beverley, and while Aaron Brooks exploded for a monster line on Saturday, there’s no way I’m touching him for now. If Harden only misses Monday’s game, he should play in three this week, but he’s a risky proposition in weekly leagues. Then again, he's just too good to bench if there's a chance he'll play. Good luck.
Andre Iguodala – Doesn’t sound likely for this week and Harrison Barnes is now a must-start in all formats. Don’t ask questions or think about it, just play him for four games this week.
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash & Chris Kaman – Kobe could play late in the week, but shouldn’t be in any lineups for now. Nash is hoping to come back at some point in the near future, but I’m not holding my breath, and Jordan Hill is now the man, along with Steve Blake, for the Lakers. Start those two with confidence, and say goodbye to Chris Kaman.
Marc Gasol – Gasol is going to miss at least a month and maybe more with his knee injury. He won’t need surgery, but this is a long-term injury and Kosta Koufos should be one of the hottest pickups in deeper leagues, or ones that use two centers. Ed Davis could also make some noise, so just keep an eye on him.
Raymond Felton – There’s still no word on when he’ll return from his hip injury and I don’t trust him enough to use him right now. Watch for updates later on Monday.
Russell Westbrook – While his absence on Sunday was devastating for some of us, he’s fine. He’ll get five days to rest his knee and should be safe three-game play for the upcoming week. Yes, I’m possibly benching him for Rodney Stuckey, but I would only do so in a weekly league where you only start a few guys (6), like we do in League Freak.
Spencer Hawes – A knee injury finally slowed Hawes down for the Sixers when he sat out on Saturday. He’s iffy for Wednesday, but you have to think with so many days off between games he’ll be ready to go for that one against the Magic. Unfortunately, I doubt we know much about his availability until after shootaround for that game.
Thaddeus Young – He’s now missed three straight games for personal reasons and news is not exactly prevalent. I’m guessing that he’ll be ready to go by Wednesday, when the Sixers play the Magic, but that’s just a guess.
Eric Bledsoe – When we found out Bledsoe was going to miss Tuesday’s game, @mikesgallagher and I thought it would be a quick one-game rest for one of the league’s most exciting players. But we were wrong. Four games later and the last report we have on Bledsoe is that he still can’t run. I am benching him in weekly leagues and as I wrote in Waiver Wired, Gerald Green should now be owned in all leagues, even when Bledsoe is healthy.
Rudy Gay – Gay was limited in practice on Sunday due to the flu and was bothered by it on Friday, but should be good to go on Tuesday vs. the Nets. Although if a mild fever could keep him from shooting it 30 times a night, I doubt many folks would be too upset about it.
Trevor Ariza – Ariza missed Friday’s game against the Raptors, as Martell Webster continues to hold it down in his absence. Ariza’s missed four straight games with his hamstring injury and we still don’t know when he’ll play. But the thought is that he’s getting close to a return and the Wizards next host the Lakers on Tuesday. Ariza can’t be trusted for that one, or weekly leagues just yet, but he’s worth grabbing if he was dropped in your league.
Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em
4-Game Sneaky Starts – DeMarre Carroll, Jared Sullinger, Jeff Green, Joe Johnson (34 points, eight 3-pointers Sunday, which beat me in my main league), Gerald Henderson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Shawn Marion, DeJuan Blair, Wilson Chandler, J.J. Hickson, Rodney Stuckey, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut, Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley, Steve Blake, Jordan Hill, Mario Chalmers, Corey Brewer, Caron Butler, Ryan Anderson, Kenyon Martin (really? I said that?), Andrea Bargnani, Gerald Green, Marcus Morris and Marcin Gortat.
3-Game Interesting Plays – Mike Dunleavy, Kirk Hinrich, Anderson Varejao, J.J. Redick, Kosta Koufos, Glen Davis, Spencer Hawes, Robin Lopez, Trey Burke, Enes Kanter and Marvin Williams.
3-Game Must-Starts – Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook (I might bench him, but I am weird), Serge Ibaka, Arron Afflalo, Michael Carter-Williams, Evan Turner, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Rudy Gay, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward.
2-Game Headaches – DeMarcus Cousins, Isaiah Thomas, Greivis Vasquez, Ben McLemore. The only one of these dudes I would confidently put into a weekly lineup is Cousins.
Good luck this week!