by DANIEL DOBISH
Welcome to the new week. Remember to set all weekly Fantasy lineups early due to matinee action Monday, Jan. 20, due to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.
We’re already into mid-January and hurtling toward the second half of the National Basketball Association regular season. That’s when the fun really starts, as teams jockey for playoff positioning, or use younger players once they’re out of the mix for the postseason.
Team with five games (1): Portland
Teams with four games (21): Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington
Teams with three games (7): Denver, Golden State, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, Phoenix, San Antonio
Team with two games (1): Utah
LaMarcus Aldridge is primed for a giant Fantasy week. Photo Credit: Derek Huggins Jr.
MON Brooklyn at New York (2:30pm ESPN), New Orleans at Memphis (5:00pm ET NBATV), Portland at Houston (8:00pm TNT), Indiana at Golden State (10:30pm TNT)
TUE Boston at Miami (7:30pm NBATV)
WED Oklahoma City at San Antonio (8:00pm ESPN), Indiana at Phoenix (10:30pm ESPN)
THU L.A. Lakers at Miami (8:00pm TNT), Denver at Portland (10:30pm TNT)
FRI L.A. Clippers at Chicago (8:00pm ESPN), Minnesota at Golden State (10:30pm NBATV)
SAT Chicago at Charlotte (7:00pm NBATV), Minnesota at Portland (10:00pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
Fantasy owners are going to love the Portland Trail Blazers in the upcoming week, especially those in head-to-head formats and points-based leagues since they are the only NBA team with five games in the next seven days. PF/CLaMarcus Aldridge is always a Fantasy stud, but he’ll be especially big in the upcoming scoring period. PG Damian Lillardis also on track for a big week, as is swingman Wesley Matthews, SF Nicolas Batum and C Robin Lopez. In fact, even PGMo Williams and C Joel Freeland can be usedful in the upcoming week, as well as PF Dorell Wright. Starting a marginal guy in a five-game week as opposed to an above-average option with a three-game week is a tough decision, but sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.
On the flip side, the schedule is not kind to the Utah Jazz, at least for those in cumulative Fantasy formats. Those in rotisserie play will want to keep Utah’s top options, including PG Trey Burke, in the active Fantasy lineup.
We mentioned the bigger news up top, but there are a handful of other guys dealing with nagging injuries heading into the week.
If you own Utah Jazz swingman Gordon Hayward (hip), it’s a pretty easy decision for Fantasy owners to make this week. He hasn’t played since Jan. 7, and since he was unable to prove his health in one full game before the lineup lock, he should be kept on reserve.
Orlando Magic C Nikola Vucevic (concussion) appears no closer to getting back onto the floor. He missed his eight straight game Sunday against Boston, a game the Magic actually won for a change. Keep Vucevic reserved in all Fantasy leagues and show he can perform without any ill-effects of his head injury. PF/C Glen Davis has continued to start in the middle, while PF Tobias Harris has done a yeoman-like job at the two.
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.
Mike Scott, PF, Atlanta (12.8 ppg over the past eight games)
Patrick Patterson, PF, Toronto (12.0 ppg over the past 11 games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (12.0 ppg over the past 10 games)
Courtney Lee, SG, Memphis (11.8 ppg over the past nine games)
Jason Thompson, PF, Sacramento (7.9 rpg over the past 10 games)
Dewayne Dedmon, C, Philadelphia (7.0 rpg over the past three games)
Trevor Booker, PF, Washington (7.0 rpg over the past 12 games)
Luis Scola, PF, Indiana (6.8 rpg over the past 10 games)
Beno Udrih, PG, New York (5.5 apg over the past six games)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Milwaukee (5.2 apg over the past 10 games)
Phil Pressey, PG, Boston (3.6 apg over the past 11 games)
Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (3.3 apg over the past eight games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.6 spg over the past 10 games)
Jae Crowder, SF, Dallas (1.5 spg over the past 12 games)
Khris Middleton, SF, Miwaukee (1.2 spg over the past 10 games)
Moe Harkless, SF, Orlando (1.1 spg over past 10 games)
Elton Brand, PF/C, Atlanta (2.1 bpg over the past eight games)
Dewayne Dedmon, C, Philadelphia (1.3 bpg over the past six games)
Mason Plumlee, PF, Brooklyn (1.2 bpg over the past six games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (21 3-pointers over the past 11 games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (19 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Jared Dudley, SG, L.A. Clippers (19 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Utah (18 3-pointers over the past nine games)
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (16 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Check out our full suite of Fantasy Sports radio shows and podcasts! Listen to your favorite RotoExperts live or on demand, including the legendary Lenny Melnick, Tim McCullough, Jake Ciely, Gregg Sussman and many more. We cover Fantasy Football all week long and baseball year-round right here on ROTORADIO.