by DANIEL DOBISH
The big news from the weekend was a blockbuster trade between the Sacramento Kings and Toronto Raptors.
Raptors general manager Masai Ujiri is putting his personal stamp on this team, and cleaning house in the process. He sent the team’s biggest trade chip, SF Rudy Gay, to the Sacramento Kings. SF Quincy Acy and C Aaron Gray are also on their way to the left coast in exchange for PF Chuck Hayes, PF Patrick Patterson, SF John Salmons and PG Greivis Vasquez.
The trio will not be available for Monday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks, and therefore Gay will see just three games in the upcoming week. The biggest winners of this deal in Sacto. will be PG Isaiah Thomas, who will not have Vasquez breathing down his neck for minutes. Gay moves to the top of the heap at small forward, with SF Derrick Williams coming off the bench as the primary backup. Gray will serve as the backup to PF/C DeMarcus Cousins in the middle, and he will have minimal Fantasy appeal as a result.
In Toronto, Vasquez will be pushing PG Kyle Lowry for minutes at the point, and many feel that Lowry will be Ujiri’s next big move. Lowry is not expected to be back in Hogtown, whether he is traded now or allowed to stay through the season before leaving in the offseason via free agency. If that is true, it might behoove the team to let him play a decent amount of minutes before the trade deadline in order to up his stock, and value to the team. So his Fantasy value might not be hurt immediately by Vasquez, but he will need to keep playing well.
Patterson had been playing pretty well lately in Sacto, but his move to the Great White North kills him. He now finds himself behind both PFs Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson. Hayes will slot in behind C Jonas Valanciunas, but his Fantasy appeal remains minimal unless the starter goes down with a long-term injury.
Teams with four games (16): Charlotte, Chicago, Detroit, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Utah
Teams with three games (12): Atlanta, Boston, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Houston, L.A. Lakers, New Orleans, Phoenix, Toronto, Washington
Teams with two games (2): Indiana, Miami
It’s safe to get Kobe Bryant back into all Fantasy lineups. Photo Credit: CRonaldo14
TV TIME (national broadcasts in the upcoming week)
MON Denver-Washington (7:00pm NBATV), Orlando-Memphis (8:00pm NBATV)
TUE Miami-Indiana (7;00pm NBATV)
WED Chicago-New York (8:00 ESPN), Dallas-Golden State (10:30pm ESPN)
THU L.A. Clippers-Brooklyn (8:00pm TNT), Houston at Portland (10:30pm TNT)
FRI L.A. Lakers-Oklahoma City (8:00pm ESPN), Houston-Golden State (10:30pm ESPN)
SAT Cleveland-Miami (7:30pm NBATV), Milwaukee-Dallas (8:30pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
This week’s schedule is bad news if you have several Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat players, at least in cumulative Fantasy formats. Both of those teams have just two games in the upcoming period. Outside of Paul George and LeBron James, it might be a good idea to consider benching your Pacers and Heat players in cumulative leagues if you have alternatives with three- or four-game weeks.
The bad news for the Portland Trail Blazers is that they have three road games in four games total. However, their only home game of the week is against the Houston Rockets, who are allowing 101.2 points per game. On the road, the Blazers face the Utah Jazz, who are second-worst in the Western Conference by giving up 102.0 points per game, and then they hit the Philadelphia 76ers on the road, a team allowing 110.2 points per game, worst in the league.
The Milwaukee Bucks face a four-game schedule this week, but they have a home-and-home against the Chicago Bulls, who allow just 94.0 points per game, and a home game against the San Antonio Spurs, who are giving up just 93.1 points per contest.
Los Angeles Lakers SG Kobe Bryant (Achilles’) was able to make his long-anticipated regular season debut Sunday against Toronto. While the Lakers lost, and Kobe was rusty, it appears safe to get him back into the active Fantasy lineup. Keep in mind, however, that the team could play it safe and rest him during back-to-back situations. He hit just two of his nine field goal attempts, finishing with nine points, eight rebounds and four assists with two steals, and he also turned it over eight times.
Houston Rockets SF Chandler Parsons (back) also returned from injury Sunday, and he was much less rusty than Kobe. Parsons connected on seven of his 12 field goal attempts, playing 38:31 against the Orlando Magic. Parsons hit for 18 points, four rebounds, four assists and three turnovers. If you normally rely upon Parsons, it is safe to plug him back into the active Fantasy lineup.
Chicago Bulls SF Luol Deng (Achilles’) received positive news from his MRI over the weekend, and he is hopeful he’ll be able to return sometime in the coming week. If you normally rely upon Deng, it is best to reserve him in the upcoming week just to be on the safe side. Until Deng is ready to return, SF Tony Snell remains a solid short-term Fantasy option.
Philadelphia 76ers PG Michael Carter-Williams (knee) has been dealing with a bacterial skin infection in his knee, which has forced him to the hospital. As there is no timetable for his return, it’s a good idea to keep him reserved in all fAntasy leagues until he can return and prove his health. Until such point, G Tony Wroten is a solid short-term Fantasy addition.
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.
Tony Wroten, PG, Philadelphia (12.9 ppg over past eight games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (12.1 ppg over past nine games)
Marcus Morris, PF, Phoenix (12.1 ppg over past 11 games)
Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento (11.9 ppg over past 10 games)
Patrick Patterson, PF, Toronto (6.8 rpg over the past nine games)
Omer Asik, C, Houston (6.3 rpg over the past eight games)
Luis Scola, PF, Indiana (6.0 rpg over the past 10 games)
Lavoy Allen, C, Philadelphia (5.7 rpg over the past 10 games)
Shawne Williams, SF, L.A. Lakers (5.6 rpg over the past eight games)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami (3.9 apg over the past 10 games)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Milwaukee (3.6 apg over the past 10 games)
Tony Wroten, PG, Philadelphia (3.5 apg over the past eight games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (3.4 apg over the past nine games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (1.7 spg over the past nine games)
Rashard Lewis, PF, Miami (1.6 spg over the past 10 games)
Tony Wroten, PG, Philadelphia (1.3 spg over the past eight games)
Robert Sacre, C, L.A. Lakers (1.8 bpg over the past four games)
Gorgui Dieng, C, Minnesota (1.4 bpg over the past five games)
Francisco Garcia, SF, Houston (1.4 bpg over the past 10 games)
Ekpe Udoh, PF, Milwaukee (1.4 bpg over the past 11 games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Houston (20 3-pointers over the past nine games)
Jordan Hamilton, SF, Denver (19 3-pointers over the past 11 games)
Marco Belinelli, SG, San Antonio (18 3-pointers over the past nine games)
Francisco Garcia, SF, Houston (17 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Alan Anderson, SF, Brooklyn (17 3-pointers over the past 11 games)
Ben McLemore, SG, Sacramento (17 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
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