First of all, I didn’t include Kemba Walker, Samuel Dalembert, MarShon Brooks, Jared Dudley or Ersan Ilyasova in this week’s column, mainly because they shouldn’t be available in your league right now. Just double check and make sure that’s the case.
Five Games Next Week
For those of you in weekly head-to-head leagues, where the number of games played per week matters, the Suns, Clippers, Jazz and Wizards all play five times in the upcoming week. That makes guys like Channing Frye, Jared Dudley, Grant Hill, Randy Foye, Gordon Hayward, Devin Harris, Trevor Booker, Jordan Crawford and Nick Young all nearly must-starts in many cases.
Raymond Felton PG Blazers – Felton, who should be owned in all leagues by now, is back as the starting PG in Portland and had 23 points and nine dimes on Wednesday. He might get traded any day now, which would likely hurt his value, but he should be owned in all leagues at this point, now that he has his job back from Jamal Crawford. The Blazers weekly schedule is 4-4-4-4-4-3-2 the rest of the way.
Evan Turner SG Sixers – Turner blew up for a career-high 26 points to go along with nine rebounds, two assists and a 3-pointer on 11-of-19 shooting in 37 minutes on Wednesday. I have no idea how he’s going to look on a nightly basis, but it’s quickly become clear that he, and not Jodie Meeks, is the new starting shooting guard in Philly, and he’ll be in that role until the end of the season. I think he’s worth picking up in most leagues, if you can find someone to cut. Carlos Delfino, Dorell Wright and Brook Lopez are all guys I would dump to take a chance on Turner. The only problem is the Sixers schedule, which finishes up in ugly fashion at 3-4-3-4-3-4-3.
Jarrett Jack & Greivis Vasquez PG Hornets – Jack was terrible on Monday and had a nice game on Wednesday, when he had 25 points, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer on 11-of-17 shooting. Vasquez keeps chugging along as Jack’s backup and had 10 points, six rebounds, four assists and a 3-pointer in 23 minutes in the loss to the Kings. Jack is must-own again, while Vasquez might be worth a shot in deeper leagues.
Isaiah Thomas PG Kings – A lot of folks have jumped off the Isaiah bandwagon, especially after he played just 17 minutes on Wednesday. However, he still managed 12 points, three assists, two steals and two 3-pointers despite the limited run, and is still the starting point guard for the Kings. Keith Smart appears to be afraid to use the little man against bigger point guards, which is going to be a problem in fantasy due to the minutes crunch, but it wasn’t too long ago that Thomas was killing it, either. I’m still holding him in most leagues, but understand if you want to cut him to get a more productive player. At this point, he’s not trustworthy enough to start in weekly leagues, but I will still argue that he should be held in case he gets hot again. If he flat-out loses his starting job, or starts playing less than 25 minutes per game consistently, I will cave and dump him.
Luke Ridnour G Timberwolves – I don’t claim to understand how, but Ridnour continues to play well for the Wolves. He had 22 points, four boards, five assists and three 3-pointers in 37 minutes Wednesday, and when you add in the fact Juan Jose Barea got hurt, and Ricky Rubio is struggling, Ridnour looks like a solid add. The Wolves finish up 4-4-4-3-4-4-1 in weekly leagues.
Nick Young & Jordan Crawford SG Wizards – Randy Wittman is back on board with Young, yet Crawford started again on Wednesday. JC was 6-of-19 for 14 points and five assists, and 0-for-6 from downtown, while Young was 7-of-19 for 19 points, six dimes, two steals, a block and a 3-pointer. Aaron Bruski is a Young guy, but I’m still in Crawford’s corner for now. Both should be owned, but as long as they’re sharing minutes, neither is a must-start as of now.
Roddy Beaubois G Mavericks - Roddy Buckets had nine points on Monday, bounced back with 18 points and two 3-pointers in 20 minutes on Tuesday, and then struggled on Thursday with five points on 2-of-9 shooting. If you started him this week it should work out, although it’s been a bumpy ride so far. The fact he got just 20, 21 and 22 minutes in his last three games is a concern. Vince Carter finally woke up on Thursday and Roddy is just too inconsistent to be relied upon going forward. The Mavs go 3-4-3-4-4-4-1 to finish out the season, so I’m not bending over backwards to own Roddy after this week ends.
Jason Kidd PG Mavericks - Kidd finally had an offensive explosion on Tuesday with 15 points, three 3-pointers, four rebounds, six assists and a steal on 4-of-9 shooting, and then scored 12 on Thursday, marking the first time all season he scored in double figures in back-to-back games this season. He’s recorded a steal in 15 straight games though, and despite a lack of offense, is still worth owning in almost all leagues.
Marco Belinelli SG Hornets - Belinelli is averaging 15.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games, but didn’t have a steal in any of them. Eric Gordon still doesn’t look close to returning, so Belinelli should be a solid option going forward, as long as you’re not looking for steals. The Hornets go 4-3-5-3-4-4-2 to finish out the season.
Iman Shumpert G/F Knicks – Shumpert started over Landry Fields on Wednesday, but laid an egg with two points, four assists and five fouls in another Knicks loss. I think he’ll be better on most nights and would drop Fields for him as of today. The Knicks finish up with a weekly schedule of 4-4-4-3-4-4-2, and Shumpert might get hot in the near future.
Goran Dragic PG Rockets – Kyle Lowry is dealing with a groin injury and was actually in the hospital on Friday, meaning he could miss a game or three. And as we’ve seen in the past, Dragic is nearly a must-own player whenever Lowry’s out. If you can pick him up now and use him for the rest of this week, do it.
Randy Foye SG Clippers - Foye broke out of a slump last night with 24 points and five 3-pointers on 8-of-18 shooting on Wednesday and should remain the starting SG in LAC until further notice. They play five games next week, adding to his intrigue, and the Clippers finish the season with a weekly schedule of 5-4-4-4-4-4-2.
Ben Gordon SG Pistons – Gordon had 15 points, five rebounds and five assists on Tuesday, but has only one 3-pointer over his last five games. He’s finally getting healthy again and could start scoring and hitting threes on a regular basis going forward. The Pistons finish up 4-3-4-4-4-4-2.
Gordon Hayward G/F Jazz – Hayward is now coming off the bench and had 23 points and two threes on Monday, followed up by eight points, six boards and four assists on Wednesday. He’s going to be hit or miss going forward, but might be worth adding in deeper leagues, as the No. 1 scoring option for Utah’s second unit. The Jazz finish up 5-4-4-4-4-3-3, which makes him worth owning for the upcoming week, at least.
George Hill G Pacers – Hill has hit double figures in three straight games as Darren Collison continues to struggle. I bet Collison gets hot again this weekend and Hill should be too inconsistent to use in most leagues. But if you’re in a deep league with a bare waiver wire, he might be worth adding to replace some dead weight on your roster. The Pacers finish up with a weekly schedule of 4-4-5-4-4-4-2 games played.
Jerryd Bayless G Raptors – Bayless has been a model of inconsistency, going for five, 18, five, 15 and five points over his last five games. He’s finally getting healthy again, but as long as Jose Calderon is starting in front of him, will just be too inconsistent to trust on a nightly basis. But stashing him in case Calderon gets traded makes sense in some leagues. The Raps finish at 4-4-4-4-4-3-2.
Klay Thompson & Brandon Rush G/F Warriors – Dorell Wright played just 10 minutes and failed to score on Wednesday, when Thompson went for 16 points, six boards and three 3-pointers, and Rush had 11 points, six boards and a 3-pointer. If Wright loses his starting job, both of these guys may enter must-own territory.
Jordan Farmar G Nets – Farmar had 16 points, three assists, two steals and three 3-pointers, including the game-winner, on Wednesday, despite playing just 19 minutes. He’s splitting time with Anthony Morrow, and is at least worth a look in most leagues. The Nets go 4-4-4-4-3-3-2 to finish out the season.