Let’s dive right into the Dose with a team-by-team breakdown of each team in the league. The numbers after the team name represent their remaining weekly schedule. And for the full Injury Report, just click here.
Atlanta – 5-4-3-3-4-2 - Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia are hot and Kirk Hinrich is starting and playing well. All five look like great starts with five games this week. Marvin Williams has been out with a hip injury, and I’m going to ignore him for now.
Boston – 4-4-4-5-3-2 – Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen and Brandon Bass all look like strong plays, while Jermaine O’Neal’s season appears to be complete.
Charlotte – 3-4-4-5-4-3 – Corey Maggette is very iffy for Monday due to a bad back, and the shutdown’s wheels could be in motion. With three games this week, no Bobcats look like must-starts. But after that D.J. Augustin, Gerald Henderson, Bismack Biyombo, Maggette, and possibly Kemba Walker, Reggie Williams and Tyrus Thomas are all worth a look.
Chicago – 3-4-3-3-4-2 – The Bulls schedule isn’t great and Derrick Rose sounds doubtful for Monday with his groin injury, and might be out until Saturday, giving him a one-game week. Bench him if you can. C.J. Watson might be a sneaky play in his stead, while Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer are decent options, as usual. Deng plans on playing through his sore wrist, as Richard Hamilton continues to make slow progress from a shoulder injury, but has no target date for his return.
Cleveland – 4-4-4-5-4-3 – Anderson Varejao still doesn’t have a target date for his return from a wrist injury, so I have a hard time recommending he be held. Tristan Thompson is showing signs of playing well, but still hasn’t blown up. However, he did start at center on Sunday, so keep a close eye on him, as this move could be permanent. Kyrie Irving, Antawn Jamison, Alonzo Gee are looking like must-starts, while Daniel Gibson is starting to get solid minutes with Ramon Sessions out of town. He also started the second half of Sunday’s game over Anthony Parker, and could be a sneaky pickup if he ends up taking the job.
Dallas – 4-3-4-4-4-1 – Brendan Haywood will miss at least a week with a sprained knee, making Ian Mahinmi worth a look if you’re desperate at center. Jason Kidd and Roddy Beaubois are playing well as of late, and along with Dirk Nowitzki and Jason Terry, are the guys you want to play for Dallas. Shawn Marion was out Saturday with a sore knee, but should be back for their next game, which isn’t until Wednesday. And that will likely push Beaubois back to the bench.
Denver – 4-4-3-4-4-2 – The Nuggets finally signed Wilson Chandler, but I’m leery about his role with Arron Afflalo and Danilo Gallinari already in the lineup. JaVale McGee should make his debut on Monday and with four games, Ty Lawson, Afflalo, Gallinari, a red-hot Kenneth Faried, and McGee should all be in starting lineups. Andre Miller, Al Harrington (who played through a sore knee on Saturday) and Chandler are also worth consideration in deeper leagues.
Detroit – 3-4-4-4-4-2 – The three games are a buzzkill for those of us in leagues where the playoffs start, but Greg Monroe is still nearly a must-start player. Rodney Stuckey cooled off on Sunday with just seven points on 1-of-8 shooting, but should be a safe play going forward, while Tayshaun Prince stayed hot with 20 points against the Clippers. Brandon Knight struggled on Sunday and isn’t a great option in a three-game week, while Jonas Jerebko and Jason Maxiell have become too unpredictable to be trusted.
Golden State – 5-4-4-4-5-2 – I dropped Stephen Curry on Sunday night to pick up George Hill, and didn’t feel too bad about it. I think Curry is going to be shut down for the year now that the tank is on. Nate Robinson, Klay Thompson, Dorell Wright and David Lee are all must-starts with five games, while Brandon Rush and Richard Jefferson should be decent options. And with that schedule, all of these guys should be owned in head-to-head leagues.
Houston – 3-4-3-4-5-1 – Goran Dragic and Luis Scola are suddenly the only sure bets in Houston, and I’ve got them on the bench in a weekly league with three games. Courtney Lee backed up a season-high 25 points with just two of them on Sunday, missing all eight of his shots. Kevin Martin’s missed four straight games with a shoulder injury, and his mystery date to return will keep Lee’s owners looking over their shoulders. Chase Budinger and Chandler Parsons have both had their moments of late, but Budinger is playing much better than Parsons, who is coming off a bout with the flu. And finally center Samuel Dalembert is now sharing time with Marcus Camby, hurting both of their fantasy value. As for Kyle Lowry, if you need healthy bodies right now and don’t have room to stash him, you’re simply going to be forced to drop him, as much as it might hurt. The last two transactions in my main league were: Drop Stephen Curry for George Hill & and Drop Kyle Lowry for Richard Jefferson. Funny (and sad), huh?
Indiana – 4-5-4-4-4-2 – The Pacers have a golden schedule the rest of the way so Danny Granger, Paul George, David West (who is struggling) and Roy Hibbert should all be rock solid, while Darren Collison and George Hill should be owned in all leagues. Tyler Hansbrough and Leandro Barbosa are also worth a look in many leagues. I have no idea if Mike Wells can predict the future, so whether or not Hill takes over the starting point guard duties for Collison happens or not, they should both be owned. I recently cut Stephen Curry for Hill, and wouldn’t mind see him taking Collison’s job at some point. Barbosa is expected to make his Pacers’ debut on Tuesday.
Clippers – 4-4-4-4-4-2 – Nick Young came off the bench and hit just 1-of-6 shots for nine points on Sunday, but also played 29 minutes. You have to think he replaces Randy Foye as the starting shooting guard soon. Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are your sure bets with a great schedule, while slumpers Caron Butler and DeAndre Jordan are worth a look in many leagues. Mo Williams hit just 2-of-10 shots on Sunday and is probably ticked off at the arrival of Young, making Mo-Will a roll of the dice from here on out.
Lakers – 4-4-4-4-4-1 – The Lakers have a great schedule so Kobe Bryant (3-of-20 on Sunday), Pau Gasol and Andrew Bynum remain must-starts, while Ramon Sessions has played fairly well in his two games for the Lakers. He came off the bench again on Sunday, but easily outplayed Steve Blake, and should take the starting gig soon. I’d continue to ignore Metta World Peace, but keep an eye on Matt Barnes, who played well on Sunday.
Memphis – 4-3-5-5-4-2 – That three-game week is going to be a hassle, but the back-to-back five-gamers are gold, Jerry! Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are auto-starts with four games, while O.J. Mayo and Tony Allen are worth a look – especially during those five-game weeks. Randolph still hasn’t started, but has looked good in his two games, and should render Marreese Speights useless going forward.
Miami – 3-4-4-4-5-2 – I own Wade across the board and am not thrilled with his three-game week, especially in my 30-team league, where I moved on to the Final 4 this week. But he’s still D-Wade and has to be started, along with LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Mario Chalmers is serviceable in four-game weeks, while James Jones and Shane Battier are worth a look in deep leagues with Mike Miller hurting.