Steve Alexander

The Daily Dose

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Dose: Welcome back, Dwight

Monday, January 14, 2013

Milwaukee – The Bucks go three times, but Brandon Jennings is playing well enough to be a must-start, along with Monta EllisJohn Henson blew up for 19 points, six boards and two blocks on Sunday, but hadn’t been doing much prior to this one.  If you own him, just hold onto him for now.  Ersan Ilyasova continues to struggle despite starting, but is getting consistent minutes and should be owned in all leagues.  Start him at your own risk.  Larry Sanders remains a must-start option with his shot blocking, while Mike Dunleavy is worth a shot despite being hit or miss on most nights.


Minnesota – The Wolves play three games this week and Ricky Rubio should be on benches until further notice.  He’s been awful since returning from his back injury.  Alexey Shved had just two points and missed all seven of his shots Sunday, but should bounce back in his next one.  Dante Cunningham and Derrick Williams are worth a look in all leagues right now, but I’d bench both of them in weeklies.  J.J. Barea bounced back on Sunday with 15 points and six dimes after missing a game with a back injury, and is still worth a close look (to own) in most leagues.  In my mind, Andrei Kirilenko is the only must-start player in Minnesota right now.  Luke Ridnour is worth a look with Rubio struggling, but I’d be hesitant to start him.


New Orleans – With three games, Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Al-Farouq Aminu and Robin Lopez are all possibilities to start in fantasy.  Aminu’s not scoring much, but is racking up production in other areas, including rebounds, steals and blocks, making him a solid pickup right now.  Jason Smith is playing well and worth a look, but I wouldn’t touch him in a three-game week.


New York – With just one game this week, no Knicks, including Carmelo Anthony, are worth starting in weekly leagues.  And if you can move Amare Stoudemire based on his name being so much bigger than his game, do it.  Also keep an eye on Chris Copeland, as it appears he is in the running to keep starting at small forward for the Knicks.  He had 22 points and four 3-pointers on Sunday.  Look for Iman Shumpert to debut on Thursday, but don’t expect any miracles.


Oklahoma City – Serge Ibaka was out with a chest injury on Sunday, leaving him iffy for Tuesday.  With four games, I’m still rolling him out there in hopes that he’ll be ready for that one.  Thabo Sefolosha was also out Sunday and remains day-to-day with a sore neck.  I’d bench him for now, while Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are must-starts, and inconsistent Kevin Martin is worth a look with four games.


Orlando – Glen Davis practiced on Sunday and could be on the verge of returning from his shoulder injury.  Pick him up if he’s available.  Jameer Nelson is on fire, while Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic and J.J. Redick all look like must-start players this week.  Hedo Turkoglu is still struggling/hurting and should not be starting for fantasy owners, and might be better served on your waiver wire.


Philadelphia – The Sixers play just two games this week so I’ve got Jrue Holiday on the bench in weekly leagues.  J.J. Redick is a great replacement option if you own Jrue.  Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Jason Richardson, Dorell Wright and Spencer Hawes are all bench players this week due to the schedule.  Richardson started on Saturday and had 16 points, so maybe he’s ready to go on a run.


Phoenix – The Suns have two games this week, meaning owners of Goran Dragic, Luis Scola and Marcin Gortat might have to look elsewhere this week.  Jared Dudley sat out Saturday with a sore right wrist, and because it’s his shooting hand, he should not be in any lineups right now. 


Portland – The Blazers go three times this week, meaning Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson are all worth a close look as starters.  Lillard had a career-best 37 on Friday, Aldridge scored 33 on a sprained ankle on Sunday, and Batum’s dream season continued with 21 points and a full stat line Sunday. 


Sacramento – DeMarcus Cousins avoided another suspension over the weekend and is a must-start with four games, while Isaiah Thomas is suddenly playing very well for the Kings, going for a career-high 34 points, five dimes and six 3-pointers on Saturday.  Put him in your lineup and hope for the best, but expect inconsistency from Jason Thompson, Tyreke Evans, John Salmons, Francisco Garcia and Marcus Thornton this week.  Start any of them at your own risk, and take a look at Saturday’s box score before using them.  Things are still a cluster in Sacramento.  Evans will start on Monday, sending Garcia to the bench, and another reason to start IT2 is that Aaron Brooks is doubtful for Monday due to an illness.


San Antonio – Manu Ginobili is dealing with a strained hamstring and it sounds like he could miss some time, especially given his age and the fact that he plays for Gregg Popovich.  Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Jackson and Gary Neal could step up in his absence, but I don’t trust any of them – especially with three games.  Tim Duncan and Tony Parker are must-starts, and Tiago Splitter has been playing well enough to be used in most leagues if you need a center.


Toronto – Kyle Lowry’s not getting minutes or doing much of anything outside of pouting and should be benched in all leagues right now, despite the four-game week.  He’ll get it going eventually, but is just a mess right now.  Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis and Amir Johnson are all must-start options this week, and all put up big numbers on Saturday.  Amir's ankles are both dinged up and he could struggle with the injuries this week, but is tough to bench after 44 minutes, 22 points, 14 boards and a full stat line on Saturday.  Calderon also dinged up his calf on Saturday, but played through it and is hopeful to continue playing through the injury.  Landry Fields disappeared in that one, but I still think he’s worth a pickup right now.


Utah – The Jazz play just two games, meaning most of them should be on fantasy benches.  Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap are possibilities depending on your options, but I’d bench Jamaal Tinsley, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Randy Foye.  Foye is an interesting pickup right now, while Marvin Williams is hoping to play through a knee injury on Monday.  Alec Burks is getting minutes right now and should also be on your radar.


Washington – John Wall is back and looks like a safe start with four games, while Nene, Bradley Beal (must-start) and Emeka Okafor are also worth a look to start in all leagues.  Jordan Crawford has been out with an ankle injury and missed the whole week.  And with Beal playing well and the return of Wall, I’d leave him on the bench for now.  A.J. Price is still starting at PG and playing well, but I don’t trust him at all with Wall’s return. 

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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