Games Played for Week 12
4 Games – Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington.
3 Games – Brooklyn, Cleveland, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Lakers, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, Portland, San Antonio.
2 Games – Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Utah.
1 Game – New York
Let’s see if we can go team-by-team today and fit it all into the email version of the column. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here, and be sure to check out Waiver Wired, Saturday's Dose, the Injury Report, and chat live with Ryan Knaus on Monday at 12:30 before setting lineups.
Atlanta – Devin Harris had a big weekend while Lou Williams has been sent back to the bench. Harris is worth a look in many leagues, but I still don’t trust the guy. Williams is in a funk and could break out at any time, but owners will need to weigh options carefully when thinking about starting Harris or Lou-Will for four games in Week 12.
Brooklyn – Kris Humphries had 10 points and nine boards in 17 minutes on Sunday, which is better, but I’d still rather own Andray Blatche right now. Gerald Wallace was out on Sunday with a rib injury and could miss more time after a scary fall on Friday. His absence contributed to Humps’ strong showing last night. Deron Williams had another big game on Sunday and the Nets are 7-1 under P.J. Carlesimo. Williams and Joe Johnson have been hot during the streak and should be in all starting lineups for three games, while Brook Lopez is also a solid play.
Boston – Jared Sullinger is a hot pickup right now, double-doubling in two straight games and playing well in three straight. With four games this week, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett are all must-starts, while Sullinger, Jason Terry and Courtney Lee are all worth a look. Brandon Bass has been struggling with Sullinger coming on, and should only be deployed in deep leagues.
Charlotte – Ben Gordon stayed hot on Saturday with 21 points and should be picked up in all leagues. With four games, Gordon, Kemba Walker and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist should be in most lineups, while Gerald Henderson (who was back in the starting lineup on Saturday with 12 points) and Ramon Sessions are also worth a look. Hakim Warrick had 13 points and seven boards on Saturday, but isn’t trustworthy enough to be a must-start player, while the same goes for Bismack Biyombo.
Chicago – Derrick Rose is “getting closer,” but I still don’t expect to see him until after the All-Star break. With four games, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are all must-starts, while Kirk Hinrich (iffy with elbow) and Nate Robinson are worth a look in most leagues. As long as Noah and Boozer are healthy, I’d leave Taj Gibson on the bench, while Richard Hamilton isn’t trustworthy despite starting.
Cleveland – C.J. Miles was terrible on Sunday, but at least played through his back spasms. Kyrie Irving is a must-start, even with three games, while Tristan Thompson, Tyler Zeller Alonzo Gee and Dion Waiters are all worth a look this week. Gee bounced back with 14 points on Sunday, while Waiters is alternating good games with bad ones right now.
Dallas – With four games, Darren Collison, O.J. Mayo, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki are all strong plays this week, while a shaky Chris Kaman, Elton Brand and Vince Carter are all possibilities.
Denver – The Nuggets go four times this week, making Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari and Kenneth Faried must-start options, while Andre Miller and Kosta Koufos are playing well enough to also be starting in most leagues. Koufos had a career-high 21 on Friday with six boards and a block. JaVale McGee is also a possibility, but only if you’re desperate for blocks. Wilson Chandler returned to action on Sunday and had 14 points, and his availability should really hurt Corey Brewer going forward, although Chandler's still not an auto-pickup in most leagues.
Detroit – The Pistons play just two games this week and none of them look like must-starts. Brandon Knight, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond should have a couple solid games, but I’d try to avoid Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey this week.
Golden State – Stephen Curry appeared to avoid a disaster on Sunday when he tweaked his right knee, but was able to finish the game and racked up another fat stat line. Keep him in your lineup for three games. Rookie Harrison Barnes had a career-high 21 points and full stat line, and should be a hot pickup right now, while red-hot David Lee is a must-start, and Klay Thompson remains a solid three-game option. With just three games, a struggling Jarrett Jack should be benched for now.
Houston – James Harden is a must-start with four games, while Jeremy Lin’s inconsistency still isn’t enough to put him on fantasy benches this week. Carlos Delfino should have at least two big lines this week, and while he could also disappear in the other two, still looks like a solid four-game roll of the dice. Omer Asik finally broke out of his funk on Saturday with 16 & 10 and can be started, while Chandler Parsons also looks like a solid play. Patrick Patterson has been in too much of a funk to be a fantasy lock, despite four games.
Indiana – Lance Stephenson suffered a foot injury on Sunday, which allowed Gerald Green to get loose for 15 points and a full stat line. Green’s still too shaky to be on most fantasy teams, but is worth keeping an eye on. Paul George and David West are strong three-game plays, while George Hill and Roy Hibbert are also options, despite struggling recently. At least Hibbert played through a sore back and had six blocks on Sunday while dealing with foul trouble. Danny Granger is expected to return from his knee injury late this month or some time in February. He’s getting close enough to be stashed in many leagues.
Clippers – Chris Paul banged his knee on Saturday but should be good to go for four games, and remains a must-start player, along with Blake Griffin. Matt Barnes also looks like a must-start with four games, while Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan can also be used, depending on your other options.
Lakers – Dwight Howard returned in a big way on Sunday with 22 & 14 as the Lakers finally won a game, and should be back in all starting lineups. Antawn Jamison had 16 points, four boards, two steals and four 3-pointers on Sunday against his former team, the Cavaliers. I’d be very hesitant to play him this week, as Pau Gasol should be back from a concussion sooner than later. In a weekly league, I’d keep Gasol benched unless we get good news on Monday. And when he gets back, Earl Clark should be rendered useless. Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Metta World Peace are also great three-game options this week. And while it’s not fantasy relevant, this video interview with MWP after Sunday’s game is a must-see in my book.
Memphis – With four games, Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are all must-starts, while Tony Allen is also worth a deep-league look. Rudy Gay will miss Monday's game in order to attend his grandmother's funeral, but should be back on Wednesday against the Spurs, turning his four-game week into a three-gamer. He still looks like a must-start option in most leagues. Darrell Arthur has been playing well, but I don’t trust him enough to tell you to start him.
Miami – The Heat have just three games this week (bummer for LeBron James’ owners), but James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are all must-starts, as usual. Mario Chalmers had 34 points and 10 3-pointers on Saturday, but is still a shaky three-game start this week. I’d also leave Ray Allen on benches if owners have other options.