My record-keeping skills aren’t great, but I’m pretty sure this is at least my 10th straight season of covering MLK Day hoops for Rotoworld. It’s the best day of the year for fantasy hoops junkies, especially if you’re lucky enough to get the day off. It used to be an automatic sick/personal day for me when I had a “real” job and worked in a cubicle, for a woman who absolutely hated fantasy sports and my involvement with them, even though she also had no idea what fantasy sports were. But she always claimed to be a Packers fan, and it wouldn’t surprise me if she plays in a fantasy football league these days. In one of the last conversations we had before I went all ‘Office Space’ and decided to “stop going” back in 2004, she said “I don’t know what fantasy sports are, and I don’t even want to know what they are.” If anyone reading this knows Corrine, tell her I said hello.
I’ve got a time-crunch situation on Sunday night so this column will focus on Monday’s games, which kick off at 1 p.m. EST. Make sure you get your lineups set ASAP, and check out the Injury Report, the Saturday Dose, Waiver Wired and the news blurbs from the weekend to catch up on anything you missed. And follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Games Played for Week 13
5 Games – L.A. Clippers
4 Games – Atlanta, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Washington.
3 Games – Charlotte, Cleveland, Indiana, Miami, Milwaukee, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto, Utah.
2 Games – Dallas, Denver.
MLK Day Schedule & Outlook
Kings @ Hornets – 1 p.m.
Isaiah Thomas teased his owners again on Saturday with 15 points, five boards, seven assists and two steals in a win over the Bobcats, while Tyreke Evans, Marcus Thornton and DeMarcus Cousins all played well. I have no idea on what nights IT2 should be started, but he looked good in that one, and is now a decent option in weekly leagues with four games. John Salmons has cooled off and I’d bench him in weekly leagues, while Cousins is officially the only must-start player on the Kings right now.
Greivis Vasquez and Ryan Anderson are must-starts, Anthony Davis broke loose on Saturday and should be in lineups with four games this week, and Eric Gordon is a must-start on nights he’ll play. Gordon has a decent chance of starting all four games this week because none of them are back-to-backs. Al-Farouq Aminu is the hot free agent right now, especially after he had 14 points, 10 boards, two steals and a block on Saturday. Pick him up. Robin Lopez is also a decent center option if you need one.
Pacers @ Grizzlies – 1 p.m. ESPN
Paul George owners only get three games out of their beast this week and he’s coming off another monster game of 31 points, six boards, five steals, a block and seven 3-pointers on 11-of-19 shooting Saturday. Wow. And he even shut down James Harden in that one, to boot. George Hill, David West and Roy Hibbert should be in most lineups, while Lance Stephenson will be worth a deep-league look.
Zach Randolph returned on Saturday from his back injury, so that should mean he’s safe for the week, especially since he had 13 points and 19 boards in that one. Rudy Gay has not been traded and remains a must-start player with four games, while Mike Conley and Marc Gasol should also be in starting lineups. Tony Allen is a possibility in deeper leagues, but the good news is that both of these teams should come in healthy.
Timberwolves @ Hawks 2 p.m.
Speaking of health, the Wolves are failing in that department, with a majority of their players banged up. Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic and Alexey Shved are out on Monday, while Dante Cunningham is very iffy due to an illness. Luke Ridnour, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and J.J. Barea are all decent fantasy plays for four games this week, while the unknown Chris Johnson is coming off an incredible game on Saturday when he had 15 points, six boards and a block in just 18 minutes, after being signed that morning. I don’t trust him enough to put him in a lineup, but he’s certainly worth keeping an eye on. And starting C Greg Stiemsma is also worth a look if you need boards and blocks.
The Hawks are a mess right now with Lou Williams out for the season with a knee injury, and Devin Harris a little iffy with a sprained ankle. Al Horford, Josh Smith and Jeff Teague are four-game must-starts, while Kyle Korver and Harris are pretty close to also being must-plays, if Harris is healthy enough to go. Zaza Pachulia is also worth a look, as he bounces in and out of the starting unit for Larry Drew. Watch for updates on Harris prior to the game.