Steve Alexander

The Daily Dose

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Dose: Prep for Week 17

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


HoustonJames Harden played in the ASG and his ankle should be OK, so I’d play him this week, even with just three games. Jeremy Lin is dealing with a hand injury, but I expect him to play, as well. Watch for updates.


IndianaDanny Granger is iffy for Wednesday and I’d leave him benched until you not only see him make it through a game, but also put up some decent numbers. Paul George is a must-start, but the rest of the Pacers are up to your discretion with three games. Especially David West, who missed his last game with an eye injury.


L.A. ClippersChris Paul was the All-Star MVP and is good to go, except that the Clippers play just two games this week. Blake Griffin is the only other Clipper I’d consider starting if games played matter in your league. Everyone is healthy, except for Lamar Odom, who has an eye injury.


L.A. LakersKobe Bryant, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Metta World Peace, Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison all look like solid three-game possibilities, while Pau Gasol continues to sit indefinitely with his foot injury. R.I.P. Dr. Jerry Buss


MemphisMike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol are all strong four-game starts, while Tony Allen was hot before the break, and should be a nice pickup in most leagues. Tayshaun Prince is starting and might be good for four games, but isn’t a sure bet to be all that productive. Jerryd Bayless has cooled off during the Allen explosion.


Miami – With four games, owners of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are smiling today. Ray Allen is also worth a look, while Udonis Haslem is coming off a leg injury, making him too risky for my blood.


Milwaukee – The Bucks have just three games but I’d still plan on rolling with Brandon Jennings (serious trade candidate), Monta Ellis and Ersan Ilyasova in most leagues. Larry Sanders says he’s 70-30 towards playing through his back injury, but Samuel Dalembert will likely continue to see solid minutes. Start Larry at your own risk, as he’s a true game-time decision for Tuesday.


MinnesotaKevin Love is hoping to return from his hand injury in mid-March, but is still iffy to play again this season. Ricky Rubio is hot, trade candidate Luke Ridnour is playing well, and Derrick Williams a shaky start with just three games, although he blew up just before the break. Andrei Kirilenko is dealing with a quad injury and has missed five straight games, so in my mind he’s not startable in weekly leagues unless we get a positive update prior to lineup deadlines. Nikola Pekovic is a must-start player in my book.


New OrleansEric Gordon remains day-to-day with his hand and knee, so I’d probably bench him if I were brave enough to own him. Greivis Vasquez, Ryan Anderson, Anthony Davis, Robin Lopez and Al-Farouq Aminu all look like solid options with four games.


New York – The Knicks have three games, but are preparing to go on a four-game per week sprint soon. Carmelo Anthony is a must-start player, while Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith all look like possible options this week. Melo is dealing with an arm injury, but made it through the ASG in one piece. Jason Kidd could be coming off the bench soon, and was already struggling.


Oklahoma City – The Thunder go three times, making Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka all must-starts, but weigh your options before throwing Kevin Martin, Thabo Sefolosha or Kendrick Perkins out there this week.


Orlando – With four games, Jameer Nelson, Nikola Vucevic, Arron Afflalo and J.J. Redick look like safe plays, while Andrew Nicholson, Moe Harkless and Gustavo Ayon are also worth a look.


Philadelphia – I am not convinced Andrew Bynum will play in a single game this season, while Jrue Holiday looks like the only must-start with three games this week. Spencer Hawes, Nick Young and Evan Turner look like decent options, but I’d sit Lavoy Allen for now. Thaddeus Young (hamstring) could return on Sunday.


Phoenix – The Suns go four times, but struggling studs Goran Dragic and Marcin Gortat are no longer must-plays given their troubles. Luis Scola, Michael Beasley, Jared Dudley, P.J. Tucker, Shannon Brown, Kendall Marshall and even Jermaine O’Neal (whose daughter will have heart surgery on March 5) all deserve consideration this week, but I only trust Scola and Beasley, and I don’t trust them that much.


PortlandWesley Matthews is a game-time decision for Tuesday with an ankle injury, but is a warrior, and I’d be surprised to see him sit, although it’s quite possible. Damian Lillard (ankle), Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson (trade candidate) are all solid three-game starts, but check back for info on Lillard.


Sacramento – The Kings have three games, meaning Isaiah Thomas, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson and DeMarcus Cousins are all possibilities, but not must-starts. Marcus Thornton (hand injury), John Salmons and Francisco Garcia are all too shaky to play in my mind.


San Antonio – The Spurs play four times so I’m good with Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green and Tiago Splitter, but have my doubts as to whether we’ll see Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in all four games this week. Start them at your own risk. Stephen Jackson isn’t expected to play Wednesday for personal reasons.


Toronto – With three games I’m still starting Kyle Lowry and Rudy Gay, but DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas, Alan Anderson and Andrea Bargnani (who may not be traded until this summer) are all pretty risky plays. Terrence Ross won the dunk contest, but is still not worth owning in most formats. Just keep Bargnani stashed for now.


Utah – The Jazz play just two games and I’m sitting Al Jefferson in weekly leagues. In fact, I don’t see anyone on this team I’d start in a weekly league. Gordon Hayward is still bothered by a shoulder injury, but is expected to play on Tuesday, although I expect him to be rusty and limited.


WashingtonJohn Wall, Nene and Emeka Okafor are solid three-game options, while Bradley Beal might have a nice week. We just don’t know how much Martell Webster will limit him, but it looks like Beal will actually be the one limiting Webster going forward. The Wiz have a great playoff schedule and I just traded DeMar DeRozan for Beal, and feel good about it based on the playoff games I gained in the deal. 

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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