L.A. Lakers – Kobe Bryant sat out Sunday’s game against the Kings with his sprained ankle and is listed as doubtful for Monday against the Suns. Given the quality of tonight’s opponent, I’d be surprised to see Kobe against Jared Dudley. The team is then off until Friday, but with just two games his week, owners of any Lakers are going to have some tough decisions to make on Steve Nash and Dwight Howard. Antawn Jamison went off in Kobe’s absence on Sunday with 27 points, but the two-game week is bad news. Pau Gasol isn't expected to play Monday, so leave him on your bench.
Memphis – Jerryd Bayless went off for 24 points on 9-of-14 shooting on Saturday, but is not all that trustworthy. His explosion hurt Tony Allen’s production, but Allen still looks like the better play. The Grizzlies play four times per week for the next three, making Mike Conley, Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol must-starts. And as long as Z-Bo is healthy, Ed Davis should be on fantasy benches.
Miami – They’ve won 22 straight games, have four games per week in three of the next four, and continue to roll. If you are going up against LeBron James or Dwyane Wade in the playoffs this week, I wish you well. Wade luckily avoided a concussion and it looks like he should be good to go this week, while Ray Allen is worth a look in some leagues.
Milwaukee – The Bucks go four times and Monta Ellis is coming off a 39-point game on Sunday. Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova and Larry Sanders are also must-starts in Milwaukee, while J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy are hit or miss. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute was out with a toe injury, opening up some extra minutes for Dunleavy.
Minnesota – Derrick Williams went nuts on Sunday with a season-high 28 points and a full stat line, and now looks like a solid four-game play this week. Just keep in mind he had been struggling recently before Sunday’s explosion. Andrei Kirilenko and Nikola Pekovic were back on Sunday in limited minutes and look like decent options this week. Greg Stiemsma’s value took a big hit with their return, while Ricky Rubio is a must-start, and Luke Ridnour might also be worth using in some instances.
New Orleans – The Hornets play three times this week, leaving owners of Ryan Anderson, Greivis Vasquez, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Al-Farouq Aminu and Robin Lopez with tough decisions. In my mind, Anderson, Vasquez and Davis are nearly must-starts. Gordon might sit on Monday after playing Sunday, so I'd lean toward benching him for now.
New York – Raymond Felton had a nice game on Sunday, Chris Copeland scored 13 points while helping fill in for Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler and Amare Stoudemire, and the Knicks play four times this week. Melo (knee) and Chandler (neck) remain day-to-day with their injuries, but I would have a tough time plugging them into weekly lineups unless we get good news Monday. Felton and J.R. Smith are must-starts, while Iman Shumpert, Copeland, Kenyon Martin, Steve Novak and Jason Kidd are worth a look.
Oklahoma City – The Thunder have their last four-game week of the season this week, meaning Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka are must-starts, while Kevin Martin should also be a decent play.
Orlando – The Magic have three games this week meaning owners will have to weigh options carefully. Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris, Moe Harkless and Nikola Vucevic all look like solid options.
Philadelphia – Thaddeus Young banged his knee on Saturday but played through it. With four games this week, Young, Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes, Evan Turner and Dorell Wright all look like pretty good plays.
Phoenix – With four games, Goran Dragic looks like a must-start, while Michael Beasley (21 points on Saturday) and Jermaine O’Neal are also decent options. Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, Markieff Morris, Marcus Morris and P.J. Tucker are also worth a look, but are too inconsistent to be considered automatic plays.
Portland – The Blazers go five times this week so Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge and J.J. Hickson are all must-starts. Eric Maynor had three points and Meyers Leonard scored two on Saturday, meaning you can’t really use either of them despite the five-game week.
Sacramento – Patrick Patterson had 22 points on Sunday, filling in for DeMarcus Cousins who was out with a thigh injury. With four games I’d plan on starting Isaiah Thomas, Jason Thompson, Tyreke Evans and Marcus Thornton, but the list ends there. Patterson will be worth a shot if Cousins continues to sit, and he’s questionable for Tuesday, leaving owners of both players with a very tough call.
San Antonio – The Spurs play three games and Tim Duncan is hot. With no back-to-backs this week, Duncan should be a safe play, but you never know with Gregg Popovich. Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili are all worth a look this week, but would be more appealing with four games.
Toronto – Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan and Jonas Valanciunas are all three-game options this week, but Lowry is struggling and Gay looks like the only must-start player in Toronto right now.
Utah – With four games I’d plan on starting Al Jefferson, Gordon Hayward and Paul Millsap, while Mo Williams, Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors may be worth a shot.
Washington – Bradley Beal played on Saturday and scored 13 points, and is hoping to play on Monday. I’m guessing he’ll play in all four this week, but there is some risk involved with him. Martell Webster is a must-start with four games, along with John Wall, Nene and possibly Emeka Okafor. Garrett Temple will fade away with Beal’s return, while Trevor Booker is coming on off the bench.