Here are some of the things you should be thinking about when setting lineups.
Cleveland @ Indiana – Kyrie Irving is 12-of-51 shooting over his last three games, but should be in lineups tonight. Beware that his shoulder isn’t allowing him to play in back-to-back games (as of now), so he could sit out a couple games this week with the Cavs playing on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday and Monday. Alonzo Gee, Tristan Thompson and Wayne Ellington are all worth a look for the Cavs.
The Pacers have seen Paul George go 3-of-18 over his last two games, but he should be ready to bounce out of the funk. Roy Hibbert torched the Wizards for 25 & 10 on Sunday, and David West, Lance Stephenson and George Hill are all worth a look. Gerald Green should be recovered from an illness and could be a sneak play.
Milwaukee @ Miami – Brandon Jennings has played better over his past several games and still deserves to be in lineups, along with Monta Ellis and Larry Sanders. Ersan Ilyasova still looks like a must-play, while J.J. Redick and Mike Dunleavy are also options for some owners.
Chris Bosh is iffy for Miami with a hyperextended knee and I don’t think you can rely on him right now. Dwyane Wade and his balky knee are actually questionable to make another appearance in the regular season. My guess is he’ll play a warm-up game or two before the playoffs get here, but when that will happen is anyone’s guess. LeBron played on Saturday, got treatment on his hamstring Sunday and remains iffy tonight. The Heat go back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it would be a little surprising to see Bron go in both of those. With these three hurting, Ray Allen, Mike Miller, Rashard Lewis and Chris Andersen are all at least worth a close look in any fantasy leagues still cranking it out. Miller had 26 points and seven treys on Friday, while Andersen had 15 boards on Saturday. The fact these dudes are helping teams win fantasy championships is just wrong.
Washington @ New York – Emeka Okafor is expected to play tonight after suffering a shoulder injury on Sunday, but owners should check on his status before game time. Martell Webster continues to play (and struggle) through his abdominal injury, while Nene’s health remains a pretty big concern after he played just 14 minutes on Saturday, and scored seven points in each of his last two games. John Wall is in “Melo-mode” and should be in all lineups, obviously. Kevin Seraphin and A.J. Price are also worth a look in most leagues.
For the Knicks, Kenyon Martin’s knee may shut him down permanently, while Carmelo Anthony is now the league’s leading scorer after his insane run through the fantasy playoffs. The Knicks have also won 12 straight games and should make it 13 tonight. Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Jason Kidd and Chris Copeland are all getting enough run right now to be in starting lineups, while J.R. Smith is still a must-start player.
Philadelphia @ Brooklyn – Dorell Wright should continue to play through his elbow injury, making him a low-end option, while Evan Turner’s ankle injury doesn’t appear to be serious. Watch for updates on both players on Tuesday. Jrue Holiday, Spencer Hawes and Thaddeus Young are nearly must-starts, while Damien Wilkins is also worth using in most leagues.
Joe Johnson should play on Tuesday, but is banged up, so be sure to watch Rotoworld for updates. Gerald Wallace has no confidence and is not worth using, while Deron Williams, Brook Lopez and Reggie Evans have all been tearing it up lately. If Johnson misses any games going forward, look to MarShon Brooks to pick up his slack after going off for a career-high 27 points last Wednesday.
Toronto @ Chicago – The Raps were terrible on Saturday, when Alan Anderson led the team in scoring with just 14 points. But it sounds like they’re mostly healthy and I’d go ahead and plan on using guys like Rudy Gay, Amir Johnson, Jonas Valanciunas, and even inconsistent Kyle Lowry this week.
For the Bulls, Taj Gibson isn’t likely to play tonight, Luol Deng’s hip should keep him in street clothes, and Joakim Noah suffered a setback with his foot, which means he’s not playable right now, either. Derrick Rose is still teasing us with the thought that he might play before the end of the regular season, but he can’t be started, while Nate Robinson and Carlos Boozer look like your must-starts. Kirk Hinrich and Jimmy Butler are also worth a look given how banged up the Bulls are.
Phoenix @ Houston – It sounds like Jermaine O’Neal will play Tuesday despite a shin injury, but he’s a shaky option, at best. Markieff Morris, Goran Dragic and Luis Scola are all worth starting, while Michael Beasley could be back in the doghouse after going 1-of-11 in his last game, and then telling the media that he’s stopped listening to his coaches. Brilliant.
Chandler Parsons (calf) and Carlos Delfino (flu) missed Monday’s practice and if either is out, Francisco Garcia is worth a spot start. Jeremy Lin and James Harden are must-starts, while Greg Smith is worth a look, especially if Parsons is out. The same goes for Terrence Jones, who had 13 points and a nice line on Saturday.
Charlotte @ Memphis – Ben Gordon exploded for 27 points on Saturday, making him worth a look right now, while Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson are must-starts. Byron Mullens is a serious shutdown candidate with ankle and elbow issues, meaning Josh McRoberts is still worth a look, while Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is heating up, despite being pretty unreliable all season. Bismack Biyombo is also worthy of a look if you need boards and blocks.
Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Tony Allen are all worth using right now, while Jerryd Bayless is dealing with a knee injury that will leave him iffy for tonight. Watch for updates on his status, and make sure Allen is in your lineup if Bayless is out. Quincy Pondexter had 17 points on Sunday, putting him on the radar.
Oklahoma City @ Utah – Kevin Durant’s going to (hopefully) be gunning for Carmelo Anthony’s lead in the scoring race, Russell Westbrook is hot, and Kevin Martin and Serge Ibaka are also worth starting right now. Derek Fisher had a big game on Thursday, but I just don’t trust him.
Alec Burks (ankle) and Marvin Williams (illness) missed Monday’s practice for the Jazz, while Mo Williams is coming off a 25-point performance against the Warriors on Sunday. Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and maybe even Randy Foye should all be useful this week.
New Orleans @ Lakers – Eric Gordon was benched on Friday but had 17 points on Sunday, meaning he will likely continue to play on his bum knee. Ryan Anderson, Greivis Vasquez and Anthony Davis are all strong plays, while Al-Farouq Aminu and Robin Lopez will have some decent lines this week. They go on Tuesday and Wednesday, so don’t be surprised if Gordon sits again on Wednesday.
Steve Nash is doubtful for this one with a hamstring injury and Steve Blake would be a decent play if he’s out. Metta World Peace says he’ll play tonight after knee surgery, but I don’t think I’d be brave enough to use him. The Lakers will lean on Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard in an effort to make the playoffs, so play them with confidence, while Earl Clark and Antawn Jamison are also worth a look.
Minnesota @ Golden State – Kevin Love is done for the year and will have minor knee surgery, and I am not alone by saying “Thanks for nothing this season, Kevin.” Ricky Rubio is dealing with a shoulder injury and owners will want to watch Rotoworld to see if he’s in or out. Luke Ridnour had a dud on Saturday, while J.J. Barea is hot coming into this week. Andrei Kirilenko is showing signs of life and I’d play him, Nikola Pekovic is a must-start, and Barea and Derrick Williams are both worth a close look in all leagues. If Rubio is out, Ridnour probably becomes a must-start. Dante Cunningham had 19 points on Saturday off the bench, but is hit or miss, while the same rings true for Chase Budinger.
For the W's, Stephen Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson are must-starts, while Jarrett Jack, Andrew Bogut and a suddenly hot Carl Landry are worth a look at starting in all leagues.