I haven’t done a team-by-team breakdown yet this year, mainly because they always run long and cut off in the email edition of this column. But I’m feeling motivated and am going to give it a whirl. I’ll try to focus on injury news, as well as starting options in weekly leagues, which can also be applied to dailies.
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Games Played for Week 10
4 Games: BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, GSW, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, NOP, OKC, POR, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BRK, LAL, MIL, MIN, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAN, SAC, UTA
2 Games: DET, HOU
ATL – With three games this week, Lou Williams looks like a decent play, especially with DeMarre Carroll’s thumb hurting, while Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap are nearly must-starts despite the lack of games. Kyle Korver works, depending on your options, while Mike Scott should only be tapped in deep leagues. If you want to mess with Elton Brand or Pero Antic this week, be my guest, but I will not be joining that party.
BOS – Rajon Rondo’s return from knee surgery is still out of focus, so with four games, Jordan Crawford, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass and Jared Sullinger all look like solid starts to me.
BRK – The Nets play three times, but Deron Williams and Mirza Teletovic look like solid plays in any league. Joe Johnson is 6-of-24 from the floor in his last two games with a total of 15 points, and if he’s not clicking on all cylinders, you can probably find a safer play. Andray Blatche isn’t expected back with the team until Saturday from a personal leave, so stay away from him, too. Paul Pierce has scored 18 and 13 points in his last two games, making him a marginal play if you’re feeling lucky. Andrei Kirilenko may play this week, but given his back problems, I just don’t see him being worthy in anything but very deep leagues.
CHA – I’ve got Al Jefferson as the No. 1 center start in weekly leagues with four games, while Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson also look like nice options. Ramon Sessions, Josh McRoberts and Anthony Tolliver could be useful in certain situations, but owners will want to weigh options carefully with them.
CHI – The Bulls go four times and Luol Deng remains iffy for Monday against the Grizzlies. If he is a go for that one, I’d put him in lineups. Jimmy Butler’s toe is still a bit of a concern, and owners should check on his availability on Monday, as well. Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah are strong starting prospects, while Kirk Hinrich, D.J. Augustin, Mike Dunleavy and Taj Gibson are all intriguing four-game starts.
CLE – Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson both look like must-starts this week with four games, while Jarrett Jack, Dion Waiters, C.J. Miles, Earl Clark and Anderson Varejao are all fine starts, as well. And in case you’ve been in a cave for four days, Andrew Bynum has played his last game for the Cavs, giving Varejao some immediate value.
DAL – The Mavs go four times this week, making Jose Calderon, Monta Ellis, Shawn Marion and Dirk Nowitzki strong starts. If you want to roll the dice on Brandan Wright or Vince Carter, no one will laugh at you.
DEN – The Nuggets also play four times, making Ty Lawson and Wilson Chandler must-starts. Kenneth Faried (coming off a sprained ankle), Jordan Hamilton (starting at SG), Nate Robinson and J.J. Hickson are all worth a look depending on your options. Timofey Mozgov is interesting, but very risky with Faried back in action.
DET – The Pistons only have two games this week and Josh Smith is feuding with coach Mo Cheeks. Brandon Jennings, Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond are worth consideration, but in weekly leagues, may be better served on your bench. Rodney Stuckey’s shoulder injury makes him a no-no this week.
GSW – With four games, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee and Andrew Bogut should be in most starting lineups, while Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes may be worth a look in deep leagues.
HOU – Like the Pistons, the Rockets play just two games this week. James Harden and Dwight Howard are both worth a serious look in all formats, but my guess is you can find more reliable players with more games to start over Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones, who were both quiet on Sunday.
IND – With four games, George Hill, David West and Roy Hibbert all look like strong plays. Paul George and Lance Stephenson are must-starts, while I’m still not willing to touch Danny Granger.
LAC – Another four-game team, Chris Paul, Jamal Crawford, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan should be in most lineups. Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes and J.J. Redick may also be useful this week, as I get the sense we’ll see Redick sometime before next Monday. Think about picking him up, but don’t put him in your lineup this week.
LAL – The Lakers have three games this week, but Jordan Farmar, Jordan Hill, Jodie Meeks and Nick Young all look like decent options. Pau Gasol should be recovered from his respiratory issues and can also be started if news is good on Monday. Xavier Henry, who I highlighted in Waiver Wired, played just four minutes before suffering a knee injury Sunday, so take him off your list of options this week. If he’s out, it’s more good news for Farmar, Hill, Meeks and Young. Shawne Williams started and had 11 points, 10 rebounds and three 3-pointers in Sunday’s start, but should not be in lineups unless he does it a couple more times.