At around 11 p.m. last Friday night in our Fort Lauderdale office, I mused aloud that I might actually have no injuries to write about this week. The Basketball Gods have been cruel this season, but we appeared to get through a whole week without losing another star.
I should have kept my mouth shut.
Unable to allow us to enjoy the New Year, those vengeful hoops deities took yet another top-tier player away Friday. Clippers guard Chris Paul looks likely to miss three weeks, but could be as much as six weeks after suffering an apparent shoulder separation in a game against the Mavericks.
If backup Darren Collison is available on waivers, you probably want to go grab him, as he has the potential to step up as a low-end No. 2 Fantasy guard when thrust into a starting role.
Collison is no Chris Paul, obviously, and we are now an awfully long time removed from Collison's star turn as a rookie following a separate injury to Paul. Collison's career has stagnated, but he remains a pretty skilled offensive player, averaging 15.9 points per-36 minutes this season. His assist totals have been surprisingly low so far, though much of that is the result of his time spent as an off-guard next to Paul.
In 473 minutes played without Paul on the floor, Collison is averaging 5.0 assists per-36 minutes, per NBAWowy.com's play-by-play data. In 148 minutes sharing the floor with Paul, Collison had just two assists total, while averaging just 13.4 points per-36 minutes as well.
Neither the Clippers nor any Fantasy owner will be able to adequately replace Paul's production by simply slotting Collison into the starting lineup. Still, with Blake Griffin to lean on in the pick and roll and some decent indicators in his favor, Collison might be able to provide more than a little positive value. For Fantasy Week 11 (Jan. 6-12), Collison is probably a solid No. 3 guard, even with just a trio of middling matchups on the way.
(All stats up to date through Jan. 4 games)
The Hawks have been left to scramble to make up for Al Horford's absence, but no one player has stepped up so far. Sure, Paul Millsap is playing like an absolute stud with Horford gone (23.2 points, 11.4 rebounds per game over the last five), but beyond that, it has been someone different every night, it seems. In the first two games after Horford's injury, Lou Williams dropped 46 points combined. He followed that up with eight points in two games. Mike Scott had a similar run over the last four games, while Pero Antic followed up a three-game stretch of 13 points total with 16 Friday, including four 3-pointers. Antic's skill set remains incredibly interesting in Horford's absence, but this team's makeup, as well as Horford's unique abilities, likely precludes any one person from filling the gaps by themselves. I'm still keeping an eye out to see how things shake out, but as we get further removed from Horford's injury, but I'm still not starting any of the replacements this week.
Schedule: Schedule: BKN, IND, HOU, @MEM
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 16th
10-team starters: Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, Kyle Korver
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Shelvin Mack, Lou Williams, DeMarre Carroll, Pero Antic, Elton Brand
Jeff Green is stuck in a pretty miserable slump, which is no good for his Fantasy value. Green is already a pretty limited player for Fantasy purposes, because his solid scoring hides an inability to really contribute anywhere else. Over the last five games, Green is averaging just 13.6 points and 20.4 Fantasy points per game, a number that ranks him just inside of the top-55 in Fantasy scoring among forwards over that span. If Green isn't scoring nearly 20 points per game, as he did for much of the first month of the season, he really doesn't have much Fantasy value. Even with four games on the way in Week 11, Green needs to turn his season around before I think he's worth starting in the majority of leagues.
Schedule: @DEN, @LAC, @GS, @POR
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 5th
10-team starters: None
12-to-14-team starters: Jordan Crawford, Jeff Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Sullinger
Deep-league fliers: Brandon Bass
|1.||Darren Collison, Clippers||67/29|
|2.||Kendall Marshall, Lakers||56/26|
|3.||Jarrett Jack, Cavaliers||52/23|
|4.||D.J. Augustin, Bulls||49/19|
|5.||Iman Shumpert, Knicks||55/24|
|6.||Eric Gordon, Pelicans||91/39|
|7.||Gerald Green, Suns||43/21|
|8.||Luke Ridnour, Bucks||12/2|
|9.||Nate Robinson, Nuggets||29/9|
|10.||Will Bynum, Pistons||3/0|
Over the last five games, only one Nets play is averaging more than 14 points per game, and only three have even averaged double figures in scoring. One of those three is forward Mirza Teletovic, who is tied with Paul Pierce with 13.6 points per game in that span. Teletovic has been given the green light to fire away from three-point range, and his current level of play makes him a very attractive option for Fantasy owners in category-based formats. The expected return of Andray Blatche this week could shake up the team's rotation moving forward, but I like Teletovic's ability to contribute as a high-volume long-range shooter with four games on the schedule.
Schedule: ATL, GS, MIA, @TOR
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 19th
10-team starters: Deron Williams
12-to-14-team starters: Mirza Teletovic, Joe Johnson
Deep-league fliers: Andray Blatche, Joe Johnson, Kevin Garnett, Miles Plumlee
Usually, it's the good teams that bring little Fantasy intrigue to the table, what with their set rotations and clear hierarchies. The Bobcats are an exception here, then, as their trio of high-usage starters and glacial offensive pace doesn't leave many shots to go around. With just three games on the schedule against some not great matchups, Fantasy owners have little reason to look at the lower-end players here.
Though he has thus far failed to live up to some pretty lofty preseason expectations, Bulls guard Jimmy Butler is starting to find himself recently. Despite shooting just 38.0 percent from the field over the last five games, Butler is scoring a team-high 15.4 points per game on just 10.0 field-goal attempts in that span, largely thanks to a massive free throw rate. He has taken 40 free throws in that same time, after taking just 61 in the first 14 games of the season. The big question moving forward for Butler will be whether he can keep this up now that Luol Deng is back. The early returns are not quite positive, as Butler managed just 25 points in the first two games following Deng's return. Butler has shown the ability to put up solid numbers dating back to the second half of last season, but his best performances have always come with Deng sidelined by his frequent injuries. Butler is going to be a hot name in Fantasy circles based on his recent production, but he still looks more like a deeper-league option to me.
Schedule: PHO, @MIL, CHA
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 27th
10-team starters: Joakim Noah, Luol Deng
12-to-14-team starters: Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler
Deep-league fliers: Mike Dunleavy, D.J. Augustin, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich
The most obvious side effect of the Cavaliers' decision to take Andrew Bynum out of their short-term plans has come to fruition, as Anderson Varejao and Tristan Thompson have both played some of their best ball since Bynum's suspension. While Thompson had been thriving even prior to the suspension, he has seen his rebounding numbers improve recently, as he is averaging 11.8 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in four games since Bynum was benched. Varejao has seen an even bigger bump, averaging 11.5 points and 14.0 points per game, after averaging just 7.9 points and 8.8 rebounds in the first 28 games of the season. While neither player is an absolute must-start option, both certainly look like solid starters in Week 11, especially against a pretty soft schedule. Jarrett Jack is also worth a look if Kyrie Irving's knee injury continues to linger, as he put up 14-7-7 Thursday with Irving out.
Schedule: PHI, @UTA, @SAC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 4th
10-team starters: None
12-to-14-team starters: Kyrie Irving, Dion Waiters, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Jarrett Jack
Deep-league fliers: C.J. Miles, Earl Clark
This might be the week to get your low-end Mavericks into the starting lineup, as the Spurs are the only defense they face that doesn't rank among the league's five-most generous. That means guys like Vince Carter and Shawn Marion might be worth using as low-end starters even in 12-team leagues, as either could go off against some of the league's softest defenses. Brandan Wright is still in a holding pattern due to his lack of secondary statistics, but as a No. 2 center in a category-based format, his sky-high field-goal percentage and defensive acumen make him an intriguing option in matchups where the pace promises to be fast.
Schedule: LAL, @SA, @NO, NO
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 1st
10-team starters: Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis
12-to-14-team starters: Jose Calderon, Vince Carter
Deep-league fliers: Brandan Wright, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair, Shawn Marion
The absence of suspended point guard Andre Miller has had one impact on the Nuggets' rotation, as little-used second-year guard Evan Fournier has seen his role increase. Of course, that probably isn't going to make much of a difference for Fantasy owners, as Fournier managed just 19 points and one assists in his first two games. Nate Robinson seems likely to be a bigger beneficiary of Miller's absence, as he should slide into the backup point guard spot, as he did when he put up 15 points and seven assists Friday against a tough Grizzlies defense. Still, the Nuggets don't have the most favorable set of matchups for Week 11, so I wouldn't feel particularly strong relying on Robinson; he's too inconsistent.
Schedule: BOS, OKC, ORL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 29th
10-team starters: Ty Lawson, Wilson Chandler
12-to-14-team starters: JJ Hickson
Deep-league fliers: Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, Randy Foye, Nate Robinson
Rodney Stuckey's shoulder injury has basically ruined his Fantasy value over the last two-plus weeks, as he has scored in double figures just one in the last five games, while missing three games in that span. That injury has opened up some room in the rotation for Will Bynum to get involved more, as he is averaging 10.3 points and 2.8 assists per game over the last five. Those numbers are nothing spectacular, but they make him worth a possible look in deeper Fantasy formats for Week 11, as Stuckey's injury continues to linger.
Schedule: @NY, @TOR, @PHI, PHO
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 6th
10-team starters: Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, Kyle Singler, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Golden State Warriors
David Lee has become something of a punch line in many NBA circles for his lack of defensive ability, but Fantasy owners aren't laughing. After a slow start, Lee has come on strong of late, ranking eighth among all forwards in Fantasy scoring over the last three weeks. Though the Warriors don't have the best matchups for Week 11, Lee remains one of the three must-start options here, with little else worth considering at this point. Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala have both underwhelmed so much since Iguodala's return from a hamstring injury, I'm not sure either is much more than a low-end option at this point.
Schedule: @MIL, @BKN, BOS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 24th
10-team starters: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Andre Iguodala, Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut
The Patrick Beverley injury hasn't quite opened things up as much as expected for Jeremy Lin, as he is averaging just 13.6 points and 4.0 assists per game in seven appearances since Beverley went down. The Rockets have begun to share the ball much more recently, with all five of their starters averaging at least 12.6 points over the last seven and three chipping in at least 3.0 assists. This has worked out fine for some of the team's bigger names, but Lin's production in particular has taken a hit. Still, the Rockets have some solid matchups this week, so don't downgrade Lin too much -- he remains a No. 4 Fantasy guard for Week 11, based on his recent play.
Schedule: LAL, @ATL, @WAS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 8th
10-team starters: James Harden, Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons,
12-to-14-team starters: Jeremy Lin, Terrence Jones
Deep-league fliers: Aaron Brooks, Francisco Garcia, Omri Casspi
Despite struggling through a pretty subpar season, Pacers forward David West was still started in 77 percent of CBSSports.com Fantasy leagues last week. That number probably needs to come down quite a bit at this point, as he simply isn't showing many signs of finding his form from last season. Sure, his playing time is down a bit (33.4 MPG to 30.1), but so is the rest of his production. West is shooting just 47.1 percent from the field, and his free-throw rate is down from a year ago as well. Combined with a decrease in the percentage of possessions he uses, and the fact the Pacers are cruising in spite of that, and there is little ready to expect much to change. West is averaging just 9.6 points and 5.0 rebounds per game over the last five, and can be safely sat in 10-team leagues in Week 11..
Schedule: TOR, @ATL, WAS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 25th
10-team starters: Paul George, Lance Stephenson
12-to-14-team starters: David West, Roy Hibbert
Deep-league fliers: George Hill, Luis Scola, C.J. Watson, Danny Granger
Los Angeles Clippers
If there is one knock on Blake Griffin's game, it is that the All-Star forward still can't really produce his own shot. Though his production has remained fairly consistent since his rookie season, the presence of Chris Paul in the pick and roll obviously helps him. Griffin's limitations may be a bit overstated by the average fan, but the loss of Paul is almost certainly going to hurt him. As profiled above, Collison is a solid option, but is nowhere near Paul's equal as a creator for others. Griffin has played 192 minutes with Collison this season and is averaging 19.1 points per-36 minutes on 45.6 percent shooting; he averages 22.1 points per-36 on 52.7 percent shooting with Paul on the floor. It isn't hard to see where the discrepancy comes from, as Griffin 39.7 percent of Griffin's field-goal attempts are either layups or dunks with Paul, compares to just 24.6 percent with Collison, per NBAWowy.com. Griffin will likely be asked to take on a bigger role in the offense without Paul, and he should remain a must-start Fantasy option, but his efficiency should take a hit without Paul around.
Los Angeles Lakers
If Kendall Marshall does turn into a sensation fresh out of the D-League, he won't be the first point guard to do so under Mike D'Antoni. The knock on Marshall out of the University of North Carolina was that his offensive game was too limited for him to make an impact. His talents as a passer were enough to still earn him the 13th overall pick, but he was cut by two teams before landing in the D-League to begin this season. The sample size is still tiny, but Marshall has shown the ability to shoot the ball well enough to keep defenses honest, and that's about all you need to thrive in D'Antoni's offense. Throw in Marshall's superior passing instincts, which have never been in question, and he is looking like a solid player. He probably isn't 20-15-6 solid like his Friday line against the Jazz, but there is plenty of reason to be optimistic about D'Antoni turning another discarded point guard into a contributor. The Lakers' three games in Week 11 feature some pretty brutal defensive backcourts, so Fantasy owners in 12-team or deeper leagues should probably be putting Marshall into lineup. He may fizzle out, but I like his chances to be a solid play this week.
Schedule: @DAL, @HOU, @LAC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 13th
10-team starters: Nick Young
12-to-14-team starters: Kendall Marshall, Jodie Meeks, Pau Gasol
Deep-league fliers: Wesley Johnson, Chris Kaman, Jordan Hill
Marc Gasol is nearing a return to action, but until we get something concrete about him being cleared to practice, it is probably best to assume he isn't worth worrying about for Week 11. His impending return will likely knock the Grizzlies' rotation back into order, though his motley crew of replacements hasn't exactly lit the world on fire anyways. With Ed Davis, Kosta Koufos and Jon Leuer all averaging 10.0 points per game or fewer over the last five, Fantasy owners are best served just avoiding the Grizzlies' center position until Gasol is back.
Schedule: SA, PHO, ATL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 11th
10-team starters: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph
12-to-14-team starters: Tony Allen
Deep-league fliers: Kosta Koufos, Ed Davis, Jerryd Bayless, Mike Miller
For a while there, it really looked like Chris Bosh was no longer a high-end Fantasy option at either forward or center, as the Heat were shying away from him in the offense while limiting his minutes. Things have turned around in a big way recently, as Bosh is averaging 20.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game over the last 10 games. He remains a must-start option for the Heat, along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, when healthy.
Schedule: NO, @NY, @BKN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 18th
10-team starters: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Michael Beasley
Apparently, the first 50 minutes or so of Larry Sanders' season are not representative of his true abilities. In four games since returning from thumb surgery, Sanders is averaging 10.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks pretty much exactly what we expected from the big man coming off his breakout season a year ago. The Bucks seem pretty intent on getting him involved in the offense, so Fantasy owners pretty much have to have him in the starting lineup from Week 11 on, especially in category-based formats. Beyond that, this is still a team in constant flux, with Khris Middleton almost falling completely out of the rotation in recent games, after emerging as an apparent go-to option. Beyond the first two players mentioned, don't bother with anyone here in most leagues.
Schedule: GS, CHI, @OKC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 30th
10-team starters: Brandon Knight
12-to-14-team starters: Larry Sanders
Deep-league fliers: Ersan Ilyasova, Giannis Antetokounmpo, O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Luke Ridnour
Kevin Love is elite, Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin are solid, and Ricky Rubio can't shoot. Same as it ever was in the great white north; there simply isn't much room for movement on a weekly basis here, with so many high-usage players at the top of the roster.
Schedule: @PHI, PHO, CHA, @SA
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 14th
10-team starters: Ricky Rubio, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
12-to-14-team starters: Kevin Martin
Deep-league fliers: Corey Brewer, J.J. Barea
New Orleans Pelicans
Chris Paul's injury will overshadow Ryan Anderson's, but the latter will still have a pretty massive impact for his team as well as Fantasy owners. Anderson had to spend Friday night in a hospital with a stinger in his neck, and this looks like the kind of injury that could keep him out at least a few games while he recovers, if not much more. If Anderson has to sit, the Pelicans have 15 field-goal attempts per game to fill in, and no obvious option to step up. Some of the perimeter scoring will likely be picked up by Eric Gordon and Tyreke Evans, but Al-Farouq Aminu and Alexis Ajinca will likely see the biggest bumps in playing time. Neither player has much Fantasy appeal, so don't look their way in Week 11.
Schedule: @MIA, WAS, DAL, @DAL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 11th
10-team starters: Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Tyreke Evans
12-to-14-team starters: Eric Gordon
Deep-league fliers: Alexis Ajinca, Anthony Morrow, Jason Smith, Al-Farouq Aminu
After being a total non-factor for much of the season, Iman Shumpert has put together an incendiary two-game stretch that has Fantasy owners scratching their heads and wondering what to make of him. Shumpert is still owned in 50-percent of CBSSports.com leagues, and he might be starting to reward those owners' patience in him. Of course, Shumpert had just 14 points in his three games prior to his 53-point outburst Thursday and Friday, so there is considerable risk involved in relying on him. Given how this season has gone for the Knicks, I am wary of relying on Shumpert until he proves more, but he does have a pretty solid schedule in Week 11. With the benefit of the Philly Bump coming, pencil in Shumpert as a No. 3 or 4 guard in a 12-team league. This is also the week Andrea Bargnani has to prove he can produce with Tyson Chandler around before he officially becomes droppable in 10-team leagues.
Schedule: DET, MIA, @PHI
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 7th
10-team starters: Carmelo Anthony,
12-to-14-team starters: Iman Shumpert, Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler
Deep-league fliers: J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Amar'e Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Beno Udrih
Oklahoma City Thunder
|1.||Al-Farouq Aminu, Hornets||41/19|
|2.||Mirza Teletovic, Nets||29/11|
|3.||Paul Pierce, Nets||92/55|
|4.||C.J. Miles, Cavaliers||9/4|
|5.||Boris Diaw, Spurs||22/8|
|6.||Brandan Wright, Mavericks||42/20|
|7.||Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks||41/14|
|8.||Channing Frye, Suns||58/32|
|9.||Trevor Booker, Wizards||28/19|
|10.||Richard Jefferson, Jazz||10/4|
One wrench in the plan for the Thunder's Russell Westbrook replacement plan is that coach Scott Brooks has been openly questioning Jackson's conditioning as a starter. Jackson has flopped in his first four games filling in for Westbrook, continuing a theme from earlier in the season of underwhelming as a starter. He is averaging just 12.0 points and 5.5 assists per game in four games as a starter since Westbrook went down, and has reached 30 minutes just once in that time. His upside remains considerable, but Jackson is by no means a must-start option for Week 11.
If you're playing in a points-based format, you have to be happy with what Glen Davis has been giving you recently, averaging 25.8 Fantasy points per game over the last five. In a category-based format, Davis is a lot less attractive, however, shooting just 41.6 percent from the field and 54.5 percent at the free-throw line in that span, without many peripheral stats to make up for it. Davis is a pretty good example of the difference between the two scoring formats, as his value is so context dependent. In Week 11, with a bunch of solid matchups on the way, he should remain a solid, but frustrating starter. Especially as long as Nikola Vucevic continues to be sidelined by ankle woes.
Schedule: @LAC, @POR, @SAC, @DEN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 2nd
10-team starters: Arron Afflalo, Jameer Nelson
12-to-14-team starters: Nikola Vucevic, Victor Oladipo, Glen Davis
Deep-league fliers: Tobias Harris
The 76ers are just about as bad as everyone expected, but that won't stop Sam Hinkie from letting them get just a little bit worse. Rumors continue to swirl about a possible Thaddeus Young trade, a move that would certainly be disastrous for his Fantasy potential. Young is a fantastic player, but his numbers are inflated by playing on a team that runs at the fastest pace in the league and let's him take as many shots as he wants. While there shouldn't be much of an impact for Week 11, Young is exactly the type of player you might want to sell high on in the coming weeks. Otherwise, the 76ers play a pretty great schedule this week, so Fantasy owners should feel confident starting their Sixers, including Tony Wroten, who is averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game over the last five.
Schedule: MIN, @CLE, DET, NY
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 3rd
10-team starters: Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young
12-to-14-team starters: Tony Wroten
Deep-league fliers: James Anderson
Gerald Green is the second-highest scoring player over the last five games for the Suns, and that is a trend that is likely to continue in Week 11, with Eric Bledsoe expected to be sidelined all week with a knee sprain. Green will remain in the starting lineup through the week, and should continue to put up solid numbers, as he has a green light to show pretty much whenever he wants. With Green shooting more than seven 3-pointers per game over the last five while maintaining a solid percentage all season long, he looks like a very solid Fantasy option as a starter. If he is available on waivers, he might be a solid streaming option for the upcoming week.
Schedule: @CHI, @MIN, @MEM, @DET
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 15th
10-team starters: Goran Dragic
12-to-14-team starters: Miles Plumlee, Markieff Morris, Gerald Green, Channing Frye
Deep-league fliers: Marcus Morris
Portland Trail Blazers
Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum could make his debut Tuesday, following a two-game D-League rehab stint. 41 percent of CBSSports.com leagues still have one team holding out on McCollum, but I'm not so sure he is going to make a contribution worth waiting on as he makes his return from a foot injury. The Blazers didn't exactly stretch him out during his rehab stint, playing 17 and 24 minutes in consecutive games. McCollum is going to have to work on his conditioning in order to earn a place in the rotation, and even then he might not be able to. The Blazers are rolling and rely heavily on one of the best starting groups in the league; why would they mess with that chemistry in order to play an unproven rookie who has suffered two major injuries in the last year. When the Blazers were expected to be a low-end playoff contender, it might have made sense to expect McCollum to get some playing time. Now? I'm not sure he'll prove to be worth a roster spot in most Fantasy leagues.
Schedule: @SAC, ORL, BOS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 20th
10-team starters: Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Robin Lopez, Mo Williams, CJ McCollum
When you have three players scoring 20-plus points per night, as the Kings do over the last five games, there isn't much room left. For Week 11 and beyond, I'm not sure I would even want to own anyone else on the Kings.
Schedule: POR, ORL, CLE
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 9th
10-team starters: Isaiah Thomas, DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Marcus Thornton, Derrick Williams, Jason Thompson, Ben McLemore
San Antonio Spurs
|1.||Enes Kanter, Jazz||71/18|
|2.||Larry Sanders, Bucks||89/48|
|3.||Pero Antic, Hawks||13/3|
|4.||Andray Blatche, Nets||73/23|
|5.||Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers||93/68|
The Spurs may have lost big man Tiago Splitter for an extended period of time this week with a shoulder injury, which should have repercussions for the team's rotation. The most likely beneficiary is Boris Diaw, who has started six games between Splitter and Tim Duncan's absences, and who has slowed down after a solid start to the season. Diaw averaged 10.2 points per game in the month of November, during which time he started five of his 15 games. If he does enter the starting lineup next to Tim Duncan, he could be an intriguing low-end option in deeper, category-based leagues for Week 11, with his ability to fill up the box score.
Schedule: @MEM, DAL, MIN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 18th
10-team starters: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan
12-to-14-team starters: Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili
Deep-league fliers: Danny Green, Marco Belinelli, Boris Diaw
As Jonas Valanciunas' production has improved, fellow big man Amir Johnson has seen his role in the offense decrease. He is fifth on the team in scoring over the last five games at 9.4 points per game, but is tied for seventh in field-goal attempts. The ascension of Terrence Ross and the team's desire to get Valanciunas more involved is perfectly reasonable, especially if they can continue winning while they do it. The downside is, Johnson, whose upside looked so promising immediately after the Rudy Gay trade, is looking like a fringe Fantasy starter now. Against a three-game schedule this week, he can probably be considered just a low-end No. 4 forward in most leagues.
Schedule: @IND, DET, BKN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 21st
10-team starters: DeMar DeRozan, Jonas Valanciunas, Kyle Lowry
12-to-14-team starters: Amir Johnson, Terrence Ross
Deep-league fliers: Greivis Vasquez
For some reason, the Jazz has seven players averaging double figures in scoring over the last five games. It doesn't really make a whole lot of sense, but then, little has for a team that is headed toward certain lottery doom but still gives big minutes to multiple 30-plus-year-old veterans. While it is nice to see so many players producing for the Jazz, that rotation breakdown isn't especially helpful for Fantasy owners trying to make sense of things. As the only team with two games on the schedule this week, stay as far away as possible from players not names Gordon Hayward, Trey Burke or Derrick Favors in Week 11. It's for the best.
Schedule: OKC, CLE
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 28th
10-team starters: Gordon Hayward, Trey Burke
12-to-14-team starters: Derrick Favors
Deep-league fliers: Enes Kanter, Richard Jefferson, Marvin Williams, Alec Burks
The Wizards' handling of Bradley Beal since his return from a leg injury might be smart for the team's long-term prospects, but Fantasy owners can't be happy about it. With Beal on a minute's cap, it puts a limit on his Fantasy value, as he is averaging just 12.8 points in 26.7 minutes per game. Of course, Beal being back at all also creates a logjam on the wings, with Martell Webster and Trevor Ariza getting squeezed. As a result, all three players' Fantasy value is low right now. Coupled with disappointing recent play by members of the front court, and John Wall is the only Wizard I am comfortable starting in Week 11, even with 11 games on the way.
Schedule: @CHA, @NO, @IND, HOU
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 12th
10-team starters: John Wall
12-to-14-team starters: Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza
Deep-league fliers: Trevor Booker, Martell Webster, Nene, Marcin Gortat