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Fantasy Hoops: Why Not Make The Bucks Your Main Squeeze This Week?

  • Daniel Dobish

The Milwaukee Bucks have been a hard team to figure out this season. One thing has been perfectly clear – they’re terrible.

However, even a bad team has Fantasy options that warrant consideration, and that is especially true this week. First off, the Bucks are the only team in the National Basketball Association with a five-game week. That means even borderline options are worth using in cumulative head-to-head leagues and points-based scoring formats.

Four of the five teams Milwaukee faces this week allow more than 100 points per contest. The Bucks have home games against Charlotte (97.4 ppg) and Orlando (101.9 ppg), while hitting the road for three games against Atlanta (102.5 ppg), Minnesota (102.5 ppg) and New York (100.2 ppg)

Bucks SF Jeff Adrien has fit in very nicely in Cream City since his acquisition from the Charlotte Bobcats. The same is true for veteran PG Ramon Sessions, who has come to the team and provided leadership, something they did not have a few weeks ago. In Adrien’s eight games with the team, he has averaged 21.5 minutes per contest, averaging 9.0 PPG and 8.9 RPG. That includes a 20-point, 10-rebound and three-block performance in New Orleans Friday night. He should actually be considered a must-start Fantasy option this week, and if you need a No. 4 or 5 forward, and have a solid option with just three games on tap, such as Chicago Bulls PF Taj Gibson, Houston Rockets PF Terrence Jones or Orlando Magic PF Tobias Harris, it might be a good idea to roll with Adrien instead.

Sessions has scored 13 or more points in six of his past seven games, and he is averaging 3.0 APG and 2.8 RPG during the span. He isn’t an elite Fantasy option by any stretch, but he is certainly worth using in all leagues this week if you’re trying to decide between Sessions and a player with a two- or three-game week.

SF Khris Middleton has also emerged as a solid producer of late, and he should be a popular pick-up off the waiver wire before 7pm ET Monday when most weekly lineups lock. He is still available in about one-third of all Fantasy leagues despite the fact he is averaging 17.0 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 2.3 APG and 1.0 SPG over the past three outings. He should have a huge week against five sub-par defenses.

Team with five games (1): Milwaukee

Teams with four games (15): Boston, Charlotte, Denver, Golden State, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Utah, Washington

Teams with three games (13): Atlanta, Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Indiana, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando

Team with two games (1): L.A. Lakers

MON Phoenix at L.A. Clippers (10:30pm NBATV)

TUE Houston at Oklahoma City (8:00pm NBATV)

WED Brooklyn at Miami (7:00pm ESPN), Portland at San Antonio (9:30pm ESPN)

THU Houston at Chicago (7:00pm TNT), L.A. Lakers at Oklahoma City (9:30pm TNT)

FRI L.A. Lakers at San Antonio (8:30pm NBATV)

SAT Denver at Atlanta (7:30pm NBATV)

SUN Houston at Miami (3:30pm ABC), Cleveland at L.A. Clippers (9:30pm NBATV)

* All Times Eastern (ET)

SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

The Bucks are the only team with a five-game schedule next week, but there are plenty of four-team options. Sacramento takes a trip east for all four of their games, but don’t let that dissuade you from using their primary options. In fact, it should be a huge week for C DeMarcus Cousins, SF Rudy Gay and PG Isaiah Thomas. The Pistons have been terrible defensively while playing at home, and the Kings also get a crack at the league’s worst scoring defense against the 76ers.

Last week it was a good time to start your Los Angeles Lakers, but this week they’re on tap for just two games. Avoid everyone on the roster in head-to-head and cumulative formats.

The San Antonio Spurs are in good shape with a four-game schedule which includes the Portland Trail Blazers (102.8 ppg allowed) and the Lakers (107.9 ppg). The Spurs will make it seem like they have a five-game week like the Bucks, so enjoy the production of PF Tim Duncan and PG Tony Parker, as well as swingman Kawhi Leonard, who has averaged 14.8 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 2.8 SPG and 1.8 BPG in six games since returning from injury.

INJURIES

Boston Celtics PG Rajon Rondo (knee) has been humming right along, posting 11 points with 18 assists and three steals Sunday against Detroit. He has played six consecutive games, and that’s mainly due to the fact the Celtics haven’t faced a back-to-back situation. The last time they did, he sat Feb. 22 in Sacramento. This week, the Celtics have back-to-back games Tuesday at Indiana, and Wednesday at home against New York. It will be interesting to see if Rondo still needs a game off or not, as the team has been very careful with him. Even if he should sit, it won’t be the end of the world, as he will still play at least three games.

Golden State Warriors PG Stephen Curry (quadriceps) was limited to 30 minutes against Phoenix Sunday due to a slightly strained quadriceps muscle. It appears he will play through the injury, and even if he is slightly limited, he has a four-game week.

Indiana Pacers C Andrew Bynum (knee) said over the weekend that he could potentially return later this week in Philadelphia. Wouldn’t that anger 76ers fans even more, after he failed to play on single game for the team last year due to his knee injury? As far as Fantasy owners are concerned, keep Bynum reserved until he can officially return, prove his health and play without any restrictions. It might be a while still before that happens.

Sacramento Kings SF Rudy Gay (ankle) dinged his ankle Sunday, but he was able to return. He is likely to play Tuesday in Detroit, and he could have a huge game against a team which allows plenty of points at home. Fantasy owners can feel confident using him in the upcoming week.

Toronto Raptors PF Patrick Patterson (elbow) will be sidelined at least seven to 10 days due to a right ulnar collateral sprain. Look for Fs Tyler Hansbrough and Amir Johnson to fill the void this week, making them each solid plays in deeper Fantasy leagues.

CATEGORY HELP

If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy play, you’ve come to the right place. Check out these guys, who should be available in your league, to help out in certain areas.

POINTS

Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (12.9 ppg over the past 11 games)
Patty Mills, PG, San Antonio (12.7 ppg over the past nine games)
Kelly Olynyk, C, Boston (12.3 ppg over the past seven games)
Evan Fournier, SG, Denver (12.2 ppg over the past 11 games)

REBOUNDS

Reggie Evans, PF, Sacramento (8.5 rpg over the past eight games)
Jeff Adrien, SF, Milwaukee (8.2 ppg over the past nine games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (7.4 ppg over the past 10 games)
Kyle O’Quinn, PF, Orlando (7.3 rpg over the past 10 games)

ASSISTS

Will Bynum, PG, Detroit (5.2 apg over the past 11 games)
Devin Harris, PG, Dallas (4.8 apg over the past 10 games)
Shelvin Mack, PG, Atlanta (4.6 apg over the past 10 games)
J.J. Barea, PG, Minnesota (4.0 apg over the past nine games)

STEALS

Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.8 spg over the past 11 games)
Maurice Harkless, SF, Orlando (1.6 spg over the past 10 games)
Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (1.5 spg over the past eight games)

BLOCKED SHOTS

Chris Andersen, PF, Miami (2.2 bpg over the past nine games)
Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte (1.6 bpg over the past 10 games)
Elton Brand, PF, Atlanta (1.5 bpg over the past 10 games)
Ryan Kelly, SF, L.A. Lakers (1.5 bpg over the past 10 games)

3-POINTERS

Mike Miller, SG, Memphis (20 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (19 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Utah (18 3-pointers over the past 11 games)
Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (17 3-pointers over the past 12 games)

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