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FantasyNBA

Marc Gasol Is Nearing A Return For Fantasy Basketball Owners


The point guard spot has been hit hard by injuries lately. The New Orleans Pelicans lost PG Jrue Holiday (leg) to a stress fracture in his leg, and he is out indefinitely. As a result, Fantasy owners in cumulative leagues might find PG Brian Roberts extremely useful going forward. In addition, it’s likely that swingman Tyreke Evans handles the ball more, and his assist totals could go up as well.

Down in South Florida, Miami Heat PG Mario Chalmers is dealing with an Achilles strain which has him sidelined. As a result, PG Norris Cole will see more run and responsibilities, making him a decent low-end addition for the upcoming week. However, if you’re in a league with 12 or fewer teams, Cole can be skipped unless you get bonus points for cool hair.

Charlotte Bobcats PG Kemba Walker isn’t as bad off, but he did suffer a sprained hand over the weekend. The good news is that X-rays were negative, but he is a question mark heading into the new week. The Bobcats have four games on tap, but he should be reserved in head-to-head and cumulative Fantasy formats. Those in Rotisserie leagues can use him as they normally would.

Teams with four games (17): Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, L.A. Lakers, Milwaukee, New York, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, San Antonio, Toronto, Utah, Washington

Teams with three games (10): Cleveland, Golden State, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Portland

Team with two games (1): Detroit

Teams with one game (2): Atlanta, Brooklyn

TV TIME (national broadcasts in the upcoming week)

MON: Washington at Chicago (8:00pm NBATV)

TUE: Sacramento at Indiana (7:00pm NBATV)

WED: Utah at San Antonio (8:00pm ESPN), Denver at Golden State (10:30pm ESPN)

THU: Brooklyn at Atlanta (3:00pm NBATV), New York at Indiana (7:00pm TNT), Oklahoma City at Houston (9:30pm TNT)

FRI: L.A. Clippers at New York (7:00pm ESPN), Golden State at Oklahoma City (9:30pm ESPN)

SAT: L.A. Clippers at Indiana (7:00pm NBATV)

* All Times Eastern (ET)

SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

The Chicago Bulls are in great shape this week, facing four very favorable matchups. They have a home-and-home against the Washington Wizards, a team which allows an average of 99.6 points per game (ppg). They also face the defensively challenged Philadelphia 76ers (110.9 ppg) at home, and the struggling Orlando Magic (101.1 ppg) on the road. It will be a great week for Fantasy owners of swingman Jimmy Butler, C Joakim Noah and PF Carlos Boozer, especially in head-to-head formats.

On the flip side, the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets have just one game in the upcoming week, as they head overseas to meet each other in London. That’s terrible new for Fantasy owners in cumulative leagues and points-based head-to-head scoring systems. If you’re in a Rotisserie format, it’s OK to keep PG Jeff Teague and PF Paul Millsap active, as well as swingman Joe Johnson and SF Paul Pierce.

The Cleveland Cavaliers will face three teams in the upcoming week, but it will seem like four. Road games at L.A. Lakers (105.1 ppg), Portland (102.9 ppg) and Denver (101.2 ppg) will mean tremendous numbers for PG Kyrie Irving, PF Tristan Thompson, SF Luol Deng and SG C.J. Miles.

INJURIES

We mentioned the bigger news up top, but there are a handful of other guys dealing with nagging injuries heading into the week.

Atlanta Hawks C Pero Antic (back) had stepped up to be a useful Fantasy option lately, but he missed Sunday’s game due to a nagging back injury. PF/C Gustavo Ayon stepped into the starting five at Memphis, but he misfired on his only shot attempt and ended up finishing scoreless with seven rebounds and an assist in 14 minutes. PF Mike Scott continues to be a solid Fantasy option, as he scored 15 points off the bench. He is a nice No. 5 or 6 Fantasy option in leagues of 12 or more teams.

Brooklyn Nets G Deron Williams (ankle) will not accompany his team to London for Thursday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks, as he nurses his ankle injury at home.

Memphis Grizzlies C Marc Gasol (knee) is expected to go through a full practice Monday, according to ESPN.com. It remains to be seen when Gasol will be able to return to game action, but Fantasy owners have to be encouraged that Gasol is making steady progress in his return from a sprained medial collateral ligament. Fantasy owners of C Kosta Koufos are hoping Gasol returns later rather than sooner.

Oklahoma City Thunder SF Kevin Durant (wrist) gave his Fantasy owners and fans of the team quite a scare over the weekend, suffering a hard fall. He left the game only briefly to get his wrist taped up, but he departed the arena with a brace on his left wrist according to The Oklahoman. For now, it doesn’t appear to be a major concern for Fantasy owners.

San Antonio Spurs G Danny Green (finger) suffered a sprained finger in Sunday’s victory over Minnesota, and he has already been ruled OUT for Monday’s trip to New Orleans. The Spurs have four games on tap for the new week, but he has been rather inconsistent this season, and it is best to look elsewhere for your 3-point shooting this week.

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

C.J. Miles, SF, Cleveland (14.3 ppg over the past 11 games)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Utah (12.1 ppg over the past eight games)
Evan Fournier, PG, Denver (10.6 ppg over the past seven games)
Mike Scott, PF, Atlanta (10.5 ppg over the past 11 games)

REBOUNDS

Jason Thompson, PF, Sacramento (7.6 rpg over the past nine games)
Luis Scola, PF, Indiana (7.3 rpg over the past nine games)
Reggie Evans, PF, Brooklyn (6.9 rpg over the past eight games)
Khris Middleton, SF, Milwaukee (6.2 rpg over the past nine games)

ASSISTS

Luke Ridnour, PG, Milwaukee (4.3 apg over the past eight games)
J.J. Barea, PG, Minnesota (3.7 apg over the past nine games)
Shelvin Mack, PG, Atlanta (3.5 apg over the past 11 games)
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Boston (3.3 apg over the past 11 games)

STEALS

C.J. Miles, SF, Cleveland (1.4 spg over the past 11 games)
Draymond Green, SF, Golden State (1.4 spg over the past 11 games)
Jae Crowder, SF, DAllas (1.4 spg over the past 11 games)

BLOCKED SHOTS

Daniel Orton, C, Philadelphia (1.7 bpg over the past three games)
Ronny Turiaf, C, Minnesota (1.5 bpg over the past four games)
Chris Kaman, C, L.A. Lakers (1.4 bpg over the past five games)

3-POINTERS

C.J. Miles, SF, Cleveland (27 3-pointers over the past 11 games)
Anthony Tolliver, PF, Charlotte (23 3-pointers over the past 10 games)
Richard Jefferson, SF, Utah (17 3-pointers over the past eight games)
Derek Fisher, PG, Oklahoma City (15 3-pointers over the past 10 games)

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