Fantasy Basketball Planner: Week 5
New Orleans Pelicans G Langston Galloway has been playing more minutes lately and he is taking advantage of the situation. He has played 20 or more minutes in each of his past five games, dropping in 15 3-pointers while averaging 15.2 points per game (PPG). He is coming off a game Saturday against Charlotte with a season-high 23 points, seven rebounds and three steals while dropping in six triples. The Pels have a plethora of players in their backcourt, but Galloway seems to be the guard du jour right now in NOLA.
Rookie G Buddy Hield, on the other hand, was limited to just six minutes Saturday. Before the season it appeared the former standout at the University of Oklahoma was a shoo-in for plenty of minutes and Fantasy value in the Crescent City. However, head coach Alvin Gentry is on record saying Hield will not play very much with PG Jrue Holiday back from injury, so if you are holding Hield it's time to reserve him and keep him there until further notice. He remains a must-have in long-term keeper Fantasy formats, but he is a risky play everywhere else.
[caption id="attachment_115762" align="alignright" width="300"] Rookie Buddy Hield has fallen out of the crowded rotation in New Orleans. Photo Credit: Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire[/caption]
The return of Holiday is also likely bad news for G Tim Frazier, who has filled in admirably at times for Holiday. Frazier logged 36 minutes Saturday against the Hornets, posting 17 points with eight assists and five rebounds, so the party isn't over quite yet. However, Frazier's value can change at the drop of the hat, as soon as Gentry feels Holiday is ready for a full load.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES
Atlanta, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES
Boston, Brooklyn, Cleveland, Milwaukee, New York, Sacramento, Toronto, Washington
TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES
WEEK 5 SCHEDULE ANALYSIS
ATLANTA HAWKS: The Hawks will face three of the worst defenses in the NBA, tipping off against the Indiana Pacers (107.5 PPGA), Los Angeles Lakers (109.0 PPGA) and New Orleans Pelicans (107.6 PPGA). If you're an owner of PF Paul Millsap, you're going to be in line for a giant Fantasy week. He is averaging 17.3 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 3.8 APG with 1.6 SPG.
PG Dennis Schroder is also likely to outproduce his averages of 15.7 PPG, 5.9 APG and 3.3 RPG. He was awful from the floor in Sunday's game against the New York Knicks, so he is due, too. C Dwight Howard should also see very little resistance on the glass, so look for giant rebound totals for a guy who has 10 or more boards in 10 straight outings entering the new week.
CHICAGO BULLS: Those in cumulative Fantasy formats will not agree, but the Bulls are in good shape this week. They travel to Denver (108.3 PPGA) and Philadelphia (108.2 PPGA), the 27th- and 28th-ranked defenses in the NBA. If you're in a Fantasy league averaging points per game in a scoring period it is going to be business as usual for swingman Jimmy Butler, who should work above his 24.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 3.9 APG and 1.8 SPG averages.
SG Dwyane Wade is having quite the resurgence in his hometown, too, and he should add improve on his 18.1 PPG average against two poor scoring defenses. He was rested Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers in the second end of a back-to-back set, so Wade will be fresh this week, too. PF Taj Gibson won't see much resistance in the post, either, and he is a sneaky good play while C Robin Lopez might be in line for a few more double-doubles. He had his first three double-doubles of the season Nov. 12-17 and is really re-emerging as a Fantasy force.
DALLAS MAVERICKS: Nothing has been easy for the Mavs so far this season, and it's going to be tough sledding against three of The Association's top defensive units this week. The Mavs face the Cleveland Cavaliers (101.6 PPGA), Los Angeles Clippers (95.4 PPGA) and San Antonio Spurs (97.6 PPGA), so Fantasy expectations should be tamped down a bit. Keep rolling with PF Harrison Barnes, as he has risen to must-start status regardless of format. However, all other Mavs will struggle and are reserve options this week.
UTAH JAZZ: The Jazz have just two games at home, and one of those comes against the defensive-minded Atlanta Hawks (98.8 PPGA). If you're playing in cumulative Fantasy formats, you'll want most of your Jazz reserved. Even in leagues which average points per game in a scoring period, every Jazz player is a risky option.
-- Pacers swingman Paul George (ankle) did not play in Sunday's game against Oklahoma City, missing his second consecutive game. Indiana has a four-game slate, and the team listed him as questionable for Sunday, so perhaps he is getting close. But his MRI results were still unknown as of Sunday, so he is a huge concern for Fantasy owners heading into the new week. It's best to play it safe and reserve him rather than risk a big fat zero all week.
-- Jazz swingman George Hill (thumb) missed Sunday's game against the Denver Nuggets due to a sprained right thumb. As mentioned above, the Jazz have just two games and they're both unfavorable, so keep him on reserve.
-- Nets PG Jeremy Lin (hamstring) is making progress, head coach Kenny Atkinson told New York Post Sunday. However, wait to see Lin officially return and make it through a full game or two before trusting him in your active Fantasy lineup again.
-- Wizards PF Markieff Morris (ankle) rolled his right ankle Saturday night, although X-rays were negative. He did not practice and is a question mark heading into Monday's game with the Phoenix Suns, his former team. Morris is a risky Fantasy play with just a three-game slate and injury concern.
-- Hawks swingman Thabo Sefolosha (knee) was reportedly available for Sunday's game with the Knicks, but head coach Mike Budenholzer elected to give Sefolosha one more game to heal. You'll want Sefolosha active in the new week with a four-game slate. When Sefolosha returns, SG Kent Bazemore will see his playing time curtailed and Fantasy value decrease.
-- Hawks C Mike Muscala is an attractive pick-up off the waiver wire in deeper Fantasy leagues. He is averaging 10.0 PPG with 4.7 RPG and 1.9 APG through 12 outings while playing almost 22 minutes per contest. He has hit double digits in points in each of his past three, and five of the past six, and he has five or more rebounds in five consecutive outings. He is a solid No. 3 center in Fantasy leagues of 12 or more teams.
-- If you're in need of some quick rebounds in Rotisserie formats, Detroit Pistons PF Jon Leuer should be available in a majority of Fantasy leagues. He is pulling down 6.9 RPG and will also contribute with an occasional 3-pointer and assist, too. In a two-game stretch at New York and at Cleveland last week he averaged 16.0 PPG and 8.0 RPG, although he disappeared against Boston Saturday. Still, rebounding is his strong suit, and he is averaging 8.3 RPG over the past five outings.
-- Cavaliers PF Channing Frye is often overlooked in Fantasy leagues, but he can be a boon to those looking for help in the Points and 3-Pointers categories in deeper Rotisserie leagues. He is averaging 11.0 PPG with 2.8 3PT per game through 10 outings. Last week against Toronto he actually scored 21 points in just 20 minutes.
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