The Toronto Raptors will be without All-Star swingman DeMar DeRozan, who suffered a torn groin – or more specifically, a torn adductor longus tendon, is targeting a return in one month. It is a very tough blow for the Raptors, who currently have the best record in the Eastern Conference. It is an even tougher blow for Fantasy owners of DeRozan, especially if replacement G Greivis Vasquez has already been scooped up by the opposition.
Vasquez was plugged into the starting five Sunday at L.A. Lakers. His new starting role, plus a game against the defensively challenged Lakers, in addition to the game going into overtime, really helped Vasquez post a decent Fantasy stat line. He his eight of his 16 field goal attempts to finish with 19 points, five assists and a steal, while also adding a steal. He isn’t a rebounder, and his assist numbers will not be the same as DeRozan, but he is a bit more prolific with his perimeter shooting.
The loss of DeRozan also means F James Johnson should pick up more responsibilities on the offensive end. While that didn’t come into fruition Sunday, it’s only because he was in foul trouble. Swingman Terrence Ross will see more offensive looks as well. He connected for four triples, and posted a season-best 20 points against the Lakers with five boards and just one turnover in 38 minutes. To make matters even better, F/C Amir Johnson (toe) aggravated his toe injury in L.A. Big man Patrick Patterson swooped in and posted a double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds, three assist and a block against the Lakers. He has decent range for a big, and he will also likely be expected to pick up the slack on offense with Double D on the shelf.
Teams with four games (15): Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, L.A. Lakers, Miami, Milwaukee, Minnesota, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Washington
Teams with three games (14): Brooklyn, Chicago, Cleveland, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Memphis, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Toronto, Utah
Team with two games (1): Charlotte
TUE Toronto at Sacramento (10:00pm NBATV)
WED Chicago at Charlotte (7:00pm NBATV)
THU Cleveland at New York (8:00pm TNT), New Orleans at Golden State (10:30pm TNT)
FRI Denver at Washington (7:00pm NBATV), Indiana at Sacramento (10:00pm, NBATV)
SAT Golden State at Chicago (8:00pm NBATV)
* All Times Eastern (ET)
It is going to be an enjoyable week for Fantasy owners of Washington Wizards Gs Bradley Beal and John Wall, as well as C Marcin Gortat and SF Paul Pierce. That’s because the Wizards have a four-team schedule, and they get a crack at the Boston Celtics (107.6 ppg), Denver Nuggets (105.5 ppg) and Los Angeles Lakers (112.0 ppg), three of the worst defensive clubs in The Association.
The Detroit Pistons also face the Celtics and Lakers this week, and they meet the Philadelphia 76ers (105.7 ppg). Look for big results from the likes of Gs Brandon Jennings and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, as well as Fs Greg Monroe and Josh Smith. C Andre Drummond is also in line to have a giant week, especially in the rebounding department.
On the flip side, Fantasy owners in cumulative formats will want to steer far clear of Charlotte Hornets, as they’re the only team in the league with two games on tap.
As far as teams with a three-game set, the Memphis Grizzlies face the lockdown defenses of the Houston Rockets and San Antonio Spurs, as well as a date with the Miami Heat. C Marc Gasol, PF Zach Randolph and PG Mike Conley remain must-starts in all Fantasy formats, but all other Grizzlies should be reserved.
Philadelphia 76ers SG K.J. McDaniels has been playing well, especially of late. He has averaged 19.5 ppg with 9.5 rpg and 1.5 bpg over his past two games, and he has two of more 3-pointers in each of his past two games, and three of the past four. He is hitting 40.4 percent from behind the arc, and he also gives Fantasy owners solid rebound totals as well as points. The 76ers are a dumpster fire overall, but there are still quite a few players who can help in Fantasy, including the rookie McDaniels.
Chicago Bulls PF Nikola Mirotic has been seeing plenty of time with F Taj Gibson (ankle) sidelined. The rookie has hit double digits in points in four of the past five, and five of the past seven, and he is averaging 11.7 ppg with 7.9 rpg during the seven-game span. He is worth a look in the upcoming scoring period, but keep in mind that Gibson will be returning soon.
Minnesota Timberwolves PG Zach LaVine continues to thrill, and also frustrate Fantasy owners. He went for 28 points and five assists in 26 minutes at L.A. Lakers, but followed that up by going scoreless in 11 minutes in Portland Sunday. The rookie from UCLA will experience growing pains, so if he is available in your league, and you want to take a chance on him, know that his Fantasy production could be quite sporadic.
The much-anticipated return of Oklahoma City Thunder F Kevin Durant (foot) might be sooner rather than later. He has yet to be cleared to play, but all indications are that Durantula will make a return at some point during the upcoming week. However, since he has yet to get the green light from the medical staff, coupled with the fact the team has just three games in the upcoming schedule, it’s a good idea to keep Durant on reserve or in your injured spot until he is officially ready to return and prove his health in one full game without any setbacks.
The Sacramento Kings welcomed F Rudy Gay (Achilles’) and G Darren Collison (quadriceps) back into the starting lineup Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies, but C DeMarcus Cousins (illness) was sidelined due to a bout with the flu. F Reggie Evans went for 17 points with a season-best 20 rebounds Sunday, but keep in mind that normally that kind of offensive production shouldn’t be expected. And tamp down expectations in the rebounds department, too, as he normally will not play 35 minutes. Still, if you’re in a Rotisserie league and need help on the boards, Evans is always a great addition.
If you need help in specific categories in Rotisserie Fantasy Hoops 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 PER GAME
Rodney Stuckey, SG, Indiana (16.6 PPG past five games)
Aaron Brooks, PG, Chicago (11.4 PPG past 10 games)
A.J. Price, PG, Indiana (11.1 PPG past nine games)
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Houston (10.9 PPG past eight games)
Brandon Bass, PF, Boston (10.6 PPG past eight games)
REBOUNDS PER GAME
Kevin Garnett, C, Brooklyn (8.3 RPG past eight games)
Kris Humphries, C, Washington (7.1 RPG past eight games)
J.J. Hickson, PF, Denver (7.1 RPG past eight games)
Jason Thompson, PF, Sacramento (6.7 RPG past 10 games)
Tarik Black, F, Houston (6.4 RPG past 10 games)
ASSISTS PER GAME
J.J. Bares, PG, Dallas (5.1 APG past 11 games)
Kirk Hinrich, PG, Chicago (4.9 APG past eight games)
Steve Blake, PG, Portland (4.5 APG past 11 games)
Andre Miller, PG, Washington (4.3 APG past eight games)
Evan Turner, SG/SF, Boston (4.0 APG past eight games)
STEALS PER GAME
Gary Harris, SG, Denver (2.0 SPG past four games)
Norris Cole, PG, Miami (1.4 SPG past eight games)
Shane Larkin, PG, New York (1.2 SPG past 10 games)
Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (1.2 SPG past 10 games)
Ronnie Price, PG, L.A. Lakers (1.2 SPG past 10 games)
BLOCKED SHOTS PER GAME
Samuel Dalembert, C, Philadelphia (1.6 BPG over past 11 games)
Bismack Biyombo, C, Charlotte (1.5 BPG over past 10 games)
Andre Roberson, SG, Oklahoma City (1.4 BPG over past five games)
Kosta Koufos, C, Memphis (1.2 BPG over past nine games)
Kendrick Perkins, C, Oklahoma City (1.1 BPG over past 11 games)
3-POINTERS MADE PER GAME
Pablo Prigioni, PG, New York (18 3PT past 10 games)
Isaiah Canaan, PG, Houston (17 3PT past eight games)
A.J. Price, PG, Indiana (14 3PT past nine games)
Rasual Butler, SG, Washington (14 3PT past eight games)
Jason Terry, SG, Houston (14 3PT past 10 games)