Fantasy Week 10 (Dec. 31-Jan. 6) is the first scoring period of the new year, which is usually when things start to heat up in the NBA season. With most teams having played a third of their schedule, owners should have a pretty good grasp on their roster's strengths and weaknesses at this point. However, injuries and coaching changes continue to shake up the Fantasy landscape.
Fortunately, we have kept an eye on all the action here at CBSSports.com and compiled our weekly installment of the five players who are worth a look in Roto formats and the five players who should be avoided for the upcoming scoring period. Use our list to help target the right players in your lineup that will ultimately lead to your squad making the postseason. As always, we wish all Fantasy owners good luck in the upcoming scoring period and a very happy 2013.
Find a place for 'em
Isaiah Thomas, G, Kings (@DET, @CLE, @TOR, @BKN): Thomas has been one of the more frustrating players in Fantasy this season as the 23-year-old has struggled with his consistency for much of the year. However, he has been playing very well in recent weeks and has started to see his playing time increase as a result. Coach Keith Smart even inserted him back into the starting lineup over the past two games and Thomas responded by dropping in a season-best 27 points his last time on the court. He is averaging a very productive 14.6 points and 4.2 assists over his last five contests and looks to have a slew of favorable matchups on tap this week. The Nets, Cavaliers and Raptors all rank near the bottom of the pack in opposition field-goal percentage and the Pistons have plenty of their own issues on the defensive side of the ball. With Tyreke Evans still out with a knee injury, Thomas should continue to see starters minutes against some bad defensive teams over the next seven days. Fantasy owners should get him active in Week 10.(owned in 54 percent of leagues)
Thabo Sefolosha, G, Thunder (PHO, BKN, PHI, @TOR): Playing alongside the likes of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka and even Kevin Martin usually doesn't leave a ton of scoring opportunities available, but Sefolosha has been good at picking his spots this year. The 28-year-old is best known for his ability to knock down 3s and rack up steals and he has been doing both of late as he is averaging 1.4 made treys and 2.3 thefts over his last seven games. While his inconsistent scoring makes him a tough option to leave active for long stretches, he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap this week. The 76ers and Suns are two of just seven teams to allow teams to shoot at least 37 percent against them from downtown and Sefolosha scored in double figures in each of his previous meetings against the Raptors and Nets this season while going a combined 5 for 8 from downtown with two steals in those matchups. While they don't come around often, this looks to be one of the few weeks owners should get Sefolosha active.(owned in 10 percent of leagues)
Caron Butler, F, Clippers (@DEN, @GS, LAL, GS): The Clippers are the hottest team in the league right now and it appears their starting small forward has finally started to heat up as well. After enduring a prolonged shooting slump, Butler looks to have found his range again. The 32-year-old has scored in double figures in each of his last three contests and is averaging 19 points on 56.8 percent shooting from the field during his run. Now the veteran will get to face a few teams that he has had some success against already this season. Butler dropped in 14 and 20 points in each of his first two games against the Lakers and Warriors this season and he went a combined 6 for 8 from downtown in those two contests. While he didn't fare nearly as well in his lone matchup against the Nuggets, Denver is allowing its opponents to shoot 36.6 percent from 3-point land, which ranks 21st. Butler's main asset to Fantasy owners continues to be his outside shooting but his streaky production makes his a risky play in some periods. However, he has the potential to light up the scoreboard when he is hot, so get him active in the majority of formats this week while that is the case.(owned in 22 percent of leagues)
C.J. Miles, F, Cavaliers (SAC, @CHA, HOU): Miles struggled when he first was moved back to bench once Kyrie Irving returned to the lineup, but he looks to have settled into his new role. The eighth-year-man has been told to look for his offense when on the floor and he has responded by putting up 9.6 field-goal attempts over his last five games. He is averaging 14.4 points on 50 percent shooting from the field over that stretch to go along with 3.2 made 3-pointers. Now Miles looks to have three favorable matchups on tap this week against the defensively challenged Kings, Bobcats and Rockets. All three teams are surrendering more than 100 points per game while allowing their opponents to make at least 45 percent of their shots. With Miles playing well and having the green light to fire away, owners should continue to roll with him this week. (owned in 33 percent of leagues)
Tyler Zeller, C, Cavaliers (SAC, @CHA, HOU): Zeller is the second Cavalier to make our start list this week as the rookie continues to turn in productive stat lines for owners. The 22-year-old is averaging 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds over his last six contests as he continues to take advantage of his increased playing time with Anderson Varejao still nursing a knee injury. Zeller has registered one double-double over his six-game run and also giving owners a block and assist per game. He is only shooting 37 percent from the field over that stretch, but has made over 45 percent of his shots in each of his last two contests and should continue to see some solid run with Varejao not expected to return until sometime later in the scoring period. While Zeller's numbers aren't going to blow most owners away, he has been productive enough to leave active in deeper Rotisserie formats for at least one more week.(owned in 27 percent of leagues)
Put 'em on your bench
Will Bynum, G, Pistons (SAC, ATL, CHA): After spending much of the season playing in mostly mop-up duty, an injury to Rodney Stuckey has finally allowed Bynum to see some quality run for the Pistons. The 29-year-old has responded by dropping in a combined 64 points over his last three games on 50 percent shooting from the field. However, Bynum's run will most likely be short lived as Stuckey is expected to be back in the lineup for Detroit's three matchups this week. While Bynum's recent three-game stretch could earn him some extra playing time, we would wait until coach Lawrence Frank commits to giving him minutes alongside Stuckey before getting him active. Bynum had only seen more than 20 minutes three times this season before his recent hot stretch so Fantasy owners should take a wait-and-see approach and leave him reserved this week.(owned in 18 percent of leagues)
Richard Hamilton, G, Bulls (CHA, @ORL, @MIA): Hamilton was finally able to get back on the floor after missing the past 12 games a torn plantar fascia tissue in his left foot but only saw 15 minutes in his first game back. That was by design as the Bulls are going to be very careful with the veteran and attempt to ease him back into action. Hamilton averaged 13.8 points on 45 percent shooting prior to his injury, but was seeing more than 27 minutes per game back then. He likely will be limited to around the 15-20 minutes range during most of Week 10 until he proves he is healthy and gets his conditioning back up. While Hamilton can be considered a viable low-end option when at 100 percent, owners should are best to wait until Fantasy Week 11 (Jan. 7-13) before getting him active.(owned in 22 percent of leagues)
Patrick Patterson, F, Rockets (ATL, NO, @MIL, @CLE): Patterson has developed into one of more pleasant surprises during the early part of the season as he was averaging 13.2 points and 4.8 rebounds on 49 percent shooting during his 21 starts. However, a foot injury cost him seven games earlier in the month and he is now being brought off the bench while he tries to get his conditioning back. While Patterson should be able to unseat Marcus Morris and earn his starting gig back, that likely won't happen until later in the scoring period. Houston wants to make sure the 23-year-old is completely healthy and in shape before asking him to log major minutes again. Fantasy owners should give the promising third-year forward out of Kentucky at least one more week before getting him active again.(owned in 52 percent of leagues)
Jeff Green, F, Celtics, (MEM, IND, @ATL): Green has once again struggled to find his footing with the Celtics this season and has been extremely inconsistent for much of the year. The 26-year-old is shooting just 41 percent from the field, which has translated into a mediocre 9.8 points and 3.2 rebounds over his 30 games. Still, Green has turned in one of his more productive stretches of late as he is averaging 11.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 block over his last five games. However, he shot just 35 percent from the field over that stretch and logged major minutes in garbage time with Boston losing four of its last five games, including the last three by an average of 23.6 points. The Celtics will be home this week to face the Grizzlies, Pacers and Hawks, which are three of the more stout defensive teams in the league. We aren't buying into Green's recent hot stretch and believe his recent productive streak was the result of favorable circumstances rather than an improvement in play. Fantasy owners should not consider Green a viable start this week.(owned in 32 percent of leagues)
Zaza Pachulia, C, Hawks, (@HOU, @NO, @DET, BOS): Pachulia is coming off one of his better performances of the season his last time on the court as he posted his second double-double of the year against the Pacers. However, productive performances have been few and far in-between for the 28-year-old as he has only scored in double figures on three other occasions. Pachulia saw a season-high 38 minutes during his big performance against Indiana as the result of Josh Smith missing the game with a hip injury. With Smith now healthy, Pachulia will be moved back to his reserve role in which he has averaged just 5.4 points and 6.5 rebounds. While the veteran has proved he can be a decent low-end option when he sees starters minutes, his value as a reserve remains extremely limited. Fantasy owners should continue to leave Pachulia on the bench in the majority of formats this week.(owned in 15 percent of leagues)