Fantasy Week 16 (Feb. 11-17) is one of the more difficult scoring periods for owners to deal with as there are only 28 games scheduled over the next seven days due to the All-Star break. In fact, most teams are only scheduled to play one or two games during the upcoming scoring period, which makes setting lineups a challenge. However, this week is as important as any other during the Fantasy season -- especially with playoffs just seven weeks away in the majority of leagues.
Despite the light schedule, there are still plenty of great options for owners to use in their lineup this week, including Samuel Dalembert.
After essentially spending most of December and January on the outside looking in of former coach Scott Skilies' rotation, Dalembert has gotten a chance to play under interim coach Jim Boylan. The 10-year veteran has appeared in each of Milwaukee's last eight games and an injury to Larry Sanders has allowed him to start the last two. Dalembert has done well to take advantage of his extended playing time as he has posted three straight double-doubles for the Bucks and is averaging 16.3 points, 11.7 rebounds and 3.3 blocks over that stretch on 67 percent shooting from the field. Even before he stepped in for the injured Sanders, Dalembert was seeing around 20 minutes as a reserve under Boylan and was still giving owners close to a double-double once he started seeing run again.
The 31-year-old has proved numerous times over his career that he can be counted as a decent source for scoring, rebounds and blocks when he sees quality minutes, but he has always had to compete for playing time. Unfortunately that trend continued this year, until Boylan took a hold of the reigns from Skiles. With Saunders' status still very much in question heading into Week 16 and Dalembert playing his best basketball of the year, the big man is worth a look in most formats this week. Even with matchups on tap against the stingy Wizards and 76ers -- who are two of the better teams at defending the paint -- owners should feel free to get Dalembert active at the thin center position.
Find a place for 'em
Eric Bledsoe, G, Clippers (@PHI, HOU, @LAL): While the Clippers endured one of their toughest stretches of the season without the reliable Chris Paul running the point, it did allow Bledsoe to show what he can do. The third-year guard averaged a very productive 15 points and 5.8 assists over his nine starts, but it was the 4.7 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 1.6 blocks and 40 percent shooting from downtown over that span that made him such a hit for owners in Rotisserie formats. While the return of Paul will make it hard for Bledsoe to continue to get his numbers, that might not be the case this week. Paul has been on a minutes restriction since his return to the lineup, which is expected to carry over into Week 16. Combine that with the fact the Clippers are the only team scheduled to play three times in the upcoming scoring period and will have played a total of five games over seven days when the All-Star break finally arrives, and the Clippers may hold Paul back a bit. That should allow Bledsoe to continue to see around 25 minutes most nights, which is what he averaged during Paul's first two games back in the lineup. Bledsoe has more than proven his worth when he sees quality playing time, so continue to roll with him in the majority of category-based leagues as we would expect that to be the case once again this week.(owned in 76 percent of leagues)
Nate Robinson, G, Bulls (SA, @BOS): Robinson has taken over the team’s starting point guard duties while Kirk Hinrich has been sidelined with an elbow injury, and the 28-year-old has been impressive over that stretch. Robinson is averaging 16.6 points and 8.6 assists over his last five games as a starter and is shooting 53 percent from downtown in that span. He is also giving owners 3.2 rebounds and 1.4 steals during his run and has been seeing around 39 minutes per game. The Bulls are only slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period and Kirk Hinrich has already been ruled out for Monday’s tilt. That means Robinson is likely looking at least one more game of 30-plus minutes, which is when he has thrived this year. In fact, Robinson is averaging 17.6 points and 7.5 assists when he sees at least 30 minutes per game and that trend should continue this week. Even if Hinrich does return in time for Wednesday’s contest, he is unlikely to log big minutes, which would leave the door open for Robinson. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with the eighth-year guard in the majority of Rotisserie formats this week.(owned in 75 percent of leagues)
Shawn Marion, F, Mavericks (ATL, SAC): Despite being the center of non-stop trade rumors, Marion has been one of the hottest players in the association nobody is talking about right now. The seasoned veteran has scored in double figures in eight of his last 10 games and is averaging 15.4 points and 8.9 rebounds over that stretch. He is making 56 percent of his shots during his run and is also giving owners 2.1 assists, 1.4 steals and a block while logging around 30 minutes per game. Marion's ability to fill up a stat sheet has always made his value a bit higher in category-based formats and that has once again been the case this year. The only area of the box score that Marion has struggled with has been his 3-point shooting (32 percent) -- which is actually his highest mark since the 2007-08 campaign. The 34-year-old looks to have a great chance to keep things rolling this week against the Kings and Hawks. Marion dropped 19 points and 10 rebounds in his lone meeting against Sacramento this season, while the Hawks have been scorched by opposing forwards of late. While Marion could be headed to a new team soon, owners should keep him active heading into Week 16.(owned in 85 percent of leagues)
Martell Webster, F, Wizards (@MIL, @DET): While John Wall gets most of the credit for the Wizards' recent turnaround, he isn't the only player who has given Washington a lift. Webster has also elevated his play in recent weeks as the veteran has scored in double figures in nine of his last 11 games. He is averaging 15.2 points over that span on 55 percent shooting from the field and is also giving owners 3.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists during his run. However, the most impressive part of Webster's recent upward trend has been his 3-point shooting. He has made at least two treys in 10 of his last 11 games and is shooting a whopping 54 percent from downtown over that span as the constant double teams Wall draws has given Webster plenty of open looks. Despite the Pistons and Bucks being very good at defending the 3-point line, Webster has been way too hot to consider sitting. Fantasy owners should continue to roll with the 26-year-old in the majority of Rotisserie formats heading into the shortened Week 16. (owned in 37 percent of leagues)
Lavoy Allen, C, 76ers (LAC, @MIL): While the loss of Thaddeus Young was a huge blow to the 76ers, his injury opened up some additional playing time at the power forward position. Allen has gotten the first crack at trying to fill the void left by Young and has performed very well thus far. Allen has scored in double figures in each of the three games Young has been sidelined and is averaging 12 points on 51 percent shooting from the field. He has also pulled down a combined 34 rebounds over that stretch, including a career-best 22 in Philadelphia's win over the Bobcats last Saturday. While owners shouldn't count on the 24-year-old to post 20-plus rebounds on a nightly basis, his increased playing time should allow him to post more productive stat lines for owners. In fact, Allen is averaging 10.3 points and 9.1 rebounds when he sees more than 30 minutes, which has been the case in each of his last three games. That trend should continue heading into Week 16 as Young is expected to be out until at least after the All-Star break. With dual eligibility at forward and center in most leagues, owners could do a lot worse than to roll with Allen this week.(owned in 20 percent of leagues)
Put 'em on your bench
Jason Kidd, G, Knicks (TOR): Kidd owners have been on a roller coaster this season as the veteran continues to frustrate with his inconsistent play. Unfortunately, Kidd's production has been in a downward spiral for some time now and as he has struggled to score lately. Kidd has not scored in double figures in any of his last eight contests and he has gone scoreless three times over that span. He is averaging just 2.6 points on 23 percent shooting from the field during his cold spell to go along with a modest 2.9 rebounds and 1.8 assists. The return of Iman Shumpert and Raymond Felton have cut into some of Kidd's minutes of late as he has only been seeing around 18 minutes per game since their return as coach Mike Woodson fine-tunes his rotation. While Kidd's track record suggests it should only be a matter of time before he bounces back, the Knicks' light upcoming schedule makes him a prime sit candidate. With only one game scheduled this week, owners should consider leaving the 39-year-old benched. (owned in 47 percent of leagues)
Ray Allen, G, Heat (POR, @OKC): Allen's shooting woes went from bad to worse during the past scoring period as he made just two of his 14 attempts over that span. He has scored a combined seven points over his last three games, which has left many owners scratching their heads. The veteran has only connected on six of his last 31 shot attempts (three 3s) and has failed to score in double figures in each of his last five contests. Allen's main asset to Fantasy owners is his ability to score as well as knock down treys, but he has not been doing much of either lately. While it should only be a matter of time before Allen shoots his way out of his latest slump, that could be easier said than done this week. Both Portland and Oklahoma City have done well defending the 3-point line thus far and with the Heat only slated to play twice in Week 16, owners won't have much room for error. Consider leaving Allen reserved heading into the All-Star break.(owned in 48 percent of leagues)
Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors (HOU): Barnes continues to show flashes of his potential in Golden State as the rookie has started all 50 of the games he has appeared in at small forward. However, the rookie has struggled to string long stretches of productivity together, which continues to limit his value. In fact, Barnes has alternated his scoring between single-and double-digits in each of his last five games and is averaging 13 points and 3.6 rebounds, while shooting 58 percent from the field over that span. Still, the Warriors are one of just four teams slated to play one game during Week 16, which makes him a bit of a risky play. One bad performance could really set owners back this week and Barnes' up-and-down track record doesn't leave a real comfortable feeling. Owners should consider using a more reliable option if available this week.(owned in 50 percent of leagues)
Al-Farouq Aminu, F, Hornets, (@DET, POR): Aminu's inconsistent ways continued during the last scoring period as owners got a glimpse of his best and worse. After starting the week off with a double-double, Aminu scored a combined four points and pulled down 12 rebounds over his next two games while only attempting three shots over that span. Unfortunately the 22-year-old has been posting stat lines like that all season long, which makes it hard to leave him active for long stretches. However, Aminu has been especially cold over the past few weeks as he has managed to score in double figures just once over his last eight games. Despite putting up 7.7 rebounds over that span, he is averaging just 4.7 points on 43 percent shooting from the field and isn't giving owners much in the assist, steals or block departments. While he will be facing the defensively challenged Pistons and Trail Blazers, owners should seek other options this week.(owned in 49 percent of leagues)
Tyler Zeller, C, Cavaliers, (MIN, SA): Zeller has made our sit list on more than one occasion this season and he finds himself back in that same spot this week. The rookie just can't seem to get his offensive game on track as he has managed to score in double figures in just one of his last nine games. He is shooting just 38 percent from the field over that span to go along with 6.3 rebounds and 2.4 assists. While those are respectable assist and rebound totals, they aren't enough to make up for the 23-year-old's lack of scoring or efficiency. Most thought the loss of Anderson Varejao would give Zeller all the opportunity he needed to show what he can do, but it has been Tristan Thompson who has taken his game to another level over the past few weeks. While Zeller still has a ton of upside to his game, his lack of scoring and poor shooting numbers are doing more harm than good for owners in Rotisserie formats. Consider leaving Zeller reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 47 percent of leagues)