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Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Planner

Sergio Gonzalez
Fantasy Writer
  •  

Our weekly Fantasy Basketball Planner is the essential guide to setting your lineup for the upcoming scoring period. Every week, we provide you with news and notes for each team, tracking hot and cold players, injuries and rotation changes.

Atlanta Hawks
Schedule: MIL, DEN, MIA, DET
Injury Report: No singificant injuries.
Good Plays: Al Horford, Josh Smith, Joe Johnson
Toss Ups: Jamal Crawford, Kirk Hinrich
Bad Plays: Marvin Williams, Jeff Teague, Zaza Pachulia
Notes: Smith has looked plenty healthy in his two games back from a knee sprain, playing big minutes without any restrictions. He is a safe play going forward. ... Hinrich is up to speed as the starting point guard for Atlanta now. In his last three games, he has averaged a 16-4-2 stat line and should benefit this week from a four-game slate and high-volume matchups vs. Denver and Detroit. ... Crawford, a poor option in Week 20 due to the matchups, could bounce back in Week 21 against teams like Denver and Detroit. He could hit the mid teens in scoring, but will not be help for much else.

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Boston Celtics
Schedule: @NJ, IND, @HOU, @NO
Injury Report: Glen Davis (knee/out until at least March 13), Shaquille O'Neal (Achilles'/mid-March), Jermaine O'Neal (mid-April), Delonte West (ankle/out until at least March 13)
Good Plays: Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen
Toss Ups: Jeff Green, Glen Davis, Nenad Krstic
Bad Plays: Troy Murphy, Shaquille O'Neal, Delonte West
Notes: Davis is dealing with patellar tendinitis, but could return to action on Sunday after missing four games. If he can prove healthy, he will be worth activating thanks to favorable matchups vs. New Jersey, Indiana and Houston in games that are all expected to be high scoring. ... Shaq has hinted at a possible return in Week 21, but do not expect big minutes for the big man. The Celtics will be trying to keep him as fresh as possible for their playoff run. ... About the only thing Green has going for him Fantasy-wise this week are the matchups. He is getting just seven shot attempts per game in Boston. ... Need a stopgap center? Try Krstic, who is becoming a very active part of the team's rotation. He dropped 20-and-9 on the Clippers Wednesday night and is averaging 14.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in his last five games. His minutes have gone up with Davis sidelined.

Charlotte Bobcats
Schedule: @HOU, @OKC, @SA
Injury Report: Stephen Jackson (hamstring/day-to-day), Tyrus Thomas (knee/day-to-day), Joel Przybilla (knee/day-to-day)
Good Plays: No must-starts.
Toss Ups: D.J. Augustin, Boris Diaw, Stephen Jackson, Tyrus Thomas, Gerald Henderson
Bad Plays: Kwame Brown, Shaun Livingston, Dante Cunningham
Notes: Jackson is testing his strained hammy daily and it appears he is on the verge of a return. If he can play over the weekend, start him in any league. ... Thomas was set to return Wednesday, but he woke up with a sore knee and is now hoping to return over the weekend. Use those games as a measuring stick to see how much he is ready to take on, but there is a big role available to him with Gerald Wallace out of town. ... Diaw has seen a spike in production with Jackson sidelined, but be careful not to expect those numbers when Jackson returns. ... Expect Augustin to put up mid-teens scoring against high-volume teams like Houston and Oklahoma City, but San Antonio could limit him to single digits. He has averaged 14-4-3 over his last five games. ... Henderson has scored 20 in back-to-back games, but do not overlook the fact that his solid run has come with Jackson out of the lineup. Temper expectations this week.

Chicago Bulls
Schedule: WAS, @NJ, @IND
Injury Report: Carlos Boozer (ankle/out indefinitely)
Good Plays: Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah
Toss Ups: Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
Bad Plays: Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver
Notes: Boozer hurt his ankle Wednesday night against Charlotte. X-rays came back negative, but Fantasy owners will have to track his progress over the weekend. Coach Tom Thibodeau said Thursday that he could be out from a couple of days to a week. Clearly, if he is healthy enough to play he remains a must-start. ... If Boozer sits out, Gibson gains some sleeper appeal in deeper formats for Week 21, but more so in average-based play than cumulative formats. Remember, he did not take advantage of a lengthy absence by Noah earlier this season. ... The Bulls will face three teams in Week 21 that allow 100-plus points per game.

Sergio's Sleepers for Week 21
* Sleepers are players started in less than 70 percent of CBSSports.com leagues
Player Start %
1. Mo Williams, G, Clippers 65
2. Kris Humphries, F, Nets 48
3. James Harden, G, Thunder 47
4. Jameer Nelson, G, Magic 61
5. Hakim Warrick, F, Suns 13
6. Kirk Hinrich, G, Bulls 29
7. Nenad Krstic, C, Celtics 8
8. Chase Budinger, F, Rockets 36
9. Kenyon Martin, F, Nuggets 22
10. Serge Ibaka, F, Thunder 59

Cleveland Cavaliers
Schedule: @SAC, @POR, @LAC
Injury Report: Antawn Jamison (pinkie/likely out for the season), Anderson Varejao (ankle/out for the season)
Good Plays: J.J. Hickson
Toss Ups: Baron Davis, Ramon Sessions, Samardo Samuels
Bad Plays: Daniel Gibson, Anthony Parker, Christian Eyenga
Notes: Davis left the team on Wednesday due to the passing of his grandmother and is not expected to re-join the team until March 19. In his first three appearances for the Cavs, he averaged 18-6-4, but he would play just one game in Week 21, making him risky even in average-based play. He will face a Clippers team that traded him away less than a month ago. ... Sessions' minutes did not take a huge hit with Davis in the mix this past week, but his touches did. He can still provide decent totals across the board, but Davis has taken a huge chunk out of his Fantasy appeal. Expect around 10-13 points, 4-5 assists, 3-4 rebounds whenever Davis is in the lineup. He averaged 20-9-4 in February. ... Samuels will enjoy big minutes the rest of the way with Jamison out and a lack of suitable alternatives on the roster. Expect more numbers like the 15-8-1 stat line he has managed over his last five games. ... Gibson should see an increase in production over the first two games of the scoring period, but would drop off dramatically for the third game if Davis returns.

Dallas Mavericks
Schedule: @POR, @GS, SA, GS
Injury Report: Shawn Marion (ribs/day-to-day), Peja Stojakovic (back/day-to-day), Caron Butler (knee/out for the season)
Good Plays: Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry
Toss Ups: Shawn Marion, Tyson Chandler
Bad Plays: Jose Juan Barea, Roddy Beaubois, Peja Stojakovic, Brendan Haywood
Notes: Marion suffered bruised ribs on Wednesday night. X-rays came back negative and he has been listed as day-to-day going forward. Monitor his status over the weekend, but he is looking at a pair of favorable matchups against Golden State in Week 21 that play in his favor. ... Stojakovic has failed to make a real dent in the rotation since joining the Mavs and is now dealing with back issues. Avoid him everywhere. If you see him walking down the street, turn around and walk the other way. ... So much for all the Beaubois hype, huh? He has averaged just 16.7 minutes in nine games since getting back on the floor. ... With Chandler back from his ankle injury, Haywood's Fantasy appeal goes down the drain.

Denver Nuggets
Schedule: @NO, @ATL, @ORL, @MIA
Injury Report: Danilo Gallinari (toe/out until at least March 14), Arron Afflalo (hamstring/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Nene
Toss Ups: Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson, J.R. Smith, Danilo Gallinari, Kenyon Martin, Arron Afflalo
Bad Plays: Al Harrington, Timofey Mozgov, Chris Andersen
Notes: The Nuggets will face four teams that will look to slow down their pace. None of their Week 21 opponents allow more than 96 points per game. ... Gallinari was ruled out through the weekend, but will be re-evaluated on Monday -- at which time Fantasy owners will know his status for Week 21. ... Even with Gallinari sidelined, Chandler has failed to distinguish himself in Denver's very balanced rotation. He managed just 6-4-1 and 7-8-1 in his last two games. Given the matchups, he seems to be a player to avoid this week. ... Afflalo strained his hamstring last Saturday and was expected to miss only two games. He should be back over the weekend, but the matchups do not favor him. ... Smith has been held below 10 points in three of his last four games and it seems that he will not be seeing a significant increase in touches after all. He has averaged just 21.6 minutes per game over his last five appearances. ... Martin has been one of the steadier options on the Nuggets roster lately and will not be phased by low-volume games since his touches do not vary. K-Mart is averaging a respectable 11.5 points and 7.5 rebounds over his last five games.

Detroit Pistons
Schedule: TOR, NY, @ATL
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: No must-starts.
Toss Ups: Rodney Stuckey, Tracy McGrady, Greg Monroe, Tayshaun Prince, Ben Gordon, Richard Hamilton, Charlie Villanueva
Bad Plays: Austin Daye, Ben Wallace, Will Bynum
Notes: Coach John Kuester is at it again, switching McGrady over Stuckey at point guard for reasons only he may know. ... Whichever player has been asked to run the point has actually been able to put up numbers. Good numbers in fact, but right now there is just no telling which way the wind will blow from game to game. Avoid this situation all together where possible. ... Hamilton scored 20 points and played 31 minutes off the bench Wednesday, but we suggest not getting too excited just yet. Again, as long as Kuester is at the helm, very little will be stable in Detroit. ... Gordon and Villanueva are viable low-end plays this week thanks to the matchups against Toronto and New York, but they are also subject to Kuester's whims.

Most Added Players
* as of March 10
Player % Change
1. Jarrett Jack, G, Hornets 30
2. Tyler Hansbrough, F, Pacers 26
3. Hakim Warrick, F, Suns 25
4. Samardo Samuels, F, Cavaliers 20
5. Marcus Thornton, G, Kings 18
6. Randy Foye, G, Clippers 12
7. Tyrus Thomas, F, Bobcats 11
8. Thaddeus Young, F, 76ers 10
9. James Harden, G, Thunder 10
10. Toney Douglas, G, Knicks 9

Golden State Warriors
Schedule: @SAC, DAL, @PHO, @DAL
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Monta Ellis, Stephen Curry, David Lee, Dorell Wright
Toss Ups: None.
Bad Plays: Andris Biedrins, Ekpe Udoh, Reggie Williams, Al Thornton
Notes: Biedrins is back in the starting lineup, with minimal success. He managed just four points and five boards on Wednesday night in New Jersey and whether it is Biedrins or Udoh starting at the five, neither has had any Fantasy appeal. ... The Warriors will play two very high-volume matchups against the Kings and Suns. Expect big numbers from the big four in those games.

Houston Rockets
Schedule: PHO, CHA, BOS, UTA
Injury Report: Luis Scola (knee/day-to-day), Yao Ming (ankle/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry, Luis Scola
Toss Ups: Chase Budinger, Chuck Hayes
Bad Plays: Courtney Lee, Goran Dragic, Jordan Hill
Notes: Scola missed a game for the first time in his career on Tuesday, so he may be dealing with more than just a "sore" knee, but that is the Rockets' story and they are sticking to it. Fantasy owners should expect the gritty Argentine to be back in the lineup over the weekend, but it might be time to panic if he misses Saturday's game against San Antonio. ... Hill started in Scola's absence on Tuesday but was not much of a factor. ... Hayes brought down nine boards and added nine points on Tuesday against Phoenix without Scola around. He should remain steady on the glass -- with or without Scola -- but he could be closer to 10 points per game if Scola were not in the mix. He has averaged just 5.6 points over his last five appearances. ... Budinger is making the most of added minutes and touches since Shane Battier was traded away. He is averaging 15.1 points and 4.2 rebounds over his last 10 games and is a worthy play, especially in a four-game scoring period.

Indiana Pacers
Schedule: NY, @BOS, CHI, @MEM
Injury Report: Josh McRoberts (knee/day-to-day), Jeff Foster (back/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Danny Granger, Roy Hibbert
Toss Ups: Tyler Hansbrough, Darren Collison
Bad Plays: Josh McRoberts, Paul George, Mike Dunleavy, Brandon Rush, Jeff Foster
Notes: Hansbrough is enjoying a huge Week 20 and has just about locked up a primary role for the remainder of the season. Expect him to continue to put up these types of numbers against the likes of the Knicks and Grizzlies, but his numbers could decline against two tougher defensive teams in Boston and Chicago. ... Collison has remained stagnant even with very favorable matchups this week for the Pacers. He is averaging just 9.4 points and 2.2 assists over his last five games and has become less and less active in the offense with each passing game.

L.A. Clippers
Schedule: @MEM, PHI, CLE, PHO
Injury Report: Eric Gordon (wrist/out until at least March 16)
Good Plays: Blake Griffin
Toss Ups: Eric Gordon, Mo Williams, Randy Foye, Eric Bledsoe, Chris Kaman
Bad Plays: DeAndre Jordan, Eric Bledsoe, Ryan Gomes, Al-Farouq Aminu
Notes: Gordon's status for the remainder of the season remains in doubt, but what is certain is that he will not return prior to the end of the team's current road trip. That means he will be out through at least Monday's game at Memphis and will be too risky to activate in most circumstances for Week 21 unless the Clippers come out and say he will return. ... With Gordon's status hanging in the balance, so to is the value of Foye and Bledsoe. Foye is certainly worth the gamble, but will be just that this scoring period -- a gamble. ... Williams is active in only 65 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, but is averaging 19.0 points and 6.4 assists over his last five games. He has settled in nicely and seems to have a new lease on life since being traded out of Cleveland. And who can blame him. Get him active in all formats as matchups at Memphis, Cleveland and Phoenix play in his favor. ... Even while playing only around 25 minutes per game, Kaman has been productive. He is averaging 13.0 points and 7.2 rebounds with 1.2 blocks over his last five appearances and makes for a quality play in leagues that require two centers.

L.A. Lakers
Schedule: ORL, MIN, POR
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Andrew Bynum
Toss Ups: Lamar Odom
Bad Plays: Ron Artest, Shannon Brown, Derek Fisher, Matt Barnes, Steve Blake
Notes: Odom is averaging 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds over his last five games and has stabilized again after a brief dip in productivity. With a matchup against the most Fantasy-friendly opponent in the league -- Minnesota -- in the cards, he remains a good play in most formats. ... Orlando and Portland each allow less than 96 points per game. ... Artest is averaging just 8.4 points per game over his last five games.

Memphis Grizzlies
Schedule: LAC, @NY, IND
Injury Report: Rudy Gay (shoulder/mid-March), Xavier Henry (knee/early April)
Good Plays: Zach Randolph
Toss Ups: Mike Conley, Marc Gasol, Tony Allen
Bad Plays: Rudy Gay, O.J. Mayo, Shane Battier, Darrell Arthur, Sam Young
Notes: The Grizzlies are scheduled to re-evaluate Gay on Monday after he undergoes an MRI to determine how far along he is in his recovery. Gay has been out since Feb. 15. Fantasy owners should not be counting on activating him, however, as he would still need to get a few practices before he can play even if he gets cleared on Monday. ... In Gay's absence, Allen has thrived as a scoring threat at times. He has scored 20-plus points in three of his last five games but managed a combined 10 points in his other two contests. We like the matchups for him in Week 21 against three teams that allow over 100 points per game. ... The matchups also favor Gasol and Conley, who make viable low-end starters this week in cumulative and average-based play.

Miami Heat
Schedule: SA, OKC, @ATL, DEN
Injury Report: Udonis Haslem (foot/late March)
Good Plays: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh
Toss Ups: Mario Chalmers
Bad Plays: Mike Bibby, Mike Miller, James Jones, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Erick Dampier, Joel Anthony
Notes: Chalmers entered play Thursday night on the heels of a couple of decent stat lines against the Trail Blazers and Bulls. Even with Bibby now on the roster, it has been Chalmers who has been able to chip in about 10 points, five assists and a couple of steals per game. See if he can keep that up over the weekend. However, our experience with Chalmers has led us to believe that he likely will fade away like he always does. ... Bibby entered play Thursday having averaged just 3.3 points and 2.1 assists in his first four appearances for Miami.

Milwaukee Bucks
Schedule: @ATL, ORL, NJ, NY
Injury Report: Corey Maggette (knee/day-to-day), Ersan Ilyasova (concussion/day-to-day), Drew Gooden (foot/out indefinitely), Michael Redd (knee/out until at least March 23)
Good Plays: Brandon Jennings
Toss Ups: Andrew Bogut, John Salmons, Carlos Delfino, Corey Maggette
Bad Plays: Ersan Ilyasova, Drew Gooden, Keyon Dooling, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute
Notes: Bogut is playing on through aches and pains and, despite a terrific 14-9-7 stat line on Tuesday in Washington, he is just too inconsistent to trust in most Fantasy formats at this critical juncture of the season. The Bucks will continue to trot him out there as long as they continue to cling on to playoff aspirations, but Bogut is dealing with a bad elbow and a strained oblique. The injuries have limited him to 8.1 points per game over his last seven appearances and a horrible 38.7 shooting percentage from the floor. ... Maggette hurt his knee last Sunday against Boston and missed the following two games. He is listed as day-to-day. If he can get back on the floor over the weekend, he could be a decent low-end play in cumulative formats due to a four-game slate that includes two Fantasy-friendly matchups against the Nets and Knicks after two tough ones against Atlanta and Orlando. ... Trust Delfino and Salmons as good low-end plays this week.

Best Fantasy Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Kings GS, CLE, PHI, @MIN
2. Celtics @NJ, IND, @HOU, @NO
3. 76ers @UTA, @LAC, @SAC, @POR
4. Suns @HOU, @NO, GS, @LAC
5. Thunder @WAS, @MIA, CHA, TOR

Minnesota Timberwolves
Schedule: @UTA, @LAL, SAC
Injury Report: Kevin Love (knee/day-to-day), Wesley Johnson (illness/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Kevin Love, Michael Beasley
Toss Ups: Luke Ridnour
Bad Plays: Darko Milicic, Wesley Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Anthony Randolph, Wayne Ellington
Notes: Love missed practice on Tuesday due to a knee contusion and was a game-time decision for Wednesday's game. He brought down 21 boards and made it 52 consecutive double-doubles on the season. He is listed as a game-time decision for Friday's game again, but unless the Timberwolves rule him out of game action he is far too valuable to sit in any format. ... Johnson, who has been dealing with an upset stomach this week, has managed just seven points and seven boards in his last two games. ... Ridnour continues to alternate between decent stat lines and total clunkers. Given tough matchups against Utah and L.A. in a three-game scoring period, he is too much of a wild card this week to trust in a must-win scenario. ... Darko has seen his playing time restricted this week, playing under 20 minutes in games against Dallas and Indiana. He looks to be a player to avoid again.

New Jersey Nets
Schedule: BOS, CHI, @MIL, @WAS
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Deron Williams, Brook Lopez
Toss Ups: Kris Humphries, Anthony Morrow
Bad Plays: Jordan Farmar, Travis Outlaw, Sasha Vujacic
Notes: Williams left the team this week to be with his wife for the birth of the couple's fourth child. He is expected back for Monday's game against Boston and should be a safe play. ... Humphries is averaging 15.6 points and 15.0 rebounds over his last five games and is active in less than 50 percent of leagues. These numbers should be there for him with Derrick Favors no longer on the roster and big minutes on the table for him every time out. ... Morrow continues to be wildly erratic, capable of scoring 20 points one night and five the next. Over the course of a four-game week, expect a little of both from him. That could be enough to get you by in deeper formats.

New Orleans Hornets
Schedule: DEN, PHO, BOS
Injury Report: Chris Paul (concussion/day-to-day)
Good Plays: David West
Toss Ups: Chris Paul, Jarrett Jack, Chris Paul, Carl Landry, Trevor Ariza
Bad Plays: Marco Belinelli, Willie Green
Notes: Paul was able to practice fully on Thursday, a good sign that he could return to action over the weekend following last weekend's scary head injury. ... If and when Paul returns, Jack can remain a viable source for double-digit scoring, but his dimes would obviously decline. ... Landry has averaged just 22.8 minutes per game over his last five appearances and is not a very reliable Fantasy option at this stage despite a couple of decent stat lines here and there. ... Ariza looked very shaky in his return from a three-game absence on Wednesday, shooting 0 for 10 from the field. He added nine boards, however, and could do well in high-volume matchups against Denver and Phoenix this week.

New York Knicks
Schedule: @IND, MEM, @DET, @MIL
Injury Report: Chauncey Billups (thigh, knee)
Good Plays: Amar'e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony
Toss Ups: Chauncey Billups, Toney Douglas, Landry Fields
Bad Plays: Shawne Williams, Ronny Turiaf, Jared Jeffries
Notes: Billups, who has missed five consecutive games, revealed this week that he is dealing with a knee issue along with the deep thigh bruise that has held him out. The Knicks expect him back Sunday against the Pacers. Use Sunday's game to determine his viability for Week 21. ... If Billups proves healthy, Douglas' recent run of prominence (17-7-4 over last five) goes out the window. ... Fields is averaging a respectable, Tayshaun Prince-like 13-5-3 stat line over his last five games.

Oklahoma City Thunder
Schedule: @WAS, @MIA, CHA, TOR
Injury Report: Kendrick Perkins (knee/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook
Toss Ups: Kendrick Perkins, Serge Ibaka, James Harden
Bad Plays: Nazr Mohammed, Nick Collison, Nate Robinson, Thabo Sefolosha
Notes: Perkins participated in his first full practice Thursday since being injured on Feb. 22. He will need to get a few practices under his belt but could be back for a full scoring period in Week 21. We love the matchups at the Wizards, Heat and Raptors and think of him as a viable sleeper option for owners in a pinch. However, owners with alternatives should allow him to prove healthy before activating him. ... Ibaka should also be able to benefit from favorable inside matchups all week. ... Harden is averaging 18.0 points over his last five games and has taken on most of the offensive slack left by the departure of Jeff Green to Boston.

Orlando Magic
Schedule: @WAS, @MIA, CHA, TOR
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Dwight Howard
Toss Ups: Jameer Nelson, Jason Richardson, Ryan Anderson, Hedo Turkoglu
Bad Plays: Brandon Bass, Gilbert Arenas
Notes: Nelson's minutes are climbing as Arenas becomes less and less of a factor. He has regained much of the Fantasy appeal he lost when Arenas joined the team and is averaging a 17-5-2 line over his last five games. ... Richardson makes for a solid play this week thanks to matchups at Washington and Toronto in a four-game scoring period. He has averaged 17.8 points and 4.8 rebounds over his last five games and is starting to get going offensively. ... Anderson could thrive on the perimeter against Toronto and Washington this week.

Philadelphia 76ers
Schedule: @UTA, @LAC, @SAC, @POR
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Andre Iguodala, Jrue Holiday, Elton Brand
Toss Ups: Lou Williams, Evan Turner
Bad Plays: Spencer Hawes, Jodie Meeks, Marreese Speights
Notes: The Sixers will face three teams that allow over 100-plus points per game in Week 21. Expect high-scoring games. ... Williams scored 22 points against the Thunder on Wednesday in a similar high-volume affair. He scored 19 last Sunday against the Warriors. He has some sleeper appeal this week as a result of the high-volume games. ... Turner, on a smaller scale, could also see a trickle-down effect of the high-scoring games.

Phoenix Suns
Schedule: @HOU, @NO, GS, @LAC
Injury Report: Channing Frye (shoulder/mid-March)
Good Plays: Steve Nash, Marcin Gortat
Toss Ups: Vince Carter, Grant Hill, Hakim Warrick
Bad Plays: Channing Frye, Aaron Brooks, Jared Dudley, Robin Lopez, Mickael Pietrus
Notes: Frye is hoping to return on the short end of the original 2-3 week timetable, but it seems unlikely that he will play in Week 21. ... In Frye's absence, Warrick appears to be the player who could benefit most. Beware of a historically inconsistent producer, but Tuesday's 32-8-4 stat line vs. Houston is a reminder of the upside he has always displayed. ... Take advantage of three high-volume games ahead with fringe options like Carter and Hill this week.

Portland Trail Blazers
Schedule: DAL, CLE, PHI, @LAL
Injury Report: Greg Oden (knee/out for the season)
Good Plays: LaMarcus Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Andre Miller
Toss Ups: Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby, Nicolas Batum, Brandon Roy
Bad Plays: Rudy Fernandez
Notes: Roy has scored in double-figures just twice in his last five games. With back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday, he'll be held out of the team's March 20 game at the Lakers, per the team's policy of resting him in back-to-back sets. ... Camby is offering solid rebound totals, but little else. ... Matthews and Batum make for decent plays this week with the four-game slate, but the matchups are not particularly attractive.

Sacramento Kings
Schedule: GS, CLE, PHI, @MIN
Injury Report: Beno Udrih (illness/day-to-day), Tyreke Evans (foot/mid-March)
Good Plays: DeMarcus Cousins, Beno Udrih, Marcus Thornton
Toss Ups: Francisco Garcia, Samuel Dalembert
Bad Plays: Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson
Notes: Evans is scheduled for a third shock-wave threatment this week. On Feb. 22, the team said they would re-evaluate him in three weeks. We are still awaiting a concrete timetable for his return, but the chances of him being a safe play for Week 21 appear limited at best. ... In Evans' absence, Udrih and Thornton remain quality plays. ... Expect Garcia and Dalembert to benefit from more possessions this week in what should amount to four high-volume matchups.

Worst Fantasy Schedules
Team Schedule
1. Spurs @MIA, @DAL, CHA
2. Magic @LAL, @MIL, DEN
3. Lakers ORL, MIN, POR
4. Nuggets NO, @ATL, @ORL, @MIA
5. Nets BOS, CHI, @MIL, @WAS

San Antonio Spurs
Schedule: @MIA, @DAL, CHA
Injury Report: No significant injuries.
Good Plays: Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker
Toss Ups: DeJuan Blair, Richard Jefferson, George Hill, Matt Bonner
Bad Plays: Gary Neal, Antonio McDyess
Notes: Blair has favorable inside matchups against Miami and Charlotte this week and could see a bigger role against Charlotte if Duncan is restricted on the back end of a back-to-back set. ... Parker's early return reduces Hill to only a stopgap measure for deeper formats and Neal to a non-viable option all together again. ... Jefferson remains useful mainly just in category formats for help in 3-point shooting given his current role. ... Bonner has some very low-end value in deeper leagues given his recent 3-point shooting. Use him only in emergency situations.

Toronto Raptors
Schedule: @DET, WAS, @OKC
Injury Report: Andrea Bargnani (illness/day-to-day), Amir Johnson (ankle/day-to-day)
Good Plays: Andrea Bargnani, Jose Calderon
Toss Ups: DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson
Bad Plays: Ed Davis, Leandro Barbosa, Jerryd Bayless, Reggie Evans
Notes: Bargnani has dealt with a stomach bug that he came down with on the trip back from London, but he should be over it by the start of Week 21 and makes for a strong play in any format. ... DeRozan and Johnson should benefit from high-volume matchups against Washington and Oklahoma City. ... Johnson landed awkwardly on his ankle on Wednesday and is dealing with some swelling. Monitor his progress over the weekend before making a final decision.

Utah Jazz
Schedule: PHI, MIN, @HOU
Injury Report: Paul Millsap (knee/day-to-day), Andrei Kirilenko (back/day-to-day), Mehmet Okur (back/out indefinitely)
Good Plays: Al Jefferson, Devin Harris
Toss Ups: Paul Millsap, Andrei Kirilenko
Bad Plays: C.J. Miles, Derrick Favors
Notes: Millsap is a game-time decision for Friday's game in Minnesota and is likely to be able to return within the next couple of games. Count on having him active for favorable matchups against the Timberwolves and Rockets this week. ... Kirilenko is dealing with lingering back spasms. If he proves healthy over the weekend, he too should be able to take advantage of favorable matchups this week. He could average in the mid-teens in scoring with suitable numbers in every significant category if healthy.

Washington Wizards
Schedule: OKC, @CHI, @TOR, NJ
Injury Report: Andray Blatche (shoulder/day-to-day), Rashard Lewis (knee/day-to-day), Josh Howard (hamstring/day-to-day)
Good Plays: John Wall
Toss Ups: Andray Blatche, Nick Young, JaVale McGee
Bad Plays: Rashard Lewis, Josh Howard, Trevor Booker
Notes: Blatche fell on his shoulder awkwardly on Tuesday, but appears to have avoided serious injury as the MRI taken came back negative. Coach Flip Saunders said Thursday that he does not anticipate he will be available on Saturday, which means Blatche will be a tricky start in weekly formats unless his status is announced prior to Monday's lineup deadlines -- which is unlikely since the Wizards do not play until Tuesday. Start him at your own risk, but the matchups are favorable. ... Young and McGee make for attractive plays this week thanks to three high-volume matchups against the Thunder, Raptors and Nets. ... Lewis is in real danger of being shut down for the season and has been mulling over surgery options.

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Player News
Bulls have not guaranteed Pau Gasol a starting job
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Though the Bulls made him their marquee addition this offseason, the Chicago Sun-Times reports Tuesday the team has made no guarantees about Pau Gasol's role.

Gasol, who has started all but 13 of his NBA games in his 14 seasons, has not been guaranteed a starting spot for the Bulls this season. He joins a crowded frontcourt that already features Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, as well as fellow additions Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic. Gasol will likely vie for a starting spot with Gibson, but should see time at power forward and center.

Gasol comes to the Bulls on a three-year deal, after averaging 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game in 60 appearances -- all starts -- with the Lakers last season. 


James Young recovered from offseason concussion
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Celtics rookie forward James Young missed all of Summer League while recovering from a concussion sustained in a car accident, but is symptom-free as of late July, he told USA Today.

Young, the No. 17 overall pick over of the University of Kentucky, suffered the concussion prior to the draft. He was held out of all activities at the Summer League in Orlando, but has been cleared to practice in recent days. 


Wesley Johnson re-signs with Lakers for one year
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Lakers announced the re-signing of forward Wesley Johnson Monday, though terms of the deal have not yet been announced.

Johnson appeared in 79 games for the injury-bitten Lakers last season, and put together the most productive season of his career as a result. He averaged 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game. 


Jan Vesely signing with Turkish team
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Wizards forward Jan Vesely is expected to sign with Fenerbache Ulker of the Turkish Basketball League according to Sportando, likely bringing an end to the former lottery pick's time in the NBA.

Over three disappointing seasons, the 2011 No. 6 overall pick averaged just 3.6 points and 3.5 rebounds per game in 162 appearances. 


Serge Ibaka still recovering from ruptured calf
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Thunder forward Serge Ibaka played through a ruptured calf late in the playoffs last season, and told Bleacher Report Monday he is still not fully healed.

"I'm not 100 percent back yet, but I'm getting better," Ibaka said. "I'm trying to get back in shape and it's going to take time."

Ibaka was intiailly given season-ending prognosis as a result of the injury, but came back for the final four games of the Thunder's six-game series loss to the Spurs. He is planning to play in the upcoming FIBA World Cup, and will presumably be fully healthy by then.

Ibaka led the lead in blocks for the fourth straight season, while averaging career-highs across the board. He put up 15.1 points, 8.8 rebounds and 1.0 assists in 81 games. 


Steve Nash: 'I think this is my last season'
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) Lakers guard Steve Nash has struggled through a series of injuries and appears to be just about at the end of his career at the age of 40.

"I think this is my last season," Nash told Sport TV, via the Los Angeles Daily News. "But I still love to play. I love to practice and work on my game. I'm going to spend hopefully many, many years living this life without basketball. It'll be nice to play one more year."

Nash was limited to just 15 games a year ago due to a back injury that also caused nerve problems in his lower body. The Lakers acquired point guard Jeremy Lin this offseason and likely do not expect much from Nash, given his injury issues. 


Xavier Henry re-ups with Lakers for one year
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Lakers announced the signing of forward Xavier Henry to a one-year contract Friday.

Henry, was productive when healthy for the Lakers last season, averaging 10.0 points and 2.7 rebounds per game in 43 appearances. He is recovering from wrist and knee surgeries this offseason.  


Suns waive Dionte Christmas
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Suns released guard Dionte Christmas Thursday, the team announced.

Christmas appeared in 31 games during his rookie season with the Suns, but barely made an impact. He averaged just 2.3 points and 1.2 rebounds per game, and will likely have trouble finding work for the 2014-15 season. 


Mavericks add Ivan Johnson for training camp
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Mavericks announced the signing of forward Ivan Johnson Tuesday, after he spent a season playing in China.

Johnson was last in the NBA when he spent two seasons with the Hawks. He receives an unguaranteed deal from the Mavericks for training camp, after averaging 6.5 points per game over his two seasons in Atlanta.  


Magic announce signing of Devyn Marble
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/29/2014) The Magic signed second-round pick Devyn Marble to a three-year deal at the conclusion of Summer League, the Orlando Sentinel  reported.

Marble's first season will be guaranteed, after he was the 56th overall pick in the draft out of the University of Iowa. Marble appeared in33 games with Iowa, averaging 17.0 points and 3.6 assists per game as a senior. 


 
 
 
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