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What's on the Schedule: Week 7

Fantasy Writer
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There are only 112 games scheduled during Fantasy Week 7 (Feb. 6-12), making this scoring period the lightest of the season thus far. No team is slated to play five times or play three games on three consecutive days this week, as 24 of the 30 teams are scheduled to take the court four times over the next seven days. Only six teams will play three contests and there are only 26 back-to-back sets.

With this week's schedule arguably the most balanced to date, there aren't that many intriguing matchups at first glance. However, after taking a closer look at each team's upcoming schedule, we found plenty of tidbits that Fantasy owners should be aware of when setting their lineups this week. Here is our list of the teams we feel have the most intriguing schedules heading into Week 7.

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We highlighted the Grizzlies' schedule last week, but with four games on the docket during Week 7, we thought it prudent to mention Memphis once again. The Grizzlies are the only team slated to play four home games during the upcoming scoring period and one of the only teams that won't play any back-to-back sets. Memphis will begin the week with its third matchup of the season against the Spurs on Monday night, followed by a visit from Kevin Love and the Timberwolves on Wednesday. The Grizzlies will then host the Pacers on Friday night before closing out the week against the Jazz on Sunday.

While Memphis looks to have some tough matchups this week, the Grizzlies should have no problem putting points on the board. Coach Lionel Hollins' club has one of the most lopsided home and road splits in terms of points scored this season. The Grizzlies are averaging just 87.2 points per game on the road this season but are scoring 102.1 points per contest at home. That is a difference of nearly 15 points, which is the largest differential in the league. Sure, fatigue could play a factor at some point with the Grizzlies playing nine games over 14 days, but Memphis' splits are simply too drastic to ignore. While Rudy Gay, Marc Gasol and Mike Conley should almost always remain active, Fantasy owners should have no qualms about rolling with some of Memphis' lower end options this week as well. Feel free to activate O.J. Mayo, Tony Allen and even Marreese Speights in deeper formats.

Here are the other teams with schedules that could help make those tough decisions a bit easier:

Southwest: New Orleans Hornets (SAC, CHI, POR): The Hornets are one of only six teams with three games scheduled for Week 7, although New Orleans is the only club slated to play all three contests at home. The Hornets will welcome the defensively challenged Kings to the Big Easy on Monday night before hosting the Bulls on Wednesday. After a day off, New Orleans will close out the scoring period against the Trail Blazers on Friday night. While Sacramento is ranked last in points allowed this season (101.4), Chicago and Portland are both ranked in the Top 10 in the same category, allowing just 88.4 and 91.5 points per game, respectively. Combine that with the fact that New Orleans is averaging a league-low 87.4 points per game at home this season and Fantasy owners are likely looking at three grind-it-out, low-scoring affairs this week. Only Jarret Jack -- if healthy -- Emeka Okafor and maybe Trevor Ariza are worthy of starting in most formats this week. Carl Landry and Greivis Vasquez are simply too risky to start in anything other than the deepest of formats.

Southwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Mavericks @DEN @MIN POR
Rockets @DEN @POR @PHO @GS
Grizzlies SA MIN IND UTA
Hornets SAC CHI POR
Spurs @MEM @PHI @NJ

Pacific: Phoenix Suns (@ATL, @MIL, HOU, @SAC): The Suns have played four times in each of the last two weeks and that trend will continue during Week 7. Phoenix is slated to play four games over the next seven days, with three of those contests coming on the road. The Suns will start the week with a back-to-back road set against the Hawks and Bucks on Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Phoenix will play its lone home game of the scoring period on Thursday against the Rockets before closing out the week at Sacramento on Saturday night. While everyone considers the Suns one of the faster-paced teams in the league, Phoenix has had problems scoring away from home. Coach Alvin Gentry's squad is averaging just 89.9 points per game on the road this season, which doesn't bode well for owners considering their upcoming schedule. With three road games, including a back-to-back on the docket, Fantasy owners should avoid using the majority of Phoenix's Fantasy options this week. Only must-starts Steve Nash and Marcin Gortat should be left active in most formats.

Pacific Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Warriors OKC @DEN HOU
Clippers @ORL @CLE @PHI @CHA
Lakers @PHI @Bos @NY @TOR
Suns @ATL @MIL HOU @SAC
Kings @NO @MIN OKC PHO

Northwest: Oklahoma City Thunder (@POR, @GS, @SAC, @UTA): The Thunder will be on the West Coast over the next seven days as Kevin Durant and Co. are scheduled to play four road games, including a pair of back-to-back sets during Week 7. Oklahoma City will begin the week in Portland for a game against the Trail Blazers on Monday night before making its second trip of the season to Golden State on Tuesday. After a day off, the Thunder will be at Sacramento on Thursday night before closing out the scoring period against the Jazz on Friday. While four road games in five days seems like a daunting task for most teams, the Thunder should be up for the challenge. Three of the four teams Oklahoma City will be facing this week are ranked in the bottom seven in points allowed, including Sacramento, which is allowing a league-worst 101.4 points per contest. Couple that with the fact that the Thunder is averaging 98.3 points per game away from home, and this looks to be a good week to use most of Oklahoma City's Fantasy options. Besides the obvious choices of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden, Fantasy owners should give Serge Ibaka, Kendrick Perkins and even Nick Collison a look in deeper formats.

Northwest Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Nuggets HOU DAL GS @IND
T'Wolves SAC @MEM DAL NY
Thunder @POR @GS @SAC @UTA
Trail Blazers OKC HOU @NO @DAL
Jazz @NY @IND OKC @MEM

Southeast: Charlotte Bobcats (@BOS, CHI, LAC): The Bobcats are slated to play three times during Week 7, and all three on their matchups look to be challenging. Charlotte will be in Boston on Tuesday night to take on the Celtics before Derrick Rose and the Bulls come to town on Friday night. The Bobcats will then close out the scoring period against the Clippers on Saturday. Both the Celtics and Bulls are ranked in the top five in points allowed this season, which could make it a long week for the offensively-inept Bobcats. Charlotte has been decimated by injuries of late and is having trouble generating offense. Kemba Walker and Co. are averaging just 78 points per game over their last six contests and have failed to score 100 points in 11 straight games, making most of Charlotte's Fantasy options risky plays this week. Only Walker and perhaps Boris Diaw are worthy of starting in the majority of formats this week.

Southeast Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Hawks PHO IND @ORL MIA
Bobcats BOS CHI LAC
Heat CLE @ORL @WAS @ATL
Magic LAC MIA ATL @MIL
Wizards TOR NY MIA @DET

Central: Chicago Bulls (@NJ, @NO, @CHA, @BOS): The Bulls enter Week 7 in the midst of a nine-game road trip, which will have Chicago playing four times over the next seven days. The Bulls will battle the Nets on Monday night in New Jersey before heading out to New Orleans on Wednesday. After a day off, Chicago will take on the Bobcats on Friday before making their second trip of the season to Boston on Sunday afternoon. While most teams struggle on the offensive end when playing away from home, the Bulls have been the opposite. Chicago is actually averaging nearly 98 points per game away from the United Center this season, which ranks sixth overall. With New Jersey, Charlotte and even New Orleans on the schedule this week, the Bulls should have no problem continuing their stellar offensive play. Fantasy owners should feel free to roll with the majority of Chicago's Fantasy options heading into Week 7. Even lower-end options such as Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson and Kyle Korver could be worth a look in deeper formats.

Central Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Bulls @NJ @NO @CHA @BOS
Cavaliers @MIA LAC MIL PHI
Pistons @NJ NJ WAS
Pacers UTA @ATL @MEM DEN
Bucks PHO @TOR @CLE ORL

Atlantic: Philadelphia 76ers (LAL, SA, LAC, @CLE): The 76ers are slated to play four times during Week 7, with three of those contests at home. Philadelphia will face the Lakers on Monday night before Tim Duncan and the Spurs head to town on Wednesday. After a day off, the 76ers will take on the Clippers on Friday and then close out the week in Cleveland against the Cavaliers on Saturday night. While taking on the Lakers, Spurs and Clippers seems like a daunting task on paper, the 76ers should be able, at the very least, to score some points. The Lakers are the only team on that list ranked in the top 10 in points allowed this season, while the Clippers and Cavaliers rank near the bottom. San Antonio is surrendering just over 93 points per game but has had its fair share of issues on the defensive end. With the way Philadelphia's offense has been clicking of late, owners should feel free to continue to roll with the majority of the 76ers' main Fantasy options. Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner and Jodie Meeks could also be worth a look in deeper formats.

Atlantic Division schedule
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Celtics CHA LAL @TOR CHI
Nets CHI DET @DET SA
Knicks UTA @WAS LAL @MIN
76ers LAL SA LAC @CLE
Raptors @WAS MIL BOS LAL

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Player News
Magic C Nikola Vucevic records double-double vs. Hornets
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:46 pm ET) Magic center Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to help lead the Magic to a 102-94 victory over the Hornets Saturday.

Vucevic shot 9 of 19 from the field and made all four of his free throw attempts. The double-double was Vucevic’s 18th of the season. It was the first time he scored more than 20 points in a game since scoring 33 points Nov. 22 against the Heat. He also added three assists and one steal.

The Magic next play Monday at Miami.


Kings PG Ramon Sessions (back) downgraded to out Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:42 pm ET) Kings point guard Ramon Sessions has been downgraded to our for Saturday's game against the Knicks.

Sessions has been dealing with a lower back strain that's limited him to six minutes of action in his last three games. He has averaged 6.1 points and 2.5 assists in 25 games.

The Kings are a 6-point favorite at home against the Knicks Saturday.


Hornets' Kemba Walker scores career-high 42 points in loss
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:35 pm ET) Despite receiving a career high in points from guard Kemba Walker, the Hornets fell 102-94 to the Magic Saturday.

Walker scored 35 points in the second half and finished with 42 points on 15 of 31 shooting including 5 of 12 from the 3-point line. Walker also added seven assists, three rebounds and one block.

It was just the second time this season Walker was able to surpass 30 or more points in a game.

The Hornets next play Monday against the Bucks.


Spurs rule Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard out vs. Rockets
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:26 pm ET) The Spurs announced guard Tony Parker and forward Kawhi Leonard have been ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Rockets.

Parker is dealing with a hamstring injury which coach Greg Popovich said will keep him out 'a while.' Guard Cory Joseph has been starting in Parker’s absence.

Meanwhile, Sunday will be the seventh straight game Leonard has missed since suffering a torn ligament in his hand. Forward Kyle Anderson has been starting in Leonard’s place.

The Spurs are 2 1/2-point favorites.


Wizards PF Kris Humphries scores team-high 18 vs. Celtics
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:17 pm ET) Wizards power forward Kris Humphries scored a team-high 18 points on 9 of 14 shooting in his team's 101-88 win over the Celtics Saturday.

Humphries has delivered solid performances in his three games against his former team this month, averaging 14.3 points and 10.7 rebounds against the Celtics in December. He just missed a double-double Saturday, racking up nine rebounds to go with three assists and two steals in 24 minutes off the bench. The Wizards will be looking for a third straight win Monday against the Rockets.


Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio to undergo MRI next week
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(9:16 pm ET) Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio will undergo an MRI on his injured ankle next week, reports Yahoo Sports.

Rubio is suffering from a high ankle sprain and last played Nov. 7. If the MRI reveals the ankle has healed, Rubio is expected to begin participating in practice with contact next week.


Celtics SF Jeff Green scores team-high 23 vs. Wizards
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(9:12 pm ET) Celtics small forward Jeff Green scored a team-high 23 points on 7 of 17 shooting, including 2 of 8 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 101-88 loss to the Wizards Saturday.

Green saw a team-high 32 minuts of action in a game where 12 Celtics took the floor by the time the clock hit zero. He also kicked in four rebounds and one assist in the loss, the Celtics' fourth straight. They'll look to get back on track Wednesday against the Kings.


Knicks rule J.R. Smith out at Sacramento
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:39 pm ET) Knicks guard J.R. Smith has been ruled out of Saturday’s game at Sacramento.

It will be the ninth straight game Smith has missed while dealing with a heel injury.

The Knicks are 6-point underdogs.


Kings' DeMarcus Cousins cleared to play Saturday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(8:31 pm ET) Kings center DeMarcus Cousins will be available to play Saturday against the Knicks.

Cousins was listed as probable with gastroenteritis. The illness kept Cousins out of Friday’s loss to the Suns.

The Kings were 5-point favorites, but the line has moved to 6 points.


76ers' Thompson, Mbah a Moute out Saturday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7:54 pm ET) 76ers shooting guard Hollis Thompson (illness) and small forward Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (calf) will not play in Saturday's game against the Jazz in Utah, Sixers.com reports.

Thompson was sent back to Philadelphia as a precaution, meaning he'll miss his fourth straight game with an illness. Mbah a Moute has played in 27 of his team's 28 games this season but is dealing with a calf strain.

The 76ers are a 10-point underdog against the Jazz Saturday.


 
 
 
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