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Week 11 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Fantasy Writer
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The Mavericks have what might be the best single-week Fantasy schedule of the season coming up in Week 11 (March 5-11). The Mavericks are the only team in the NBA to play five times in the week, as they have a back-to-back to start the week and their back-to-back-to-back later, ending on Saturday.

But what makes it especially attractive from a Fantasy perspective is not just that their players will have an extra opportunity to put up numbers on their fellow players, but also who they get to do so against. The Mavericks play an above average defensive team just once in the week, the 13th-ranked Knicks. Other than that, they face the 19th-ranked Thunder and then a paper-bag of a back-to-back-to-back with road games against the Rockets, Kings and Warriors, numbers 20, 30 and 26 in the NBA in defense respectively.

Even without the attractive schedule, I might have tabbed Mavericks guard Roddy Beaubois as a solid starting option this week, as he has been reinserted into the starting lineup after the All-Star break and has responded with 52 points in just three games as he looks newly reinvigorated following an extended layoff.

With the incredibly favorable matchups he faces in the week along with the hot streak, Beaubois makes an attractive choice for our Start of the Week for Week 11, so add him in all Fantasy formats and expect a solid week from the talented Frenchman.

Guards

Start 'Em

Iman Shumpert, Knicks (@DAL, @SA, @MIL, PHI): The Knicks have a mixed bag of opponents in Week 11, however Shumpert should be able to thrive as he continues to play off the ball for the Knicks in their new-look offense. He had struggled some prior to the All-Star break, however that seems to have been the result of a knee injury sapping him of some of his trademark explosiveness. In his first game after the All-Star break, Shumpert scored 12 points in just 21 minutes and most importantly, defended Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving in crunch time. With a slew of elite point guards on the way in Week 11, Shumpert should continue to see crunch-time minutes as the Knicks' main defensive stopper, ensuring that he will continue to get solid minutes.

Sleepers for Week 11
Player % Started
1. Tristan Thompson, F, Cavaliers 29
2. Gordon Hayward, F, Jazz 18
3. Derrick Williams, F, T'Wolves 16
4. Mike Dunleavy, G, Bucks 10
5. Randy Foye, G, Clippers 18
6. Carlos Delfino, F, Bucks 41
7. Goran Dragic, G, Rockets 2
8. Gary Neal, G, Spurs 2
9. Kosta Koufos, C, Nuggets 4
10. Ekpe Udoh, F, Warriors 10

O.J. Mayo, Grizzlies (@GS, @PHO, @DEN): Mayo is the rare Memphis player who does not show a significant split in his home and road production, averaging right around 12 points per game no matter where he's playing. That is good news for this week, as the Grizzlies encounter a trio or porous defenses on the road, all three of which rank in the bottom 10 of the NBA in points allowed. Consistency has been a big issue for Mayo, however he should find plenty of opportunities to put up some nice numbers against these opponents, especially if his teammates struggle as they usually do on the road, as he attempts more shots per game on the road than at home.

Sleeper Alert: Jimmer Fredette, Kings (@DEN, NO, DAL, ATL): Fredette is starting to see his role grow ever-so-slightly here after the All-Star break, as he has found his shooting stroke. The rookie played 21 minutes on Friday night against the Lakers, his most extensive playing time in over two weeks, as he has made 6 of 10 from three-point range in his last three games. Fredette has scored in double digits in consecutive games for the first time since January and is starting to look less hesitant with his jump shot. Fredette has four opportunities in Week 11 to shoot threes, making him an appealing option in deeper Rotisserie formats.

Sit 'Em

Evan Turner, 76ers (@MIL, BOS, UTA, @NY): Turner started the season with some flashes that suggested he may have turned the corner on a disappointing rookie season, and yet here we are in March and his numbers are almost indistinguishable from last year's. Turner hit an extended cold streak that lasted almost the entire month of February, as he reached double digits in scoring just once in the month. Turner has scored just 12 points in three games since the All-Star break and with a handful of tough, grind-it-out matchups on the horizon in Week 11, it doesn't look like he's about to break out anytime soon.

Mario Chalmers, Heat (NJ, ATL, IND): This isn't an indictment on Chalmers, who is having an excellent year emerging as Miami's true fourth option on offense and a useful Fantasy player with his ability to hit the three-point shot at a high rate. However, in Week 11, the Heat plays just three times, with two games coming against teams in Indiana and Atlanta that guard the line at an above average rate. Fantasy owners will be able to rely on Chalmers for consistent threes the rest of the way, but with only three games this week; he might not be able to accumulate the stats necessary to make him a starting option.

Bust Alert: D.J. Augustin, Bobcats (ORL, UTA, NJ, @OKC): The Bobcats are in a terrible situation for Fantasy players, as they don't have one or two dominant offensive players who put up most of their points, forcing Fantasy owners to hold on to marginal, inconsistent options like Augustin. Augustin has completely lost his shot since returning from injury. In his six games since his return, Augustin has made just 31.0 percent of his shots after a 1 of 9 performance on Friday against San Antonio. Even with a fairly attractive schedule, Augustin has been struggling too much to consider using him this week.

Forwards

Start 'Em

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Josh Howard, Jazz (@CLE, @CHA, @PHI, @CHI): It didn't appear to make much sense to insert the struggling veteran into the starting lineup when the team was down, however Howard has made coach Tyrone Corbin look like a genius in the five games since. Howard is averaging 13.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game over that time frame, looking more like a viable Fantasy option than he has in years. The Jazz have an up-and-down Week 11 on the horizon, with two easy matchups leading into two extremely tough ones, however if recent history is any indication, Howard will be a solid force for them the whole time.

James Johnson, Raptors (ORL, HOU, @DET, MIL): Johnson is very quietly putting together a decent second season in Toronto, and he has been stepping his performance up recently. Over the last five games, Johnson has scored in double digits four times and is averaging 12.8 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, as the Raptors have been leaning on him a little more heavily. He is the latest Raptor to step up as the team tries to find some stability, and while his role is robust and he is playing well, don't be afraid to rely on him too.

Sleeper Alert: Kenneth Faried, Nuggets (SAC, CLE, NO, MEM): Complicating this selection somewhat is the fact that Nuggets starting center Nene is expected to return for the game against the Kings on Monday. However, Faried has been too good recently to lose his role, especially with coach George Karl saying he doesn't expect Nene to return to a full-time role this season and with Timofey Mozgov suffering another ankle injury on Friday. Faried's high-energy style fits in with Karl's running philosophy, and he has three double-doubles in the last five games without seeing huge minutes. Faried should stay in his 20-minutes-per-game role, where he has thrived, so he should be able to produce enough to be useful in that role.

Sit 'Em

Corey Brewer, Nuggets (SAC, CLE, NO, MEM): On the flip side of Faried is his teammate Brewer, who likely will lose significant minutes due to the return of a different injured teammate; this one is Danilo Gallinari, who is expected to return from a fractured ankle in Week 11. Brewer has been a nice fill in for Gallinari, however Brewer had scored in double figures just five times prior to Gallinari's injury, as he was barely a part of the team's rotation. And while Brewer has been excelling, the team has scuffled in a big way, meaning there's not really any reason not to go back to the rotation that was working. Gallinari will be worked back into the rotation, but his minutes will almost certainly come at Brewer's cost, making him a questionable option moving forward.

Richard Jefferson, Spurs (NY, LAC): The Spurs are the first team to play only twice in a week in some time, as the schedule has tightened up in a big way recently. They'll get back to a regular load next week, but for Week 11, you won't want to rely on any of their more marginal options like Jefferson in weekly leagues. Jefferson continues to redefine himself as an elite spot-up shooter in his later years with the Spurs, making him a useful low-end Fantasy option, however with only two games, you'll want to look for better options.

Bust Alert: David West, Pacers (@CHI, ATL, @MIA, @ORL): West has been turning things around recently, as he is starting to reach the one-year mark from his major knee injury last season. That might take a detour in Week 11, as the Pacers have to run through a gauntlet of the Eastern Conference's toughest defenses in the week, with three coming on the road. Against the four teams he faced in Week 11, West is averaging just 11.25 points and 4.75 rebounds, as they have been able to hold him below his season averages. Expect West to struggle some as the East's elite defenses go to work.

Centers

Start 'Em

Brendan Haywood, Mavericks (@OKC, NY, @PHO, @SAC, @GS): Haywood seems to be past the back issues that had bothered him some last week, and so he should be worth starting this week. Unlike his teammate Beaubois, who would likely have been worth starting no matter the matchups, Haywood is only worth starting because he'll have so many opportunities to play against inferior competition. Haywood is averaging just 5.8 points and 6.9 rebounds per game this season, however with five chances, he should be able to rack up enough counting stats to make him a viable Fantasy start this week.

Sleeper Alert: Chris Wilcox, Celtics (HOU, @PHI, POR, @LAL): With news of Jermaine O'Neal likely missing the next two weeks with a wrist injury, Wilcox becomes the only natural center on the Celtics' roster. Wilcox isn't starting, however he has seen his minutes go up over the last few games, and he has responded accordingly by averaging 8.8 points and 10.3 rebounds over the last three games backing up Kevin Garnett. Wilcox likely won't maintain a double-double pace, but with how weak the center position is, he could be a useful No. 2 in deeper Fantasy leagues.

Sit 'Em

DeJuan Blair, Spurs (NY, LAC): This has been an odd season for Blair, as he is averaging a career high in scoring and a career low in rebounding. That trend hasn't been showing signs of reversing recently, but that isn't why Blair is here. He's here for the same reasons Jefferson is, and that is because the Spurs play just twice this week. Only five other teams in the NBA play as few as three times this week, meaning if you're relying on Blair or any of the other low-end Spurs options, you're putting your team in a hole this week that you might not be able to dig out of.

Bust Alert: Javale McGee, Wizards (GS, LAL, POR): There are plenty of criticisms to make of McGee's game, however he has been a useful Fantasy option for most of the season. Recently his various foibles have proven too much for Wizards coach Randy Wittman, who has begun tinkering with his rotation, going so far as to bench McGee for a game last week. He put him back in the starting lineup on Saturday, however McGee was not back to his usual minutes, playing just 24 and sitting out crunch time. Wittman clearly does not trust McGee at this time and until he earns his trust and minutes back, Fantasy owners will want to be careful about relying on a guy who struggles with consistency even when receiving good minutes.

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Player News
Al Jefferson strains plantar fascia in Game 1
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2014) Bobcats center Al Jefferson suffered a strained left plantar fascia in Game 1 of the opening round of the playoffs Sunday against Miami. 

Jefferson made a quick trip to the locker room in the opening quarter of the game before returning in the second quarter and struggling the rest of the way. He was seen with walking boot after a 99-88 defeat to the Heat.

"I've got to suck it up. I'll be fine for the remainder of the playoffs," Jefferson told the Charlotte Observer after the game.

Game 2 is Wednesday in Miami.


Danny Granger limited to three points in playoff opener
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/19/2014) Clippers forward Danny Granger was eased back into action on Saturday, and did little with his 12 minutes off the bench in his team's 109-105 Game 1 loss to the Warriors in the opening round of the playoffs.

Granger scored just three points on 1 of 6 from the field, including 0 of 2 from downtown, and 1 of 1 from the free throw line. He also chipped in with two rebounds and one assist in his first game back from a hamstring strain.

Andre Iguodala does little in return to starting lineup
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/19/2014) Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (knee) got the start in his team's 109-105 victory over the Clippers in Game 1 of the first round of the playoff on Saturday.

Iguodala was the only Golden State starter held under 10 points, finishing with just eight on 3 of 6 from the floor, including 0 of 1 from 3-point land, and 2 of 2 from the free throw line. He also chipped in with three assists and one rebound while logging 20 minutes of game action.

Nets trio proves healthy as postseason opens
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/19/2014) The Nets rested a slew of starters late in the regular season, and they were healthy enough to play in Saturday's postseason opener against the Raptors Saturday as a result.

Guards Joe Johnson, Deron Williams and Shaun Livingston were all in the starting lineup and playing their usual roles Saturday, after getting time off to rest their various maladies. Johnson led the trio with 45 minutes played, but Williams logged 39 and Livingston played 29 minutes of his own in the 94-87 win.

Williams and Johnson tied for the team lead with 24 points scored, though Johnson was more efficient, shooting 8 of 13 from the field compared to Williams' 8-for-20 mark. Livingston brought up the rear with 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting as well.

With extra time off, the Nets should be able to keep their sometimes fragile roster healthy in the postseason. Johnson led the team with 79 games played this season, while Livingston appeared in 75 games and Williams play 64. 


Nick Calathes hit with 20-game suspension prior to postseason
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2014) Grizzlies guard Nick Calathes will begin serving a 20-game suspension when the team's first-round playoff series begins against the Thunder Saturday, reports Yahoo.com.

Calathes was hit with the suspension for violating the league's Anti-Drug policy, though his failed test reportedly si not due to testosterone or PED use. According to the report, Calathes tested positive for Tamoxifen, part of an over-the-counter athletic supplement Calathes was using.

Calathes appeared in 71 games for the Grizzlies, and his loss will be felt, as he was the team's primary reserve at point guard. He finished his rookie season averaging 4.9 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 16.5 minutes per game.  


Victor Oladipo will see time in summer league
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2014) Magic guard Victor Oladipo maybe be one of the frontrunners for Rookie of the Year, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have room to improve. Magic general manager Rob Hennigan told the Orlando Sentinel in Thursday's exit interview Oladipo will take part in the summer league yet again, but may not be used in every game this time around.

Oladipo ended up playing in 80 games for the Magic, and finished in the top-five in most major categories among rookies. He averaged 13.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per game. He also played the most minutes total among rookies. 


Danny Granger expects to play in first postseason game
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2014) Clippers forward Danny Granger took part in practice Thursday and plans to be available for the start of the team's first round playoff matchup against the Warriors Saturday.

Granger missed the final nine games of the regular season with a hamstring strain, and ended up playing just 41 regular season games. He averaged 8.0 points and 2.3 rebounds per game for the Clippers.  

 


Tyreke Evans could push Eric Gordon to bench
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2014) Pelicans guard Tyreke Evans closed his season out strong after a slow start, and the impetus was a move to the starting lineup March. After he found success as a starter, the team might make the move permanent next season.

From March 1 on, he averaged 20.0 points, 6.5 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game, while starting 21 of the team's final 22 games. His success could lead the team to consider a full-time switch next season, and coach Monty Williams told the team's official website that is something they will consider, especially with incumbent shooting guard Eric Gordon's inability to stay healthy yet again.

Evans ended up finishing fifth on the team in scoring at 14.5 points per game, while adding 4.7 rebounds and 5.0 assists, and appearing in the third-most games. 


Steve Nash plans to get healthy in offseason
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2014) Lakers guard Steve Nash was rarely healthy while appearing in just 15 games this season, but he told reporters in exit interviews Thursday he is in better shape than he was at this point a year ago.

Nash said he could be fully healthy in three-to-four weeks, after it took him five months last offseason. Despite this, he isn't sure if he will be able to maintain his health by the start of training camp. He plans to be at training camp, but will need to evaluate his health before the start of next season, after being extremely limited by ongoing nerve issues.

Nash finished the season averaging 6.8 points and 5.7 assists per game in his 15 appearances, but has maintained he is not planning to retire. He is under contract for one more season, and will be paid $9.7 million next year. 


Andre Drummond puts finishing touches on one-of-a-kind season
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2014) Pistons center Andre Drummond is a unique talent; anyone can see that. He finished one of the most unique seasons in modern league history Wednesday in typical fashion, as he snared his 57th double-double in a loss to the Thunder.

Drummond finished the game with 22 points and 13 rebounds, including eight offensive rebounds to push his league-leading total to 440. That represents the eighth-highest total since 1979-80, and it isn't the only place where Drummond's season stands out.

Though he shot 62.3 percent from the field, Drummond remained the league's worst free-throw shooter. He became just the third play since 1979-80 to play 2500 total minutes while shooting below 42.0 percent from the free-throw line, as his 4-for-8 performance Wednesday raised his average to 41.8 percent.

Drummond improved his production across the board in his second season, averaging 13.5 points, 13.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.6 blocks per game while appearing in 81 games.  


 
 
 
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