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Rotisserie specials for Week 7

by | Fantasy Writer
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Fantasy Week 7 (Dec. 10-16) represents the quarter point of the season as teams are approaching or will hit the 20-game mark.

While some of predictions and forecasts for players have played out just as expected, some have exceeded expectations or been major busts through the early part of the year. With the injuries starting to pile up, most teams and Fantasy owners have been scrambling to the waiver wire to try and plug up holes that have grown in their lineups. That is where we come in as we have once again gone through the upcoming week's schedule and matchups to compile our list of five players who are worth a look in Roto formats and the five players who should be avoided.

Find a place for 'em

Jordan Crawford, G, Wizards (@NO, @HOU, LAL, @MIA): Crawford did not get off to the best start this season as he averaged just 11.3 points on 33 percent shooting from the field over his first 11 games. However, the 24-year-old has picked up the pace in recent weeks and is a big reason why the Wizards are starting to play better. Crawford has scored in double figures in a season-best six straight games for the Wizards and is averaging 18.8 points on 46.2 percent shooting from the field over that stretch. He is also giving Fantasy owners 4.3 assists and 3.2 rebounds during his hot streak to go along with 1.5 treys per game. While Crawford continues to come off the bench in Washington, he could be in line to see a slight boost in playing time this week now that A.J. Price is sidelined with a broken hand. Shaun Livingston is the only healthy point guard on the roster right now, which means Crawford will be asked to run the point at various times. He also looks to have some favorable matchups on tap, which at the very least should allow him to maintain his current production. Fantasy owners should continue to ride Crawford's hot hand heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 65 percent of leagues)

Rodney Stuckey, G, Pistons (@PHI, @DEN, @BKN, IND): Stuckey has been one of the bigger disappointments in all of Fantasy during the early part of the season as his numbers have been way down across the board. He got off to such a poor start this season that coach Lawrence Frank pulled him from the starting lineup after he averaged just 9.3 points and 4.3 assists over his first eight games on 28 percent shooting from the field. While Stuckey's production has remained fairly inconsistent off the bench, he has started to show signs of life over the past week or so. The 26-year-old has scored in double figures in four of his last eight games and is also chipping in with 6.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds and a steal per game during his hot streak. The Pistons have been so encouraged by his recent stretch that there have been whispers about possibly inserting him back into the starting lineup. While that likely won't happen in the upcoming scoring period, owners should feel free to get Stuckey active while he is turning in productive performances again. (owned in 71 percent of leagues)

Amir Johnson, F, Raptors (@POR, BKN, DAL, HOU): The Raptors are a complete mess right now and as the team continues to pile up the losses, coach Dwane Casey continues to tweak his rotation. While he has yet to make any permanent changes to the starting lineup, Johnson has seen some extra run over the past few contests. After averaging 19 minutes per game over his first 16 contests, Johnson has been seeing around 25 minutes over his last five games and has received 30-plus minutes twice over that stretch. Of course, more minutes usually translates into more production and Johnson has responded by scoring in double figures in four of his last five contests. He is averaging 10.4 points and 6.0 rebounds over his mini hot streak and is also giving Fantasy owners 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals during that stretch. Johnson also has the luxury of facing some fairly soft defenses in the upcoming scoring period as the Mavericks, Trail Blazers and Rockets are all ranked near the bottom of the pack in points allowed and opposition field-goal percentage. Even the Nets have been allowing teams to score at will of late, so owners looking for some help in the point, rebounding and field-goal percentage departments should consider rolling with Johnson in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 14 percent of leagues)

Corey Brewer, F, Nuggets (@DET, @MIN, MEM, @SAC): While the Nuggets have fallen on hard times of late, Brewer has been one of the few players in Denver who has upped his production in recent weeks. The 26-year-old continues to serve as one of coach George Karl's super subs and enters Week 7 on a nice little hot streak. Brewer has scored in double figures in each of his last four contests and is averaging 16.2 points on 54 percent shooting from the field over his last five games. He is also chipping in with 3.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals during that stretch to go along with 1.5 treys per game. Brewer has always been considered a decent source for steals and 3-pointers for owners in Rotisserie formats but now that he is scoring the ball with more frequency, his value has been on the rise. He should be able to at least maintain his current production in that category this week as he looks to have some fairly soft matchups on tap. The Pistons and Kings rank near the bottom of most defensive categories in the league, while the Grizzlies and Timberwolves have had some recent issues defending the 3-point line. We recommend getting and/or leaving Brewer active this week. (owned in 31 percent of leagues)

Andray Blatche, C, Nets (NY, @TOR, DET, @CHI): Blatche has thrived since taking over for the injured Brook Lopez in the starting lineup and averaged a whopping 17.8 points and 9.8 rebounds over that stretch. The 26-year-old is shooting 53 percent from the field since the move to go along with 2.0 steals and 1.4 assists. While Blatche is scheduled to head back to his reserve role once Lopez returns to action, Brooklyn's opening-night starting center is still not ready to return to the floor. The Nets are hoping to get him back sometime later in Week 7, but with the team playing six games over nine days, including a back-to-back set this week, even coach Avery Johnson admitted that he may have to ease Lopez back into action. That should translate into more big-time minutes for Blatche, who has averaged 28 minutes since being tabbed a starter. With Lopez's return still very much in question and the possibility of him being used in a limited fashion even if he does return for the upcoming scoring period, owners should feel free to ride Blatche for at least one more week. (owned in 71 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Jose Calderon, G, Raptors (@POR, BKN, DAL, HOU): Just like most of his Raptors' teammates, Calderon has been struggling mightily over the past few games. The 31-year-old has been thrust back into his reserve role since Kyle Lowry has returned from his injury and has had trouble adjusting to the move. In fact, Calderon has failed to score in double figures in each of his last four contests and is averaging just 6.4 points on 39 percent shooting from the field over that stretch. He has only notched five or more assists in two of his last seven games and has been seeing around 18 minutes of court time during his struggles. We mentioned coach Casey tweaking his rotation based on the team's poor results and it appears Calderon has fallen victim to that philosophy of late. Despite Toronto's fairly favorable schedule this week and Calderon's track record, we recommend leaving the veteran reserved for the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 79 percent of leagues)

Kirk Hinrich, G, Bulls (LAC, @PHI, BKN): Hinrich was a popular pick by some to be in line for a bounce-back campaign with the Bulls this season, but that hasn't happened thus far. The 31-year-old has really struggled in his first year back with the Bulls and enters Week 7 averaging a putrid 6.6 points per game on 37 percent shooting from the field. However, Hinrick is still dishing out a respectable 5.6 assists on the season and looked like he was starting to turn a corner a bit. Hinrich was shooting 47 percent from the field over his previous four games and got off to a red-hot start against the Knicks last Saturday night before leaving with an elbow injury. While the Bulls are saying he should be fine moving forward, Hinrich's newest injury along with his very tough upcoming schedule makes him a risky play this week. The NBA is all about matchups and Hinrich will have three tough ones on his plate this week with the Clippers, 76ers and Nets on tap. That means Hinrich will have to match up against two of the league's top point guards in Chris Paul and Deron Williams and Jrue Holiday is definitely a young player whose stock is on the rise. With a slew of tough games on the docket and Hinrich a little banged up, this looks to be a good week to leave him reserved .(owned in 46 percent of leagues)

Harrison Barnes, F, Warriors (@CHA, @MIA, @ORL, @ATL): While the Warriors are in the midst of playing their best basketball of the season, Barnes appears to have hit the dreaded rookie wall. The 20-year-old has scored in double figures in just two of his last nine games and is shooting 35 percent from the field over that stretch. He is still chipping in with 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists during his cold streak but is also starting to lose some minutes of late. While Barnes continues to earn starts, coach Mark Jackson has been leaving him on the bench later in contests, instead opting to go with a smaller lineup. Still, the Warriors remain very high on the rookie and are not going to pull the plug on him after a nine-game rough patch, though that doesn't mean Fantasy owners should follow suit. Despite what looks to be another favorable schedule on tap against the defensively challenged Bobcats, Heat, Magic and Hawks, Barnes' poor production is actually doing more harm than good for most owners right now. Leave him reserved for the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 72 percent of leagues)

Derrick Favors, F, Jazz, (@POR, BKN, DAL, HOU): Favors continues to be plagued with a plantar fasciitis injury and has missed Utah's last five games due to the ailment. While he is expected to return to the lineup sometime near the beginning of Week 7, owners should think twice before getting him active. Plantar fasciitis has a tendency to be a recurring type of injury and the Jazz will likely ease the 24-year-old back into action. That will likely limit Favors' minutes in a week where he may end up already missing a game or two. Favors was averaging a solid 8.9 points and 7.5 rebounds over his last eight games prior to his injury, but was only seeing 21 minutes per game over that stretch. Coach Tyrone Corbin has been very inconsistent with his distribution of Favors' minutes prior to his injury as well, which was driving most Fantasy owners crazy. While Favors looks to be on the verge of getting back on the court, owners should wait until he proves healthy and productive again before getting him active. Leave him stashed in the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 80 percent of leagues)

Marcin Gortat, C, Suns, (MEM, UTA): Gortat got off to a red-hot start this season as he averaged a solid 11.7 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.4 blocks over the first eight games. However, the 28-year-old has turned into a model of inconsistency since then as he has seen a major drop in production of late. Gortat has failed to score in double figures in four of his last eight games and is putting up a much less productive 9.6 points and 6.0 rebounds over that stretch. He is only attempting six field goals per game during his cold spell, which is well below the 8.7 attempts he has been averaging for the entire season. Gortat clearly doesn't look like his normal self of late and only has two games on the docket this week against the Grizzlies and Jazz. Gortat scored just one point and had eight rebounds in his lone meeting against Utah this season and scored only 11 points and seven rebounds in an earlier meeting against Memphis. While Gortat should be able to bounce back eventually, we recommend leaving the Polish Hammer on the bench for the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 99 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Warriors PG Stephen Curry scores team-high 25 vs. Suns
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:56 am ET) Warriors point guard Stephen Curry scored a team-high 25 points on 9 of 23 shooting, including 4 of 9 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 106-87 win over the Suns Saturday.

After scoring 32 points Friday, Curry was able to deliver his second straight game with at least 25 points after not reaching that scoring level in any of his previous five games. He also chipped in seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block in 37 minutes of action. The Warriors will match up with the Kings Tuesday.


Suns PF Markieff Morris doubles up vs. Warriors
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:52 am ET) Suns power forward Markieff Morris scored a team-high 17 points on 7 of 16 shooting, including 2 of 4 shooting from three-point range, while grabbing 11 rebounds in his team's 106-87 loss to the Warriors Saturday.

Morris was able to turn in back-to-back double-doubles for the first time this season in his last two game, though he has just three of them for the month of January. He also dished out two assists in 31 minutes Saturday. The Suns will square off with the Grizzlies Monday.


Spurs SF Kawhi Leonard scores team-high 24 vs. Clippers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard scored a team-high 24 points on 8 of 18 shooting, including 4 of 8 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 105-85 loss to the Clippers in San Antonio Saturday.

Leonard was one of just two Spurs to score in double digits Saturday as the team struggled through a rare off-night at home. He also racked up five rebounds and three steals in 34 minuts of action. The Spurs will look to bounce back Wednesday against the Magic.


Clippers PF Blake Griffin delivers 31-13 line vs. Spurs
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Clippers power forward Blake Griffin scored a team-high 31 points on 12 of 21 shooting while hauling in 13 rebounds in his team's 105-85 win over the Spurs in San Antonio Saturday.

Griffin turned in just his fourth double-double of the month thanks to an efficient shooting performance and his best rebounding total since grabbing 15 on Christmas Day. He also kicked in five assists and one block in 35 minutes in the win, his team's seventh in its last eight games. Griffin will square off with the Nets Monday.


Report: Rockets preparing to lose Howard for at least a month
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) The Rockets are bracing for the loss of center Dwight Howard for at least a month due to persistent right knee issues, ESPN.com reports.

Coach Kevin McHale said Friday that he didn't expect to have the center "for a while," and Saturday's report indicates that the Rockets expect Howard to miss "weeks" rather than days. Howard is still being evaluated by multiple doctors to determine the best treatment option for his injury.

The Rockets remain confident that Howard will return for the regular-season stretch run in preparation for the postseason. He has averaged 16.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in 32 games.


Nuggets SF Danilo Gallinari scores team-high 15 vs. Hornets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Nuggets small forward Danilo Gallinari scored a team-high 15 points on 5 of 15 shooting in his team's 104-86 loss to the Hornets Saturday.

With the Nuggets down two power forwards Saturday, Gallinari entered the starting lineup as a stretch four. The Hornets were able to take advantage of the situation, receiving 35 points on 17 of 26 shooting from starters Cody Zeller and Al Jefferson. Gallinari added four rebounds and one assist in 25 minutes. The Nuggets will square off with the 76ers Tuesday.


Hornets' Michael Kidd-Gilchrist doubles up vs. Nuggets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Hornets small forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting while hauling in 13 rebounds in his team's 104-86 win over the Nuggets Saturday.

Kidd-Gilchrist entered January with just two double-doubles on the season but has managed five this month alone, along with two other games with at least 14 rebounds but less than 10 points. He also tallied three assists, one steal and one block in 30 minutes of action in the win. The Hornets will square off with the Wizards Monday.


Hornets C Cody Zeller scores career-high 21 vs. Nuggets
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Hornets center Cody Zeller scored a career-high 21 points on 10 of 11 shooting in his team's 104-86 win over the Nuggets Saturday.

Zeller doesn't normally score in double digits, with his last game of 10 points or more coming when he scored 20 during an 8-for-8 shooting performance in early January. He delivered another efficient performance Saturday to help lead his team to a road win in Denver. Zeller also racked up eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks in 35 minutes. He'll match up with the Wizards Monday.


Bucks SG Jared Dudley scores team-high 18 vs. Blazers
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Bucks shooting guard Jared Dudley scored a team-high 18 points on 7 of 11 shooting, including 3 of 6 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 95-88 win over the Blazers Saturday.

Dudley continues to turn in highly efficient performances night in and night out, and Saturday's win marked his sixth straight game shooting 60 percent or better, with the guard averaging 7.8 shots during that stretch. He also recorded six rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block in 34 minutes. The Bucks will shoot for a fourth straight win Monday against the Raptors.


Blazers SG Wesley Matthews scores 19 points vs. Bucks
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1/31/2015) Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews shared the team scoring lead Saturday with 19 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 7 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 95-88 loss to the Bucks.

Matthews struggled during a two-game stretch in mid-January, scoring just 10 points on 4 of 17 shooting from the field combined, but he's managed eight straight games in double digits since. He also racked up four rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 34 minutes in the loss. The Blazers will look to put an end to their three-game losing streak Tuesday against the Jazz.


 
 
 
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