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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
Thunder PG Russell Westbrook has small fracture in right hand
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:47 am ET) Thunder coach Scott Brooks told reporters that point guard Russell Westbrook suffered a small fracture in his right hand, according to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.

Westbrook's right hand landed awkwardly on Kendrick Perkins' thigh while battling for a rebound in the second quarter. He left the game a few plays later with the injury and did not return.

This comes as a huge blow for the Thunder, who are already without Kevin Durant for the start of the season due to a broken foot. The injury could keep him out for several weeks, depending on the severity of the fracture. Brooks did not provide a timetable for recovery and Westbrook was not made available to reporters after the game for further comments.


Thunder's Perry Jones shoulder the load with career-high 32 points
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:36 am ET) With Russell Westbrook injured, Thunder small forward Perry Jones shouldered the load, scoring a career-high 32 points in his team's 93-90 defeat to the Clippers in Los Angeles.

Jones, who shot 1 for 9 on opening night, bounced back early on with nine points in the opening period. He 10 of 17 from the floor, including 3 of 6 from the floor and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. Jones added seven rebounds, three assists and one block while logging 42 minutes of game action. He has combined for 35 points and 10 rebounds through his first two games.

Before Thursday, Jones' previous career-high was 14 points in his rookie season in 2013.


Clippers G Jordan Farmar scores six off the bench in return
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:35 am ET) Clippers guard Jordan Farmar made his return from lower back tightness Thursday night against the Thunder. He scored six points off the bench on 2 of 4 shooting from the field, all of which came from behind the arc. He added an assist and a steal while logging 10 minutes of game action.

Timberwolves' Andrew Wiggins scores eight in home debut
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:23 am ET) Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins made his home debut Thursday night, as he contributed with eight points in his team's 97-91 victory over the Pistons.

The No. 1 overall pick, who was traded from Cleveland to Minnesota in exchange for Kevin Love, bounced back from a rough first half and erupted for all eight of his points and grabbed three rebounds to give his team a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

He shot 4 of 9 from the field and missed all three of his attempts from the charity stripe. He added four rebounds, one assist and one steal while logging 24 minutes of game action.

"He had a stretch where he showed what the future is a little bit with his ability to go and take over games," coach Flip Saunders said, via the team's official website. "I was hesitant to put him back in with six minutes to go. We went with our veterans and I think if we would have lost I would have been kicking myself wondering why I didn't put him back in."


Mavericks G J.J. Barea makes Dallas debut
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:07 am ET) Mavericks guard J.J. Barea made his debut with his new club Thursday night against the Jazz. Barea logged 19 minutes off the bench and finished with four points on 2 of 5 shooting from the field. He added four rebounds and three assists in a 120-102 victory.

Coach Rick Carlisle was impressed with how quickly Barea picked up the offense.

"I thought he played well for a guy who just basically showed up today. He is familiar with out system, so he will fit in. He is in good shape -- had a great summer playing in the FIBA World Championships," Carlisle said, via MavsOutsider.com. "We're fortunate to get him back. And with this roster, we have so many guys who can contribute and we are uncertain when everybody is going to play. But, he certainly showed tonight that he is a guy that is ready to go."


Pistons F Caron Butler drops 24 points in mop-up time
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:00 am ET) Pistons small forward Caron Butler erupted in the fourth quarter, scoring all 24 of his points in the game’s final 18 minutes of Thursday night's loss to the Timberwolves.

With the team down big after three quarters, coach Stan Van Gundy summoned Butler along with the reserves. Butler shot 10 of 14 from the field, including 4 of 7 from downtown. He added eight rebounds, three of which came from the offensive side of the glass while logging 31 minutes of game action in a 97-91 defeat.

"Caron played well," Kentavious Caldwell-Pope said, per the team's official website. "He came in with great energy off the bench, was knocking down shots. We kept going to him and he came through for us to get us back in the game."


Clippers' Glen Davis unable to go Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:27 am ET) Clippers forward Glen Davis was unable to play Thursday against the Thunder.

Davis is dealing with a groin injury, and was considered doubtful coming into the contest. Prior to the game, the team made Davis inactive. Coach Doc Rivers said Davis had resumed running, and that it was possible he could return within the week, according to the LA Times


Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood unable to go Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:21 am ET) Cavaliers center Brendan Haywood was unable to go Thursday against the Knicks.

Haywood came into the game considered probable due to a foot injury. He did not see any time during the contest. It's unclear whether Haywood will be available Friday against the Bulls. 


Cavaliers forward Kevin Love turns in solid game Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:19 am ET) Cavaliers forward Kevin Love turned in a solid game Thursday against the Knicks.

Love was probable heading into the game due to a rib injury, but that didn't seem to bother him. Love played 38 minutes, shooting six of 14 from the field. He was able to hit three shots beyond the arc, and made all four of his free throws. Love also hauled in 14 rebounds and dished out four assists. He finished with 19 points. 


Thunder guard Russell Westbrook ruled out Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(12:10 am ET) Thunder guard Russell Westbrook will not return to Thursday's game against the Clippers.

Westbrook removed himself from the game with an apparent hand injury. Westbrook will be re-evaluated Friday. He scored the first basket of the contest, and played nine minutes before leaving. 


 
 
 
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