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Rotisserie specials for Week 21

by | Fantasy Writer
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Center has historically been the most problematic position for Fantasy owners, and this season has been no different. There is a huge drop off in talent once you get past the top 12 Fantasy centers and the gap grows to a frightening distance once you start to hit the low-end options. However, we found a pair of low-end centers we like this week who should be able to provide owners a boost at the five position, including our Start of the Week for Week 21 (March 18-24) Spencer Hawes.

Hawes' 23 games in the starting lineup this season have been an up-and-down ride for most owners and saying he has struggled with his consistency would be an understatement. The 7-footer has gone from looking like a high-end option to a marginal option in a matter of days and his play has been so erratic that coach Doug Collins jokingly told reporters that Hawes' middle name is frustration. However, Hawes has also turned in his share of impressive performances and seems to be surging at just the right time for Fantasy owners.

Hawes has managed to score in double figures in seven of his last 10 games and posted a double-double in five of those contests, despite being shut out once over that span. He has been especially productive of late as he is averaging 15.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over his last five games, which includes his 18-point, 16-rebound and seven-block effort against the Pacers on Saturday night. Hawes credits his recent turnaround on his willingness to get into the paint more instead of settling for jump shots and he looks to have a great chance to keep things rolling this week as he has fared very well against all four of his upcoming opponents.

Hawes posted a double-double during both of his meetings against the Trail Blazers (11 points and 10 rebounds) and Nuggets (16 points, 12 rebounds) earlier in the year, and also pulled down 10 rebounds when he faced the Clippers in February. While he did struggle a bit in his lone matchup with the Kings, Sacramento is ranked near the bottom of the pack in terms of defending the paint, which should benefit Hawes' new willingness to get near the hoop. Fantasy owners should take advantage of Hawes' recent upswing and get him active in the majority of formats at the thin center position.

Find a place for 'em

Shaun Livingston, G, Cavaliers (IND, MIA, @HOU): Livingston continues to see starts at point guard while Kyrie Irving remains sidelined and the 27-year-old has taken advantage of his extra playing time. While Livingston is no Irving, the eight-year guard has played well during his recent string of starts. In fact, Livingston has scored in double figures in each of the last six games he has cracked the starting lineup for and is averaging 13.5 points, 4.3 assists, 3.2 rebounds and one steal over that stretch on 55 percent shooting from the field. He has seen around 30 minutes per game while running the point and with Irving expected to be sidelined for another few weeks, that trend should continue in Week 21. Despite not having the best set of matchups on tap, Livingston's recent production as a starter has been good enough to plug into deeper formats as a low-end option. Owners who are looking for some help at the guard spot should consider taking a flier on Livingston this week.(owned in 26 percent of leagues)

Gerald Henderson, G, Bobcats (WAS, TOR, DET, @MIA): While the losses continue to mount for the Bobcats, Henderson has been one of the few bright spots out of Charlotte in the last few weeks. After getting off to a slow start this season, Henderson has turned up his production of late -- especially over the past few weeks. He has scored at least 16 points in each of his last five games, including a season-high 35 points against the Celtics last Monday and is averaging 22.2 points over that stretch. He is also putting up 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and a steal per game during his recent upward trend and is even making 50 percent of his shots from downtown. However, Henderson is currently active in just 45 of the 80 percent of CBSSports.com leagues he is owned, which means owners haven't been reaping the benefits of his improved play. There is still time for owners to jump on the Henderson bandwagon as he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap this week. Owners who have Henderson collecting dust on the bench over the past few weeks should consider getting him active heading into the upcoming scoring period.(owned in 80 percent of leagues)

Gordon Hayward, F, Jazz (NY, @HOU, @SA, @DAL): After weeks of clamoring from Jazz fans and Fantasy owners, coach Tyrone Corbin finally decided to put Hayward back in the starting lineup. The 22-year-old responded by dropping in 17 points and pulling down eight rebounds in his first start since November and it sounds like he will remain in the starting lineup for the time being. While Hayward's splits are a bit better as a reserve compared to when he starts, owners should keep in mind he has only started 11 games on the year. Hayward should also see more minutes as a starter as evidenced by the 37 he logged against the Grizzlies on Saturday night. More minutes usually leads to more production, which has also rung true in the case of Hayward. The third-year guard is averaging 17.5 points when he logs 30-plus minutes and he has also fared very well against his four upcoming opponents this season. Hayward has already proved to be a viable source for points, 3-pointers and free-throw percentage on the year, but his recent hot streak (15.8 points over his last four games) combined with his promotion to a starter and favorable schedule should be more than enough reasons for owners to get him active this week.(owned in 86 percent of leagues)

Reggie Evans, F, Nets (@DET, @DAL, @LAC, @PHO): By now Fantasy owners are well aware of what Evans can and cannot do on a basketball court, so we really never see the need to advise owners on when to get him in or out of the lineup. However, Evans' limited offensive game sometimes allows him to fly under the radar -- especially when he is playing well -- which is the case right now. The veteran continues to be a beast on the boards as he has posted double-digit rebounding totals in six of his last seven games and is averaging 13.4 rebounds over that span. He has also been making more of an effort on the offensive end of the court, scoring in each of his last five contests and putting up 7.6 points over that span. Considering Evans has pulled down 10-plus boards against each of his four opponents in the upcoming scoring period, at the very least, owners should be able to count on solid rebounding totals for most of the week. While his free-throw shooting remains a huge liability, owners could do much worse than rolling with a player who is putting up 7.6 points and 14.6 boards on 54.8 percent shooting from the field over his last five tilts. Evans can be considered a very intriguing play for owners who feel like rolling the dice a bit this week.(owned in 37 percent of leagues)

Jonas Valanciunas, C, Raptors (@CHA, NY, @NY): The youth movement has officially started up in Toronto and Valanciunas has been reaping the benefits of late. The rookie has started each of the last seven games for coach Dwane Casey and he is looking better and better with each passing game. Valanciunas has managed to score in double figures in five of his last six games, including dropping in 18 against the Heat on Sunday and is averaging 11.6 points over that span on a whopping 71 percent shooting from the field. He is also giving owners six rebounds and one block during his most recent run and it appears he will continue to log starts for the remainder of the year. Valanciunas looks to have all the tools to develop into a solid starting Fantasy center, so we are excited that he will finally get a chance to log consistent, meaningful minutes over the final few weeks of the season. While Toronto doesn't look to have the most favorable schedule on tap this week, Valanciunas' tremendous upside, combined with the shallow depth of the center position, are reasons enough for owners in deeper category-based formats to consider taking a flier on him this week.(owned in 42 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Jodie Meeks, G, Lakers (@PHO, WAS): Meeks continues to be one of the eight players to see consistent minutes in coach Mike D'Antoni's rotation as he has been seeing around 20-25 minutes off the bench most nights. However, Kobe Bryant's recent ankle injury could force the 25-year-old into some extended playing time this week. D'Antoni has already made it known that Meeks would start at shooting guard if Bryant is unable to suit up over the next few days and even if Kobe does continue to play on his bum ankle, he could be limited, which would result in a boost for Meeks. However, owners should refrain from scrambling to get him active this week. The Lakers are only slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period, which doesn't give owners a ton of room for error if Meeks has a bad game, which considering his recent cold streak, seems highly likely. Meeks is averaging just 6.4 points over his last five games and is shooting 30 percent from the field over that span. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats, Meeks seems like way too risky of an option for owners to bank on.(owned in six percent of leagues)

Darren Collison, G, Mavericks (@ATL, BKN, BOS, UTA): Collison was pulled from the starting lineup for the second time this season and as most expected, his production as a reserve has been far from impressive. The 25-year-old has scored in double figures in three of his six games since his move back to the bench and he is averaging a mediocre 10 points and 4.5 assists over that span on 42.9 percent shooting from the field. While owners could do a lot worse than rolling with someone who is putting up 10 points and four dimes, owners have to consider that Collison was drafted as a starting option with high-end potential on Draft Day this year. Collison has only seen around 25 minutes as a reserve, so owners can expect more of the same from him moving forward. Most owners can't afford to get just 10 points and four dimes from a starting guard, especially with the playoffs right around the corner in most leagues. It wasn't like Collison was doing much better as a starter, but the fact that he was seeing 30-plus minutes per game made it hard to pull him out of most lineups. However, now that he has been benched by the Mavericks, owners should consider following suit -- at least for Week 21.(owned in 89 percent of leagues)

Trevor Ariza, F, Wizards (@CHA, @PHO, @LAL, @GS): Ariza continues to be plagued by injuries this season and has already missed 18 games on the year due to a variety of issues. A sore left knee is the latest ailment to sideline Ariza as he was held out of Washington's win over the Suns on Saturday night and is now considered an injury risk heading into Week 21. The Wizards are slated to play four times during the upcoming scoring, which would still give Ariza plenty of time to get his numbers if he winds up only missing a game or two. However, based on his recent play, we aren't exactly sure what kind of numbers Ariza is capable of putting up. The 27-year-old has posted a 26-point performance over his last five contests, but has also scored two and four points during games over that stretch. He is shooting just 37 percent from the field over his last 10 games and continues to be used mostly in a reserve role. While Ariza has proved more than capable of putting up big numbers and filling up the stat sheet when he is healthy, his recent knee issues have us a bit concerned. Ariza could wind up missing most of the scoring period due to his latest ailment and even if he is able to play, we aren't sure exactly what to expect from him. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats, we would recommend leaving Ariza on the bench this week if you have another alternative. owned in 49 percent of leagues

Shawn Marion, F, Mavericks, (@ATL, BKN, BOS, UTA): Marion has quietly turned in a very productive 2012-13 campaign as the veteran enters Week 21 averaging 11.7 points and 7.9 rebounds on 50.4 percent shooting from the field. He has also been giving owners 2.4 assists, one steal and nearly a block per game as well as he remains one of better stat sheet fillers in the league. However, Marion has missed the past six games with what was first originally thought to be a contusion on his last calf, but the Mavericks announced last Friday that Marion actually has a strained left calf rather than a contusion, which is a bit more serious of an injury. The team is hoping he can return sometime during Fantasy Week 21, albeit that is far from a certainty at this point. Dallas is scheduled to play four times during the upcoming scoring period, but even if Marion is able to return sometime during the week, there is a distinct possibility will still be limited when he first gets back on the floor. Most owners are just weeks away from the postseason, so leaving an injured Marion active this week could prove to be costly. Marion's injury makes him an extremely risky play this week so if owners have another option on the bench, it might not be a bad idea to go in that direction. If not, just sit back and hope for the best.(owned in 84 percent of leagues)

Enes Kanter, C, Jazz, (NY, @HOU, @SA,@DAL): Injures to Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap have given Kanter an opportunity to see more minutes of late and the 20-year-old has responded by turning in one of his more productive stretches of the season. However, Jefferson and Millsap are both back near 100 percent and as a result Kanter's minutes have started to dip. After averaging 28.5 minutes during a four game stretch last week, Kanter has seen just 19.9 minutes over his last four games, including only 10 minutes in Utah's win over the Grizzlies on Saturday night. The 20-year-old is averaging just 6.1 points and 3.7 rebounds when he sees fewer than 19 minutes per game, so we are a bit concerned about his recent drop in playing time. While Jefferson and Millsap are great players, Kanter has shown some very promising stretches this season and is averaging 14.1 points and 7.9 rebounds on the year. With center being such a thin position, owners may not be able to afford to bench Kanter this week. Still if a better option presents itself, it may not be a bad idea to go in that direction.(owned in 45 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Melo considered doubtful to play Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:32 pm ET) The Knicks announced Thursday forward Carmelo Anthony is doubtful to play Friday against the Thunder due to back spasms. If sidelined, it will be the second straight game Anthony misses.

Kemba Walker joins list of injured Hornets players
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:21 pm ET) Although Hornets guard Kemba Walker was able to play through injury Wednesday against the Trail Blazers, it doesn't appear he will be active Friday against the Warriors. The Hornets announced Thursday that Walker is doubtful to play Friday because of a right thigh contusion.

The Hornets also listed guard P.J. Hairston as questionable due to a sprained right thumb, guard Gary Neal as doubtful due to a left shoulder sprain, forward Marvin Williams as doubtful with a left shoulder strain and forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as out due to a stress reaction in his right foot.


Bulls' Rose, Noah practice Thursday, but Friday status is still TBD
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:09 pm ET) Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said guard Derrick Rose (hamstring) and center Joakim Noah (eye, knee) practiced in full Thursday. However, Thibodeau said he will see how they feel Friday before determing their availability for Friday's game at Boston.

Rose said he "wants" to play Friday, but he will see how his injured hamstring reacts, according to The Boston Globe. He said he will play, if he feels ready.


Williams: Pelicans need to get Davis at least 20 shots per game
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(1:01 pm ET) Pelicans coach Monty Williams gathered his team Wednesday to express his frustration following a 99-89 loss Tuesday against the Kings, in which center Anthony Davis attempted just 12 shots and totaled a season-low 14 points.

Williams expressed Davis needs to be more involved on offense on a nightly basis to give New Orleans the best chance to win.

"Anthony (Davis) cannot be in a game and not touch the ball," Williams said after his meeting with players, per NOLA.com. "We have to have an effort to get him at least 20 shots every night. And that’s on me too. As much as I draw up plays for him, run the offense through him, the guys on the floor has to know it. When they don’t do it, I’ve got to make sure they get him the ball. Because he’s not a selfish player, he’s going to make the right plays. And our guys know that."

Davis is averaging 25.4 points per game, which trails only Lakers guard Kobe Bryant, who is averaging 26.4 points per game. Davis leads the NBA with 3.4 blocks per game.


Spurs' Splitter (calf) out, Joseph (ankle) questionable for Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(12:53 pm ET) The Spurs announced Thursday forward Tiago Splitter (calf) has been ruled out for Friday's game vs. Sacramento. It will be the 12th straight game Splitter will miss.

Gaurd Cory Joseph is listed as questionable for Friday's game due to a sprained left ankle. Joseph has missed the last two games.


Clifford: Stephenson 'not a star,' but has 'talent to become a star'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:49 am ET) Hornets guard Lance Stephenson was benched for the fourth quarter for a second straight game during Wednesday's 105-97 loss against Portland, which extended the team's losing streak to seven games. 

After the loss, coach Steve Clifford said Stephenson's issues adjusting to his first season with the Hornets is partly due to him trying to live up to expectations.

"To be fair, one of the things that's made it more difficult for him is that he came here and people proclaimed him as the next superstar," Clifford said Wednesday, per ESPN. "He's not a star. He's a guy that has talent to become a star. To be a star in this league, you have to do it over years."

Stephenson has struggled to find a consistent rhythm and role in Clifford's offense. Stephenson is fifth on the team in scoring, averaging 9.7 points per game, which is a significant drop after averaing 13.8 points per game in 2013-14 for Indiana.

He is also shooting just 36.8 percent from the field after shooting 49.1 percent last season. Although, it's not all bad for Stephenson, who is averaging career highs in rebounding (8.1 rpg) and assists (5.4 apg).

"I've been around Kobe [Bryant] and [Tracy] McGrady. They were superstars. I was also around Allan Houston and Latrell Sprewell. They were two-, three-year All-Stars," Clifford said. "[Stephenson has] got a lot of work to get to that level. Everybody proclaimed him as this guy, and if you remember the first time we got him, I said he's got to develop into that."


Celtics guard Marcus Smart will not be back Friday
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:49 am ET) Although Celtics rookie guard Marcus Smart returned to practice Wednesday, he will not return to action Friday against the Bulls, the team announced Thursday. It will be the eighth straight game Smart is sidelined.

Melo doesn't anticipate he will be out 'too long'
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:33 am ET) Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who missed his first game this season Wednesday against the Mavs due to back spasms, won't put a timetable on his return, he told the New York Post. However, he indicated he doesn't expect to miss too much time.

"I could barely walk or do anything yesterday so I’m doing a little better," Anthony said Wednesday. "I’m walking. They said these things are hard to gauge. I just don’t know how long I’ll be out.

"I don’t think it will be too long. I think the spasms will go away. But I’m not going to play with spasms."

Anthony likely will undergo tests once the team returns to New York. Coach Derek Fisher said the team doesn't have a clear diagnosis on Anthony and won't until his back starts to improve.

"I’ve never felt this way before," Anthony said. "Nothing happened that I can remember [in the Houston game]. I really tried to play through it, but then I just couldn’t move."


Tyson Chandler pulls down 25 rebounds vs. former team
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(9:28 am ET) Mavericks center Tyson Chandler set season highs with 17 points and 25 rebounds during a 109-102 win Wednesday against the Knicks, who he played for over the previous three seasons.

"At the beginning of the year, you always look at the calendar and mark it," said Chandler, who finished three rebounds shy of the career high he had with the Knicks exactly two years earlier against Brooklyn, per The Associated Press. "But honestly once you get caught up in the season, it's not as big as it's made out to be."

Chandler is averaging 10.8 points and 11.7 rebounds in 14 November games. He's surpassed double digits in rebounds nine times in November. Wednesday was the first time this season he totaled more than 20 rebounds.


Lakers SG Kobe Bryant scores team-high 22 vs. Grizzlies
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:11 am ET) Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant scored a team-high 22 points on 5 of 15 shooting, including 2 of 5 shooting from three-point range, in his team's 99-93 loss to the Grizzlies Wednesday.

Bryant sank all 10 of his free throws to help boost his scoring total on a night where he struggled with a low shooting percentage for the second time in three games. He only managed to pick up four rebounds and two assists in 35 minutes in the loss, the team's third straight. The Lakers will look to get back on track Friday against the Timberwolves.


 
 
 
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