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Week 17 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Fantasy Writer
  •  

Though bad luck has certainly played a part in the rash of injuries the league has dealt with this season, part of the issue has to be the inherent nature of the NBA schedule.

Teams just finished a stretch of three and a half months without a break, and that has to wear on even the finest athletes in the world. And with so many teams still fighting in bunched-up playoff races in both conferences, players have often seemingly rushed back from injury, only to fall victim to more maladies down the road.

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The All-Star break could end up being a godsend, with players able to rest and training staffs able to focus entirely on rehabbing injured players.

We currently have more than 30 players listed on the injury report as day to day heading into Week 17 (Feb. 17-23). Hopefully the extended break, with every team getting at least five days off, will allow a good portion of those to get the treatment they need to get back on the floor with the Fantasy playoffs coming up fast.

Lineups won't lock until Tuesday, so the best advice I can give you this week is to keep a close eye on any injury updates that come out Monday.

Though the trade deadline looms and threatens to irreparably alter the very fabric of your carefully constructed roster, the likelihood of any given player being traded in today's NBA is small. The new Collective Bargaining Agreement seems to have had the effect of limiting a team's willingness to make franchise-altering trades at the deadline, so you can't exactly count on a move happening.

At this point, your focus should be on the injury report, not the rumor mill. Hopefully, our collective injury luck will begin in Week 17, and you will be able to field a healthy lineup for the first time in months, just in time for the stretch run.

(All stats up to date through Feb. 13 games)

Atlanta Hawks

Fantasy owners have to be hoping the All-Star break can help get Jeff Teague back on track, because he has been stuck in an extended slump. In the last five games prior to the break, he was averaging just 10.6 points and 6.6 assists per game, and that isn't far off from what he has been doing since the start of January. As a result of his slump, Teague's role has been limited recently as well, but nobody has really stepped up to fill the gap for him, with guys like Lou Williams and Shelvin Mack averaging just 14.2 and 10.5 Fantasy points respectively per game over the last five. Teague is still getting 30-plus minutes per game, so Fantasy owners should still consider him worth starting for Week 17 with four games on the way, but we're past the point of concern.

Schedule: Schedule: @IND, WAS, @DET, NYK
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 17th
10-team starters: Paul Millsap
12-to-14-team starters: Kyle Korver, Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll
Deep-league fliers: Mike Scott, Shelvin Mack, Lou Williams, Elton Brand

Boston Celtics

The All-Star break might be enough for some players to get healthy, but it doesn't seem like Avery Bradley will have enough time to get back from his ankle injury. The last time he suffered this injury, it cost him nearly two weeks of action, so a similar timeline could end up costing him the first two or three games of this week at least. When he plays, Bradley is a solid, but unspectacular Fantasy option, so the risk of him missing time makes him not worth your time in Week 17, even with the league's best schedule on the way.

Schedule: @PHO, @LAL, @SAC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 1st
10-team starters: Jared Sullinger, Rajon Rondo
12-to-14-team starters: Jeff Green
Deep-league fliers: Jerryd Bayless, Avery Bradley, Phil Pressey, Chris Johnson, Kris Humphries, Brandon Bass, Kelly Olynyk

Brooklyn Nets

Hopefully, Andray Blatche used the break to get back to full health, because he appeared very limited due to a hip injury prior. In his previous five games, Blatche averaged just 9.0 points and 3.4 rebounds per game, while splitting time equally with rookie Mason Plumlee. Uncertainty about Blatche's role in Week 17 makes him a risky play with only three games on the way. With the way the Nets have been sharing scoring duties recently, nobody on this team is a must-start option right now.

Schedule: @UTA, @GS, @LAL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 16th
10-team starters: Deron Williams, Paul Pierce
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Joe Johnson, Andray Blatche, Mirza Teletovic, Shaun Livingston, Kevin Garnett, Jason Terry, Alan Anderson, Andrei Kirilenko

Charlotte Bobcats

Guards we like for Week 17
Player Own/Start
1. Raymond Felton, Knicks 77/41
2. Dion Waiters, Cavaliers 73/39
3. Arron Afflalo, Magic 99/74
4. Victor Oladipo, Magic 98/71
5. Randy Foye, Nuggets 83/63
6. Jose Calderon, Mavericks 85/55
7. Kyle Korver, Hawks 76/48
8. Gerald Green, 75/37 32/12
9. Jameer Nelson, Magic 94/52
10. Gerald Henderson, Bobcats 85/56

Josh McRoberts has hung around the fringes of Fantasy relevance for much of the season, but hasn't fallen off as much as some might have thought. He remains a strong Rotisserie option with his ability to hit 3-pointers and dish out assists from the forward spot. Even in standard scoring formats, he might be worth a look in Week 17, with the Bobcats facing three excellent matchups before closing the week out against the Grizzlies. He has a good chance to break 100 Fantasy points this week, and could be a solid flier.

Schedule: @DET, DET, NO, MEM
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 3rd
10-team starters: Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker
12-to-14-team starters: Josh McRoberts, Gerald Henderson
Deep-league fliers: Ramon Sessions, Anthony Tolliver, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist

Chicago Bulls

The Bulls have a pair of frustrating timeshares for Fantasy owners, at the point guard and power forward positions. Taj Gibson has blossomed in a larger role this season and just put together a four-game stretch where he scored nearly 140 Fantasy points, an elite number. Unfortunately, three of those games came with Carlos Boozer out, so limit your expectations for this week and consider both lower-end starters with three games on the way. The Kirk Hinrich/D.J. Augustin split is even more frustrating, because Augustin has really been a revelation this season. We have seen him thrive in this role already this season, so hopefully his recent run of disappointing play is just the result of a slump. I would still rather start him than Hinrich, though neither is a strong choice with just three games.

Schedule: @TOR, DEN, @MIA
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 23rd
10-team starters: Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler
12-to-14-team starters: D.J. Augustin, Carlos Boozer, Taj Gibson
Deep-league fliers: Tony Snell, Kirk Hinrich

Cleveland Cavaliers

The Cavaliers have a fine schedule on the way in Week 17, which means you might want to think about starting Dion Waiters. I know, I know, it scares me too. He is only starting in 39 percent of CBSSports.com leagues right now, but he should be able to surpass expectations with a strong schedule on the way. The talented second-year guard is averaging 24.4 Fantasy points per game this week, and might be a better start than someone like Jeff Teague or Reggie Jackson with just two games. Hopefully Anderson Varejao is ready to return after the break, though his absence has given troubled rookie Anthony Bennett a chance to shine. Bennett still has no Fantasy value.

Schedule: @PHI, ORL, @TOR, WAS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 4th
10-team starters: Kyrie Irving
12-to-14-team starters: Luol Deng, Anderson Varejao, Tristan Thompson, Dion Waiters
Deep-league fliers: C.J. Miles, Jarrett Jack, Tyler Zeller

Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks have become a source of considerable Fantasy frustration, as they have opted to spread the scoring load around. The return of Devin Harris has played a significant role, and he is now one of five players averaging between 9.4 and 10.3 points per game for the Mavericks in the moth of February. With the team's insistence on sharing, Fantasy owners have little reason to rely on anyone who isn't Dirk Nowitzki or Monta Ellis, though Jose Calderon is still a decent play given Dallas' very strong Week 17 schedule.

Schedule: MIA, @PHI, @DET
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 5th
10-team starters: Dirk Nowitzki, Monta Ellis
12-to-14-team starters: Jose Calderon
Deep-league fliers: Vince Carter, Devin Harris, Shawn Marion, Brandan Wright, Samuel Dalembert, DeJuan Blair

Denver Nuggets

As of Saturday, we really have no idea if Ty Lawson is going to play in Week 17, but one thing is clear. Even if Lawson is out, this team does not really have anyone to replace Lawson at point guard. Randy Foye will slide over and take that job, but Evan Fournier has not proven himself capable of filling Lawson's gap in the rotation. Jordan Hamilton, who put up 27 points and eight assists in the team games Lawson missed prior to the break, makes more sense than Fournier, though his lack of track record makes him little more than an emergency fill-in for deeper leagues.

Schedule: PHO, @MIL, @CHI, SAC
Strength-of-schedule ranking:2nd
10-team starters: Wilson Chandler, Randy Foye, J.J. Hickson
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Ty Lawson, Jordan Hamilton, Evan Fournier, Kenneth Faried, Timofey Mozgov, Anthony Randolph

Detroit Pistons

With the firing of coach Mo Cheeks, the Pistons are going to go through a transitional period while interim coach John Loyer figures out who he does and doesn't like here. Early returns indicate he might rely more on the Josh Smith/Greg Monroe combination, as Andre Drummond played fewer minutes than both in Loyer's first two games. Of course, Drummond was also in foul trouble, so there might simply not be much to take from that. The changes should only really come about on the margins, since the Pistons have a pretty set core of four players who will continue to take the majority of the team's shots. For now, continue to value Monroe, Drummond, Smith and Brandon Jennings as solid starts for Week 17, at least until Loyer gives us reason to change our perceptions of them.

Schedule: CHA, @CHA, ATL, DAL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 19th
10-team starters: Josh Smith, Greg Monroe, Andre Drummond, Brandon Jennings
12-to-14-team starters:None
Deep-league fliers: Rodney Stuckey, Will Bynum, Kyle Singler, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope

Golden State Warriors

For at least one game, Marreese Speights was as good as he seems to think he is. He dropped 32 points on the 76ers in the penultimate game before the break. Unfortunately, he turned back into a pumpkin the next game, scoring just three points and confirming his status as a Fantasy nonfactor. A bigger factor for Fantasy owners will be whether center Andrew Bogut will be healthy enough to play after giving his sore shoulder two full weeks to recover. He is a bit of a risky for Fantasy purposes until we see him back on the floor, but if we get good news Monday, consider him a solid starting option, as he has been for much of the season.

Schedule: @SAC, HOU, BKN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 13th
10-team starters: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee
12-to-14-team starters: Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala
Deep-league fliers: Harrison Barnes, Jordan Crawford, Marreese Speights, Jermaine O'Neal

Houston Rockets

The return of Omer Asik is not likely make a big impact for Fantasy owners, despite him still being owned in 38 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. He is averaging just 10.6 minutes per game since coming back from a knee injury, and his return has had little impact on Dwight Howard either. Things are pretty settled for the Rockets for now, which makes them pretty easy to judge from a Fantasy perspective. At least until the trade deadline passes.

Schedule: @LAL, @GS, @PHO
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 8th
10-team starters: James Harden, Dwight Howard, Chandler Parsons
12-to-14-team starters: Terrence Jones, Jeremy Lin, Patrick Beverley
Deep-league fliers: Omer Asik, Donatas Motiejunas, Aaron Brooks, Omri Casspi

Indiana Pacers

The last few games have the makings of a George Hill renaissance, as he is averaging 18.3 points and 5.8 assists per game over the last four. The numbers are a bit skewed by a 37-point outburst last Friday, but signs of life are still nice to see from one of the more disappointing Fantasy guards around. He is still a bit too low in the team's offensive hierarchy to make a consistent impact, but he has recently taking on a larger role than the one taken by breakout star Lance Stephenson. Whether that trend will continue with Hill's value improving or just cause Stephenson's to drop remains to be seen. For Week 17, Hill should be viewed with a skeptical eye, but might be a viable buy-low candidate.

Schedule: ATL, @MIN, @MIL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 12th
10-team starters: Paul George, Lance Stephenson
12-to-14-team starters: George Hill, David West, Roy Hibbert
Deep-league fliers: Luis Scola, C.J. Watson, Danny Granger

Los Angeles Clippers

Chris Paul's return had the expected impact of pushing Darren Collison into a reserve role, indicating that his days as a starting-caliber Fantasy option are done. From Week 17 and on, Collison is nothing more than a reserve option at best. J.J. Redick's return could conceivably have similar, though less intense, impact on Jamal Crawford's value, but Crawford has been so good recently, you can't even think about benching him even with a rough schedule on the way.

Schedule: SA, @MEM, @OKC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 30th
10-team starters: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jamal Crawford, Chris Paul
12-to-14-team starters: J.J. Redick
Deep-league fliers: Darren Collison, Jared Dudley, Matt Barnes

Los Angeles Lakers

I am writing this on a Saturday, so I don't actually know which Lakers players are going to be available for Week 17. Kendall Marshall and Chris Kaman's values depend almost entirely on whether injured players like Pau Gasol, Steve Nash and Jordan Farmar are cleared to play. All three will likely be evaluated Monday, so you should have a pretty good idea of how things look before lineups lock. If Gasol and the two point guards are expected to miss further time this week, both Marshall and Kaman would be worth starting in most leagues. Marshall has pretty much established himself as a worthwhile starter no matter what his role is, however.

Schedule: HOU, BOS, BKN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 25th
10-team starters: Steve Blake
12-to-14-team starters: Wesley Johnson, Ryan Kelly, Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Kendall Marshall
Deep-league fliers: Jordan Farmar, Steve Nash, Jodie Meeks, Nick Young, Jordan Hill, Robert Sacre

Memphis Grizzlies

Point guard Mike Conley was nearly able to return from an ankle injury in the last games before the break, so he seems like a pretty safe bet to return as soon as the first game back. That should put an end to the Nick Calathes, experience, after Calathes filled in admirable as a starter in Conley's absence, averaging 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game in seven starts. Calathes was averaging just 12.6 minutes per game prior to Conley's injury, so Fantasy owners shouldn't be afraid to part ways with him as soon as this week. With a tough schedule on the way, Calathes is certainly not worthy of consideration as a starter. Marc Gasol is a big question mark this week after leaving his last game with a knee injury, but his MRI came back clean, which is a good sign. He should be a must-start as always if he is cleared to play.

Schedule:NY, LAC, @CHA
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 26th
10-team starters: Zach Randolph, Mike Conley
12-to-14-team starters: Marc Gasol, Courtney Lee, James Johnson
Deep-league fliers: Nick Calathes, Kosta Koufos, Ed Davis, Mike Miller

Miami Heat

Forwards we like for Week 17
Player Own/Start
1. Josh McRoberts, Bobcats 55/35
2. Patrick Patterson, Raptors 27/15
3. Tristan Thompson, Cavaliers 96/71
4. Channing Frye, Suns 72/35
5. Kenneth Faried, Nuggets 91/58
6. Amar'e Stoudemire, Knicks 42/15
7. Taj Gibson, Bulls 87/69
8. P.J. Tucker, Suns 46/21
9. Martell Webster, Wizards 39/18
10. J.R. Smith, Knicks 88/45

As always, questions about Dwyane Wade's potential health abound. He missed the team's last game as a result of a nerve issue in his foot, but appears to be over that in time for Sunday's All-Star game. The Heat don't have a great schedule this week, but Wade is obviously well worth starting as long as he makes it through Sunday's game without issue.

Schedule: @DAL, @OKC, CHI
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 27th
10-team starters: LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Norris Cole, Mario Chalmers, Ray Allen, Michael Beasley

Milwaukee Bucks

The Bucks have largely mirrored the Lakers this season, as both teams have been absolutely destroyed by injuries. LIke the Lakers, determining their value will be based on who is cleared to play in time for the start of the week. We already know Larry Sanders is out this week as well as a month or so after, so Zaza Pachulia and John Henson will definitely see a bump in value. With a less-than-great schedule coming up, however, none of them are necessarily must-start options.

Schedule: ORL, DEN, IND
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 18th
10-team starters: Brandon Knight
12-to-14-team starters: John Henson, Zaza Pachulia,
Deep-league fliers: Ersan Ilyasova, Luke Ridnour, Giannis Antetokounmpo, O.J. Mayo, Khris Middleton, Nate Wolters

Minnesota Timberwolves

Nikola Pekovic was spotted back in a walking boot at the team's last game, a bad sign for his chanced of coming back immediately. With he and Kevin Martin out, Chase Budinger has seen the biggest increase in his value, averaging 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game over the last three games since Martin was diagnosed with a fractured finger. Minnesota doesn't have the best schedule, but Budinger can be considered a decent low-end option for Week 17.

Schedule: IND, @UTA, @POR
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 22nd
10-team starters: Kevin Love, Ricky Rubio
12-to-14-team starters: Corey Brewer, Chase Budinger
Deep-league fliers: J.J. Barea, Dante Cunningham, Ronny Turiaf

New Orleans Pelicans

The Pelicans had their eye on a playoff run this season, but injuries quickly put an end to those plans. Now, they are looking toward the future, and the possibility exists for a move at the trade deadline. Specifically, Eric Gordon has been mentioned as a trade candidate, so keep an eye on that with the deadline looming. For Week 17, Gordon remains a member of the Pelicans and should remain in his usual role. He is a solid starter on this team, even against a tough schedule.

Schedule: NY, @CHA, @WAS
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 28th
10-team starters: Anthony Davis
12-to-14-team starters: Eric Gordon, Brian Roberts, Tyreke Evans
Deep-league fliers: Austin Rivers, Anthony Morrow, Greg Stiemsma, Al-Farouq Aminu

New York Knicks

Well look at J.R. Smith, playing good basketball and stuff. He has been playing his best basketball of the season since the start of February, averaging 25.2 Fantasy points per game in the month. He, Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire are the only players averaging double figures in scoring for the Knicks this month, though Stoudemire hardly qualifies as anything more than a fringe Fantasy option. At this point, Smith and Anthony are probably the only players I feel comfortable about starting in Week 17 off this roster.

Schedule: @MEM, @NO, @ORL, @ATL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 15th
10-team starters: Carmelo Anthony
12-to-14-team starters: J.R. Smith
Deep-league fliers: Raymond Felton, Tyson Chandler, Tim Hardaway Jr., Iman Shumpert, Beno Udrih, Amar'e Stoudemire

Oklahoma City Thunder

Russell Westbrook could return at any time this week, but you still want to keep him in reserves. WIth just two games on the schedule, you don't want to take the chance that he only plays in Sunday's game against the Clippers and leaves you out to dry. You will also want to sit Westbrook's replacement this week, as Reggie Jackson simply isn't the type of player you want with just two games, especially since he might only start one.

Schedule: MIA, LAC
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 29th
10-team starters: Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Russell Westbrook, Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Lamb

Orlando Magic

The Magic have a pretty solid schedule on the way in Week 17, but the same questions exist as always. With four games and some good matchups on the way, you can roll the die on Tobias Harris and Glen Davis. Still, you have to keep an eye on the matchups for those two moving forward, unless something changes at the trade deadline.

Schedule: @MIL, @CLE, NY, @TOR
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 7th
10-team starters: Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic
12-to-14-team starters: Jameer Nelson, Victor Oladipo
Deep-league fliers: Glen Davis, Tobias Harris

Philadelphia 76ers

There really won't be any questions about the 76ers beyond this week. They have remained remarkably consistent from a Fantasy perspective, and unless they swing a trade this week, things look pretty set in stone. With just two games on the way this week, you can definitely ignore your fringe-y Sixers this week.

Schedule: CLE, DAL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 21st
10-team starters: Evan Turner, Spencer Hawes, Michael Carter-Williams, Thaddeus Young
12-to-14-team starters: James Anderson
Deep-league fliers: Tony Wroten

Phoenix Suns

Channing Frye has had his struggles with consistency this season, but his role has remained dependable. It is easy to shy away from him during a hot streak, but you can't really depend on getting a dozen points and two 3-pointers from many power forwards in this league. With mostly solid matchups for Week 17, Frye is hard to consider sitting in category-based leagues.

Schedule: @DEN, BOS, SA, HOU
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 9th
10-team starters: Goran Dragic
12-to-14-team starters: Gerald Green, Markieff Morris, Channing Frye
Deep-league fliers: Miles Plumlee, Marcus Morris, Leandro Barbosa, Ish Smith, P.J. Tucker

Portland Trail Blazers

We knew C.J. McCollum could make an impact offensively back when the Trail Blazers drafted him, but there was always the question about his role. With the Blazers surprisingly contending and getting strong production from Mo Williams as a primary ballhandler off the bench, there hasn't really been a role for McCollum, who is averaging just 15.2 minutes per game since returning from a foot injury. His role has increased and he is averaging 13.5 points per game over the last four, however half of those games came with Williams sidelined. Though he might look like someone waiting to breakout, McCollum is not yet worth your time.

Schedule: SA, UTA, MIN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 24th
10-team starters: Damian Lillard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Nicolas Batum, Wesley Matthews
12-to-14-team starters: Robin Lopez
Deep-league fliers: Mo Williams, C.J. McCollum

Sacramento Kings

Centers we like for Week 17
Player Own/Start
1. Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors 92/63
2. Anderson Varejao, Cavaliers 98/54
3. Robin Lopez, Trail Blazers 91/65
4. Kelly Olynyk, Celtics 33/10
5. Tyson Chandler, Knicks 89/53

The Kings might make a move before this week's trade deadline, but it likely won't be one that makes an immediate impact. This team's core is set for the time being, so any move they will make should come on the periphery of the rotation. You're starting Rudy Gay, DeMarcus Cousins and Isaiah Thomas, and nobody else here in Week 17.

Schedule: GS, BOS, @DEN
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 20th
10-team starters: DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, Isaiah Thomas
12-to-14-team starters: None
Deep-league fliers: Derrick Williams, Marcus Thornton, Jason Thompson, Jimmer Fredette, Aaron Gray

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs very well might wipe their injury report clean this week, with Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard possibly slated to return from extended injuries. They should also get Tiago Splitter and Tony Parker back, so this probably means the end for Cory Joseph and Patty Mill's brief flirtations with Fantasy relevance. The Spurs are still somewhat frustrating on a game-by-game basis because of their inherent conservative nature with players, but these returns should shore things up. I would wait on Leonard and Ginobili, but Parker can be safely started in Week 17.

Schedule: @LAC, @POR, @PHO
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 6th
10-team starters: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan
12-to-14-team starters: Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli
Deep-league fliers: Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, Cory Joseph

Toronto Raptors

Patrick Patterson entered the All-Star break riding a four-game double-digit scoring streak, pushing him a bit closer to Fantasy relevance. It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Patterson can score well when given the chance, but it is worth nothing that his two best performances during that streak came with Amir Johnson out. Johnson should be able to return following the break, as he was just dealing with some soreness in the ankle that should have cleared up by now. Johnson no longer has a strong grip on minutes at power forward, but his presence obviously hurts Patterson, and I wouldn't want to rely on either one even with four games on the way in Week 17.

Schedule: @WAS, CHI, CLE, ORL
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 14th
10-team starters: DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry
12-to-14-team starters: Jonas Valanciunas
Deep-league fliers: Greivis Vasquez, Terrence Ross, Amir Johnson, Patrick Patterson, John Salmons

Utah Jazz

The Jazz have five recent lottery picks on their roster, two of him are facing potentially big paydays in the next calendar year. So, of course, their highest scoring player int he month of February is a failed lottery pick cum journeyman, in the form of Marvin Williams, who is averaging 16.3 points per game. I would bet Williams won't be the team's highest volume shooter moving forward, so I don't count on Williams as anything more than a low-end option in Week 17; he really doesn't do enough to be worth starting if he isn't shooting out of his mind.

Schedule: BKN, @POR, MIN
Strength-of-schedule ranking:10th
10-team starters: Gordon Hayward
12-to-14-team starters: Trey Burke, Derrick Favors, Alec Burks, Enes Kanter, Marvin Williams
Deep-league fliers: Richard Jefferson, Jeremy Evans

Washington Wizards

Marcin Gortat has been a dependable solution at center for the Wizards, but he has rarely been someone you are excited to start. His frontcourt mate Nene has long been the more intriguing option, even if his injury concerns have been a continual issue. He has been healthy recently and is playing well, averaging 26.5 Fantasy points per game in the month of February. He should be active in the majority of Fantasy leagues with four games on the way in Week 17.

Schedule: TOR, @ATL, NO, @CLE
Strength-of-schedule ranking: 11th
10-team starters: John Wall, Bradley Beal, Trevor Ariza
12-to-14-team starters: Nene, Marcin Gortat
Deep-league fliers: Martell Webster, Trevor Booker

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Player News
Steve Blake signs with the Trailblazers
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(12:54 pm ET) Veteran point guard Steve Blake inked a two-year deal with the Portland Trailblazers on Thursday, according to Yahoo Sports.

The deal is worth 4.2 million over two years and includes a second-year player option. Blake thrived in Mike D'Antoni's Lakers offense early on last year before being traded to Golden State to play a lesser role. He averaged 6.9 points and 5.6 assists per game overall on the season. 


Report: Mavericks reach agreement with RFA Chandler Parsons
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(9:55 am ET) The Rockets appear to be on the clock in free agency, as CSN Houston reported late Wednesday that the Mavericks and restricted free agent Chandler Parsons came to an agreement. The offer sheet is good for three years and $45 million according to the report.

Houston now has 72 hours to match the deal or watch Parsons walk away. This could be tricky considering the Rockets are still waiting on bigger fish to decide. They've reportedly offered Chris Bosh a max deal and have also been linked to other free agent forwards such as Luol Deng and Trevor Ariza. 

The gap between Parson's level of play and his meager salary has been perhaps the widest of any player in the league. He averaged 16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game for Houston over the last two years while making less than $1 million annually. 


Raptors re-sign Greivis Vasquez
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(9:49 am ET) Restricted free-agent Greivis Vasquez came off the market late Wednesday when the Raptors chose to re-sign him to a two-year, $13 million deal, according to Yahoo Sports.

Vasquez had maintained that he'd like to return to Toronto, where he was traded last season by the Kings. He averaged 9.5 points and 3.7 assists backing up Kyle Lowry last year.


Report: Carmelo Anthony returning to New York
by Joe Polito | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Despite taking several meetings with other teams this offseason, Carmelo Anthony is expected to announce that he'll return to the Knicks. The New York Daily News reported Wednesday that Anthony told a close friend he "believes in Phil" and plans to announce his intent Thursday.

Anthony was said to be deciding between the Lakers and Knicks over the past few days, but it ultimately appears he'll opt to make more money by staying put while seeing what the new regime under Phil Jackson can do for him in the coming years. 


Mitch McGary playing in summer league
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Thunder signed forward Mitch McGary to a rookie-scale deal prior to the start of Orlando Summer League, the team announced.

McGary was the No. 21 overall pick in this year's draft, despite playing in just eight games at the University of Michigan last season. McGary dealt with back issues in college, but has already been able to play in the team's first two Summer League games. 


Celtics sign Marcus Smart to rookie deal
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Celtics have agreed to terms on a rookie-scale deal with guard Marcus Smart , the No.6 overall pick in this year's draft.

Smart was the first of the Celtics' first-round picks this year, after starring at Oklahoma State University for two years. Smart averaged 18.0 points, 5.9 rebounds and 4.8 assists per game in 31 appearances as a sophomore.  


Jordan Adams signs rookie deal with Grizzlies
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Grizzlies signed their first-round pick to a rookie-scale deal Tuesday, the team announced.

The Grizzlies selected guard Jordan Adams with the 22nd pick in the draft, after he spent two seasons playing at UCLA. He averaged 17.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 30.1 minutes per game as a sophomore. 


Zach LaVine signs rookie deal with Wolves
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Timberwolves announced the signing of first-round pick Zach LaVine Tuesday.

LaVine was the No. 13 overall pick in the draft this year, after spending just one year at UCLA. He averaged 9.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 24.4 minutes per game as a freshman. 


Magic sign first-round picks Aaron Gordon, Elfrid Payton
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Magic announced the signing of their two first-round draft picks just ahead of Orlando Summer League, as Elfrid Payton and Aaron Gordon signed their rookie-scale deals.

Gordon was the No. 4 overall pick out of the University of Arizona, while Payton went No. 10 out of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Gordon finished his freshman season averaging 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds in 38 games, while Payton graduated as a junior and averaged 19.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 5.9 assists in 35 games last season. 


Report: Gordon Hayward to sign max deal with Hornets
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) The Hornets have agreed to a max contract for restricted free-agent Gordon Hayward, according to numerous media reports Tuesday.

The deal is expected to pay Hayward $63 million over four years, though it cannot be finalized until free agency officially begins Thursday. Hayward's former team, the Jazz, will have three days to match the deal once he signs it, and the team has given every indication they will do so, according to USA Today.

Hayward is coming off the best season of his career, averaging 16.2 points, 5.2 assists and 5.1 rebounds in 77 games.  


 
 
 
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