Fantasy Basketball Weekly Planner: Dec. 31-Jan. 6

by Eric McClung on December 28, 2012 @ 13:18:38 PDT


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Philadelphia 76ers (@LAL, @PHO, @OKC, @SA)

If back issues keep Jason Richardson out for multiple games Dorell Wright will see a huge spike in value. In the absence of J-Rich he scored a season-high 28 points with six rebounds, five threes, two blocks and one steal. Wright is a better all-around player than Richardson so it's not out of the question for him to make a big dent in his minutes going forward.

Despite not being a starter Spencer Hawes is getting plenty of minutes and producing. He's averaging 12 points per game this month with 6.5 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Hawes is also shooting nearly a three per game, a rare commodity for a center.

Must starts: Jrue Holiday, Evan Turner, Thaddeus Young

Phoenix Suns (@OKC, vs. PHI, vs. UTA, vs. MEM)

Over the last six games Jared Dudley scored 19 or more points on five times with four or more threes on three occasions. Dudley doesn't get many rebounds but is averaging 1.1 steals per game this season and recently had a game with 10 assists.

Must starts: Marcin Gortat

Portland Trail Blazers (@NY, @TOR, @MEM, @MIN)

Rookie Will Barton has received an extended look coming off the bench over the last two games. The second-round pick played 20 minutes in consecutive games for the first time, totaling 21 points, six rebounds, four assists with a three and a steal. It's too early to know if Barton will keep getting this kind of playing time going forward but with four games coming up in a span of five days he's sure to see plenty of action in the immediate future.

Must starts: Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, J.J. Hickson

DeMarcus Cousins, C, Sacramento Kings

Sacramento Kings (@DET, @CLE, @TOR, @BKN)

The abysmal Kings continue to lose games and are going through another round of drama with embattled center DeMarcus Cousins. Jason Thompson is getting a chance to man the middle of the court without Cousins but would slide back to the starting power forward spot if the situation is resolved. Thompson is averaging 11.7 points this month with 9.2 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals while shooting better than 51 percent.

Must starts: DeMarcus Cousins (if placed back into the starting lineup)

San Antonio Spurs (vs. BKN, @MIL, @NY, vs. PHI)

Swingman Kawhi Leonard is back following a bout of tendinitis in his left knee. He has the ability to offer across-the-board production with 1.1 threes and 2.3 steals per game in a dozen contests this season. If Leonard was dropped recently it's time to consider picking him up.

Must starts: Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tim Duncan

Washington Wizards (vs. DAL, @IND, vs. BKN, @MIA0

Uneven production earlier in the season cost Emeka Okafor quite a bit of playing time, but he's starting to come back around. Over the last six games he's recorded 10 or more rebounds on four occasions and is coming off a pair of double-double efforts.

Must starts: none

Two games

Golden State Warriors (vs. LAC, @LAC)

He's not starting games but Jarrett Jack is getting 30 minutes per contest this month while recording 15.5 points on 53.2 percent shooting with 5.8 assists and a steal per game. Over the last five games he's exceeded 25 points twice and double-digit assists on two other occasions.

Must starts: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee

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About Eric McClung

Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a three-time award finalist. Over the years, he's made several appearances in print and on radio. McClung began contributing to KFFL in 2008 and currently serves as one of KFFL's featured fantasy NASCAR experts. He's also captured the fantasy football championship in the KFFL staff league twice.

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