The NBA schedule has any given team playing between one to five games on any given week. This uneven distribution can alter the value of players quite a bit, particularly in weekly scoring formats. This planner highlights those teams playing an extra game or two and those playing a reduced amount.
Atlanta Hawks (@HOU, @NO, @DET, vs. BOS)
Over the last seven games Kyle Korver is averaging 10.4 points per game on 42.9 percent from the field. His primary contribution comes from behind the arch, averaging 2.3 threes per game while taking nearly six a game. Korver has recently seen a slight jump in rebounds, averaging 4.7 boards in the aforementioned time frame. The glass work may not last but the steady stream of triples should continue, hopefully with a better success rate.
Must starts: Josh Smith, Al Horford
Brooklyn Nets (@SA, @OKC, @WAS, vs. SAC)
The firing of head coach Avery Johnson and an abdominal injury to Kris Humphries could open the door for Andray Blatche to become a bigger part of the rotation. In the month of December, which includes starting the first six games, Blatche has averaged 13.8 points per game on 53.3 percent shooting with 6.4 rebounds, 1.9 steals and 0.8 blocks.
Must starts: Deron Williams, Joe Johnson, Gerald Wallace, Brook Lopez
Denver Nuggets (vs. LAC, vs. MIN, vs. UTA, @LAL)
Swingman Corey Brewer recently matched a career-high 27 points in a game thanks to half a dozen threes. He's averaging 14.2 points per game this month with a sharp 50.3 percent shooting percentage. On the season Brewer taking four attempts a game from downtown after never averaging more than three per game in his five previous seasons.
Must starts: Ty Lawson, Andre Iguodala, Danilo Gallinari, Kenneth Faried
Houston Rockets (vs. ATL, vs. NO, @MIL, @CLE)
He's shooting an ugly percentage but Carlos Delfino is firing away from long distance. Delfino has played in 21 games this season and has taken 10 or more threes on four occasions. Even though he probably can't be trusted completely right now, Delfino is getting the opportunities that could elevate him to fantasy relevance before too long.
Must starts: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Omer Asik
Indiana Pacers (vs. MEM, vs. WAS, @BOS, vs. MIL)
Despite never averaging more than 8.8 rebounds a game in a season, the Pacers elected to give Roy Hibbert a maximum contract during the summer. Their 7-foot-2 center is quickly looking like one of the most overpaid player in the league right now, averaging 9.9 points per game on a woeful 40.4 percent shooting percentage. Hibbert continues to disappoint on the glass with 8.2 boards but is averaging a career-best 2.9 blocks per game.
The poor shooting can be blamed, in part, on the wrist he injured last year in the playoffs. Even though he's shot better in recent games Hibbert still can't shake off his inconsistencies and lackluster rebounding giving his extreme height advantage.
Must starts: George Hill, David West
Los Angeles Clippers (@DEN, @GS, vs. LAL, vs. GS)
Despite coming off the bench Matt Barnes is playing well enough to be universally owned right now. He's registered 13.3 points per game on 55.8 percent shooting this month with 4.8 rebounds, 1.5 threes, 1.3 steals and a block. Barnes is stuffing the stat sheet and is a great lineup piece heading into a four-game week.
Must starts: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin
Memphis Grizzles (@IND, @BOS, vs. POR, @PHO)
In place of Rudy Gay, who missed a game due to a personal matter, Quincy Pondexter received the start. He tallied 13 points with a trio of threes and made all four free throws but was just three of 10 from the field. With Gay due back shortly Pondexter's limited value as a starter looks very short lived.
Must starts: Mike Conley, Rudy Gay, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Miami Heat (@ORL, vs. DAL, vs. CHI, vs. WAS)
Over the last two games Mario Chalmers has been excellent scoring with the ball, totaling 37 points with eight threes. Ray Allen missed the team's most recent game with a shoulder injury and Dwyane Wade has been suspended for one game following a kick to the groin. Even though Chalmers isn't offering up the assists you'd want from a point guard he has a short-term boost as a scorer.
Must starts: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh
Oklahoma City Thunder (vs. PHO, vs. BKN, vs. PHI, @TOR)
His scoring extremely limited but Thabo Sefolosha is still managing 1.2 threes, a steal and half a block per game. The attempts from long range were never part a big part of Sefolosha's game until this season after Harden was traded away. If you don't need the points Sefolosha can pour in some swipes this week as a rental player.
Must starts: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka
Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a two-time award finalist. He's also 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.