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.
The starting backcourt of Jeff Teague and Lou Williams served up a New Year's Day stinker but had been a solid unit prior to that. Williams has now started six straight games, averaging 16.8 points per game and 5.8 assists in that span.
Kyle Korver connected from long distance four times to start his 2013 and continues to produce threes on a consistent basis.
Must start: Jeff Teague, Lou Williams, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Taj Gibson recently stepped in for Joakim Noah (flu) beautifully by logging a game-high 44:49 minutes. He also registered 21 points and 11 rebounds with four blocks. Gibson's playing time is too erratic to consider adding, however. Any injury to Boozer or Noah makes him an instant grab, though.
Must start: Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
With Anderson Varejao (knee) unavailable Tyler Zeller has stepped in as the starting center over the last six games. As a starter he's averaged 12.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game. Tristan Thompson also benefited with Varejao missing by notching 12.8 points while shooting nearly 50 percent to go with 12.3 rebounds.
Varejao's injury doesn't appear to be long term so Zeller's value could be running out soon. Thompson has cemented himself in the Cavs frontcourt but will likely see a slight decline when Varejao suits up again.
Must start: Kyrie Irving, Tristan Thompson
Over the last five contests Chris Kaman is shooting 50 percent from the floor while averaging 12.8 points and seven boards per game. Kaman is only playing about 25.5 minutes but is proving to be extremely efficient and should be owned right now.
Must start: O.J. Mayo
Since returning from a foot injury, Patrick Patterson is starting to see his minutes ramp back up while looking to get his starting job back from Marcus Morris. Each player is averaging exactly 13.2 points per game as a starter with similar rebounding numbers and percentages. For fantasy purposes Morris is slightly preferred thanks to his three-point shooting.
Must start: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Omer Asik
Things continue to get worse for Roy Hibbert, Indy's $58 million dollar man. Over the last eight games he's only scoring 8.1 points per game on a woeful 42.4 percent shooting. Hibbert will throw in the occasional big rebound performance and is still blocking a lot of shots. See what you can get for him on the trading block, especially from those in need of rejections or a big man.
Must start: Paul George, David West
Los Angeles Lakers
A move to the bench hasn't hurt Metta World Peace at all. His reserve status comes on the heels of Pau Gasol's return from a foot injury. In six games as a sub he's averaging 14.3 points and 6.2 rebounds per game, which are actually up from his season averages. MWP is getting a similar number of minutes so his fantasy value is not altered with Gasol back in the lineup.
Must start: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace
Tony Allen is coming off a season-high performance of 15 points, giving him double-digit scoring in four of the last six. If Allen keeps scoring at this pace with a respectable shooting percentage he's offering enough steals and blocks to consider picking up, perhaps this week as a rental.
Must start: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
Hey now! Over the last five games Larry Sanders is averaging a double-double, 10.2 points and 11.6 rebounds, to go with 2.3 blocks and 1.2 steals. Sanders leads the league with an average of 3.8 fouls committed so his performances and opportunities often vary from game to game.
Must start: Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis
Following a few poor games upon entering the starting lineup Alexey Shved has recently shown that move was the correct one. In his last four starts he's averaging 14.5 points, 7.3 assists and 2.3 threes per game. Shved is listed as a shooting guard but is dishing like a point guard. That may change when Ricky Rubio (back spasms) is able to play, assuming his surgically-repaired knee can handle the minutes.
Must start: Andrei Kirilenko, Kevin Love, Nikola Pekovic
New Orleans Hornets
Over the last seven games Robin Lopez averaged 16 points per game on a crisp 64.4 percent shooting with seven rebounds and 2.3 blocks. Lopez recently had a monster game of 24 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks in a losing effort against the Indiana Pacers that inflate those numbers a bit, however. Consider him low-end fantasy center but capable of challenging for a double-double on most nights.
Must start: Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson
New York Knicks
Amar'e Stoudemire made his season debut on New Year's Day by coming off the bench for 16:41 minutes. The plan is to keep Stoudemire as a reserve so the successful front court of Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler is not disrupted. Those that have hung onto Stoudemire may want to see about shipping him away should be erupt with a big game or two in the near future.
Must start: J.R. Smith, Carmelo Anthony, Tyson Chandler
Oklahoma City Thunder
Thabo Sefolosha has been shooting three ball a lot more frequently as of late with 4.3 attempts per game over the last eight starts. In that time he's only averaging nine points and 3.6 rebounds but is offering value in other departments. In addition to making 1.5 threes Sefolosha is also averaging two steals and a block.
Must start: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka
Shannon Brown has been sent to the bench following some spotty shooting performances and a desire to upgrade the defense of the first unit. He began to show some value as a volume scorer but now looks like a player to bail on.
Must start: Goran Dragic, Jared Dudley, Luis Scola, Marcin Gortat
Portland Trail Blazers
Wesley Matthews recently came back from a hip injury and may need a few games to get back into the swing of things. Matthews can produce some decent scoring totals and takes a large number of threes. If his injury caused him to be dropped recently those in need of a three-point shooter should double check on Matthews.
Must start: Damian Lillard, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, J.J. Hickson
San Antonio Spurs
Kawhi Leonard has been a disappointment since returning to action. Even though he's shooting a good percentage Leonard is averaging just 8.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game over the last six. Leonard is averaging 1.2 threes and 2.3 steals in that span but isn't consistent enough right now to warrant holding onto in a swallow format.
Must start: Tony Parker, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili
Gordon Hayward had his playing time drop by nearly four minutes per game from November to December. He also dipped from 11.1 field goal attempts to 8.9 but did shoot the ball at a better percentage. Although Hayward's points per game saw a very slight drop, his steals and blocks took a hit, dragging his fantasy value down to the point you might consider dropping him.
Must start: Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
Must start: Tayshaun Prince, Greg Monroe
Los Angeles Clippers
Must start: Chris Paul, DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford
Must start: Nene, Emeka Okafor
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.