The NBA schedule has teams 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.
Luol Deng has now missed three straight games due to a hamstring injury. In his absence Jimmy Butler has moved into the starting lineup, averaging 15.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, four assists and 1.7 steals per game. Butler's value is clearly for the short term but with Chicago playing three games in a span of four nights he's likely to hold Deng's spot at least through the weekend.
Must start: Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah
Over the last six games Andre Drummond has come off the bench to notch 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals. The rookie has also recorded at least one block and one steal in each of those contests. Drummond still flying a bit under the fantasy radar right now and continues to make a strong case for more minutes.
Must start: Greg Monroe
Golden State Warriors
Rookies Festus Ezeli and Harrison Barnes are listed as starters but Carl Landry makes a deep cut into both of their minutes. On the season he's averaging 12 points and a career-high 6.6 rebounds per game while shooting nearly 53 percent. Landry doesn't offer much else unless he finds a way into the starting lineup. For now, at least, he's more of a deeper play.
Must start: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, David Lee, Jarrett Jack
Los Angeles Lakers
Dwight Howard's shoulder injury should result in Pau Gasol starting at center after his recent benching. That move will keep Earl Clark very active after playing a game-high 40 minutes against the Memphis Grizzles on Wednesday night, which followed Howard's early departure. Over the last eight games Clark is averaging 11.8 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.3 blocks.
Must start: Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace
In 11 games this month Mike Dunleavy is averaging 12.1 points and 2.2 threes as a reserve. He's also shooting a hair above 50 percent from the field in that time. Over the last three games he's totaled four blocks and three steals but doesn't always produce in those departments on a consistent basis.
Must start: Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Larry Sanders, Ersan Ilyasova
New Orleans Hornets
In his last 10 starts Al-Farouq Aminu is averaging 9.1 points, 10.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He's also converting more than half his field goal attempts. Aminu is filling up the stat sheet while the more frequently owned Robin Lopez has played less than 20 minutes in two of the last three games. Lopez owners should heavily consider making this switch.
Must start: Greivis Vasquez, Eric Gordon, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson
Glen Davis recently missed 11 games because of a shoulder injury but has now played more than 23 minutes in each of his last four starts. In 30 games this season Davis is averaging 15.4 points, 7.4 rebounds and 0.7 blocks. The field goal percentage is a bit erratic from night to night but Davis is a player to grab immediately in the event he was ditched during his absence.
Must start: Jameer Nelson, J.J. Redick, Arron Afflalo, Nikola Vucevic
A poor starting lineup and a deep rotation puts a cap on the value for many of the Kings. Isaiah Thomas has been ice cold shooting the ball all year but has recorded a season-high seven assists in two of his last three games. However, he's still averaging just three assists on the season, a woeful figure for a starting point guard.
Must start: Tyreke Evans, DeMarcus Cousins
The front court of Amir Johnson and Ed Davis continue to be undervalued. In their first 10 games of January the former is averaging 12.8 points, eight rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. The latter is a little ahead with 14.2 points and 8.3 rebounds but is also a little behind with 0.4 steals and 0.8 blocks. Depending on what you need from a big the answer could be north of the border.
Must start: Jose Calderon, DeMar DeRozan
Over the last five games Randy Foye has nailed 19 of his 30 field goal attempts from downtown. In that span he averaged 1.6 steals per game. Foye isn't much of a rebounder or a passer but is shooting it well enough use a rental for the long distance opportunities during this hot spell.
Must start: Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
In the last two games Martell Webster has made seven of his 10 attempts from beyond the arch and is averaging nearly 20 points per game. The sample size is obviously too small to make the jump for him right away but he's a player to monitor in the coming days.
Must start: Bradley Beal, Nene Hilario, Emeka Okafor, John Wall
Must start: Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith
Oklahoma City Thunder
Must start: Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Serge Ibaka, Kevin Martin
San Antonio Spurs
Must start: Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan, Tiago Splitter, Manu Ginobili