Fantasy Basketball Weekly Planner: March 25-31
(All teams play at least three games this week.)
After being eased into the lineup, Jeff Teague played nearly 45 minutes Wednesday night as the starting point guard. Meanwhile, Devin Harris remained a starter for the fifth consecutive game and has now scored 15 or more points on three occasions. During this span, Harris made at least one three pointer and totaled seven steals.
Marksman Kyle Korver is back on track after a slow return from a toe injury. Korver, the most accurate three-point shooter this season, has now made a pair of triples in five straight contests.
Must start: Jeff Teague, Josh Smith, Al Horford
Without Kevin Garnett in the lineup, Jeff Green nearly carried the short-handed Celtics to victory against the Miami Heat on Monday. Green exploded with 43 points, seven rebounds, five threes, four blocks and two steals. Prior to that outburst, Green had been doing solid work off the bench with 14.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.4 blocks, 0.9 threes and 0.8 steals in 20 games.
Must start: Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Jeff Green
A back injury to David West has allowed Tyler Hansbrough to start each of the last two games. Hansbrough took advantage, recording a pair of double-doubles, averaging 16.0 points and 12.5 rebounds. However, Hansbrough is pretty much limited to just those stats as he doesn't block shots or shoot a good percentage for a power forward.
Must start: George Hill, Paul George, Roy Hibbert
Los Angeles Clippers
Matt Barnes has faded in and out of fantasy relevance throughout the season but is worth a look right now. Over the last six games, Barnes has averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 threes, 1.5 blocks and 0.8 steals a night. Even though he had two big games from the beyond the arc recently, Barnes typically offers a little bit of everything to help out across the board.
Must start: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, Jamal Crawford
Los Angeles Lakers
Pau Gasol (foot) is expected back Friday night, which could prove to be a death knell to Earl Clark's freefalling fantasy stock. Clark developed as a very worthwhile player by averaging 11.9 points on 48.2 percent shooting, 9.0 blocks, 0.9 steals and 0.9 blocks during a stretch of 20 games from early January through late February. In the 13 game since, Clark has plummeted to just 6.8 points on 40.5 percent shooting and 5.3 rebounds.
Must start: Steve Nash, Dwight Howard
Over the last three games, reserve Jerryd Bayless is averaging nearly 20 points a game and has made a total of nine three pointers. As the season wears on the Grizz have looked to Bayless more frequently with improving results. Shooting for a high percentage isn't typical for Bayless, so this streak could prove to be short lived.
Must start: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol
After hitting 2.8 threes per game during the month of February and pulling away as the Heat's top three-point shooter, Shane Battier has taken a step back to draw closer to Ray Allen. Battier is now making nearly a pair of threes on 48.8 percent shooting this month while Allen is hitting 1.5 from long distance at 34.7 percent. The vet reserves are basically canceling each other out right now, but Battier is easily more efficient.
Must start: Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh
After missing eight starts with a strained abdomen, Nikola Pekovic played a little over 24 minutes in each game of a recent back-to-back. Pekovic averaged 11.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, admitting afterward the issue is still causing him pain. Unfortunately, owners that have enjoyed Pekovic's breakout campaign may not get his best down the stretch of the fantasy season.
Must start: Ricky Rubio
New Orleans Hornets
The fragile Eric Gordon (knee) still isn't playing back-to-backs but has been putting together his best month of the season. In seven March games, he has notched 16.9 points and 2.1 threes a night. Owners dealing with Gordon's balky knee are finally seeing a return and won't have another back-to-back to deal with until April 9 and 10.
Must start: Greivis Vasquez, Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson
New York Knicks
In addition to a knee injury, Tyson Chandler is now dealing with a bulging disc in his neck and will miss a week or so. In his absence, Kenyon Martin has been thrust into the starting lineup. The recently-signed Martin has pulled down nine rebounds in each of the last two games and has totaled seven blocks in his last four games. The 35-year-old is fresh but may not hold up if he's asked to play too much.
Must start: Raymond Felton, Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith
Over the last 13 games, Tobias Harris has gone from a seldom-used reserve to an impact player late in the fantasy season. He averaged 15.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.3 blocks, 1.1 threes and 0.9 steals during that span while starting each of the last six contests. Harris is doing it all as a must-own waiver wire wonder.
Must start: Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris
Despite some erratic shooting, Spencer Hawes continues to improve while posting his best month of the season. He has now averaging 13.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.9 blocks per game in 11 March contests. Over the last five games, Hawes has dropped seven or more assists on three occasions after recording no more than four in any of the 30 previous games.
Must start: Jrue Holiday, Thaddeus Young, Spencer Hawes
A healthy frontcourt has Derrick Favors back on the bench. However, he's still getting a decent amount of minutes to the detriment of Enes Kanter. Over the last four games, Favors is only averaging 7.0 points and 6.3 rebounds but has rejected a total of 10 shots.
Must start: Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson
With the three-point shot working for him, Martell Webster is setting monthly highs of 15.9 points and 3.3 three pointers a night. As his level of play improves, the Wiz have entrusted Webster with more playing time. He's seeing more than 34 minutes a game after never cracking 32 in any prior month.
Must start: John Wall, Martell Webster, Nene Hilario, Emeka Okafor
About Eric McClung
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. Follow @EricMcClung
Don't miss these great reports....
Recent KFFL releases
2013 Fantasy Football Player Rankings
Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Jedd Gyorko, Jarrod Parker, more
Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview: Coca-Cola 600
Fantasy baseball closer depth charts - AL