December 11, 2016, 8:39 pm
Hello! Welcome to This Week Tonight where we’ll be previewing the games for the week ahead and discussing some key topics that’ll help you win your weekly match or maximize your ability in season long rotisserie leagues. Lets start with how many games everyone’s playing this week.
4 Games: BKN, CHA, DAL, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, NOR, ORL, POR, SAC, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHI, CLE, DEN, DET, GSW, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHO, SAS, UTA
2 Games: MIN
Back-to-backs to keep an eye on:
Cleveland and Memphis go back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday. That could affect Marc Gasol, LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and potentially Kevin Love. Gasol is going to have to carry the load for the Grizzlies with Mike Conley out but they’ve been playing so well they could opt to give him rest. Keep an eye on Cleveland’s studs as any of them could rest one of the games.
New Orleans goes back-to-back on Thursday and Friday which puts both Jrue Holiday and Anthony Davis, who both played Sunday, at risk for a rest game.
The Magic also have a back-to-back on Tuesday and Wednesday but I would not be concerned with them. The Pacers have a set on Wednesday and Thursday but are healthy and probably won’t rest players. Chicago also have a set on Thursday and Friday but only play three games this week. Dwyane Wade is the likely rest candidate if anyone is there.
Pickups to win you the week:
Langston Galloway – The Pelicans play four games this week and with the aforementioned back-to-back it could leave Galloway as a plus play in leagues this week. He’s not great but he produces decently enough when given minutes.
Kelly Oubre – Scott Brooks recently said he’s going to start playing him and Otto Porter together. Oubre’s minutes have climbed in the past week from 17 to 21 to 25 to 29 and culminated with a 19 point and nine rebound performance on Saturday. Try to ride that high in this four game week as he may pan out to be a season long add as well.
Salah Mejri – He’s been in foul trouble the past week but the Mavs play four games this week and he’s been much more productive than his recent performance in spot starts. If you need a big man for field goal percentage, boards, or blocks this week he ought to be close to the top of your list.
Hard Decision of the Week:
Karl Anthony-Townes and the rest of the Wolves – They only play two games this week so that makes a difficult decision for all owners who have decisions to make. The good news is they play the Bulls and the Rockets, both favorable matchups. KAT should be started unless you’re stacked in the center and power forward position, but the others should still be weighed against your individual roster construction.
Kent Bazemore – His MRI was clean and he should return on Tuesday versus the Magic.
Jeremy Lin – He’s probable for the first time and has been ramping up in practice. A probable distinction gives me mild confidence in starting him for point guard needy teams.
Dirk Nowitzki – He’s supposed to practice this next week. Hopefully that means he can get in some meaningful playing time, but he shouldn’t be started without more firm reports.
Blake Griffin – He had a sore right knee but it looks like it was mostly a rest situation. He should be started unless there’s a more negative report that surfaces.
D’Angelo Russell – He returned on Sunday and should be locked into lineups moving forward.
T.J. Warren – He was recently dubbed the Suns “best two way player” and looks to be nearing his return this week. His head injury is still a mystery but he’s been rock solid when he plays.
Rodney Hood (hamstring) – His hamstring injury continues to bother him and he could miss additional time so he doesn’t exacerbate the injury.
Bismack Biyombo (shoulder) – He played Saturday and should be good to go for the week.
Nikola Vucevic (lower back) – He missed Saturday’s game and should be monitored going forward. There’s not much known but it doesn’t sound serious. That being said it could sideline him for a week or more.