Fantasy Basketball Weekly Planner: April 1-7

by Eric McClung on March 29, 2013 @ 12:45:01 PDT



Four games

(All teams play at least three games this week.)

Atlanta Hawks

Just when Devin Harris (foot) was craving out a little niche in the Hawks starting lineup, he goes down an injury. Without him, they've got back to experimenting with stretch four Anthony Tolliver and the newly inked Shelvin Mack. However, neither player will bring much fantasy value as the Hawks tinker with their rotation.

Meanwhile, Kyle Korver is still making threes on a regular basis but disappointing a bit with season-lows in points (10.0), threes made (2.0) and three-point attempts (4.6).

Must start: Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith, Al Horford

Boston Celtics

Tweener power forward Brandon Bass is having his best month of the season while Kevin Garnett is set to miss two weeks with an ankle issue. In 13 games, Bass is averaging 8.6 points on 54.8 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. The block party will be short lived and the scoring will remain low, but Bass ownership should be increasing as he now faces little competition in the Celtics frontcourt.

Must start: Paul Pierce, Jeff Green

Charlotte Bobcats

If Gerald Henderson could just hit a few threes or pull down some more rebounds on a regular basis, his value would go way up. Over the last nine games, Henderson is averaging 21.3 points while doing some extra work rebounding. During that time he's pulled down five or more rebounds on five occasions while averaging just 3.7 on the season.

Must start: Kemba Walker, Gerald Henderson

Chicago Bulls

Even though Kirk Hinrich is back in the lineup, starting each of the last four games, Nate Robinson continues to do damage. With Hinrich back, he's recorded nine or more assists twice and had a 22-point game on Sunday.

Anytime there's an injury in the Bulls frontcourt, Taj Gibson becomes a player to lease. Over the last four games, Gibson is averaging 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. The final three have come while Joakim Noah is out dealing with plantar fasciitis in his right foot.

Jimmy Butler is getting heavy-duty minutes starting at shooting guard, exceeding 42 minutes in two straight games. He's totaled four made shots from long distance in that time, in addition to swiping five steals. If Marco Belinelli (abdominal strain) remains sidelined, Butler will continue to stay very active at the two spot.

Must start: Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Nate Robinson

Cleveland Cavaliers

Second-year big man Tristan Thompson continues to impress, averaging close to 12 and 10 since the All-Star break. He's also remained consistent with 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks in 53 games before the recess and averaging the same figures in the 16 games since. Thompson just turned 22 years old and will be an intriguing player next year and beyond.

Must start: Tristan Thompson

Dallas Mavericks

In addition to a recent shoulder injury, O.J. Mayo hasn't really been the same since the break. He's dropped from 17.9 points per game to 12.5 while getting to the foul line less often. From beyond the arc, Mayo had dropped from a pair of triples a night to 1.4 in the last 19 games.

Must start: Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Vince Carter

Detroit Pistons

Rookie big Andre Drummond (tailbone) could return as soon as Friday from his back injury. Drummond flashed double-double potential while averaging nearly two blocks a game prior to going down in early February. The Pistons would be wise to treat Drummond with care as the season winds down. However, if he can handle more playing time, Drummond can make an impact as a rejection specialist.

Must start: Jose Calderon, Greg Monroe

Houston Rockets

Over the last six games, Carlos Delfino is struggling with his shot. He's making just 1.3 of the five threes he's taking each night and averaging just 8.7 points on 40 percent shooting. Delfino is among the league leaders in long distance attempts per game and will look to shoot his way through this slump.

Must start: Jeremy Lin, James Harden, Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik

Memphis Grizzles

Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies

An abdominal tear only cost Marc Gasol two games before returning Wednesday night with 13 points and five rebounds in just under 36 minutes of action. His return sends Darrell Arthur and Ed Davis back to waivers. Panicked owners may have dropped Gasol prematurely, so verify his status.

Reverse Jerryd Bayless continued on his recent scoring tear. He's now hit four triples in four of his last seven games, but also came up empty from downtown twice. Bayless has been thrust into the sixth-man role with generally good results but could really excel if he can find more consistency.

Must start: Mike Conley, Zach Randolph

Milwaukee Bucks

Fantasy owners can't be digging J.J. Redick since he was traded to the Bucks. In his 15 games since the move, Redick is averaging 12.6 points on 43.1 percent shooting with 1.7 threes on 5.1 attempts.

As the member of the Orlando Magic, Redick averaged 15.1 points while making 45 percent of his shots. From downtown he was good for 2.3 threes on six attempts per game while also kicking in 4.4 assists.

Must start: Monta Ellis, Brandon Jennings, Ersan Ilyasova, Larry Sanders

Minnesota Timberwolves

Shooting woes are costing Derrick Williams playing time and the return of Andrei Kirilenko isn't helping any. Williams had averaged 18.3 points and 8.2 rebounds in a span of 15 games before failing to hit double-digits in three of the last five contests, playing less than 18 minutes on two occasions.

Must start: Ricky Rubio, Nikola Pekovic

New York Knicks

In seven starts, Kenyon Martin is averaging 11.7 points, 6.9 rebounds, a block and 0.9 steals filling in for Tyson Chandler (neck). K-Mart was on the street for much of the season until rejoining former Denver Nuggets teammates, Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith in Gotham. Martin might be fresh, but at 35 years old this run may not last much longer, even if Chandler remains sidelined.

Must start: Carmelo Anthony, J.R. Smith

Orlando Magic

A concussion might keep Nikola Vucevic off the court for the rest of the season, although nothing is official. Rookie Kyle O'Quinn has stepped up over the last four games with 14.5 points and 10.0 rebounds while claiming the starting center job. O'Quinn hasn't blocked many shots yet, but did so regularly in college.

Must start: Jameer Nelson, Tobias Harris

Portland Trail Blazers

After a decent start to the month, backup Eric Maynor has fallen off the radar, failing to break double-digit scoring in eight straight games. All the players in the Blazers starting lineup receive a healthy dose of minutes, which has kept anyone from the bench from really emerging.

Must start: Damian Lillard, Wesley Matthews, Nicolas Batum, LaMarcus Aldridge, J.J. Hickson

San Antonio Spurs

A spike in rebounding has Tiago Splitter pulling down a season-high 8.2 boards this month, hitting double digits in six of his 12 March contests. Splitter is an efficient shooter, but won't do a ton of scoring.

Must start: Tony Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Tim Duncan

Toronto Raptors

An ankle problem and a leg contusion have Amir Johnson playing fewer than 21 minutes in each of the last three games. Meanwhile, his partner in the front count, Jonas Valanciunas, has at least nine points and six rebounds in 10 consecutive games. As Johnson fades, Valanciunas is proving he is capable of putting up very similar production.

Must start: DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson

Utah Jazz

A dislocated shoulder to Enes Kanter figures to give more regular minutes to Derrick Favors off the bench. Favors put together some useful performances in some spot starts due to other injuries and continued to block shots as a reverse. With Kanter sidelined, Favors has a great opportunity to regain fantasy relevance and state his case to be a starter next season.

Must start: Gordon Hayward, Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson

Washington Wizards

Swingman Martell Webster is currently listed as day-to-day with an abdomen strain, pumping the brakes on what had been his best month of the season. The Wiz are overloaded with injuries and have nothing to play for other than improving their odds in the draft lottery, so unfortunately there's no rush to bring back their top three-point shooter.

Must start: John Wall, Emeka Okafor

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About Eric McClung

Eric McClung has been profiled by the FSWA for covering the fantasy sports spectrum and is a three-time award finalist. Over the years, he's 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. He's also captured the fantasy football championship in the KFFL staff league twice.

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