Fantasy hoops outlook
Evil's Outlook goes around the league and examines which players are hot and cold and which players you should keep an eye on. As usual, we start with the upcoming schedule and then hit the top pickups and few others to consider. The outlook for week 20 suggests 112 players who are safe starts and 43 who are borderline, so adjust accordingly if your league is much smaller or larger.
1. Memphis Grizzlies (3 games: @Minnesota, @Boston, @Detroit)
3. Dallas Mavericks (4 games: @Phoenix, @Portland, @Golden State, @LA Lakers)
Once again, it's been a season full of peaks and valleys for Smith. After averaging just 11.8 points and 26.4 minutes in February, he was likely dropped in many leagues. If so, you should consider picking him up ASAP. The talented guard was moved back into the starting lineup on Thursday, and this time it could be permanent. Smith is averaging 19.8 points, 5 boards, 3.3 assists and 1.8 threes in 35.8 minutes over his last four games, and he's gone to the line an impressive 21 times over the last two games. The only reason
After missing 48 games due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, it sounds like Kaman is set to return to action. He was averaging 14.4 points, 10 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 37.2 minutes before getting injured, so pick him up if you need center help. The obvious concern is that Kaman put those numbers up while
Over the past few days, I've picked him up Jackson in four of my five leagues, so either I'm too high on him or everyone else is sleeping. He was recently moved into Sacramento's starting lineup with
Nocioni received his first start for Sacramento on Sunday, and he responded with 23 points, 5 rebounds and 3 threes in 38 minutes. Since
Landry returned to action recently, and he's averaged a respectable 12.8 points, 4 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.6 blocks in 25.4 minutes over his last five games. Those aren't eye-popping numbers, but his real value lies in his accurate shooting: 22-29 from the field and 20-24 from the line over the same time span. For the season, he's now shooting a sparkling 57.2 percent and 83.6 percent from the line. That makes him the
His minutes have been sporadic, but Randolph is starting to show fantasy owners what he's capable of. In his last five games, the 19-year old is averaging 10 points, 7.8 boards and 2.4 blocks in just 25 minutes. Believe it or not, his best performances came against Utah and Detroit, so it wasn't like he was padding his stats against the Knicks and Wizards. Of course, he's still a risky play due to
Much like Randolph, Belinelli is slowly starting to earn more minutes. Over his last four games, he's averaging 11.5 points, 2.3 assists and 1.8 threes in just 26.5 minutes. Those numbers aren't great, but he proved earlier in the season that he could be a solid fantasy starter if he got 30-plus minutes. Now is the best time for the Warriors to evaluate Belinelli's current level of play and future ceiling, so it wouldn't surprise me if his playing time continues to rise.
The Knicks dropped two more games over the weekend and have fallen to 13th place in the Eastern Conference. Does that mean the Gallinari era has officially started? Over his last three games, the rookie is averaging 12.7 points and 3 treys in 21 minutes off the bench. Meanwhile, M
The rookie out of Kansas is starting again for Memphis, and I'm assuming more minutes will be coming his way down the stretch. He's averaging 21.4 minutes, 8.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 1 block over his last five games, which means he could put up solid numbers if he starts getting more playing time. If you're in a deep league and need some boards, give him a look.
After arguing with his coach and playing just 22 minutes on Friday,
Surprisingly, Charlotte has won six games in a row and is just one game behind Chicago for the 8th spot in the East.
Start: G. Wallace,
One of the biggest post-trade surprises has been
Cleveland plays the Clippers, Suns, Kings and Knicks this week (three of whom are near the bottom in points allowed), so start your Cavs this week.
Anthony returned from a one-game suspension to score 90 points in three games, so hopefully he's ready to lead Denver to a strong finish. Smith is starting again, so he looks like a safe start now. The same can't be said for
If you needed further proof of
Start: Stuckey, Hamilton,
What has gone wrong with my beloved Warriors? The team has dropped six of their last seven games, and Nelson isn't making many people happy these days. Despite his plans to "evict"
You might assume that
Start: Yao, Artest,
Start: E. Gordon,
The Lakers start the week with three killer road games at Portland, Houston and San Antonio, so don't expect monster numbers from
Don't look now, but
Start: Gay, Mayo, Conley, M. Gasol
Start: R. Jefferson,
Minnesota gets to stay home all week long, and it should score plenty of points with contests against the Wizards, Grizzlies, Knicks and Bobcats. Did you know that
The Nets have three road games this week, but starting against the Warriors and finishing against the Clippers isn't bad at all.
Start: Paul, D. West, T. Chandler,
The Knicks are just 7-22 on the road this year, and with four away games this week, that means they're about to officially fall out of playoff contention. Just when it seemed like
Start: D. Lee, Harrington,
The Thunder are being extra cautious with their young stars, as both
Start: D. Howard, Lewis,
Phoenix has lost four in a row and are dangerously close to falling out of the playoff race. It's tough to blame
Start: Nash, Shaq, Jason Richardson, Barnes,
The Blazers have won four of their last five games, with
Sactown won their 14th game of the season on Sunday, and coach
The Spurs don't have a great schedule this week, having to face the Bobcats, Lakers and Rockets. As a result,
Start: Duncan, T. Parker
Start: Bosh, Calderon,
Utah is riding an 11-game winning streak, and they could claim the No. 3 spot in the West before we know it.
Start: D. Williams,
With five-straight losses, Washington's terrible season continues.
Start C. Butler,