The Lakers play only twice. Depending on your roster size and what other options you have at their positions, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard might be OK to use in weekly-lineup leagues; I’d avoid everyone else.
Eight teams play just three games. The Celtics start with a visit to Chicago before two winnable games at home. The Nets have to play at Madison Square Garden; admittedly a short ‘road trip’ but it’s also a back-to-back. Houston faces three strong opponents.
Probably the best 3-game teams to use are the Nuggets, who host the Spurs and Bobcats with a trip to Portland in between, and the Heat.
The Knicks have a nearly-perfect week. Four home games, no back-to-backs. Everything against Brooklyn and Chicago will be hard-fought; the other two could be high-scoring affairs. Even if Carmelo Anthony misses the Houston game on Monday, he’s a strong start. If his ankle is good to play all four, his numbers could be enormous.
Four isn’t always a good thing. The Bobcats are on the road, out West, with four in five nights. Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson are the safest plays.
The Jazz are on the road all week, with a pair of back-to-backs. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap remain must-starts, but don’t expect miracles.
Also on a brutal Western trip, New Orleans will be awfully tired when they play the fourth in five nights at home against Indiana. While they may go 0-4, you can’t sit Ryan Anderson and Anthony Davis.
Indiana’s schedule is nearly as bad; three of their 4-in-5-nights are on the road. Paul George and David West are strong plays and George Hill can be used; I’m not so sure about Roy Hibbert.
The good news in Cleveland is Kyrie Irving not only played with a mask protecting his facial fracture, he scored 41 points. Hosting the woeful Raptors on Tuesday is also reason for optimism. The bad news is 4-in-5-nights for the second straight week, including trips to Boston and Milwaukee.
The Bucks face their own 4-in-5 challenge including visits to Memphis and Boston. Be careful.
Minnesota’s easiest game is Monday in Orlando, before meeting the Heat, Thunder and Knicks. The toughest call is Ricky Rubio, who might be held out of the Miami game and on a minutes limit in the others.
Chicago must start the week in Memphis, come home to face the Celtics the next night, then visit the Knicks and Hawks back-to-back. That’s not an easy task, and they aren’t a great scoring team.
The Mavericks also have some high-powered opposition. Home to the Sixers and Heat, then in Memphis and San Antonio.
Atlanta has a pair of back-to-backs; both home games are against tough opponents after a night of travel.
Memphis plays three at home (CHI, MIL & DAL) before heading to Houston. Use them as you normally would.
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