With about two weeks left in the season, just three postseason spots are still in play - the Pacers lead the Bucks and Bobcats for the last spot in the East, while the Rockets still have a chance to get past New Orleans or Memphis and sneak into the Western Conference field.
The Pistons, Nets, Wizards, Raptors and Cavs, Suns, Jazz, Warriors, Clippers, Kings and T-Wolves are playing out the string. So look to those teams for sudden lineup changes; why rush a Kevin Love back from injury when you can get an extended look at an Anthony Randolph (52% owned)? Why waste minutes on Vince Carter when they could go to Jared Dudley (49%)?
The Bucks, Bobcats and Rockets will probably be added to the "playing out the string" list soon, so watch the position battles on those teams closely.
Picks for the Week
The first set of picks is for players in standard leagues - guys who may be available in your average 10 team/15 player roster league. The second group is for owners in very deep leagues, and will be based more on speculation than actual numbers.
All "percent owned" stats are taken from Yahoo! Fantasy Basketball - your mileage may vary.
Thaddeus Young (65% owned) - Elton Brand has been playing with a fracture in his left hand. Once the Sixers are locked into a seed, they could opt to rest Brand, which could give Young a nice boost.
Jordan Crawford (50% owned) - As my colleague Carson Cistulli pointed out in this week's Nerd Alert, Crawford has been highly productive since his arrival in Washington.
Evan Turner (37% owned) - Turner had fallen out of Doug Collins' rotation, but injuries to Lou Williams and Andre Iguodala could give him an opportunity to step up in the season's final two weeks.
Ed Davis (19% owned) - Andrea Bargnani's uncertain status is giving the rookie an opportunity to come into his own.
Jordan Farmar (19% owned) - Deron Williams will skip Wednesday's game in Detroit to have an MRI on his ailing wrist, which would seem to increase the possibility that he'll be shut down for the season. At the very least, Farmar should be a good start for the rest of this week.
Jerryd Bayless (19% owned) - Jose Calderon is fighting injury (again) and has no real reason to rush back - look for Bayless to get the bulk of Toronto's point guard minutes for the rest of the season.
Travis Outlaw (16% owned) - Outlaw may get the call to start with Kris Humphries sidelined, possibly for the rest of the season.
Jermaine O'Neal (15% owned) - With Shaquille O'Neal (calf) out of the mix for the time being, it seems the Celtics' center job will be split fairly evenly between O'Neal and Nenad Krstic (11% owned).
Dante Cunningham (3% owned) - Stephen Jackson is an iffy play due to ongoing hamstring problems. When he's out of the mix, Cunningham gets the call.
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