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Category Strategy: Weekly Schedules

James Anderson

James Anderson

James Anderson is a University of Minnesota graduate, with allegiances to the Packers, Brewers, Bucks (sigh) and Gophers (double sigh). He is an editor and scribe at Rotowire.com, primarily focused on basketball and baseball. In 2013 he was a FSWA finalist for Fantasy Basketball writer of the year.

CATEGORY STRATEGY

Each week, this article highlights players who are widely available in standard leagues that can help in specific roto categories. Remember, while each player highlighted can help in a specific category, there's no guarantee for production in other areas.

POINTS

Gerald Henderson, SG, Bobcats - Yahoo!: 37% ESPN: 46.9%
Over his last four games, Henderson has played 28-plus minutes and attempted 13-plus shots per game. He has only cracked 20 points once over that span, but the 15.8 points he's averaging in those games is about as much production as you can hope for off the waiver wire in most leagues as the fantasy playoffs are getting underway.

Lineup Note: In non-daily leagues, I'm keeping Marcus Thornton on my bench this week, as the Kings play just two games. If you remove his 32-point performance against the Nuggets on Tuesday, then he's averaging a much less tantalizing 10.7 shot attempts in 24 minutes per game over his last three tilts. In standard and mid-sized leagues, there will be better options available for your first-round playoff matchups.

REBOUNDS

Reggie Evans, PF, Nets - Yahoo!: 11% ESPN: 8.6%
In the last two weeks, only Omer Asik and Dwight Howard are out-rebounding Evans, who is pulling down 12.9 boards per game over that span. If you can surround him in your lineup with guys who can pick up the slack in the non-rebounding categories, then Evans is worth a late season addition to help guarantee the edge in rebounds in your playoff matchup.

Lineup Note: Make sure Anthony Davis is in your starting lineup this week, as he has 39 total rebounds in his three games since returning from injury.

ASSISTS

Eric Maynor, PG, Blazers - Yahoo!: 4% ESPN: 2.2%
There are probably more widely endorsed options on the waiver wire, like Andre Miller, Nate Robinson or Kirk Hinrich, but with Hinrich's injury uncertainty affecting both he and Robinson, they would each be a risky start in a playoff matchup. Miller is a steady option, but the lesser-owned Maynor has been doing his best Andre Miller impression since being traded to the Blazers, putting up solid assists numbers as the leader of the second unit. Over his last four contests he's averaging 6.3 assists and 25.8 minutes per game and is available in almost all leagues.

Lineup Note: Both Jarrett Jack and Raymond Felton are averaging less than four assists over their last three games, but with both the Warriors and Knicks having four games this week, benching these struggling point guards isn't so cut and dry. In standard leagues, I'd give Felton the nod unless there was an obvious upgrade, but I would be less likely to trust Jack over a better player playing three games.

STEALS

Jason Kidd, PG, Knicks - Yahoo!: 54% ESPN: 42.8%
It's time to buy back in on Kidd, who, after struggling mightily for a while, recently had a streak of three-straight games with three steals. The Knicks play four games this week, so Kidd is a solid option for contributions in steals and three-point shooting in the first round of the fantasy playoffs. Similarly, Iman Shumpert, who is much more available on waiver wires, is a solid option in deeper leagues because of the Knicks' schedule.

Lineup Note: If steals are a stat you aren't confident about heading into the playoffs, insert Kawhi Leonard into your weekly lineup as the Spurs have four games on the slate this week.

BLOCKS

Jermaine O'Neal, C, Suns - Yahoo!: 21% ESPN: 11.7%
O'Neal is expected to rejoin the Suns on Monday, after missing a couple games for personal reasons, and he was averaging two blocks in the four games prior to him leaving the team. The Suns play four games this week and the 34-year-old O'Neal should be well rested. In shallower leagues, Robin Lopez and Al-Farouq Aminu are also solid options here.

Lineup Note: DeMarcus Cousins, if he's on your roster, was probably one of your first draft picks, but there's actually a case to be made for benching Cousins this week in weekly leagues. The Kings play just two games and Cousins will be matched up with Joakim Noah and Dwight Howard - two of the league's best interior defenders. Cousins has seven total blocks in his last five games and five of those came in one game. He snapped out of a recent funk in Friday's game against Phoenix, but the Suns are such a weak defensive team, that that could be an aberration. Obviously you'll be starting him in mid-sized and deeper leagues, but it's something worth look at in shallow leagues as the fantasy playoffs are heating up.

THREE-POINTERS

Shane Battier, SF, Heat - Yahoo!: 14% ESPN: 2.2%
Battier remains a top option here in deeper leagues, and the Heat play four games this week. In shallower leagues, Carlos Delfino would be a good get. John Salmons may look appealing, but in weekly leagues he's a stay away this week since he'll only play two games.

Lineup Note: Brandon Knight had some shaky stretches of play earlier this season, but he's averaging 2.8 three-pointers per game over the last two weeks and is a must-start for the playoffs in most formats.