This week's smart fantasy plays
Predicting which players will struggle or fare well this week
Using opponent data for each team on the following week's schedule, Basketball Prospectus can estimate how much a player's performance will vary because of the defenses he will face. (Click here for more details on the process.) Each week, Bradford Doolittle takes a look at five players to use, five to limit and an ideal pickup.
These are players owned by fewer than half of owners in ESPN Fantasy Basketball 2012 who might be worth a roster spot in the week ahead.
Michael Beasley (Owned 37.8 percent, Opponent boost 23.3 percent)
Beasley's court time has cratered during the 11 games since Minnesota lost Ricky Rubio for the season to a knee injury. Beasley has been battling a sore toe, and when he's played his minutes have ranged from 11 to 26. Nevertheless, the Timberwolves have dropped 7-of-11 without Rubio and have put up a flagging offensive rating of just 104.6. Beasley remains one of the team's better wing options when it comes to putting up points, and coach Rick Adelman may have to turn to him in the week ahead, when Minnesota takes on Sacramento, Golden State and New Orleans. All of those teams have been exceedingly weak against 3s this season.
To read the rest of Basketball Prospectus' list of five must-start players, five players with tough schedules in the coming week and one player to target, you must be an ESPN Insider.