Commentary

This week's smart fantasy plays

Predicting which players will struggle or fare well this week

Originally Published: April 6, 2012
By Bradford Doolittle | Basketball Prospectus
Dwyane WadeMike Ehrmann/Getty ImagesWith tough games and a balky knee, Dwyane Wade may be best left on the bench.

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.

Must-plays

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.

Spencer Hawes (Owned 45.9 percent, Opponent boost 15.5 boost) The Philadelphia 76ers have eased Hawes back into the flow since he returned from an Achilles injury, but the Sixers have lifted his minutes restriction for the stretch run. He hasn't quite recaptured the breakout-season spirit of his early games, but this may be the week he gets back in the groove. The Sixers have three games against teams weak against centers. The New Jersey Nets, whom Philly plays twice, rank 27th, and recent results have been heading in the wrong direction. The Toronto Raptors are merely below average.


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.