This week's best fantasy plays
Some teams are out of it, but it doesn't mean their players are
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 the owners in ESPN Fantasy Basketball 2012 who might be worth a roster spot in the week ahead.
Michael Beasley (Owned 37.7 percent, Opponent boost 11.1 percent):
Now that the Timberwolves have fallen out of playoff contention and Kevin Love (concussion) almost certainly won't play again this season, it's Beasley's time to shine. Few players come up bigger when the stakes are low. He'll help you in raw points and rebounds, but not so much in shooting percentage. His production should be divided over the next few days as Minnesota faces two strong defensive teams (Indiana, Memphis) and two poor ones (Detroit, Golden State). Beasley is coded in our system as a small forward, but you'd expect him to spend more time at the four with Love on the sidelines. That tempers his opponent boost a bit. The Pacers and Grizzlies are in the top six against fours; the Warriors (18th) and Pistons (26th) are better plays.
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.