- Kevin Pelton
Each Friday, Basketball Prospectus will use our proprietary statistics from Bradford Doolittle's NBAPET rating system to help you set your fantasy lineup for the week ahead. NBAPET is ideal for the process because it tracks opponent performance by position against each team. We've broken them into three player types -- point guards, wings and posts (since defenses often crossmatch between shooting guards and small forwards, as well as power forwards and centers).
Using opponent data for each team on the upcoming schedule, we can estimate how much a player's performance will vary because of the defenses he will face in the next week. (See here for more details on the process.) We'll take a look at five players you ought to get into the lineup, five who should find their way to your bench if possible and one free agent worth picking up because of his schedule. Think of this as the NBA equivalent to the fantasy football matchup analysis Football Outsiders' Bill Barnwell provides each week.
Jrue Holiday, PG, Philadelphia 76ers (plus-16 percent)
It's a good rule of thumb to play whatever point guard is facing the Atlanta Hawks. With the aging Mike Bibby at the point, the Hawks have been torched by point guards, allowing 32 percent better production than usual. Philadelphia gets Atlanta on Friday as part of a favorable three-game schedule. All told, we expect Holiday to be 16 percent more productive than usual because of his opposition.
Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus explains why Denver needs J.R. Smith in the lineup, why Kris Humphries has embraced his role as a starter and how a few unheralded rookies are overshadowing their first-round counterparts.