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 will take a look at five players to use, five to limit and an ideal pickup.
These are players currently owned by fewer than half of owners in ESPN Fantasy Basketball 2012 who might be worth a roster spot in the week ahead.
Tyler Hansbrough (Owned 26.3 percent, Opponent boost 15.8 percent)
Hansbrough has struggled to stay consistent as Indiana's sixth man and has fallen off the radar of most fantasy owners. This might be a good week to revisit the struggling forward. Hansbrough's minutes continue to hover around 20 per game, but he's been a factor in two of his last three games as his shooting seems to be coming around. Of this week's opponents, Miami is a tough play, but the other three matchups are promising. Cleveland has struggled against power forwards, with Antawn Jamison and rookie Tristan Thompson both flailing on the defensive end. The next night, Indiana plays New Jersey, which is almost as bad against 4s. Kris Humphries isn't a bad defender but is forced to protect the rim because of the Nets' lack of a healthy, shot-blocking center. That's also the back end of a back-to-back for Indiana, and Frank Vogel might want to go easy on veteran starter David West, freeing up some minutes for Hansbrough. Finally, the Pacers wrap up the week with the Bobcats, who are the league's worst at defending centers and second-worst against power forwards. In other words, it's a dream matchup for an interior scorer such as Hansbrough.