This week's smart fantasy plays

With tough games and a balky knee, Dwyane Wade may be best left on the bench. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

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.

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.