- Tony Targan
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Matchups for Friday, Feb. 1
All times are ET.
Key: Opp. PPG = Points per game allowed to opponents. Opp. FGP = Field goal percentage allowed to opponents. RPG Diff. = The difference between team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
Udonis Haslem, PF, Heat (ankle)
Caron Butler, SF, Wizards (hip)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (flu)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Clippers (flu)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (flu)
Jamaal Tinsley, PG, Pacers (knee)
Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Heat (flu)
Luke Walton, SF, Lakers (hip)
Start 'em, sit 'em
The Trail Blazers are 18-5 at home and the Knicks are 4-17 on the road, so start a resurgent Travis Outlaw (15.6 points in his past five games) and expect more from Brandon Roy and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Magic are tied for the most road wins (17) in the NBA, so expect good things from their starters in Philadelphia on Friday, especially Hedo Turkoglu, who has averaged 25.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 2.4 3-pointers in his past five games. Jameer Nelson is just back from missing five games with a foot injury, so wait a few games before activating him. The Raptors have won seven of 10 and should be in for a high-scoring game against the Lakers. Andrea Bargnani has been inconsistent, scoring 3, 20, 13, 3 and 19 points in his past five games, but is worth the gamble. For the Lakers, Jordan Farmar deserves a spot start against a Raptors team that allows more than 20 3-point attempts per game. The Pacers are struggling without Jermaine O'Neal, but could get Jamaal Tinsley back Friday. Fire up your Rockets, in what should be an up-tempo game in Indy, including multi-category contributor Shane Battier (9.8 points, 1.6 steals, 2.2 3s, 1.0 blocks in his past five games) and Rafer Alston (17 points and 12 assists Tuesday). Check Tracy McGrady's status (flu) before activating him. The Bobcats-Warriors game could be a run-and-gun affair. Monta Ellis will be sorry to see January end after averaging 19.1 points and shooting 53.8 percent from the field. Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed could be in for big rebounding games against the Warriors.
Chris Webber's return to Golden State was the big NBA news this week, but don't expect as much fantasy production from C-Webb this time around. He averaged 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists in nearly 30 minutes a game last season, but he'll be lucky to get much more than 20 minutes in the Warriors' crowded frontcourt. Al Harrington, Andris Biedrins and Matt Barnes could all lose some time to Webber. The Heat are reeling from the absences of Shaquille O'Neal, Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade, which creates short-term value for Luke Jackson (14 points in consecutive games), Mark Blount (18.0 points in his past four games, but with limited rebounds and blocks) and Dorell Wright (10.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in 32.5 minutes his past four games). DeShawn Stevenson has averaged 15.0 points, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.2 3-pointers in his past four games, and teammate Andray Blatche had 19 and 12 points in a home-and-home against the Raptors with Caron Butler out. Without Andrew Bynum at center, Kwame Brown has been just OK (7.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks in his past five games), but Ronny Turiaf might be the better option (10.8 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks in the same span). Other guys to keep on your radar screen include Marcus Williams, who might inherit the Nets' point guard job if Jason Kidd is traded, and Randy Foye, who recently made his season debut for the Timberwolves. Jannero Pargo is having a nice run for the Hornets, including 14.0 points, 4.2 assists and 1.6 3s in 28.8 minutes in his past five games.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.