- Guy Lake
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Matchups for Friday, Nov. 7
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.
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Shane Battier, SG/SF, Rockets (foot)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee, conditioning)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (ankle)
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Kings (calf)
Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs (ankle)
Sean May, PF, Bobcats (back, conditioning)
Rasho Nesterovic, C, Pacers (ankle)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (ankle)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (ankle)
Larry Hughes, SG, Bulls (shoulder)
Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Heat (broken nose)
Kenyon Martin, PF, Nuggets (hamstring)
Michael Redd, SG, Bucks (ankle)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Bucks (back)
Peja Stojakovic, SF, Hornets (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
It has been rough for Tyrus Thomas and his owners this week. In his past two starts, Thomas has played a total of 31 minutes. It's not foul trouble (he's had a total of three fouls in the two games); it's coach Vinny Del Negro casting about for answers. So long as he is showing this little confidence in Thomas, you have to sit him for now and dropping him may not be far off. The Wizards are not playing good defense, allowing 108 points per game. Get your borderline Knicks like Wilson Chandler and Nate Robinson in there. This should be pretty obvious after his 27-point, 16-rebound, 3-block night on Monday, but be sure you have Marc Gasol in your starting lineup as he gets his second helping of Warriors this week. The team by the bay doesn't have the size to keep Gasol off the blocks. . Kings head coach Reggie Theus has promised that Brad Miller will start and see significant minutes against the Timberwolves. His owners should be sure to have Miller in their starting lineups. Spencer Hawes' owners will have to wait to see what kind of minutes the big man gets with Miller back in the fold, but given Minnesota's poor interior defense, they may be pleasantly surprised by his production off the bench. Be sure not to start Anthony Carter against the Mavericks. Chauncey Billups will be debuting as the starting point guard and Carter owners should be combing the wire for his replacement. Charlie Villanueva is getting Skilesed. The Bucks' coach, Scott Skiles, has always shown a penchant for using a deep and alternating rotation, hurting certain players' fantasy value -- see all Bulls big men from the past few seasons. He is at it again in Milwaukee and Villanueva is his most recent victim. Against the defense of the Celtics, Chully isn't a strong play. Leandro Barbosa is moving from a must-sit to a must-drop in 10-team leagues. If you are still running him out there for his nightly 20 minutes of nonproduction, stop now and get someone else in his slot. Remember when the Spurs were one of the top defensive teams in the league? Well, they aren't right now and have allowed a whopping 106.5 points per game. What has to be particularly galling to coach Gregg Popovich is the team allowing 47.9 percent of the opposition's shots to fall. In particular, opposing forwards have been getting theirs against the Spurs. Be sure to start Udonis Haslem and Michael Beasley to take advantage.
Ramon Sessions presents owners with a quandary. He put up 22 points and eight assists despite going back to the bench with Luke Ridnour's return and so far this season has been the more effective player of the two. However, Michael Redd is due back on Friday and Sessions will lose playing time as a result. Owners in deeper leagues should add him anyway and hope that he chips away at Ridnour's minutes and becomes the starter during the next few weeks. Shallow-league owners can pass for now. The Wizards' Nick Young is averaging 15.7 points per game and faces the turnstile defense of the New York Knicks on Friday. He is owned in just 3.4 percent of ESPN leagues, so chances are he is there for the taking. Delonte West is once again providing his funky all-around production, helping owners in 3-pointers, steals and assists. He has scored in double digits in three straight games and facing a fairly permissive Pacers team, West looks like a good pickup. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when. Jason Thompson is playing several levels above Mikki Moore and will become the starting power forward for the Kings. Even if for some reason, known only to Reggie Theus and the dark lord Sauron, Thompson doesn't get the starting gig, his minutes will only climb. Thompson is owned in just 13 percent of leagues and has scored in double figures in each game this season. I expect the latter to continue; the former is changing daily. Get him while you still can. I was going to add Nene to the must-start section until I realized he was owned in just 19.4 percent of ESPN leagues. Pick him up and get him in there against Dallas. The Mavs have done a poor job guarding centers thus far this season, allowing 22.6 points per 48 minutes to opposing pivots (sixth-worst in the league). Nene is healthy and thriving as the starter. If the wire is looking a bit thin in your league and you need points and steals, Ronald Murray makes a solid pickup. Flip scored 14 and snagged a pair of steals in 26 minutes against the Hornets on Wednesday and has shown he can get his even in low-scoring contests.
Guy Lake is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Guy Lake previews Friday night in the NBA from a fantasy perspective.