Matchups for Sunday, Jan. 11
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.
Elton Brand, PF, Sixers (shoulder)
Baron Davis, PG, Clippers (tailbone)
Ricky Davis, SG/SF, Clippers (suspension)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (ankle)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (foot)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Magic (wrist)
Zach Randolph, PF/C, Clippers (knee)
Brandan Wright, PF, Warriors (shoulder)
Tony Allen, SG, Celtics (ankle)
Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors (hamstring)
Marquis Daniels, SG/SF, Pacers (groin)
Lamar Odom, PF, Lakers (knee)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (wrist)
Start 'em, sit 'em
The Warriors are entering uncharted territory, as they're allowing opponents to score a mind-boggling 111.5 points per game. The last time a team's defense was this bad, an oil tycoon stole them from the city, so the Warriors better beware. The Pacers, however, are licking their chops, and that's good news for Mike Dunleavy, who returned Friday night and scored 22 points with five rebounds, four assists and two 3s off the bench. He should be back in the Pacers' starting lineup soon, and your starting lineup now. Andrea Bargnani has become a must-start with Jermaine O'Neal sidelined, although he'll have difficulty rebounding against the Celtics, who typically snare 5.4 more rebounds than their opponents. O'Neal should be returning soon, and when he does, monitoring his and Bargnani's minutes and production will be key in judging their values for the rest of the season. After three straight single-digit scoring efforts to begin 2009, Andrew Bynum scored 18 and 20 in his past two games respectively, going a combined 15-for-22 from the floor. His production is a bit sporadic, and he's on one of his hot streaks right now, so make sure he's in your lineup, especially against the Heat's mediocre rebounding. Andre Miller is on fire in January, averaging 20.8 points, seven rebounds, 5.4 assists, one steal and one three while shooting nearly 62 percent from the floor. Ride him while he's hot.
Jose Calderon has missed the past four games with a hamstring issue, and Will Solomon has done a decent job filling in. In six starts this season, Solomon is averaging 10.7 points, 7.3 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 45 percent from the floor and 85 percent from the stripe. Once Calderon returns, Solomon's value will vanish, but he's definitely worth adding for now if you have a revolving roster spot. Daequan Cook returned to the Heat lineup Friday night and scored 10 points with four rebounds in 35 minutes. He attempted eight 3-pointers, which is always a good sign in the fantasy world, and he and Michael Beasley look to be the primary weapons off the bench. Beasley is heating up, and after scoring in double digits in each of his past four contests he dropped 23 points, 10 rebounds and two 3-pointers Friday night. Growing pains are inevitable, but with talent like his, so are big nights like that, and we can already see his steal, block and 3-point potential. Since he's been leaned upon less than rookies like Derrick Rose and O.J. Mayo, the rookie wall should be more forgiving, and Beasley should become a better and better fantasy player as the season progresses. Jason Thompson started at power forward Friday for the first time since Nov. 26 but scored just four points with seven rebounds. Mikki Moore is pretty much out of the picture, but Thompson is still competing for minutes with Spencer Hawes, who could easily take the starting job away from Thompson at some point. For now the move is good for Thompson, though, and despite Friday's effort, his value sees a significant jump while he's starting. Mardy Collins started at point guard Friday night for the Clippers with both Jason Hart and Fred Jones coming off the bench. He scored 15 points with six assists, four rebounds and a 3, and in the past three games (all starts) he's averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, 1.3 3s, and 1.6 steals, numbers undoubtedly worth starting while Baron Davis is sidelined. Need 3s in a deep league? It's a bit of a reach, but look at Steve Novak, who is averaging two 3s per game in five January contests and dropped four Friday night. Dunleavy's return in Indiana shatters any chances Stephen Graham had of gaining long-term fantasy viability, so feel free to look elsewhere for help in deep formats.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.