- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Friday, Jan. 16
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.
Watch on ESPN360.com
If you want to check out your players in action from your computer, you can watch the following games live on ESPN360.com:
8 p.m.: Hornets-Cavaliers
10:30 p.m.: Magic-Lakers
All times Eastern
Marco Belinelli, SG, Warriors (ankle)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (knee)
Elton Brand, PF/C, 76ers (shoulder)
Al Horford, PF/C, Hawks (knee)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cavaliers (ankle)
Stephen Jackson, SG/SF, Warriors (hamstring)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Brandan Wright, PF, Warriors (shoulder)
Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors (hamstring)
Eddy Curry, C, Knicks (knee)
T.J. Ford, PG, Pacers (back)
Paul Millsap, PF, Jazz (knee)
Joe Smith, PF, Thunder (knee)
Ben Wallace, PF, Cavaliers (intestinal virus)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Nate Robinson has begun to see his minutes get cut dramatically for the Knicks, falling shy of 20 minutes in each of the past two games. He hadn't played fewer than 20 minutes in a game in which he was totally healthy this entire season prior to this, so something must be up. Most likely it's the fact that he can't make a shot. He's shooting 30.3 percent for the month of January, and until you see him have a good game, he needs to grab a seat on your bench. Michael Redd has had a couple of rough shooting nights in a row, but he should be able to work out the kinks against the Kings, who allow a league-worst 41 percent shooting from behind the 3-point line. In addition, the Kings don't defend the center position well, and Andrew Bogut, even with a slightly injured back, is coming off back-to-back double-doubles. He's a safe bet to produce against Sac-town's terrible defense. Make sure Marc Gasol is in your lineup for the Grizzlies against the Jazz, as the Jazz couldn't even keep the Thunder from scoring a ton of points Wednesday night. If Nenad Krstic can have his first very good game of the season against Utah, I'll hazard a guess that the younger Gasol brother can put up good numbers against them as well. I like Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook's matchup against the Pistons; he has too much speed for Rodney Stuckey and too much strength for Allen Iverson. Not only that, but Westbrook is playing out of his mind lately, averaging 17.2 points, 6.6 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals per game over his past five games. He's even starting to limit his turnovers and is hovering right around two per game over that stretch, making for a pretty good assist-to-turnover ratio. The best part? He's still owned in fewer than 60 percent of leagues. If yours is one of the remaining 40 percent, I don't even know what to say to you at this point, other than you should pick him up.
With Zaza Pachulia likely starting again for the Hawks in Al Horford's stead, you'll want to make sure you have Zaza in your lineup for the Hawks' matchup against the Warriors. Centers tend to put up great numbers against Golden State, so Pachulia should be well worth the roster spot, at least for one night. Marreese Speights has been extremely productive of late filling in for Elton Brand on the 76ers' front line, averaging 11.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game over his past five games. In each game in which he has played more than 20 minutes over that stretch, he has had better than 10 points, and he's deadly from the floor as well. The Sixers are going to need him against the Spurs, and while Tim Duncan will be a tough matchup for Speights, the 6-foot-10 rookie is still worth picking up, especially if you need a player who provides points to go along with his blocks. Of course, you'll probably have to cut Speights loose once Elton Brand gets back, but for now he's worth the add. Nenad Krstic got 32 minutes off the bench for the Thunder on Wednesday night and outproduced Nick Collison on a per-minute basis. The Thunder face stiffer competition on Friday night against the Pistons' front line, but I would expect Krstic to be a pretty good source of points and blocks (and possibly rebounds) for the foreseeable future. Considering he's available in just about all ESPN.com fantasy leagues, that makes him a pretty shrewd pickup at the moment.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Seth Landman previews Friday's NBA games from a fantasy perspective.