- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Friday, Jan. 30
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.
D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats (abdominal strain)
Andray Blatche, PF/C, Wizards (knee)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (ankle)
Drew Gooden, PF/C, Bulls (groin)
Al Horford, PF/C, Hawks (knee)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (ankle)
Michael Redd, SG, Bucks (knee)
Gerald Wallace, SF/PF, Bobcats (rib)
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (hand)
Trevor Ariza, SF, Lakers (concussion)
Andrew Bogut, C, Bucks (back)
Marcus Camby, C, Clippers (ankle)
Jamal Crawford, PG/SG, Warriors (hamstring)
Baron Davis, PG, Clippers (hamstring)
Danny Granger, SF, Pacers (knee)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cavaliers (ankle)
Shawn Marion, SF/PF, Heat (groin)
Luke Ridnour, PG, Bucks (concussion)
David West, PF, Hornets (back)
Start 'em, sit 'em
In two games so far this season against the Celtics, Richard Hamilton has been absolutely terrible, averaging 7.5 points on 24 percent shooting from the floor without a single 3-pointer. Add to that the fact that he'll get even fewer minutes against them because he's coming off the pine, and you'll probably want to sit him for this one. Luol Deng has been great lately, averaging 18.2 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.6 steals and better than 50 percent shooting in his past five games. He should best all of those numbers against the Kings' terrible defense, and is probably worth starting every night unless he cools off or gets hurt again. With Andrei Kirilenko out for the Jazz, there aren't a ton of options for defending the Thunder's duo of Jeff Green and Kevin Durant. Both are probably in your lineup every night at this point, but they should be able to put up some particularly good numbers against the Jazz. As much as I love what Kevin Love has done lately and think he's a brilliant prospect going forward, it's hard for me to see him having an effective night against the Lakers, given how well the L.A. front line is playing at the moment. The one time Love faced the Lakers this season, he managed 10 rebounds, but was 1-for-5 from the floor and scored only two points in 21 minutes. Basically, if you need rebounds, he's always worth a spot, but on nights like this, the rest of the numbers might be hard to come by. The Nets have been a matchup nightmare for the Hawks this season. The Hawks are 0-3 against the Nets, and both Vince Carter and Devin Harris have exploded each time. Needless to say, I expect the trend to continue. As John Hollinger has pointed out numerous times on this site, Joe Johnson is killing himself guarding people on the perimeter because Mike Bibby doesn't guard anybody. Against a backcourt like New Jersey's, there's just not enough defense to go around, and both Harris and Carter will put up huge numbers. Baron Davis played Wednesday night and was terrible against the Bulls, going 1-for-10 from the floor. Still, assuming he manages to stay in the lineup, I think he could produce against the Cavs, especially when he's matched up with Mo Williams. Make sure B-Diddy is in your lineup.
As a starter this season, Marquis Daniels has averaged 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Pacers. He probably won't start Friday against Miami, but with Danny Granger dealing with some knee issues, Daniels is a good bet to get around 30 minutes of action. When the Pacers beat the Bucks on Wednesday, T.J. Ford picked up the scoring slack and Daniels had a bad game, but he should bounce back and could be a good pickup for Friday. Ramon Sessions is still available in more than 60 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues at the moment, a number that gets more astonishing the longer it lasts. He's pretty much a starting guard at this point, and might be up for a big game Friday against the Raptors with Luke Ridnour suffering from the aftereffects of a concussion. Even if Ridnour plays, Sessions is going to get some major minutes and should be a good all-around contributor in the weeks ahead. Charlie Villanueva is still available in quite a few fantasy leagues, and he really shouldn't be. With the injury to Michael Redd, scoring is at a premium right now in Milwaukee, and Charlie V does that better than anyone left on the roster on a per-minute basis, including Richard Jefferson. Villanueva's been great of late; pick him up while you still can. This is a bit of a reach, but with Washington getting killed on a nightly basis and going up against a very athletic Sixers team, it seems reasonable that JaVale McGee could see some decent action. He struggled in 17 minutes against the Heat on Wednesday, but I still like his prospects long-term, and I think given 20 or so minutes Friday we could see him post a double-double with a couple of blocks. If you need blocks in a really deep league, he's a decent pickup.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Seth Landman previews Friday's NBA games from a fantasy perspective.