- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Friday, Feb. 20
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.
Chris Bosh, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Caron Butler, SF/SG, Wizards (hip)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Danny Granger, SF/PF, Pacers (foot)
Greg Oden, C, Trail Blazers (knee)
Ben Wallace, PF/C, Cavaliers (arm)
Delonte West, PG/SG, Cavaliers (wrist)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Against the Cavaliers on Wednesday night, the Raptors were absolutely slaughtered on the boards 48-32. You'd think that swapping out Jermaine O'Neal for Shawn Marion wouldn't hurt their rebounding much, and over the long haul it probably won't, but right now they simply don't have a lot of size. It stands to reason, then, that David Lee is going to have a field day when the Knicks face the Raptors on Friday. Make sure he's in your lineup, as usual. T.J. Ford has been struggling a bit of late, but a matchup with Sebastian Telfair should cure what ails him when he faces the Timberwolves. The Wolves also are dealing with a lack of interior presence defensively, which bodes well for Ford when he drives the lane. While it has been great seeing the Suns go back to their old ways, their fast pace means they are once again a team you can circle for fantasy purposes. If the Clippers were able to put up more than 100 points in both contests this week, imagine what the Thunder are going to do. Kevin Durant is a shoo-in for a big game, but I'd expect a really huge night out of Russell Westbrook, too. Brook Lopez struggled a bit with fouls against the Mavericks on Wednesday and as a result played only 27 minutes. He should get more than that against the Wizards on Friday, who may be without Caron Butler due to injury and possibly Antawn Jamison, if you believe the trade rumors that have been swirling.
Since I'm not expecting Drew Gooden and Andres Nocioni to remake Sacramento's putrid defense overnight, I think it's safe to go ahead and have Mike Conley in your lineup for the Grizzlies. Oh wait, you don't own him! He's owned in only 13 percent of ESPN.com fantasy leagues, even though he's averaging 14.5 points, 6.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds for the month of February. With Al Jefferson out for the season, a lot of things are happening in Minnesota. Kevin Love is playing more and playing well, Mike Miller has become a fantasy force again and Brian Cardinal is seeing daylight off the bench (he grabbed 10 rebounds in 17 minutes Wednesday). One thing, however, is the same as before: Ryan Gomes is playing 30-plus minutes per game. With Jefferson out, though, Gomes is taking on more of a role in the offense. In his past five games, he's putting up 17.0 points and has made 11 3-pointers. He doesn't do much else, but he should be a good source of points and 3s the rest of the way, while also throwing in some steals and rebounds. He's widely available and should be able to have another good game against the Pacers. For all the injuries and turmoil in Milwaukee, Luc Richard Mbah a Moute is still getting some decent minutes. The Bucks don't really have a viable option at center right now, so Scott Skiles may look to Mbah a Moute for some size in lineups in which he is effectively the center on a front line with Charlie Villanueva and Richard Jefferson. Mbah a Moute has fallen off the map a bit because he hasn't been scoring, but he's still a decent source of steals and rebounds, if those are stats you are desperate for. I wouldn't play him against the Cavaliers on Friday, but depending on the matchup, he's a good option.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Seth Landman previews Friday's NBA action from a fantasy perspective.