- Neil Tardy, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Thursday, March 5
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.
Start 'em, sit 'em
Carmelo Anthony reportedly wouldn't come out of Sunday's game, so the Nuggets held him out altogether Tuesday. His one-game suspension served, fantasy owners will welcome Anthony back for Thursday's tilt with Portland. Unfortunately, Melo's shooting of late has been like his relationship with George Karl: icy. Anthony is just 39.7 percent from the floor in seven games since the All-Star break. Josh Howard sat out the second half of Monday's loss at Oklahoma City because of left-ankle soreness. And yes, the left ankle is the same one that cost him 11 games earlier this season. The Mavs play the Spurs on Wednesday, so if you don't see Howard then, don't figure on seeing him against the Hornets, either.
Joel Przybilla is averaging only 5.3 points per game since the break, but then again, points scored is just one fantasy category. The "Vanilla Gorilla" is also averaging 10.0 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals during that span. At 96 percent availability in ESPN.com leagues, Przybilla is a great short-term add. And by short-term, I mean at least through the weekend. Nuggets opponents get the fourth-most rejections, and the Blazers' next opponents, the Timberwolves, lead the league in most shots blocked. It's time to take Rasual Butler seriously. He's shooting 42.6 percent from downtown for the season, and since the break he's averaging 17.0 points, 2.6 3-pointers and (surprisingly enough) 1.2 blocks. Mavs opponents, however, are in the NBA's bottom third in 3-pointers made. Rick Carlisle is growing fond of James Singleton. The 27-year-old ex-Clipper is averaging 27 minutes, 11.2 points and 10.7 boards over his past six games. Carlisle has been playing small ball with the 6-foot-8 Singleton, who often replaces Erick Dampier. But with Tyson Chandler, a true center, again active for the Hornets, it's logical that Damp sees more minutes Thursday. Still, the 99 percent-available Singleton is another fill-in consideration.
Neil Tardy is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.
Neil Tardy previews Thursday's NBA action from a fantasy perspective.