Matchups for Friday, Nov. 8
All times are expressed in Eastern Time. Statistics from 2006-07 regular season.
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
Bulls big men Ben Wallace and Joakim Noah are both battling bad ankles. While both played on Tuesday, each scored only two points against the Clippers. Despite Wallace's horrid start, he usually brings his A-game against his former team, but is a risky start against the Pistons' stingy defense, as are all Bulls except Luol Deng, Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon. ... The Pistons' clash with the Bulls should be a low-scoring, physical game, which is good for free-throw shooters like Richard Hamilton and Chauncey Billups, but generally bad for field-goal percentages and total points. Jason Maxiell will try to build on his 15-point, 8-rebound, 4-block game against the Hawks, and should exceed his usual 24 minutes a game. ... Jason Kidd, Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson should have big games against the defenseless Wizards, who allow opponents about 105 points per game. But achy-kneed Nenad Krstic belongs on your bench until he plays more than 18 minutes. ... Gilbert Arenas, Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison are combining for 60 of the Wizards' 91.7 points per game, but don't forget about Brendan Haywood who has scored 10 points in each of his first three games while averaging 13.7 rebounds and 3.0 blocks. ... The Mavericks-Warriors playoff rematch could be a high-scoring affair given that Golden State allowed 123.3 points per game in their first three games.
Antoine Wright's 21 points on opening night put him in the spotlight, but the Nets' sixth man is more than a flash in the pan. Wright is averaging 13.5 points in his first four games while shooting over 50 percent from the field in 28 minutes a game, yet is owned in only five percent of ESPN leagues. You can't go wrong with Wright against the Wizards' porous defense. ... Mavericks center DeSagana Diop is averaging 9.3 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and 7.5 points in 34 minutes a game in the absence of Erick Dampier, who remains out indefinitely. Enjoy the ride while you can and then try to sell high before Diop's value drops. ... If Josh Howard's ankle causes him to miss time, consider adding Jerry Stackhouse, who will be needed to pick up the scoring slack. Stack is a career 19-point-per-game scorer and has 16- and 17-point games in early action, but is owned in fewer than eight percent of ESPN leagues. ... Kelenna Azubuike is no longer a secret after his 33-point break-out game, but I would consider him a sell-high candidate. He's not going to continue to shoot over 60 percent from the field, and could lose minutes when Stephen Jackson returns soon from his suspension. Jackson has been dropped in a lot of leagues, but is worth grabbing given his 16.8 points, 4.6 assists, and 1.3 steals in 38 games last season after his trade to the Warriors.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.