- Seth Landman, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Sunday, Nov. 18
All times are expressed in Eastern Time.
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.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, PF/C, Kings (knee)
Chauncey Billups, PG, Pistons (knee, hip)
Eddie House, PG/SG, Celtics (ankle)
Antonio McDyess, PF, Pistons (shoulder)
Rasho Nesterovic, C, Raptors (ankle)
J.J. Redick, SG, Magic (back)
Ronny Turiaf, PF, Lakers (ankle)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Stephen Jackson returns for the Warriors against the Raptors, and you will want him in your lineup. Kelenna Azubuike has performed exceptionally while Jackson's been suspended, but Jackson is the captain and I would expect him to get minutes right away. [e] As for the Raptors, you should pretty much be starting anyone you own against Golden State. The Warriors' defense has been horrible, and opposing teams are shooting the lights out from just about everywhere on the floor against them. Even if Toronto loses, you can expect some pretty good fantasy performances. [e] Rajon Rondo looks like a good play against Orlando, as the Magic haven't been good about forcing teams to shoot from outside. He should get a few steals, too, since Jameer Nelson hasn't been great about taking care of the ball. [e] The Celtics, on the other hand, have been forcing a ton of jump shots, and Orlando might be able to take advantage; Hedo Turkoglu and Rashard Lewis have the height to shoot over the Celtics guards, and the quickness to pose matchup problems for Kevin Garnett and Kendrick Perkins. The Celtics defense has been stellar so far, but this is a home game for Orlando, and I'm not sure how well the C's can matchup with Orlando's frontcourt. [e] Sacramento's defense has been allowing teams to shoot 40 percent on 3-pointers thus far, and I would expect Rasheed Wallace and Chauncey Billups to get plenty of chances from behind the arc. I might sit Richard Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince, both of whom will likely have to either deal with Ron Artest or spend the night chasing Kevin Martin around. Hamilton has struggled a bit this year when he's faced good defense, and if he has Artest on him, he might be in for an off night. [e] Chicago has really struggled shooting the ball so far this year, and the Lakers have been playing pretty good perimeter defense. I would still start Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon, but I'm not expecting tremendous efforts. [e] I would absolutely be starting Andrew Bynum though. Ben Wallace has not been himself so far this year for the Bulls, and Chicago doesn't have anyone else with the size and strength to deal with Bynum.
Since he's probably still available in your league, now is the time to pickup Toronto's Jamario Moon if you need a small forward. He's quickly becoming a key player for the Raptors, his FG% is terrific, and he's averaging 1.75 steals and 0.5 blocks per game. He's an excellent candidate for a breakout against Golden State. [e] Keith Bogans has been playing very well for Orlando, and he's only owned in 13 percent of leagues right now. He's hitting more than 2 3's per game, and he hardly ever turns the ball over. The matchup against the Celtics might not be a great one for him, but as long as he's playing more than 30 minutes a night, he's worth having on your bench. [e] Beno Udrih got the start over John Salmons at point guard for Sacramento against Minnesota. I wouldn't start any Kings who aren't named Kevin Martin or Ron Artest against Detroit, but Beno is definitely worth picking up if he is starting. [e] Tyrus Thomas shouldn't exactly be considered a waiver-wire guy, as he's owned in 62 percent of leagues, but that number seems ridiculously low to me. Yes, he'll hurt you from the foul line, but if you stash him on your bench and play him when the matchup is right, he could be a tremendous source of both blocks and steals. If he was available in my league, I'd be picking him up and playing him often.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com
23hEthan Sherwood Strauss