- Josh Whitling, Fantasy Basketball
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Matchups for Saturday, Nov. 24
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.
Renaldo Balkman, SF, Knicks (ankle)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (knee)
Speedy Claxton, PG, Hawks (knee)
Mike Conley, PG, Grizzlies (shoulder)
Pat Garrity, PF, Magic (ankle)
Acie Law, PG, Hawks (ankle)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Clippers (hamstring)
Kenyon Martin, PF, Nuggets (back)
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Grizzlies (thumb)
Cuttino Mobley, SG, Clippers (groin)
Smush Parker, PG, Heat (ankle)
Chris Paul, PG, Hornets (knee)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
I wholeheartedly believe that Antonio Daniels will have a stellar couple of months with Gilbert Arenas out, and think he's safe to start in every league. He should be in line for a nice night tonight against the defensively inept Grizzlies. Morris Peterson's first season with the Hornets has been unpredictable, although over his past seven games he's hitting 2.9 3-pointers per game. If you're looking for help from long range, that's the one area in which Peterson will consistently provide. Milwaukee's Mo Williams is averaging 10.0 assists over his past four games, and even though his scoring numbers have taken a dip this season, he's an apt distributor with multiple weapons. Expect the big assist numbers to continue. Both Speedy Claxton and Acie Law are banged up, so even though he's not flashy, Anthony Johnson has spot-start value in deeper leagues. Shaquille O'Neal has been solid lately, highlighted by an 18-point, 10-rebound, seven-block, two-steal effort on Wednesday. Saturday he'll be matched up against wunderkind Dwight Howard, and although foul trouble and free throws always hinder Shaq's value, he's playing well enough to start for center-starved squads.
Waiver Wire pickups
Ignore the fact that Jarrett Jack is coming off the bench; pick him up and start him already. The sixth man has become a less-stigmatized role this season, with several potential team MVPs playing the role; Manu Ginobili and Jason Terry immediately come to mind. Anyway, Jack has found his groove providing instant offense off the bench, and has unquestioned fantasy value. Andray Blatche was carving out value before Brendan Haywood's minor injury, and is perhaps the first place you should look on the waiver wire if you need the typical center stats. Haywood isn't set to miss significant time, although Blatche has the potential to do crazy things with starter's minutes, so keep a close eye on him. Louis Williams is becoming yet another blooming sixth man, as he comes off the bench with one thing in his mind: scoring. This is good for fantasy hoops, and since he doesn't start, he'll be undervalued and available in most leagues. If you need points, steals and 3s, look to Williams, and he's another guy who would explode if an injury occurred and opened up a more prominent role. Charlie Villanueva was dismissed by most after Yi Jianlian 's strong start, although lately he's stepped up off the bench, averaging 16 points, 8.3 rebounds and 1.3 3s in his past three games.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com
5hK. Lee Davis