Matchups for Monday, Nov. 26
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 a team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
Shareef Abdur-Rahim, PF/C, Kings (knee/personal)
Renaldo Balkman, SF, Knicks (ankle)
Caron Butler, SF, Wizards (knee)
Pat Garrity, PF, Magic (ankle)
Brevin Knight, PG, Clippers (groin)
Theo Ratliff, C, Timberwolves (knee)
Bonzi Wells, SF, Rockets (ankle)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Utah's Mehmet Okur hasn't looked great this season, but I think he could break out against the Knicks. He has the size to stay on the floor and defend Eddy Curry, and on the offensive end, I don't expect Curry to be able to guard Okur's perimeter shooting. Okur has taken the most 3-pointers of anyone on the Jazz, and I'd expect that trend to continue. … The Knicks might be able to keep David Lee on the floor in this game enough to matter in fantasy; he should be able to guard either Andrei Kirilenko or Paul Millsap pretty effectively while Curry and Zach Randolph deal with Okur and Carlos Boozer, respectively. … Minnesota's defense has been bad all season, and against New Orleans I'm particularly concerned that if Theo Ratliff doesn't play (which is always likely), the Timberwolves will have no one to defend David West. I'd expect a big scoring night for West, and it's possible that Minnesota's Al Jefferson will get in foul trouble trying to help cover West while also guarding Tyson Chandler. … With Arenas out for at least three months, Caron Butler is an automatic start, when healthy. He's listed as day-to-day, and Dallas plays great defense, but Butler is the Wizards' best offensive option right now, and he will have to put up numbers. … Sacramento's defense has been pretty bad, even with Ron Artest back. But I'm still not sure I'd start Manu Ginobili for the Spurs against the Kings. Don't get me wrong. Ginobili is an elite fantasy player, but he tends to disappear occasionally. The Spurs probably will blow out the Kings, and if there's one matchup the Kings have in their favor, it's Artest versus Ginobili. … I'd be sitting LaMarcus Aldridge for Portland against Orlando; I don't think there's any way he avoids foul trouble against Dwight Howard. … The only Clipper I'd consider starting against Houston is Chris Kaman, and even he concerns me because Yao Ming tends to get people into foul trouble. I think Kaman is an automatic start at this point, but don't be surprised if he has a subpar night. … Start all your Warriors and Suns; let's just say defense won't be a priority in this game.
It might be worth picking up Minnesota's Ryan Gomes against the Hornets. His numbers haven't been very good thus far, but he should be covered by either Peja Stojakovic or David West, neither of whom is a very good defender. I think he'll score a lot of points and have a decent night on the glass as well. … It is true that Mavericks center DeSagana Diop won't give you much on the offensive end, but he's among the league's best shot-blockers, and he grabs eight rebounds per game to boot. If you need blocks at all, you should pick him up. … Now that he's coming off the bench in Portland, Jarrett Jack's numbers look a lot better. He's averaging 11 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists, with very good percentages. If he's in against Orlando's second unit, I think he'll be able to take advantage of Carlos Arroyo on the offensive end. He's worth a pickup for the long term. … Rafer Alston is still the starting point guard for the Houston Rockets, and while his numbers have been terrible, he also can't play any worse. The job is still his, and I'd expect him to return to last season's form at some point. The Clippers' perimeter defense isn't exactly ferocious, and I think Alston is a pretty good bet against them.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com