Contributed by Mike Carroll
Start- Lou Williams has been playing quite well of late and look for him to take advantage of horrible guard defenses against Golden State and Phoenix this week. Golden State is by far the best team to face in fantasy with an inviting 110 PPG allowed per game and Phoenix is currently third with 106 PPG allowed. Mike Conley has four games this week, three of which are against Washington, Charlotte and the Knicks. The most exciting facet of Conley’s game has been his 1.8 steals per game average in February. Brandon Jennings is going to be a benefactor of playing FIVE games this week. Sometimes there is nothing more important in weekly leagues than the minutes you can put up, and with five games B-Jen should play 170 minutes this week based on his averages. Russell Westbrook is averaging a shade under 20 points and 10 assists a game over the last five. He’s truly a must-start and has propelled himself to elite status.
Sit- Why Mike Bibby is starting in Atlanta is beyond me. He is the second best point guard on his own team. Eight points and five assists is about all you are going to get average wise from him and it’s probably about time owners let him go. Chauncey Billups probably thinks I hate him at this point. I don’t. The Nugget just seem to have more days off than any other team. This week they only play three times and one of those is a cross-country back-to-back. No thanks. Jarret Jack has played well since the break. But match-ups against Portland, Cleveland, and the Lakers worry me. Devin Harris, I have high hopes for you over the next 26 games. Unfortunately, two of the next three you will struggle.
Start- Andre Iguodala has the same match-ups against bad guards that Lou Williams does. Only, Iggy is a more complete and trustworthy player. O.J. Mayo has been strong since the break and has found a long range touch (12 for his last 22). Mayo lead the league with the most triples last week. Mayo has also been playing good D for Memphis, 2 SPG since the break and coming off a four steal game against New Jersey, and should be a must-start. Kobe looks like he is going to play. Having two full weeks off a tender ankle will help. There are certainly some circumstance when a lesser player has similar issues, but when healthy Kobe is a must-play every week.
Sit- Vince Carter probably thinks I hate him. I do. Half-Man Half-Retired is the most frustrating player that I can remember. Unless he is playing four-to-five games with good match-ups, I do not trust him. Tyreke Evans has continued his hot hand into the second half. Unfortunately, he gets matched up against Tayshaun Prince and Deron Williams early this week. Manu Ginobili looks like he may be healthy finally. Well let’s see if he can run all week. He is going to be doing a lot of sprinting against his opponents this week (OKC, Hou, Pho). Ben Gordon scored 21 yesterday. It was the first time he scored double-digits in four games, so before his owners throw a part, let’s see him do it twice before we trust him again.
Start- Ersan Ilyasova has 5 games this week. The Turkish Roller Coaster had 16 and 12 on Friday, and didn’t score on Saturday. Look for three good ones, and two pull your hair out ones. T-Mac is back and fantasy owner should rejoice that Mike D’Antoni is his coach. Trust him until he proves otherwise. Matchups against Indiana (x2) and Washington should be advantageous for Luol Deng. Tayshaun Prince has been very quietly filling the stat sheets while also playing 43.5 minutes per contest over his last two. He’s back and look for him to contribute averages of 15 points and 7 boards night in and out.
Sit- Last week I said I was not worried about Paul Pierce’s foot. Then he went and banged up his thumb. He has failed to score in double figures in each of the last two games. Pierce needs more time to get healthy before he regains must-start status. Richard Jefferson has made 14 of his last 41 shots. He just has not seemed comfortable in San Antonio all year and isn’t worthy of ownership in most leagues. Trevor Ariza is banged up right now and his line against New Orleans reflected it, five points and six rebounds. Physical defenses this week, Orlando, San Antonio and Utah, are all going to beat him up this week. Kudos to him fighting through it last week, but I’m not rolling the dice on him with decent alternatives.
Start- Kevin Love has three double doubles in his last four games. Look for him to do the same this week. Kevin Garnett is coming on with a spring in his step like we haven’t seen in a while. Especially on the defensive end with two or more blocks each of the last three games. While Pierce is banged up KG is going to have to continue stepping it up.
Sit- Nene has the same fortune as Mr. Big Shot. I am never a fan of player who get cross-country back-to-backs. Andrea Bargnani has lost his long range touch (three for his last 17) and is not helping in too many other categories. Maybe it’s because Bosh isn’t around, but Bargnani needs to get his shot back before I trust as a must-start. Troy Murphy has failed to reach double figures in two of three games since the break. Don’t look for things to change this week. Andrei Kirilenko would be considered a no-brainer, but he couldn’t finish the game with the Blazers on Sunday. AK-47’s back has caused him more problems than James Bond caused for Russian villians.
Start- Chris Kaman will not face a legitimate big man this week. He’s a must-start, but he will probably be a top-three center this week. Andrew Bogut get the all mighty five game schedule this week. The Aussie will give you at least three double-doubles out of it. Amare Stoudemire suddenly remembered how to rebound with two 14 board games in his last three. When Amare want something, respect, All-Star bid, or in this case, a new contract STAT has been known to play well.
Sit- Emeka Okafor has made 12 of his last 31 shots. That is unacceptable from the Center position. Throw in less than five points in three of his last five and he is not worth playing right now. Furthermore, Emeka started out really hot with eight boards and three blocks in the first quarter, but only finished with 11 boards for the whole game. Joakim Noah is starting to get healthy but it is still way too early to plug him in you lineup. Wait and see him post a 30 minute game and then you will know he is healthy enough to play. Besides, plantar fascitis is just fancy talk to put him on your bench. Kendrick Perkins is starting to wear down, and is losing minutes to Rasheed. I don’t think his season is lost but he just needs some minutes off the court and will be back for the stretch run.
Thanks for reading and we will be back tomorrow with Waiver Wire Scoops