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Friday, December 28, 2012
Collison should be universally owned


Darren Collison has had an up-and-down season, but he shined Thursday, scoring 32 points on 13-for-22 shooting with four 3-pointers, five rebounds, four assists and four steals in the Mavs' overtime loss to the Thunder. As bad as he's seemed at times, he's ranked no. 58 on the player rater, ahead of guys like Rudy Gay and Ty Lawson. His impressive ranking is aided by his 86.5 percent success from the line on 3.7 attempts per game, as well as 1.5 steals and 5.0 assists per game. He'll continue to get plenty of run unless the Mavs make a roster move, as he's the only real point guard on the roster. Collison is owned in 91.7 percent of leagues, partly due to the fact that he's been in and out of the starting lineup, but regardless of where he's playing, he's actually providing solid fantasy statistics and significantly outperforming his average draft position of 96.5. Now that Derek Fisher is gone and Collison is performing better recently, scoring in double figures in four of his past five contests, his stock is on the rise and he should be owned in all formats.

Looking Back:

The Nets announced the firing of Avery Johnson Thursday, which will likely affect the fantasy fortunes of several members of their roster . Deron Williams has publicly stated that he didn't feel the system was suited to his strengths, so don't be surprised if they choose somebody who can get the most out of their franchise point guard. Phil Jackson is rumored, but until someone is named it's safer to avoid specific fantasy-related speculation, but know that value will shift on the Nets' roster once a new coach is named.

Dirk Nowitzki struggled off the bench, scoring just nine points on 3-for-11 shooting, and he's undoubtedly still rounding into shape and adjusting to the new-look Mavs' roster. Be patient, as he should begin pouring in points soon, since the team needs his scoring ability and he's still shaking off the rust.

Reggie Jackson is getting more run in Oklahoma City, as he scored six points with two 3s, seven rebounds and two assists in 11 minutes Thursday. He's fresh off being named D-League player of the week after averaging 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in two games, and is brimming with talent and athleticism that needs more game-time experience to flourish. Eric Maynor has been a disappointment, and if Jackson can supplant him as the primary backup to Russell Westbrook, Jackson could have some deep-league value. He is worth monitoring, but not yet adding.

Looking Ahead:

Goran Dragic is day-to-day after taking a hard foul by J.R. Smith Wednesday, but believes he'll be ready to go Friday. He's struggled recently, with single-digit scoring in three of his past five games, and could be limited if he's a go, but is too good of a fantasy player in multiple categories to have on your bench if he's on the court.

Raymond Felton is out 4-to-6 weeks with a broken pinkie, making Jason Kidd even more of a must-start and likely bestowing value onto Pablo Prigioni. Prigioni is averaging 2.5 assists, 0.5 3s and 1.0 steals per game in just 12.5 minutes, which indicates he could be a fantasy factor in those categories if he receives minutes in the 20's. He should be at the top of your watch list going into Friday night's games.

Steve Nash is averaging 14.3 points, 9.3 assists, 1.3 3s and 1.0 steals per game since returning from a broken leg, and his numbers could rise further as he grows more acclimated to the team and gets in game shape. If his owner in your league is wary of his value, bet on Nash's excellence and attempt to trade for him, as he keeps himself in fantastic shape and has thrived in Mike D'Antoni's system in the past.

Dorell Wright is rolling as of late, averaging 17.6 points and 3.6 3s over his past five games. He's facing the Warriors, his former team, on Friday, and has a tough task ahead of him, as the Warriors rank fifth in opponent field goal percentage and seventh in opponent 3-point percentage. He's worth adding due to his recent play, but should be benched against the defensively-stout Warriors if you have a more consistent option.