Matchups for Wednesday, Jan. 21
All times are ET.
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.
Ron Artest, SF, Rockets (ankle)
D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats (abdominal strain)
Marco Belinelli, SG, Warriors (ankle)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (shoulder)
Andrew Bogut, C, Bucks (back)
Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors (hamstring)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cavaliers (ankle)
Yi Jianlian, PF, Nets (finger)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee)
Delonte West, PG/SG, Cavaliers (wrist)
Hilton Armstrong, PF/C, Hornets (knee)
Kobe Bryant, SG, Lakers (finger)
Marcus Camby, C, Clippers (ankle)
Tyson Chandler, C, Hornets (ankle)
Chris Duhon, PG, Knicks (back)
David Lee, PF/C, Knicks (ankle)
Shawn Marion, SF, Heat (groin)
Jermaine O'Neal, PF/C, Raptors (knee)
Kendrick Perkins, C, Celtics (shoulder)
Joe Smith, PF, Thunder (knee)
David West, PF, Hornets (back)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Jason Richardson has been struggling of late for the Suns, and you may want to continue sitting him for one more game even though he's going up against the Knicks. According to 82games.com, the Knicks defend the shooting guard spot better than any other position, and that is due in large part to the fact that they are actually one of the best teams in the league at defending the 3-point line. Richardson has already faced the Knicks twice this season and is shooting only 35 percent from the floor overall in those games. Keep him on your bench for this one. In keeping with the theme of keeping guys on the bench, you may want to bench Travis Outlaw for the Blazers against the Cavaliers. Outlaw has been playing well lately but isn't shooting a high percentage from the floor, and the Cavs have a tendency to make people look really bad this season. Cleveland is vulnerable to good point guards, but Portland doesn't really have one of those at the moment. Beyond LaMarcus Aldridge and Brandon Roy, I'd keep my Blazers on the bench for this one. With the Hornets having all kinds of health issues on their front line, I'd make sure to get Brook Lopez into my lineup for the Nets against them Wednesday. He has been playing well of late, averaging 19.4 points, 9.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over his past five games, and should be able to have another great game against the hobbled Hornets.
If Tyson Chandler misses significant time for the Hornets after hurting his ankle Monday, expect James Posey to see a lot of extra minutes. Chandler, David West and Hilton Armstrong are all currently a little banged up, meaning Posey will likely continue to see the 35 or so minutes he saw after Chandler went down. Most nights, he's going to hit some 3-pointers for you, so if that's a stat you need, he's probably a good short-term pickup. Nenad Krstic is now splitting time pretty evenly with Nick Collison for the Thunder, but his potential on the offensive end makes him the more attractive fantasy option. He is coming off the bench, but against the Warriors on Wednesday he should get at least 20 minutes, which may be enough to post another double-double, considering how Golden State defends. Raja Bell is available in most leagues at the moment, and he should be a great source of 3-pointers and some scoring over the coming weeks, especially while D.J. Augustin is injured. As a spot-up shooter, Bell is particularly good in leagues where turnovers count, as he is averaging less than one turnover per game on the season. He's playing almost 40 minutes per night over his past four games, and with those kind of minutes, it would be hard for Bell to avoid being fantasy-relevant. Von Wafer continues playing efficiently in Tracy McGrady's absence, and should be starting in fantasy leagues regularly until T-Mac and Ron Artest are back. Wafer is putting up 17.4 points and 1.8 steals and is shooting right around 50 percent from the floor over his past five games. He should be able to keep it up against the Jazz.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.