Matchups for Tuesday, Jan. 13
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.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (hand)
D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats (abdomen)
Al Horford, C, Hawks (knee)
Josh Howard, SF, Mavericks (wrist)
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cavaliers (ankle)
Darko Milicic, PF/C, Grizzlies (hand)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Magic (wrist)
Luke Walton, SF, Lakers (foot)
Ron Artest, SF, Rockets (ankle)
Keith Bogans, SG, Magic (ankle)
Richard Hamilton, SG, Pistons (groin)
O.J. Mayo, SG, Grizzlies (hip)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee)
Lamar Odom, SF, Lakers (knee)
Start 'em, sit 'em
With Carmelo Anthony out of the lineup, Chauncey Billups has taken on an increased role in the Denver offense, with 25.5 points per game since Melo's injury. Look for Billups to take it to Jason Kidd and the Mavericks on Tuesday. Anderson Varejao has been somewhat Paul Millsap-esque since an ankle injury sidelined Zydrunas Ilgauskas. He's averaging 15.2 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 0.7 blocks as a starter, and should dominate a soft Memphis interior with ease. Rafer Alston has always been a poor shooter, but he's been particularly bad lately at just 30.2 percent from the floor in his past five games. Sure, he'll get you a handful of assists, steals and 3-pointers, but he should be benched until he gets it going again. With Al Jefferson and Randy Foye leading the way, the Timberwolves have reeled off five straight victories. Big Al has been producing all season, but the difference lately has been Foye, who is averaging 20.8 points, 3.8 assists, 1.8 steals and 3.0 3-pointers per game during the run. Don't even think about benching him while he's on this type of hot streak. Foye isn't the only one in Minnesota who's playing at a high level these days. Rookie Kevin Love is averaging a double-double since the new year and should be in starting lineups for the time being. Beno Udrih shouldn't be owned in fantasy leagues these days, but just in case he is, he certainly shouldn't be starting. Udrih is waiver-wire fodder with just 19.5 minutes per game in his past five. Gerald Wallace was benched Saturday due to a lack of effort, which is strange for a player who is typically considered a high-energy guy. This situation could go either way, but I'd expect Wallace to come out looking to prove Larry Brown wrong with a big game Tuesday.
Expect Jose Juan Barea to step up and fill the void left by Josh Howard's injured wrist. Barea has averaged 14.5 points, 5.3 assists and 0.8 3-pointers in six starts this season, and if last month was any indication, Barea should be in the starting lineup with Howard out. Sebastian Telfair has somewhat limited upside, but with Randy Foye moving over to shooting guard, Telfair is now starting at the point for the Wolves. With 11.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.6 steals per game in his past five, he deserves a look in most fantasy leagues. With Tracy McGrady and Ron Artest nursing nagging injuries, Von Wafer has been able to step up and provide some instant offense for the Rockets. Wafer has averaged 14.4 points, 1.4 steals and 2.1 3-pointers in his past five games, and could have another nice outing against the Lakers if either T-Mac or Artest sits out. Look for both Linas Kleiza and J.R. Smith to step up their games in the absence of Carmelo Anthony. Both will be solid options for points and 3-pointers until Melo returns.
Brian McKitish is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.