Toney Douglas, Danilo Gallinari bust out
Toney Douglas has been getting decent playing time off the bench for the Knicks this season, but he finally put up some big numbers against the Bulls on Thursday night, finishing with 30 points on just 14 field goal attempts in 31 minutes. Considering the fact that he was a 38 percent shooter on 3-pointers as a rookie, we shouldn't be surprised that he's lighting it up from the perimeter in the early part of this season.
After all, as usual, anyone who plays significant minutes on (or against) the Knicks is going to be fantasy worthy, and considering almost no one owns Douglas yet, you'll want to get him on your roster as soon as possible. There's a very decent chance that he could post numbers similar to the ones Nate Robinson posted off the bench for the Knicks back when he was a prominent force in just about every fantasy league around.
Elsewhere on the Knicks side, Danilo Gallinari seemed to get over his sore wrist; he put up 24 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor (including 4-for-4 on 3s). He should definitely be placed back into your lineup, if you were benching him until he showed some signs of life. After two pretty putrid individual performances, Taj Gibson managed 18 points and 10 rebounds against the Knicks, but one should probably keep in mind that he's been wildly inconsistent so far this season and that a double-double against the Knicks isn't the feat it would be against most teams. The Thunder got a nice win, toppling the Blazers in Portland by just one point in overtime. The Blazers were in control through three quarters, but the Thunder got big nights out of usual suspects Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook (and, really, no one else) in order to pull out the win. On the Blazers' side, it was encouraging to see Nicolas Batum get 47 minutes after playing 32 minutes total in the previous two contests. He didn't light the world on fire, but with 16 points and five boards, he's looking like a solid fantasy option again.
The matchup of the night on Friday would seem, at first glance, to be the one between the point guards when the Bulls head to Boston. On the other hand, the teams really played only one close game last season, and in that game (in April, just before the playoffs) Derrick Rose exploded for 39 points while Rajon Rondo didn't really do all that much. Considering the way Rose and Rondo have looked lately, my guess is that this is the great regular-season matchup we've been waiting for. It should be interesting to see whether Clippers' point guard Eric Bledsoe can continue to fill in admirably for Baron Davis against the Nuggets' tough point guard tandem of Chauncey Billups and Ty Lawson. Bledsoe was productive enough against the Thunder on Wednesday that he probably is worth starting in all formats. The Warriors have looked pretty good this season, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't still play all your fantasy guys against them. In particular, I love the matchup for the Jazz big men, Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Millsap is listed as probable with an ankle sprain, but I'm still expecting big points and rebounds from both of them. You already know Chris Paul is great, but I'm extremely excited to see what he can do against the ridiculously great defense the Heat have been playing this season. The Heat are not exactly stout at the point guard spot, and Paul chews up bad players like few others can. Similarly, John Wall should be able to have a field day against a Knicks defense that just had to deal with Derrick Rose and is on the second night of a back-to-back. Finally, if you're looking for a sneaky play, you might want to try the Grizzlies' Darrell Arthur. He's been in double figures every night this season and is going up against a pretty lean Suns frontcourt. With Zach Randolph still questionable with a bruised tailbone, Arthur's got a good chance to put up some nice numbers.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.