Matchups for Friday, Jan. 18
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.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
The Suns-Timberwolves game is the most one-sided contest on Friday's 10-game slate, so stick with your Suns' regulars and plug-and-play Raja Bell, Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw while he is starting for Grant Hill. For the Timberwolves, only Al Jefferson is automatic, but take a chance on Rashad McCants, who is averaging 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in his past five games, and Ryan Gomes (17.5 points and 6.5 rebounds his past four games). Sit Sebastian Telfair and Marko Jaric, who are undercutting each other's value. The SuperSonics-Grizzlies game should be a shootout, so get Rudy Gay, Pau Gasol, Mike Miller and Mike Conley (coming off a career-high 20 points Tuesday) in your lineup. For the SuperSonics, fly with Kevin Durant and Earl Watson (17 points and 11 assists Wednesday), but be cautious with Chris Wilcox, just back from injury, and Kurt Thomas, who may lose time to Wilcox. Other teams with many happy returns Wednesday included the Kings, who got Ron Artest and Mike Bibby (19 points in 29 minutes in his season debut) back in their lineup, and the Heat, as Shaquille O'Neal bounced back with 24 points and 10 rebounds in 33 minutes. The Bobcats-Hornets game features two young, exciting teams that are both playing well of late. Expect point guards Raymond Felton and Chris Paul to pile up the assists in what could be a high-scoring game, and take a flyer on Nazr Mohammed (17.0 points and 9.4 rebounds his past five games) for the Cats.
Juan Carlos Navarro has scored more than 20 points in two of his past three games, including 26 points and six 3-pointers against the Cavaliers on Tuesday. With Darko Milicic hurting, the Grizzlies may be forced to play small ball against the Sonics, so expect Navarro to come up big at home. Luke Ridnour returned to action with a double-double on Monday versus the Lakers and could eventually reclaim his starting point guard job, according to the Seattle Times. Jamario Moon is rising again, after averaging 8.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and shooting 50 percent from the field his past five games. Matt Barnes made the most of his start for the Warriors on Wednesday, scoring a season-high 18 points, plus nine rebounds, six assists and a pair of 3s. The Raptors' Anthony Parker has been a popular pickup, but don't forget about his teammate Carlos Delfino, who has averaged 18.7 points his past three games, including a monster game against the Kings on Wednesday (26 points, seven rebounds, six assists, four steals and five 3-pointers). While Nate Robinson is no longer a secret, the possibility that Stephon Marbury might not return this season makes Nate a solid pickup in any league. Robinson is averaging 16.0 points, 3.8 assists and 1.8 3s in 30 minutes his past five games. Jarrett Jack has been outplaying starter Steve Blake lately; Jack is averaging 14.7 points, 5.7 assists and 2.0 steals his past three games, while Blake has managed just five points in each of his past two games. Matt Carroll has been putting up some points for the Bobcats, averaging 15.0 points and 2.5 3s in 34.8 minutes his past four games.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com