Matchups for Sunday, Jan. 27
All times are expressed in Eastern Time.
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 (ankle)
Brandon Bass, PF, Mavericks (Achilles)
Ben Gordon, SG, Bulls (wrist)
Grant Hill, SF, Suns (back)
Jason Kidd, PG, Nets (thumb)
Donyell Marshall, SF/PF, Cavaliers (wrist/finger)
Bostjan Nachbar, SF, Nets (wrist)
Jameer Nelson, PG, Magic (foot)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Warriors (stomach flu)
James Posey, SG/SF, Celtics (index finger)
Joe Smith, PF, Bulls (knee)
Jerry Stackhouse, SG/SF, Mavericks (hamstring)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
Make sure Phoenix's Raja Bell is in your lineup on Sunday, as he's got a great matchup against the Bulls. The Bulls are allowing teams to shoot better than 38 percent on 3-pointers so far this season, good for second worst in the league. If Steve Nash is able to get into the lane, which he almost always is, the Bulls will have to help off of Bell, which should leave him plenty of open looks.
Milwaukee's Mo Williams has turned into a top-notch point guard this season, and he's an underrated fantasy player, but his defense is downright awful. Chances are you're playing your borderline-type guys against the Bucks anyway, but make sure you stick Antonio Daniels in your lineup on Sunday against Williams. Daniels should beat able to beat him off the dribble and get to the line where he can take advantage of his 83 percent foul shooting.
Portland's Martell Webster is going to have to guard either Josh Smith or Marvin Williams when the Blazers play the Hawks, and I don't see either of those matchups going very well for Portland. Josh Smith is an automatic start, of course, but make sure you have Williams in your lineup for this one as well. He's been falling off a bit in field goal percentage lately -- just 41 percent over his past 10 games -- but this could be the sort of matchup to get him back on track.
Normally I'd be starting just about any opposing center against the Warriors, but the previous time New York played against them, Eddy Curry managed just 12 points and three boards in 26 minutes. It seems pretty clear that he's not suited to an up-tempo game. Make sure he's on your bench on Sunday.
Waiver Wire pickups
Chicago's Thabo Sefolosha has been playing pretty well as a starter in place of Luol Deng, with averages of 12 points, six boards and more than two steals per game over his past five. Clearly, those numbers, especially the steals, make him fantasy relevant as long as he's getting consistent minutes. Still, I'd play him only if I'm desperate for steals, as his work in the other categories remains inconsistent at best. In his two games against Orlando this season, Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo is 16-for-19 from the floor. He did most of that damage against Jameer Nelson, who was inactive Friday night against Detroit, but I would expect that Rondo will have just as much success against Carlos Arroyo. Rondo's production has fallen off a bit in the wake of his recent injury woes, and chances are good that his slump has landed him on the waiver wire in your league. Now's a good time to pick him up; he's still a decent place to look for assists, steals, and field gold percentage. Carmelo Anthony didn't play again on Friday night, and Linas Kleiza took advantage with another nice game in relief. He's averaging 20 points and seven rebounds over his past five games, and he has shown that he can be a big time scorer given the minutes. If Carmelo is still banged up heading into Sunday's game against Dallas, you'll want Kleiza in your lineup.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com