Matchups for Monday, March 10
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.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, C, Cavaliers (back)
Dorell Wright, SG/SF, Heat (knee)
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (knee)
Udonis Haslem, PF, Heat (ankle)
Allen Iverson, PG/SG, Nuggets (finger)
Carl Landry, SF, Rockets (knee)
Bostjan Nachbar, SF, Nets (hip)
Zach Randolph, PF, Knicks (foot)
Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Heat (knee)
Start 'em, sit 'em
The Celtics have played great defense of late, so it's hard to specifically recommend playing anyone against them. In fact, when the 76ers face the Celtics on Monday night, the only automatic start is Andre Iguodala, who is a good enough fantasy player that he should start against anyone and everyone. Even so, Andre Miller might be able to take advantage of his size against Rajon Rondo the way Chauncey Billups has all season. In fact, Miller has averaged 19.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 8.0 assists in two games against the C's this year, and I have no reason to believe he can't continue to put up good numbers against the undersized Rondo. Sam Cassell might have something to say about that, of course, but I'm not ready to trust that the veteran is going to play enough minutes yet to be relevant at all for fantasy purposes. Over his past five games, the Cavs' Delonte West has started to find his stroke, shooting 49 percent from the floor and 39 percent from behind the arc. Going up against Steve Blake and Portland's first unit, West should be able to get wherever he wants on the floor, and if the Blazers use West's man to occasionally double-team LeBron James, West will be able to knock down whatever open looks he gets. The Nets' Devin Harris hasn't found his shooting stroke since coming to New Jersey, but look for him to get some of it back against Rafer Alston and the Rockets. Yes, Houston's defense has been stifling during its epic winning streak, but point guard is still its weakest position defensively, and Harris has the speed to exploit Alston on both ends. One thing the Rockets don't have a lot of with Yao out is shot-blocking, and I'd expect Harris to take it to the cup incessantly any time Dikembe Mutombo is on the bench. I've been saying a lot of negative things about Jason Kidd in this space since his move to Dallas at the trading deadline, but I'm switching gears in order to make sure he's in your lineup against the Knicks. He's averaging 14.0 points and 12.0 assists against them this year -- actually somewhat modest numbers by Kidd's standards -- but his 48 percent shooting against them stands out and makes me think he can have an efficient performance against them. Kidd also should be able to rack up plenty of steals against the Knicks' sloppy backcourt.
The Celtics' Kendrick Perkins already has been added in a lot of leagues, but he's still available in most and is putting up some astonishing numbers lately while playing with great confidence. In his past five games, he has averaged 12.4 points, 10.6 rebounds and 3.0 blocks on almost 69 percent shooting from the floor, and because of the way the Celtics share the ball, he's averaging 2.4 assists from the center position as well. All in all, those are some extremely valuable fantasy numbers, especially the rebounds and the blocks. His offensive game is slow and plodding, but he rarely misses a shot. He'll never be an All-Star, but being surrounded by All-Stars has enabled him to be a very productive fantasy option the past few weeks. If you need blocks and boards, pick him up while you still have the chance. With Dwyane Wade and a few other Heat players being a little banged up heading into Monday's game against the Clippers, it's worth taking a look at Ricky Davis, who is available in most leagues. If you need scoring, he could be a great option; he had 17 points against the Clippers earlier this year off the bench, shooting 7-for-11 from the floor. Davis is more than willing to score when he's the No. 1 option, and if Wade can't go, he could be just that against the Clips. In Denver's win against San Antonio on Friday night, it was the Nuggets' bench players who turned the tide and won them the game. Both J.R. Smith and Eduardo Najera in particular had a great game, and with Carmelo Anthony and Allen Iverson both bothered by injuries, Smith and Najera should be able to get plenty of minutes yet again. The Spurs will be more aware of what those guys bring to the table, but if you are looking for a couple of good all-around performances in head-to-head leagues, Smith and Najera could be excellent pickups depending on the exact stats you want.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com