Matchups for Wednesday, Oct. 29
All times are ET. Statistics are from the 2007-08 season.
Key: Opp. PPG = Points per game allowed to opponents. Opp. FGP = Field goal percentage allowed to opponents. RPG Diff. = The difference between a team's rebounds per game and its opponents' rebounds per game.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (suspension)
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Shane Battier, SF, Rockets (foot)
Marcus Camby, C, Clippers (heel)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Monta Ellis, PG/SG, Warriors (suspension)
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Kings (calf)
Manu Ginobili, SG, Spurs (ankle)
Brad Miller, C, Kings (suspension)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (ankle)
Marvin Williams, SF, Hawks (suspension)
Andrew Bogut, C, Bucks (ankle)
Baron Davis, PG, Clippers (finger)
Samuel Dalembert, C, 76ers (knee)
Joe Johnson, SG/SF, Hawks (groin)
Corey Maggette, SG/SF, Warriors (hamstring)
Tracy McGrady, SG/SF, Rockets (knee/shoulder)
Hedo Turkoglu, SG/SF, Magic (groin)
Thaddeus Young, SF, 76ers (back)
Start 'em, sit 'em
I'm expecting Rashard Lewis to have a huge game with the Hawks' Marvin Williams serving a one-game suspension and Josh Smith still feeling the effects of a sprained ankle. You can go ahead and sit Hedo Turkoglu for the Magic; I'm worried about his groin issue and I'm not sure he'll be able to drive on whoever the Hawks put on him. While Gilbert Arenas is out, the Wizards are going to rely on Antonio Daniels to man the point, and while he's not a bad player, I really don't think he has the speed to contain the Nets' Devin Harris. If Brendan Haywood were healthy to clog the lane, I'd be less concerned, but he's not. Expect Harris to start off the season strong. The Bucks-Thunder matchup is a fantasy owner's dream. Neither of these teams played defense at all last season, and for all the talk about Scott Skiles making changes in Milwaukee, I just don't think the Bucks have the horses to get out and guard people. They were a disaster defending point guards last season, and Luke Ridnour might not even play as much defense as Mo Williams did. In response, make sure you're starting Earl Watson for the Thunder. In fact, you can start Russell Westbrook, too, if you've got him in a deep league. It's going to be a party! It looks like the Clips will be without Marcus Camby on Wednesday, and as such, it looks like they won't be able to defend anybody on the Lakers. Andrew Bynum in particular is a great, great play, but you were playing him anyway. I'm saying here that if you own any Lakers -- for instance, Trevor Ariza or Jordan Farmar -- and you aren't sure when you are going to play them, Wednesday is the day. It won't get any easier.
I don't know whether you've noticed this, but the Hawks don't have much of a bench right now. What they do have is Ronald Murray, and if you need some scoring punch, he's got some decent potential. He was the Hawks' second-leading scorer in the preseason, with 14.0 points per game, and he was good for 3.8 boards, 3.0 assists and more than one 3-pointer per contest, too. Nobody owns him right now, so if you need guard help, he's out there. OK, I don't love the Knicks' Chris Duhon as a player, but he's the starting point guard for a team that scored 106.9 points per game in the preseason. I know it was the preseason, but Duhon averaged 9.6 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in just 30 minutes, and he's going up against Miami and its gigantic question mark at point guard Wednesday. Pick him up. Play him. See above, but I think Russell Westbrook is worth owning if you can pick him up for Wednesday simply because there is no way anyone on the Bucks can keep up with him. He might not get a ton of minutes, but he'll be productive if you can afford all the turnovers he'll make. Roger Mason looked terrible for the Spurs in the preseason, but as long as Manu Ginobili is out, I think he's got a shot to produce. Depending on how the Suns choose to defend Tony Parker, Mason could find himself covered on the perimeter by Steve Nash. More important, he'll have Tim Duncan kicking out to him for open 3s. If you feel like you're going to need 3s, Mason is not a bad place to look for now; the Spurs signed him for a reason. Speaking of 3s, Kyle Korver was on fire in the preseason, and he's going up against the Nuggets on Wednesday. Their defense was pretty decent last season, but they gave up a ton of points because they play so fast. They also lost their best defensive player, Marcus Camby, in the offseason, so it's anyone's guess what they'll look like now. I'm just saying, if Korver hits four or five 3s Wednesday, don't say I didn't warn you.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.