Matchups for Wednesday, Nov. 19
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.
Jose Calderon, PG, Raptors (hamstring)
Antonio Daniels, PG, Wizards (knee)
Daniel Gibson, PG, Cavaliers (back)
Drew Gooden, PF/C, Bulls (ankle)
Andrei Kirilenko, SF/PF, Jazz (finger)
Kevin Martin, SG, Kings (ankle)
Mehmet Okur, C, Jazz (back)
Zaza Pachulia, C, Hawks (shoulder)
Chris Paul, PG, Hornets (ankle)
Michael Redd, SG, Bucks (ankle)
Charlie Villanueva, SF/PF, Bucks (hamstring)
Dwyane Wade, SG, Heat (ankle)
Chris Wilcox, PF/C, Thunder (knee)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
The Bulls have had some major trouble with opposing bigs so far in the young season. They are facing the Blazers on Wednesday night, and Greg Oden has had two strong outings since coming back from injury. If you've been waiting to start Oden, now's as good a time as any. You should start Elton Brand every night, but given Minnesota's troubles with power forwards and the fact that Brand's backup, Reggie Evans, is dealing with a thumb problem and is listed as questionable, you can expect a particularly huge night out of Elton. Nene has averaged 14.7 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.8 blocks this season. He's going up against the Spurs, but I'd be willing to keep him in my lineup every night until he slows down, particularly in the defensive categories. Despite getting tossed late in the fourth quarter against the Celtics on Saturday, Andrew Bogut has been putting up huge numbers (nearly 12 rebounds in his past five games), and he has played at least 40 minutes in three straight games. I think he's a good bet to have another good game against the beat-up Jazz.
With Josh Smith out and Zaza Pachulia questionable, the Hawks are looking pretty banged up and don't have a great answer for dealing with guards who can get into the lane. This problem surfaced over the weekend, as the Nets' Devin Harris has scored more than 30 points in back-to-back games against the Hawks. It works for big men, too; in the first of those two games, Nets' rookie Brook Lopez had his first great game as a pro, recording 25 points and nine boards against the weak Atlanta interior. Look for another rookie riding a little bit of fantasy hype, Washington's JaVale McGee, to be similarly effective on Wednesday night. If Washington had any healthy point guards, I'd suggest you start them, as well. The Clippers, you might have realized, don't really defend anyone particularly well. If you own OKC's Russell Westbrook and Jeff Green, I don't know when you would play them if not against the Clips. If you don't own them, they're both worth picking up in deeper leagues. Westbrook, in particular, is showing signs of coming on strong. He's terrible from the floor, but he takes and makes a lot of free throws and has averaged 13 points, four rebounds and four assists over his past five contests. Though Heat point guard Mario Chalmers has continued to play decent minutes, he seems to have hit an early rookie wall production-wise. That should come to an end briefly against the Raptors; Jose Calderon is nursing a hamstring injury and backup point guard Will Solomon has yet to prove he can guard anyone. If Delonte West is going to continue playing 34.5 minutes per game, he really should be owned in more than 17 percent of leagues. With Boobie Gibson facing some back problems, the minutes should continue, and West is a good bet for production, even against the Pistons.
Seth Landman is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.