Matchups for Saturday, Nov. 22
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.
Gilbert Arenas, PG, Wizards (knee)
Leandro Barbosa, PG/SG, Suns (personal)
Shane Battier, SF, Rockets (ankle)
Mike Dunleavy, SG/SF, Pacers (knee)
Jason Richardson, SG, Bobcats (knee)
Josh Smith, SF/PF, Hawks (ankle)
Matt Barnes, SF, Suns (back spasms)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (head)
Josh Boone, PF/C, Nets (ankle)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (quadriceps)
Antonio Daniels, PG, Wizards (knee)
Al Horford, PF/C, Hawks (ankle)
Desmond Mason, SG/SF, Thunder (elbow)
Yao Ming, C, Rockets (ankle)
Morris Peterson, SG/SF, Hornets (knee)
Mickael Pietrus, SG/SF, Magic (ribs)
Michael Redd, SG, Bucks (ankle)
Charlie Villanueva, SF/PF, Bucks (hamstring)
Deron Williams, PG, Jazz (ankle)
Start 'em, sit 'em
The Rockets are tied with the Magic and Bucks for the best defense against 3-pointers, with opponents converting only 30 percent of their long balls. Benching Mickael Pietrus would be a good idea, especially considering he's averaging three fouls in 26 minutes and will have to defend either Tracy McGrady or Ron Artest on the perimeter. Only two teams have a worse defensive efficiency than the Washington Wizards, so feel free to start your Knicks. Chris Duhon, who is seventh in the league in assists per game, had one of his two double-digit assist games against the Wizards on Nov. 7, when the two teams combined for 222 points. Rudy Fernandez is attempting more than five 3-pointers a game, and the Suns allow opponents to shoot 38 percent from long range. You might as well start Fernandez and take advantage of his greatest skill as a player. Matt Barnes logged 30-plus minutes in consecutive games for the first time all season, so let's hope the back spasms that knocked him out of Thursday's game are minor. As long as Barbosa is out, Barnes should pick up a few extra minutes and has the green light to shoot (5.1 3-point attempts per game).
Check to see whether Michael Redd returns Friday, but if not, Charlie Bell is a good option for points and 3s. After a slow start to the season, Bell has averaged 20 points and two 3s in his past two games, and the Bobcats are 25th in defensive efficiency. The Charlotte Observer reports that D.J. Augustin and Alexis Ajinca may start over Raymond Felton and Sean May as soon as Friday. Augustin dropped 21 points and four assists in 36 minutes against the Mavs earlier in the week, while Felton has regressed under coach Larry Brown. With the loss of Jason Richardson for a week or more, the Bobcats need additional scoring, which may mean an opportunity for Adam Morrison as well. Delonte West is averaging 2.3 3s per game in November, shooting a scorching 54.8 percent from behind the arc. The Hawks have allowed opponents to shoot a healthy 37 percent from 3-point range, so as far as one-trick ponies go, West is one of the best options if you need 3s. Since returning from an ankle injury Nov. 12, Rasho Nesterovic has seen increased minutes in three consecutive games, topped off by a 21-point outburst in 36 minutes Tuesday. Nesterovic could give the Heat, who trot out 6-foot-8 Udonis Haslem at center, fits Saturday. JaVale McGee got his first start of the season Wednesday and put together a decent game, considering he played just 22 minutes. He had one of his best games of the season against the Knicks earlier in the month, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 boards and swatting two shots, and the Knicks' pace -- so far they're running more than the Suns did -- is as fantasy-friendly as it gets. C.J. Miles is coming off consecutive 20-point performances, and is averaging 16 points and 1.6 3's his past five games. With three key Jazz players battling recent injuries, Miles is a reasonable short-term option in head-to-head or deeper leagues.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.