Matchups for Saturday, Jan. 17
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.
Carmelo Anthony, SF, Nuggets (hand)
Ron Artest, SF, Rockets (ankle)
D.J. Augustin, PG, Bobcats (abdominal)
Tony Allen, SG, Celtics (ankle)
Steve Blake, PG, Trail Blazers (shoulder)
Carlos Boozer, PF, Jazz (quadriceps/knee)
Baron Davis, PG, Clippers (tailbone)
Yi Jianlian, SF/PF, Nets (hand)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (foot)
Tracy McGrady, SG, Rockets (knee)
Zach Randolph, PF, Clippers (knee)
Start 'em, sit 'em
Travis Outlaw is 10-for-17 from downtown in his past four games, and he's seen his minutes increase recently thanks to his strong play. Outlaw has also blocked a shot in five straight games, his longest such streak of the season, and should be in your lineup until he cools off. In two games since returning from his groin injury, Richard Hamilton has shown some rust, going 8-for-25 from the field and getting to the line just twice. With Rodney Stuckey asserting himself as a scorer in Rip's absence, not to mention the presence of Allen Iverson, Hamilton looks like he can look forward to being the third option at best, and that's if he doesn't end up coming off the bench. It's probably time to bench, or even outright drop, the one-dimensional swingman. Surprisingly, Roger Mason is still owned in nearly a third of fantasy leagues, and he's had a mini-revival of sorts this month, scoring at least 18 points three times and converting 14 3-pointers total. As a result, you may have him in your active lineup, but bench him for Saturday's contest against the Bulls, as they hold opponents to 33 percent shooting from beyond the arc, tied for tops in the league. Sharpshooters Von Wafer (44.4 percent from long range), Shane Battier (38.6 percent) and Aaron Brooks (35.1 percent; OK, that's stretching it) should be licking their chops as they see the Heat on the schedule; only three teams allow opponents to shoot a better percentage from 3-point land. Without Ron Artest or Tracy McGrady around to create their own shots, the Rockets will assuredly have to rely more on the 3-pointer anyway, so expect to see more attempts than usual, too.
Filling in for the injured Steve Blake, Jerryd Bayless sliced up the porous Nets defense for 23 points in 25 minutes, going 6-of-9 from the floor and making 11-of-11 from the line. Competing with Sergio Rodriguez for minutes at the point while Blake is out, Bayless could earn more minutes with another strong performance, and he has the talent to make it happen. He is shooting just 30.3 percent from the field, so don't get too excited, but he gets to the free-throw line often and has strong per-minute steal numbers, making him worth a look. Despite reverting back to his typically low field-goal percentage (41.2 percent in January), Lou Williams has made the best of his 26 minutes this month, upping his assists to 5.1 per game and converting better than 80 percent of his free throws, a considerable help considering he attempts five-plus a game. A matchup with the Knicks is always a favorable one, and the best of Williams may be to come, as none of the Sixers' previous seven opponents this month have ranked higher than 14th in possessions per game. More than 60 percent of J.J. Redick's shot attempts this month have been 3-pointers; considering he's converting 65.4 percent of them -- and 43.1 percent on the season -- that is a good thing. He's scored in the double-digits in his past four games and nailed four 3-pointers in his past three as his playing time has increased. The Nuggets are fifth in possessions per game, and the Magic 10th themselves, so even a couple of extra shot attempts will help Redick's value significantly. You might as well play him while he's hot, especially since he doesn't have the greatest of players (Courtney Lee and Keith Bogans) battling him for playing time.
Adam Madison is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.