Matchups for Friday, Nov. 2
All times are Eastern Time. Statistics from 2006-07 regular season.
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.
Ron Artest, F, Kings (suspension)
Chucky Atkins, G, Nuggets (groin)
Mike Bibby, G, Kings (thumb)
Elton Brand, F, Clippers (Achilles)
Randy Foye, G, Timberwolves (knee)
Stephen Jackson, F/G, Warriors (suspension)
Adam Morrison, F, Bobcats (knee)
Josh Howard, F, Mavericks (suspension)
Joakim Noah, F, Bulls (ankle)
Lamar Odom, F, Lakers (shoulder)
J.R. Smith, G, Nuggets (suspension)
Rodney Stuckey, G, Pistons (hand)
Dwyane Wade, G, Heat (shoulder, knee)
Leandro Barbosa, G, Suns (ribs)
Raja Bell, G, Suns (ankle)
Speedy Claxton, G, Hawks (knee)
Boris Diaw, F, Suns (ankles)
Richard Hamilton, G, Pistons (ankle)
Chris Kaman, C, Clippers (foot)
Troy Murphy, F/C, Pacers (Achilles)
Jermaine O'Neal, F/C, Pacers (knee)
Zaza Pachulia, C/F, Hawks (knee)
Al Thornton, F, Clippers (foot)
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
The Lakers' three-headed center of Kwame Brown, Andrew Bynum and Chris Mihm combined for only 11 points and 14 rebounds on opening night, but look for Brown (28 minutes to 19 for Bynum and eight for Mihm) to bust out in Friday's shootout against the Suns. Mickael Pietrus scored 17 points in 28 minutes in the Warriors' first game and could stomp on the Clippers with Al Thornton and Chris Kaman both nursing gimpy feet. Jason Terry's stock dropped when he became the sixth man, but his 24 points in 30 minutes shows he's still a viable fantasy starter, especially in Atlanta on Friday. Center Andrea Bargnani showed his versatility with 20 points in only 22 minutes, including three 3-pointers and two blocks in the Raptors' home opener, but he could "net" fewer numbers against New Jersey's tough defense. Sit Yi Jianlian until he gets better acclimated to NBA officiating. In his much-anticipated debut for the Bucks, he fouled out with only nine points and five rebounds in 25 minutes. Mike Dunleavy exploded for 25 points and 12 rebounds in his season debut and should keep pace in Indiana's home opener against a depleted Heat squad. The Sixers' Kyle Korver poured in 20 points, including 4-for-7 3-point shooting in his first game, and he'll play long ball with the Bulls, who combined for 47 3-point attempts in their game with the Nets. Nenad Krstic might not be ready for major minutes yet (only 19 in Game 1 versus the Bulls), but the Nets center had lots of spring in his step and should score more than 10 points against the Raptors.
Kings swingman John Salmons had 22 points and nine assists in 45 minutes and is a good short-term fix while Ron Artest is serving a suspension. Francisco Garcia scored 17 points in 32 minutes off the Kings' bench and will get minutes with Mike Bibby out. Pick a pair of Portland Trail Blazers: center Joel Przybilla (13 points, 10 rebounds in 31 minutes, and a career 1.7 blocks per game) and forward Martell Webster (21 points in 31 minutes) announced their presence on opening night against the Spurs. Kobe Bryant might not be happy with the Lakers' supporting cast, but Derek Fisher (17 points in 34 minutes) and Luke Walton (eight rebounds and eight points in 39 minutes) should contribute as fantasy players. Hedo Turkoglu is owned in only 13 percent of ESPN leagues, but that number should rise after his 24-point performance in Orlando's opener. Brendan Haywood staked his claim to the Wizards' center job with his double-double debut, especially with rival Etan Thomas out indefinitely. Nets forward Antoine Wright came out of nowhere to tally 21 points in 28 minutes in an overtime game against Chicago, but he'll have to do it again before he's waiver-worthy.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.