Matchups for Thursday, Dec. 6
All times are expressed in Eastern Time. Statistics from 2007-08 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.
No recent injuries of note.
Start 'Em, Sit 'Em
The Hawks and Timberwolves are two young teams moving in opposite directions. The Hawks have been showing some flashes lately, alternating wins and losses in their past six games. Al Horford, Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month, will continue to log heavy minutes at center with Zaza Pachulia banged up. Horford should dominate against a Timberwolves team that has won only two of 16 games and is nursing several injuries. Al Jefferson has been the only constant in Minnesota, averaging 20 points in 36 minutes, but Sebastian Telfair has made the most of his opportunity lately with Marko Jaric out. Telfair has averaged 15.0 points, 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 37.4 minutes his past five games. The Nuggets-Mavericks matchup could be a high-scoring affair as Denver is scoring 106.6 points per game and also allowing triple digits this season, while Dallas scores 102.6 and allows 98.1. Jason Terry has averaged 18 points and more than 40 minutes his past three games and could be in for a huge game. Consider Jerry Stackhouse, especially if Devin Harris is out against Denver. The Heat and Trail Blazers have both been fizzling lately, but look for Portland to light it up Thursday. The young Trail Blazers play much better at home, so go with LaMarcus Aldridge, Brandon Roy, Martell Webster and Travis Outlaw, a featured waiver-wire pickup.
Attention K-Mart shoppers! OK, so one 20-point, 8-rebound game does not constitute a comeback, but you have to like what you're seeing lately from Kenyon Martin. Martin has averaged 8.9 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 blocks in 22.5 minutes a game this season. He is owned in only 10 percent of ESPN leagues due to his injury history, but don't delay in picking him up or you'll miss out on this blue light special. Nuggets' point guard Anthony Carter is a hot pickup lately, averaging 7.2 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals while shooting 50 percent in 30 minutes a game his past five. Steal Travis Outlaw from your waiver wire while you still can. The Trail Blazers' forward is averaging 16.8 points, 7.0 rebounds, while shooting nearly 50 percent from the field in almost 30 minutes his past five games. Brandon Bass (four straight games in double digits) could be worth a look. He is quietly averaging 10.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks, while shooting 50 percent from the field and 91 percent from the line in 21 minutes a game this season for the Mavericks. Rashad McCants was dropped in many leagues and is still not 100 percent, but he has scored 21, 18 and 14 points his past three games. McCants is averaging 14.7 points per game on the season, so it might be a good time to buy low. Don't overlook Jason Williams, who is averaging 11.8 points, 4.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.2 threes while shooting 50 percent from the field his past five games, despite the Heat's struggles.
Tony Targan is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.