Delfino returns to fantasy relevance
Just a week ago, Carlos Delfino went to the bench, with his mainstream fantasy relevance seemingly disappearing. But true to form for the perpetually banged-up Milwaukee Bucks, it didn't take long before he was needed back in the starting five.
Fantasy owners who were patient enough to hold on to Delfino were rewarded again on Monday, as the 28-year-old dropped a season-high 26 points and a career-best seven 3-pointers against the Los Angeles Clippers. (He'd previously had four games of six treys, most recently against the Atlanta Hawks in a first-round playoff series last April.) Delfino did most of his damage late, hitting 5-of-6 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. He also finished with nine rebounds, another season high, and three steals.
Delfino started in place of Corey Maggette (back) and figures to be a useful fantasy asset in the short term. On Wednesday, the Bucks host the Denver Nuggets, who allow the fourth-most 3-pointers. Since it's the Bucks' final game before the All-Star break, it wouldn't be surprising if Maggette misses that contest. And if his injury lingers, the Bucks come out of the break facing the Minnesota Timberwolves and New York Knicks. Delfino is available in about two-thirds of ESPN.com leagues.
Another possible add is John Salmons, who happens to be the guy who pushed Delfino out of a starting spot last week. Salmons, who missed eight games with a hip injury in late January, was only 5-of-13 against the Clippers, but he finished with 16 points and a whopping 12 assists. He has reached double figures in points in four of his past five games. Salmons is available in about 30 percent of ESPN.com leagues.
• Though he wasn't expected to play on Monday because of a left wrist sprain, D.J. Augustin logged 26 minutes against the Los Angeles Lakers and finished with seven points and nine assists. It seems logical to think that the wrist injury is affecting Augustin, who is a miserable 31.1 percent from the field over his past eight games.
• After being limited to eight minutes off the bench in his previous outing, Manu Ginobili (22 points, four rebounds, two 3s) started and played 29 minutes against the New Jersey Nets. Get used to it: Gregg Popovich has only begun resting his stars.
• Just as fantasy owners turned toward Chuck Hayes, the tenacious but undersized center is seeing his minutes cut back. Hayes (six points, six rebounds, two steals) played just 20 minutes against the Nuggets while Jordan Hill (11 points, six rebounds, three blocks, two steals) saw 24 minutes off the bench in what ended up being a blowout. It's the second straight game that the two have split time in the post for the Houston Rockets; the breakdown was 25 minutes for Hayes and 22 for Hill against the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 12. Hard to say if the Rockets see the former Knicks lottery pick as a part of their future or a trade piece in the present, but owners in leagues of at least 12 teams should follow Hill's progress.
• Some Timberwolves-based fantasy news that doesn't involve Kevin Love: With Jonny Flynn (0 points in 13 minutes) coming up empty, Luke Ridnour (16 points, four assists, three 3s) played 35 minutes off the bench against the Portland Trail Blazers. Expect Ridnour, who missed six games for personal reasons, to reclaim his starting job sooner than later. Darko Milicic (15 points, five rebounds, two blocks) is also back after missing most of four games with a hip problem. Despite nagging injuries, Milicic is averaging 2.3 blocks this season. He is available in nearly 70 percent of ESPN.com leagues. Ridnour can be had in about 75 percent of leagues.
• Having served his 10-game suspension, O.J. Mayo will see action when the Memphis Grizzlies host the Philadelphia 76ers. With Sam Young playing well in a starting role, Mayo will come off the bench for the Grizzlies. Mayo's return probably torpedoes Tony Allen's fantasy value for the time being.
• With Andrei Kirilenko (ankle) out and Raja Bell (calf) a game-time decision, expect to see plenty of C.J. Miles when the Utah Jazz finish off their back-to-back set against the Phoenix Suns. Starting in place of Bell, Miles put up 19 points and three 3s versus the Suns on Feb. 11.