Baron Davis poised to regain starting job
Baron Davis is back in the picture for the Clippers, and he's already having a positive impact on fantasy owners who held onto him and a negative impact on Eric Bledsoe's production. Davis is averaging 8.0 assists in his three games since returning and dropped a five-steal night on Friday, while coming off the bench in all three contests. Bledsoe is averaging slightly more than 26 minutes per game since Davis' return, compared to the 33.4 minutes per game he was averaging in the 14 games Davis missed. If Davis shows some consistency during the next couple of weeks, it would be no surprise if he regained the starting job.
Bledsoe is now a questionable fantasy play in most formats, since he was primarily contributing in assists and steals, and Davis will cut into those assists considerably, even if Blesdoe retains his starting job. Davis becomes worth starting if you need 3-pointers, steals and assists, as he always puts those up in bunches and will have no problem doing so coming off the bench for the Clippers. Overall, though, the two players hurt each other's value considerably and make it so neither is a no-brainer when determining whether or not to start or sit them for your fantasy team. Give this situation a couple weeks to shake out before dropping Bledsoe, although it's likely that if Davis proves able to stay on the court he'll eventually get more minutes than Bledsoe and put an end to the surprising rookie's solid start to his career.
Devin Harris returned from his left knee strain Sunday, scoring seven points in 24 minutes of play. Jordan Farmar had 16 points, 4 3s and 4 steals in 27 minutes, so even though his value will take a big hit with Harris still in the picture, Farmar should have some value while the Nets are cautious with Harris, as Farmar's excellent play in his absence has given them the right to do. Amir Johnson was fantastic on Sunday, dropping 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting with 16 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in 39 minutes of play. With Reggie Evans out for the foreseeable future, Johnson should see the biggest bump in value and is worth owning in all formats at this point, with his ability to score efficiently, grab rebounds and block shots. Jerryd Bayless had a teriffic game off the bench for the Raptors, scoring 23 points with 5 3s, 7 rebounds and 6 assists. He's averaging 24.3 minutes per game in his past three contests and will have value in points, assists and especially 3s, now that he appears to be in a better situation than he was in New Orleans. He makes a solid pickup in deeper leagues, and despite he'll be inconsistent and not do this on a nightly basis, if he continues getting minutes in the mid-20s, he will have some value. Nene had one of those games that Nene has on Sunday, scoring 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting from the floor and 7-for-8 shooting from the stripe. He had 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks and is on a tear in his past five contests, averaging 18.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.6 blocks. He started the season a bit slowly but is on fire right now and is one of the most helpful players in the league in the field goal percentage department, shooting 62.4 percent from the floor this season.
Amare Stoudemire has been on a tear recently, with 30 or more points in each of his past four contests, and look for that trend to continue against the Timberwolves, who allow 108.8 points per game, the second-worst mark in the league. Tyreke Evans has 12 3-pointers made all season, with seven of them coming in the past three games. He should have an opportunity for his run to continue Monday facing the Clippers, who allow opponents to shoot a league-high 42.3 percent from beyond the arc. Donte Greene and Beno Udrih are worth starting given that number, and Greene is worth a long, hard look if he's available in your league. Marvin Williams is set to have an excellent December with Joe Johnson sidelined and has played well recently, with at least 13 points in four of his past five contests. But he'll have a difficult time scoring against the Magic, who allow a league-best 91.4 points per game.
Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.