Buy low on Chauncey Billups
Chauncey Billups has been one of the biggest disappointments of the season, given his average draft position of 23.2 compared to his No. 70 ranking on the Player Rater. His numbers are down across the board, especially in scoring, as he's averaging just 15.7 points on an atrocious 37.9 percent shooting from the floor. He's also been hampered by a wrist injury and upstaged at times by the promising Ty Lawson. But he had a strong showing this holiday weekend, with 30 points and 3 3-pointers on Saturday and 24 points on 4 3-pointers Sunday. He also is averaging 24.7 points, 4.7 assists, 2.3 3s and 1.3 steals in his three games since returning from injury.
Billups has been a historically fantastic fantasy player and is a solid buy-low option right now, as owners have grown frustrated by his season-long slump.
Ryan Anderson is back for the Orlando Magic and clearly has a spot in the rotation, as he had 10 points (1-for-5 from downtown) with nine rebounds and a block on Saturday in 25 minutes off the bench. He's an excellent 3-point option who should assume the role of gunner off the bench that Mickael Pietrus previously occupied. After missing most of the season with a foot injury, he's a good deep-league option if you need 3s, as he provides them from the power forward slot. ... Brandon Bass also had a strong weekend and seems to be firmly entrenched as the starting power forward for the new-look Magic. He dropped 21 points with nine rebounds Saturday and should be one of the more efficient sources of points in the league, with his 52.4 percent from the floor and 83.5 percent from the stripe. Bass is worth owning in all leagues, and worth starting if your percentages need assistance. ... Kenyon Martin is back for the Denver Nuggets and played 17 and 21 minutes, respectively, in his first two games back. Because Al Harrington dislocated his thumb Sunday, Martin should see more minutes than that as soon as his conditioning allows. He has the ability to help significantly in defensive stats, as he averaged 9.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.1 blocks per game last season. He is worth adding if you need those categories and can stomach his harmful free throw percentage. ... Stephen Curry also returned in his first game since Dec. 8 and really struggled, shooting 2-for-15 from the floor (including 0-for-5 from downtown) for just four points. He still had 11 assists, and even though he might take a few games to get into the swing of things, I wouldn't wait to reinsert him into your starting lineup. ... George Hill is another player who returned from injury and is worth monitoring closely, as he was dropped in 18 percent of ESPN.com leagues because of his missed time. I love his game, especially his ability to score efficiently while providing 3s and steals. His minutes will be back in the upper-20s soon. I am, however, waiting to start him again until I see those minutes higher than the 16 he played on Sunday. ... Marcin Gortat played 27 minutes off the bench on Sunday, compared to Robin Lopez's 10 minutes in the starting lineup, and I don't think it will be long before Gortat grabs the starting spot. His per-minute numbers for his career have been superb (4.4 rebounds, 0.8 blocks in a career 13.4 minutes per game translates to about 10 and 2 with starter's minutes). He's worth a speculative add if you need blocks and boards.
Corey Maggette and Drew Gooden are both questionable for Monday's game against the Atlanta Hawks, and the Milwaukee Bucks badly need the help with Brandon Jennings sidelined. Maggette should put up improved numbers upon his return, as he'll likely be asked to shoulder more of the scoring load with Jennings out, so pay close attention to how he plays if he returns. ... The New Orleans Hornets face the Minnesota Timberwolves, who rank fifth worst in opponents' 3-point percentage with 38.6 percent and worst in the league in opponents' points per game with 110.1 allowed. This makes the Hornets' fringe players like Marco Belinelli and Marcus Thornton worth starting if you own them. ... Same goes for the Sacramento Kings, who face the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Philadelphia 76ers against the Golden State Warriors. Both teams allow their opponents to score and shoot efficiently from downtown and make for good matchups.