Rashard Lewis no longer worth owning

March, 7, 2011

Rashard Lewis sat on Sunday due to a knee injury that may require surgery, potentially putting an end to another disappointing season. Maurice Evans started in his place, and should be able to have an impact in 3-pointers while earning big minutes, although that's about it. The more intriguing player that will be impacted is rookie Jordan Crawford, who was acquired from the Hawks in the Kirk Hinrich deal. Crawford is a dynamic scorer who the Wizards will want to develop for the future, and he earned 20 minutes on Saturday and 22 on Sunday with Lewis sidelined. He attempted a combined eight 3-pointers in those two games, and is averaging 0.5 3s and 0.5 steals in just 11.6 minutes per game this season. If he keeps getting 20-plus minutes off the bench, Crawford should be above one 3 and one steal per game, which will be useful to fantasy owners in deep leagues down the stretch. Lewis' numbers have been awful even when he has played recently, so feel free to drop him in favor of an option that will actually help your team.

Looking Back

Jared Jeffries started at center on both Friday and Sunday for the Knicks, and had a combined one point and seven rebounds in 53 minutes of play, having about as little impact as possible with that many minutes. Ignore the fact he's starting and look elsewhere, even if you're in need of steals and blocks, as Jeffries is such a non-factor in so many categories there are bound to be more helpful options elsewhere. … Matt Barnes returned to the Lakers Sunday, playing 14 minutes and scoring five points with six rebounds and a 3-pointer. Barnes is a useful fantasy player when healthy, contributing a little in 3s, steals, blocks and rebounds, so keep an eye on him in deeper leagues, as he should have an impact down the stretch. … Tracy McGrady logged another DNP-CD on Sunday, and hasn't played since several Pistons players skipped a shootaround. He was previously having a nice statistical impact for fantasy owners, but is now worth dropping since he's officially in the doghouse. This is actually good news for Rodney Stuckey owners, as McGrady was sucking up many of his stats, especially assists. Stuckey had 19 points, 9 assists, one steal and one block in 41 minutes of play on Sunday, and is averaging 20.8 points, 8.0 assists and 2.0 3s in 40.3 minutes per game in his past four contests. He's playing his best ball and getting the most minutes of any time during the season, which will help him be one of the better fantasy guards down the stretch in points, assists and steals. … Andre Iguodala had two triple-doubles this weekend, with 22 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists on Friday and 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists on Sunday. Iguodala has had a somewhat disappointing season, especially for the first couple months, although his numbers have inched closer and closer to those he typically posts, other than in the points category. With his role as facilitator for the Sixers don't look for that to change, although he's averaging 7.0 rebounds, 7.5 assists and 1.6 steals per game during the past 30 days. He's no longer a top-25 type player, but he's putting up top-50 numbers for the past few months, and it'll be interesting to see where he's selected in next season's fantasy drafts. … James Harden has become a must-own player now that he's shouldering much of the load that Jeff Green carried for the Thunder offense. He dropped 26 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 3s and 2 steals on Sunday, and is averaging 18.6 points, 1.4 3s and 1.4 steals per game in the past five. He is worth owning and starting in virtually every format, and makes an intriguing keeper option for next season, as he's set to play a Manu Ginobili-type role for the Thunder.

Looking Ahead

Dwight Howard will serve a one-game suspension Monday against the Blazers after picking up his 16th technical foul during the weekend. Be sure to bench him if you have another option in daily transaction leagues, although in leagues where you set a weekly lineup, the Magic play three other games so he's still a must start. … Stephen Jackson will be a game-time decision for the Bobcats, as he's plagued by a bum hamstring and head coach Paul Silas has said he will sit Jackson until it's healed. Gerald Henderson will pick up most of the slack in his absence. … Chauncey Billups is also still considered day-to-day with his thigh bruise, so monitor the newswire to see if he'll be back in the lineup, as his stellar play for the Knicks thus far is something you don't want your team to miss if he's on the floor. … It's uncertain if Paul Millsap will play against the Knicks Monday, after he left Saturday's contest with a knee injury. He'll be a game-time decision, although the knee was bothering him prior to him leaving Saturday's game, so I wouldn't be surprised if his minutes are limited for awhile until he's at full strength.

Josh Whitling is a fantasy basketball analyst for ESPN.com.



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