Week 2 (Nov. 2-8)
Teams playing four games: Atlanta, Boston, Denver, Detroit, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York, Orlando, Phoenix, Sacramento, Utah, Washington
Teams playing three games: Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Golden State, Houston, Indiana, L.A. Clippers, Miami, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Portland, Toronto
Teams playing two games: San Antonio
Celtics C Rasheed Wallace has been getting around 20 minutes per game in his first week with Boston. He has been getting around 8-9 shots in the offense, most of which have come from beyond the arc. He doesn't look like he'll be getting many rebounds or "big man" stats, but he could still be a useful stopgap down the line ... Celtics F Kevin Garnett has gotten off to a slow start offensively, but not because he is not hitting his shots. He just is not attempting nearly as many as he used to. In the first two games of the season, he attempted no more than 10 shots in either game. Even in a down season a year ago, he averaged 13 shots per game. He used to average around 19 shots per game in his prime. Continue to start him, but temper expectations ... Fantasy owners, be patient with Chris Douglas-Roberts and Courtney Lee of the Nets after their slow start. They could both be regular Fantasy starters by the end of the month ... Knicks guard Larry Hughes is not a part of the team's rotation during the first week ... Knicks F Danilo Gallinari is a fantastic addition off the waiver wire, despite looking like a bust in his first regular season and in this preseason, he showed he can hit the three in Week 1, including seven treys in the opener ... With Lou Williams now a starter, it appears Marreese Speights could take on a bigger offensive role as the team looks for a new scorer off the bench ... It's too early to tell, but it appears (for now) the Elton Brand of old will not be returning -- at least not in Philadelphia ... Raptors G Jose Calderon missed two free throws in the team's opener. Last season, he did not miss a free throw until January 30.
Injury report: No significant injuries.
Favorable matchup: Boston Celtics (@PHI, @MIN, PHO, @NJ) The Celtics have the most favorable schedule in the division this week, including a game against a Suns team that looks like they'll allow close to the 107.5 points per game they allowed last season. This could be a good week to take a chance on Wallace or Kendrick Perkins if need be.
Unfavorable matchup: Toronto Raptors (DET, @NO, @DAL) Not only do the Raptors play just three games, but they all come against strong defensive teams that allowed under 100 points per game last season and have not allowed 100 points yet this season. It's a good idea to reserve Jarrett Jack and DeMar DeRozan, but also consider reserving Hedo Turkoglu in smaller leagues this week.
Cavaliers C Zydrunas Ilgauskas has been getting around 20 minutes per game off the bench with Shaquille O'Neal now starting ahead of him. He won't be useful in Fantasy unless Shaq goes down with an injury, it would appear ... Anthony Parker looks to be an integral part of the Cavaliers' rotation early on. While Delonte West remains sidelined due to personal issues, Parker is a good target off the waiver wire in standard formats ... Charlie Villanueva has not gotten off to a strong start in Detroit and he saw under 20 minutes in the team's opener despite being the team's starting power forward. Fantasy owners will once again have to be patient with Villanueva, one of the streakiest players in the NBA ... Pacers G Dahntay Jones got off to a surprising start with 17 points in the opener. It may be just a mirage, but give him a look off waivers in larger formats. We still expect Brandon Rush to be the better long-term option there ... Keep an eye on the distribution in minutes between T.J. Ford and Earl Watson in Indiana. It looks like it could be more evenly split than initially anticipated.
Injury report: Cavaliers G Delonte West (personal) will be out for an indefinite amount of time. Reserve him in all formats until you see him get back on the floor and be productive ... Pistons G Richard Hamilton is day to day with an ankle injury. He should play, but look to see if the ankle (or if Ben Gordon) continues to limit him over the weekend.
Favorable matchup: Milwaukee Bucks (@CHI, @MIN, NY) The Pistons play four games this week, but two come against Orlando, so we'll go with the Bucks, who despite playing just three games will face two very Fantasy-friendly teams in Minnesota and New York. Both teams give up over 100 points on a regular basis and that could mean big games for the likes of Hakim Warrick, Luke Ridnour or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute if you are in a deep league.
Unfavorable matchup: Chicago Bulls (MIL, @CLE, CHA) The Bulls will face two very tough defensive opponents in a three-game week. The Cavaliers allowed the fewest points in the NBA last season and the Bobcats allowed the ninth fewest. Outside of Derrick Rose and possibly John Salmons, think twice about starting your Bulls in Week 2.
|1.||Ty Lawson, G, Nuggets||30|
|2.||DeJuan Blair, F, Spurs||24|
|3.||Chris Douglas-Roberts, G, Nets||19|
|4.||Corey Brewer, F, Timberwolves||15|
|5.||Marreese Speights, F, 76ers||15|
|6.||Danilo Gallinari, F, Knicks||13|
|7.||Ryan Anderson, F, Magic||9|
|8.||Martell Webster, F, Trail Blazers||8|
|9.||Julian Wright, F, Hornets||7|
|10.||Kyle Lowry, G, Rockets||7|
Hawks G Jamal Crawford looks like he may take a while to get used to his new role coming off the bench in Atlanta. Or, better yet, it may take a while for the Hawks to figure out the best way to use Crawford. He is a player we recommend sitting until the two sides figure this one out ... The Bobcats are playing Tyson Chandler with some limitations on his minutes. Until the team feels comfortable with his health, he'll be an unreliable Fantasy option ... Be patient with Bobcats G D.J. Augustin, he'll reward you down the line -- we promise ... Heat F Michael Beasley appears to be ready to put his personal problems behind him. Fantasy owners who took a slight risk on him should feel good about it right now ... Fantasy owners treated Heat C Jermaine O'Neal like the Swine Flu in drafts, but it appears he's not a total bum after all ... The Magic had a few tricks up their sleeve in the first week and Fantasy owners should pay close attention to J.J. Redick and Jason Williams to see if they can follow up on their strong starts ... So much for being worried about Gilbert Arenas and whether or not he could play like Agent Zero again. If he stays healthy this season, he'll likely be the steal of most drafts.
Injury report: Bobcats G Raja Bell (wrist) is going to try to play through his injury, but any setback could mean surgery that would sideline him for up four months. He's too risky to play in Week 2, but when healthy is a player that can average double-digits in scoring ... Andray Blatche and Brendan Haywood should continue to enjoy a Fantasy boost for the first few weeks of the season while Antawn Jamison is sidelined with a shoulder injury.
Favorable matchup: Washington Wizards (@CLE, MIA, @IND, PHO) The Wizards have a very favorable four-game schedule that includes games against Indiana and Phoenix, teams that allow over 100 points with regularity.
Unfavorable matchup: Charlotte Bobcats (NJ, ATL, @CHI) The Bobcats and Heat have the fewest games in the division this week, but the Heat have more favorable matchups against the Suns, Wizards and Nuggets.
|1.||Marc Gasol, C, Grizzlies||65|
|2.||Travis Outlaw, F, Trail Blazers||19|
|3.||Andray Blatche, C, Wizards||27|
|4.||Jonny Flynn, G, Timberwolves||36|
|5.||Tyreke Evans, G, Kings||58|
|6.||Andrei Kirilenko, F, Jazz||24|
|7.||Courtney Lee, G, Nets||35|
|8.||Stephen Curry, G, Warriors||33|
|9.||Paul Millsap, F, Jazz||59|
|10.||Rasheed Wallace, C, Celtics||43|
It looks like a pretty good bet that Jason Kidd will average under 10 points for a second straight year. But until the rebound and assists go, he remains a good play in category-based leagues and most Head-to-Head leagues. Just keep an eye on those peripheral stats ... Trevor Ariza is showing early on for the Rockets that he can be more than just a defensive presence. He scored 25 points with four threes in the second game of the season against Golden State. There's a breakout preseason breakout candidate, folks ... O.J. Mayo stumbled out of the gates for the Grizzlies and that's before Allen Iverson joins him, and before Rudy Gay and Zach Randolph get in the offensive mix. Is it time to panic? Of course not. Plus, you'll want to have him active in all leagues for matchups against Sacramento, Golden State and the Clippers in Week 2 ... Hornets F Peja Stojakovic could take a while to get used to his new role off the bench. He is a rhythm shooter and it's going to be hard for him to find a rhythm ... Spurs F DeJuan Blair will get a lot of attention off the waiver wire after his strong preseason and great start, but as long as Tim Duncan is around, the results could be sporadic. He may be a lot like Paul Millsap in Utah in his first two years. If you find somebody that is willing to overpay for him, go ahead and do it -- unless you are in a keeper league.
Injury report: Mavericks swingman Josh Howard could miss weeks, according to the team. Fantasy owners should not expect him back in Week 2 at this point. That's good news for Jason Terry, who remains a strong start for now. That could change once the Mavs have Dirk Nowitzki, Shawn Marion and Howard all healthy.
Favorable matchup: Memphis Grizzlies (@SAC, @GS, @LAL, @LAC) Three games that include matchups against two of the worst defensive teams in the league in Sacramento and Golden State. The Clippers also allowed over 100 points per game last season. This is a good week to activate Marc Gasol in any league and Mike Conley Jr. in larger formats.
Unfavorable matchup: San Antonio Spurs (@UTA, @POR) The Spurs are the only team in the NBA with just two games this week, making them unappealing in cumulative format leagues, but the Blazers were a top-five defensive team last season and the Spurs catch them on the back end of a back-to-back set. Sit anyone not named Duncan or Parker this week in cumulative leagues.
Nuggets F Carmelo Anthony has carried over his strong preseason into the regular season and is looking like a bargain with an average draft position of 16th overall ... Nuggets F Kenyon Martin looks healthy and hungry for production early on in the season. Take advantage of that while it lasts. Consider him an excellent sell-high candidate ... The Nuggets seem to be looking to fill the J.R. Smith void through his seven-game suspension by using Chauncey Billups off the ball more than usual, allowing rookie Ty Lawson at the point. Again, Lawson may be another sell-high candidate as his role stands to change once Smith returns, but hang on to him in any keeper league. He is certainly worth starting for Week 2 ... The Timberwolves are not using Ramon Sessions as much as Fantasy owners would have hoped for coming into the season. Reserve him, yes, but don't cut him just yet. Once the team figures out how to use him, he could be just as productive as he was in Milwaukee when given playing time ... With Nicolas Batum injured, it opens up more minutes for Travis Outlaw who got off to a strong start this season. Give him a look off the waiver wire ... Everyone has been sleeping on Nenad Krstic, but Krstic could be a bigger part of the team's low-post plans than we had originally intended. Even if he's not as good as his opening line, he is center-eligible and certainly worth a gamble ... The Jazz are getting a blast from the past from Andrei Kirilenko early. His Fantasy value has diminished the last two seasons because of the way he has been used, not because of a decline in ability. If the Jazz use him like this going forward, he could return to being a huge asset in category-based play.
Injury report: Timberwolves F Kevin Love (hand) remains sidelined and will be out until at least December. His absence should allow for more production out of Ryan Gomes early on this season, but also indirectly for Corey Brewer.
Favorable matchup: Utah Jazz (HOU, @DAL, SA, SAC) The Jazz will have four games this week, including a very favorable matchup against a weak Kings team and another against the undermanned Rockets. It's a good week to ride the hot hand with Kirilenko, but could also be a good week to take a chance on Paul Millsap. The Rockets are severely thin up front.
Unfavorable matchup: Portland Trail Blazers (ATL, SA, MIN) The Blazers play just three games this week and two come against strong defensive teams against the Hawks and Spurs. It should be a tough week for Greg Oden, who will go up against the likes of Al Horford, Al Jefferson and will have to battle in the paint against Tim Duncan.
The Warriors are bringing Anthony Randolph along slowly as he recovers from a bad back and knee, but he is still expected to join the starting lineup at some point. Fantasy owners should stay patient with him as he is still a sleeper for big numbers once he gets more involved in the rotation ... Baron Davis has gotten off to a slow start, but the assists have been there. The points will come, as long as Davis remains healthy. Stay patient ... Ron Artest has not gotten off to a strong start, as expected, with the Lakers. However, he has focused much more on his rebounding and defensive duties, which could actually increase his already strong peripheral stats ... Suns G Jason Richardson will be ready to be activated for Week 2 following his two-game suspension that he served in Week 1.
Injury report: Clippers F Blake Griffin (knee) will be out until at least December. That creates a situation where Marcus Camby and Chris Kaman can retain the same roles they had last season. As long as both players remain healthy, they should be viewed as must-starts. They can also be considered as sell-high candidates as their touches could take a hit once Griffin returns. Entertain the notion of trading them for good value the closer Griffin's return gets ... Lakers F Pau Gasol (hamstring) is going to take his time to return and won't do so until he and the team feel he is 100 percent in order to avoid a lingering problem. The Lakers can afford to take their time with him. He could be back for the Lakers next game just as easily as he could miss another week. Monitor his progress closely. His return also could impact the value of players like Lamar Odom and Andrew Bynum.
Favorable matchup: Golden State Warriors (MEM, LAC, @SAC) The Warriors, one of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA in recent years, face three opponents this week that are not strong defensively. That should add up to strong production all around, including for rookie Stephen Curry and fringe players like Kelenna Azubuike.
Unfavorable matchup: Phoenix Suns (@MIA, @ORL, @BOS, @WAS) The Suns will have four games, yes, but Fantasy owners -- especially those in average-based play -- should realize the Suns will face two teams that allowed under 95 points per game last season and three teams that allowed under 100 points per game. The fourth team, Washington, look to be playing strong defense under Flip Saunders early this season.
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