Week 3 (Nov. 9-15)
Teams playing four games: Dallas, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Clippers, Minnesota, New Orleans, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Toronto, Utah
Teams playing three games: Atlanta, Boston, Bobcats, Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Detroit, L.A. Lakers, Memphis, Miami, New Jersey, New York, Orlando, San Antonio
Teams playing two games: Indiana, Milwaukee, Sacramento, Washington
The Celtics will play three games this week against teams allowing an average of 103.9 points per game. It could be a strong week for Rasheed Wallace from beyond the arc and even Kendrick Perkins could be considered a viable No. 2 center this week ... With so many injuries for the Nets heading into Week 3, expect Courtney Lee and Rafer Alston to step up, almost by default ... The Knicks will play what could be one of the highest-scoring games of the season on Friday against the Warriors in a matchup of two teams that allow over 110 points per game. So while the Knicks play just three games this week, perhaps you should consider it more like three and a half. Their other two opponents, Utah and Atlanta, have allowed over 102 points per game this season ... 76ers F Marreese Speights' first four games this season have alternated between big games and mediocre performances. Expect his inconsistent ways to continue while getting his 23 minutes per game off the bench ... Raptors G Jose Calderon has been a letdown early on. He averaged just 5.3 assists through his first four games, way down from the eight dimes he has averaged the last two seasons. Be patient, but it's time to at least consider benching him in average-based leagues this week. The Raptors play four games, so stick it out with him in cumulative leagues.
Injury report: The Nets are dealing with injuries to Devin Harris (groin) and Yi Jianlian (knee), and Chris Douglas-Roberts is dealing with the flu. Harris says he'll be out at least another couple of weeks and Yi will be out around the same time. CDR should return over the weekend. Rafer Alston will be a factor while Harris is out ... Knicks G Nate Robinson (ankle) could return late in Week 3, but Fantasy owners should keep him reserved. Larry Hughes has seen the biggest boost in his absence.
Favorable matchup: New York Knicks (UTA, ATL, GS): Just three games, but the average points allowed among their opponents is 106.5 points per game. Start Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Chris Duhon and Larry Hughes in average-based play. You can start Chandler, Gallinari and Duhon in cumulative leagues.
Unfavorable matchup: New Jersey Nets (PHI, @ORL, @MIA): The Nets, amid their struggles, will play just a three-game slate that includes two opponents who allow under 100 points per game. The Heat have allowed just 91.2 points per game. Alston could be a sleeper, but leave him for deeper leagues this week.
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Bulls F Taj Gibson has been getting starts at power forward, but that's been due mostly to Tyrus Thomas dealing with an illness. Gibson had 11 points and 7 boards Thursday night, but be careful as it could be a mirage ... Anthony Parker made at least one three pointer in each of his first five games with the Cavaliers. He shot 10 of 19 from beyond the arc in those games and appears to be a cheap source for threes and steals ... Pistons G Ben Gordon scored at least 22 points in each of his first five games with his new team ... Ben Wallace has been surprisingly productive early on, averaging 10.0 rebounds, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals through five games ... Pacers F Danny Granger is struggling from the foul line early on, shooting just 68.8 percent. He is a career 83.8 percent shooter from the line and should recover ... Pacers C Roy Hibbert averaged a double-double with 2.3 blocks per game through his first four games ... Bucks F Hakim Warrick netted a double-double in his first start with Milwaukee this week on Tuesday at Chicago. He had 10 points and 11 rebounds and is off to a strong start.
Injury report: The Pistons are dealing with injuries to two of their longest tenured players. Tayshaun Prince (back) has been a lock for 82 games each of the last two years, but is dealing with an injury that could linger. Monitor his progress over the weekend and leading up to roster deadlines as he will be re-evaluated over the weekend. Richard Hamilton (ankle) is day to day, but could miss several games with an injury that is taking a while to heal. Both are big question marks for Week 3 and Fantasy owners should plan to go without them ... Pacers F Troy Murphy has a bruised lower back that could keep him out another few games, but the Pacers will not play until Wednesday night following their game Friday, giving him time to recover ... Bucks G Michael Redd (knee) will not be ready to play in Week 3 for Fantasy owners. Charlie Bell could enjoy a solid week in his absence.
Favorable matchup: Chicago Bulls (DEN, @TOR, PHI): The Bulls will play three teams that are struggling mightily to keep opponents from scoring. Their opponents in Week 3 have allowed an average of 106.3 points per game. If you are in an average-based league, the Bucks should have a strong week as they play just two games against the likes of the Nuggets and Warrriors.
Unfavorable matchup: Indiana Pacers (GS, BOS): The Pacers will play just two games this week. One comes against the best defensive team in the NBA as the Celtics are allowing 81.5 points per game. The other comes against one of the worst defensive teams in the league with the Warriors allowing 112.0 points per game.
|1.||Larry Hughes, G, Knicks||35|
|2.||Channing Frye, F, Suns||33|
|3.||Brandon Jennings, G, Bucks||30|
|4.||Danilo Gallinari, F, Knicks||30|
|5.||Grant Hill, G, Suns||27|
|6.||J.J. Redick, G, Magic||24|
|7.||Chris Douglas-Roberts, G, Nets||23|
|8.||Erick Dampier, C, Mavericks||23|
|9.||Marreese Speights, F, 76ers||19|
|10.||Andray Blatche, F, Wizards||16|
Hawks G Jamal Crawford has settled into his new role off the bench, averaging 21.5 points in the four games following his 3-point clunker in the season opener. Mike Bibby's numbers, meanwhile, have been very inconsistent early ... There are reports out of Charlotte that Boris Diaw's conditioning has been called into question by coach Larry Brown, perhaps a reason for his slow start ... After a very strong start, Heat C Jermaine O'Neal has cooled off significantly. He had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his first two games, but has failed to reach double figures in rebounding since and scored over 10 points just once in his next three games ... Heat F Michael Beasley is getting the starts at power forward, but it's Udonis Haslem who has been getting more minutes and is on the floor in crunch-time situations. Haslem is getting over 30 minutes off the bench ... Magic F Ryan Anderson has been a pleasant surprise early on, averaging 15.8 points and 5.6 rebounds through his first five games as a starter. This could be the final week of productivity for him, though, as Rashard Lewis will return from his suspension on Nov. 16.
Injury report: Heat G Daequan Cook (shoulder) is recovering slowly and could miss another couple of games. Monitor his progress over the weekend, but he would not be worth taking an injury-risk gamble on ... Magic G Vince Carter tried to play through a sprained ankle this week, but suffered a setback. He may miss time into this weekend and will likely be an injury risk again for Week 3. Monitor his progress ... Wizards F Antawn Jamison could begin to practice soon, but is not going to be ready for use in Week 3 ... Wizards F Mike Miller (shoulder) should miss at least one of the team's two games in Week 3 and has to be reserved in all leagues.
Favorable matchup: Atlanta Hawks (@NY, @BOS, NO): No real favorable matchups this week in the Southeast Division, but a game against the Knicks stands out for a Hawks team that is already putting up 108.0 points per game.
Unfavorable matchup: Washington Wizards (@MIA, DET): Just two games this week and both will come against strong defensive opponents. Play it safe with your Wizards this week. Even Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler are questionable in cumulative formats.
|1.||Corey Brewer, F, Timberwolves||36|
|2.||Stephen Curry, G, Warriors||56|
|3.||Corey Maggettte, F, Warriors||27|
|4.||Oleksiy Pecherov, Timberwolves||4|
|5.||Peja Stojakovic, F, Hornets||17|
|6.||Erick Dampier, C, Mavericks||14|
|7.||Kelenna Azubuike, F, Warriors||17|
|8.||Carl Landry, F, Rockets||7|
|9.||Anthony Randolph, F, Warriors||30|
|10.||Ramon Sessions, G, Timberwolves||21|
Mavericks C Erick Dampier has been very strong on the boards, bringing down at least 10 in four straight games. He has a 2.8 blocks per game average and is actually chipping in offensively as well ... Rockets F Carl Landry has been productive off the bench, averaging 13.0 points and 5.6 rebounds through five games. He has been the team's best offensive presence off the pine ... In Memphis, Allen Iverson's return has begun to shake things up. Iverson had 18 points and 7 assists in his second game back and he took a chunk out of the production of both Mike Conley, Jr. and O.J. Mayo. Continue to keep close tabs on this rotation of guards ... Hornets C Emeka Okafor likes playing with new point guard Chris Paul, picking up double-doubles in four of his first five games. He is shooting 56.9 percent from the field thanks to all the good looks he's getting from Paul ... Spurs G Manu Ginobili had to undergo a rabies vaccination after his much-heralded run-in with a bat on Halloween night. He will have to undergo several more shots down the line, but it has not had any side effects since the incident.
Injury report: Mavericks F Josh Howard (ankle) remains out indefinitely, though he has been able to take part in some team activities this week. Until you see him back on the floor producing solid stat lines, don't activate him. He'll be risky at best for Week 3.
Favorable matchup: New Orleans Hornets (@LAC, @PHO, POR, @ATL): The Hornets have three games against teams that allow 100-plus points per game. It's a good week to plug Peja Stojakovic in.
Unfavorable matchup: San Antonio Spurs (TOR, DAL, OKC): Two of the Spurs' three games this week come against teams that allow under 95 points per game. The Thunder have been surprisingly tough defensively, allowing just 89.0 points per game.
J.R. Smith returns from his seven-game suspension on Nov. 10 for the Nuggets and will be ready to be activated in Fantasy for Week 3. His return could cut into the role that has led to Tyreke Evans' strong start ... Timberwolves G Corey Brewer is becoming a stronger offensive presence with each passing game. He saw at least 14 shots in the offense in four of his first five games this season. Meanwhile, Ramon Sessions has been an afterthought, getting double-digit shot attempts just once and playing a limited bench role ... Andre Miller continues to come off the bench in Portland and his numbers continue to struggle. He did have 11 assists on Nov. 3 against Atlanta, but shot 1 for 6 from the field in that game and averaged just 8.2 points and 5.0 assists in his first five games. He's living up to his preseason billing as a possible Fantasy bust this year ... Etan Thomas is showing some signs of usefulness in Oklahoma City, putting together a couple of good performances together on the glass with 20 boards in back-to-back games against the Blazers and Lakers despite coming off the bench. He and Nenad Krstic could be splitting a lot of the minutes at center ... Jazz F Paul Millsap posted three mediocre stat lines following his 23-point, 9-rebound game against the Clippers on Nov. 30 as Carlos Boozer begins to heat up.
Injury report: Timberwolves F/C Kevin Love (hand) is still at least another week and a half from returning. Ryan Gomes and Oleksiy Pecherov should continue their current run of relevance in the meantime.
Favorable matchup: Minnesota Timberwolves (@GS, POR, DAL, @MEM): The Timberwolves get to face two of the three worst defensive teams in the NBA in Week 3. The Warriors have allowed the third most points in the NBA per game while the Grizzlies have allowed the most at a 115.2 point clip. This could be the week Sessions finally gets going and he's worth a low-risk gamble in deeper leagues. Start Brewer, Pecherov and Gomes.
Unfavorable matchup: Denver Nuggets (@CHI, @MIL, LAL): The Nuggets play just three games this week and all three come against opponents who are allowing under 100 points per game. The Bulls are allowing under 95 points per game and the Bucks are allowing under 90 points.
As anticipated going into the season, Warriors F Anthony Randolph has been very erratic out of the gaten as his minutes have been up-and-down ... Clippers G Baron Davis has struggled with his shot early on, shooting just 18 of 54 (33.3 percent) from the field in five games. His assists and steals are worth keeping him active ... Suns F Grant Hill hit his first speed bump of the season Wednesday, going 0 for 5 from the field with no points and just 3 rebounds. He had been a monster in his first four games and this was a bit of a market correction ... Suns C Channing Frye hit the skids this past week after a strong start, but that has more to do with the caliber of opponents he faced as he went up against the Heat and Magic on the road. Don't jump ship on him ... Kings F Andres Nocioni was arrested on suspicion of DUI the night after he was plugged into the starting lineup. Punishment from the league or the Kings does not appear to be coming and he should be a safe play for now ... Kings C Spencer Hawes put up a clunker after finally getting his first start of the season this week, but he should get back on track and we expect him to put this early-season mess behind him.
Injury report: Warriors C Andris Biedrins (back) is considered day to day, but the injury does not appear to be serious. Monitor his progress over the course of the weekend ... The Lakers and F/C Pau Gasol (hamstring) continue to take a very cautious approach to his recovery, but it's remotely possible he could play Sunday against New Orleans. He'll give Fantasy owners a very tough decision if he doesn't play Sunday, but we'd recommend playing it safe where possible. He will not play in a game until the team is sure he is 100 percent and there is no chance of a setback ... Lakers C Andrew Bynum (elbow) could also be a question mark for Week 3 if he does not return by Sunday's game. He was in a lot of pain following Wednesday's game and this could be an injury that keeps him out a few games ... Suns G Leandro Barbosa (wrist) is considered day to day. He is dealing with swelling in the wrist and could play once that subsides ... Kings G Kevin Martin will likely once again miss extended time due to an injury. He will decide on whether or not to play through the injury in the next couple of days, but would miss 6-8 weeks if he decides not to. This could mean a big boost for Tyreke Evans.
Favorable matchup: Golden State Warriors (MIN, @IND, @NY, @MIL): One of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA goes against three teams that regularly allow over 100 points per game. The game against the Knicks should be a barn-burner. Shots will be flying all over the place this week. It's a good week to take a chance on your fringe Warriors: Stephen Curry, Corey Maggette, Kelenna Azubuike and even Anthony Randolph.
Unfavorable matchup: Sacramento Kings (OKC, HOU): The Kings will play just two games this week, including one tilt against a Thunder team that is allowing under 90 points per game.
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