MIAMI -- Knicks point guard Baron Davis is not expected to play in Fantasy Week 6 with his back injury, but he could return soon. Coach Mike D'Antoni is hopeful Davis is back in Week 7, but Fantasy owners shouldn't be holding their breath since he has yet to play this year.
In the meantime, several players have emerged as legitimate Fantasy options as the Knicks sort out their backcourt. The player to benefit the most has been rookie Iman Shumpert, who got off to a hot start but has cooled off of late.
Shumpert said in an interview with CBSSports.com that he remains confident in his ability and expects to finish the season strong, including when Davis returns.
"I feel like the season has been a little fast," said Shumpert, who is averaging 10.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists. "For myself individually, I feel like I've been up and down. I have to try and stay consistent and try to keep my mindset the same every game."
Shumpert remains a key reserve for Fantasy owners, and he could emerge as a starting option in all leagues if he starts playing with more consistency, as he said. Another Knicks guard who is on the rise is Landry Fields, who is averaging 12.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his past five games. Fields has scored in double figures in seven of his past eight games and should be considered a starting Fantasy option in deeper leagues.
Toney Douglas, despite scoring 16 points at Miami on Friday, has also slowed down of late and is averaging just 8.8 points and 3.6 assists in his past five games. Still, he remains confident in his game and expects to remain a contributor once Davis starts playing.
"I just have to stay on top of everything and keep working," Douglas said. "As the season goes on I'll be fine. It's a long year."
Fantasy owners shouldn't expect much from Douglas once Davis is active, but Shumpert and Fields should be fine as part of a three-guard rotation, especially in deeper leagues. We expect Davis to have the most Fantasy value of the trio, but he has to get on the court and start playing now before it's too late.
Each week we will take a look at a variety of topics around the NBA. We will look at guys to trade, trade for, add off the waiver wire and also answer some of your social media questions, among other things.
More on the Knicks
Amar'e Stoudemire is having a down year as he tries to adjust to playing with Carmelo Anthony. He is averaging 17.6 points and 8.0 rebounds, which are his lowest stats since 2005. But Stoudemire said he's not concerned and expects to improve.
"It's just a matter of us moving the ball," Stoudemire said. "It will loosen up out there. When we move the ball, they can't guard everyone. They can key in on me, that's fine. We have four other people on the court who are deadly weapons, and we just have to exploit that."
Stoudemire is a good buy-low candidate. He still has eight double-doubles on the season in 19 games, and when the Knicks are 100 percent healthy with Davis we could see the best stretch of production from Stoudemire this year.
Gerald Henderson, SG, Bobcats
Why you should trade for him: Henderson has been slowed of late due to a lower-back injury, but he played 30 minutes Tuesday night at the Lakers and should be fine going forward. Some Fantasy owners might think the start he had this season was a fluke, but team owner Michael Jordan has invested plenty of time in making sure Henderson plays well. He should continue to thrive this year with the Bobcats in need of scoring, especially with Corey Maggette (hamstring) still out.
Jrue Holiday, PG, Sixers
Why you should trade for him: Holiday has not taken the leap in production many hoped for this season since his assists are down from last year and his scoring has only improved marginally. But even though Holiday has struggled he remains a Top 20 guard in Head-to-Head leagues and should continue to post quality production. He also has room to improve, and if you can get him for the right price from a disgruntled owner he could pay dividends to close the season.
Stephen Jackson, SG, Bucks
Why you should trade for him: There's a chance you might find Jackson on the waiver wire soon since some owners in shallow leagues could drop him. But we suggest holding on to Jackson in case he's traded or the Bucks start using him with Andrew Bogut (ankle) out. And if someone is willing to part with him for nothing then you might want to acquire him because if he's traded to a team in need of scoring he could close the season on a high note. We don't have high expectations for Jackson, but in the right scenario he could play well.
Chris Kaman, C, Hornets
Why you should trade for him: We know the Hornets plan to trade Kaman soon, and in the right scenario he could be helpful to Fantasy owners. This is, after all, a center who averaged 12.4 points and 7.0 rebounds last season with the chance to be 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds like he was in 2009. He may never reach those stats again, but he could end up as a No. 2 Fantasy center if he's traded to a team where he can get significant playing time. If you do get Kaman just be patient until he is traded, which hopefully will be soon.
Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Mavericks
Why you should trade for him: Nowitzki has struggled in the two games he played after missing four with a knee injury. He averaged 10.0 points and 8.5 rebounds over that span, which is a shell of what Nowitzki is capable of doing. There are going to be plenty of disgruntled Nowitzki owners, and we expect him to improve as the year goes on. In one mixed Rotisserie league on CBSSports.com, Nowitzki was traded for Ricky Rubio and he also was traded for Brandon Jennings in a Head-to-Head league. Those are two good trades to buy low on Nowitzki with the chance for him to play like he has historically.
Free agent watch
Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:
Anthony Morrow, SG, Nets
Owned: 60 percent of leagues
Jerryd Bayless, PG, Raptors
Owned: 46 percent of leagues
Ersan Ilyasova, PF, Bucks
Owned: 40 percent of leagues
Jason Thompson, PF, Kings
Owned: 31 percent of leagues
Trevor Booker, PF, Wizards
Owned: 18 percent of leagues
Morrow has stepped up his game since MarShon Brooks (toes) went down. He is averaging 19.0 points and 3.2 rebounds in his past five games with 11 3-pointers over that span. Brooks is out indefinitely, and Morrow's value will continue to rise, especially if he does more than just score. Bayless has done well since he moved into the starting lineup at shooting guard, and hopefully he will continue to get playing time. Ilyasova is averaging 9.4 points and 9.4 rebounds in his past five games and will be counted on to help replace Bogut. Thompson is coming off a double-double Tuesday against Golden State and has done well even with Chuck Hayes (shoulder) coming back. And Booker has scored 14 points in each of his past two games, narrowly missing a double-double Monday against Chicago, and should benefit with Andray Blatche (calf) out 3-5 weeks.
Social media corner
It depends on what you are looking for. DeRozan has more upside since the Raptors need him to succeed. Matthews is just a role player for the Trail Blazers, who have plenty of weapons. The stats are similar for both players, but I would take the upside of DeRozan, especially with his move to small forward. The only reason to keep Matthews is he is a better shooter with more made 3-pointers and better percentages from the field and foul line.