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Courtside Seat: Can Bargnani still help you?

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We're always concerned with a player of two whenever we set our lineup each week. You know it's easy to start LeBron James, Kevin Love and Deron Williams, but what about those second- and third-tier options? What about guys coming back from injuries?

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The Fantasy playoffs are here in some leagues, and making the wrong decision with your lineup could ruin your season. With that in mind, we've identified 10 players who could make the difference between a Fantasy title and a first-round exit.

The hope is all of these players can be relied upon if you start them, but there is no guarantee they will perform at a high enough level to make your Fantasy roster successful.

Andrea Bargnani, center, Raptors
Key stats for the past five days: 16.0 points, 5.4 rebounds, four 3-pointers
Start percentage Week 14: 73 percent
Bargnani has played 12 games since being out for the previous 20 with a calf injury, and he is starting to come around. He had 26 points against Denver on Wednesday, which was highest total since his return, and he has at least 17 points in three of his past four outings. He needs to rebound better even though that's not his strong suit, but he should be serviceable as a No. 2 Fantasy center now that he's back at 100 percent.

DeJuan Blair, center, Spurs
Key stats for the past five days: 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals
Start percentage Week 14: 22 percent
Blair is a risky starting option in the majority of leagues because you never know when Spurs coach Gregg Popovich is going to let Tim Duncan play 30-plus minutes, something that has happened just four times in his past seven games. When Duncan is rested, Blair has the chance to shine. Now, the good thing with Blair is the Spurs will likely rest Duncan as the NBA playoffs approach, but since nothing is guaranteed, that's a gamble for Fantasy owners.

Gordon Hayward, small forward, Jazz
Key stats for the past five days: 15.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists
Start percentage Week 14: 33 percent
Hayward is finally starting to look like a solid Fantasy option with his recent production. He has at least 18 points and seven rebounds in three of his past five games, and he has at least five assists in four of his past five outings. The Jazz are counting on Hayward with an average of 38 minutes per game of late, and he is rewarding Fantasy owners. He has the chance to be a quality option in the playoffs as a No. 3 forward or guard depending on his eligibility.

Antawn Jamison, small forward, Cavaliers
Key stats for the past five days: 14.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, five 3-pointers
Start percentage Week 14: 87 percent
Jamison is in a mini-funk since he has no double-doubles or 20-point games in his past four outings. We were concerned about Jamison earlier in the year and considered him a sell-high candidate, and hopefully those of you who stuck with him can still get quality production. He won't completely disappear, but you have to hope he can turn things around as the season comes to a close, especially with the Cavs falling out of playoff contention.

Chandler Parsons, small forward, Rockets
Key stats for the past five days: 15.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, 10 3-pointers
Start percentage Week 14: 26 percent
Parsons has continued to improve all season, and he has become one of the best rookie options this year. He has benefited with Kevin Martin (shoulder) out, and he has two double-doubles in his past four outings. The Rockets are giving Parsons plenty of playing time since he is averaging over 40 minutes a game, and he is rewarding Fantasy owners. He should remain active in all leagues as long as he continues to get this much playing time.

Luke Ridnour, point guard, Timberwolves
Key stats for the past five days: 13.2 points, 6.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds
Start percentage Week 14: 67 percent
Ridnour's Fantasy value is tied to Jose Juan Barea. With Barea (thigh) out, Ridnour has done an excellent job as the starter in Minnesota. He had a double-double at Charlotte on Wednesday, and he has scored in double figures in three of his past four games. But when Barea is healthy, Ridnour tends to disappear. Both point guards are trying to replace the injured Ricky Rubio (torn ACL), but Ridnour should only start for Fantasy owners in all leagues if Barea remains out.

Zach Randolph, power forward, Grizzlies
Key stats for the past five days: 11.4 points, 7.6 assists, 1.2 steals
Start percentage Week 14: 66 percent
Randolph has struggled since his return from a torn MCL, and he is still finding his rhythm. He has just one double-double in his past seven games and one game with more than 15 points. He should come around soon, and Fantasy owners should keep him active in the postseason. Once he gets close to 100 percent he is going to start playing at a high level, and we're confident he can get there prior to the end of the season.

Ramon Sessions, point guard, Lakers
Key stats for the past five days: 15.2 points, 6.6 assists, 4.0 rebounds
Start percentage Week 14: 61 percent
Sessions has fit in well with the Lakers. He has four games with double digits in scoring in his past five outings and one double-double over that span. He is averaging 32 minutes per game, and the Lakers needed the type of boost he can provide. Fantasy owners who held onto him are likely reaping the benefits as well, and he should be a starter in most formats for the postseason. He is a good source of points, assists and 3-pointers and should close the season playing well.

Klay Thompson, shooting guard, Warriors
Key stats for the past five days: 18.0 points, 3.4 assists, eight 3-pointers
Start percentage Week 14: 68 percent
Thompson has taken over with Monta Ellis traded to Milwaukee and Stephen Curry (ankle) out. There is a chance Curry could return for the end of the season, but Thompson owners shouldn't panic. He should continue to play at a high level, and he has been able to score at a high level for the Warriors. He is also a good source of 3-pointers, and his value would rise if he could rebound and pass at a higher level. As long as Curry doesn't come back in full force, Thompson should be fine.

Evan Turner, shooting guard, 76ers
Key stats for the past five days: 7.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists
Start percentage Week 14: 42 percent
Turner looked like he was headed toward a strong finish, but he has tailed off dramatically of late. Even with Andre Iguodala (knee) banged up, Turner has failed to step up, which would be huge for the 76ers and Fantasy owners. This is one player to shy away from for sure during the Fantasy playoffs based on his inconsistent production. Jrue Holiday, who has been inconsistent himself, looks like a much safer option than Turner to close the season.

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. It's our CBSSports.com potpourri look at Fantasy Basketball.

Knick knacks

The Knicks are fighting for their playoff lives, and they are most likely going to do it without Amar'e Stoudemire (back), who is hopeful to return before the end of the regular season. Jeremy Lin (knee) has also missed the past two games, and that has allowed some of the Knicks reserves to step up, which is a benefit for Fantasy owners.

Here is a look at five players who could be worth a look for Fantasy owners to help Carmelo Anthony (he's obviously a no-brainer) and Tyson Chandler down the stretch.

Landry Fields, shooting guard
Ownership percentage: 52 percent

Baron Davis, point guard
Ownership percentage: 51 percent

J.R. Smith, shooting guard
Ownership percentage: 36 percent

Iman Shumpert, point guard
Ownership percentage: 33 percent

Steve Novak, small forward
Ownership percentage: 16 percent

If you were ranking these players to add with the injuries to Stoudemire and Lin, they would be in this order: Davis, Shumpert, Smith, Novak and Fields. Davis has stepped up with Lin out, and he is a great short-term investment. The same goes for Shumpert, who had 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists in a blowout victory against Orlando on Wednesday. Novak is a great source of 3-pointers, and he is going to see plenty of playing time, which was his biggest issue earlier in the year. And Smith should be able to help the Knicks with their bench production as a good scorer in reserve. Fields is a good player for the Knicks, but his Fantasy value is limited when he's not scoring at a high level.

Free agent watch

Here are five guys I am looking at in my leagues:

Mike Dunleavy, shooting guard, Bucks
Owned: 52 percent of leagues

Kawhi Leonard, small forward, Spurs
Owned: 38 percent of leagues

J.J. Hickson, power forward, Trail Blazers
Owned: 34 percent of leagues

Carl Landry, power forward, Hornets
Owned: 34 percent of leagues

Gary Forbes, small forward, Raptors
Owned: 4 percent of leagues

Dunleavy has quietly been a solid Fantasy option since the All-Star break. He is averaging 14.6 points and 3.4 rebounds in his past five games with 13 3-pointers over that span. Leonard is benefiting with the Spurs resting players, and he has four games with double digits in scoring in his past five games. Hickson has done a nice job since signing with the Trail Blazers last week, and Landry has stepped up with the Hornets dealing with injuries in their frontcourt. Forbes has taken advantage of injuries to DeMar DeRozan (ankle) and Jerryd Bayless (oblique) in Toronto, and he could be someone to target in deeper leagues.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyNews . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Warriors C Ognjen Kuzmic assigned to NBA D-League
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:47 pm ET) Warriors center Ognjen Kuzmic was assigned to NBA D-League affiliate Santa Cruz on Sunday, according to the Bay Area News Group. 

In 16 games, Kuzmic has averaged 1.2 points and 1.1 rebounds. 


Hawks F Al Horford suffers dislocated pinky
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:45 pm ET) Hawks forward Al Horford sustained a dislocated right pinky in Sunday's playoff-opener against the Nets, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Horford sustained the injury in the second half. X-rays came back negative for a fracture and he had his fingers taped. He was able to re-enter the game. 


Rockets' K.J. McDaniels suffers elbow fracture
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(7:06 pm ET) Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels has been diagnosed with a non-displaced right elbow fracture, according to ESPN. 

McDaniels sustained the injury last week and the injury has the potential of keeping him out of the entire postseason. In 62 games, McDaniels averaged 7.9 points and 3.2 rebounds.


Blazers G Arron Afflalo (shoulder) out against Grizzlies
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:53 pm ET) Trail Blazers guard Arron Afflalo will not play against the Grizzlies in Sunday's playoff-opener, according to the team's website. 

Afflalo was able to go through pre-game warmups at full speed but unable to go due to a shoulder injury. This was expected as he was doubtful heading into the game. Afflalo missed the last three games of the regular season with the injury. 

The Trail Blazers are 5 1/2-point underdogs against the Grizzlies. 


Warriors F Draymond Green limited in practice Sunday
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:40 pm ET) Warriors forward Draymond Green, who rolled his ankle in Game 1 against the Pelicans, was limited in practice on Sunday, according to the San Jose Mercury News

However, the practice load wasn't heavy so the limited status may not mean much. Coach Steve Kerr said Green's injury wasn't a big concern. Despite the ankle tweak, Green played 42 minutes on Saturday and posted 15 points and 12 rebounds. 


Celtics' Isaiah Thomas doubles up in playoff loss to Cavs
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:26 pm ET) Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas scored a team-high 22 points in Sunday's 113-100 loss to the Cavaliers in Game 1 of the NBA playoffs. 

Thomas scored his 22 on 6 of 14 from the field, which included making 2 of 5 from three. He made all eight of his free-throw attempts. Thomas also recorded 10 assists and brought down five rebounds. 

Thomas played 32 minutes in a role off the bench. He also had one steal and committed five turnovers. 


Cavs F LeBron James scores 20 in playoff win
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:23 pm ET) Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 20 points on 8 of 18 shooting in Sunday's 113-100 Game 1 win over the Celtics. 

James also dished out seven assists and brought down six rebounds in 42 minutes of playing time. James also went 1 for 3 from the free-throw line. 

He also posted two steals, one block and committed five turnovers. 


Cavs G Kyrie Irving scored 30 in win over Celtics
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(6:11 pm ET) Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving dropped 30 points in Sunday's 113-100 Game 1 win over the Celtics.

Irving went 11 of 21 from the field, which included going 5 for 9 from behind the arc. He went 3 for 5 from the free-throw line. He tallied three rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block in 41 minutes of playing time. 

This was the first postseason game Irving has participated in during his career. 


Warriors C David Lee ruled out for Monday's playoff game
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(5:51 pm ET) The Warriors announced center David Lee will not play in Monday night's Game 2 contest against the Pelicans, according to the San Francisco Chronicle

Lee has a lower back injury that sidelined him two of the past three regular-season games, as well as Game 1 of the playoffs. 


Pacers' Larry Bird wants Paul George to play some power forward
by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(4:55 pm ET) Pacers president Larry Bird is hoping Paul George can add a skill set to his overall game. 

Bird said, via the Indianapolis Star, that he wants George to learn how to play the power forward position by next season. It wouldn't be a move where George switches positions, but one where the Pacers could gain an advantage with a smaller lineup. 

"David (West) is our starter, but when we go smaller we'd like to see Paul maybe play some '4' and you know everybody says, 'You'll have a problem on the defensive end,' well, I don't think so," Bird said. "He can guard about anybody, and then on the other end, it's a major plus for us."


 
 
 
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