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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
Magic center DeWayne Dedmon in the starting lineup Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:28 pm ET) Magic center DeWayne Dedmon will return to the starting lineup Wednesday after missing four of the team's last five games with a sprained ankle, the team announced.

Dedmon, who is averaging 3.5 points and 4.7 rebounds per game, played one game before being held out again with the ankle injury. 

The Magic are currently 10 1/2-point underdogs.


Wizards forward Kris Humphries will return to the floor Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:25 pm ET) Wizards forward Kris Humphries will return to the court Wednesday after missing 16 straight games with a groin injury, reports CSNWashington.

Humphries is averaging 8.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game and is expected to come off the bench.

The Wizards are currently 10 1/2-point favorites.


Celtics forward Kelly Olynyk doubtful for Wednesday with eyelid injury
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:18 pm ET) Celtics power forward Kelly Olynyk is listed as doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Pacers with an eyelid laceration, reports the Boston Globe.

Olynyk, who is averaging 10.2 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, hasn't missed a game since coming back from an ankle injury last month. 

The Celtics are currently 4-point favorites.


Knicks' Jose Calderon out, Travis Wear doubtful for Wednesday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5:10 pm ET) Knicks guard Jose Calderon (Achilles) will not play in Wednesday's game against the Nets while forward Travis Wear (back) is considered doubtful, according to the team's injury report.

Calderon has missed the last 18 games for New York with the injury and the team is still considering shutting him down for the year. Wear has missed the last four games with the injury and is averaging 3.9 points and 2.1 rebounds per game.


Heat guard Shabazz Napier (sports hernia) ruled out for season
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:31 pm ET) Heat guard Shabazz Napier underwent surgery Wednesday to repair a sports hernia and he will miss the rest of the regular season, the team announced.

Napier has missed the last three games with what was believed to be a hip injury. In 51 games during his rookie season, Napier averaged 5.1 points and 2.5 assists.


Suns guard Brandon Knight (heel) is doubtful to play Thursday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:16 pm ET) Suns guard Brandon Knight is dealing with a heel injury and is doubtful to play in Thursday's game at Golden State, reports The Arizona Republic.

Knight had missed eight games due to an ankle injury, but when he returned Sunday, he aggravated a heel injury in his left foot.


Suns center Alex Len to miss one week with broken nose
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4:10 pm ET) Suns center Alex Len suffered a broken nose during Monday's game and he will be out for a week, reports The Arizona Republic.

Len sustained the injury after taking a hit to his face by Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman. Len will have surgery to repair the fracture Thursday and he will wear a mask when he returns.

"It was so fast that I don't even know what happened," Len said. "I just got hit. I ran back on offense. I think he (Kaman) felt it so he asked me, 'You all right?' As soon as I said, 'I'm fine,' I looked back and blood starting dripping."

Forward Marcus Morris will likely receive more playing time while Len is out. 


Heat considers Udonis Haslem (flu) questionable for Thursday's game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3:56 pm ET) Heat forward Udonis Haslem was able to accompany the team on its three-game road trip and he is questionable for Thursday's game at Cleveland, the team announced.

Haslem is dealing with the flu, which caused him to miss Tuesday's contest.


Cavaliers' Kevin Love, Iman Sumpert able to practice Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:38 pm ET) After experiencing back pain which caused him to leave Sunday's contest, Cavaliers forward Kevin Love said his back is feeling good, reports the Associated Press.

With the Cavaliers having three days in between games, Love said the last two days off allowed him to rest and he was able to practice Wednesday, reports Cleveland.com. Despite feeling better, Love is considered a game-time decision for Thursday's game against the Heat, reports The News-Herald.

In addition to Love, guard Iman Shumpert was also able to practice Wednesday and coach David Blatt said Shumpert will be available to play Thursday. Shumpert is dealing with an ankle injury, which he suffered during Sunday's game. 


Lakers clear Jeremy Lin (illness) to play Wednesday
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(2:30 pm ET) Lakers guard Jeremy Lin will start Wednesday's game against the Pelicans, the team announced.

Lin has missed the last two games with upper respiratory infection. In 70 games, Lin is averaging 11.4 points and 4.7 assists.

The Lakers are 8-point underdogs.


 
 
 
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