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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
Sixers sign rookie Jahlil Okafor
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(7:18 pm ET) The 76ers signed first-round pick Jahlil Okafor on Tuesday, the team announced.

Okafor, 19, was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. He averaged 17.3 points and 8.5 rebounds in his lone college season.


Bulls sign first-round pick Bobby Portis
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(6:35 pm ET) The Bulls agreed to terms with forward Bobby Portis on Tuesday, the team announced. Portis was the No. 22 overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft.

Report: Wizards, G Alan Anderson agree to $4 million deal
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5:33 pm ET) The Wizards have agreed to a one-year, $4 million deal with guard Alan Anderson, a source told Yahoo Sports. Anderson underwent ankle surgery in May, but he is expected to be ready in time for the start of the 2015-16 season.

Last season with the Nets, Anderson averaged 7.4 points-per-game. He also scored 11 points-per-game and shot 25-of-41 from the field during the first round of the Eastern Conference Finals. 


Report: PF Jason Smith hooks up with Magic
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:29 pm ET) Free agent power forward Jason Smith has signed a one-year contract for $4.5 million with the Magic, sources have told ESPN.

Smith played more significant minutes down the stretch for the Knicks last season. He played in every game for the first time in his career and averaged 8.0 points and 4.0 rebounds while shooting 43.4 percent from the floor.


Clippers SG J.J. Redick gives team an 'F' so far in offseason
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:41 pm ET) The general belief that an athlete shouldn't be severely critical of his front office was certainly not embraced by J.J. Redick on Tuesday.

But then, he was simply speaking his mind when asked about what offseason grade he would give the Clippers after they lost premier center DeAndre Jordan to free agency.

"Listen, we had one priority this summer, and that was to re-sign D.J. and we missed out on that," he told Bleacher Report Radio. "So barring some miracle, [the] makeup of our team is completely different now."

Redick went on to detail what Jordan meant to the team both offesnsively and defensively. "Missing out and having him leave for Dallas gives us a failing grade," he added.


Free agent SF Wesley Johnson signs with Clippers
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:21 pm ET) The Clippers have signed free agent small forward Wesley Johnson, the Orange County Register has confirmed.

His contract is for one year at the veteran's minimum, per the Los Angeles Daily News.

Johnson in the process leaves the cross-town Lakers, with whom he averaged a career-best 9.9 points in 30 minutes per game last year while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor.


Celtics send Gerald Wallace to Warriors for David Lee
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:56 pm ET) The Celtics have agreed to send small forward Gerald Wallace to the Warriors for power forward David Lee.

There will be no picks or cash involved in the deal, per CBSSports.com NBA Insider Ken Berger, who has reported that it's a straight-up deal.

The 33-year-old Wallace bottomed out last year, scoring just 1.1 points in nine minutes per game.

Lee came off the bench to spark the Warriors in the NBA finals against Cleveland, but his 7.9 scoring average in the regular season was his lowest since his rookie year of 2005-06. He did average 5.2 rebounds in 18 minutes per game.


Report: PF Charlie Villanueva set to return to Mavericks
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:44 pm ET) Power forward Charlie Villanueva declared in May that he hoped to return to the Mavericks. His wish has come true, according to ESPN, which is reporting that he will sign a new deal with the team this week.

Villanueva contributed 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds in under 11 minutes per game for Dallas last season.


Report: G Aaron Brooks signs on to stay with Bulls
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:40 pm ET) Guard Aaron Brooks has signed a one-year deal to return to the Bulls, sources have told ESPN.

The 30-year-old Brooks averaged 11.6 points and 3.2 assists in 23 minutes per game for Chicago last year while shooting 42 percent from the floor.


Report: Rockets to sign first-rounder Sam Dekker on Tuesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(2:12 pm ET) Rockets top pick and former Wisconsin standout Sam Dekker is expected to sign his rookie contract Tuesday, per ESPN.

The four-year deal is reported to be worth $8 million.


 
 
 
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