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Rotisserie specials for Week 20

by | Fantasy Writer
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Injuries continue to take a toll on Fantasy owners as more and more players start to break down near the end of the year.

However, when a player goes down with an injury, another steps up in his place, which sometimes results in a huge boost in Fantasy value. Amir Johnson is the player who we think has the chance to make one of the bigger impacts in Fantasy Week 20 (March 11-17) thanks to Andrea Bargnani going down with another injury. Bargnani sprained the same right elbow that cost him 27 games earlier in the year last Friday against the Lakers and could be out a significant amount of time once again. That means Johnson will get another chance to start at power forward for the Raptors, which should be a welcome sight for Fantasy owners.

Johnson has thrived as a starter this season, averaging 13 points and 9.4 rebounds when he is in the starting five, compared to just 8.5 points and 6.0 rebounds when he comes off the bench. That is probably why Johnson -- who is owned in 90 percent of CBSSports.com standard formats -- was only active in 64 percent of those leagues heading into the upcoming scoring period as he was moved back to the bench in favor of Bargnani just prior to Week 19 (March 4-10). However, the 25-year-old still put up 15 points, 7.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in his three games coming off the bench, so even if Bargnani miraculously is able to return sooner than anticipated, owners should still be able to get some solid performances out of Johnson this week. While Johnson certainly doesn't look to have the most favorable matchups on tap this week, he has been productive enough against all three of his upcoming opponents this season to warrant getting active.

Find a place for 'em

Kyle Korver, G, Hawks (@MIA, LAL, PHO, @BKN): Korver has been on a bit of a down trend lately as he has struggled with his shot since returning to the lineup from a toe injury. He has failed to score in double figures in each of his last three games and is averaging just 6.3 points over that span, while shooting 27 percent from downtown. However, he has played fairly well against all four of his upcoming opponents this week, which could help him get right back on track. In fact, Korver has averaged 11.5 points in his two meetings against the Heat this season while shooting a whopping 58.3 percent (7 of 12) from downtown. He also poured in 16 points in his lone meeting against the Lakers and went for 17 points, eight rebounds, two assists and two blocks against the Suns just a day earlier. Despite scoring just seven points in his last game versus the Nets, Korver is still averaging 9.7 points in his three meetings against them this season and continues to see 30-plus minutes most nights, even though he has been shuffled in and out of the starting lineup. Fantasy owners should consider getting Korver active this week. (owned in 72 percent of leagues)

Marco Belinelli, G, Bulls (@SAC, @GS): Bellinelli's first year with the Bulls has been a bit up and down, but that is the way most of the 26-year-old's seasons have gone during his career. However, the one place Belinelli has thrived has been the starting lineup. The sixth-year guard has played well when he cracks the starting five as he entered Sunday's contest against the Lakers averaging 15.3 points on 43 percent shooting as a starter compared to just 9.6 points on 37 percent as a reserve. With Richard Hamilton sidelined with back spasms, Belinelli has been seeing starts at shooting guard and has scored 20-plus points in three of his last five contests. He is averaging 20.1 points and 4.0 assists during his latest run while connecting on 63 percent of his 3-point attempts. Hamilton did not travel with the Bulls during their current three-game road trip, which means more starts for Belinelli. While the Bulls are only scheduled to play twice during Fantasy Week 20, those matchups are against the defensively challenged Warriors and Kings. Fantasy owners looking for help in the scoring and 3-point departments this week should consider taking a flier on Belinelli, despite his light schedule. (owned in 21 percent of leagues)

Tobias Harris, F, Magic (@PHI, SAC, HOU, MEM): As most owners are well aware by now, Harris has taken off since being dealt to the Magic and has been one of the most popular pickups off the waiver wire in recent weeks. While we always knew Harris had upside, his lack of playing time in Milwaukee limited his opportunities. However, that hasn't been the case in Orlando as Harris has averaged 27.8 minutes per game -- mostly in a reserve role -- during his brief time with the Magic. He has responded by averaging 15.5 points on 53 percent shooting from the field and 5.3 rebounds over his first eight games to go along with 1.3 assists and one block. Harris' strong play has now earned him a spot in coach Jacque Vaughn's starting lineup as he made his second straight start at small forward against the Cavaliers last Sunday. While Harris did struggle in his first start against the Pacers last Friday, the 20-year-old has only logged 78 games in his NBA career, so he likely will take a few lumps most nights. Still, Harris' recent play, move into the starting lineup and far-from-daunting upcoming schedule are all reasons enough to get him active this week. (owned in 76 percent of leagues)

Kawhi Leonard, F, Spurs (OKC, @MIN, DAL, CLE): Leonard told reporters a few weeks back that he will likely have to deal with the tendinitis in his left knee for the remainder of the season, but you wouldn't realize it by looking at his recent numbers. The 21-year-old has been asked to take on a larger role with all the injuries the Spurs have been dealing with of late and he has responded by averaging 14.8 points over his last six games. He is shooting 50.8 percent from the field over that stretch to go along with 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 rebounds and 1.7 steals, which keeps Rotisserie owners happy. Now he looks to have some favorable matchups on tap this week, which should allow him to maintain his productive ways. While Leonard struggled in his lone meeting against the Thunder earlier in the year, he has averaged 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.7 assists in his three meetings against the Mavericks, and posted a double-double in each of his last meetings versus the Timberwolves and Cavaliers. He is only active in 40 percent of all CBSSports.com leagues heading into Week 20, so owners looking for help at forward this week should feel free to use him. (owned in 82 percent of leagues)

Kosta Koufos, C, Nuggets (@PHO, NY, MEM): Koufos continues to consistently post solid numbers for the Nuggets thanks to his red-hot shooting. The 24-year-old entered Week 20 connecting on a career-best 60.9 percent from the field and he has made at least 57 percent of his shots in each of his last eight contests. Koufos is averaging 8.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and one block over that span on 68.1 percent shooting from the field and now looks to have a few favorable matchups on tap this week. While the Grizzlies and Knicks are two of the better teams at protecting the paint, Koufos has been able to get his numbers against them. The 7-footer has averaged 7.8 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in his three games against Memphis thus far and he finished with 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds in 3.0 blocks in his lone meeting against New York. He will also get to face the Suns this week, who are allowing 43.6 points in the paint per game and don't have a true center right now as Marcin Gortat is out with an injury and Jermaine O'Neal remains away from the team due to personal reasons. While Koufos doesn't post the gaudy stat lines that some of his peers do, his recent production has been good enough to continue to roll with him as a viable low-end option at the thin center position this week.(owned in 39 percent of leagues)

Put 'em on your bench

Patrick Beverley, G, Rockets (PHO, MIN, GS): Beverley raised a few eyebrows a few weeks backs when he averaged 9.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and one steal during a five-game stretch when Toney Douglas was first shipped off to the Kings at the trade deadline. However, the rookie has hit a serious wall since then that has many wondering if he is still worth owning. The 24-year-old has been shutout in each of Houston's last three games as he has missed on each of his last eight field-goal attempts. He did still manage to put up 4.3 assists during his scoring drought, but Beverley's lack of scoring has forced coach Kevin McHale to give veteran Francisco Garcia some minutes of late. While the Rockets due look to have some favorable matchups on tap this week against the defensively challenged Suns and reeling Warriors, Fantasy owners should stay clear of Beverley this week. (owned in three percent of leagues)

Jordan Crawford, G, Celtics (@CHA, TOR, CHA): After going from a starter to bench warmer in Washington, some felt Crawford being traded to the Celtics could help him regain his old Fantasy form. However, that has been anything but the case thus far. While Crawford is playing for coach Doc Rivers, he has yet to log more than 17 minutes in a single game and has only scored in double figures in two of his first eight games with Boston. In fact, Crawford is averaging just 5.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and one steal during his brief tenure in Beantown and with the Celtics playing some of their best basketball of the year right now, we don't see his minutes going up anytime soon. While he still may light up the scoreboard from time to time, Crawford is averaging just 5.1 points when he sees fewer than 19 minutes per game throughout his career. Despite having matchups on tap against two of the weaker defensive teams in the league this week in the Bobcats and Raptors, owners should once again plan on leaving Crawford on the bench. (owned in 37 percent of leagues)

Ed Davis, F, Grizzlies (@POR, @LAC, @DEN, @UTA): Injuries to Darrell Arthur and Zach Randolph have once again given Davis a chance to crack the starting lineup and just like with the Raptors, he has played well in the starting five. In fact, Davis has averaged 9.0 points 9.3 rebounds and 2.8 blocks over his last three games and shot 50 percent from the field over that stretch. However, both Randolph and Arthur are close to returning to action, which will move Davis right back to the bench. Unfortunately for Davis and Fantasy owners, the 23-year-old hasn't seen much of the court in a reserve role for coach Lionel Hollins. He is seeing just 11 minutes per game over his first 13 contests with Memphis and averaged 4.5 points and 2.4 rebounds over that span. While Davis has more than proved his worth as a starter, he doesn't hold much value as a reserve. With at least Randolph expected back in action this week, owners should plan on leaving Davis reserved heading into the upcoming scoring period. (owned in 30 percent of leagues)

John Salmons, F, Kings (CHI, @LAL): Salmons has been a huge bust for most of the season, but the veteran was able to put together a hot streak a few weeks back that grabbed the attention of some Fantasy owners. However, Salmons has since reverted back to his unproductive ways over the past week. The 33-year-old has scored a combined seven points over his last two contests and shot just 3 of 14 (21 percent) from the field over that span, including hitting on one of his last nine 3-point attempts. Salmons has never really been considered a reliable source for anything other than points and sometimes 3-pointers, so when he isn't scoring, he can become a huge liability for owners in Rotisserie formats. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats and the Kings being one of two teams slated to play twice during the upcoming scoring period, owners should plan on leaving Salmons firmly planted on the bench heading into Week 20. (owned in 23 percent of leagues)

Byron Mullens, C, Bobcats (BOS, @TOR, @BOS): Mullens looked strong during his initial return from an ankle injury a few weeks back as he put up 14.2 points and 7.4 rebounds over his first 13 games back in the lineup. However, the 24-year-old then started dealing with some soreness in his right knee and has not been the same since. While Mullens has not missed a game since his knee soreness became an issue, he has logged a combined 38 minutes over his last four games and is averaging just 2.8 points and 0.5 rebounds over that span. Clearly, Mullens is not completely healthy right now and it is obviously affecting his production and playing time. With the playoffs just weeks away in most formats, Mullens may actually do more harm than good for owners in Rotisserie formats while he is putting up these types of numbers. We strongly recommend owners leave Mullens reserved in all formats until he proves to be healthy and productive again. (owned in 82 percent of leagues)

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Player News
Mavericks' Devin Harris to get X-ray on his hand
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:33 am ET) Mavericks guard Devin Harris will go for an X-ray on his hand, according to Mavs.com.

Harris banged his hand late in the contest, and will need more tests. The first scan on Harris' right thumb came back clean, but he will still go for X-rays. Harris played 28 minutes, scoring seven points during the contest. 


Wesley Matthews tears Achilles, will miss the rest of the season
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:20 am ET) Trail Blazers forward Wesley Matthews tore his Achilles tendon and will miss the rest of the season, the team confirmed. Yahoo initially reported the injury

Matthews injured himself during Thursday's game against the Mavericks. Matthews went down with a non-contact injury during the third quarter. The team initially said Matthews was dealing with a foot injury. He was sent for an MRI in oder to determine the severity of the issue. 

Matthews is averaging 16.1 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. 


Trail Blazers' Nicolas Batum doubles up on Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1:09 am ET) Trail Blazers Nicolas Batum posted a double-double on Thursday against the Mavericks.

Batum shot 6-12 from the field, including 2-5 from beyond the arc. He sunk his only free throw, finishing with 15 points. Batum set a new season-high on the boards, pulling down 12 rebounds during the contest. He also added six assists and one block. 


Blazers' Wesley Matthews to undergo MRI after injuring left foot
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(12:18 am ET) Trail Blazers shooting guard Wesley Matthews suffered a left foot injury in Thursday's game against the Mavericks and will not return, the team announced.

Matthews went down with a noncontact injury early in the third quarter. He had to be helped off the court and couldn't put pressure on his left foot.

Matthews finished Thursday's game with four points on 1 of 5 shooting in 18 minutes. He'll undergo an MRI on the injured area, and the team holds "significant concern" about the severity of the injury, Yahoo! Sports reports.


Bulls SG E'Twaun Moore scores career-high 19 vs. Thunder
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Bulls shooting guard E'Twaun Moore scored a career-high 19 points on 9 of 10 shooting in his team's 108-105 win over the Thunder Thursday.

Moore was already in the midst of a fantastic shooting night when, with the Bulls down one point and four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, coach Tom Thibodeau called a play for the fourth-year player. Power forward Pau Gasol took the inbound pass and immediately kicked out to Moore, who buried a three-pointer with a player in his face to put the team up two with two seconds to play.

"I was aware of the time management," Moore said after the game, per the Associated Press. "I knew we only had four seconds (when the play started) and if he kicked it out, I knew there's not much time left. I just shot it with confidence."

Moore played 22 minutes in the victory, seeing 20 minutes of action for the first time since the end of December, and managed four rebounds, two steals and one block in addition to his excellent shooting performance and a quality defensive showing while matched up at times with Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook.

"The way E'Twaun competed on every play, that goes a long way," coach Tom Thibodeau said. "I thought we had a number of guys step up."

The Bulls will square off with the Pacers Friday.


Bulls PF Nikola Mirotic scores team-high 26 vs. Thunder
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Bulls power forward Nikola Mirotic scored a team-high 26 points on 5 of 15 shooting, including 2 of 9 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 108-105 win over the Thunder Thursday.

Mirotic did a majority of his damage at the free-throw line, making 14 of his 16 attempts from the charity stripe. He's seen an increase in playing time over the last three games, averaging 26 points during that stretch. Mirotic also chipped in eight rebounds, two assists and one block in 34 minutes in the win.

The Bulls will look for a third straight victory Friday against the Pacers.


Thunder PG Russell Westbrook scores 43 vs. Bulls Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook scored a team-high 43 points on 14 of 32 shooting, including 3 of 5 shooting from behind the arc, in his team's 108-105 loss to the Bulls Thursday.

While scoring 40 points can't be labeled a disappointment, Westbrook "only" racked up eight rebounds and seven assists, bringing his streak of four straight triple-doubles to an end. He also kicked in two steals while turning the ball over five times in 38 minutes of action.

"He's not happy that he scored a bunch of points and got a bunch of rebounds and assists and we lost the game," coach Scott Brooks said after the game, per the Associated Press. "Russell is about winning and about winning only."

Westbrook has delivered three straight performances with at least 40 points heading into Sunday's matchup with the Raptors.


Mavericks C Tyson Chandler in starting lineup Thursday
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Mavericks center Tyson Chandler (hip) is in the starting lineup for Thursday's matchup against the Blazers.

Chandler missed the team's previous three games with a hip injury, but coach Rick Carlisle said earlier Thursday that the center was "looking good" for the Thursday matchup. He has averaged 10.6 points and 11.7 rebounds in 56 games.

The Mavericks are 2 1/2-point underdogs in Portland Thursday.


Thunder rule center Steven Adams (hand) out of Thursday's game
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) Thunder center Steven Adams has been ruled out of Thursday's game at Chicago, reports The Oklahoman.

Adams has not played since Feb. 8 after undergoing hand surgery, but coach Scott Brooks sounded optimistic that Adams would be available to play in Sunday's game against the Raptors. Center Enes Kanter has been starting in place of Adams.

The Thunder are 1-point favorites.


Wolves waive Glenn Robinson in order to sign Justin Hamilton
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/5/2015) The Timberwolves waived guard Glenn Robinson on Thursday, the team announced. 

With an extra roster spot, the Timberwovles signed center Justin Hamilton. Robinson is averaging 1.2 points in 25 games this season.

Hamilton was recently waived by the Pelicans after spending the season with the Heat. In 20 games this season, Hamilton is averaging 2.8 points and 2.0 rebounds. Coach Flip Saunders said he likes what Hamilton can offer the team.

"He's got a unique skill set, size and a great basketball IQ," Saunders said. 


 
 
 
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