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2012 Fantasy Basketball: Wesley Matthews, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo and More

| by Give Me The Rock

Line of the Night: No player has quietly gained more fantasy value post trade deadline than Wesley Matthews (2.17), who regained his starting job once Gerald Wallace left town and is now officially on fire. Matthews scored 18 points, going 4-8 from three, adding 9 rebounds and 3 steals in a 97-93 win over the Grizzlies. It’s not the greatest LotN of the season, but it’s the type of line that Matthews has been putting over the last week. In his last four games he’s scored 18, 21, 16 and 18 points and hit a total of 16 threes.

Honorable Mentions: The Celtics currently have an unimpressive record of 25-21 and are battling it out for the seventh seed in the East. As a result, every game matters for them during the regular season and they are riding their starters hard because of it. That means no days off for Paul Pierce (2.08) and company. Pierce scored 25 points, shooting 10-15 form the floor, adding 3 threes, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks in a win over the Bucks. Kevin Garnett (1.49) added 16 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 blocks as he continues a rejuvenated season that has him ranked #24 on our player rater so far this season. Rajon Rondo (1.14) made it a threesome with 10 points and 14 assists in the game.

The Bucks were led by the unlikely duo of Carlos Delfino (1.52), who scored 16 points, adding 8 rebounds and 3 steals, and the rebounding machine Ersan Ilyasova (1.48) who finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds. I figured that the Monta Ellis trade would have hurt Delfino’s numbers, but he’s currently playing his best basketball of the season, knocking down 12 threes over his last 4 games. Ekpe Udoh (0.45) came off the bench to grab 10 boards and block a shot in only 21 minutes. Looks like if you picked him up post-trade to board/block, he’s still going to be able to do that in limited minutes off the Bucks’ bench.

Al Jefferson (1.93) tipped in either a pass or airballed shot (depending on who you believe) from Devin Harris with 0.9 seconds left to give the Jazz the win over the Kings. It was the cherry on top of his solid fantasy performance: 26 points (on 13-19 from the field), with 7 rebounds and 4 blocks. The Kings were led by Tyreke Evans’ (1.34) 25 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. DeMarcus Cousins (0.42) chipped in 22 and 18, but did the FG% category no favors by shooting 9-28 from the floor.

Chris Paul’s (1.22) homecoming to New Orleans was spoiled by the Hornets, who won 97-90. Paul had 16 points and 9 assists in the game. Blake Griffin (-0.07) had 21 and 11, but shot poorly from both the floor and the line, and was steamrolled by Jason Smith late in the game.

Chris Kaman (1.13) went for 20 and 10 with 4 blocks in the game.

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Welcome Back:: The world is a little bit brighter today because Gilbert Arenas is back in the NBA. Arenas, now playing for the Grizzlies, saw 12 minutes in his first game with the team, scored 2 points on 1-4 shooting with 3 assists and 2 steals. Hey, it’s just like he’s back on the Magic again! Arenas isn’t likely to have any fantasy value this season as it appears his role on the team is going to be “veteran influence guy”. God help Memphis…

Waiver Wire Line of the Night: There are a lot of things that Greg Stiemsma (2.15) doesn’t do on the court, but man oh man can he block shots. And last night he demonstrated that against the Bucks, blocking 5 shots in 24 minutes off the bench. He also added 6 points and 4 steals on the night. Thanks to the Jermaine O’Neal and Chris Wilcox season ending injuries, Stiemsma is in line for good minutes as the first (and possibly only) big man off the Celtics bench provided he can stay out of foul trouble. However, he’s strictly an add if your looking for blocks, blocks and more blocks with a few steals thrown in.

Pick Up Lines: Jason Thompson (1.46) put up his fifth double-double in a row with 19 points and 15 rebounds against the Jazz. But at the very end of the game Thompson strained his left ankle and had to be helped off the floor and into the locker room. He’s day-to-day with the injury, but after the game he said the injury is minor and he expects to play in the team’s next game on Sunday. Thompson is a rollercoaster ride of performance, but provided he’s not going to miss any time, jump on his hot streak if he’s available in your league.

As the perpetual waiver wire player, Chandler Parsons (1.35) has to be the most mentioned player on GMTR season. Parsons had another nice game against the Warriors where he finished with 20 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 4 assists. Given all the Rockets’ injuries, Parsons has seen his role on the team increase, although his minutes still tend to bounce around anywhere from 20 to 40 on any given night, making his game-to-game fantasy performances equally as volatile. Still, if you’re on the hunt for a guy who can do a little but of everything, you could do worse than Parsons, especially while Lowry and Martin are out.

Chris Singleton (1.35) tied his season-high with 16 points, 3 threes and 2 steals in 36 minutes against the Pacers. On the plus side, Singleton is starting for the Wizards and getting a ton of minutes. On the minus side, it’s his first double-digit scoring performance in 7 games and he’s shooting 37% from the floor on the year. This is one guy where minutes don’t actually equal fantasy value.

Gordon Hayward (1.30) dropped 18 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists on the Kings. He’s back in the starting lineup now after being moved to the bench for a couple weeks, so that is a plus to his value. But ultimately Haywood is the type of player who will give you 20 points one game then put up nothing the next. He’s good enough to be worth a look in deeper leagues, but I’d avoid him in a 12-teamer.

GUSTAVO? Just when Gustavo Ayon was starting to heat up, Jason Smith (0.99) made his return from a concussion to put an end to that party. Smith was inserted into the starting lineup over Ayon last night and finished with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 2 blocks and one football style tackle against Blake Griffin. It’s possible that Smith gets suspended for his flagrant foul, but long-term Gustavo Ayon owners may want to swap him out for Smith. Ayon got all of 10 minutes off the bench last night.

Derrick Favors (0.93) went for 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks in only 22 minutes off the Jazz bench against the Kings. He’s been putting up some impressive per minute production lately and is worth a look in deeper leagues, but his upside his tempered by the fact that he’s still stuck behind Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap on the team’s depth chart for now.

One guy to keep an eye on in deep leagues is Xavier Henry (0.45), who has gotten 25 minutes off the Hornets’ bench each of the last two games. Here’s what Hornets247 said about Henry’s game last night:

Xavier was really quiet in the first half, but in the second he did some damage all over the place. He brought his normal aggression, and fitting with his name, he gave it to the Clippers. 12 points on 4 shots? I’ll take that with a side of BBQ sauce please. He was really active on the boards also, even if he didn’t get many of them.

Biggest Loser: With only 6 games last night, we lacked any truly horrific games, with the possible exception of Trevor Ariza’s (-0.88) who had 2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists shot 1-5 from the floor before leaving the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter after playing 19 minutes against the Clippers. Ariza has not been afraid to miss good chunks of time with various injuries in the past, so you may be forced to drop him if he’s questionable going into next week’s games.

Nene Hilario’s (-0.68) second game with the Wizards didn’t go as well as his first. After double-doubling in his debut, Nene finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds while shooting 3-9 from the field.

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Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.

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