Today is the first day of the rest of your season. The dust has settled from the NBA trade deadline and there has been a flurry of waiver activity in fantasy leagues as a result. Let's take a closer look at the players topping Friday's Buzz Index.
• Friday's most added players:
Chase Budinger(notes) - He'll start for the Rockets at small forward and should emerge as an upgrade from your typical three-point specialist. A notable trend with Budinger through 1.5 seasons is that he's consistently performed better with more playing time. Compare his percentages in 35 career games with less than 15 minutes (32% FG, 25% 3PT) to those in 69 games with 15 to 25 minutes (42% FG, 34% 3PT) to those in 26 games with more than 25 minutes (51% FG, 42% 3PT). His averages in games where he's seen 25 minutes include 15.2 points, 1.9 threes, 4.7 boards, 2.2 assists, 0.8 turnovers, and 0.7 steals.
Gerald Henderson(notes) - The Bobcats are going to use the rest of the season to find out what they've got in Henderson, and his current per-36 minute averages include 13 points, 0.1 threes, 5.3 boards, 1.9 assists, 1.5 turnovers, 0.7 steals, and 0.9 blocks. That's not a line overflowing with fantasy potenial, especially when you also add 46-percent shooting and 71-percent foul shooting into the mix, but you don't often find this level of assurances for playing time on the wire.
James Harden(notes) - Harden is expected to see his role increase thanks to a swap of offense (Jeff Green(notes) and Nenad Krstic(notes)) for defense (Serge Ibaka(notes) and Kendrick Perkins(notes)) in the Thunder's starting five. Harden has been a stellar per-minute performer to this point of his career and will be a real plus for fantasy owners if he does see an increase in playing time.
Kirk Hinrich(notes) - Hinrich will take over for Mike Bibby(notes) as the Hawks' starting point guard and should see more than Bibby's 30 minutes per game thanks to more effective play. In 29 starts for the Wizards this season, Hinrich averaged 11.3 points, 0.7 threes, 5.1 assists, 1.9 turnovers, and 1.2 steals in 35 minutes.
Peja Stojakovic(notes) - Peja continues to start for the Mavs and has scored in double figures in four straight games, averaging 15.5 point on 59-percent shooting, 3 threes on 55-percent shooting, and 1.3 steals in 25 minutes. There is no good reason for fantasy owners in need of threes to not take a chance on Peja, in the event that he can stay healthy, but expect the torrid shooting to cool at least a bit moving forward.
• Friday's most dropped players:
Mike Dunleavy - Dunleavy is out indifinitely becaus of a broken thumb and can be dropped in the vast majority of formats.
Al Harrington(notes) - Harrington played 16 minutes in the first game for the new-look Nuggets and will likely struggle to top that figure on most nights while the current roster remains healthy. One early test will come on Friday, as Kenyon Martin(notes) will miss the game because of the flu.
Tayshaun Prince(notes) - Prince was limited in the past two games with a back injury but has performed well otherwise, averaging 15.2 points, 0.5 threes, 4.8 boards, 3 assists, 0.9 turnovers, 0.5 steals, and 0.6 blocks in 24 games since January 1. The team is a mess, but Prince isn't going to lose his minutes while he's healthy.
Ryan Anderson(notes) - Anderson has been down over the past four games (9.3 points, 39% FG, 1.8 threes, 4.8 boards). I'm more inclined to consider his entire body of work since the team's roster shakeup (13 points, 44% FG, 2.6 threes, 6.1 boards) and give him a bit more benefit of the doubt.
DeAndre Jordan(notes) - Chris Kaman(notes) has averaged 23 minutes over the past two games, pushing Jordan's averages down to 5 points, 4 boards, and 1 block in 19 minutes. This will be a timeshare at best while both players are healthy.
• Things continue to get progressively worse for the Pistons. Just a day after opting to remain with the team, Richard Hamilton(notes) was one of a number of players to skip Friday's shootaround as an alleged protest against John Kuester. Expect Will Bynum(notes), Ben Gordon(notes), Charlie Villanueva(notes), Jason Maxiell(notes), and DaJuan Summers(notes) to get plenty of run Friday as the only players to be full participants in the shootaround. We'll have to wait and see about the fallout from today's events in the coming days - the Pistons play a back-to-back on Friday/Saturday (@PHI, UTA).
• Friday status updates: Eric Gordon's(notes) return is projected for Monday ... Stephen Jackson(notes) (hamstring) participated in shootaround Friday and will play for the short-handed Bobcats ... Monta Ellis(notes) (knee) is expected to be in the lineup ... Emeka Okafor(notes) (oblique) will return and start on Friday ... Marcus Camby(notes) (knee) is out again Friday ... Baron Davis(notes) won't arrive in Cleveland until Saturday ... Kenyon Martin is out Friday because of the flu ... Martell Webster(notes) (back) and Jonny Flynn(notes) (groin) are questionable ...
These and many more topics will be discussed in the Friday live blog, so stop by and participate in the discussion or just lurk and take it all in. We'll get started at 7pm PT/10pm ET.
Check the comment thread for status updates or to post your own.
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