Setting the stage for Week 20 of the fantasy basketball season.
Four-game teams: BOS, CHA, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIN, NJN, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTH, WAS
Three-game teams: ATL, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, MIL, OKCTwo-game teams: HOU, LAL, PHO
Pickups/Plug-ins – Players owned in fewer than 40% of Yahoo! leagues
• Anthony Tolliver(notes) - It took a while for Tolliver to adjust once he arrived from the D-League, but he's settled in and is playing plenty for the short-handed Warriors. Over the past 14 games, he's averaged 12.1 points, 1.6 threes, 6.6 boards, 2.2 assists, 0.9 turnovers, 0.5 steals, and 1 block in 32 minutes. Of particular note is that he's made 47 percent of his threes (22 of 47) over that stretch. Week 20: @NOR, POR, TOR
• Delonte West(notes) - West's role has been increasing in recent weeks as the primary backup for both guard spots for the Cavs, and he could be rounding into form just in time to provide a spark for fantasy owners. Over the past eight games, he's averaged 13.5 points on 49-percent shooting, 0.5 threes, 4.4 boards, 3.5 assists, and 1.5 turnovers in 28 minutes per game. Week 20: SAS, @PHI, BOS
• JaVale McGee(notes) - Although foul trouble has kept his minutes in check, McGee has certainly been useful since the Wizards gutted their roster at the trading deadline. Over the past nine games, he's averaged 10.8 points on 53-percent shooting, 6.6 boards, and 2.6 blocks in 24 minutes, and that many blocks certainly can help swing your average matchup. One thing to note is that he's horrific from the foul line (51% on the season). Week 20: HOU, ATL, @DET, ORL
• Rodrigue Beaubois(notes) - Beaubois is a fantastic short-term option while Jason Terry(notes) is out of the lineup for the next two weeks or so (see below). Over the past three games, Beaubois has averaged 21 points on 63-percent shooting, 2.3 threes, 86-percent foul shooting, 3 boards, 3.3 assists, 1 turnover, 0.7 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 29 minutes. Keep in mind that his role will take a substantial hit as soon as Terry is ready to return to the active roster. Week 20: @MIN, NJN, NYK
• Brandon Rush(notes) - The ups and downs continue for Rush except for one area, and that's minutes. The Pacers are a fairly hopeless situation right now, but Rush has been a mainstay amid the turmoil in Jim O'Brien's starting five. Going back to January 15, a span of 25 games, Rush has averaged 11.1 points, 1.9 threes, 4.7 boards, 0.6 steals, and 0.8 blocks in 32 minutes. If you are looking for some three-point production to round out your roster, Rush isn't a bad option. Week 20: PHI, @BOS, @MIL
• Kris Humphries(notes) - Humphries figures to be the major benefactor of playing time while Yi Jianlian(notes) deals with a high ankle sprain (see below). In six games where he's seen at least 25 minutes of playing time for the Nets, Humphries has averaged 16 points on 52-percent shooting, 80-percent foul shooting, 7.7 boards, 0.8 steals, and 0.7 blocks in 28 minutes.
• Nicolas Batum(notes) - Batum's game log shows some pretty serious range in game-to-game contributions, but his averages as a starter overall show his multi-cat potential: 12.6 points on 53-percent shooting, 2 threes, 3.1 boards, 1.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks. While the Blazers' schedule couldn't be much better in Week 20, one downer here is that they play the fewest games during the default h2h playoff weeks (8). Week 20: SAC, @GSW, @SAC, TOR
• Jrue Holiday(notes) - Just when you think it's time to write him off, Holiday goes and has a game like he did Sunday (35 minutes, 21 points, 3 treys, 7 boards, 6 assists, 4 turnovers, 1 steal, 2 blocks). He's been reasonably effective over the past month, averaging 10.4 points on 51-percent shooting, 1.2 threes, 3.9 assists, 2.2 turnovers, 0.9 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 28 minutes, and could be a pleasant surpise for fantasy owners if Eddie Jordan gives him starters' minutes the rest of the way. Week 20: @IND, CHA, CLE, @MIA
• Matt Bonner(notes) - Bonner's production over the past three games (23 minutes, 11.7 points, 46% FG, 2.7 threes, 4.7 boards, 1 block) has been huge for the Spurs, and his skills should be more in demand now that Tony Parker(notes) is out for six weeks (see below). Deep-leaguers should seriously consider an add here, and most fantasy owners should at least add Bonner to their Watch List - Antonio McDyess(notes) has made his preference of coming off the bench known, and Bonner was a solid pairing with Tim Duncan(notes) for most of last season. Week 20: @CLE, NYK, @MIN, LAC
• Terrence Williams(notes) - Williams has been pretty solid over the past three games (12.7 points, 1 three, 6.7 boards, 6 assists, 2.7 turnovers) and could be in line for more playing time with Yi Jianlian sidelined (see below). He's horribly inefficient but has the potential to deliver some counting stats for the talent-starved Nets, and he appears to be past the attitude issues that cost him playing time earlier in the season. Week 20: @MEM, @DAL, @OKC, @HOU
• Wesley Matthews(notes) - There isn't tremendous upside here, but there is job security, so deep-leaguers should at least consider Matthews for that reason. He's locked in as the Jazz's starting shooting guard, and over the past eight games has averaged 10.9 points on 48-percent shooting, 0.8 threes, 84-percent foul shooting, and 0.8 steals in 29 minutes. Week 20: @CHI, @DET, @MIL, @OKC
• Will Bynum(notes) - This is purely a speculative mention. While Rodney Stuckey(notes) has checked out fine so far after his incident Friday (see below), Bynum would step in if team doctors determine that Stuckey needs time away from the game. In the 21 games where he's seen at least 25 minutes of playing time, Bynum has averaged 13.6 points, 3.2 boards, 5.1 assists, 2.4 turnovers, and 1 steal. Week 20: UTH, WAS, @ATL
• Leandro Barbosa(notes) - Barbosa (wrist) is expected to return to practice on Monday and could be back in the lineup when the Suns return to the court on Friday. He'll struggle to find consistent minutes unless the Suns decide to rest Steve Nash(notes) extensively and Goran Dragic's(notes) ankle injury lingers.
• Andris Biedrins(notes) - Biedrins (groin) will miss his fifth consecutive game Monday and remains out indefinitely. He's likely to be re-evaluated once the Warriors' return to Oakland, but his fantasy prospects remain dim even if he is closer to a return, given his struggles and Don Nelson's continued criticism before the injury.
• Chris Bosh(notes) - Bosh was set to return from his ankle injury Friday, but ended up visiting a hospital because of a stomach virus and dehydration instead. He was feeling well enough to practice with the team Saturday, however, and was back in the lineup Sunday.
• Allen Iverson(notes) - AI's season is over. Louis Williams(notes) is now locked in for the rest of the season as a plus-performer, and Jrue Holiday and Willie Green(notes) will see consistent minutes in the 76ers' guard rotation.
"He has carried a big load, not only scoring, but the minutes he has played. He has played a high volume of minutes for us because of the injuries, because of the new guys coming in and me trying to shuffle things around. Even though at times he may not like it, even he needs to sit down and rest and recuperate."
Brown is also entertaining the idea of holding James out again on Monday, as the Cavs then have three consecutive off days. We aren't likely to know if that will be the case until gameday, so keep an eye open for updates.
• Yi Jianlian - Yi suffered a high ankle sprain Saturday and did not accompany the team as it departed for a four-game road trip that begins on Monday. X-rays were negative, but he's out indefinitely and high ankle sprains do have a tendency to linger. Kris Humphries and Terrence Williams should see their roles increase for as long as Yi is sidelined.
• Kenyon Martin(notes) - Martin and the Nuggets are awaiting the results of an MRI on his painful left knee that could determine his fate for the remainder of the season, as a serious issue that will require season-ending surgery has yet to be dismissed as a possibility. Chris Andersen(notes) and Joey Graham(notes) stand to inherit the majority of K-Mart's minutes for however long he's sidelined.
• Joakim Noah(notes) - Noah is out for at least two more weeks and possibly longer as he attempts to ease his painful plantar fasciitis. Fantasy owners need to keep in mind that he'll be eased into the lineup when he does return, so it's difficult to see a scenario where he'll once again be useful in standard leagues during the current season.
• Jermaine O'Neal(notes) - O'Neal suffered a left knee injury Saturday but plans to play Tuesday at this point. The Heat are off on Sunday and Monday, so expect some more specific details to emerge over the next 36 hours.
• Shaquille O'Neal(notes) - Shaq's surgery on his right thumb has ended his regular season for all intents and purposes. Anderson Varejao(notes) and J.J. Hickson(notes) will man the middle for the Cavs, and will soon be re-joined by Zydrunas Ilgauskas(notes).
• Chris Paul(notes) - Reports that Paul was close to returning appear to have been premature. He remains without a specific timetable and has yet to be cleared to begin running, the next major step in his rehabilitation. Once Paul is cleared - and assuming he has no set-backs - then a return to the active roster wouldn't be likely to take long, but for now fantasy owners can only take solace in the fact that Paul will do everything within his own power to get back on the court.
"I don't care if I come back and there are three games left – I'm playing before the season is over. But I can't come back until I can help the team. I don't want to come back until I'm fully healed. It would be pointless to come back, not be 100 percent and reinjure my knee."
• Rodney Stuckey - Stuckey was released from the Cleveland Clinic Saturday after all his tests returned normal. He did not have a seizure and never lost consciousness during his incident on Friday. He's scheduled to undergo more tests in Detroit and a timetable for his return will then be determined by team doctors. Will Bynum is next on the depth chart at point guard.
• Jason Terry - Terry had surgery Friday to repair a broken orbital bone and will be able to return to basketball activities within 10 to 14 days. If all goes well, he'll return to the active roster very quickly after getting that medical clearance.
• Marcus Thornton(notes) - Thornton was diagnosed with an upper back strain after falling hard to the court while attempting to block a shot during Saturday's game. He's day-to-day, pending a re-evaluation, in advance of the Hornets' matchup with the Warriors Monday.
• Hedo Turkoglu(notes) - Hedo sat out Sunday's game because of a nagging ankle injury. The hope is that he'll be ready to return to the lineup Tuesday after having had three consecutive days to rest, and that this won't turn into something that lingers for the remainder of the season.
• Ronny Turiaf(notes) - Turiaf played just eight minutes Saturday before having to shut it down with left knee soreness, and he is questionable for Monday. Chris Hunter(notes) will get the start at center for the Warriors if Turiaf can't go.
• Ben Wallace(notes) - Big Ben has missed two consecutive games because of a right knee injury and is expected to miss several more. Jason Maxiell(notes) and Kwame Brown(notes) will see the minutes at center for the Pistons in the interim.
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