December 06, 2009
A look ahead to Week 7 of the fantasy basketball season.
Four-game teams: CHI, CLE, DEN, GSW, MIN, NJN, POR, SAS, TOR, UTH
Three-game teams: ATL, BOS, CHA, DAL, DET, HOU, IND, LAL, MEM, MIL, NOR, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHO, SAC
Two-game teams: LAC, MIA, NYK, WAS
Pickups/Plug-ins - players owned in less than 50% of Yahoo! leagues
• Ryan Gomes(notes) – Gomes is in the midst of his most productive stretch of the season, having averaged 21.3 points on 60-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 5 boards, 2.8 assists, and 1.8 steals-plus-blocks over the past four games. Kevin Love's(notes) return frees the versatile Gomes to play more at small forward, where he's a bit more comfortable and productive, and we should see more consistent numbers from him as a result. Week 7: @TOR, NOR, @LAL, @SAC
• Erick Dampier(notes) – Damp is back after a health scare and has reprised his role as the Mavs' starting center, averaging 8 points on 71-percent shooting, 10 boards, and 3.3 blocks in 26 minutes over the past three games. I'm a firm believer that contract year motivation applies in Damp's case, and he's averaged 7.3 points on 66-percent shooting, 9.1 boards, and 2.3 blocks in his 13 starts this season. Just be aware of the occasional poor matchups that dictate that Drew Gooden(notes) gets more run. Week 7: PHO, @MIA, CHA
• Joel Przybilla(notes) – Przybilla will step in as the starter for Portland following Greg Oden's(notes) unfortunate knee injury. He played 35 minutes on Sunday, totaling six points, 12 boards, and one block, and his season averages include 3.6 points, 7.3 boards, and 1.3 blocks in 20 minutes. By now, you know what to expect from the Vanilla Gorilla – boards, blocks, and low-volume scoring at a high percentage. Week 7: @NYK, @IND, @CLE, @MIL
• Luke Ridnour(notes) – Ridnour has scored at least 20 points in four of the past six games, but his productive streak goes back a few weeks. Over the past 12 games, he's averaged 14.3 points on 54-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 3 boards, 5.9 assists, 1.1 turnovers, and 1.1 steals in 30 minutes. He is likely to lose a bit of playing time if/when Michael Redd(notes) can get back to the active roster, but he remains a Scott Skiles favorite and should still have a steady role, particularly if Brandon Jennings'(notes) shooting slump drags on. Week 7: @BOS, TOR, POR
• Dahntay Jones(notes) – The Pacers' offense has been horrific the past two games, and Jones himself hasn't escaped that, either (5 points, 29% FG, 3.5 boards, 0.5 assists, 4 turnovers). That said, he's back and locked in to the starting five for foreseeable future (ahead of Brandon Rush(notes)) and his numbers in 12 starts overall have been very good (16.2 points, 46% FG, 4.6 boards, 1 steal, 1.1 blocks). Week 7: POR, NJN, @WAS
• Jason Williams(notes) - J-Will has at least another three weeks or so left as the Magic's starting point guard, and he's averaged 11.1 points on 50-percent shooting, 1.7 threes, 3.3 boards, 6.4 assists, 1.1 turnovers, and 1.4 steals over the past seven games. Week 7: @LAC, @UTH, @PHO
• C.J. Watson(notes) – While Watson got the start on Saturday because the Warriors went with an even smaller lineup than usual, his role as the primary backup guard should be fairly set even when the team gets some bodies back. Over the past four games, he's averaged 15.3 points on 56-percent shooting, 1.5 threes, 4.3 boards, 3 assists, and 1.8 steals in 32 minutes. Week 7: OKC, @NJN, @CHI, @DET
• Jarrett Jack(notes) – Jack has been spending more consistent time alongside Jose Calderon(notes) in recent weeks, leading to steady minutes and subsequent production. Over the past 10 games, he's averaged 10.8 points on 49-percent shooting, 1.3 threes, 5.1 assists, and 0.9 steals in 28 minutes. Week 7: MIN, @MIL, ATL, HOU
• Mickael Pietrus(notes) – The Magic have settled in with Pietrus as the starting shooting guard since Rashard Lewis(notes) returned from his suspension. While he's not been consistent from a production standpoint, his role has been; he scored a season-high 22 points on Saturday, and his averages over the past nine games have some use for fantasy: 10.4 points, 2.3 threes, 1.4 steals-plus-blocks. Week 7: @LAC, @UTH, @PHO
• Vladimir Radmanovic(notes) – VladRad continues to play plenty for the depleted Warriors, and for that reason alone he's a reasonable plug-in option for a four-game week. His averages over the past seven games include 34 minutes, 10.6 points, 1.4 threes, 7 boards, and 1.7 steals. Week 7: @OKC, @NJN, @CHI, @DET
• Devin Brown(notes) – Brown scored 19 points and hit three treys while starting alongside Chris Paul(notes) on Friday, and could emerge with some value for deep-leaguers if he holds on to the starting shooting guard spot. In four games that he's started with Paul in the backcourt this season, he's averaged 13.8 points on 48-percent shooting, 2.4 threes and 1 steal in 25 minutes. Week 7: SAC, @MIN, NYK
• Earl Boykins(notes) – Boykins has carved out a significant role on the Wizards in fairly short order, marginalizing Randy Foye(notes) in the process. He's averaged 22 minutes in his 10 games with the team, as well as 10.4 points, 0.3 threes, 4.2 assists, and 0.6 steals. Deep-league owners starved for guard stats should think about an add here, at least while Mike Miller(notes) remains out. Week 7: BOS, IND
• Nick Young(notes) – Young's production has been as expected, inconsistent and specific to scoring, but the team seems comfortable with him at shooting guard while Mike Miller is out and he's averaged 15.3 points over the past six games. Week 7: BOS, IND
• Jose Calderon – Calderon was limited to 19 minutes on Saturday because of a hip flexor strain, but does not anticipate missing any time moving forward.
• Danny Granger – after weeks of playing through the injury, Granger's bruised right heel has finally forced him to the sidelines. He played just 19 minutes on Saturday and then sat out most of the second half, and then left the arena with his foot in a walking boot. Rest is the prescription for this type of injury, and he's set to undergo an MRI to determine exactly how much of it he needs. Mike Dunleavy and Brandon Rush will absorb the minutes while Granger sits.
• Allen Iverson(notes) – AI practiced with the 76ers on Sunday and will be in the lineup against the Nuggets on Monday, likely as the starting point guard. AI conceded that he's not in game shape as of yet:
"I’m not going to lie to myself. I’m not in the basketball shape that I want to be in. And at times out here I got real winded and once you get winded like that your arms get weak and your legs get weak. And obviously I’m going to have to be the judge of that and be honest with coach about when I’m going to have to get a blow because one thing I don’t want to do is go out there and hurt the team. I want to contribute and do what’s right for the team and if me not playing a lot of minutes is good for the team then that’s exactly what we should do."
• Yi Jianlian(notes) – Yi was set to return from his right knee sprain on Sunday, but an errant elbow in practice opened up a gash in his upper lip that required 50 stitches, and he'll need at least one more week off.
• Greg Oden – Oden fractured his left kneecap on Saturday and is likely done for the season. A sad fate for Oden, who was averaging 11.1 points on 61-percent shooting, 8.5 boards, and 2.3 blocks at the time of the injury. Joel Przybilla will take over as the team's starting center.
• Michael Redd – Redd practiced with the Bucks on Saturday but is not ready to return to game action, according to Scott Skiles. Unfortunately, Skiles didn't get any more specific in terms of a timeline.
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