Gilbert Arenas' fantasy owners and Wizards fans were no doubt interested in what he had to say while attending the unveiling of his wax figure at Madame Tussauds. Of interest to his fantasy owners, in regards to a return from his most recent knee surgery: "I definitely want to wait until after the New Year's." And of interest to fans of the 1-8 Wizards: "… if this is one of those years where we don't make the playoffs or we finish in last place … that's what happened to San Antonio and that's how they got Tim Duncan and look at them now … and that's for the better." So fantasy owners got a firmer timetable and Wizards backers can rest assured that there is a light at the end of the tunnel … assuming, of course, they can finish in last place.
• Russell Westbrook has 39 rebounds on the season, with 23 coming on the offensive end. Of the six players with at least 25 rebounds who have more offensive than defensive, Westbrook has the greatest numerical difference in his splits (7). He currently ranks 44th in the league in offensive boards – just ahead of Kevin Garnett (21) and Shaquille O'Neal (22) – and 227th in defensive boards.
• Top 10 players in terms of OREB percentage (minimum 25 rebounds): Joel Anthony (59 percent), Westbrook (59), Jason Maxiell (58), Josh Boone (52), Marreese Speights (52), Zaza Pachulia (51), Amir Johnson (50), Kosta Koufos (48), Aaron Gray (47) and Jared Dudley (46)
• Top 10 players in terms of DREB percentage (minimum 25 rebounds): Jarrett Jack (97 percent), Steve Nash (97), Bruce Bowen (96), J.R. Smith (95), Raja Bell (93), Daequan Cook (93), Leandro Barbosa (93), Jason Kapono (92), Chauncey Billups (91) and Roger Mason (91).
• Spencer Hawes has accumulated the second-most fouls in the league to this point (54) but isn't just out there flailing around on defense – he's currently sixth in the league in steals-plus-blocks with 34. With that said, his ratio of steals-plus-blocks to fouls (0.63:1) is just 102nd among those with at least 10 steals-plus-blocks.
The top 10: Rasual Butler (3.33:1), Tracy McGrady (2.22:1), Josh Smith (2.11:1), Andrei Kirilenko (1.94:1), Dwyane Wade (1.80:1), Ben Wallace (1.74:1), Jamario Moon (1.71:1), Trevor Ariza (1.62:1), Brian Skinner (1.60:1) and Ronnie Brewer (1.5:1).
The bottom 10: Carmelo Anthony (0.29:1), Yi Jianlian (0.30:1), David Lee (0.31:1), Richard Jefferson (0.32:1), Hilton Armstrong (0.32:1), Leon Powe (0.34:1), Carlos Boozer (0.35:1), Mo Williams (0.35:1), Vince Carter (0.35:1) and Jameer Nelson (0.35:1).
• Dwight Howard has been to the line fewer than 11 times just once in the past six games, averaging 12.7 attempts over that stretch. On the season, he's averaging a career-high 11.6 attempts, and that projects to 954 attempts over 82 games, which would rank 10th all-time. If he could raise his percentage of makes (currently .539) to his rookie season rate (.671), he'd add 1.5 points to his scoring average. If he could approach the mythical territory of the league average (.750), he'd add 2.4 points to his scoring average. Think about it.
Prime Pickups: Top players available in 50 percent of Yahoo! leagues
Andrea Bargnani (Tor – SF, PF, C) 49 percent owned
Bargnani's been getting steady coverage over the past week: he was mentioned in last week's Big Picture, Monday's Skinny and Wednesday's Court Report. He's in the starting five for the Raptors and fantasy owners need to get on board now, before a few more games like Wednesday (25 points, 3 treys, 2 blocks) have him coming off free agent pools en masse. Bias: none Schedule:3,3,4
Matt Barnes (Pho – SF) 50 percent owned
Barnes' percent-owned number made a slow steady drop while he missed five of seven games between Nov. 5-16 because of the birth of twin boys and a two-game suspension for checking Rafer Alston. He was back on Monday and put together a useful line (19 points, 2 threes, 5 boards, 1 block), and his season averages are good for a current per-game rank of 99 (12 points on 48 percent shooting, 2 threes, 5.7 boards in 28 minutes). All in all, there's no real reason to expect a drop-off in playing time or production, so feel free to get him back on rosters. Bias: none Schedule: 4,3,3
Brook Lopez (NJ – PF, C) 44 percent owned
Lopez has taken advantage of Josh Boone's ankle injury in a big way, posting season highs in points (25), boards (13) and blocks (4) during his three starts and averaging 15 points on 58 percent shooting, 9.7 rebounds, 1 steal and 2.3 blocks in 32 minutes. The team has also won two of the three games and that may be another reason that Lopez sticks in the starting five, ahead of Boone. We're likely to get two more games with Lopez as the undisputed starter (Fri/Sat), and if he posts good numbers and the team is successful then you have to like his chances that much more. Bias: none Schedule: 4,3,3
Francisco Garcia (Sac – SG, SF) 48 percent owned
Kings president Geoff Petrie has said that Garcia is just about ready to return to practice, so you need to start thinking about picking him up in leagues where he's available. He's been out a month so it's going to take some time for him to get up to speed, but the 5-8 Kings are certainly ready for him to return and he'll get steady as soon as he's ready for them. H2H owners take note: the Kings only play two games in Week 6. Bias: none Schedule: 4,2,3
Shane Battier (Hou – SF) 47 percent owned
Battier practiced for the first time Wednesday and could return to the rotation over the weekend, although the preference is to get another practice in before seeing game action. He won't match last season's 36 minutes per game with a healthy Rockets "big three," but his fantasy impact (season rank of 49 last season) was nearly identical in 2004-05 (season rank of 54) in five fewer minutes per game, and none of his trio of teammates is known as the picture of health. He'll be brought along slowly, but you could do much worse than to use your last roster spot on Battier right now, particularly in roto leagues. Bias: roto Schedule: 4,2,4
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (Mil – SF, PF) 40 percent owned
Mbah a Moute has been solid in his five starts thus far, averaging 12.6 points, 8.8 boards, and 1.2 steals in 33 minutes per game. What makes those numbers even more interesting is that he's managed just 35 percent shooting (as opposed to 56 percent in eight games as a reserve). If/when the shots start falling again (he hasn't been shy, averaging 11 FGA per game), you are looking at that much more usefulness, and it should continue for the most part even when Charlie Villanueva is back in the mix for the Bucks. Bias: none Schedule: 4,3,3
JaVale McGee (Was – PF, C) 9 percent owned
McGee cracked the starting lineup for the Wizards on Wednesday and he's got a solid chance to stick. It's fair to have expected better production against the Hawks (5 points, 5 boards, 0 blocks), but being in the starting five should only mean good things for him in terms of fantasy impact. His per-25 minute averages include 10.6 points, 7.1 boards and 1.4 blocks. Bias: none Schedule: 3,4,3
Rasho Nesterovic (Ind – C) 15 percent owned
Could we see the emergence of yet another player in the fantasy-friendly Indiana system? Rasho put together a complete line against the short-handed Hawks on Tuesday: 21 points, 7 boards, 5 assists, 2 steals, and 3 blocks. His per-game stats have balanced out nicely, as well: 11.5 points on 56 percent shooting, 6 boards, 2.8 assists, 0.7 steals, and 1.5 blocks in 28 minutes. The offensive opportunities are there for pretty much everyone in this system – even Jeff Foster averaged 13.3 points in a recent four-game stretch – so an add/drop makes plenty of sense if you are lacking quality and/or depth among your bigs. Bias: none Schedule: 4,4,3
33 percent owned
Varejao continues to play consistent minutes as the Cavs' third big – he's currently fifth on the team at 26 minutes per game – and his recent production should have him as a bigger blip on fantasy radars. Over the past seven games, he's averaged 9.7 points on 62 percent shooting, 7.3 boards, 1 steal, and 1.1 blocks in 27 minutes. He's also made 20 of 25 free throws during that span (80 percent), but that is one thing that you shouldn't get used to. Bias: none Schedule: 4,3,4
Bias: Notes when a player's 9-cat line is more favorable in roto or h2h leagues; if 'none', the player's overall impact is relatively even in both Schedule: The number of games the players' team has scheduled for the upcoming three weeks
Eddy Curry Line Update: the Eddy Curry Line was originally established to put a spotlight on how truly anemic Curry's overall fantasy line is. It can be used to help establish which players are among the best and worst, in terms of efficiency of production, for fantasy basketball. The standard: a player must average more turnovers than assists, steals, and blocks combined – in order to qualify, a player must have appeared in at least half of his team's games and averaged at least 25 minutes of playing time.
Note: To view the Eddy Curry rating of every NBA player, click here.
EDDY CURRY LINE – BEST AND WORST (as of 11/20)
TOP 10 (Worst)
BOTTOM 10 (Best)
GP = games played
MPG = minutes played per game
POS = positive stats accumulated to-date (assists + steals + blocks)
NEG = turnovers to-date
RATIO = amount of positive stats per turnover