Adam Levitan

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Sneaky Samardo Samuels

Tuesday, March 08, 2011




NEW YORK
PG Toney Douglas
SG Landry Fields
SF Carmelo Anthony
PF Amare Stoudemire
C Jared Jeffries

Coach Mike D'Antoni has announced that Jared Jeffries will be his starting center even when Ronny Turiaf (knee) returns Yawn. In three starts for the Knicks, Jeffries has played 25.1 minutes per game but somehow averaged 0.3 points. Is that even possible?

Meanwhile, Chauncey Billups' (thigh) absence should be looked at as a good thing. For a player as old as him, a minor muscle injury like this serves as a break. He should be locked and loaded for a big final push.

Landry Fields has adjusted to the trade just fine. He is averaging 31.9 minutes per game over his last five, but most nights he will push for 34. The rookie's status has held as a low-end three-point specialist.

ORLANDO
PG Jameer Nelson
SG Jason Richardson
SF Hedo Turkoglu
PF Ryan Anderson
C Brandon Bass

Dwight Howard was suspended Monday. He will be back out there Wednesday, returning Ryan Anderson to his bench role.

Anderson is what he is at this point -- he will play 22-24 minutes off the bench and average two treys per game. Anything else you get is a bonus.

The rest of this rotation is set. If you have seen Gilbert Arenas hobble around on the court, you know he is no real threat to Jameer Nelson.

PHILADELPHIA
PG Jrue Holiday
SG Jodie Meeks
SF Andre Iguodala
PF Elton Brand
C Spencer Hawes

As the Sixers continue to get off to slow starts almost nightly, they are relying more and more on their NBA-best bench. After hovering around 26 minutes all season Thaddeus Young is playing 32.6 minutes a night over the last three games. He is guaranteed at least 26 minutes nightly and is well worth owning in almost all formats.

Lou Williams' role is not quite as secure. When Jodie Meeks gets hot, coach Doug Collins likes to ride the Kentucky product as the better defensive player. And Evan Turner's role is even less secure. Yes, the No. 2 overall pick is playing better, but his jump shot remains abysmal. He will play 16 minutes and struggle much more than he will play 30 minutes.

I'd rank these bench options Young>>Williams>>>Turner.

TORONTO
PG Jose Calderon
SG DeMar DeRozan
SF James Johnson
PF Amir Johnson
C Andrea Bargnani

The power forward spot here keeps getting more and more interesting. Amir Johnson has surprisingly been able to combine his enormous upside with consistency, making him one of the more valuable players in fantasy over the last couple months. Meanwhile rookie Ed Davis is proving to be a gem. Check out these per-36 minute stats on Davis: 10.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 61.2 percent shooting. And Reggie Evans (foot) seems to be close.

So what gives? Well, at this point, Johnson can't lose his starting gig. He is just playing too well. And as a building block for the Raptors' future, Davis must get minutes. Evans is one of the more beloved guys in every locker room and will get some time too. Look for 29-31 minutes out of Johnson, 23-26 minutes for Davis and eventually 18-20 from Evans.

James Johnson is a nice little story, but relying on him is a desperate move. Johnson will struggle for minutes often thanks to Jerryd Bayless/Leandro Barbosa/Sonny Weems and the ex-Bull just is not a scorer. His current block rate (10 in last six games) is unsustainable.

WASHINGTON
PG John Wall
SG Nick Young
SF Maurice Evans
PF Andray Blatche
C JaVale McGee

At some point, Rashard Lewis has to just give it up. His knee is simply too sore and while it's admirable that he wants to keep playing for a 16-46 team, it does not make much sense. Look for him to shut it down soon. Theoretically, that would open up time for Josh Howard. But he continues to struggle with his knee along with hamstring woes, so this small forward spot is a fantasy wasteland. It's just not worth the headache.

With those early-season knee problems behind him, John Wall is racking up huge minutes. Over the last 10 games, Wall is averaging 19.5 points, 8.5 assists while playing 39.0 minutes. However, his lack of treys and awful field-goal percentage makes me wary. I think Wall will be overvalued in drafts next year.

Follow Adam Levitan on Twitter for instant news and reaction to changes in NBA depth charts throughout the week.


Adam Levitan is in his sixth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan



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