Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wesley Matthews Replaces Nicolas Batum in Starting Line Up

Portland Trailblazers head coach Nate McMillan has elected to move Wesley Matthews into the starting line up over Nicolas Batum. Matthews responded to the promotion with 26 points tonight.

The Breakdown
Matthews has been hot recently and that is likely why he's been promoted to the starting five. He's scored 20+ points in four of his last six games and he's even playing well with Brandon Roy back in the line up. Mainly known for his defensive prowess, Matthews is turning into a great all-around player now that his offense is picking up. Fantasy owners who took our advice last week and pounced on Matthews may have picked up a player who can be a major contributor for the rest of the season. He's now a must own in all formats while he's starting. Many team managers failed to show the patience we recommended and dropped Matthews after his 4-point game recently, leaving him available in over 60% of leagues. Be sure to snatch him if he's unowned.

As for Batum, this is a huge blow to his value. Nicolas was having a great season and putting up career-best numbers across the board. We doubt he can produce enough off the bench to be worth rostering in standard leagues. His value is strictly limited to deep leagues for the time being. Owners in standard leagues may still want to hang onto him a little longer if nothing worthwhile is available in your free agent pool. With Brandon Roy still dealing with his knee injury, he could miss a few games. The Blazers are even considering resting him in the second game of back-to-backs. Batum would likely see extended minutes when Roy sits out. Roy's knee troubles are obvious as he wasn't himself tonight, scoring just 10 points. Now it's looking like Batum's value will hinge on Roy's health.

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