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Da Masta


1. Mark Blount-  Now that you know Blount is going to be the Heat's center for the remainder of the season (barring another trade), his Fantasy value is on the rise. He has averaged 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds the past five games and should benefit playing in this new style in Miami. Blount is a shooter, and he will get plenty of open looks with Dwyane Wade and Shawn Marion on the floor. If he's available in your leagues, pick him up. And if you need a center, make someone an offer for a No. 2 starting option.

2. Andre Miller-  The trade deadline is approaching, so Miller must be showcasing his game for a possible move. What else could explain his recent play? In his past five games Miller is averaging 19.8 points, 8.6 assists and 5.2 rebounds. Those stats put Miller in elite company with some of the top point guards in the league. Hopefully he continues to play like this following the All-Star break because that would make him a great starting option in the Fantasy playoffs.

3. Larry Hughes-  Where has this Larry Hughes been all season? He had 40 points at Orlando on Monday and is averaging 20.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists the past five games. He also has seven games in a row with double figures in points, which is a season high. Hughes has benefited with all the injuries the Cavaliers are dealing with, but he's also finally healthy after dealing with nagging injuries earlier this year. Hughes is definetely worth a look if you need a guard.

4. Erick Dampier-  Dampier isn't going to all of a sudden turn into a Fantasy star now that he is on the verge of having Jason Kidd as his point guard. But the proposed trade will open up more minutes for Dampier since Desagana Diop. will be in New Jersey. When Dampier is given extended playing time, he has averaged close to a double-double. In 12 games with at least 29 minutes played this season, Dampier is averaging 8.4 points and 8.1 rebounds. Those stats are worth using as a No. 2 center, and he has the potential to do better going forward because of Kidd.

5. Devin Harris- Harris will eventually be part of the rebuilding process in New Jersey after the trade involving Jason Kidd happens. Harris, who has missed the past eight games with an ankle injury, isn't going to average a triple-double once he joins the Nets. But Harris has the potential to be a solid point guard playing alongside Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson. Harris, who is averaging a career-high 14.4 points and 5.3 assists, should see his stats continue to rise, and Fantasy owners in need of a guard should try to get him now.


1. Jermaine O'Neal-  Remember him? He used to be an All-Star forward and one of the best post players in the NBA. Now he's just a mention on the injured list every week. O'Neal has missed 12 games with an injured knee, and he recently told the Indianapolis Star, "I always seem to come back a little too early. I'm not going to come back early this time." Hopefully O'Neal returns in time to help your Fantasy team in the playoffs, but there's a chance his absence is costing you a trip to the postseason.

2. Boris Diaw-  Diaw has played well in the three games since Shawn Marion was traded to Miami. He is averaging 11.0 points, 6.7 rebounds and 4.0 assists over that span, but that's about to change with Shaquille O'Neal ready to return. Diaw will still get additional playing time, but his game won't mesh well with O'Neal. Diaw struggled when Amare Stoudamire. returned from injury last year since Diaw doesn't play well away from the rim. His up-and-down season is about to continue just when he starts helping your Fantasy team.

3. Rajon Rondo-  Now we'll find out if Rondo is ready to be a standout guard or if he will again take a backseat for the Celtics. When Kevin Garnett went down with an abdominal strain, Rondo took his game to another level. He has averaged 15.6 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists over the past eight games, which is better than his season averages. But Garnett is expected to return following the All-Star break, and the likely scenario is Rondo goes back to letting Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen run things while he just plays his role. That will hurt his Fantasy value, and that's a shame since Rondo had finally started to shine.

4. Ben Gordon-  The Bulls can't catch a break when it comes to injuries, and Fantasy owners have suffered. Luol Demg (Achilles') has missed the most time, but Kirk Hinrich has also been injured. Now Gordon is out again with a wrist injury, and hopefully he can return following the All-Star break. Gordon has missed nine of the past 11 games with the injury, and the nagging problem is keeping Fantasy owners from using his 20.0 points per game. The Bulls need to shake these injuries and make a playoff run because that will help Fantasy owners who drafted these players with high draft picks.

5. TJ Ford- Ford has played well since returning from his 24-game absence with a head/neck injury, averaging 3.8 points and 6.0 assists in limited minutes. But now Ford is dealing with some soreness in his wrist, and he spoke about a tingling feeling in his hands following the previous injury. Hopefully this is not something that will limit his play because he could be a useful option in the Fantasy playoffs. But given his history, this is something worth monitoring because it might be a good idea to dump Ford now to someone in need of a guard.


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