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THREE UP, THREE DOWN

Posted by Ed Ryan January 22, 2009 05:54 AM

UP Andre Miller, G, Philadelphia It's no surprise that Miller's superb play has coincided with the Sixers' seven-game winning streak. Just as he did late last season during Philly's playoff push, Miller has proven he's the team's true catalyst. Last weekend he had 27 points, 11 assists, five rebounds, and two steals against the Knicks, and he's facing them -- and their porous defense -- again this weekend. Get Miller in your lineup.

UP Mardy Collins, PG, LA Clippers Collins has quietly stepped in and been productive with Baron Davis out injured. In the five games prior to last weekend, Collins was averaging 14.6 points and seven assists, and in January he's averaging 37 minutes of playing time. Collins' role will be diminished if Davis comes back at full strength, but with Davis' injury history, that's a big "if." Collins could provide valuable depth as the fantasy playoffs approach.

UP Jerryd Bayless, G, Portland Starting guard Steve Blake (separated shoulder) is out for a while, so keep an eye on this explosive rookie from Arizona. Last week in a win at New Jersey, Bayless played just 25 minutes but found a way to connect on six field goals and get to the foul line 11 times (he didn't miss). The Blazers are deep everywhere, so don't consider Bayless a long-term solution, but if you need a quick fix this week, keep in mind that he can put points up in a hurry.

DOWN Rudy Gay, F, MemphisGay is slumping. In two games late last week, he combined for only 15 points, six rebounds, and one assist. He also committed seven turnovers and had nine personal fouls. Gay's playing time has not diminished, so you can rule out an injury, but he's been a turnover machine this month, and Memphis does have options: Forward Hakim Warrick has been excellent off the bench. Now is a good time to sit Gay if you have a comparable option on your bench.

DOWN Greg Oden, C, Portland
Oden had five point-rebound double doubles in December but has just one in January. In the three following games, Oden averaged just four points, 2.3 rebounds, and 16 minutes of playing time. He also fouled out of one of those games and reportedly struggled trying to defend the pick-and-roll. Oden is hardly a bust, but he's not a good option to start for your fantasy squad. He's a future fantasy stud, but right now he should be either chained to your bench or dropped completely.

DOWN T.J. Ford, PG, Indiana
Ford is a frustrating fantasy player. He's capable of giving you huge point and assist numbers for a few weeks, but his back issues always linger. He's missed four games this month (Jarrett Jack has started), and in the five January games he's played, Ford has averaged only 26 minutes. If Ford's minutes don't improve over the next two weeks, he's not worth a spot on your roster.

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