Rudy, Rudy, Rudy

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Fernandez making most of opportunity in Portland

Fernandez making most of opportunity in Portland

There are many ways to play fantasy basketball — rotisserie, head to head, lineups that can be changed any time and lineups that lock just prior to Monday night’s tip. With that in mind, Athlon Sports will give you the Fantasy Dime each week. These are 10 things to assist you before you have to lock in that lineup for the week.

Brandon Roy's knee is going to be an issue all season long — or until the Trail Blazers decide to shut him down for the year. That leaves Rudy Fernandez to perhaps be the fantasy beneficiary.

The shooting guard has played no less than 20 minutes since Dec. 15 and in those eight games he is averaging 13.5 points with 2.1 3s a game on 48 percent shooting from the field. He's even contributed over three rebounds (3.1) and assists (3.3) during those eight games to go with 1.1 steals. The Blazers have four games this week, and Fernandez would be a good add. He is available in 85 percent of Yahoo leagues where he has just shooting guard eligibility, but is a pretty good multi-category contributor right now.

MINUTES TO HAVE
Injuries have beset Ryan Anderson this year, but he's healthy at just the right time for the Orlando Magic and your fantasy roster, too.

He has played no less than 19 minutes in the five games since his return from a foot injury and averaged 12.5 points, 1.8 3-pointers a game and six rebounds in that time. With not much to back up Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass battling a knee injury that may or may not sideline him, minutes are in store for Anderson. The Magic have four games this week, and Anderson should be a good play. Hedo Turkoglu could go to the 4 as well, but it's worth the gamble to give Anderson a shot in your lineup.

THE OTHER CLIPPER IN THE PAINT
With Chris Kaman (ankle) still having no timetable for his return, DeAndre Jordan continues to be worthy of a roster spot for the L.A. Clippers.

In his last two outings, Jordan has blocked six and seven shots apiece to go with 12 and five on the boards and six and 14 in scoring department. He's also shot 8-of-9 from the field combined in those two games. Jordan is owned in just 28 percent of Yahoo leagues, and if he can keep up just 75 percent of this effort he's worth a spot.

One problem he has this week: the Clips only play two games. But with Kaman not appearing to be returning anytime soon, it's never bad to have a productive center on the roster.

BYE, NATE
This one is pretty simple: Rajon Rondo is back for the Celtics so Nate Robinson should be off your roster.

Robinson was a spark for fantasy rosters the first couple of games he stepped in for Rondo, but is not consistent enough to stay on your fantasy roster with Rondo back. Boston coach Doc Rivers said before Sunday's return, if he could get Rondo 40 minutes he would; Rondo played 34. He dished out eight assists in his return. Robinson hasn't dished out that many assists since Nov. 22 when he had 10, and that is the only time Robinson has had more than six this year.

The Celtics play four games this week, so maybe you keep Robinson if you think Rondo could relapse or if four games is too many to log a ton of minutes upon his return. But I doubt it. Move on from Robinson.

CRASHED AGAIN
Charlotte forward Gerald Wallace is having ankle problems again. He will not play Monday against Miami and may not play the Bobcats' other two games this week. The injury sidelined him for five games from Dec. 15-27 before returning for two games to end the year. He was his old self when he was in the lineup — averaging 14.5 points, nine rebounds and a steal in the two games. Hopefully for "Crash" owners, this won't become a common occurrence.

BLAST FROM THE PAST
Veteran Shawn Marion will probably be the hot pickup of the week if he's not already on a roster (he's owned in 65 percent of Yahoo leagues). With the news, or the possibility the news will come that Caron Butler's knee injury will shelve him for quite some time, Marion becomes a hot commodity for the Mavericks.

Marion (thigh) just returned from one-game absence himself, but instantly went to the starting lineup because of Butler's injuries. Marion is the backup for both Butler and the injured Dirk Nowitzki (knee), so he should get plenty of PT this week and in the near future.

Marion was already averaging 27 minutes, 10.2 points and 6.5 boards this season. In five starts this season, Marion averages 30:30 per game with 15 points, 5.6 boards, 1.4 assists, 0.6 blocks while shooting 62 percent from the field.

SLOW PACE
Indiana's roster rotation has to be one of the most frustrating in fantasy. There's Darren Collison/T.J. Ford at the point, Brandon Rush/Mike Dunleavy at the 2 and now it's Roy Hibbert/Jeff Foster at the center.

Hibbert came off the bench for the first time this season when the Pacers lost to the Knicks Jan. 2. He played 16 minutes despite his replacement Jeff Foster fouling out in 22 minutes of action.

Maybe it's not that big in the grand scheme as it was reported coach Jim O'Brien made the switch for the defensive matchup. But there are a lot of defensive matchup lineup decisions being made in Indiana and it makes setting a fantasy lineup involving Pacers quite a task. And when the team scores just 96.8 points per game, perhaps its best to start moving away from all Pacers until (if ever) a consistent lineup is set.

BYNUM v. ODUM
Andrew Bynum
got his third straight start since returning from injury when the Lakers were drilled by the Grizzlies on Jan. 2. In his three games as a starter, Bynum is averaging 11.7 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.3 blocks.

I mention Bynum for two reasons: If he is still available for some crazy reason, go get him. Second, what does this mean for Lamar Odom who had been starting in his sted?

Odom's averages of 15.7 points and 9.5 rebounds per game will certainly take a hit. His minutes are still up there for now — 30:56 and 28:08, 30:56 and 30:33 in the three games since Bynum took over as starter. But be ready to take a hit and, like me, be thankful that he produced like an All-Star for the first 10 weeks of the season as a late pick and hope he can give glimpses of that over the next 15 weeks.

RAPTOR OF THE WEEK
Seems like there's always a new Toronto player producing each week. I guess it tends to happens when you are one of the 11 teams in the league that are scoring over 100 points per game (while also giving up 104.4).

This week it seems to be DeMar DeRozan. He has started every game this season, but really taken off since a Dec.19 game against the Lakers as a consistent, multi-category producer.

In those six games, DeRozan has averaged 21.8 points on 52 percent shooting from the field and 80 percent from the stripe. He has also added 3.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and one steal a game.

The Raptors have four games this week — two against defensive-minded Chicago and Boston but another two against not-so defensive-minded Cleveland and Sacramento.

DeRozan's available in 46 percent of Yahoo leagues, and with guard-forward eligibility is a solid add.

GO GORTAT
Robin Lopez
is the starting center but recently acquired Marcin Gortat is getting the minutes in Phoenix. Perhaps it is because Lopez is coming back from injury or the Suns just want to see what they got in the trade.

Either way, Gortat has seen no less than 27 minutes in the last four games, averaging 11 points and 6.3 boards in that time. Lopez, in that time, is averaging four points and 2.3 boards having played no more than 13 minutes. Channing Frye, who has forward-center eligibility, averaged 31:36 minutes of action in December, but has seen games of 19:!6, 28:10 and 18:25 in his last three outings.

Just by deducing numbers, the Suns seem to be shining on Gortat. You should, too as Phoenix plays three games this week.

— Corby A. Yarbrough @AthlonCorby on Twitter

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