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Portland Trail Blazers Wesley Matthews is paying off for fantasy owners

Who’s the fourth-best shooting guard in NBA fantasy nine-category leagues right now? Well, of course, it’s Portland Trail Blazer Wesley Matthews.

He is certainly paying big dividends for you if you grabbed him in your 2012 NBA fantasy draft — and you likely got him at a deal — a deal that’s easily giving a nice return on your investment so far.

Matthews entered the 2011-12 season with a Yahoo ADP of 72.1 — a top-of-the-sixth-round pick — and ESPN had him ranked 14th amongst shooting guards. Matthews was selected in the middle of the sixth round — right on schedule — in this year’s Athlon Sports one-man keeper NBA fantasy draft.

Matthews is the 14th best at something currently, but its 14th-best fantasy player overall in fantasy over the last seven days.

I know it’s early, and chances of Matthews keeping pace at one of the most loaded fantasy positions in the NBA is a tough task, but he did finish as the 10th-best shooting guard in nine-category fantasy leagues last season.

It will be hard for Matthews to get past the likes of Dwyane Wade, Stephen Curry, Monta Ellis, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Martin and James Harden at the shooting guard spot in terms of fantasy, but his ADP in Yahoo leagues made him the 17th shooting guard taken and finishing top 10 has already been proven.

Now Brandon Roy is taken out of the mix with his retirement, opening up the door wider for Matthews.

In 69 games as the starter last season, he went for 16.9 points, 3.3 boards, 2.2 assists, 2.1 3-pointers and 1.4 steals in 36 minutes per game.

So far in the 2011-12 season, Matthews is a top-four shooting guard and top-15 player with less time than last season. He is playing 34:17 minutes per game with 15.4 points, 5.2 boards, 1.2 assists, 2.4 3-pointers and 1.4 steals.

A deep bench is something of a concern for Matthews fantasy owners, but he was a proven commodity last season and has already picked up where he left off. So have faith in him and reap the rewards of your sixth-round selection.

By Corby A. Yarbrough @Corby_Yarbrough on Twitter