Week 18 NBA Fantasy Start and Sit: Tracy McGrady Is Baaaaack!

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IFebruary 22, 2010

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 20:  Tracy McGrady #3 of the New York Knicks with the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Madison Square Garden on February 20, 2010 in New York, New York. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

We already covered all the trades and hit you up with all the fantasy analysis on all the players involved. Now it's time to get back into the mix of things in the fantasy realm, and that starts with setting a strong fantasy lineup for the week.

Read on for the top five guys to start , and five guys that can sit on the bench. But before you do, check out how many games each NBA squad is playing this week:

Three Games: Celtics, Bobcats, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Warriors, Rockets, Heat, Nets, Magic, 76ers, Kings, Spurs, Raptors

Four Games: Wizards, Trail Blazers, Suns, Thunder, Hornets, Knicks, Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Lakers, Clippers, Pacers, Pistons, Mavericks, Bulls, Hawks

Five Games: Milwaukee Bucks


Darren Collison, PG, New Orleans Hornets

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After a bit of an inconsistent start as the starting point guard (after taking over for Chris Paul), Collison has emerged as a true fantasy threat, high-lighted by his impressive triple double of 18 points, 13 rebounds, and 12 assists two games ago.

Collison has recorded at least 24 points and nine assists in four of his last five games, while logging at least 41 minutes in each game during that span.

It's official: Collison has arrived.

Tracy McGrady, G/F, New York Knicks

We weren't sure what to expect out of McGrady in his debut with the Knicks, but now it's safe to say the rust has been shaken off.

In his first game as a starter in over a year, McGrady ripped off 26 points on 10-for-17 shooting, and at least for now, demanded to be inserted into fantasy starting lineups yet again.

True, he's still a bit of an injury (and stamina) risk, but if you're hard up for a scorer, run with McGrady, who will get run in a high-octane offense. McGrady himself even questioned if he can handle 30+ minutes per game, but with four games this week, he's likely worth the risk.

John Salmons, G/F, Milwaukee Bucks

Salmons gets the starting nod for four very good reasons. First, he's scoring the ball (which is what Milwaukee brought him in to do), is logging well over 35 minutes per game with the Bucks, has helped Milwaukee to two straight wins, and he plays five games this week.

Booyah! Salmons is shooting under 40 percent from the field, but he's on a new team and doing a fine job despite the fact. As long as he keeps getting the minutes and shots, the points will come, and the rebounds and assists are sure to follow.

Also, with five games this week, mark Salmons down as a money-maker in fantasy. On a side note, other than Luke Ridnour (he's been off lately), consider this a full-blown Bucks promotion, as no other team plays five games this week.

Andray Blatche, F/C, Washington Wizards

Blatche has been off the charts ever since Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were shipped off elsewhere, as he exploded for 33 points and 13 rebounds in his first start since the trades, and has continued his fantasy dominance since.

Blatche is starting, scoring, rebounding, and shooting well, giving you plenty of reasons to start him. But here's one more: he plays four games this week.

Carl Landry, PF, Sacramento Kings

Continuing on the "trade update" trail, we're completely backing Landry, who dropped in a stellar 18-point and seven-rebound effort to show us all he'll likely continue to be a big part of the Kings offense.

He's averaging 37 minutes in Sacramento in two games, along with 13 shots per game. That's what we can expect going forward.


Steve Nash, PG, Phoenix Suns

Nash does have four games on the docket this week, and has been throwing down double-double's like a mad man, but he's officially listed as out for Tuesday, and is a moderate risk for the week.

It's his back, and he's in his mid-30's. We're going to go ahead and say he'll be lucky to play two full games this week, which makes him an excellent bench candidate.

On a side note (speaking of guys who ran in Mike D-Antoni's offense), sit that scrub in New York (Chris Duhon). His assists are solid (because of the offense), but he has a combined 24 points in his past seven games.

Luke Ridnour, PG, Milwaukee Bucks

Despite a solid season line of over 10 points and five assists, Ridnour has slipped of late, and it could actually become permanent.

With the addition of John Salmons, Ridnour's minutes and production have taken a hit in the last two games, while his scoring has dipped overall lately.

Ridnour has over 10 points in just two of his last seven games. Leave him on the bench until we can know for sure what his role will be going forward.

Randy Foye, G, Washington Wizards

Foye continues to start, but simply hasn't developed a killer instinct as a scorer or play-maker in Washington's offense, and is much too inconsistent to be relied on in fantasy, despite the Wizards playing four games this week.

Foye has topped eight points just once in his past four games, while shooting well under 38 percent from the field. Keep him on your bench.

Martell Webster, G/F, Portland Trail Blazers

Webster has continued his inconsistent ways, as he hasn't been able to top four points in the two contests since his 28-point outburst three games ago.

Webster has 10 or more points in just two out of his last six games, and is not a reliable fantasy option.

Richard Jefferson, G/F, San Antonio Spurs

With just over 12 points per game on the season, it's been clear for a while that Richard Jefferson hasn't been what the Spurs (or fantasy owners) had hoped for.

However, with two straight games with less than 10 points and just two games in double figures in scoring in his last seven, Jefferson is officially a waste of space in your starting lineup.

For more fantasy updates, including this week's waiver wire, visit NBA Soup .


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