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Content provided by Rotoworld Player News - Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

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Magic plan to deal Hedo Turkoglu by January 7 12-24-2013
Hedo Turkoglu F LAC
The Magic intend to waive or trade Hedo Turkoglu by January 7.

Orlando Sentinel
Turkoglu isn't part of Orlando's plans and if they waive him by the 7th they'll only owe him $6 million of his $12 million salary. It's possible that some team will eventually give him a minimum contract for the rest of the season once he clears waivers, but Turk's days of fantasy relevance are behind him.
Anthony Bennett loses five pounds w/ illness 12-24-2013
Anthony Bennett F BKN
Anthony Bennett lost five pounds due to his recent illness.

"[The illness] was hard with my asthma," said Bennett, who returned to action on Monday. "My asthma acts up 50 times worse. Getting up and down the court twice would have been terrible. I would have had a hard time breathing." The No. 1 pick came into the season listed at 259 pounds, but he's been trying to lose weight recently and this recent illness has him down to 240 pounds.
Dion Waiters (wrist) hopes to return 'soon' 12-24-2013
Dion Waiters G MIA
Dion Waiters (wrist tendinitis) has missed the Cavaliers' past three games but said that he hopes to return soon. "Any time anyone gets hurt, you're concerned, especially the longer that it lasts," said coach Mike Brown. "There's nothing I can do about it. We follow what the doctors say and go from there." The Cavaliers return to action on Thursday and Waiters remains questionable for that game -- if he can't suit up a few more minutes will be available for Matthew Dellavedova and Jarrett Jack.
Xavier Henry shifts to Lakers bench Wednesday 12-24-2013
Xavier Henry SF MIL
Xavier Henry will move to the Lakers' bench on Wednesday with Jordan Farmar (hamstring) returning to start at PG.

Lakers on Twitter
Henry has been underwhelming in five starts this season, averaging 14.0 points on 33.9 percent shooting with just 1.6 assists vs. 1.6 turnovers per game. He's playing under 20 minutes as a reserve this season and can safely be dropped for a FA with more upside.
Marvin Williams plans to wear mask all year 12-24-2013
Marvin Williams F CHA
Marvin Williams said he's "comfortable" with his protective mask and will continue to wear it all season.

Salt Lake Tribune
He broke his nose in mid-November and has been cleared to play without the mask, but he now prefers to keep it on. "It's almost a certain level of comfort I have with it now," he said. "That was my first time breaking my nose and I don't want to have it happen again." Williams hasn't scored double-digit points in any of Utah's past five games, but he's still returning late round value thanks to 1.7 triples, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 0.6 blocks per game, with minimal turnovers.
Jordan Farmar (hamstring) ready to play Wed. 12-24-2013
Jordan Farmar G LAC
Jordan Farmar's ultrasound revealed that his torn hamstring has completely healed, setting the stage for his return on Wednesday.

Lakers on Twitter
Farmar is expected to jump into the starting PG spot which Xavier Henry has been filling out of necessity. He was on a tear in late November before getting injured, and fantasy owners should grab him off the waiver wire now that he's in sole possession of the starting job.
Deron Williams fine after tweaking left ankle 12-24-2013
Deron Williams G DAL
Deron Williams said that he was fine after tweaking his left ankle during Monday's game.

NY Post
The Nets were trailing by 18 points with a few minutes left when D-Will left the game for good, and his ankle injury wasn't the cause of his inactivity. "I need to play better," Williams said. "I need to be more aggressive for us to have a chance, especially with Brook going down." His left ankle is the one that forced him to miss 11 games earlier this season, so we'll leave him on the injury report as a simple precaution.
Kenyon Martin questionable for Christmas Day 12-24-2013
Kenyon Martin F MIL
Kenyon Martin (abdomen) is questionable for Wednesday's game against the Thunder.

Al Iannazzone on Twitter
Martin had been ruled out until early-January, but it is possible he could beat that timeline with a return on Christmas Day. If Martin doesn't play on Wednesday, Amare Stoudemire would likely see an uptick in minutes.
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) will be GTD for Weds 12-24-2013
Carmelo Anthony F NY
Carmelo Anthony (ankle) will be a game-time decision for the Knicks' Christmas Day game against the Thunder.

Steve Popper on Twitter
Anthony is hopeful to play on Wednesday, but this is sounding like a true game-time decision. We'll be updating this situation as more news comes out, but J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert would see a bump in minutes if Anthony misses Wednesday's game while Tim Hardaway Jr. would make for an interesting daily play.
Raymond Felton (groin) out for Christmas Day 12-24-2013
Raymond Felton G LAC
Raymond Felton (groin) will miss Wednesday's game against the Thunder.

Al Iannazzone on Twitter
Felton said he felt a pop in his groin Monday night and will be re-evaluated on Wednesday to determine a timetable for his return. More to come on this situation, but it's sounding like Felton could miss at least a few games and possibly significant time. Beno Udrih is a good, but not great option for fantasy owners while Felton is out and a long-term Felton absence could rekindle trade talks with the Raptors for Kyle Lowry.
Luol Deng (achilles) misses Tuesday practice 12-24-2013
Luol Deng F LAL
Luol Deng (achilles) missed practice on Tuesday, which puts his status up in the air for Wednesday's game against Brooklyn.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
Deng's lack of practice participation over the past few days would seem to indicate that he's doubtful for Wednesday's Christmas Day game against the Nets. We'll be updating his status as soon as there is more information, but Jimmy Butler is probable to play on Wednesday and he and Mike Dunleavy should see a large chunk of minutes if Deng is out.
Kirk Hinrich (back) present at Tues practice 12-24-2013
Kirk Hinrich G ATL
Kirk Hinrich (back) was present at Tuesday's practice and is still questionable for Wednesday's game against the Nets.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
We'll be updating this situation as soon as we know more, but all the signs seem to be pointing to Hinrich playing on Christmas Day. It remains to be seen whether Hinrich will reclaim his starting role upon his return, but both he and D.J. Augustin would take a hit in value as they'll be splitting minutes at the point.
Jimmy Butler confident he'll play Wednesday 12-24-2013
Jimmy Butler G CHI
Jimmy Butler (ankle) is confident that he'll be able to play against the Nets on Christmas Day.

K.C. Johnson on Twitter
Butler took part in practice on Monday and thinks he'll be good-to-go against the Nets come Wednesday afternoon. He did add that, "It's bothering me a little. But I feel like it's going to bother me like that for the rest of my career." . While the "rest of his career" talk doesn't sound great, Butler should see big minutes upon his return and should be owned and started in all leagues as long as he is healthy and on the court.
Paul Pierce slapped with $15,000 fine 12-24-2013
Paul Pierce F LAC
Paul Pierce has been fined $15,000 for a Flagrant Foul 2 against George Hill during Monday's loss to the Pacers.

Tim Bontemps on Twitter
Pierce will be a little lighter in the wallet come Christmas Day, but he is not facing a suspension and will be able to suit up against the Bulls on Wednesday. Pierce is safe to deploy for Christmas Day, but his bench role will make him an inconsistent (and frustrating) option until he is able to work his way back into the starting lineup.
Steve Nash hopes to return in a few weeks 12-24-2013
Steve Nash G LAL
Steve Nash is working with his personal trainer in Canada and hopes to return in a few weeks.

Arizona Republic
Nash's original timeline was four weeks so "a few weeks" would keep him on a similar timeline that would have him returning around mid-to-late January. Upon his return, Mike D'Antoni is confident that Nash "will be in spot where he can finish up the season strong." Jordan Farmar is close to a return to the court and will see plenty of minutes with both Nash and Steve Blake out, making him the pickup for owners looking to squeeze some value out of this situation.
Eric Gordon isn't worried about hip injury 12-24-2013
Eric Gordon G HOU
Eric Gordon (hip) doesn't think his hip injury will be a long-term problem.

New Orleans Times-Picayune
It's always a worrisome thing for fantasy owners to see an injury next to the brittle Gordon's name, but the sixth-year player sounds confident that it won't be an issue. "It was a tough fall," Gordon said. "I just landed on my hip. We'll see how it goes over the next few days. But I don't think it's anything that will hurt long term. We are just being cautious with it at this point. We'll see what happens." We'll update this situation as soon as we know more, but if Gordon misses any time, Tyreke Evans should see a slight bump in his value.
Omer Asik won't play any time soon 12-24-2013
Omer Asik C NO
Omer Asik (knee, thigh) won't play any time soon, according to Kevin McHale.

Mark Berman on Twitter
It remains unclear as to whether this news is related to Asik's injuries or his desire to be traded, but it is clear that his fantasy owners can feel free to drop the big man. Asik could be a valuable source of blocks and rebounds if he is traded to a new team and is healthy, but it's just not worth using a roster spot on the disgruntled center at the moment.
Michael Beasley develops passion for defense 12-24-2013
Michael Beasley F MIL
Michael Beasley has developed a passion for defense and could earn more playing time going forward.

South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Beasley had missed six consecutive games before racking up 10 points, seven rounds, and one assist in 20 minutes of action against the Hawks on Monday. The Heat were without Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, but it is worth noting that Beasley was on the court for the Hawks final possession Monday night. "He gave us a spark there in the fourth quarter when we had [LeBron James] and [Chris Bosh] out of the game," Spoelstra said. "He was able to take some of the responsibility offensively but also defensively he gives us that athleticism. He still needs to get up to speed on what we're doing but he can cover a lot of ground." Beasley could be an interesting add in deeper leagues, but we'll need to see more consistent minutes out of him first.
Greg Smith (knee) will not play Christmas Day 12-24-2013
Greg Smith C DAL
Greg Smith (knee) will not play against the Spurs on Christmas Day.

Mark Berman on Twitter
Smith had been in line for some playing time if Omer Asik had been traded, but since a trade never came to fruition, fantasy owners can go back to forgetting about the now-injured Smith. Terrence Jones should continue to see more minutes at center as long as Asik (thigh) and Smith are out.
Kawhi Leonard feeling fine after dental work 12-24-2013
Kawhi Leonard F SA
Kawhi Leonard is feeling no ill effects of the dental work that forced him to miss one game.

San Antonio Express-News
Leonard posted a double-double in 31 minutes of work during Monday's win over the Raptors and looks good to go moving forward. "Now there's no more pain," Leonard said before Monday's game. "I'm good." Owners can feel free to slot the third-year forward into their lineups and enjoy the across-the-board stats that he provides.
Danny Green comes off bench Monday for Spurs 12-24-2013
Danny Green G SA
Danny Green came off the bench Monday for the second time in four games.

San Antonio Express-News
The streaky Green was again replaced in the starting lineup by Marco Belinelli, but was still able to put up 14 points and four 3-pointers in 24 minutes. Green added after the game, "It's not about who starts, it's about who finishes." The fifth-year player is correct, but he can be a frustrating player to own when his minutes mimic a yo-yo.
James Harden (ankle) hopeful for Xmas Day 12-24-2013
James Harden G HOU
James Harden (ankle) is hopeful that he'll be ready to play against the Spurs on Christmas Day.

Houston Chronicle
Harden missed his second consecutive game Monday night and thinks the ankle sprain he's been dealing with since December 15th is getting better. "The swelling went down," Harden said. "It's still there but it's improving. We will re-evaluate and I will try to do some work on it [on Tuesday] and go from there. I will keep icing it and getting treatment and hopefully be ready for Christmas Day." We'll be updating Harden's status on Christmas Day, but Francisco Garcia would make for a good spot-start if Harden is unable to play.
Jeremy Lin (back) feels fine after return 12-24-2013
Jeremy Lin G BKN
Jeremy Lin (back) felt fine after playing 37 minutes in his return to the court.

Houston Chronicle
Lin had missed the Rockets' previous four games with his back ailment, so it was nice to see him log 37 minutes in his return. "I felt all right, the second half a little bit better than the first," Lin said. "I definitely can't complain in terms of how my body felt in my first game back." Lin likely won't play 37 minutes per game as the Rockets get healthier, but he deserves to be in all fantasy lineups while healthy for his scoring prowess.
Dirk becomes 13th on all-time scoring list 12-24-2013
Dirk Nowitzki F DAL
Dirk Nowitzki passed Alex English for 13th on the NBA's all-time scoring list on Monday with a line of 31 points, six boards, three assists, one steal, two blocks and one 3-pointer. It's hard to believe he's the 13th-best scorer in the NBA and he still looks like he's in his prime. Nowitzki's one-legged fadeaway is currently the biggest signature shot in the NBA and he's easily one of the best seven-foot shooters in league history. As for fantasy, he's coasting right now and is yielding first-round value in his 16th season.
Eric Gordon did not return from hip 12-24-2013
Eric Gordon G HOU
Eric Gordon did not return from his right hip contusion on Monday. The team said he could return, but he did not after exiting the game with nine minutes left in the third quarter. The Pelicans were playing well without him thanks to Tyreke Evans taking over, so their reasoning to keep him out might not be entirely due to his hip. The good news is the Pelicans have the holiday and are off until Friday, so Gordon can be considered a little closer to probable. He finished with 17 points, two boards and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes vs. the Kings.
Anthony Bennett scores seven points 12-24-2013
Anthony Bennett F BKN
Anthony Bennett returned from an illness on Monday in a blowout loss to the Pistons, scoring seven points with two boards on 3-of-7 shooting. He is shooting 21.2 percent on his jumpers this year and continues to be one of the more disappointing stories of the year. Bennett is currently a liability on both ends of the court and has minimal fantasy value.
Marcus Morris scores 19 points vs. LAL 12-24-2013
Marcus Morris F DET
Marcus Morris scored 19 points off the bench against the Lakers on Monday during an easy 117-90 win, adding four boards, three assists and five 3-pointers on 6-of-9 shooting. Apparently, he likes playing the Lakers. In Marcus' two games against them, he's averaged 20.5 points, 5.0 boards, 0.5 blocks and 3.5 triples in 26.0 minutes. Morris has alternated games with single- and double-figure outings over his last seven games, so he needs to establish some consistency to be a trustworthy player in most leagues. Although, it's not a bad idea to pick him up based on his 11 triples over his last three games.
Gerald Green blows out Lakers, hits six 3s 12-24-2013
Gerald Green F BOS
Gerald Green hit six 3-pointers on his way to 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting against Lakers on Monday. He's pouring it on over his last three games with a total of 16 3-pointers in that span. Interestingly, he's made more 3-pointers by himself than the Nuggets (13) and Bobcats (15) have made over their last three games. While we have seen this movie before, it's kind of tough to leave him on the wire since he's played in 28 minutes for three consecutive games.
MIles Plumlee schools Lakers for 20 boards 12-24-2013
Miles Plumlee C CHA
Miles Plumlee grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds against the Lakers on Monday to go with 17 points, one assist and two blocks in 31 minutes. The Suns whipped the Lakers inside and won the rebounding battle 62-39 tonight. Plumlee has picked it up over his last five, averaging 9.8 points, 12.6 boards and 1.6 blocks, so he seems to have gained the trust of coach Jeff Hornacek. If you can stomach his 44.3 percent from the line, Plumlee is worth owning in most leagues while he's hot.
Thomas continues to roll for the Kings 12-24-2013
Isaiah Thomas G BOS
Isaiah Thomas scored 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting (including three treys) with five rebounds, five assists and three steals in the Kings' 113-100 loss to the Pelicans on Monday. Thomas has cemented himself as an early round play for the foreseeable future, and after years of griping about his lack of minutes we're still not sure if this is a practical joke. Rudy Gay had his worst game as a King with 11 points on 2-of-12 shooting and an otherwise normal line, and Boogie Cousins went for 24 and 14 with two steals and two blocks in the loss.
Jodie Meeks plays team-high 40 minutes 12-24-2013
Jodie Meeks G ORL
Jodie Meeks played a team-high 40 minutes against the Suns during a 117-90 loss, scoring 18 points with five boards, four assists, three steals and two 3-pointers. He should continue to start and might actually gain value with Jordan Farmar coming back. Meeks gets most of his best work done as a spot-up shooter and he converts 44.5 percent of his 3-pointers in catch-and-shoot situations compared to making 26.9 percent off the dribble from that range. He should be viewed as a hold.
Jordan Hill back in the doghouse again 12-24-2013
Jordan Hill F MIN
Jordan Hill played just 14 minutes off the bench on Monday with seven points, four boards and one turnover against the Suns. It seems like every year coach Mike D'Antoni messes with one guy more than any other and that guy looks to be Jordan Hill this year. Hill had a 14-point. 10-board game on Saturday, but he was pushed back to a secondary role tonight. His December averages are pretty solid at 9.3 points, 6.4 boards and 0.5 blocks despite only 17.9 minutes, so he would be a beast with consistent minutes. Of course, that's a fundamental issue with D'Antoni running the show. It's better to just bench him unless you can't resist making a pickup for a hot free agent.
Thornton scores 19 points on Monday 12-24-2013
Marcus Thornton G WAS
Marcus Thornton scored 19 points on Monday, hitting 5-of-13 shots (2-of-6 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line) with five rebounds and one assist in 30 minutes. Thornton only got this much time because Ben McLemore (three points, 23 minutes, four fouls) was struggling and beyond that he isn't guaranteed a rotation spot on any given night. Unless you're in a 30-team league there's not enough to hold onto there, and as for McLemore just keep considering him a stash for the second half of the season.
Shawne Williams scores seven points 12-24-2013
Shawne Williams F MIL
Shawne Williams started against the Suns on Monday and had seven points, six boards and one 3-pointer in 25 minutes.
Aminu posts useful line in 26 minutes 12-24-2013
Al-Farouq Aminu F POR
Al-Farouq Aminu scored 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting (including a three) with eight rebounds, three steals and one block in Monday's win over the Kings. Aminu was left for dead after early returns by his teammates, but he was able to get going against the defenseless Kings. He's worth keeping an eye on or even holding for one more game if you've yet to make the drop, but chances are he's going to struggle as the Pelicans play with a full deck.
Tyreke goes for 25-6-12 in return to Sacto 12-24-2013
Tyreke Evans G SAC
Tyreke Evans returned to Sacramento for the first time since becoming a Pelican and scored 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting with six rebounds, 12 assists and three steals. Evans hit 11-of-12 free throws to put a bow on this effort, and until the Kings can get their defensive issues fixed opposing teams are going to have their way with them. Jrue Holiday went for 17 points, five boards and 10 assists, Eric Gordon scored 17 points with two threes, the Brow went for 21 and 11, and Ryan Anderson scored eight points with two threes while getting hammered on the defensive side of the court.
Nick Young scores 19 points, stays Swaggy 12-24-2013
Nick Young F LAL
Nick Young shot 6-of-17 from the field for 19 points with two boards, one assist, one steal and two 3-pointers in 33 minutes against the Suns on Monday. He's been great over his last five, averaging 21.0 points, 3.2 boards, 1.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 3.0 triples in 32.4 minutes. With Isaiah Thomas and Jamal Crawford moving into the starting lineups for their respective teams, Young leads players off the bench with his 15.6 points per game and is at least in the mix for Sixth Man of the Year. The return shouldn't hurt him as badly as teammate Xavier Henry and he remains a must-own player until further notice.
Xavier Henry doesn't have any assists 12-24-2013
Xavier Henry SF MIL
Xavier Henry did not have any assists in his third start at point guard on Monday with 13 points, six boards, one steal and one block in 34 minutes. To make matters worse, he shot 3-of-12 from the field and 7-of-14 from the line. The Lakers had just 12 assists on their 30 field goals. They need Jordan Farmar back badly and Henry's role will likely take a big hit upon his return. If Henry is still somehow sitting out there on your wire for a shallower format, he probably belongs there.
Danny Green hits four3-pointers in win 12-24-2013
Danny Green G SA
Danny Green made four 3-pointers on his way to 14 points against the Raptors on Monday with two boards, one assist and one block on 5-of-8 from the field. There are few players more annoying to own than Green, but nights like tonight make it's so hard to just give up on him. Despite the instability, Green averaged 1.8 triples, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 steals over his last five, but the 8.8 points and 2.2 boards will be magnified by his owners. We wouldn't fault you for cutting him, but just remember he's held seventh-round value on the season even with all these frustrating times.
Mozgov double-doubles in start vs. GSW 12-24-2013
Timofey Mozgov C LAL
Timofey Mozgov started at center and scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 11 rebounds and two blocks over 32 minutes in the Nuggets' 89-81 loss to the Warriors on Monday. Mozgov stepped into a significant role with Kenneth Faried (ankle) out and it didn't hurt that the Warriors have their own hoss in Andrew Bogut. With a stat set that simply needs minutes in order to return value, owners should be willing to plug him in while the Manimal is out and beyond that he's a total crapshoot.
Marco Belinelli comes back to Earth in win 12-24-2013
Marco Belinelli G CHA
Marco Belinelli made his fourth start of the season on Monday vs. the Raptors with four points, one board, one assist and one steal in 19 minutes. In Belinelli's previous three starts, he's averaged 11.0 points, 4.3 boards, 2.3 assists, 0.7 steals and 2.3 triples in 29.0 minutes. Coach Gregg Popovich's rotation at shooting guard has been messy and unpredictable, so it might be best to just avoid this situation entirely in standard leagues.
Kyle Lowry scores 23 points vs. Spurs 12-24-2013
Kyle Lowry G TOR
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points during Monday's 112-99 loss to the Spurs to go with nine assists, four boards, one steal and two 3-pointers on 6-of-15 shooting. He's been outstanding since the Rudy Gay trade, which is hardly a surprise. Lowry's averages over his last five include 19.6 points, 4.6 boards, 7.2 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.6 triples while making all of his 21 free throws. He is putting up top-20 value this month and his stock is nearing its apex, especially since a trade from the Raptors would undoubtedly hurt his overall production.
Terrence Ross scores 23 points on 10-of-16 12-24-2013
Terrence Ross F ORL
The good Terrence Ross showed up for Monday's game against the Spurs with 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go with three rebounds and three 3-pointer in 33 minutes. It's been a bumpy ride in the starting lineup for Ross, shooting just 39.1 percent from the field in his previous six starts. Ross' minutes have been holding steady and he's made 2.7 triples per game in his seven starts, though. His arrow is pointing up for fantasy and is worth owning in standard leagues despite some shooting issues.
Jonas Valanciunas continuing to come around 12-24-2013
Jonas Valanciunas C TOR
Jonas Valanciunas scored 10 points with nine boards, two assists and three blocks in 28 minutes against the Spurs on Monday. Tonight makes it seven consecutive games in double-digit scoring while averaging 1.6 blocks and 8.3 boards over that span. Valanciunas has put up seventh-round value this month and is starting to come around. Things are only going to get better for the second-year big man and he should be owned in all leagues.
Miller posts 14-4-8 line in loss to GSW 12-24-2013
Andre Miller G SA
Andre Miller logged 30 minutes in Monday's loss to the Warriors, scoring 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four rebounds, eight assists, one steal and one block. Perhaps Randy Foye (0-for-5 FGs) can continue to be this bad, but it's going to take a lot of help to make Miller into a viable fantasy asset. He's barely in the top-200 on the season.
Lee goes for 28 and 10 in Warriors win 12-24-2013
David Lee F SA
David Lee scored 28 points on 11-of-21 shooting with 10 rebounds, two assists and no defensive stats in the Warriors' win over the Nuggets on Monday. Lee was extra super-motivated to go out and do damage against the Nuggets, as the Warriors showed they were a better team without him in last year's playoff series against Denver. Klay Thompson scored 13 points with six boards, two steals and a three, and Steph Curry scored 14 points with seven assists and a full line in the win.
Barnes flat out sucks in Warriors win 12-24-2013
Harrison Barnes F DAL
Harrison Barnes scored two points on 1-of-6 shooting with one assist in 22 minutes off the bench on Monday. Barnes has been a Jekyll and Hyde situation for the Warriors, as once his touches and minutes are slightly threatened he goes invisible immediately. He should have been dropped as soon as Andre Iguodala's return was near, but if you waited this long here is your sign.
Z-Bo hands out seven dimes in win 12-24-2013
Zach Randolph F MEM
Zach Randolph handed out a season-high seven assists in Monday's 104-94 win over Jazz to go with 22 points, 10 boards and one steal. Teams flat-out destroy the Jazz in the paint and the Grizzlies wisely ran much of their offense through Z-Bo tonight. Randolph's assists have jumped to 4.2 per game over his last five, but that might have a little to do with Mike Conley missing time. He's still a must-start player and will put up nice numbers with or without Marc Gasol (knee).
Kawhi Leonard F SA
Kawhi Leonard returned to action on Monday December 23.
Pau Gasol C SA
Pau Gasol returned to action on Monday December 23.
Raymond Felton G LAC
Raymond Felton returned to action on Monday December 23.
Anthony Bennett F BKN
Anthony Bennett returned to action on Monday December 23.
James Johnson fills stat sheet in win 12-24-2013
James Johnson F MIA
James Johnson filled the stat sheet in his second start of the season on Monday with nine points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks and one 3-pointer in 33 minutes. It wasn't the biggest line of the night, but it was certainly the best one among players without a contract 10 days ago. Johnson has put up some decent across-the-board numbers in his career before, so he's worth a look in deeper leagues at least until Tayshaun Prince (knee) comes back.
Lin returns and scores 20 points in loss 12-24-2013
Jeremy Lin G BKN
Jeremy Lin (back) returned to action in the Rockets' 111-104 loss to the Mavs on Monday, scoring 20 points on 6-of-10 shooting (1-of-2 3PTS, 7-of-10 FTs) with two rebounds, two assists, five turnovers and one steal in 37 minutes. Lin's scoring won't be an issue regardless of the team's injury situation, but we'd like to see him round out his game a little bit better. Either way, he should be in all lineups.
Jerryd Bayless scores 17 points off bench 12-24-2013
Jerryd Bayless G PHI
Jerryd Bayless provided a spark off the bench on Monday with 17 points, one rebound, three assists, one block and three 3-pointers on 6-of-11 shooting in 24 minutes vs. Utah. All 17 points came in the second half and he was a big part of the win. He squandered his opportunity to show what he could do with Mike Conley missing two games, but he's improved over his last two shooting 9-of-16 combined. Bayless is still too hit or miss to add in most leagues.
Garcia, Casspi disappointing with opportunity 12-24-2013
Francisco Garcia G HOU
Francisco Garcia started for James Harden (ankle) in Monday's loss to the Mavs, scoring three points on 1-of-6 shooting with four rebounds, six assists and one steal in 35 minutes. Garcia's only make was a three and along with Omri Casspi (three points, three rebounds, two assists, 19 minutes) the duo were a disappointment for owners starting them in the Rockets' five-game week.
Gordon Hayward misses trip-dub by one dime 12-24-2013
Gordon Hayward F UTH
Gordon Hayward just missed a triple-double in Monday's 104-94 loss to the Grizzlies with 16 points, 11 boards, nine assists, one steal, four blocks and two 3-pointers on 5-of-13 shooting. He blocked three shots on three straight Memphis possessions to help him match his career high in that department. Hayward is shooting just 42 percent in December, but he entered tonight with monthly averages of 16.7 points, 5.2 boards, 3.7 assists, 0.6 blocks, 1.1 steals and 0.8 triples, so he's certainly filling up the stat sheet elsewhere.
Brooks posts 18-3-5 line with four threes 12-24-2013
Aaron Brooks G IND
Aaron Brooks scored 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting (including four threes) with three rebounds, five assists and a block in 27 minutes off the bench on Monday. With James Harden and Patrick Beverley out the result isn't surprising and Brooks should return plenty of value in the midst of the Rockets' five-game week. It's also possible that he holds some lower-end value when Harden returns, so give him a hard look with the hopes he can be productive over the next few weeks.
Dalembert starts and goes for eight and seven 12-24-2013
Samuel Dalembert C DAL
Samuel Dalembert started at center on Monday for the Mavs, scoring eight points on 3-of-6 shooting with seven rebounds and three steals in 29 minutes. The center position in Dallas could be rotated based on the situation, but as long as Dalembert is starting he'll be worth keeping tabs on. DeJuan Blair was a DNP-CD tonight and owners can probably do better than either player at this time.
Richard Jefferson scores 18 points vs. MEM 12-24-2013
Richard Jefferson F CLE
Richard Jefferson scored 18 points in 36 minutes against the Grizzlies on Monday, adding six boards and three 3-pointers on 6-of-12 shooting. He scored 13 points with two 3-pointers on Saturday and is back in the mix as a pickup in deeper leagues. Jefferson's season averages are just 9.7 points, 2.8 boards, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.3 triples, so owners in most leagues might want to shoot for a higher upside.
Carter gets hot against the Rockets. 12-24-2013
Vince Carter G MEM
Vince Carter scored 16 points on Monday, hitting 6-of-8 shots (including two threes) with four rebounds, four assists and one steal in 28 minutes off the bench. Carter is an ideal stop-gap solution in standard leagues, as when he gets hot he can be suitable replacement in starting lineups. Beyond that, he'll have trouble maintaining the consistency that owners need.
Trey Burke plays okay vs. Memphis 12-24-2013
Trey Burke G WAS
Trey Burke shot 5-of-12 from the field for 18 points against the Grizzlies on Monday with one rebound, five assists and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. The Jazz are playing much better with Burke in the lineup and there is no competition behind him. The rookie is shooting 91 percent from the free throw line this season, so that makes his 39 percent from the field a little easier to swallow. He shouldn't be considered a sell-high player following his 30-point game last Wednesday.
Alec Burks scores four points with two dimes 12-24-2013
Alec Burks G UTH
Alec Burks played just 16 minutes against the Grizzlies on Monday with four points, two boards, two assists and two turnovers. He didn't play in the last eight minutes of the game and the sudden decrease minutes wasn't explained by coach Ty Corbin. The Jazz gave up a lot of easy buckets and were slow on rotations and maybe it was just a one-time thing. Burks played 31.5 minutes per game over his previous four, so his owners shouldn't make any hasty cuts.
Wright quiet in 19 minutes on Monday 12-24-2013
Brandan Wright F MEM
Brandan Wright was quiet in 19 minutes on Monday, scoring six points on 3-of-3 shooting with three rebounds and two steals. Owning Wright isn't going to be a cake walk unless he can legitimately create separation between himself, Samuel Dalembert (eight points, seven boards, three steals, 29 minutes), and DeJuan Blair (DNP). But he still has proper upside to be held in most formats.
Enes Kanter puts up a goose egg 12-24-2013
Enes Kanter C OKC
Enes Kanter had his second scoreless game of the season on Monday with four boards, one assist and four fouls in 18 minutes against the Grizzlies. As far as defensive and offensive efficiency go, Kanter might be the worst player in the NBA. He is the only common thread for the NBA's worst three-man lineups for net rating and his team doesn't have an inside presence when he's on the floor. The Jazz give up way too many points in the paint and a lot of it has to do with Kanter's lead-footed defense. He does have upside, but things aren't looking great for him right now.
Ray Allen scores 19 in start vs. ATL 12-24-2013
Ray Allen G MIA
Ray Allen scored 19 points in a start against the Hawks on Monday with six boards, one assist and one 3-pointer during a 121-119 victory. His 19 points matched a season high and 34 minutes tonight set a season high. Dwyane Wade sat out due to soreness and is expected to be back for Christmas. Allen has been productive in his two previous starts as well, averaging 13.5 points, 2.o assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 triples on 57.1 percent shooting. He should have some shred of value in standard leagues on the whole this season.
Joe Johnson scores 17 points in return 12-24-2013
Joe Johnson F UTH
Joe Johnson returned after missing a game due to personal reasons on Monday with 17 points, two boards, three assists and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. The Nets were destroyed on their home floor, but Johnson had a solid game outside of three careless turnovers. Johnson is going to have to score more without Brook Lopez, so he'll be a low-end asset in standard leagues for his 3-pointers and points.
Mirza Teletovi scores eight points in 30 mins 12-24-2013
Mirza Teletovic F MIL
Mirza Teletovic played 30 minutes in a start at power forward on Monday with eight points, four rebounds, three assists and two turnovers on 3-of-10 shooting. He committed four fouls and missed all five attempts from downtown in the ugly loss. The Nets are going to use him as a stretch four, but he's really been pretty bad outside of shooting the three. Teletovic shot a putrid 36.1 percent in the paint and he can't defend almost any power forward. Still, he'll have a chance to make two triples per game, making him worth a look in standard leagues.
Jason Terry returns on Monday 12-24-2013
Jason Terry G MIL
Jason Terry returned from his 15-game absence on Monday with 11 points, two boards and three 3-pointers in 15 minutes. He checked into the game with the score at 73-51, so the Nets might not have put him in the game had it been close. Terry can be left on the wire in almost all leagues.
Kevin Garnett scores 12 points in 19 minutes 12-24-2013
Kevin Garnett PF MIN
Kevin Garnett returned from his rest on Friday with 12 points, five boards, two assists and two steals against the Pacers on Monday. He has been a shell of himself this year, shooting a career-low 37.9 percent from the field. In fact, that's shattering his previous low of 46.0 percent from back in 1998-99 with the Wolves. Garnett might still be getting some commercials, but owners in standard leagues can probably do better even though the Nets will call his number more now that Brook Lopez is out for the year.
Andray Blatche scores 11 points off bench 12-24-2013
Andray Blatche F BKN
Andray Blatche played 26 minutes off the bench on Monday with 11 points, seven boards, two assists and one steal on 4-of-9 shooting. Even though he's not starting, Blatche is likely going to be the best Nets big man based on statistics. He can fill it up across the board and is even attempting a career-high 0.7 triples per game this year. Don't get caught up in him coming off the bench and make sure he's owned in even a shallow format.
Mason Plumlee plays 21 minutes 12-24-2013
Mason Plumlee F DEN
Mason Plumlee played 21 minutes against the Pacers on Monday with seven points, six boards and three blocks. He attempted his first 3-pointer and looks to be firmly involved in the rotation. Plumlee has some solid per-minute averages of 6.1 points, 0. 5 blocks and 0.6 steals on 68.8 percent from the field in only 16.7 minutes this season, so he should be a sneaky add in deep leagues. Owners in daily leagues might want to keep him in mind on the nights Kevin Garnett sits out, as well.
Paul George scores 26 points in win 12-24-2013
Paul George F IND
Paul George dominated the Nets in Monday's 103-86 win at Barclays Center with 26 points, six boards, five assists, two steals and four 3-pointers on 10-of-19 shooting. He turned some heads for shooting 47 percent in November and his coasting at a 47-percent clip in December. Last year's Most Improved Player is making terrific strides again and he has the Pacers playing some of the best ball in the NBA. What aren't they playing on Christmas again?
Bynum goes scoreless in blowout loss 12-24-2013
Andrew Bynum C IND
Andrew Bynum went scoreless despite taking 11 shots from the field in Monday's blowout loss, finishing with zero points, seven rebounds and two blocks in 22 minutes. Bynum is more likely to be a mess than anything better than that, which means that he's only worth the time and hassle if you're desperate at the center position.
Danny Granger can't score in 15 minutes 12-24-2013
Danny Granger F DET
Danny Granger shot 0-of-7 from the field for no points with two boards and one block in 15 minutes against the Nets on Monday. He didn't have any legs under his shot and didn't look healthy. Granger only played five games last year and he's going to take a long while to get back to his ways of being a reliable scorer. The Pacers have no reason to mess with their rotation and Granger is one of the riskiest players in terms of health, so he's not exactly worth owning in standard leagues.
Lance Stephenson scores career-high 26 points 12-24-2013
Lance Stephenson G MIN
Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points against the Nets on Monday to go with seven boards, five assists, two steals and four 3-pionters in 39 minutes. That's not a bad way to follow up a triple-double at all. Stephenson is making a great case for Most Improved Player and he might be playing with a chip on his shoulder now that Danny Granger is back. There was never really any reason to worry about him dropping off to begin with, but at least now there's some hard evidence to support Lance as a must-own player.
Arron Afflalo scores 26 points on Monday 12-24-2013
Arron Afflalo G SAC
Arron Afflalo scored 26 points for the second consecutive game on Monday during a 103-98 loss to the Knicks, adding five boards, five assists and five 3-pointers on 9-of-17 shooting. After a mini-slump, Double-A is back. Over his last four, he's averaged 25.0 points, 4.8 boards, 3.3 assists and 3.0 triples in 39 .3 minutes Afflalo shot 57.1 percent from 3-point land over that span and is locked in as one of the league's best shooter this season.
Varejao struggles in blowout loss 12-24-2013
Anderson Varejao C GS
Anderson Varejao struggled in Monday's blowout loss, scoring two points on 1-of-1 shooting with four rebounds and one steal in 19 minutes. Varejao has really struggled over the past two weeks and owners will want to move him to their bench. He's still a mid-to-late round value in 9- and 8-cat formats, respectively, so owners will want to exercise patience when considering a drop.
Nikola Vucevic bounces back on Monday 12-24-2013
Nikola Vucevic C ORL
Nikola Vucevic bounced back on Monday night with 14 points, 12 boards, one assist and three block sin 36 minutes against the Knicks. He had his worst game of the year against DeMarcus Cousins on Saturday and was able to avoid serious foul trouble. Fantasy owners really shouldn't worry about Vucevic in what is basically his second season.
Uh oh Oladipo: Victor scores three points 12-24-2013
Victor Oladipo G OKC
Victor Oladipo played just 16 minutes against the Knicks on Monday with three points, one assist, one rebound and one turnover on 1-of-4 shooting. The +/- stat isn't the greatest stat in the world and we try to avoid using it, but Oladipo was -23 tonight and looked terrible on both ends. The rookie is having trouble figuring out how to score and he's really bottomed out following this game. His fantasy value won't get much lower than what it is right now, so it makes sense to send out a buy-low offer before the Magic play again on Friday.
Jameer Nelson flirts with triple-double 12-24-2013
Jameer Nelson G DEN
Jameer Nelson flirted with a triple double against the Knicks on Monday with 17 points, eight boards, 10 assists, one steal and three 3-pointers on 6-of-14 shooting 42 minutes. He was sick over the weekend and didn't show it tonight. Nelson's 42 minutes tonight were his second highest all year and he set a season high in rebounds while putting up his first double-double of the year. He should be owned in all leagues, especially while Victor Oladipo is coming off the bench.
Jack hits rock bottom in blowout loss 12-24-2013
Jarrett Jack PG ATL
Jarrett Jack hit rock bottom in the Cavs' blowout loss to the Pistons on Monday, going 0-for-6 from the field for zero points, one rebound and one assist in 20 minutes. Results like this are hard to swallow when Jack has produced just top 150-175 value on the season. Until something happens to shake up the Cavs, the outlook for Jack is not very bright.
Beno Udrih scores 10 points off bench 12-24-2013
Beno Udrih G DET
Beno Udrih finished Monday's game on the court running the point, scoring 10 points with one rebound, six assists and one turnover in 23 minutes. Raymond Felton heard a pop in his groin and it sounds like he'll be missing some time. Udrih just gave back the starting job to Felton because his hamstring healed, so he will likely be back in the saddle for Christmas' game against the Thunder. Udrih put up a four-point dud on Saturday, but his 21-point game from Wednesday will make him worth a look for owners wanting some short-term help at point guard.
Iman Shumpert scores nine in 27 minutes 12-24-2013
Iman Shumpert G CLE
Iman Shumpert played 27 minutes on Monday with nine points, six boards, one steal and one 3-pointer. The Knicks went with Shump down the stretch due to Carmelo Anthony (ankle) suffering an injury. Shumpert has not exactly been putting up great numbers this year, so the injury to Anthony shouldn't send fantasy owners flocking to the waiver wire. If Melo is in fact out on Christmas, Shumpert figures to score in the low double digits with some threes and steals mixed in.
Smith rolls as the Pistons do in blowout win 12-24-2013
Josh Smith F HOU
Josh Smith hit 10-of-18 shots for 25 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in Monday's blowout win over the Cavs on Monday. This game was over before it started, so luckily the Pistons' main fantasy guys were still able to get theirs. Brandon Jennings went for 21 and 13 with two steals and two threes, Andre Drummond went for 14 and 11 with a block, and Greg Monroe went for 11 and 11 in the blowout win.
J.R. Smith scores 18 points w/ 10 boards 12-24-2013
J.R. Smith G CLE
J.R. Smith came off the bench for 37 minutes against the Magic on Monday, scoring 18 points with 10 boards, four assists, two blocks and three 3-pointers on 7-of-17 shooting. He played a lot of minutes at small forward with the Knicks not having Carmelo Anthony (ankle) to finish the game. Anthony missing a major chunk of the second half last season may have been the primary reason why Smith won Sixth Man of the Year, so he would stand to benefit statistically with Melo out of the lineup. Smith should be owned in all leagues despite his sluggish start.
Tyson Chander double-doubles in 40 minutes 12-24-2013
Tyson Chandler C PHO
Tyson Chandler double-doubled against the Magic on Monday with 10 points, 13 boards, two assists, two steals and two blocks in 40 minutes. It was his best game since returning from his broken leg and Chandler looks to be back. In his three games since coming back, the big man averaged 9.0 points, 9.3 boards, 1.7 blocks and 1.3 steals in 36.7 minutes. He should be owned in all leagues.
Stuckey back to business for the Pistons 12-24-2013
Rodney Stuckey G IND
Rodney Stuckey scored 14 points on 6-of-16 shooting (including a three) with three rebounds, four assists and five steals on Monday. Stuckey returned from his shoulder injury on Saturday and was quiet but he appears to be back on track. Give him a hard look if he was dropped.
Al Horford scores 21 points in loss 12-24-2013
Al Horford C BOS
Al Horford double-doubled in Monday's 121-119 overtime loss against the Heat with 21 points, 11 boards, three assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 40 minutes. It was the third 3-pointer of the year for Horford and he's matched his career-best three from last season. Horford is cruising in December and enter Monday's game with averages of 20.7 points, 9.0 boards, 0.9 blocks and 0.8 steals.
Jeff Teague keeps it going on Monday 12-24-2013
Jeff Teague G IND
Jeff Teague scored 26 points against the Heat on Monday to go with six boards, eight assists and two steals in 38 minutes. He was in a bit of a slump earlier this month, but he's starting to get it going again. After a 10-game streak of not reaching at least eight assists, he's accomplished that feat in each of the last four games. The buy-low window is closing quickly for a guy that has a chance to finish in the top five for assists. Coach Mike Budenholzer's system should only help Teague.
Paul Millsap buries seven triples, scores 25 12-24-2013
Paul Millsap F ATL
Paul Millsap made a career-high seven 3-pointers against the Heat on Monday with 25 points, 10 boards, two assists and one block. For whatever reason, Millsap has some great success in Miami and his career-high 46 points came at American Airlines Arena back in November 2010. He's been putting up some big numbers over his previous 10, averaging 18.2 points, 10.5 boards, 3.3 assists, 1.1 blocks, 1.6 steals and 1.6 triples. You don't have to be a big stats person to know that's good.
Eric Gordon has right hip contusion 12-24-2013
Eric Gordon G HOU
Eric Gordon suffered a right hip contusion in Monday's game and could return.

John Reid on Twitter
He attacked the basket and went to the ground very hard after landing on his hip. Isaiah Thomas tried to take a charge, but was called for the foul for being in the restricted area.
Jordan Farmar played full speed 3-on-3 12-24-2013
Jordan Farmar G LAC
Jordan Farmar (hamstring) has been ramping up his activity and played full-speed 3-on-3 on Monday.

Mike Trudell on Twitter
If his Tuesday ultrasound evaluation goes off without a hitch, he could play on Christmas against the Heat. The Lakers are dying for a player to run their offense and Farmar would likely get all the minutes he can handle. He probably shouldn't be sitting on very many waiver wires with all the potential offensive responsibilities coming his way. Plus, he was tremendous before going down.