November 25, 2008
Fantasy Clicks
By Tom Carpenter
Kevin Durant: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Unless you're a part of the Detroit Lions franchise, it's all but impossible to start your season 1-12 in any sport and keep your job. With that record this season, and an ugly 21-72 tally in a season-plus as head coach, P.J. Carlesimo was canned by the Thunder over the weekend.

Carlesimo can't take all of the blame, because this team is incredibly young, but clearly management felt a move was necessary for the betterment of the team and new fans in Oklahoma City.

The good news is that the changes at the top should bring about fantasy improvement from the young guns on the team in fantasy terms.

To begin with, interim coach Scott Brooks moved Kevin Durant from off-guard to small forward. This should get him more involved in the paint, so we should see more blocks and a better all-around game from the young star. In his first outing at SF, Durant dropped 30 points on the Hornets. He still has top 10-20 potential, so try to get him now.

We should also see plenty more out of Jeff Green, who has put together a quiet but solid start to the season. Rookie Russell Westbrook handed out 11 dimes in his first game under Brooks. Although his field-goal percentage is hideous (31.9), he could supplant Earl Watson as the starting PG and provide quality fantasy value as the season progresses.

Restore the Bore

Speaking of the Lions, my apologies and condolences go out to the nation, as you will be forced to suffer through the annual Thanksgiving massacre of the Lions on Thursday.

Unfortunately, it appears that those of us in the Detroit area are going to have to watch it, too, as the club finally sold the last 1,000 tickets, meaning the game won't be blacked out here.

In fantasy terms, the Lions do provide some upside ... for the opposing teams. So enjoy watching Chris Johnson run wild over them Thursday, Adrian Peterson next week, and the Colts and Saints go off during the fantasy playoffs in Weeks 15 and 16.

All of those defenses probably are owned in your league, except the Saints. After watching their secondary come together last night to pick off Aaron Rodgers three times, you might want to consider stashing the Saints D away for your finals -- the Lions might just help push you over the top by continuing to be an embarrassment to the NFL and Detroit.

Carmelo's Elbow

The Denver Post reported yesterday that Carmelo Anthony has been playing through a bruised right elbow and that X-rays were negative.

That likely is the primary reason that he's shooting an uncharacteristic 39.1 percent from the field thus far this season. The last month that Melo shot under 40 percent was January of 2004.

I'm a bit surprised that his scoring dropped below 20 points per game since the arrival of Chauncey Billups. Having Billups control the rock might keep Melo from pushing into the high 20s in scoring (as I thought he would), but it's safe to assume his shooting will rise back into the upper 40-percent range once he shakes off his elbow malady.

Is Dunleavy Done?
Mike Dunleavy: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

According Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star, Mike Dunleavy's "knee injury is serious."

While he shot down a comment from a Miami Heat announcer that Dunleavy's ailing knee might be a career-ender, Wells did say Dunleavy's dealing with bone spurs in the joint and is hoping to avoid surgery.

The Pacers have said Dunleavy has no timetable for when he'll return, and he's been limited to shooting around on his own.

In fantasy terms, if you have a deep roster and can stash him away, why not go ahead and try to trade for him on the cheap. Maybe you'll get his quality stats in a couple of months. On the other hand, if you have a shallow roster, it may be time to just drop him and work the waiver wire.

Warrick's Never Dunn

Bucs coach Jon Gruden told the St. Petersburg Times Monday that Warrick Dunn will continue to carry the rushing load for the rest of the season.With Earnest Graham on injured reserve, it was a common-sense move for the coach, especially after Dunn tallied 127 total yards and scored a TD in Week 12.Keep in mind that came against the aforementioned pathetic Lions, but the 33-year-old Dunn still appears to have enough left in him to make a difference in fantasy leagues. Especially true if you're in a PPR league, as he's pulled in nine catches over the past two weeks.

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