Dec 23, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks small forward Shawn Marion (0) brings the ball up the court during the third quarter against the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center. The Mavericks defeated the Rockets 111-104. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball: Shawn Marion's return sparks optimism

Fantasy basketball owners of Dallas Mavericks’ forward Shawn Marion got a nice surprise on Wednesday when Marion returned to action and did so by putting up good numbers.

After missing the past four games with a bruised right shoulder and ribs, Marion showed no rust in his return to the lineup Wednesday vs. the Los Angeles Clippers, connecting on 6-of-9 field goal attempts for 14 points.

Jan 10, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic (6) reacts to a foul call against the Houston Rockets during the first quarter at Philips Arena. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Marion is averaging a solid 11.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season and you should get him back in your lineups as the Mavericks play six games in the next nine days, beginning Friday night against the Phoenix Suns.

In addition to Marion, keep your eye on Atlanta Hawks center Pero Antic.

Antic has become a useful fantasy option with C Al Horford (shoulder) sidelined for the season.  He is averaging 10.7 points and 4.8 rebounds in six January games.

However, Antic has been sidelined due to a nagging back issue, but with the Hawks on their way back from London and not playing the rest of the week, Antic may be worth a pickup later in the week for use next week when the Hawks play four times.

He also is a guy who can step back and shoot the three, knocking down 13-of-27 attempts (48.1 percent) from behind the arc this month. If he continues to play 20 minutes or more, Antic is a sneaky option in deeper leagues.

Antic should be available in most ESPN leagues.

Tags: Atlanta Hawks Dallas Mavericks Fantasy Basketball Pero Antic Shawn Marion

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