In addition to the early Monday slate in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the NBA has a unique schedule this week that includes one team (Toronto) playing five games, while the Bulls and Pistons will be limited to just one matchup due to playing in Paris.
This scheduling should allow fantasy managers to focus on playing hot hands with more matchups over players with fewer games, especially if those players have been struggling.
While stars from the teams with one or two games should still start in most fantasy leagues, it's best to consider players with four or five games instead of some less reliable contributors.
Teams with five games: TOR
Teams with four games: ATL, BKN, CLE, DEN, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, NYK, PHX
Teams with three games: BOS, CHA, DAL, HOU, MIL, OKC, PHI, POR, SAC, UTA, WAS
Teams with two games: ORL, SAS
Teams with one game: CHI, DET
All roster and start percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball
Consider starting: T.J. McConnell, IND (37% rostered, 22% start)
Opponents: @MIL, @OKC, @DEN, @PHX
The Pacers have been shorthanded in the backcourt recently with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined due to a knee injury, and McConnell has stepped up despite continuing to come off the bench. He's scored in double figures in three consecutive matchups, averaging 13.3 points, 8.3 assists, 7.7 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 24.7 minutes per game. Even if the 30-year-old continues to come off the bench, it wouldn't be surprising to see him maintain an increased role during Indiana's four-game week.
Consider sitting: Spencer Dinwiddie, DAL (96% rostered, 72% start)
Opponents: ATL, MIA, LAC
Dinwiddie has seen plenty of playing time for the Mavericks recently but has had some inconsistent stat lines. The 29-year-old has been a somewhat reliable scorer, but his output in other categories has fluctuated. He bounced back with 28 points and nine assists in 35 minutes during Sunday's loss to the Trail Blazers but faces some tough opponents during the Mavericks' three-game schedule this week. Fantasy managers with viable alternatives should consider leaving Dinwiddie on the bench.
Consider starting: Gabe Vincent, MIA (10% rostered, 4% start)
Opponents: @ATL, @NOP, @DAL, NOP
The Heat have dealt with several absences recently, allowing Vincent to take on a prominent role in the backcourt. He's started the last three games and averaged 22.7 points, 4.0 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 40.0 minutes per game. It wouldn't be surprising to see Vincent's minutes decrease slightly since Tyler Herro will return to the court Monday, but Kyle Lowry's continued absence due to a knee injury should allow Vincent to maintain an elevated role. Vincent is more of a deep-league start consideration, but he's worth taking a flier on ahead of Miami's four-game week.
Consider sitting: Anfernee Simons, POR (99% rostered, 81% start)
Opponents: @DEN, PHI, LAL
Simons has been a fairly consistent scorer for the Trail Blazers, but he's been held under 20 points in three of his last seven appearances and hasn't been very reliable in other categories. Over that seven-game stretch, he's averaged 18.4 points, 4.3 assists and 2.3 rebounds in 35.7 minutes per game. The Trail Blazers play just three games this week, including a matchup against a Denver defense that's strong against opposing shooting guards, so Simons is an option to leave on the bench.
Consider starting: Trey Murphy, NOP (59% rostered, 27% start)
Opponents: @CLE, MIA, @ORL, @MIA
Murphy had a stretch of inconsistent performances between late December and early January and was held to single-digit scoring totals in four of his seven appearances from Dec. 30 to Jan. 9. However, he's played at least 34 minutes in his last two outings and has been a much better contributor, especially on the defensive end of the floor. Across that two-game span, he's averaged 17.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks in 34.5 minutes per game. While the Pelicans hope Brandon Ingram will be able to return from his toe injury soon, that won't occur Monday against Cleveland. With New Orleans facing a four-game week, Murphy should have plenty of chances to shine, especially since Ingram will likely be limited if he's cleared to return this week.
Consider sitting: DeMar DeRozan, CHI (100% rostered, 65% start)
DeRozan has missed the last three games due to a quadriceps injury, but the Bulls hope he'll be able to return during the team's game against the Pistons in Paris on Thursday. Even if DeRozan takes the court overseas, he's a lackluster fantasy option given Chicago's one-game schedule this week. He averaged 20.0 points, 5.3 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per game over his three appearances before his absence and could face some limitations against the Pistons.
Consider starting: Royce O'Neale, BKN (62% rostered, 34% start)
Opponents: @SAS, @PHX, @UTA, @GSW
O'Neale was held scoreless against the Bulls on Jan. 4, but he's bounced back over his three appearances since then. The 29-year-old has been a well-rounded contributor over the last three matchups, averaging 11.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.7 steals in 36.3 minutes per game. The Nets play four games this week against favorable opponents, making O'Neale an appealing option to start.
Consider sitting: Tobias Harris, PHI (99% rostered, 79% start)
Opponents: @LAC, @POR, @SAC
Harris returned to the court Sunday following a one-game absence due to a sore left knee and racked up a season-high three blocks, but he's had lackluster production in other areas recently. Over his last four appearances, he's averaged 13.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 29.5 minutes per game. The 76ers play just three games this week, and fantasy managers may want to leave Harris on the bench this week if they have a different player who's been performing especially well recently.
Consider starting: Onyeka Okongwu, ATL (74% rostered, 46% start)
Opponents: MIA, @DAL, NYK, CHA
Okongwu has had an increased role for Atlanta with Clint Capela out due to a calf injury, and Okongwu has posted double-doubles in four of his last nine appearances. The 22-year-old has been particularly dominant over the last two matchups, averaging 14.0 points, 16.5 rebounds, 3.0 blocks and 1.5 steals in 38.0 minutes per game. Capela is questionable for Monday's game against the Heat, but if he returns this week, it wouldn't be surprising to see him face a minutes restriction. As a result, Okongwu should still have the chance to see increased work during the Hawks' four-game week.
Consider sitting: Brook Lopez, MIL (89% rostered, 60% start)
Opponents: IND, TOR, @CLE
Lopez has become a strong contender for Defensive Player of the Year over the first half of the 2022-23 season, but he's gone through a rough patch over the last several games. Across his last five appearances, he's averaged 13.0 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.4 blocks in 29.8 minutes per game. While the 34-year-old will begin Milwaukee's three-game week with a favorable matchup against the Pacers, he'll face two stronger frontcourts to close out the week and could have a tough time bouncing back this week.