Week 5 of the NBA season features plenty of parity, as the Spurs play five games this week, while four teams will take the court just twice. Several significant injuries around the league are altering usages, and those absences should have major implications in lineup decisions this week, particularly involving teams with unique schedules.
Teams with five games: SAS
Teams with four games: CHA, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, MIA, NYK, PHX
Teams with three games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CLE, DEN, IND, MEM, MIL, NOP, OKC, ORL, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
Teams with two games: CHI, LAL, MIN, PHI
All roster and start percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball
Consider starting: Reggie Jackson, LAC (36% rostered, 11% start)
Opponents: @HOU, @DAL, DET, SAS
Jackson has shown some signs of inconsistency early in the regular season, but he's been a more well-rounded contributor over the first half of November. He's scored in double figures in four of six games since the start of the month and has averaged 11.2 points, 2.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 30.5 minutes per game while shooting 45.5 percent from the floor over that stretch. The Clippers have a four-game week against a set of opponents that rank in the bottom half of the league in defense against point guards, so Jackson should have plenty of chances to make an impact this week.
Consider sitting: Jrue Holiday, MIL (100% rostered, 69% start)
Opponents: ATL, CLE, @PHI
Holiday will miss a third consecutive game due to an ankle injury Monday against the Hawks, meaning that he'll have a maximum of two games this week, and it remains unclear whether he'll even be available Wednesday or Friday. The 32-year-old is a staple in fantasy lineups when healthy, but he faces an unfavorable outlook this week, particularly since the 76ers and Cavaliers have the top two defenses in the league against point guards to begin the year. Given Holiday's injury status and unfavorable opponents later this week, it's best to consider other options in Week 5.
Consider starting: Tim Hardaway, DAL (48% rostered, 18% start)
Opponents: LAC, HOU, DEN, DEN
Hardaway was held to single-digit scoring totals in three of his first four appearances this month, but he's experienced an uptick in playing time over the last two matchups and has responded with back-to-back 16-point performances. The 30-year-old's greatest fantasy strength is his scoring upside, but he also makes some contributions in secondary categories and has shot 38.1 percent from beyond the arc over the last two games. Despite his lackluster results in early November, he's certainly worth considering this week given his recent increased production.
Consider sitting: D'Angelo Russell, MIN (98% rostered, 67% start)
Opponents: @ORL, @PHI
Russell had his best performance of the season Sunday against Cleveland, posting 30 points and 12 assists while converting 11 of his 13 field-goal attempts. However, he had been quite inconsistent ahead of Sunday's matchup, as he had been held under 10 points in three of his prior six appearances. The Timberwolves play just two games this week, including one against the 76ers, who are one of the top defenses in the league against point guards. Despite his strong showing Sunday, Russell's outlook this week is limited by his lack of games.
Consider starting: Jabari Smith, HOU (93% rostered, 40% start)
Opponents: LAC, @DAL, IND, GSW
Smith had a string of poor performances between late October and early November in which he shot just 20 percent from the floor over a four-game stretch, but he's been a stellar contributor over his last two appearances. He's had back-to-back games with double-digit rebounds, and he posted his second career double-double during Wednesday's loss to Toronto. The Rockets have four games this week, so Smith should have plenty of chances to maintain his momentum and should be in the mix to enter starting lineups in most fantasy leagues.
Consider sitting: Tobias Harris, PHI (99% rostered, 78% start)
Opponents: MIL, MIN
Harris snapped a streak of eight consecutive games with double-digit scoring totals by putting up just eight points Sunday against Utah, but the 76ers' scoring attack relied heavily on Joel Embiid, who posted 59 points in the win. Although Harris should bounce back in future games when the 76ers have a more balanced approach on offense, he'll have a tough time making much of a fantasy impact in Week 5 since Philadelphia has just two games scheduled, including one against Milwaukee's staunch defense. Harris has been a fairly consistent performer this year, but it's worth exploring other options this week given his lack of games.
Consider starting: Jeremy Sochan, SAS (24% rostered, 7% start)
Opponents: @GSW, @POR, @SAS, @LAC, @LAL
Sochan has been eased back into action over the last few weeks after missing a game at the end of October due to an illness, but he's now played 30 minutes in back-to-back matchups. He's shot 71.4 percent from the floor during that time and has put up double-digit scoring totals in each of those games. Sochan should continue to have plenty of chances to contribute in the frontcourt while Zach Collins is sidelined with a fibula injury, and the rookie first-rounder is an appealing option during the Spurs' five-game week.
Consider sitting: Keegan Murray, SAC (96% rostered, 53% start)
Opponents: BKN, SAS, DET
Murray earned a starting role early in the season following a string of solid performances to begin his professional career, but he's experienced some growing pains recently and has been held under 10 points in four of the last six games. He improved Sunday with a 21-point performance against the Warriors, marking just the second time he's topped 20 points in the NBA. The Kings play just three games this week, making Murray a risky option if he has any lackluster performances. Better days are likely ahead for the No. 4 overall pick, but his recent stretch of lackluster stat lines hinder his outlook for Week 5.
Consider starting: Charles Bassey, SAS (12% rostered, 6% start)
Opponents: @GSW, @POR, @SAS, @LAC, @LAL
Zach Collins recently sustained a non-displaced fracture of his left fibula and is expected to miss 2-to-4 weeks. Coach Gregg Popovich said last week that he expects Bassey to see increased playing time in Collins' absence, and the second-year pro has averaged 6.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 16.7 minutes per game over his last three appearances. Bassey has maintained a bench role with Jakob Poeltl still healthy, but the 22-year-old should have the opportunity to contribute in multiple categories and is worth considering during the Spurs' five-game week, particularly in deeper fantasy leagues.
Consider sitting: Rudy Gobert, MIN (100% rostered, 67% start)
Opponents: @ORL, @PHI
Gobert certainly has more upside than a player like Bassey in a normal week, but the Timberwolves will be playing just two games this week against a pair of above-average defenses on the road. Gobert has posted two double-doubles over his three appearances since returning to action, but he's displayed some inconsistency in scoring and rebounds over the last few weeks. Despite Gobert's upside, fantasy managers could be better off looking elsewhere during Minnesota's two-game week.