Fantasy Basketball Rankings, Week 7: Model that beat experts says start Harrison Barnes, sit Donovan Mitchell

The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be the class of the NBA, and also provide several excellent options for NBA Fantasy players to consider in Week 7. Forwards LeBron James and Anthony Davis are the main reasons the Lakers are an NBA-best 17-2 and riding a 10-game winning streak. James is going for 25.7 points, 7.1 rebounds and a league-high 11.0 assists per game, while Davis is averaging 26.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists. But James and Davis aren't the only two Lakers standing out. Forward Kyle Kuzma is scoring 11.7 points per game in under 23 minutes of playing time, and centers JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard combine for 14.2 points and 13.3 rebounds per outing. Can the Lakers stay on top of the Western Conference and extend their winning streak? And how do you assign the proper Fantasy value to the Lakers stars and role players? As the regular season hits its third month of action, it is important for Fantasy basketball owners to have updated information. Before setting your Week 7 Fantasy basketball lineups, you need to see the latest Fantasy basketball rankings from the model at SportsLine.

When it comes to ranking NFL players, this model, which simulates every game 10,000 times, beat human experts last season when there were big differences in ranking. And the model was closest-to-the-hole overall, meaning it best pinpointed where every player would finish each week. Now the model has set its sights on Fantasy basketball and has revealed its rankings for Week 7.

Last week, the model was extremely high on Grizzlies guard Ja Morant, saying he'd finish as a top-10 player at his position despite being started by less than 70 percent of leagues. The result: Morant continued his Rookie of the Year run with 50 points and 25 assists in three games. Anybody who had him in their lineup was well on their way to a huge week.

Now the model, which simulates every NBA game 10,000 times, has locked in its Fantasy basketball rankings for Week 7.

For Week 7, we can tell you Jazz forward Donovan Mitchell, the seventh-best player at his position according to market value, stumbles big-time and barely cracks the top 25. Mitchell has scored 20-plus points in six consecutive games, including against the Grizzlies on Friday. However, Mitchell struggled mightily from the field, knocking down just 31.8 percent of his shots against Memphis. Now, Mitchell and the Jazz will play both the Lakers and 76ers next week, two teams that rank inside the top-six scoring defenses. 

One player the model loves this week: Sacramento Kings small forward Harrison Barnes. The nine-year veteran is putting together perhaps his best season as a professional, averaging 16.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his second year in Sacramento. Barnes went off for 30 points (10-19 FG, 1-3 threes, 9-10 FT) in 45 minutes against the Nuggets on Saturday – a point total just four off his career best. He is also shooting a career-best 50 percent from the floor this season, lending to an increased Fantasy value. Barnes and the Kings play four games in Week 7, facing the Bulls at home and the Trail Blazers, Spurs and Mavericks on the road – all four teams in the bottom half of the NBA in scoring defense. SportsLine lists Barnes as their No. 15 forward in their Week 7 Fantasy basketball rankings even though he's being started in less than 60 percent of CBS Sports leagues.

The model is also calling for a surprising center you aren't even thinking about to finish in the top 15 of the rankings, and he could be sitting on your waiver wire right now.

So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising center could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 7 Fantasy basketball rankings for every position, plus see which center is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 15, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season, and find out.

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