Last week, we focused on leagues that employ a two-week period for Week 11, which led to some teams playing as many as six games. This time, we'll examine those who split the scoring periods around the All-Star break into separate weeks.
In those formats, Week 12 brings a majority of teams a three-game schedule, while a comparable chunk of the league is set to play two games. Meanwhile, the Lakers are in a compromising situation with just one game on the ledger.
Teams with three games: Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
Teams with two games: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz
Teams with one game: Los Angeles Lakers
Without further ado, let's examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 12:
Start: Jalen Brunson, Mavericks
13% start rate in CBS leagues
Brunson has taken a major step up across the board this season, despite still holding down a bench role, currently boasting career highs in points (12.7), rebounds (3.5), assists (3.4), made 3s (1.3), field-goal percentage (53.1), free-throw percentage (85.3) and 3-point percentage (40.2). Brunson rattled off nine straight double-digit scoring efforts heading into the All-Star break, a stretch during which he averaged 16.2 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists while shooting 55.7 percent. Just as importantly, Brunson averaged 28.4 minutes while coming off the bench in all but one game during that stretch. Given how important he's become to the Mavericks' backcourt rotation, his playing time certainly seems secure.
Start: Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies
44% start rate in CBS leagues
Brooks also went into the All-Star break hot, averaging 17.5 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.5 steals across his last 11 games, a span that was sandwiched around a three-game absence due to a thigh injury. The fourth-year-wing actually shot just 43.1 percent during that stretch, so there's definitely room for even better production if Brooks can manage an uptick in efficiency. Brooks is offering excellent value in steals, particularly, as his 1.4 thefts per contest this season are easily a career high. A couple of favorable matchups also await the Grizzlies, who face off against the Wizards and Thunder in two of their three matchups this week.
Sit: Andrew Wiggins, Warriors
76% start rate in CBS leagues
Wiggins' two-game schedule and his serviceable-but-replaceable production over the past eight games of the first half make him a sit candidate as the second half of the season kicks off. The veteran wing averaged 14.5 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.3 steals and shot just 44.2 percent (including 25.7 percent from downtown) during those eight games. Given his low ceiling, Wiggins' numbers can be outpaced fairly easily by a three-game option.
Start: Patrick Williams, Bulls
18% start rate in CBS leagues
Williams has experienced some of the typical ups and downs of a rookie, but he went into the All-Star break on a nice six-game run in which he averaged 11.3 points, 6.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.2 blocks across 31.2 minutes. Williams' efficiency was off the charts during that sample, as he shot 55.8 percent from the floor, including 38.9 percent from distance. His ability to consistently offer blocks is an excellent bonus, and even if Lauri Markkanen (shoulder) returns from his extended absence once play resumes, Williams should remain steadily involved in his starting small forward role.
Start: Anthony Edwards, Timberwolves
56% start rate in CBS leagues
Another rookie who's quietly put up strong scoring numbers, Edwards averaged 17.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.3 steals over the last six games of the first half, though he shot an abysmal 34.2 percent during that span. Efficiency has been a concern all season for Edwards – he's shooting just 37.2 percent across his first 36 games. However, the absence of both Malik Beasley (suspension) and D'Angelo Russell (quadriceps) in Minnesota's three-game Week 12 should be of great benefit, considering Edwards is averaging 23.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.6 steals per 36 minutes with both his teammates off the floor. Chances are, Edwards will continue to be a FG% killer, but he's considerably more valuable in points leagues.
Also consider: Kelly Olynyk, MIA (23% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: LeBron James, Lakers
70% start rate in CBS leagues
No matter how your league handles the All-Star break, the Lakers are at a major schedule disadvantage. With just one game in Week 12, it's justifiable to sit James, who missed the final game before the break and looked worn out in Sunday's All-Star Game. With a few more days off, James should be well-rested after dealing with an ankle sprain throughout the entire first half, but even with Anthony Davis (Achilles/calf) still out to start the second half, one game of LeBron would have a difficult time outpacing a three-game player's output.
Start: Dwight Howard, 76ers
4% start rate in CBS leagues
Joel Embiid was a late scratch from Sunday's All-Star Game due to COVID-19 protocols after having close contact with an infected individual. Consequently, there's a chance the star big man misses anywhere from one to all three of Philadelphia's Week 12 games. As such, Howard's value gets a notable boost for the moment. It's worth mentioning the veteran had put together some solid performances off the bench before the All-Star break, including a trio of double-digit scoring performances, one double-double and a second double-digit rebounding effort over a nine-game span. Howard has averaged 8.0 points, 11.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.3 blocks in three of his four starts where he's logged more than 20 minutes, so keep an eye on Embiid's status and feel free to roll with Howard if he's due for at least a pair of starts Thursday and Friday versus the vulnerable frontcourts of the Wizards and Bulls.
Start: Robin Lopez, Wizards
4% start rate in CBS leagues
Speaking of Washington's big men, Moritz Wagner was entrenched as the starting center as the first half wound down, but Lopez has been drawing more consistent playing time in his second-unit role and mostly thriving with it. The veteran hit double digits in the scoring column in eight of the last 11 games before the All-Star break, adding 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assist across an average of 23.5 minutes per contest. With Lopez firmly ahead of Alex Len in the rotation and shooting a career-best 59.3 percent from the field, he's a decent three-game option in deeper formats.
Also consider: Jakob Poeltl, SAN (43% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: Serge Ibaka, Clippers
59% start rate in CBS leagues
Ibaka's Clippers are on a two-game schedule, and with the big man having put up a seven-point effort and then going scoreless in his last two games before the All-Star break, his upside is fairly limited. Ibaka had nine single-digit scoring tallies in his final 15 first-half games. His 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 blocks during that span were solid but are likely to be exceeded by a similar, three-game player. It's also worth noting Ibaka is also much less involved offensively since coming to Los Angeles, as his 11.1 points and 9.0 field goal attempts per game represent his lowest figures since the 2011-12 season.