It's been an eventful last few days in the NBA heading into Week 10, to say the least. With COVID-related issues now moving past just individual absences and leading to outright postponements of games, it's a particularly challenging period from a Fantasy perspective.
Partly as a result of the schedule shuffling across the league, we have an unusual Week 10 ledger that includes just one team with four contests and a season-high number of clubs with just two games on the docket. The high number of two-game weeks does clarify our Sit decisions a bit more than usual, and there are also more streaming candidates rising to the forefront due to multiple absences on many rosters.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Oklahoma City Thunder
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz
Without further ado, let's examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 10:
Start: Alec Burks, Knicks
38% start rate in CBS leagues
Burks continues to hold down the starting point guard job for the Knicks despite Kemba Walker's surprisingly successful cameo against the Celtics on Saturday. Burks is struggling with his efficiency from in front of the arc this season but is still as sharp as usual from distance, draining 40.4 percent of his shots from behind the arc heading into the new scoring period. The veteran is offering serviceable contributions in rebounds (4.0) and assists (2.2) as well, and he's even averaging a career-high 1.1 steals. With New York still dealing with multiple COVID absences entering its three-game ledger, Burks should have a busy Week 10 as long as he avoids entering protocols himself.
Start: Gary Harris, Magic
9% start rate in CBS leagues
Harris retains a very modest start rate for a player who's averaging a solid 12.8 points (on 47.9 percent shooting, including 38.3 percent from distance), 3.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals across 32.6 minutes in his last 12 games. The veteran wing won't have the benefit of a four-game week as originally slated due to the postponement of Monday's contest against the Hawks. However, he should still be in prime position to deliver very useful multi-category production with three games and the potential for elevated usage due to some of the absences on his squad.
Sit: Terry Rozier, Hornets
74% start rate in CBS leagues
Rozier has only two games this coming scoring period and heads into it with a pair of abysmal performances in tow. The veteran wing has averaged all of 3.0 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.0 steals across 22 minutes in the last two games, shooting just 3-for-20 from the floor in that span. Given the slump and few upcoming opportunities to right the ship, affording Rozier at least a one-week seat on your bench is a relatively straightforward decision unless you're in particularly dire straits at guard.
Start: Luke Kennard, Clippers
34% start rate in CBS leagues
Kennard has recently benefited from the five-game absence of Paul George (elbow) in the form of four straight starts, but he's been productive for a longer stretch than that. The fifth-year wing is averaging 17.3 points (on 50.0 percent shooting, including 55.2 percent from three-point range), 4.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists over his last nine games overall, a sample that includes four games with double-digit scoring efforts off the bench. Kennard had essentially been averaging a starter's workload in his second-unit role anyhow – he's seen 27.7 minutes per game in contests as a reserve – so with his hot hand, he remains a viable streaming candidate even if George is able to return from his injury Monday night against the Spurs.
Start: Jordan Nwora, Bucks
3% start rate in CBS leagues
Nwora heads into Week 10 with three very productive starts under his belt, a sample during which he's averaged 19.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals across 37 minutes. While the Bucks' starting power forward spot is Giannis Antetokounmpo's domain when he's healthy, it's certainly possible both he and frontcourt mate Bobby Portis are stuck in COVID-19 protocols through the entirety of Milwaukee's three-game week. Factoring in that Khris Middleton could also be due for more absences due to his hyperextended knee, and Nwora may be primed for several more games as a starter with elevated usage.
ALSO CONSIDER: Chuma Okeke, Magic (16% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: Kevin Durant, Nets
63% start rate in CBS leagues
As is the case with the most elite players, only extremely extenuating circumstances will ever warrant a Sit designation. Such is the case for KD in Week 10, during which he'd only have two chances to take the court if he wasn't in health and safety protocols. While there's always a chance he could be cleared at some point before Brooklyn's game against the Blazers on Thursday – or the Christmas Day showdown against the Laker – the combination of risk and a light schedule make Durant a tough player to justify starting this week.
Start: DeMarcus Cousins, Bucks
4% start rate in CBS leagues
On the subject of the Bucks' short-handed frontcourt, Cousins has already logged two starts in Milwaukee and has shown flashes of rounding into form. The big man most recently produced a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double that included five steals against Cleveland on Saturday, and given Portis' placement in health and safety protocols, Cousins could be in for a full week's worth of starts. There's no shortage of evidence as to what the multi-time All-Star is capable of with extended minutes, and he encouragingly bumped up to a season-high 27 against the Cavs. Although he isn't the same player as a few seasons ago, there's no question he could offer strong multi-category production with enough of a workload.
Start: Alperen Sengun, Rockets
35% start rate in CBS leagues
Sengun was productive in three of four Week 9 appearances, and he's right back in play in Week 10 with another three-game week on tap. The rookie is up to averages of 9.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.0 steals across 29 games, posting 15 double-digit scoring efforts and a pair of double-digit rebounding tallies along the way. The minutes usually rest in the high-teens for Sengun, but with a general dearth of centers with low start rates, and a steady role on a team that will continue to emphasize young players, he remains viable as he continues his development.
Sit: Jusuf Nurkic, Trail Blazers
79% start rate in CBS leagues
The Trail Blazers have just two games in Week 10, and Nurkic heads into the week with solid but replaceable averages of 12.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists across 28.0 minutes over his last six games. The big man hasn't really seen a bump in usage from the ongoing absence of CJ McCollum (chest) and is now averaging his fewest shots per game (8.9 FGA/G) since the 2016-17 campaign. Unless you're especially thin at center this week, consider a similarly productive three-game option over Nurkic.