Fantasy Basketball Week 13 Start' Em & Sit 'Em and schedule analysis

The first full week of 2019 is loaded with games. Denver has an incredibly busy five-game week, making the Nuggets a target for streaming. Over half of the remaining teams are on a four-game week, and no teams play fewer than three games.

Aside from streaming Nuggets players, most of the other start/sit decisions may be marginal. Let's dive in.

Teams with five games: DEN

Teams with four games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, LAL, MIL, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, SAS, UTA, WAS

Teams with three games: BKN, CHA, CHI, GSW, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOR, OKC, PHO, TOR

GUARDS

Consider starting: Malik Beasley, DEN (18 percent owned, 13 percent start)

Opponents: HOU, MIA, LAC, PHO, POR

Beasley has become a consistent scoring threat for Denver seemingly out of thin air. He's averaging 15.9 points on 12.6 shots across the past seven games, and his 3.6 rebounds, 2.7 3s, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals have helped vault him up into top-55 status over the past two weeks. Gary Harris' return and Will Barton's eventual return will cut into Beasley's playing time, but he's still worth starting during Week 13 considering the Nuggets have five games.

Consider sitting: Tim Hardaway Jr., NYK (98 percent owned, 58 percent start)

Opponents: POR, GS, IND, PHI

Hardaway still can't seem to find his stroke. The Knicks have still leaned on him for 13.3 field-goal attempts per game over the past two weeks, but he's shooting just 37.7 percent from the field, dragging down his value. If he's not scoring at an efficient clip, Hardaway has trouble making up for it with supplementary stats. Over that same time frame, the wing is averaging just 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and fewer than a steal. A four-game week can be advantageous, but Hardaway is ranked outside of the top 200 over the past 14 days, so a bump in games played doesn't tilt things much in his favor.

Consider starting: Derrick White, SAS (37 percent owned, 22 percent start)

Opponents: DET, MEM, OKC, OKC

White has found a rhythm over the past four games, and he's ascended into true Fantasy relevance. During this stretch, he's averaging 15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals, becoming a top-40 player over the past week. And considering he's ranked in the top-110 over the past 30 days, White is worth a look as a longer-term pickup, especially in deeper formats.

Consider sitting: Andrew Wiggins, MIN (98 percent owned, 80 percent start)

Opponents: OKC, DAL, NOR

Wiggins put up a season-high 31 points Wednesday against the Celtics, but that was just his second 30-point game of the season, and it's not enough to convince me that he's turned a corner. Even with that outburst, Wiggins is outside of the top 150 over the past week and outside of the top 200 across the past 14 days. Ultimately, his poor shooting percentages and lack of supplementary stats should keep him near the bottom of most Fantasy benches, despite his name recognition.

FORWARDS

Consider starting: Jerami Grant, OKC (62 percent owned, 42 percent start)

Opponents: MIN, SA, SA

A three-game week shouldn't stop you from starting Grant, who is sporting an expanded role over the past 11 games, averaging 14.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and a combined 2.7 steals/blocks while shooting 56.4 percent from the field. While the numbers aren't eye-popping, his defensive prowess and offensive efficiency has made him a top-60 player over the past two weeks. At this point, I'd feel comfortable locking him in during any week with at least three games until, or if, he cools off.

Consider sitting: Gordon Hayward, BOS (95 percent owned, 51 percent start)

Opponents: BKN, IND, MIA, ORL

In the absence of Kyrie Irving, Hayward posted a season-high 35 points, plus five assists, Wednesday against the Timberwolves. Despite that, I'm still hesitant to start Hayward until he shows signs of consistency. In the four games leading up to his impressive outing, he was averaging 7.2 points on 34.3 percent shooting. He's ranked just inside the top 160 over the past 14 days, so while Fantasy owners in 14-team leagues may need to start him, anything shallower becomes a more difficult call.

Consider starting: Noah Vonleh, NY (82 percent owned, 36 percent start)

Opponents: POR, GS, IND, PHI

Vonleh's consistently low start rate still shocks me because the forward has shown no signs of slowing down this season. He's been a top-60 player over the past two weeks, making him a viable start in even 10-team formats. Across this stretch, he's averaging 11.6 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and a combined 2.2 blocks/steals. Earlier in the season, it seemed fair to expect a regression to be imminent, but now we've reached the point where regression would be surprising.

Consider sitting: Brandon Ingram, LAL (96 percent owned, 69 percent start)

Opponents: DAL, DET, UTA, CLE

Ingram's raw stats over the past week have been solid: 18.3 points, 8.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.0 block. However, his Fantasy value has been lower than expected. His 50 percent free-throw shooting on six attempts per game, plus fewer than one made 3 per contest, has resulted in him being ranked outside the top-150 during this stretch. Combine that with the possibility of LeBron coming back during Week 13, and Ingram's immediate future as a Fantasy asset is less than ideal. Fantasy owners in deeper 14-16 team formats may have to start him, but any league shallower than that should prompt hesitance.

CENTERS

Consider starting: Mason Plumlee, DEN (35 percent owned, 19 percent start)

Opponents: HOU, MIA, LAC, PHO, POR

It made sense to assume the return of Paul Millsap would mean a drop in workload for Plumlee. That hasn't been the case, however. Plumlee, in the three games since Millsap has been back, is averaging 9.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals on 70.6 percent shooting, and he's been the 122nd-ranked Fantasy player over the past seven days. That's not eye-popping, but a five-game week means the sheer volume Plumlee can put up makes him worth streaming in many formats.

Consider sitting: Hassan Whiteside, MIA (99 percent owned, 84 percent start)

Opponents: DEN, BOS, MEM

Like Brandon Ingram, Whiteside's raw stats are rock-solid -- 11.5 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks across the past 14 days -- but he's shooting below 50 percent from the field and just 31.3 percent from the free-throw line, which has dragged his rank outside of the top-200 over this stretch. Until he sees more playing time or bumps his efficiency back up, Whiteside is probably worth benching, especially on a three-game week.

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