dennis-schroder-2-1400.jpg

After a couple of short weeks due to the All-Star break, we're back to a more conventional period, for Fantasy purposes, in what is considered Week 12 for leagues that treated Week 11 as a 14-day period and Week 13 for those that didn't.

We're fortunate to have a rare, five-game team this week in the Lakers, as well as a majority of the rest of the league on a four-game ledger. As is common at this point of the season, Injuries are opening up opportunities for some players who normally wouldn't merit starting consideration, while others are starting to hit their stride after slow starts to the campaign. 

Team with five games: Los Angeles Lakers

Teams with four games: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards

Team with three games: Atlanta Hawks, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz

Without further ado, let's examine some of the tougher start or sit decisions for the week ahead:

Guards

Start: Dennis Schroder, Lakers

46% start rate in CBS leagues    

Schroder is a beneficiary of that aforementioned five-game schedule for the Lakers, and he'll enter the week averaging 19.0 points, 5.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.8 steals across his last six games. The veteran should continue seeing an elevated offensive role throughout Week 13 with Anthony Davis (calf) still out. Over his last six games, Schroder is averaging 19.0 points, 5.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 0.8 blocks. 

Start: Derrick White, Spurs

37% start rate in CBS leagues

White capped off the week Sunday against the 76ers with an impressive line of 17 points, four rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals over just 25 minutes in a blowout loss. It marked White's second straight 17-point effort after struggling earlier in the week in his return from a five-game absence due to COVID-19. Considering he also missed an even longer stretch earlier in the season due to a foot injury, the 2017 first-round pick really hasn't had an opportunity to hit his stride yet. But now that he's presumably at full health, White could flourish during his upcoming four-game week, especially with a favorable schedule that includes matchups against the Pistons, Bulls and Cavaliers.  

Also consider: Kevin Porter, Rockets (41% start rate)

Sit: Lonzo Ball, Pelicans

80% start rate in CBS leagues

Ball has just three games coming up this week, and before he put up an impressive 20-point, eight-rebound, five-assist, one-steal tally in a surprising Sunday night blowout of the Clippers, he'd struggled through three straight particularly inefficient games. Ball shot an abysmal 22.9 percent over that span, and zooming out further, he'd averaged a modest 13.3 points (on 39.0 percent shooting), 5.9 assists, 3.5 rebounds and 1.3 steals across his last eight contests. On the whole, Ball has had a nice bounceback after a rough start to the season, but his inconsistency lately makes him a riskier option on a three-game week. 

Forwards        

Start: Kyle Kuzma, Lakers

47% start rate in CBS leagues   

Like his teammate Schroder, Kuzma is poised to continue benefiting from the absence of Anthony Davis. While Markieff Morris continues to draw the starts at power forward and is offering decent production, Kuzma's ceiling is much greater, as he's demonstrated in the last two games with a pair of double-doubles and averages of 24.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.0 steal across 32.0 minutes. Kuzma has averaged a whopping 19.0 shots per game in that span, and although that level of usage won't be there every night, appealing matchups against the Warriors, T-Wolves, Hornets and Hawks as part of a five-game week make Kuzma a starting-caliber option.

Start: Will Barton, Nuggets 

30% start rate in CBS leagues

Barton is one of those veterans alluded to earlier that may finally be close to clicking on all cylinders after an up-and-down earlier portion of the season. The sharpshooting wing heads into the new week with six straight double-digit scoring efforts and averages of 17.2 points (on 52.6 percent shooting, including 47.1 percent from 3), 5.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.2 steals across 32.5 minutes during that span. The improved efficiency from the floor has been key, as Barton had been shooting just 42.7 percent in the first 29 games of the season. The boost in rebounding and steals during that stretch is also encouraging, and although fellow wing Michael Porter is also thriving, Mike Malone has been able to incorporate both players in the starting five with success in the absence of Gary Harris (thigh). 

Also consider: Saddiq Bey, Pistons (29% start rate)

Sit: John Collins, Hawks

89% start rate in CBS leagues

Collins thrived in Sunday's win over the Cavaliers with a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double, but that came without Clint Capela, who was resting a sore left heel. The Hawks have only three games on the schedule this coming week, and with the first one not until Tuesday, Capela could well be back in his usual starting role. Prior to Sunday, Collins had four straight sub-20-point tallies and averaged 15.3 points and 7.3 rebounds over that span while shooting just 42.2 percent. He'd been under 20 points in eight of the last 10 contests, including an eight-points-in-30-minutes no-show against the Celtics. Collins' overall offensive usage is also down notably compared last season, and prior to Sunday he'd played 28 or fewer minutes in four straight games. He by no means a must-sit, but consider leaving Collins on the bench in favor of a comparable four-game player. 

Centers 

Start: Kelly Olynyk, Heat 

29% start rate in CBS leagues

Olynyk has been playing well in the absence of Bam Adebayo (knee), with his 18-point, seven-rebound, four-assist, three-steal, two-block effort versus the Magic on Sunday evening serving as the latest example. The floor-spacing big man averaged 15.7 rebounds, 8.7 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.3 steals over the previous three games, and Adebayo doesn't yet have a definitive return date. The Heat have four games on the schedule, so with Adebayo's status in jeopardy, Olynyk is a justifiable starter in most leagues this week.

Start: Tony Bradley, 76ers

2% start rate in CBS leagues

Bradley's position mate Dwight Howard, who was featured here last week, is also a viable consideration, as both players appear set to split minutes fairly evenly during Joel Embiid's multi-week absence. Bradley ran with the first unit Thursday, posting 14 points, five rebounds and three blocks over 22 minutes against the Bulls. He started again Sunday against San Antonioand posted four points, eight rebounds and four assists across just 21 minutes. Bradley won't offer you much outside of some points and rebounds, but with four games on his schedule, he makes for a solid streaming candidate in deeper formats.

Also consider: JaVale McGee, Cavaliers (2% start rate); Robert Williams III, Celtics (31% start rate)

Sit: Steven Adams, Pelicans

54% start rate in CBS leagues 

Adams delivered for those who stuck with him last week, as he scored between 23 and 35 Fantasy points in his four games while posting three double-digit scoring games and a pair of double-doubles. However, he'll have just three games to work with this week, and although you may have caught lightning in a bottle last week, keep in mind that Adams has only topped 30 minutes in one of his last 19 games. Start Adams if you're looking to gain ground in rebounds, but on a three-game week for the Pels, you may be able to find a four-game player with a higher ceiling.