Fantasy Basketball Week 14 Start' Em & Sit 'Em and schedule analysis

Week 14 is one of the strangest weeks on the schedule, as commissioner Adam Silver decided to send some blokes to London … (I'm sorry). The Knicks and Wizards will have one-game weeks while in England to persuade the British to watch the NBA, so both of those squads should be avoided in your Fantasy leagues. Atlanta and Dallas will be in the States but have just two games on the docket this week. The remaining teams have three or four-game weeks.

  • Teams with four games: BOS, CHA, DET, IND, LAC, MEM, PHO, SAS
  • Teams with three games: BKN, CHI, CLE, DEN, GSW, HOU, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA
  • Teams with two games: ATL, DAL
  • Teams with one game: NYK, WAS

Let's explore some players to start and some to sit:

Guards

Consider starting: Darren Collison, IND (75% owned, 38% start)
Opponents: PHO, PHI, DAL, CHA

Though Collison has only totaled 15 points over his past two games, it's worth noting that he's been active on the defensive end, racking up seven steals in those contests. Over the past two weeks, his success on defense (2.0 STL) and solid passing (5.2 AST) have helped him be a top-60 player. While Collison's 10.2 PPG over that span is low, he's doing so on 60.0 FG% with 1.2 threes, and he hasn't missed a free-throw. A four-game week helps make up for any potential regression with his shooting.

Consider sitting: Bradley Beal, WAS (100% owned, 86% start)
Opponents:
NYK

A one-game week makes Beal almost unplayable in all but the deepest of leagues. Regardless, it's worth noting his uptick in production since Wall has been out. Since Dec. 28, Beal has averaged 28.1 points, 5.1 assists, 4.9 rebounds and 2.3 steals while shooting 45 FG%, 84.4 FT% and hitting 3.4 threes. All things considered, he's been a top-10 Fantasy asset over the past two weeks.

Consider starting: De'Anthony Melton, PHO (14% owned, 5% start)
Opponents:
IND, TOR, CHA, MIN

Melton has started every game for the Suns since Dec. 7, and he's been a top-120 Fantasy player over that span. That's largely been a result of his defense, as the rookie is racking up a combined 2.6 steals/blocks per contest over the past 30 days. While he's continued to be a low-volume player lately, Melton has pushed up into the top-95 over the past two weeks, which makes him worth consideration on a four-game week. At the very least, he should be owned in more than 14% of leagues, especially in formats that are 14-plus teams deep.

Consider sitting: Tim Hardaway Jr., NYK (98% owned, 61% start)
Opponents:
WAS

Chances are, I'd recommend sitting Hardaway even if he wasn't on a one-game week. He's only played a combined 47 minutes over the past two games as of Friday, going 6-of-19 (37.5%) from the field and providing no assists, five rebounds and two steals. He'll pop off occasionally, putting up great raw stats for daily Fantasy. But he's been a nuisance to year-long owners that spent a pick on him. He's barely a top-130 player over the past month, and that's slipped outside of the top-170 over the past 14 days. Until he can consistently shoot better than 40 percent from the field, it may be best to avoid starting Hardaway in 12-team formats.

Forwards

  • Consider starting: Kyle Anderson, MEM (58% owned, 34% start)
  • Opponents: HOU, MIL, BOS, TOR

Putting aside that we should consider starting Anderson on this four-game week, he should be owned in more than 58% of leagues already. The forward is the 79th-ranked player over both the past 30 days and the past 14 days, making him a viable option even in 10-team formats. As has been the case throughout his career, Anderson's numbers don't jump off the page. But added up, his 10.4 points (62.6 FG%), 5.4 rebounds, 2.9 assists and combined 2.4 steals and blocks over the past month have made him a valuable Fantasy commodity.

  • Consider sitting: Otto Porter Jr. (96% owned, 56% start)
  • Opponents: NYK

As noted above, a one-game week makes Porter virtually unplayable in most leagues. But he's still worth a mention, as the forward just cracked the 30-minute threshold for the first time since returning from the knee injury that cost him 10 games. He's shooting an encouraging 42.9 3P% on 21 attempts since returning, and Porter has needed just 22.2 minutes per game to average 15.4 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists and a combined 2.2 steals/blocks.

Consider starting: DeMarre Carroll (40% owned, 15% start)
Opponents: BOS, HOU, ORL

Carroll struggled through the first two months of the season — 35.2 FG% from Nov. 9 through Dec. 23 — after missing the first 11 games of the year due to injury. However, the veteran has found his shot recently, shooting 53.5 percent from the field en route to 17.3 PPG over his past seven appearances. He also collected a solid 5.0 rebounds, 2.7 threes and 2.3 assists over this stretch. In turn, he's become a top-80 player over the past two weeks. He won't continue making half his shots, but Carroll should definitely be picked up in 14-team formats and could reasonably be started in 12-team leagues until he cools off.

  • Consider sitting: Harrison Barnes, DAL (96% owned, 72% start)
  • Opponents: SA, IND

Barnes has upped his game over the past two weeks, ranking inside the top-80, compared to his season rank of 104. Looking at his numbers, the primary factor over the past 14 days is his 94.6 FT% on 4.6 attempts per night. That's bound to come down, as the forward has shot between 83 percent and 87 percent from the line during the past three seasons (including this one). When it does, it may crash his value, as he's managed to shoot just 39.6 percent from the floor over the same stretch. Even putting that aside, starting someone around rank 80 on a two-game week is a risky proposition.

Centers

Consider starting: Bismack Biyombo, CHA (9% owned, 3% start)
Opponents:
SA, SAC, PHO, IND

Every Willy Hernangomez dynasty owner is pulling their hair out right now, as coach James Borrego essentially has him in a minutes share with Biyombo while Cody Zeller recovers from his hand injury. Frustration aside, Biyombo has been productive in his minutes, ranking as the 116th player over the past week by averaging 8.7 points, 8.7 boards and a combined 2.3 blocks/steals in 22.0 minutes. On a four-game week, owners in 12-plus team leagues should consider adding and starting the center.

  • Consider sitting: Enes Kanter, NYK (97% owned, 54% start)
  • Opponents: WAS

Oddly enough, Kanter coming off the bench in favor of Luke Kornet seems to have boosted Kanter's play, as he's the clear go-to option with the second unit. Over the past week, the center has ranked inside the top-90, averaging 15.3 points, 15.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 block in 27.0 minutes. While you probably shouldn't start Kanter on a one-game week, Fantasy owners with Kanter on their roster don't have to panic about the role shift.

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