Fantasy Basketball Week 15 Start' Em & Sit 'Em and schedule analysis
With 18 teams set to play four times in Week 15, you won't be lacking for options to start. In fact, you might be sitting some of your stalwarts.
After an abnormal Week 14 with two teams in London, things have stabilized for Week 15. There's plenty of action overall, with 18 teams on four-game schedules. Charlotte and Indiana are the pair of teams to be wary of, as each squad has two games this week.
- Teams with four games: CHI, CLE, DAL, HOU, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHO, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA, WAS
- Teams with three games: ATL, BKN, BOS, DEN, DET, GS, LAL, MIL, PHI, SAS
- Teams with two games: CHA, IND
Let's check out some players to consider starting and some to consider sitting:
Consider starting: Danny Green, TOR (45% owned, 26% start)
Opponents: SAC, IND, HOU, DAL
Green is ranked just outside of the top-110 on the season, making him a reasonable Fantasy asset even in 12-team formats and startable on four-game weeks. That's especially been true over the past two weeks, with the wing ranking 51st over that span through some great shooting (49.1 FG%, 2.7 3Pt) and quality defense (1.3 steals, 1.0 block). He has his ups and downs, but being on a four-game week gives a big enough sample to possibly counteract that.
Consider sitting: Kemba Walker, CHA (100% owned, 87% start)
Opponents: MEM, MIL
I knew Walker had been slumping lately, but it was surprising to see him ranked 95th over the past two weeks. He's scored 23.9 PPG over that timeframe, but he's done so on just 40.4 FG% with nearly 21 attempts per contest. He's also been out of character from the charity stripe, hitting just 77.8 percent of his 5.1 attempts per matchup. Walker's 3.9 boards and 3.7 assists over this stretch haven't been enough to make up for his unimpressive shooting, and he could be worth sitting with just two games on the docket if you have someone on your team who is hot and on a four-game week.
Consider starting: Alec Burks, CLE (39% owned, 26% start)
Opponents: CHI, BOS, MIA, CHI
Getting shipped to Cleveland has changed Burks' fortunes, and he's having his best season since 2013-14, the only time he's played more than 70 games. The 27-year-old has been a top-70 Fantasy player over the past 14 days, filling a need for the Cavaliers as a secondary ball-handler and scorer. Over this stretch, he's scoring 14.0 PPG on 47.7 FG% and 88.0 FT%, adding 5.1 boards, 2.6 assists and a combined 1.4 steals/blocks. Burks should not only be started, but he should also be rostered in 12-team formats.
Consider sitting: Victor Oladipo, IND (100% owned, 82% start)
Opponents: TOR, MEM
This is a very similar situation to that of Walker. Oladipo's shooting slump (42.1 FG%, 68.0 FT%) has resulted in him being ranked outside of the top 130 over the past two weeks, and it's fair to wonder if the knee injury that caused him to miss 11 games from mid-November to mid-December is bothering him again. The Pacers have been successful despite his below-average play, so there's also little incentive for him to be aggressive in trying to break his cold spell. Aside from his inefficient shooting, Oladipo is averaging 4.3 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals.
Consider starting: Jerami Grant, OKC (66% owned, 43% start)
Opponents: NY, POR, NO, MIL
Grant continues to be under-owned relative to his production. The forward has ranked within the top-60 over the past 30 days, making him a start candidate even in 10-team formats. Over that span, he's posted 14.7 points on 54.3 FG%, 5.5 rebounds and a combined 2.7 blocks/steals. He's also made nearly one three-pointer per contest and is shooting a fair 73.8 FT% on 2.8 attempts. On a four-game week, Grant should occupy plenty of Fantasy owners' starting lineups.
Consider sitting: Bojan Bogdanovic, IND (82% owned, 52% start)
Opponents: TOR, MEM
Over the past month, Bogdanovic is ranked 110th, though that number dips to 189 when considering his past two weeks specifically. He's still a solid asset in 12-team formats, and there's no reason to drop him. However, with just two games this week, I wouldn't trust Bogdanovic to put up enough stats to outplay others who might be on four-game weeks.
Consider starting: P.J. Tucker, HOU (33% owned, 18% start)
Opponents: PHI, NY, TOR, ORL
The extensive injury report for Houston has led to an increase in Tucker's responsibilities, and he's responded well. Over the past 14 days, the forward has ranked inside the top-70, functioning as a three-and-D asset and, more recently, a fill-in at center. Tucker is averaging 2.1 made threes and a combined 2.6 steals/blocks per game over that stretch, in addition to 10.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists in just over 36 minutes. With four games on the schedule, he's a quality option in most Fantasy leagues.
Consider sitting: Kyle Kuzma, LAL (99% owned, 79% start)
Opponents: GS, MIN, PHO
Despite Kuzma's impressive outing in Thursday's overtime victory against the Thunder, he's still only been the 119th-ranked Fantasy player over the past two weeks. It's ultimately a result of his below-average efficiency, as the forward is posting a 43.3 FG% on 20.0 shots and a 67.7 FT% on 5.2 attempts. His 23.7 points and 7.3 rebounds are nice for daily Fantasy and points leagues, but that, plus his 2.3 assists and fewer than 1.0 steal, aren't enough to vault him inside the top 110. On a three-game week, it's hard for me to consider Kuzma a lock in 10-team formats, though you may have to pull the trigger in 12-team leagues depending on your roster flexibility.
Consider starting: Richaun Holmes, PHO (30% owned, 18% start)
Opponents: MIN, POR, DEN, LAL
The presence of Deandre Ayton has mattered little when it comes to Holmes putting up numbers. The reserve big man, despite playing just over 19 minutes per contest over the past 14 days, has ranked as the 60th-best Fantasy asset. The driving forces are his efficiency (68.2 FG%, 76.9 FT%) and defense (2.4 combined blocks/steals). He's also chipping in 11.4 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists. This pace might be unsustainable long-term, but I'd also be surprised if Holmes didn't hold 12-team Fantasy value for the remainder of the season. With four games on the docket, he's worth deploying.
Consider sitting: Derrick Favors, UTA (85% owned, 62% start)
Opponents: POR, DEN, MIN, MIN
Favors is always on the fringes of being a Fantasy starter, but his recent play hasn't been encouraging, and I'm hesitant to lock him in despite the four-game week. Over the past 14 days, the big man has ranked just inside the top-140. He's producing a modest 10.9 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.3 BLK and 1.1 AST across 25 minutes. Center can be a thin position, so some owners in 12-team leagues may have to send him out there, but I'd double-check before locking him.
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