Fantasy Basketball: Week 17 Starts & Sits, schedule breakdown
Alex Barutha analyzes the schedule to help make lineup decisions for the week before the All-Star break.
Week 17 is a short one, as there are no games after Thursday due to the All-Star break. As a result, every team plays just one or two times. There will be some tough decisions to make, especially with some underperforming players who have just one contest. Plus, the trades made before the deadline complicate things a bit. Here's the full schedule breakdown:
Teams with two games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, DAL, DEN, DET, GS, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIL, MIN, NO, OKC, ORL, PHO, POR, SAC, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS
Teams with one game: CHI, CLE, HOU, MEM, NYK, PHI
And here are some player to consider starting and some to consider sitting:
Consider starting: Shabazz Napier, WAS
Opponents: Chi, @NY
I'm hopeful Napier's change of scenery doesn't affect his production dramatically. He's been the 52nd-ranked player over the past two weeks in 30.2 minutes per game, notably averaging 8.6 assists and 1.4 steals. He'll have some competition from Ish Smith for point guard minutes, but it would be better for the rebuilding Wizards to give the younger Napier preference. However, even if Napier's minutes do suffer, the Wizards play at a breakneck pace, which could help keep his stats afloat.
Consider sitting: Ricky Rubio, PHO
Opponents: @LAL, GS
Rubio is clearly less than 100% healthy while dealing with an ankle injury, as he's ranked 167th over the past two weeks and is only seeing 29.3 minutes per game. He's still been passing (5.3 APG) and defending (1.8 STL) well, but his 28.9 FG% is atrocious and a severe detriment to Fantasy teams. That's fueling just a 7.0 PPG average. Until he gets right, it could be best to avoid starting him.
Consider starting: Josh Hart, NOP
Opponents: Por, OKC
Hart appears to have cemented a nice role in the Pelicans' rotation, even with Zion Williamson back. He's rebounding and defending especially well, averaging 8.3 RPG and a combined 2.5 steals-plus-blocks. Assuming he continues to also pitch in a solid 1.7 made three pointers per contest, Hart should continue to be a starting-caliber Fantasy asset. Over the past two weeks, he's ranked 56th.
Consider sitting: Evan Fournier, ORL
Opponents: Atl, Det
Sitting Fournier is a move for 10-team leagues or shallower considering he's ranked a still-passable 109th over the past two weeks, notably hitting 2.9 threes per game. But he won't help you much if you need things other than scoring. Over this stretch, Fournier is averaging just a combined 6.7 rebounds, assists, steals and blocks. He's also shooting only 40.0 percent from the field.
Consider starting: Danuel House, HOU
The Rockets' decision to transition into full-time small-ball should continue to help House, who is bound to see plenty of minutes at the forward spots. Over the past two weeks, he's ranked 41st through excellent three-and-D play, averaging 2.9 threes and a combined 2.8 steals-plus-blocks. Even with one game on the schedule for Week 17, Fantasy owners in need of threes and defensive stats can still deploy House.
Consider sitting: Tobias Harris, PHI
Harris has been subpar lately, and it would be understandable to sit him on a one-game week against an elite defensive team in the Clippers. Harris has ranked 136th over the past two weeks, hitting only 42.4 percent of his shots and averaging just 0.3 steals. Owners in 14- or 16-team formats may have to bite the bullet, but certainly consider other options first.
Consider starting: Brandon Clarke, MEM
With Jae Crowder and Solomon Hill traded to the Heat, some extra minutes could open up at power forward for Clarke moving forward. I'm not expecting a massive increase in role, but he really doesn't need one to be effective in Fantasy. He's needed only 23.8 minutes per game across the past two weeks to be ranked 61st. Clarke is doing it through solid rebounding (6.7) and defense (2.2 combined steals-plus-blocks), plus great efficiency (57.4 FG%, 92.9 FT%).
Consider sitting: Marcus Morris, LAC
Opponents: @Phi, @Bos
In joining one of the best teams in the league, and one that already has two excellent wings/forwards in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, Morris may see his role reduced. It's easy to envision him still seeing around 25 minutes per game, but I'm not sure the Clippers need him to take nearly 18 shots per contest like he has been over the past 14 days. Don't drop him, but proceed with caution for the time being.
Consider starting: Dewayne Dedmon, ATL
Opponents: @Orl, @Cle
This is a riskier move for deeper leagues, but we may actually see Dedmon garner a consistent 25 minutes per game until Clint Capela (heel) is set to return and start for Atlanta. And we've seen Dedmon be productive lately. Over the past 14 games, he's needed just 24.8 minutes to be the 74th-ranked player. That's largely been due to his defense (3.8 combined blocks-plus-steals) and rebounding (7.8).
Consider sitting: Al Horford, PHI
Horford continues to struggle in his new role with his new team. Over the past two weeks, he's ranked just 132nd in 30.2 minutes. He's providing solid numbers from three (2.4) and on the boards (7.2), but he's shooting just 39.6 percent from the field and hasn't recorded a block. Going up against the tough defense of the Clippers this week, there's reason to fade Horford.
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