Fantasy Basketball: Week 21 Starts & Sits, schedule breakdown
Alex Barutha analyzes the schedule to help make lineup decisions for Week 21, with a much lighter schedule on the way.
While Week 20 was packed full of games, Week 21 is much lighter. As a result, many start/sit decisions will be made based on games played. Keep an eye out for players on four-game weeks who may be sitting on the waiver wire, and players on your team who will only take the court twice. Here's the breakdown:
Teams with four games: BOS, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, UTA
Teams with three games: ATL, CLE, DAL, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, POR, SAS, WAS
Teams with two games: DET, IND, PHI, PHO, SAC, TOR
Consider sitting: Ja Morant, MEM
Opponents: Orl, @Por, @Uta
Morant's scoring (17.4 points on 48.2 FG%) and passing (6.3 APG) have been solid since the All-Star break. However, the other areas of his game have dragged him down. In addition to subpar free-throw shooting (70.3% on 4.6 attempts per game), he's averaging just a combined 4.5 threes, rebounds, steals and blocks. It's possible he bounces back, but it's also possible he's hit the dreaded "rookie wall".
Consider Starting: Monte Morris, DEN
Opponents: Mil, @Dal, @SA, @LAL
Even when everyone is healthy and available for the Nuggets, coach Michael Malone still makes sure to find consistent run for Morris. Since the All-Star break, Morris is seeing 25.1 minutes per game and he's registered a fantasy rank of 97. Considering Denver is on a four-game week, he should be able to provide some value as a streaming option, even in leagues as shallow as 12 teams. His passing (3.4 APG), defense (1.6 STL) and efficiency (52.8 FG%) are the driving factors in his Fantasy relevance.
Consider starting: Terrence Ross, ORL
Opponents: @Mem, Chi, Cha
Helped by a monster 35-point effort that included eight threes during Wednesday's narrow loss to the Heat, Ross has ranked 41st in Fantasy since the All-Star break. He'll be heading into a three-game week against some relatively weak competition. Plus, with Evan Fournier (elbow) set for an extended absence, Ross could see extra shots. Fantasy owners in need of threes can certainly turn to Ross for help, as he's hitting 4.7 per game across the past seven.
Consider sitting: Buddy Hield, SAC
Opponents: NO, Bkn
Given that coach Luke Walton is handing Hield just 23.9 minutes per contest since the break, it's impressive that Hield has ranked 61st over this span, notably averaging 3.5 threes and 1.4 steals while making all of his free throws. That said, on a two-game week, it's hard to trust Hield, who could easily see fewer than 50 total minutes. I'd rather take a chance elsewhere in 12-team formats.
Consider starting: Otto Porter, CHI
Opponents: Cle, @Orl, @Mia, Bos
Hopefully before weekly lineup lock, we'll get a better idea of Porter's fitness and how many minutes he'll be able to play moving forward. In his first two games back from an extended absence, he's seen 17 and 18, respectively, totaling 20 points, six assists, five rebounds and two blocks. If Porter gets bumped up to at least 24 minutes per game, he could provide solid value on a four-game week. Last season, he was the 60th-ranked player in 30.1 minutes per contest.
Consider sitting: Norman Powell, TOR
Opponents: @Uta, Det
Powell has been a massive beneficiary of the Raptors' extensive injury report, though he is no stranger to injuries himself. He's appeared in only four games since the break, but in those contests, he's notably averaged 27.3 points on 53.5 FG%, 2.8 threes and 1.3 steals in 38.3 minutes. That's resulted in a Fantasy rank of 22 over this timeframe. However, with the Raptors inching closer to full health, especially Fred VanVleet (shoulder), I wouldn't necessarily lock in Powell for elite performances on a two-game week.
Consider starting: PJ Washington, CHA
Opponents: @Atl, @Mia, Cle, @Orl
Washington's performances in eight games since the break haven't been groundbreaking, but he's provided enough to be ranked 138th. On a four-game week, that's good enough to be in starter consideration for 12-team and, especially, 14-team formats. Washington's efficiency hasn't been easy on the eyes (41.3 FG%, 61.9 FT%), but he's hitting 2.6 threes per game since the break. Plus, he's providing passable contributions elsewhere, such as 15.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and a combined 1.3 steals-plus-blocks.
Consider sitting: Derrick Favors, NOP
Opponents: @Sac, @Uta, @LAC
Favors and PJ Washington have been close in rank since the break, with Favors checking in at 124. However, Favors plays one fewer game, they're all on the road, and the matchups are tougher. The emergence of Zion Williamson continues to be a hindrance on Favors' upside. If you're desperate for rebounding (10.7 RPG) and field-goal percentage (59.6), Favors can probably help you, but he's not providing much elsewhere with just 11.1 combined points, threes, assists, steals and blocks.
Consider starting: Wendell Carter, CHI
Opponents: Cle, @Orl, @Mia, Bos
In a similar situation to teammate Otto Porter, Carter has recently returned from injury and is due to get a bump in his minutes restriction next week. In three games since his return, he's averaging 6.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 block in 22.0 minutes. If he can get toward minutes in the upper-20s or low-30s, he should be able to provide value on a four-game week. On the season as a whole, Carter is ranked 102nd in 29.4 minutes per contest.
Consider sitting: Al Horford, PHI
Opponents: Det, Ind
Horford has done a good job of filling in for the injured Joel Embiid (shoulder), ranking 45th across the past four games. However, the 76ers are about to play on just a two-game week, and it seems like a strong possibility that Embiid makes his return Wednesday. Fantasy owners in 14-team leagues may have to take the risk, but if you're in a 12-teamer, see what other options are available before locking Horford in.
Alex Rikleen breaks down waiver options who might be available in your league for Week 21.