We have a bit of a course correction, schedule-wise, in Week 23, as we're back to having more teams with four-game weeks than three-game weeks. Naturally, this is a welcomed sight, particularly at such a critical time of the Fantasy season, as it widens our player pool with respect to streaming candidates.
While the fact there are three teams with just two games on the schedule isn't ideal by any stretch, it does at least help identify some candidates for spots on the bench.
Teams with four games
Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards
Teams with three games
Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors
Teams with two games
Without further ado, let's examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 23:
Start: Brandon Williams, Trail Blazers
27% start rate in CBS leagues
Williams projects for another week of starts with Anfernee Simons still recovering from his quadriceps injury. The two-way player has responded well to his recent opportunity, averaging 16.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals across seven consecutive starts. His solid scoring average has been achieved despite abysmal efficiency (37.4 percent), and with a very favorable week of matchups ahead (Pistons, Spurs and Rockets twice), Williams should be in line for more strong returns.
Start: Immanuel Quickley, Knicks
26% start rate in CBS leagues
Quickley is still coming off the bench, but he's averaging a solid 26.8 minutes over his last 11 games while putting up 15.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steal and posting a very impressive 43.2 percent success rate from 3-point range. The second-year guard is shooting an improved 45.0 percent overall in that span – a notable boost from his season-long figure. With New York still fighting to get into the play-in tournament and Quickley producing consistently, he should continue to derive plenty of opportunity on the Knicks' upcoming four-game week.
Also consider: Coby White, Bulls (24% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: De'Aaron Fox, Kings
69% start rate in CBS leagues
Fox enters Week 23 having missed the last two games with a hand injury, and he's also poised for a two-game schedule. Sacramento doesn't play its first game of the week until Wednesday and does draw two very favorable matchups this week in the Pacers and Magic. However, we may not get an update on Fox's status until Tuesday night or Wednesday morning, so he's an incredibly risky start on a two-game week.
Start: P.J. Washington, Hornets
36% start rate in CBS leagues
Washington can drive Fantasy managers a bit batty with his occasional clunkers, but he continues to hold down the starting power forward role for the Hornets. Over his last 12 games, he's averaging 12.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.0 steals. Washington is shooting a tidy 48.8 percent over that span while offering serviceable long-distance production. Charlotte is on the rise and looking to solidify playoff positioning, so Washington could be set for another productive week that includes three games at home, where the young big has been a more proficient scorer (11.7 PPG) and rebounder (5.7 RPG), in particular.
Start: Bruce Brown, Nets
40% start rate in CBS leagues
On a team with some very big names, Brown continues to somewhat quietly carve out a productive, complementary role that's seen him produce 14.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.4 steals while shooting 51.1 percent in 12 post-All-Star-break games. Half of those have been road games for which Kyrie Irving has been available, and Brown has still averaged 12.5 points (52.7 percent shooting), 5.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.3 steals in that split. Irving will only be eligible to suit up for two of Brooklyn's four games this week, putting Brown firmly in play as a high-minute piece in the backcourt.
Also consider: Corey Kispert, Wizards (9% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: Harrison Barnes, Kings
62% start rate in CBS leagues
Barnes recently authored a pair of serious offensive clunkers, including a scoreless effort over 24 minutes against the Celtics two games ago. The veteran bounced back nicely Sunday against the Suns, but his averages of 16.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 13 post-All-Star-break games are certainly replaceable when considering he'll only have two games to work with in Week 23.
Start: Jaxson Hayes, Pelicans
23% start rate in CBS leagues
Hayes enters Week 23 having posted five straight double-digit scoring efforts, a span in which he's averaging 15.6 points (on 57.8% FG, 58.3% 3Pt), 7.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks. The third-year big is working very well in his frontcourt tandem with Jonas Valanciunas, and he's encouragingly logged 31.8 minutes per game during that five-game sample. Hayes can still be prone to the occasional single-digit scoring tally, but with Brandon Ingram (hamstring) still sidelined to begin the week, Hayes is especially appealing as a center-eligible player with plenty to offer in points and rebounds.
Start: Drew Eubanks, Trail Blazers
24% start rate in CBS leagues
Eubanks' teammate, Trendon Watford, came through nicely as a Week 21 suggestion, and Eubanks is deserving of some recognition in his own right this week. The 25-year-old has logged 11 consecutive starts while Jusuf Nurkic (foot) remains sidelined, and he's averaged 12.1 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists over the last 10. Those three categories are about the extent of his areas of consistent production, but beggars can't be choosers when it comes to late-season, out-of-nowhere producers like Eubanks. With four games on the schedule, he makes for a good plug-and-play for managers looking to fill out the final spot in their lineup.
Also consider: Alperen Sengun, Rockets (26% start rate in CBS leagues)
Sit: Jakob Poeltl, Spurs
63% start rate in CBS leagues
Poeltl also falls victim to a two-game week and actually heads into Week 23 on a bit of an offensive downturn. The big man has back-to-back seven-point efforts, even as he's continued to put in solid work on the boards. If you're in desperation mode for blocks, Poeltl could still be worth a start. But in that circumstance, it may make more sense to grab someone like Hassan Whiteside (41% rostered; 21% start rate), who has four games this week.