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USATSI

Week 7 presents us with our first big schedule-related challenge of the new season, as we have far more teams on three-game weeks than those taking the floor on four occasions. Additionally, we have a pair of two-game teams, which does at least make it easier to identify some good Sit candidates but also further narrows the overall player pool for streaming options.

Fortunately, we have at least one three-game player who could offer even more production than usual due to a key injury on his team, as well as several four-game candidates with positive outlooks for the scoring period. 

Without further ado, let's examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 7:

TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards

TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz 

TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES: Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers 

Guards         

Start: Tim Hardaway, Mavericks

46% start rate in CBS leagues

Hardaway is in the midst of another solid season and has actually seen an uptick in his rebounds and assists production compared to recent years. The veteran wing enters the scoring period equaling his career-high average of 3.9 rebounds per contest, while his 2.5 dimes per game are his best figure since the 2017-18 season. Hardaway is also turning in a solid 14.4 points per game despite a career-worst 38.3 percent success rate from the floor. A four-game week that features a total of three matchups against Grizzlies and Pelicans squads allowing the highest and fourth-highest three-point shooting percentage, respectively, could lead to some strong production. 

Start: Dillon Brooks, Grizzlies

41% start rate in CBS leagues

Brooks has only three games on his schedule this week, but the expected bump in usage he'll enjoy during the extended absence of Ja Morant (knee) puts him firmly in play as a starting candidate. While he's missed some time, Brooks is putting up career-highs or near-career-highs in points (18.6), rebounds (3.6) and assists (2.3), and he holds a robust 35.5 percent usage rate with Morant off the floor. Brooks offered a glimpse of what might be to come when he put up 17 shot attempts in just 21 minutes during a blowout of the Kings on Sunday -- his first full game without Morant as his backcourt mate. 

ALSO CONSIDER: Gabe Vincent, Heat (0% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: Cade Cunningham, Pistons

68% start rate in CBS leagues

Cunningham's shot has hit the skids over the last five games, a span in which he's drained just 28.6 percent of his attempts, including an abysmal 19.4 percent from three-point range. The rookie has a pair of single-digit scoring tallies during the sample as a result, and even though he's shown plenty of encouraging flashes already, his two-game week essentially clinches his spot on fantasy benches for Week 7, unless you're in truly dire straits at guard. 

Forwards        

Start: Kevin Love, Cavaliers 

40% start rate in CBS leagues

Love recently came back from an eight-game stay in COVID-19 protocols in productive fashion, averaging 12.5 points, 9.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists across just 20.5 minutes over his first four games. He saw a downturn due to some poor shooting in Cleveland's most recent contest against the Magic on Saturday, but Love's rotational role is secure and he should continue seeing minutes in the low 20s during the Cavs' four-game Week 7. Love's offensive efficiency is down from recent seasons, yet he remains aggressive when on the floor (9.1 FGA across 20.5 minutes per game), and he's still a fine rebounder who can also contribute threes.

Start: Eric Gordon, Rockets

22% start rate in CBS leagues

Gordon has been a steadying veteran presence on a poor Rockets team, and he enters Week 7 on an 11-game stretch in which he's averaged 13.3 points, 2.8 assists and 2.3 rebounds while shooting an impressive 40.0 percent from three-point range. The long-tenured marksman is actually shooting a career-best 46.3 percent overall for the season, while his 43.2 percent mark from behind the arc is the second-best of his long career. The Rockets and John Wall are reportedly in talks for the veteran to make his return to the court, but for the time being, Gordon remains a key nightly component of Houston's attack. He's a viable option on a four-game week that features favorable matchups versus the Thunder (twice), Magic and Pelicans.

ALSO CONSIDER: Marcus Morris, Clippers (15% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: Anthony Davis, Lakers

89% start rate in CBS leagues

Davis is enjoying a fine season and doing a good job playing through various injuries, but he only has a two-game schedule in Week 7. AD's recent production over the last three games into the scoring period -- 22.3 points, 8.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 2.3 blocks and 1.7 steals – is certainly impressive yet nevertheless beatable by a talented four-game option. 

Centers   

Start: Ivica Zubac

44% start rate in CBS leagues

Zubac has been a steady provider of 20+ fantasy points in CBS standard scoring leagues throughout the season, and he's boasting career highs in points (10.1) and rebounds (8.5) while also tying his career-best in assists (1.3). The big man enters Week 7 with four double-digit scoring and three double-digit rebounding efforts in the last six games, and he continues to consistently avoid foul trouble. While the return of Serge Ibaka may eventually threaten Zubac's workload, he's remained entrenched as the starter thus far.

Willy Hernangomez, Pelicans

4% start rate in CBS leagues

Hernangomez has evidently surpassed Jaxson Hayes on the depth chart behind Jonas Valanciunas for the time being, with Hayes notably logging three DNPs before playing eight minutes in a blowout loss to Utah on Saturday. Hernangomez has earned his promotion with averages of 12.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists across 17.4 minutes over his last five games. The veteran big man has even drained a pair of three-point attempts over that stretch for good measure and has been highly active when on the floor, sporting a 23.9 percent usage rate during that span. With a solid track record as a trustworthy rotational piece, Hernangomez should continue as a reliable streaming source of points and rebounds in Week 7. 

ALSO CONSIDER: Daniel Gafford, WAS (28% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: Richaun Holmes, Kings

53% start rate in CBS leagues 

Holmes has been rewarding Fantasy managers consistently again this season, but the combination of a three-game week and a non-COVID illness could land him on the bench this week. Holmes has already missed three games due to the illness, as well as a bruised eye, and he could well be in line for a fourth absence in Tuesday's game against the Lakers. If you can afford to wait on an update on Holmes' status, he can still be a viable starter on a three-game week, but locking him in before Tuesday could prove costly.