Fantasy Basketball: Start/Sit Decisions for Week 23

Fantasy Basketball: Start/Sit Decisions for Week 23

This article is part of our In-Season Strategy series.

Just two weeks remain in the NBA regular season, and with all teams playing at least three games this week, fantasy managers can focus more on matchups and recent player performances rather than the number of games a team plays. It's also important to consider how players will be used down the stretch depending on their team's placement in the standings.

While stars from the teams with two games should still start in most fantasy leagues, it's best to consider players with four games instead of some less reliable contributors.

Teams with four games: CHI, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, UTA

Teams with three games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CLE, GSW, LAL, MIA, ORL, SAS, TOR, WAS

Check out our Fantasy Basketball Rankings, plus our Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet.

All roster and start percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball

GUARDS

Consider starting: Killian Hayes, DET (68% rostered, 33% start)

Opponents: MIL, @OKC, @HOU, @ORL

Hayes was an inconsistent contributor in previous months, but he's been a consistent force for the Pistons on both ends of the court in recent weeks. Over his seven appearances since reclaiming a starting role, he's averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. The 21-year-old posted three double-doubles across that span and recorded multiple steals in five matchups. The team's upcoming opponents aren't particularly effective against point guards, so Hayes should have an opportunity to

Just two weeks remain in the NBA regular season, and with all teams playing at least three games this week, fantasy managers can focus more on matchups and recent player performances rather than the number of games a team plays. It's also important to consider how players will be used down the stretch depending on their team's placement in the standings.

While stars from the teams with two games should still start in most fantasy leagues, it's best to consider players with four games instead of some less reliable contributors.

Teams with four games: CHI, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, PHI, PHX, POR, SAC, UTA

Teams with three games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CLE, GSW, LAL, MIA, ORL, SAS, TOR, WAS

Check out our Fantasy Basketball Rankings, plus our Fantasy Basketball Cheat Sheet.

All roster and start percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball

GUARDS

Consider starting: Killian Hayes, DET (68% rostered, 33% start)

Opponents: MIL, @OKC, @HOU, @ORL

Hayes was an inconsistent contributor in previous months, but he's been a consistent force for the Pistons on both ends of the court in recent weeks. Over his seven appearances since reclaiming a starting role, he's averaged 13.9 points, 8.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 2.0 steals in 33.6 minutes per game. The 21-year-old posted three double-doubles across that span and recorded multiple steals in five matchups. The team's upcoming opponents aren't particularly effective against point guards, so Hayes should have an opportunity to keep up his solid play this week.

Consider sitting: Damian Lillard, POR (99% rostered, 82% start)

Opponents: NOP, SAC, SAC, @MIN

As a fantasy manager with Lillard, I had hoped that the Trail Blazers would delay their plans to shut him down as long as possible, but recent reports suggest that he could be out for the season. He's missed the last two games with a calf injury, and the team is 4.5 games out of the Play-In Tournament. Portland doesn't have much reason to bring its star guard back this season, so it's best for fantasy managers to look for other options.

Consider starting: Shaedon Sharpe, POR (37% rostered, 17% start)

Opponents: NOP, SAC, SAC, @MIN

One player that has stepped up for the shorthanded Trail Blazers in recent matchups is Sharpe, who has started in three consecutive games and has averaged 25.7 points and 6.0 rebounds in 37.7 minutes per game during that time. Sharpe's starts have come with Anfernee Simons out with a foot injury, and the Trail Blazers haven't indicated their plans for Simons to close out the season. However, Sharpe should continue to see plenty of work in Portland's depleted backcourt, making him an appealing fantasy option to finish the year.

Consider sitting: Marcus Smart, BOS (89% rostered, 50% start)

Opponents: @WAS, @MIL, UTA

Smart has been a reliable source of points and assists for most of the season, but he's been less consistent in recent games. He's scored in single figures in three of his last six outings, averaging 11.0 points, 4.8 assists and 2.2 steals in 31.0 minutes per game. While the Celtics' opponents this week are relatively favorable against point guards, Smart hasn't displayed much upside this week and is even less appealing since Boston plays just three games.

FORWARDS

Consider starting: Trey Murphy, NOP (74% rostered, 39% start)

Opponents: @POR, @GSW, @DEN, LAC

Murphy has reclaimed a starting role over his last 11 appearances and has stepped up over that stretch, averaging 19.9 points and 3.8 rebounds in 36.2 minutes per game. He made 10 three-pointers during Saturday's win over the Clippers and has scored at least 20 points in three of his last seven outings. He's also had solid defensive production, racking up multiple steals in three of the past six games. Murphy doesn't provide many assists but can help fantasy managers with points, rebounds and steals this week.

Consider sitting: Keldon Johnson, SAS (98% rostered, 73% start)

Opponents: UTA, @GSW, @SAC

Johnson has posted double-doubles in his last two appearances but has been out for three of the Spurs' past four games due to a foot injury. He'll have a few days to rest before San Antonio faces the Jazz on Wednesday, but the Spurs have just three games on their schedule for this week. Although Johnson has been productive when healthy recently, the Spurs don't have much reason to push him given their place in the standings. It wouldn't be surprising to see him play fewer than three games this week, making him an unappealing fantasy option.

Consider starting: Tari Eason, HOU (53% rostered, 27% start)

Opponents: @NYK, @BKN, DET, LAL

Although Eason has continued to play mainly off the bench, he's had a consistent role as a reserve in recent matchups. Over his last five appearances, he's averaged 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds in 27.8 minutes per game. The last-place Rockets haven't rested their key players as much as some of their counterparts near the bottom of the standings. However, they still have reason to give Eason increased opportunities to develop down the stretch, so he could be a solid fantasy contributor late in the year.

Consider sitting: Gordon Hayward, CHA (92% rostered, 60% start)

Opponents: @OKC, CHI, TOR

Hayward largely struggled over the first half of March, but his production has increased slightly in recent matchups, as he's topped 20 points in three of the last four games. However, he's still somewhat inconsistent in secondary categories and faces three opponents this week that are relatively solid against small forwards. Hayward isn't a must-sit player this week, but with so many teams playing four games this week, it's possible fantasy managers have an option at forward with more upside.

CENTERS

Consider starting: Marvin Bagley, DET (57% rostered, 23% start)

Opponents: MIL, @OKC, @HOU, @ORL

Bagley recently missed three matchups due to an ankle injury, but he's been back on the court over the last three games. He's played at least 30 minutes in each of those appearances, averaging 19.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 33.7 minutes per game during that stretch, including a 31-point, eight-rebound performance Tuesday against Atlanta, one of his best outings of the season. Despite his injury history late in the season, Bagley has had a significant role recently and is a solid start consideration this week.

Consider sitting: Wendell Carter, ORL (96% rostered, 70% start)

Opponents: @MEM, @WAS, DET

Carter recently had a stretch in which he posted four double-doubles in five matchups, but he's been unable to accomplish the feat over his three appearances since then. Unlike some other centers, Carter doesn't have as much success in areas outside of scoring and rebounds, making him a relatively unappealing fantasy option when he doesn't post double-doubles. With the Magic playing just three games this week, fantasy managers may be able to find better starting options.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason
Jason joined RotoWire in 2019. In 2023, he was named the FSWA Player Notes Writer of the Year. In addition to RotoWire, Jason writes for the Sports Broadcast Journal. In 2024, he was dubbed "The Polish Parlay" for his WNBA hot betting streak.
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