In-Season Strategy: Week 6 Start/Sit

In-Season Strategy: Week 6 Start/Sit

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

After the Suns' five-game Week 5 created significant imbalance, we're back to a relatively normal schedule. Keep your eyes out for players on the Nuggets, Rockets and Suns when making decisions in Week 6, as they play only two games. Here is the full breakdown:

Teams with four games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, DET, GS, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS

Teams with three games: CHI, CLE, DAL, MIN, NO, NY, POR, SAC

Teams with two games: DEN, HOU, PHO

Let's dive into some specific players:

Point Guard

Consider starting: Patrick Beverley, LAC

Opponents: @DAL, @MEM, @SA, WAS

Beverley continues to be a quality option to start on a four-game week, where his low usage doesn't carry as much risk. Over the past two weeks, he's averaging 8.8 points on 38.2 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.8 threes across 31.4 minutes. That's been good for a rank of 114 during that time period. Even if he doesn't increase his field-goal percentage much, he should rack up plenty of box score stats, and he's especially valuable in head-to-head leagues as someone with a high upside for steals.

Consider sitting: Ricky Rubio, PHO

Opponents: WAS, DAL

Even if we assume Rubio gets healthy by his first game next week, back issues can be nagging, and he would need to do a lot to be very valuable on a two-game week. He was less than 100 percent when he attempted

After the Suns' five-game Week 5 created significant imbalance, we're back to a relatively normal schedule. Keep your eyes out for players on the Nuggets, Rockets and Suns when making decisions in Week 6, as they play only two games. Here is the full breakdown:

Teams with four games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, DET, GS, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS

Teams with three games: CHI, CLE, DAL, MIN, NO, NY, POR, SAC

Teams with two games: DEN, HOU, PHO

Let's dive into some specific players:

Point Guard

Consider starting: Patrick Beverley, LAC

Opponents: @DAL, @MEM, @SA, WAS

Beverley continues to be a quality option to start on a four-game week, where his low usage doesn't carry as much risk. Over the past two weeks, he's averaging 8.8 points on 38.2 percent shooting, 8.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.8 threes across 31.4 minutes. That's been good for a rank of 114 during that time period. Even if he doesn't increase his field-goal percentage much, he should rack up plenty of box score stats, and he's especially valuable in head-to-head leagues as someone with a high upside for steals.

Consider sitting: Ricky Rubio, PHO

Opponents: WAS, DAL

Even if we assume Rubio gets healthy by his first game next week, back issues can be nagging, and he would need to do a lot to be very valuable on a two-game week. He was less than 100 percent when he attempted to play against the Kings, and it resulted in a terrible 0-for-7 performance from the field in the first half. He didn't play the rest of the game. As a result, it seems unlikely the Suns would push Rubio to play again if he's experiencing back spasms still. Even if he makes a couple of appearances, it's possible that his workload will be reduced in an effort to put less stress on him.

Shooting Guard

Consider starting: Evan Fournier and/or Terrence Ross, ORL

Opponents: @Det, @Cle, Tor, GS

With Nikola Vucevic out for at least a week and Aaron Gordon's timetable for a return unclear, the Magic are in desperate need of offense. Fournier and Ross could be the most reliable options left on the team. Fournier has been the most productive recently, scoring 21.0 points per game across the past two weeks, ranking 27th across that time period. He's an absolute lock in almost every fantasy format. Ross has only racked 93rd during the same timeframe, but that's good enough to warrant a start given the amount of games and the injury situation Orlando is faced with.

Consider sitting: JJ Redick, NOP

Opponents: LAL, @OKC, OKC

Redick has been one of the rare members of the Pelicans that's been healthy lately. He's taken advantage of his increased role by posting 19.4 points per game across the past two weeks. However, he's doing so by shooting an unsustainable 50.8 percent from beyond the arc. Plus, Lonzo Ball and Brandon Ingram are back, and it appears Josh Hart will be healthy sooner than later. With New Orleans looking to be back to nearly full strength this week, it might be a decent time to fade Redick in shallower leagues. His workload could be reduced to what we saw earlier in the season where he averaged just 23.0 minutes across the first eight games.

Small Forward

Consider starting: Jae Crowder, MEM

Opponents: @IND, LAC, UTA, @MIN

Crowder has been a consistently productive member of the Grizzlies, and his development as a passer has helped fuel his fantasy value. He's racked up 3.0 assists per game this season, which is close to a full assist more than his previous career high. He's maintained his solid three-point shooting and rebounding as well. Over the past two weeks, Crowder has ranked 78th on the back of 10.1 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.4 threes and 1.0 steal in 29.8 minutes. Despite the rebuilding nature of the Grizzlies, it appears Crowder's role is secure.

Consider sitting: Will Barton, DEN

Opponents: WAS, @SAC

Barton has cooled down a bit after starting the season on a heater, and he's ranked 80th overall. He should continue being a source of buckets and a surprising amount of rebounds for the Nuggets, but it's tough to start him in fantasy with only two games on the docket. Denver should also easily take care of Washington, which could result in an early hook for Barton.

Power Forward

Consider starting: Daniel Theis, BOS

Opponents: SAC, BKN, @BKN, @NY

Despite the presence of Enes Kanter and Robert Williams, Theis has established himself as coach Brad Stevens' No. 1 center option. While his 24.6 minutes per game across the past two weeks isn't ideal, he's managed to rank 90th over this stretch, averaging 8.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals. With the Celtics on a four-game week, you can fire up Theis with confidence in most 12-team formats.

Consider sitting: Paul Millsap, DEN

Opponents: WAS, @SAC

Millsap has played well lately, surprisingly ranking 33rd over the past two weeks. He's seen 29.2 minutes per game. However, I'm worried about hard regression on a two-game week. Millsap is taking only 10.5 shots per game (hitting them at 52.4 percent) during this period and has averaged 2.5 steals/blocks. If any combination of his minutes, efficiency or defense decrease, that could spell trouble. Fantasy owners in 12- or 14-team leagues can reasonably take the gamble, but it's plenty of risk to start him in any shallower format.

Center

Consider starting: Nerlens Noel, OKC

Opponents: @GS, @POR, NO, @NO

With Steven Adams dealing with a knee injury that's limiting his playing time, Noel has an opportunity to step up into increased minutes. He's needed only 20.0 minutes per game across the past two weeks to rank as the 75th-best fantasy player on the back of 7.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and a combined 3.2 blocks/steals. Noel is at least worth a pickup in deep leagues due to the situation, and OKC being on a four-game week makes him a definite starting option in 12-team formats, especially ones that require two centers.

Consider sitting: Cody Zeller, CHA

Opponents: @MIA, DET, @DET, @MIL

Zeller has seen his workload reduced recently, garnering fewer than 20 minutes in each of the past two contests. He's also been less productive in general, ranking outside of the top-150 across the past two weeks. Even on a four-game week, it's difficult to trust that Zeller will rack up enough stats to be worth a start in 12-team formats. He's probably a hold, for now. But it's possible fantasy owners may have to drop Zeller if this continues.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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