In-Season Strategy: Week 9 Start/Sit

In-Season Strategy: Week 9 Start/Sit

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

This is one of our more busy weeks of the season, with only one team (the Warriors) on a two-game week. So we'll have to focus more on potential per-game production, rather than sitting a variety great players based on a low game count. Notably, the Thunder play all four of their games at home, so there's potential for a nice boost there. Here's a breakdown of the schedule:

Teams with four games: CHA, DAL, DET, LAC, MEM, MIL, OKC, PHO, POR, TOR, WAS

Teams with three games: ATL, BOS, BRO, CHI, CLE, DEN, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MIN, NO, NY, ORL, PHI, SAC, SAN, UTA

Team with two games: GS

Let's see who to consider starting and who to consider sitting:

Point Guard

Consider starting: Derrick Rose, DET

Opponents: Was, Tor, @Bos, Chi

Despite Blake Griffin's return from injury, Rose remains a crucial part of the Pistons' offensive gameplan. His value has decreased since the very early goings of the season, but he's still been the 102nd-ranked player since Nov. 27. Over this stretch, he's provided solid value as a scorer (15.8 PPG) and passer (6.5 APG). On a four-game week, he should be started in most fantasy formats, especially with three games at home.

Consider sitting: D'Angelo Russell, GS

Opponents: @Por, NO

This is a move for shallow leagues, 10-teams or fewer. Russell has taken 49 shots across the past two games, suggesting he won't be afraid to launch for the Warriors

This is one of our more busy weeks of the season, with only one team (the Warriors) on a two-game week. So we'll have to focus more on potential per-game production, rather than sitting a variety great players based on a low game count. Notably, the Thunder play all four of their games at home, so there's potential for a nice boost there. Here's a breakdown of the schedule:

Teams with four games: CHA, DAL, DET, LAC, MEM, MIL, OKC, PHO, POR, TOR, WAS

Teams with three games: ATL, BOS, BRO, CHI, CLE, DEN, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MIN, NO, NY, ORL, PHI, SAC, SAN, UTA

Team with two games: GS

Let's see who to consider starting and who to consider sitting:

Point Guard

Consider starting: Derrick Rose, DET

Opponents: Was, Tor, @Bos, Chi

Despite Blake Griffin's return from injury, Rose remains a crucial part of the Pistons' offensive gameplan. His value has decreased since the very early goings of the season, but he's still been the 102nd-ranked player since Nov. 27. Over this stretch, he's provided solid value as a scorer (15.8 PPG) and passer (6.5 APG). On a four-game week, he should be started in most fantasy formats, especially with three games at home.

Consider sitting: D'Angelo Russell, GS

Opponents: @Por, NO

This is a move for shallow leagues, 10-teams or fewer. Russell has taken 49 shots across the past two games, suggesting he won't be afraid to launch for the Warriors going forward. On the season, he's quietly been ranked 55th on a per-game basis, though he's missed plenty of time due to injury. With only a pair of games on the docket this week, he may not be able to rack up enough total stats to be an automatic lock as a starter. However, going forward, it appears he's in a great position to succeed.

Shooting Guard

Consider starting: Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL

Opponents: @Mil, Bos, @Phi, @Tor

Since Hardaway became a full-time starter Nov. 20, he's been the 58th-best fantasy player. Hardaway is scoring at a quality clip (15.7 PPG), and he's doing so while drilling 3.0 threes per contest, but not damaging his overall field-goal percentage (52.2) in the process. Simply put, he's been a fantastic scorer for the Mavericks. He's also providing a solid 1.3 steals per contest over this stretch. Despite what might be the hardest four-game schedule anyone has had to face this season, it's hard to bench Hardaway given how hot he's been.

Consider sitting: Jeremy Lamb, IND

Opponents: LAL, Sac, @Mil

Lamb's role has been reduced since the Pacers have gotten healthy, and his fantasy value has correspondingly dipped. Since Nov. 23, he's been just the 110th-ranked player. His 46.6 percent shooting has helped keep him afloat, but the counting stats -- 14.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 threes -- are uninspiring. You'll probably have to start him in 14-team formats with the hope that he improves, but owners in 10-team formats should explore other options first.

Small Forward

Consider starting: Dillon Brooks, MEM

Opponents: Mia, @OKC, @Cle, Sac

Brooks continues to play a significant role for the Grizzlies during his third year in the league. Over the past two weeks, he's managed to be the 118th-ranked fantasy player. That's been the result of solid scoring (16.4 PPG, 1.6 3PM) and nice defense (1.3 STL). On a four-game week, he's a strong streaming candidate in standard formats.

Consider sitting: Miles Bridges, CHA

Opponents: Sac, @Cle, Uta, @Bos

Despite plenty of opportunity to thrive on a Hornets team desperate for contributors, Bridges has remained a low-usage player. Over the past 30 days, he's taking just 11.5 shots per game, converting them at a 41.8 percent clip. He's providing fair value as a three-point shooter (1.8 3PM) and shot-blocker (0.8 BLK) over this stretch, but it's not enough to vault him past rank 142. It's justifiable to hang onto Bridges and maybe even start him in deep leagues, but fantasy owners in standard formats can begin to explore dropping him and using the spot to stream going forward.

Power Forward

Consider starting: Davis Bertans, WAS

Opponents: @Det, Chi, @Tor, @Phi

Bertans is still available in 11 percent of CBS leagues, and I can only assume those are six-team formats. He has been a force all season, showing off his elite three-point shooting. Over the past month, he's hitting 4.5 treys per game. That, plus 17.5 points, 48.6 percent shooting and a solid 0.7 blocks has resulted in him being ranked 35th over this stretch. Start him everywhere.

Consider sitting: Paul Millsap, DEN

Opponents: Orl, Min, @LAL

Millsap's workload has been reduced lately, seeing just 22.5 minutes per game across the past eight. During this stretch, he's been ranked just 165th, averaging 9.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assist and 1.0 block. It's simply hard for him to be fantasy relevant if he's seeing south of 25 minutes on a regular basis. Until the minutes jump back up, he should end up on your bench.

Center

Consider starting: Marc Gasol, TOR

Opponents: Cle, @Det, Was, Dal

I have slandered Gasol in this article before, but his play has improved dramatically. His scoring (7.7 PPG, 41.7 FG%) has still been suspect over the past two weeks, but he's now providing enough value elsewhere -- 6.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.9 combined steals/blocks -- to make up for it. Considering he's ranked 72nd over the past 14 days, he falls in the start category on the upcoming four-game week, especially with a lean toward home games and subpar opponents.

Consider sitting: Myles Turner, IND

Opponents: LAL, Sac, @Mil

If you're in a deeper league, or are targeting blocks, you won't be able to sit Turner. Since he returned from injury, he's swatting 2.7 shots per game. However, if you're in a 10- or 12-team roto format, things have been rough with Turner lately. He's taking just 9.2 shots per game since coming back, hitting them at a 37.5 percent clip. And he's nabbing just 5.2 boards per contest, resulting in him being ranked 92nd over his past 13 appearances. On a three-game week with two of the league's best defenses on the docket, it might not get better anytime soon for Turner.

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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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