NBA Fantasy: Start/Sit guide for Week 21


Dallas’ P.J. Washington is averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.4 assists over his first 12 games with the Mavs.

We’re another week closer to the Fantasy postseason, and this week’s schedule is a bit on the tricky side from that perspective. We have a modest amount of teams on four-game weeks, and we also see the return of two-game schedules for a pair of clubs. At the same time, injuries are opening up opportunities for several players.

Each week, we’ll aim to highlight a pair of Start candidates for your fantasy rosters that may shape up as some of the tougher calls of the week to make, with the focus usually being on players with a start or roster rate of 50% or less in Yahoo leagues. We’ll also typically hone in on players with four-game weeks in an attempt to maximize opportunities for production.

Likewise, we’ll spotlight one Sit candidate at each position who would normally not be considered for a spot on your bench, often focusing on players with fewer game opportunities during the coming week.

TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards

TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz

TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES: Los Angeles Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves

Without further ado, let’s examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 21:


Start: Vasilije Micic, Hornets

26% roster rate

Micic is a current beneficiary of one such injury-related opportunity, backing up Tre Mann (groin), who’d been filling in for LaMelo Ball (ankle). Both of those players remain out to start the new week, meaning Micic, who’s averaging 14.4 points, 6.0 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals over his last five games, will continue to handle the starting point guard duties for the time being. The Hornets are typically involved in high-scoring, fast-paced affairs, and Micic appears to be a perfect fit in their system, making him an intriguing streamer during the upcoming four-game week.

Start: Gary Trent, Raptors

39% start rate 

Fantasy players are familiar with Trent’s streaky nature as a shooter, but the veteran wing is worth a shot as one of those high-upside pieces on a non-playoff team. Trent also happens to come into the Raptors’ four-game week riding a nice hot stretch, as he’s averaging 17.2 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals across 33.3 minutes per contest over his last eight games. With RJ Barrett potentially missing at least one more game Monday due to an illness that rendered him a late scratch Saturday, Trent is even more appealing.

ALSO CONSIDER: Dalano Banton, Trail Blazers (33% roster rate); Norman Powell, Clippers (31% start rate)

Sit: D’Angelo Russell, Lakers

58% start rate

Russell has the misfortune of a two-game schedule this coming week and given the sometimes-significant fluctuations in his production, it makes him a particularly volatile option this week. In a microcosm of what a roller coaster rostering Russell over a scoring period can be, the veteran point guard produced scoring totals of 26, 10, 44 and 13 points over his four Week 19 games. Russell has generally been a reliable purveyor of solid numbers across the board, but the two games and his up-and-down nature make him a consideration for a one-week benching.


Start: Simone Fontecchio, Pistons

27% roster rate 

Fontecchio is still a somewhat under-the-radar fantasy piece despite the strong start to his Pistons tenure. The second-year wing has been undeterred by the bench role he’s transitioned into after initially opening up his time in the Motor City as a starter, as he’s averaging 15.3 points (on 47.0% shooting, including 47.2% from 3-point range), 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals across his last six games. Fontecchio can back up both forward spots, and he’s arguably in a better position for fantasy production on the second unit, when he often sidesteps having to share the floor with high-usage options such as Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

Start: P.J. Washington, Mavericks

49% start rate

Four Start recommendations in, we finally get to our first suggestion which plays for a playoff hopeful. Washington has moved into a starting power forward spot in Dallas, and although some inconsistencies remain, he’s certainly talented enough to reward you for rolling with him on a four-game week. Washington is averaging 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 1.0 steals across 31.8 minutes over his first 12 games with the Mavericks, hitting the 20-point mark on a couple of occasions during that span. His efficiency still has plenty of room for improvement, but Washington is averaging a solid 10.1 shot attempts per game and could develop into a reliable third option on the first unit the more he plays.

ALSO CONSIDER: Toumani Camara, Trail Blazers (7% roster rate)

Sit: Franz Wagner, Magic

69% start rate

Wagner has undeniably had some standout games this season, but he’ll have one game less than a full schedule this week and comes into the scoring period with some relatively modest production of late. Wagner has scored 14 points or fewer in five of the last six games, a span in which he’s shot just 43.2%, including 12.0% from 3-point range. The third-year pro’s non-scoring contributions during that span – 4.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks per contest – are certainly replaceable as well by a similarly talented four-game option.


Start: Davis Bertans, Hornets

11% roster rate 

Bertans is another Hornet who’s starting to settle into a productive role, with the veteran floor spacer finally getting a chance to play regularly. Bertans enters Charlotte’s full schedule this coming week just two points short of having authored seven consecutive double-digit scoring efforts. He’s averaging a solid 12.0 points (on 42.9% 3-point shooting), 2.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists across 23.1 minutes per game in that span, and he’s playing a key complementary scoring role on the second unit. With no signs of his role abating, he makes for a viable consideration this week.

Start: Kelly Olynyk, Raptors

50% start rate 

Olynyk has been solid since returning to his native Canada, putting up 10.3 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.7 steals per contest while shooting a solid 46.2% over that 12-game span. The veteran has accomplished those numbers while logging a modest 22.8 minutes per game overall, but with Jakob Poeltl (finger) out of action for the time being, Olynyk has started the last three games. Both Poeltl and Scottie Barnes (hand) are expected to remain out this week, meaning there should be plenty of extra opportunities for Olynyk once again.

ALSO CONSIDER: Richaun Holmes, Wizards(14% roster rate) 

Sit: Rudy Gobert, Timberwolves

75% start rate 

Not only does Gobert have just two games to work with this coming week, but there’s also no guarantee he’ll play in either of them. The big man is likely to be listed as questionable heading into Tuesday’s game against the Clippers due to a hamstring issue, and given the lingering nature of such injuries, it’s certainly possible he will miss at least one contest. There will be much less riskier options for you this week, considering the circumstances.

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