Start/Sit in NBA Fantasy for Week 15

RotoWire tells you which Yahoo Fantasy Basketball players to start and which ones to sit for Week 15 of the season.

Start/Sit in NBA Fantasy for Week 15
Start/Sit in NBA Fantasy for Week 15

After a crazy Week 14 schedule that included both five-game and one-game weeks, the Week 15 schedule is much more normal. Even though it's not ideal that three teams only have two games, we still have a lot of good options at each position, and some of them are getting better because key players on their teams are hurt. 

Each week, we'll try to highlight two Start candidates for your fantasy teams, usually from teams with four games, who may be some of the tougher decisions of the week. The focus will usually be on players with a start rate (when available) or roster rate of 50% or less in Yahoo leagues. 

In the same way, we'll highlight one "Sit" candidate at each position who you probably wouldn't think of putting on your bench. Usually, this will be a player who won't play much in the coming week. 

Teams with four games are the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, and San Antonio Spurs. 

Teams with three games are the Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz, and Washington Wizards. 

Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Philadelphia 76ers all have two games. 

Now, let's look at some of Week 15's tougher decisions about who to start and who to bench: 


T.J. McConnell of the Pacers starts

34% start rate 

Tyrese Haliburton has been out for a while with knee and elbow injuries, but McConnell has been great in his place. In the last seven games, he has averaged 15.0 points, 8.3 assists, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.7 steals in 27 minutes per game. Over the same time period, the veteran is also shooting a blistering 62.5%. His only start during this stretch was Saturday against the Suns, and he ended up with 18 points, 12 assists, and 10 rebounds. Haliburton is expected to miss most, if not all, of this coming week's four games, so McConnell is still a good choice.

Start: Eric Gordon, Rockets 

13% roster rate 

Gordon is another veteran who will get a boost from a key injury on his team. Point guard Kevin Porter (foot) will miss all four of the Rockets' games next week, so Gordon will get to play more. In Porter's absence, Gordon has averaged 15.8 points, 4.2 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in the first five games. He has also shot a solid 47.4% during this time. When you look at the bigger picture, Gordon is shooting an even better 49.1%, including 36.0% from long range, over the 10 games in January, and he could keep getting at least a little more help setting up plays while Porter is out. Lastly, the fact that all four of Gordon's Week 15 opponents—Minnesota, Washington, Cleveland, and Detroit—are in the bottom half of the league in the percentage of 3-point shots they let in doesn't hurt his chances.

ALSO CONSIDER: Markelle Fultz, Magic (57% roster rate) 

Klay Thompson, Warriors, has to sit

65% start rate 

Thompson will only have two games to work with this week, and he already hasn't done much with them. Against the Nets on Sunday, he shot just 4-for-17 in 34 minutes. When you compare that 10-point night to Thompson's 54-point night against the Hawks to start the new year, you can see how good or bad he can be. With only two chances to speak this week, he's likely a risk that you should try to avoid.


Trey Murphy III of the Pelicans 

35% start rate 

Murphy continues to play an important role for the Pelicans while Zion Williamson (hamstring) and especially Brandon Ingram (toe) are out. The second-year wing has started 27 games in place of Ingram and averaged 13.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, and 1.1 steals per game. In that sample, Murphy has a good shooting percentage of 48.4%, including 38.8% from 3-point range. He also has a great shooting percentage of 53.8% over the last six games, when the Pels have played four games. Murphy has even gotten more than one steal in four of these games, showing that he can help in a key fantasy category. 

Start: Bulls' Patrick Williams 

34% roster rate 

Williams's production can go up and down, but he'll go into Week 15 with a good track record and a key advantage as the season winds down: a rare long stretch of rest that could give him a nice edge this week. Due to the Bulls' game against the Pistons in France on Thursday, Chicago has only played one game since January 15. At the start of the week, they had only played that one game, so Williams should have a little bounce in his step when he's fighting down low. Also, he has seven games in the last nine where he scored 10 or more points. In those games, he averaged 12.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 1.1 steals while shooting 47.5% overall and 46.3% from 3-point range. 

Khris Middleton of the Bucks starts 35% of the time, and Kenyon Martin Jr. of the Rockets is on the roster 25% of the time. 

Sit: Josh Giddey, Thunder 

63% start rate 

Giddey is hard to sit on any week because he has so many good stats, but his upcoming two-game week is a rare case that you should think about. Even though the winger's efficiency has gotten better and he has had three recent games with at least 10 rebounds, you might want to put Giddey on the bench if you have a better four-game option. 


Start with: Pelicans' Larry Nance Jr.

17% roster rate 

Nance may only be a choice if you don't have many other options at center, but he has a lot of potential if he gets enough minutes. The veteran will start the week after having a great game against the Heat on Sunday. He showed how versatile he is by scoring 12 points, getting seven rebounds, giving four assists, stealing four balls, and blocking one shot. Nance played 26 minutes in that game and 27 minutes in the game before against the Magic while Naji Marshall was out with a toe injury. Marshall's absence could last until at least the start of the Pelicans' next four games. 

Beginning: Bol Bol, Magic 

54% start rate 

Wendell Carter is back to full health for the Magic, but Bol has still been getting some good minutes off the bench at power forward and has put together some good lines all through January. In his last three games, Bol has averaged 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks in just 18 minutes per game. In his last eight games, he has averaged 11.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in 21.8 minutes per game. Bol's fantasy contributions are usually limited to points, rebounds, and blocks, but these numbers show that he can offer a lot in those areas with just a small amount of playing time. 

Zach Collins, Spurs (9% start rate), should also be thought about. 

Sit: Clint Capela, Hawks

72% start rate 

Capela will have three games to work with next week, but there is still some risk with him. The big man has only played 20–24 minutes in his first four games back after missing 13–14 games because of injuries to his Achilles and calf. During this time, Onyeka Okongwu, another big man, put together a string of good games that earned him a solid amount of playing time. Even though Capela got the start in the last two games, Okongwu has played more minutes than him. Depending on how likely it is that this trend will continue, Capela might not be as good of a choice as other three- or four-game players with similar skills.

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