Welcome to the first full week of NBA action! For those in fantasy basketball leagues, consider the Christmas week that was one to simply get your feet wet for the long season ahead. That’s one major difference between fantasy basketball and fantasy football: the former is much more about making decisions for the long haul.
Of course, that doesn’t mean we aren’t looking to make winning decisions to win in the now as well. With consideration given to both the number of games teams will play as well as specific matchups, here are some noteworthy fantasy basketball start/sit candidates for Week 2.
Week 2 Fantasy Basketball Schedule Breakdown
Teams with four games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHI, DEN, DET, LAC, LAL, MEM, OKC, PHX, POR, UTA, WAS.
Teams with three games: CHA, CLE, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHI, SAC, SAS, TOR.
Week 2 Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Point Guards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Coby White, Chicago Bulls
Opponents: WAS (twice), MIL, DAL
Coby White, a 2019 Lottery pick, impressed during the first week of the young NBA season, averaging 13.7 points and 5.0 assists over Chicago’s three games. Most encouraging for fantasy basketball owners was the 30.3 average minutes logged in Week 1. Turning the page to Week 2, the Bulls have four games on the schedule, with two against the Washington Wizards standing out. The Wizards enter the week allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. The fact that White will go against this abysmal defense twice in three days, plus have two more opportunities for production later in the week makes him a fine play this week.
Consider Sitting: Markelle Fultz, Orlando Magic
Opponents: OKC (twice), PHI
Not only is Markelle Fultz on the wrong side of a Week 2 schedule that sees all 30 teams play three games minimum, but his matchups are far from appealing in terms of fantasy production. The Magic take on the Oklahoma City Thunder twice this week and sandwich a home tilt against the Philadelphia 76ers in between. Though, we may only have a one-week sample size to date, both OKC (8th) and Philly (5th) rank in the top 10 in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards. Add in the inconsistency of Orlando’s offense in general and Week 2 figures to be tough sledding for the Magic PG.
Shooting Guards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Caris LeVert, Brooklyn Nets
Opponents: MEM, ATL (twice), WAS
Caris LeVert and the Nets have four games this week, so that is immediately a plus when considering fantasy basketball start/sit decisions. Furthermore, those four games are as promising for shooting guards as any week-long schedule possibly could be. LeVert will go up against the Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks (twice) and Washington Wizards. Those three teams enter Week 2 allowing the fourth-most, second-most and the most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. He also could see a larger role going forward, following the season-ending injury to Spencer Dinwiddie. LeVert’s talent and schedule are too good not to start him this week.
Consider Sitting: Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics
Opponents: IND, MEM, DET (twice)
Marcus Smart and the Boston Celtics have four games this week, but the schedule is not exactly an ideal setup for shooting guards. Other than a mid-week game against Memphis, Smart will be forced to contend with a pair of top-five defenses in terms of fantasy points allowed to shooting guards in the Indiana Pacers and Detroit Pistons. Smart’s heavy usage in the absence of Kemba Walker along with his stat-sheet stuffing capabilities may lead to some hesitation in sitting him. Just know that the schedule is far from enviable for a player only averaging 9.0 points and 2.3 rebounds coming into the week.
Small Forwards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks
Opponents: DET, BKN (twice), CLE
Bogdan Bogdanovic’s first week as a Hawk was far from electric, but it offered hope for what is to come this season. He should see a substantial uptick in fantasy production in Week 2, by virtue of Atlanta’s playing four games. Digging into those contests deeper, three come against teams allowing over 40 fantasy points per game to small forwards in the Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers. It will be hard for Bogdanovic to shoot much worse than he did against Memphis on Saturday. More buckets to go along with a consistent rebound output make him a promising start this week.
Consider Sitting: Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs
Opponents: LAL (twice), UTA
The Spurs aren’t exactly a team that will wow you from an offensive standpoint this season in general, let alone in a week where they face two of the NBA’s best defenses. That leaves Keldon Johnson in a tough spot when it comes to fantasy basketball in Week 2. The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers rank third and seventh in terms of fewest fantasy points allowed to small forwards. With San Antonio also only playing three games this week, the second-year pro is a serious sit candidate.
Power Forwards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Montrezl Harrell, Los Angeles Lakers
Opponents: POR, SAS (twice), MEM
Montrezl Harrell won the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award as a Clipper last season, and he’s off to a blazing start in the same role with the Lakers. Week 1 saw Harrell earn a solid share of minutes and put together three double-digit scoring games to go along with his usual dominance on the glass. The Lakers have four games in Week 2, highlighted by a matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers who gave up 50.39 fantasy points per game to opposing power forwards in the season’s first week. Harrell is without question deserving of a spot in your lineup this week.
Consider Sitting: Christian Wood, Houston Rockets
Opponents: DEN, SAC (twice)
I have high hopes for Christian Wood with the Rockets this season, but those will have to wait for after Week 2. Houston only has three games on tap for this week, two of which come against the Sacramento Kings. Oddly enough, Sacramento allowed a league-low 40.99 fantasy points per game to power forwards in the season’s first week. With the other matchup against the Denver Nuggets also not very appealing, Wood is a strong sit candidate.
Centers | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Jonas Valanciunas, Memphis Grizzlies
Opponents: BKN, BOS, CHA, LAL
The Grizzlies have four games this week against four different opponents. Oddly enough, none are played on back-to-back nights, meaning key contributors like Jonas Valanciunas will likely be rested and ready for each contest. Two matchups are particularly appealing for Valanciunas at the center position as the Brooklyn Nets and Charlotte Hornets are allowing the second and fifth-most fantasy points per game respectively to centers. Valanciunas was a regular presence on the court for Memphis in Week 1. Killian Tillie may take away some of those minutes eventually, but not yet.
Consider Sitting: Aron Baynes, Toronto Raptors
Opponents: PHI, NYK, NOP
Aron Baynes is known far more for his defensive skills than offensive capability, evidenced in the Raptors clamping down on opposing centers in their own right during the first week of the season. With Toronto only playing three games this week, two of which are against teams who join them in ranking top five against the center position from a fantasy standpoint, Baynes lacks upside. He may be starting for the Raptors, but you’re likely able to find better in fantasy basketball for this week.