We may be five weeks in, but the fantasy basketball start/sit landscape feels like it’s only getting harder. Injuries, ever-changing rosters and numerous game cancellations have made this a very complex NBA season thus far. None of those things figure to be going away anytime soon, thereby making fantasy roster decisions all the more important. Continue to stay active on that waiver wire, explore trade options, and ensure the best possible starting lineups by reading this very column every week on FlurrySports!
*All stats are taken on the morning of Monday, Jan. 25*
*Fantasy points data based on standard FanDuel scoring settings*
Week 6 Fantasy Basketball Schedule Breakdown
Four games: BKN, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIN, NOP, ORL, PHI, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS
Three games: ATL, BOS, HOU, MEM, MIL, NYK, OKC, PHX, POR, SAC
Two games: CHI
One game: MEM
Week 6 Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Point Guards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors
Opponents: IND, MIL, SAC, ORL
Numerous signs point towards a profitable fantasy basketball start/sit week for Fred VanVleet. The Raptors have finally been turning some leads into wins of late. They will have four games to try and continue improving their record in Week 6. Two of those come against the worst and fifth-worst defenses in terms of fantasy points allowed to opposing point guards in the Sacramento Kings and Orlando Magic, respectively. Furthermore, Kyle Lowry has been sidelined with a toe infection. Even if he returns to the court early in the week, VanVleet figures to be the Raptors’ dominant ball-handler with Lowry at less than 100%. Lock the former Wichita State Shocker into your lineups this week.
Consider Sitting: Chris Paul, Phoenix Suns
Opponents: OKC, GSW, DAL
Chris Paul is an incredible player and has done wonders for the Suns’ offense in his first year with the team. Unfortunately, his fantasy basketball start/sit outlook is not great for Week 6. Paul is immediately at a disadvantage relative to other PGs given that Phoenix only plays three games. Two of the three come against the Dallas Mavericks and Oklahoma City Thunder, both of which rank in the top five in fewest fantasy points allowed to the position. Devin Booker is currently listed day-to-day with a hamstring injury. Coach Monty Williams did say there’s a chance he will be out a full week. Even so, Paul may struggle to capitalize with the tough matchups on deck.
Shooting Guards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Duncan Robinson, Miami Heat
Opponents: BKN, DEN, LAC, SAC
Duncan Robinson has had to step up offensively for a Heat team that has been decimated by injuries and the virus. The 26-year-old has delivered in a big way for Miami and fantasy basketball start/sit purposes alike. Robinson has reached double-digit points in nine of his last ten games. While his field goal percentages have been somewhat erratic, managers can count on a bevy of shots on a nightly basis until the Heat get Tyler Herro and Jimmy Butler back. Add in two of the Heat’s four games this week coming against bottom five defenses against the shooting guard position (Brooklyn Nets, Sacramento Kings) and there’s a reason why Duncan Robinson fantasy stock continues to climb.
Consider Sitting: Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls
Opponents: BOS, POR
**Note: The Bulls’ Wednesday game against the Memphis Grizzlies has been postponed.**
You hate to bench a player like Zach LaVine who has been electric thus far, but it has to be considered here in Week 6. Thanks to the cancellation of Wednesday’s game against Memphis, the Bulls are left with just two contests this week. One of those comes against a Boston Celtics team that is allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points to opposing shooting guards. LaVine has been brilliant for fantasy basketball start/sit managers this season with averages of 18.1 points, 5.4 assists and 5.2 rebounds. It’s unfortunate, but he and all Bulls players are on the wrong side of the equation when setting lineups this week.
Small Forwards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets
Opponents: DAL, MIA, SAS, UTA
It took Michael Porter Jr. all of one game to get back up to speed following his lengthy virus-related absence. After being held to just 20 minutes on Friday, Porter played 35 on Saturday. He made good on the action with a 14-point, 11-rebound double-double. Porter finds himself immediately back on the right side of fantasy basketball start/sit decisions in Week 6. A pair of matchups against teams that rank in the bottom six in fantasy points allowed to small forwards (San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat) only solidifies the decision.
Consider Sitting: Derrick Jones Jr., Portland Trail Blazers
Opponents: OKC, HOU, CHI
Derrick Jones Jr. has had every opportunity to deliver as the starting small forward playing big minutes for the Trail Blazers. It hasn’t happened yet, and it’s unlikely to anytime soon in Week 6. Jones and Portland only have three games this week. One comes against a top-five defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to SFs in the Houston Rockets. Jones fell just one rebound shy of a double-double in a game last week. He also notched 14 points in the Blazers’ last contest. Perhaps those are positive signs for going forward. In a way, those being fantasy basketball start/sit bright spots for a guy averaging over 27 minutes tells you all you need to know.
Power Forwards | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers
Opponents: TOR, CHA (twice), PHI
We’ve handed out a deep dive fantasy basketball start/sit call in the power forwards section each of the last two weeks. In an effort to buck that trend in the greatest way possible, behold this week’s start call: Domantas Sabonis. In reality, it would have to take a light slate of games or virus mularkey to ever knock Sabonis out of starting lineups. But his usual upside is buoyed even further in Week 6 by matchups. Three of the Pacers’ four games come against the Charlotte Hornets and Toronto Raptors, two teams that rank worst and fifth-worst respectively in fantasy points allowed to PFs. Sabonis is a set-it-and-forget-it this week.
Consider Sitting: John Collins, Atlanta Hawks
Opponents: LAC, BKN, WAS
Basketball Monster’s Josh Lloyd has been calling for fantasy basketball start/sit managers to sell John Collins now before things get even worse. I have to say, I’m inclined to agree. After going over 30 points in two of the last three games, the natural inclination would be to plug him into Week 6 lineups, right? Not so fast. The Hawks only have three games this week. Two come against the Los Angeles Clippers and Washington Wizards who rank first and fourth respectively in fantasy points allowed to power forwards. On top of that ugly setup, Danilo Gallinari made his return to the Hawks lineup last week. Despite playing reduced minutes, he still managed to drop 17 points in 19 minutes on Sunday night. That’s not ideal for Collins, who has underwhelmed in the majority of games this season.
Centers | Fantasy Basketball Start/Sit
Consider Starting: James Wiseman, Golden State Warriors
Opponents: MIN (twice), PHX, DET
A center can’t have a schedule much better than that of rookie James Wiseman this week. Three of the Warriors’ four games in Week 6 come against the two worst defenses in terms of center fantasy points (Minnesota Timberwolves, Detroit Pistons). Wiseman has continued to play well in his inaugural NBA campaign. He has played 25+ in five of the Warriors’ last six games and has scored 15+ points in four of five. Wise men should make the smart fantasy basketball start/sit decision of entrusting their center position to Wiseman this week.
Consider Sitting: Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks
Opponents: UTA, CLE, LAC
It’s been a bit of a struggle for highly-touted Knicks center Mitchell Robinson of late. The 22-year-old has failed to score in double figures in four of New York’s last six games. His points per game average has dipped to just 9.2 as a result. Nerlens Noel has played well coming off the bench, perhaps eating into Robinson’s playing time just a bit. But the real concern for fantasy basketball start/sit in Week 6 is the Knicks schedule. New York only has three games, one of which comes against a top-three defense in fantasy points allowed to centers (Los Angeles Clippers). The other two will pit Robinson against a revamped Cleveland Cavaliers frontcourt and Utah Jazz shot-blocking menace Rudy Gobert. Not a great outlook for the youngster this week.