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Week 5 Fantasy Basketball: Start 'Em & Sit 'Em

Will Desvallees Nov 14th 3:03 AM EST.

With Week 5 of NBA action about to take off, we're bringing you our first edition of starts and sits this season at Fantasy SP. Efficiency from Malcolm Brogdon, Tyler Herro, and DeMar DeRozan are sure to bring you some major production this week whether you are in a points or category leagues. In contrast, it's probably for the best if you keep Saddiq Bey and Mitchell Robinson on the bench this week. Let's dive in!

Four games in Week 5: Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards.

Three games in Week 5: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz.

Two games in Week 5: San Antonio Spurs.

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Guards

Start of the Week: PG Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers

The Pacers also play four games this week, all against underperforming teams. For fantasy owners looking for a perfectly well-rounded PG, Malcolm Brogdon checks all the boxes. This season, Brogdon is averaging 23.6 Points, 6.9 Rebs, 6.4 ASTs while shooting a respectable 45.7% from the field, and a ridiculous 92.7% from the charity stripe on 5.1 attempts per game. The Pacers have a very generous schedule in Week 5. They get juicy matchups against three teams allowing the most fantasy points per game against guards this season (Charlotte Hornets, New York Knicks, New Orleans Pelicans). Their hardest matchup this week is against a Detroit Pistons defense that currently ranks as the ninth-worst in the NBA against guards. Considering Brogdon’s favorable matchups against the four teams he is playing in Week 5 combined with his efficiency on the floor, the Pacers’ playmaker is a must-start.

Start: PG/SG Tyler Herro, Miami Heat

Herro is currently averaging 21.1 PPG in 33 MPG. The first major reason to start Herro this week is that the Heat are playing four games all of which are against mediocre to below-average NBA Teams. Miami will take on OKC on the road on Nov. 15, followed by a home game against the Pelicans on Nov. 17. Both the Thunder and Pelicans rank in the bottom five of the NBA at limiting opposing guards from producing fantasy points. Miami’s last two games in Week 5 consists of a doubleheader against the Wizards. Not only are the Miami Heat playing four games this week, but these are also all games which Miami is expected to win. The second reason to start Herro this week is that Kyle Lowry has simply underperformed this season. Lowry is currently producing 12.2 PPG, converting a sub-par 40.4% of his shots from the field. Still, Lowry is averaging 7.3 ASTs and 1.3 STLs per game this season. In contrast, Herro’s efficiency is significantly better. He is scoring nine more points per game than Lowry, yet averaging one minute less per contest. Herro’s also shooting 46.0% from the field, and converting 39.3% (Herro career 3PT% = 37.7%) of his three-pointers this season. If Jimmy Butler or Lowry are sidelined (Herro started for Butler on November 13 against the Utah Jazz), Herro usually gets the starting nod. While Lowry continues to find his role in his debut season with the Heat, he’s facing similar challenges as recently acquired New York Knick Kemba Walker. Herro seems like a viable option in all four games the Heat have this upcoming week. 

Forwards

Start of the Week: PF John Collins, Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks will play four games this upcoming week. In his last few starts, Collins has been on fire. On Nov. 6, Collins scored 26 points on the road against the Suns on nine-of-12 shooting along with 10 rebounds. On Nov. 8 against the Warriors, Collins scored 19 points on six-of-seven shooting. Even in his most recent outing, Collins shot 50% from the field producing 26 points of offense along with nine rebounds and two blocks. On the season so far, he’s averaging 16.3 points converting 57.0% of his shots along with 8.5 rebounds per game. The Hawks play three games this week all against teams ranked in the worst 15 teams against opposing forwards (16th Charlotte Hornets, 21st Boston Celtics, 22nd Orlando Magic) giving Collins favorable matchups this week to continue thriving in the paint and from range. He’s also 88.5% from the free-throw line over his last 10 games, giving you yet another reason to absolutely start Collins in Week 5.

Start: SG/SF DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls

The 2021-22 Chicago Bulls look really good. At the beginning of the season, I actually thought DeRozan would have fewer opportunities to produce than he did in San Antonio because of Zach Lavine and Lonzo Ball. I was wrong. DeRozan is off to one of the best starts of his career, averaging 25.3 PPG on 47.8% shooting from the field. This week the Bulls play four games against teams that do not give DeRozan a particular advantage against opposing defenses. Purely based on the Bulls playing four games in Week 5 and DeRozan’s production so far this season, he is a must-start. 

Sit: SG/SF Saddiq Bey, Detroit Pistons

Saddiq Bey is simply not playing well so far this season. In addition, Week 5 will be a challenging one for the Pistons, especially because of their upcoming home games on Nov. 19 and Nov. 21, respectively against the red-hot Warriors and the star-studded Lakers. Both the Warriors and the Lakers rank in the top half of the NBA at limiting forwards from producing fantasy points. Bey is currently shooting 36% from the field, and his recent performances show no signs of improvement. On Nov. 10, the Pistons faced the Houston Rockets, who have the No. 14 seed in the Western Conference with an abysmal 1-11 record. Against what is one of the worst teams in the league, Bey converted only six of the 17 shots he attempted, finishing two-of-nine from downtown. What’s even more concerning is that Bey hasn’t had one game this season where he shot above 50% from the field. His bleak efficiency combined with the difficult matchups that Detroit has at the end of Week 5 make Bey particularly unattractive this week. 

Centers

Start of the Week: C Andre Drummond, Philadelphia 76ers

Joel Embiid tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, Nov 8. and is expected to be out until at least Nov 18. In that time, Andre Drummond will continue to start at center for the 76ers. Drummond should have the size advantage in most of the 76ers’ matchups next week. Philadelphia is on a West Coast road trip next week to play against the Denver Nuggets, Utah Jazz, and Portland Trail Blazers. These teams are average against opposing centers, meaning Drummond doesn’t have a particular advantage in his upcoming matchups. However, Drummond is a must-start solely because of Embiid’s absence. Over the last three games, Drummond has recorded two 20+-rebound double-doubles. These stats demonstrate that if given the minutes, Drummond is easily capable of outpowering opponents in the paint to accumulate a ferocious quantity of rebounds.

Start: C Robert Williams, Boston Celtics

Robert Williams is the go-to big man in Boston now. Currently averaging very close to a double-double (10.7 PPG & 8.9 RPG) playing an average of 33 minutes per contest. He’s also averaging 1.9 BLKs this season, adding to the statistics that demonstrate he’s a valuable big. The Celtics play four games this week, three of which are against NBA teams ranking below or close to average on defense facing opposing centers. This includes the Lakers, who allow the second-most fantasy points (40) to bigs they are defending. If Williams is able to maintain his efficiency against these teams, he should get the nod at center for Week 5. His matchups this week are favorable for him to dominate.

Sit: C Mitchell Robinson, New York Knicks

I'm not happy about putting Mitch here, but it's where he belongs at the moment. Many people believed that because Robinson put on 60+ lbs. before the start of the season, he would easily be dominating in the paint, perhaps more so than he did in his best season in New York in 2018-19. The only good news about Robinson right now is that he’s played in every game this season besides Nov. 8 against the 76ers. However, his performance this season is the worst of all his years in the NBA. He’s scoring a career-low 7.2 points per game and hitting only 60% of his free throws (18-of-31). Even his backups Nerlens Noel (21.2 MPG, 4.8 PTS, 6.8 REB) and Taj Gibson (19.9 MPG, 4.1 PTS, 5.1 REBs) aren't far off from Robinson's level of production (23.2 MPG, 7.2 PTS; 8.0 REB) this season. He's also not getting as many minutes as some had hoped for, including me. Still though, If he is scoring so little as a starter, he should be rebounding in double figures and averaging more than two blocks per game but he is currently averaging eight rebounds and 1.6 blocks. What he doesn’t produce on offense should be made up for on defense, and as far as Robinson goes this season, that hasn’t happened. Moreover, three of the four teams the Knicks play next week are ranked in the top half of NBA defenses against opposing centers (3rd Pacers; 9th Bulls; 14th Rockets). The combination of Robinson’s underwhelming efficiency in Tom Thibodeau’s rotation and the unfavorable defensive matchups at the center position makes Robinson an obvious benchwarmer this week.

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