Week 15 is here and we have a great schedule to work on for fantasy purposes. Not only are most teams in four-game weeks, but there are no clubs with two-game ledgers. We have plenty of players around the league, and many who still fly somewhat under the radar in the fantasy world.
Each week, we aim to highlight a pair of starting candidates for your fantasy rosters that could be framed as some of the toughest calls of the week, typically focusing on players with a 50% starting or roster rate. Or less in the Yahoo leagues. We typically target players in four-game weeks in an effort to maximize opportunities for production.
Likewise, we'll be spotlighting a seed candidate at each position that wouldn't normally make your bench, with a focus on players with less game time in the coming week.
Teams with four games: Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New York City, New York City, Philadelphia 76ers ers, Phoenix Suns , Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz and Washington Wizards
Teams with three games: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, New Orleans Pelicans and Toronto Raptors
Without further ado, let's examine some of the tough start/sit results for Week 15:
Start: Donte DiVincenzo, Knicks
46% initiation rate
DiVincenzo continues to provide rock-solid complementary production in a Knicks offense led by Jalen Brunson and Julius Randle, with the veteran wing scoring in double figures in 14 of the last 15 games and averaging 15.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.1.0 assists and 3.1 assists while shooting 47.1%. 40.5% of that span is from behind the curve. DiVincenzo's consistency and versatility keep him fantasy-relevant despite the more utility options around him, but with Randle sidelined by a dislocated shoulder, he could produce more, especially with a full schedule like he's experiencing this week.
Start: Kevin Huerder, Kings
41% initiation rate
Huerter always comes with the caveat of somewhat erratic production, but when he's hot, he can certainly pay dividends over multi-game stretches. Accordingly, the veteran gets the starting nod for the Kings' four-game Week 15 run, his current six-game run of 17.5 points (58.2% shooting, including 50.0% from 3-point range), 5.2 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.2 steals in 32.2 minutes per contest. . Huerder has increased his usage encouragingly over that span, averaging 11.2 shot attempts per game after averaging 8.6 per contest. Some particularly intriguing matchups this week include the Grizzlies, Pacers and Heat, three teams ranked in the bottom half of the league in defending 3-point shooting.
Also consider: Malik Monk, Kings (48% initiation rate)
to sit: Kyrie Irving, Mavericks
50% starting rate
Irving's position in Week 15 is all about availability or not. The star guard has already been ruled out of Monday's game against the Magic with a thumb injury that has cost him his previous three contests, so it's tough. Find out if he'll be ready against the T-Wolves on Wednesday. Naturally he has a chance, but even if that pans out, Irving will have two games left in Week 15 before the potential production he offers could be offset by a three- or four-game option. .
Start: PJ Washington, Hornets
48% initiation rate
There are some enticing sub-50%-ranked prospects to consider this week, but Washington certainly has a 43-point effort against the Jazz to cap off a solid Week 14 and earn a second straight addition at this spot. Saturday. While this is certainly an outlier, Washington came into the contest averaging 13 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block over his previous five games, a model where he shot 56.1%, including 50% from 3-point range. Even if he continues to be out, Washington typically logs at least mid-20s minutes and is likely to play at least the first installment of the Hornets' four-game stretch without LaMelo Ball on Monday against the Knicks. Can sit due to ankle injury.
Start: Harrison Barnes, King's
34% initiation rate
Barnes' situation is somewhat similar to Washington's, except the veteran is coming into his freshman week off several high-profile performances. After playing a relatively subdued supporting role in Sacramento's high-efficiency offense, Barnes came alive in Week 14, averaging 30.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.3 steals on blistering 55.6% shooting from behind. The senior averaged 18.3 shot attempts in that three-game stretch, up from 7.6 in his 41 games since the start of the season. Those three efforts are by no means remarkable for Barnes — he's scored 16 points or more in nine other occasions and has been in double figures in 26 occasions overall — so there's reason to believe this surge could have some staying power considering the Kings. The above favorable schedule for the coming week.
to sit: Cameron Johnson, Nets
56% initiation rate
It's not often that a player earns back-to-back seed positions, but that was the case with Johnson this week. The 2019 first-round pick is working a three-game slate again this week, and he enters that shortened schedule with little to show of late. Johnson missed Saturday's win over the Rockets for personal reasons, and he had five points in just over 22 minutes against the Timberwolves. Jan. It was the fifth-year wing's fifth single-digit scoring tally in nine games through 5, a week that has been so volatile that it eluded him again when he didn't even have the maximum chance to get on the field.
Start: Marvin Bagley III, Wizards
47% listing rate
Bagley has legitimately looked like a rookie since arriving in the nation's capital, and he now has four Week 15 opportunities to continue his hot start with the speedy Wizards. The veteran big man is averaging 16.5 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest through his first six games in Washington, including 14.5, 8.3 and 1.0 in those respective categories when coming off the bench. Bagley has averaged 20 minutes per game in that latter sample, so his performance in a four-game week that begins with a favorable matchup against the Spurs on Monday doesn't appear to be a concern.
Start: Nick Richards, Hornets
45% opening rate
Mark Williams remains without a timetable for a return, meaning Richards should enjoy another run of starts in Charlotte's four-game Week 15 sweep. The 2020 second-round pick has been excellent since returning from a three-game absence due to an ankle injury. He averaged 20.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks over his first three games. What's more, those three games were the first the Hornets played since the Terry Rozier trade to the Heat, which naturally opened up a solid amount of usage. With plenty of opportunities this week, Richards is a solid starting candidate.
to sit: Jusuf Nurkic, Sons
69% initiation rate
Nurkic has enjoyed a great season overall, but he heads into the week with an unpleasant combination of injury and underperformance in recent games. The big man left Friday's game against the Pacers with a sprained left thumb, and is now questionable for Sunday's matchup vs. the Magic and Monday's Suns' first game of the week against the Heat. Even with Phoenix having four games this week, Nurkic will miss at least one — and the fact that he's scored four straight in single digits against Indiana, even with his above factors, puts him at risk. Average regeneration production.
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