NBA Fantasy: Starting/Seating Guide for Week 24

There's Khris Middleton of Milwaukee Averaged 15.0 points, 7.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds in his last 6 games.

The fantasy postseason is upon us, and we've been gifted with a very favorable scoring period based on the schedule. Almost every team in the league plays in a four-game week, giving us the most inventory of the season. We have plenty of teams still fighting for postseason positioning and have locked up some non-contenders, giving some valuable opportunities to players with low roster/start ratios.

Each week, we aim to highlight a pair of starting candidates for your fantasy rosters that are shaping up to be some of the toughest calls of the week, focusing on players with a 50% starting or roster rate. Or less in the Yahoo leagues. In an effort to maximize opportunities for production, we typically develop players with four-game weeks.

Likewise, we'll be spotlighting a seed candidate at each position who wouldn't normally make your bench, often with a focus on players with less game time in the coming week.

Teams with four games: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis, Memphis, Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards

Teams with three games: Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz

Without further ado, let's explore some of the tough start/sit results for Week 24:


Guards

Start: Vasilije Micic, Hornets

32% listing rate

Mike is solid in this spot after averaging 10.3 points, 11.0 assists, 2.7 rebounds and 1.7 steals over the last three games. The first-year NBA guard continues to struggle with his shot, but with LaMelo Ball recently sidelined by his ankle injury and Mysic holding on to the starting point guard job, he's certainly worth considering in Charlotte's four-game bye week.

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Start: Banton Road, Trail Blazers

44% listing rate

Panton has filled a bench role for the past seven games, despite some productive starting duties in several contests prior to that. However, his presence on the second unit hasn't really been a hindrance, as Panton is averaging 17.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals in a strong 32 minutes per contest over that span. The Blazers have every incentive to keep young players and keep the likes of Jeremy Grant (hamstring) and Anfernie Simons (knee), both expected to be out to start Portland's four-game week; So Panton should see plenty of runs and opportunities in whatever capacity he's used.

to sit: Jamal Murray, Nuggets

53% initiation rate

Murray is the first of three players I'll be taking sit positions on this week. Murray is the first of the two to earn that label, primarily due to injury, as he dealt with a knee injury that sidelined him for five straight games entering the rookie week. The Nuggets are still the top seed in the West, but they will naturally prioritize having a healthy Murray in the postseason. With Denver only three games to work with, listing Murray could be a setback at a crucial time in the fantasy season.


Forward

Start: Chris Middleton, Bucks

37% initiation rate

It's surprising to see Middleton in the starting lineup, and the veteran should have ample opportunity to prove any doubters wrong in a key four-game week for the Bucks. Milwaukee is looking to defend its current No. 2 ranking in the Eastern Conference, and Middleton, who is averaging 15.0 points on 50% shooting, 7.0 assists and 6.5 rebounds per contest in his first six games back from a lengthy layoff with an ankle injury, will have to play a key role in any success the Bucks have. The player has averaged 32.2 minutes per game since returning and is back in his usual small forward role.

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Start: Rui Hachimura, Lakers

45% listing rate

Hachimura had a great look at this spot after a great week while shooting a perfect 62.0% while averaging 20.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists per contest in four games, including 55.6% from 3-point range. The floor-spacing big compiled three double-doubles during that stretch, and his average of 12.5 shot attempts in those games was a nice improvement over his average of 9.5 attempts per contest. Out of the play-in level and no. 6 spot and make sure they don't fall below the 10th line, so Hachimura should be in for another busy week.

Please consider further: De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (41% initiation rate); Trenton Watford, Nets (5% listing rate)

to sit: Desmond Bane, Grizzlies

52% initiation rate

Penn is dealing with back spasms that have already cost him one game and will likely sit him out of Monday's game against the Pistons. The Grizzlies don't really have any incentive to put Pah on the floor, especially considering how much time he missed earlier this season with an ankle injury when he's less than fully healthy. Despite his upside, he profiles as a risky proposition, especially if he misses a third straight game with an injury that is sure to linger.


centers

Start: Marvin Bagley III, Wizards

46% listing rate

Bagley recently missed nine games with a back injury, but has returned to produce five straight double-digit scoring efforts, during which he averaged 14.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 1.0 blocks on 69.8%. The senior big man finished the previous scoring period with back-to-back double-doubles while frontcourt mate Richaun Holmes missed out with a toe injury. Holmes will miss at least one of Washington's four games this week, and Bagley has done enough to retain the starting job at this point, so the latter is a possible streaming consideration.

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Start: Trace Jackson-Davis, Warriors

40% starting rate

Jackson-Davis remains solid at this spot, his starting rate still below 50%, though he's averaging 11.0 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks in 30.7 minutes over three contests. The games he suited up for last week. As that line suggests, the rookie can make a meaningful contribution in every category, and the fact that he's on the second unit behind Draymond Green is irrelevant given the playing time Jackson-Davis usually gets. The Warriors are also the No. 1 in the West. 10 are fighting to keep up, so head coach Steve Kerr will continue to work.

Please consider further: Brandon Clark, Grizzlies (6% listing rate)

to sit: Brooke Lopez, Bucks

53% initiation rate

Lopez currently has three sitting options with no injury affecting his game, and will have four chances this week. However, the big man's numbers simply aren't there, as he's averaging 10.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.3 blocks over his last 13 games. That stretch includes seven single-digit scoring attempts, and while Lopez continues to shoot efficiently, he's averaged just 7.1 shot attempts per game over that span. The potential for a breakout game is always there, but they've been few and far between this season even with star players missing time.

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