Fantasy Basketball: Week 6 starts and sits, plus position by position breakdowns

29 Nov 2021 | 10:24 | Basketball

The Week 6 scoring period encompasses the Thanksgiving holiday, which is a day off league-wide as the NBA cedes the national sports spotlight to the NFL. That leaves us with a much more even distribution of teams that have four- and three-game schedules this week. However, we do have a pair of dreaded, two-game ledgers, leading to two of the more surprising Sit recommendations you’ll see all season.

Without further ado, let’s examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 6:

TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors

TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES: Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets

Guards
Start: Jalen Suggs, Magic

36% start rate in CBS leagues

Suggs’ significant shooting inefficiency is a concern, but the rookie is still finding a way to deliver multi-category production on most nights and appears to have a secure role on a rebuilding Magic squad. Suggs enters Week 6 with averages of 12.2 points, 3.5 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.0 steals across 28.1 minutes per contest and is taking a solid 12.6 shot attempts per game as well. He’s proven capable of offering more production in non-scoring categories than other two-guards, and he could also play at least the first of four games this coming week without Cole Anthony (ankle), which may certainly lead to some extra usage.

Jordan Clarkson, Jazz

45% start rate in CBS leagues

Clarkson is a perennial streaming candidate, as his start rates typically are below 50% despite the fact he’s one of the most dependable reserve backcourt players in the league. The veteran is still trying to get his shot back up to its usual standards, but his averages of 16.7 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists across 24.8 minutes over the last six games send him into Week 6 with plenty of momentum. It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to locked-in job security, Clarkson draws four very appealing matchups this week against the Grizzlies, Thunder and Pelicans (twice).

ALSO CONSIDER: Patrick Beverley (21% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: Luka Doncic, Mavericks

75% start rate in CBS leagues

Doncic is one of the previously alluded to mega-stars that may be worthy of a seat, as he heads into Week 6 with some adverse circumstances at play. Not only is Dallas on just a two-game week, but Doncic is riding a three-game absence due to ankle and knee injuries, one that could well extend to four Tuesday against the Clippers. Factoring in the star guard’s assists and shooting percentages are down over last season, and his production could well be exceeded by a talented four-game option on your roster.

Forwards
Start: Desmond Bane, Grizzlies

43% start rate in CBS leagues

Bane continues to put together a standout sophomore season that currently has him sporting averages of 14.8 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists across 28.6 minutes. The second-year wing’s starting role is secure, and he enters Week 6 putting up a solid 12.5 shots per game, with more than half (6.6) coming from behind the arc. With both Dillon Brooks and De’Anthony Melton nursing injuries to begin the week, Bane could be set for even more fantasy upside.

Kelly Oubre, Hornets

43% start rate in CBS leagues

Oubre is currently operating out of the second unit, but his career-best three-point shooting (37.0 percent) and solid workload is allowing him to still offer useful multi-category production. The veteran wing holds averages of 13.7 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists, and he goes into Week 6 with some steam. Oubre has shot a blistering 50.6 percent, including 45.8 percent from behind the arc, over his last seven games, a stretch during which he’s averaging an impressive 16.1 points across just 24.9 minutes per contest.

ALSO CONSIDER: Josh Hart, Pelicans (43% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: R.J. Barrett, Knicks

66% start rate in CBS leagues

Barrett is coming off a rare 15-rebound performance against the Bulls and has had a couple of other solid performances lately, but the sophomore wing has turned in four single-digit scoring performances in the last eight games. Barrett is shooting a miserable 28.0 percent, including 17.5 percent from three-point range, over that span, a level of inefficiency that makes him difficult to trust at the moment. While Barrett has proven capable of putting together stretches of strong production, he’s a risky play on a three-game week for the Knicks.

Centers
Start: Jakob Poeltl, Spurs

23% start rate in CBS leagues

I’m putting some faith in Poeltl this coming scoring period, despite the fact he has only three games on the docket and is coming off an extended stay on the COVID-19 list. The big man returned to action Thursday and was limited to just 15 minutes, but with several days to continue improving his conditioning since then, he should progressively re-approach his normal workload beginning with Monday’s matchup against the Suns. Poeltl was putting up career bests virtually across the board before his layoff (12.4 points, 8.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists, along with 1.1 blocks), and with enough time on the floor this coming week, he should start rounding back into form.

Hassan Whiteside, Jazz

14% start rate in CBS leagues

Whiteside is far from his Heat heyday at this point, but he’s still a serviceable fantasy option in deeper formats. Even in reduced minutes, Whiteside still offers contributions in points, rebounds and blocks. The veteran big man is averaging 7.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per contest for the season while shooting a career-best 73.3 percent from the charity stripe. Whiteside comes into Week 6 on a nice run of production that includes 8.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks across 16.7 minutes in his last seven games.

ALSO CONSIDER: Mason Plumlee, Hornets (26% start rate in CBS leagues)

Sit: Nikola Jokic, Nuggets

79% start rate in CBS leagues

Much like Doncic, Jokic should almost never be left on the bench, but Week 6 presents a unique situation. The Joker is battling a wrist injury that’s already cost him the last two games, and he also will have just two opportunities to take the floor this coming week. Denver’s first game is Tuesday at Portland, and even if Jokic manages to return for that contest, his production could be surpassed by a lesser, four-game option. Granted, Jokic is so overwhelmingly productive that there’s a case to keep him in the lineup on a two-game week, but that decision could prove costly if he’s ultimately ruled out of Tuesday’s game.