Week 21 brings a return to a more balanced schedule that sees a slight majority of teams across four-game weeks. Plus, we’re not saddled with two-match schedules, which certainly helps broaden the overall pool of streaming candidates to choose from.
Injuries and a few personnel changes help inform some of this week’s events To start up suggestions, while the same can be said for any of our Sit designations.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz
TEAMS WITH THREE MATCHES: Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Philadelphia 76ers, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the toughest starting/seat decisions for Week 21:
Start: Alec Burks, Knicks
31% starting rate in CBS leagues
Burks returned to a starting point guard role after the All-Star break following the decision to shut down Kemba Walker for the rest of the season, and the veteran responded well to the expanded opportunity. Burks had played at least 31 minutes in the first four games of his current first-unit tenure before getting slightly less run in New York’s blowout win over the Clippers on Sunday night, and he averaged 11, 6 points (on 46.2% three-point shooting), four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a steal during that span.
New York opens the new week with a premium game for three-point shooters in the Kings, and Burks should continue to see solid use in his ball-handling role for the three additional games in Week 21 as well.
Start: Cameron Payne, Suns
43% starting rate in CBS leagues
Having recently overcome a multi-game wrist injury, Payne is currently the starting point guard while Chris Paul continues his recovery from his thumb issue. Paul will remain out in Week 21, while Payne is back to a normal workload after registering just 20 minutes in his return three games ago. The 2015 first-round pick has played 32 and 36 minutes respectively in his last two games, averaging 20.0 points, 12.0 assists and 2.5 rebounds. While Payne’s efficiency remains down this season – his 40.3 per cent completion rate from the field is his lowest since the 2016-17 campaign – he should continue to be a very good source of points and assists decisive in particular, the latter even more so with Devin. Booker is likely to return from COVID-19 protocols at some point during the Suns’ next four-game week.
ALSO THINK: Terance Mann, Clippers (43% starting rate in CBS leagues)
Seated: Anfernee Simons, Trail Blazers
50% starting rate in CBS leagues
Simons is struggling with a Sit designation for the second week in a row due to a combination of schedule and health. Portland will only play three games in Week 21, and the surging point guard will miss at least the first with a quadriceps bruise. As good as he was as a substitute overall for Damian Lillard (abs), the risk of a two-game week — or less — isn’t worth it.
To start up: Dorian Finney-Smith, Mavericks
31% starting rate in CBS leagues
Finney-Smith has increased his contributions significantly since before the All-Star break, averaging 12.5 points (on 52.4% shooting, including 46.5% from range), 5.1 rebounds, 1.5 assists decisive and 1.3 steals every 36.2 minutes over 12 games. wingspan. The trade deadline departure of Kristaps Porzingis certainly seems to have boosted Finney-Smith stock, and the three-and-D wing now enters the new week averaging a career-high 10.5 points per game. . Fantasy managers who need a boost to bounce back and three, in particular, are expected to join the veteran for a full week for the Mavericks.
Start: Jonathan Kuminga, Warriors
19% starting rate in CBS leagues
Draymond Green is expected to sit out for at least one more week which should continue to ensure a solid role on the bench for Kuminga. The rookie has been highly productive since Feb. 1 despite the Warriors struggling for much of that streak, averaging 14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.5 assists while shooting 56.7 % over a period of 13 matches. Kuminga has averaged 9.2 shot attempts and 24.9 minutes per game over that streak. With the Warriors seated several regulars for Monday’s postponed contest in Denver, Kuminga will have a good chance to start the week in a starting role — even if it’s just for one game.
ALSO THINK: Cameron Johnson, Suns (41% starting rate in CBS leagues)
Seated: Miles Bridges, Hornets
78% starting rate in CBS leagues
Tobias Harris of the 76ers is another Sit candidate to consider this week as it continues to see some use due to James Harden’s presence. However, Bridges also qualifies based on the Hornets’ three-game week and his own recent drop in production. The fourth-year forward is averaging a solid but replaceable 15.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.0 blocks in his last five games, four of which have seen him score 15 points or less.
Bridges is also in for some funk from beyond the arc – he’s exhausted just 26.8% of his three-point attempts in the past 12 games. Being one of the season’s best players can be a tough call, but if you’re in a shallower league, it makes perfect sense to go for a four-game option.
To start up: Isaiah Stewart, Pistons
32% starting rate in CBS leagues
Stewart was introduced as a To start up candidate forward and delivered well, and he’s back in Week 21 with the Pistons set for a full schedule. The sophomore big continues to be a useful source of rebounds and blocks, averaging 10.5 rebounds and 1.1 rejections in his last 16 games. Stewart is also averaging 9.9 points per outing during this sample, recently riding a six-game streak with double-digit totals. He hasn’t necessarily made the leap forward that was expected this season, but Stewart is still a capable option for managers looking to shore up blocks and bounce back down the straight.
Start: Mitchell Robinson, Knicks
47% starting rate in CBS leagues
Robinson is similar to Stewart in many ways, with his work on the boards and on defense being the most reliable aspects of his game. The fourth-year big enters the new scoring period with some momentum, having posted three efforts consecutive double digits and consecutive double doubles with multiple blocks. The Knicks’ four-game week begins with a particularly favorable positional game against the Kings. Meanwhile, two other opponents, the Mavericks and Grizzlies, both ranked in the bottom half of the league in fantasy production, gave in to centers.
ALSO THINK: Isaiah Roby, Thunder (10% starting rate in CBS leagues); Dwight Powell, Mavericks (4% starting rate in CBS leagues)
Seated: Bobby Portis, Bucks
69% starting rate in CBS leagues
Portis is still playing a steady role as Brook Lopez begins to edge closer to a return from his back injury, but the big man remains replaceable in a three-game week for the Bucks. Portis saw his point total drop in three straight games at the start of Week 21, hitting a low with a nine-point effort in 32 minutes against the Suns on Sunday. Serge Ibaka is also a trusted veteran behind him who will continue to play a steady role off the bench, and Portis’ mostly average offensive production of late – he’s scored 17 points or less in seven of the last nine games – can probably be surpassed by a comparable four-game option.