The NBA has a lighter schedule than usual due to Super Bowl LVII on Sunday, so most teams will play just three games this week. The Pelicans are the only team limited to two games, but the unique schedule creates more value for players on the few teams with four games. Additionally, the trade deadline is Thursday, and with several significant players involved in discussions, there should be plenty of usage changes by the end of the week.
While stars from the teams with two games should still start in most fantasy leagues, it's best to consider players with four games instead of some less reliable contributors.
Teams with four games: BKN, BOS, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, SAC, SAS, UTA
Teams with three games: ATL, CHA, DEN, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX, POR, TOR, WAS
Teams with two games: NOP
All roster and start percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball
Consider starting: Derrick White, BOS (54% rostered, 25% start)
Opponents: @DET, PHI, CHA, MEM
White's fantasy appeal usually comes from his production in secondary categories, but he's been a much more reliable scorer recently, posting double-digit scoring totals in his last six appearances. Over that stretch, he's averaged 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.5 combined blocks/steals in 32.0 minutes per game. The Celtics play four games this week, and their opponents are favorable against shooting guards. With Marcus Smart's return timetable uncertain as he continues to deal with an ankle injury, White remains an appealing fantasy option this week.
Consider sitting: Jalen Green, HOU (99% rostered, 58% start)
Opponents: SAC, SAC, @MIA
Green had some dominant appearances over the second half of January, but he recently missed three games due to a calf injury. He played just 22 minutes in his return to the court Saturday against Oklahoma City and was limited to 12 points, four assists, two rebounds and two blocks. The Rockets play just three games this week, which hinders Green's fantasy outlook, especially since he displayed some inconsistency before his absence.
Consider starting: Norman Powell, LAC (64% rostered, 34% start)
Opponents: @BKN, DAL, MIL
Powell has retreated to the bench over his last three appearances but has been dominant, averaging 25.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steals in 33.0 minutes per game while topping 20 points in each of those outings. One of those strong performances came against the Bucks, who have solid defense on the wing. The Clippers play just three games this week against solid defenses, but even if Powell continues to come off the bench, he's had a significant role for the Clippers recently.
Consider sitting: CJ McCollum, NOP (100% rostered, 81% start)
Opponents: ATL, CLE
McCollum has scored at least 20 points in six of his last seven appearances, but he's been somewhat inconsistent in rebounds and assists. Across those seven matchups, he's averaged 22.3 points, 6.3 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 34.9 minutes per game. His slight inconsistency alone wouldn't be enough to bench him in most weeks, but the Pelicans play just two games this week. One of their matchups is against the Cavaliers and their stellar backcourt defense, so it's worth considering alternate fantasy options instead of McCollum this week.
Consider starting: Tim Hardaway, DAL (59% rostered, 30% start)
Opponents: @UTA, @LAC, @SAC, @SAC
Hardaway has displayed some inconsistency recently but has still been relatively productive, averaging 12.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists in 35.3 minutes per game over his last seven appearances. He scored 22 points during Saturday's loss to the Warriors and should have a chance to carve out a more significant role for Dallas after the team traded Dorian Finney-Smith and Spencer Dinwiddie to the Nets. Over 13 games played without Finney-Smith and Dinwiddie this year, Hardaway has averaged 16.2 points and 4.3 rebounds in 36.8 minutes per game. Although Kyrie Irving should have a more significant role than Finney-Smith or Dinwiddie had, Hardaway still has intriguing fantasy value during the Mavericks' four-game week. That's especially true with Luka Doncic (heel) set to miss at least one more game.
Consider sitting: Bennedict Mathurin, IND (93% rostered, 53% start)
Opponents: @MIA, PHX, @WAS
Mathurin had a strong run with Tyrese Haliburton sidelined, averaging 20.9 points and 5.4 rebounds in 31.2 minutes per game over 10 appearances. However, Haliburton has been back in action over the last three matchups, and Mathurin has averaged just 9.3 points and 4.3 rebounds in 25.0 minutes per game during that time. Mathurin will likely continue to show glimpses of production down the stretch, but he's no longer a must-start option now that Haliburton is healthy.
Consider starting: Patrick Williams, CHI (41% rostered, 18% start)
Opponents: SAS, @MEM, @BKN, @CLE
Williams has been relatively inconsistent on the scoreboard recently but has still scored in double figures in seven of his last 10 appearances. He's also generated solid results in secondary categories and has averaged 11.7 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 combined blocks/steals over those 10 matchups. He's dealing with an ankle issue ahead of Monday's game against the Spurs but will likely be able to play through the issue. Given the Bulls' four-game schedule, Williams should be able to provide value on both ends of the court.
Consider sitting: Gordon Hayward, CHA (87% rostered, 55% start)
Opponents: @WAS, @BOS, DEN
Hayward missed most of the first half of January due to a hamstring injury, and the Hornets have monitored his workload since his return. Although his minutes have increased slightly recently, his production has been lackluster, and he's had single-digit scoring totals in two of the last three matchups. Over that stretch, he's averaged 9.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 27.3 minutes per game. With the Hornets playing just three games this week against fairly solid defenses, Hayward is worth sitting in favor of players with more upside.
Consider starting: Robert Williams, BOS (81% rostered, 30% start)
Opponents: @DET, PHI, CHA, MEM
Williams has missed two of the last six matchups due to an ankle injury but has been productive when he's on the court as he continues to ramp up his role following his lengthy absence to begin the season. Over his last 11 appearances, he's averaged 8.6 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.5 blocks in 26.1 minutes per game. The Celtics face several below-average frontcourt defenses with four games this week. Even if Williams misses a game, he should have plenty of chances to be productive while maintaining a starting role.
Consider sitting: Jonas Valanciunas, NOP (99% rostered, 69% start)
Opponents: ATL, CLE
Valanciunas was sidelined Sunday against the Kings due to his quadriceps injury, but he recently underwent an MRI that came back clean. The 30-year-old posted back-to-back double-doubles before his absence, but he was somewhat inconsistent before then, and the Pelicans play just two games this week. While Valanciunas is a stellar fantasy option when healthy, his outlook during the Pelicans' two-game week is murky, especially considering his quad issue.