Fantasy Basketball lineup decision: Week 6 starts/sits at every position from guard to center

Although the NBA will take a day off for Thanksgiving on Thursday, there are plenty of teams with four-game weeks in store for Week 6. In addition to scheduling factors, injuries continue to pile up around the league, which should allow some more widely available players to contribute.

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 of the less reliable contributors.

Teams with four games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CLE, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, MIA, MIL, MIN, OKC, PHI, POR, UTA

Teams with three games: CHI, DAL, DEN, LAL, MEM, NOP, NYK, ORL, PHX, SAC, SAS, WAS

Teams with two games: CHA, HOU, TOR

All rosters and starting percentages via CBS Fantasy Basketball

Guards

Consider starting: De’Anthony Melton, PHI (62% rostered, 27% start)

Opponents: BKN, @CHA, @ORL, @ORL

The 76ers have been shorthanded in the backcourt recently, and the team is facing another significant absence since Tyrese Maxey will miss 3-4 weeks. Melton should take on an increased role for Philadelphia in Maxey’s absence. Melton has been a well-rounded contributor as a starter this year, averaging 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 2.1 steals in 32.7 minutes per game over seven starts. The 24-year-old will have plenty of chances to contribute during Philadelphia’s four-game week against relatively favorable opponents, making him a strong candidate to enter starting lineups early in Maxey’s absence.

Consider sitting: Fred VanVleet, TOR (100% rostered, 55% start)

Opponents: BKN, DAL

VanVleet has had plenty of playing time over his two appearances since returning from an illness, and he’s averaged 19.0 points and 6.5 assists in 41.5 minutes per game over the last two matchups. The 28-year-old has struggled with efficiency during that time, as he shot just 28.2 percent from the floor. The Raptors play just two games this week, and the Nets and Mavericks are strong teams at limiting efficiency from opposing point guards. VanVleet is among the most elite guards in the league when playing up to his full potential, but his lack of efficiency and defensive production recently makes him a consideration to bench in Week 6.

Consider starting: Cameron Payne, PHX (61% rostered, 39% start)

Opponents: LAL, DET, UTA

Chris Paul has missed the last six games with a heel injury and could miss more time this week. Payne has stepped up in Paul’s absence and has played at least 30 minutes in six consecutive games while starting in each of those appearances. Payne has put up some well-rounded stat lines as a starter, averaging 20.2 points, 6.3 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 33.3 minutes per game over that stretch. Although the Suns play just three games this week, Payne is a strong candidate to maintain his production if Paul misses any additional time.

Consider sitting: Max Strus, MIA (64% rostered, 50% start)

Opponents: @MIN, WAS, WAS, @ATL

Strus has had increased opportunities for the shorthanded Heat recently, and he’s taken on a starting role over the last nine games. He’s shown glimpses of upside as a starter and has tallied 20-plus points in three of the last five games. However, he was held under 10 points in the two other matchups over that stretch and has not been a very reliable contributor in secondary categories. Miami has four games this week, some of their other contributors could return to action at some point around Thanksgiving. Strus’ recent lack of consistency has been discouraging, and it’s worth considering other options in Week 6 despite the 26-year-old’s four-game week.

Forwards

Consider starting: Josh Hart, POR (88% rostered, 50% start)

Opponents: @MIL, @CLE, @NYK, @BKN

Hart matched his season-high scoring mark Saturday with 19 points against the Jazz and came within two rebounds of posting a double-double during the narrow loss. The 27-year-old had scored in single digits in his three appearances preceding Saturday’s matchup, but he should have a chance to take on an increased role in the Trail Blazers’ offense going this week since Damian Lillard will miss at least a week due to a calf issue. Hart should be able to be a well-rounded contributor during the Trail Blazers’ four-game week.

Consider sitting: Keldon Johnson, SAS (100% rostered, 91% start)

Opponents: NOP, LAL, LAL

Johnson sat out Thursday’s game against the Kings due to an ankle injury but has been back in action over the last two matchups. However, he’s struggled to generate much production upon his return, as he’s averaged just 11.5 points in 29.5 minutes per game while shooting just 25.7 percent from the floor over his last two appearances. Johnson generated some well-rounded stat lines earlier in the season but hasn’t had much success in secondary categories recently, which makes him an even less appealing option this week given his recent lack of efficiency from the floor.

Consider starting: Royce O’Neale, BKN (68% rostered, 43% start)

Opponents: @PHI, @TOR, @IND, POR

O’Neale has struggled with inconsistency early in the season, but he put things together Thursday against the Trail Blazers with his first triple-double of the year. The 29-year-old has played at least 30 minutes in seven of the last eight games, and he’s been a well-rounded contributor during that time, as he’s averaged 8.9 points, 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 34.6 minutes per game. Although he shot just 32.4 percent from the floor over that stretch, he’s had enough production in other areas to make him an appealing option heading into the Nets’ four-game week.

Consider sitting: RJ Barrett, NYK (99% rostered, 80% start)

Opponents: @OKC, POR, MEM

Barrett dropped a season-high 30 points against the Pistons on Nov. 11, but he had a season-low four points a game later and has been ineffective over his last five appearances. He’s returned to double-digit scoring totals over the last four outings but has still averaged just 12.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 30.8 minutes per game over the last five matchups while shooting just 26.3 percent from the floor during that time. The Knicks play just three games this week, so fantasy managers should consider leaving Barrett on the bench while he attempts to right the ship.

Centers

Consider starting: Kelly Olynyk, UTA (64% rostered, 37% start)

Opponents: @LAC, DET, @GSW, @PHX

Olynyk posted his first double-double of the season Nov. 15 against the Knicks with 27 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes. He’s been held to just five points in each of the last two matchups, but he’s still recorded double-digit field-goal attempts in three of his last six appearances. The Jazz don’t face any particularly stellar defensive frontcourts during their four-game week, so Olynyk should have a chance to contribute offensively. Even if his scoring totals remain somewhat low, he’s been strong enough in other categories to make him worthy of starting given Utah’s favorable schedule this week.

Consider sitting: Alperen Sengun, HOU (99% rostered, 69% start)

Opponents: ATL, OKC

Sengun dealt with a minor groin injury ahead of Sunday’s game against the Warriors, but he was able to play through the issue. However, he had lackluster results, posting just four points, seven rebounds, three assists and a steal in 23 minutes. He’s now been held under 10 points in two of the last five matchups and has averaged 10.2 points and 6.0 rebounds in 25.2 minutes per game during that time. The Rockets play just two games this week, so Sengun can be left on the bench in most fantasy leagues since he’s been relatively cold recently.

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