NBA Fantasy: Start/Sit for Week 19

RotoWire walks through which players to start and sit for Week 19 in Yahoo Fantasy Basketball.

Keegan Murray leads the way as a forward you must start in Week 19.

While many fantasy leagues may handle the week before and after the All-Star break as one extended scoring period, there are those which split the time into separate increments. As such, we’ll evaluate some candidates to consider starting or sitting in what amounts to Week 19, which sees most clubs playing out two-game schedules.

TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder, Sacramento Kings, Toronto Raptors 

TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Celtics, Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Detroit Pistons, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards

Without further ado, let’s examine some of the tougher start/sit decisions for Week 19: 


Start: Jalen Williams, Thunder 

51% start rate 

Williams went into the All-Star break hot, averaging 18.3 points, 5.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 54.9%, including 50.0% from 3-point range, over his last four games. The rookie has acclimated quickly to the pro game and has made consistent fantasy contributions on the defensive end, giving him plenty of value on a rare three-game week in this abbreviated scoring period.

Start: Bruce Brown, Nuggets

37% start rate 

Brown drew starts in the last six games before the All-Star break and parlayed them into averages of 12.0 points, 4.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals across 29.3 minutes per contest. The veteran shot an impressive 52.8% over that span as well, and even if he’s back to a bench role during Denver’s upcoming three-game schedule, it’s worth noting Brown has put up 9.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steal across 25.4 minutes in 30 stints with the second unit this season.

ALSO CONSIDER: Donte DiVincenzo, Warriors (16% start rate)

Sit: Collin Sexton, Jazz

53% start rate 

Sexton exited the Jazz’s final game before the All-Star break against the Grizzlies with a hamstring issue that will likely see him listed as a game-time decision for Utah’s Thursday game against the Thunder. The fifth-year veteran has put up some serviceable numbers in a starting role since the trade of Mike Conley, but with only two games on the docket for Utah in the scoring period, he’s a risk you can likely avoid.


Start: Keegan Murray, Kings 

31% start rate

Murray can be a difficult player to figure out from night to night, but the benefit of a three-game schedule combined with his undeniable talent make him worthy of consideration in Week 19. The rookie recently put together three straight double-digit scoring efforts — including one consisting of a career-high 30 points — and he averaged a well-rounded 12.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists while shooting 44.1% from 3-point range over the last 16 games prior to the All-Star break. 

Start: Luguentz Dort, Thunder 

44% roster rate

Dort returned from a six-game absence due to a hamstring injury just before the All-Star break and put up 15-point and 18-point scoring contributions in two of the three contests he suited up for. Before that sabbatical, the talented wing had consistently delivered versatile stat lines, averaging 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists and just under one steal over the previous 30 games. Dort also shot 39.1% from distance in that stretch, underscoring his ability to shore up that category formidably over the upcoming three-game schedule.

Sit: Franz Wagner, Magic

45% start rate

Wagner not only has just two games to work with, but he also entered the All-Star break in a bit of a funk. The second-year forward averaged a modest 12.6 points, 3.8 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.1 steals while shooting only 42.9% in the last eight games prior to the pause in play. Although the reset may have done him some good, his potential production could be exceeded by a similarly talented three-game option.


Start: Kevon Looney, Warriors

47% roster rate 

Looney went into the All-Star break posting consecutive double-doubles and three straight double-digit rebounding efforts overall. The big man should continue to enjoy a slightly elevated role with Stephen Curry (lower leg) still projected to be out through Golden State’s three-game schedule coming out of the break. Though rebounds are by far the most reliable aspect of his production, Looney can also surprise intermittently with serviceable contributions in points, assists and blocks.

Start: Jakob Poeltl, Raptors 

47% start rate 

Poeltl was a Sit recommendation going into Week 18 after he filled only a modest role in his first two games with the Raptors. However, after unexpectedly exploding for a line that included 30 points, nine rebounds and six blocks across 37 minutes versus the Magic in the last game before the All-Star break, it’s time to reconsider him. OG Anunoby is slated to return from his wrist injury beginning with Thursday’s game against the Pelicans, but given Poeltl’s upside, he could still see a significant role off the bench after his breakout performance and is always a candidate to offer a notable boost in rebounds and blocks, at minimum. 

ALSO CONSIDER: Jaylin Williams, Thunder (4% roster rate)

Sit: Ivica Zubac, Clippers

84% roster rate 

Zubac did post a double-double in the last game before the break, but he’d scored in single digits in three of the previous five contests. The big man could also conceivably begin to cede some more minutes to trade-deadline acquisition Mason Plumlee now that the latter has gotten more of a chance to acclimate to the team’s system. With just two games on the schedule this week, you might consider a three-game option over Zubac, given the circumstances. 


Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.