By Juan Blanco, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
Week 7 is already upon us, and we’ll see an array of teams with four-game weeks which is always a positive development from a fantasy perspective. Only two teams draw the short two-game straw, leaving the largest swath of the league on a three-game week.
Looking ahead, we have some clear risers and fallers this week, as well as players who continue to benefit from longer-term injuries to teammates.
Let’s delve into some of the lineup decisions to consider in Week 7.
TEAMS WITH FOUR GAMES: Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, Washington Wizards
TEAMS WITH THREE GAMES: Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz
TEAMS WITH TWO GAMES: San Antonio Spurs, Boston Celtics
Start: Terry Rozier, CHA (four games)
Rozier appears to be hitting his stride in Charlotte after arriving this offseason from Boston, as he’s averaging 20.2 points (on 47.1 percent shooting, including 57.1 percent from distance), 4.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.2 steals over his last five games. He’s been incrementally improving shooting percentage after a rough start, and he’s averaging north of 14 shot attempts per contest. While his assists production doesn’t stack up to the elite options at his position, Rozier is in a favorable spot this coming week with matchups versus the Suns, Warriors, Nets, and Hawks — all defensively deficient squads that struggle against point guards.
Start: Tomas Satoransky, CHI (four games)
Satoransky is another offseason acquisition who’s taken well overall to his new home. Satoransky sees a four-game week that’s replete with favorable matchups for the point guard position. The fourth-year pro is draining 44.3% of his 3.1 three-point attempts per contest and heads into the new week shooting 50.0% over his last six games (9.3 FGA per contest). The four-game schedule ups his appeal, as does the fact that three of those matchups come against the Kings, Grizzlies, and Warriors — two of which rank in the bottom 10 in the league in points and rebounds per game allowed to point guards.
Sit: Kemba Walker, BOS (two games)
Walker is one of the few players drawing the dreaded two-game week, which, when combined with the matchups he’ll see in that pair of contests, afford him the very rare sit designation. The veteran point guard does seem to be healthy after his scary neck injury last week, but he’ll have to tangle with the Heat and Nuggets this week, two teams that defend the point guard position well. Walker naturally has the talent to transcend most matchups, but on a two-game week, there’s likely a better option or two on your bench.
Sit: Dejounte Murray, SAN (two games)
Murray has been struggling with his performance lately, and the upcoming two-week slate dulls his prospects even further. He appears to have lost his grip on the starting job for the time being, having now come off the bench in each of the last three games. He’s scored in single digits in four straight as well, and despite still logging minutes in the low-to-mid-20s on most nights, you can find more production elsewhere.
Start: Will Barton, DEN (four games)
After a down year in 2018-19, Barton is back to playing a more significant role for one of the best teams in the West. The veteran wing has come on of late, raising his shooting efficiency up to 45.6%, including a career-best 42.6% from three-point range. He comes into a four-game week averaging 16.6 points, 7.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists over his last five games while also shooting 48.6% over that span. Barton has taken between 12 and 18 shot attempts in each of those contests. This week, he’ll face the Knicks and Nets, along with a Celtics team that struggles to rebound and defend inside.
Start: Harrison Barnes, SAC (four games)
Barnes isn’t an exciting player to roster, but he’s taken on a larger share of the scoring burden in the continued absence of Marvin Bagley. Barnes has scored 20 points or more in three of his past four games heading into Sunday, while shooting a career-best 50.0% on the season overall, including 55.6% (42.9% 3PT) over his last six. What’s also encouraging is Barnes has picked up his rebounding production after a slow start, and he’ll get a crack against the suspect defenses of the Bulls, Blazers, and Spurs in three of his first four games this week.
Sit: Draymond Green, GSW (three games)
Green does have three games on his schedule, but as the Warriors continue to sputter, he’s now on a minutes limit, according to coach Steve Kerr. Kerr has viable options behind Green in Eric Paschall and Omari Spellman, so he’s likely to stick to his pledge of preserving his veteran, especially with the Warriors so racked by injury elsewhere on the roster. Green can still offer appealing across-the-board production, but he’s also a candidate for a dud any time he steps on the court with a minutes restriction. On top of that, he’s down to 38.9% shooting for the season.
Sit: Rui Hachimura, WAS (three games)
Overall, Hachimura looks like a solid young player after being thrust into the starting power forward job as a rookie from Day 1, but he’s seen his numbers decline some recently. Hachimura goes into Sunday having scored in single digits in three of his past four games, while also posting four or fewer rebounds in six of his last 10 contests. The talented young forward enters a three-game week that features tough matchups against the Magic, Clippers, and Heat.
Start: Cody Zeller, CHA (four games)
Zeller overcame a hip injury and now gets a nice full slate this coming week. Zeller is averaging career highs in points (11.2) and rebounds (7.9), and he’s even taking 1.8 threes per game. The veteran big’s minutes are a bit of a concern recently, but he typically does a good job of avoiding foul trouble and will draw some favorable matchups in his four-game week in the form of Suns, Warriors, Nets and Hawks, all teams that will bring a bump in pace for Charlotte.
Start: Mo Bamba, ORL (three games)
The second-year big has averaged 10.3 points and 7.5 rebounds across 20.3 minutes over his last four games entering Sunday. And with Nikola Vucevic (ankle) set to miss more time, Bamba becomes an intriguing option on a three-game week. Bamba has been outperforming starter Khem Birch on most nights, and he’s even bringing some floor-spacing — 5-5 3PT in a win over the Cavs — to one of the league’s least-stretchy teams. The Wizards, Suns, and Cavaliers make for an advantageous slate in Week 7, as all three teams rank in the bottom half of the league in rebounding rate, with Washington and Phoenix checking in at 30th and 26th, respectively.
Sit: Dwight Powell, DAL (four games)
Powell has scored in single digits in six of his last seven games, and his rebounding is also down to just 4.3 per contest. Despite being on a four-game week, Powell is a justifiable sit, as he simply hasn’t proven he can provide starting-caliber production. Powell has started the last six games (24.7 MPG), but he’s averaging just 4.8 points, 3.3 boards, 1.2 assists and 0.5 blocks in that span.
Sit: Brook Lopez, MIL (three games)
After a string of strong showings at the beginning of the Bucks’ winning streak, Lopez has scored in single digits in three of his last four and is also dealing with a sore back entering Week 7. He’s averaging just 7.8 points and 5.5 rebounds over his last four games, and while he’s continuing to block shots, he’s also struggled from behind the arc. Given the inconsistency, Lopez becomes a bit more risky to start on a three-game week.