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2022-23 Fantasy Basketball: Week 3 Starts and Sits

Week 2 in the NBA was yet again full of surprises and monster performances from players like Tyrese Haliburton, Paolo Banchero, Buddy Hield, and Bam Adebayo. The Blazers, Jazz, and Spurs are all top 4 teams in the West. Meanwhile in the East will the Nets and Heat turn it around? With another wild week of NBA action in the books, we break down our Starts and Sits for week 3 to give you the competitive advantage you need to win your matchup.

Week 3 Starts and Sits

Starts of the Week:

Dennis Smith – Hornets (PG)

With Lamelo Ball and Terry Rozier both being out Dennis Smith has stepped in as the starting point guard for the Hornets and has been solid. He is averaging 30 fantasy points since being a starter and has been a great source of rebounds, assists, and steals. He has been putting up third-round value and fantasy managers should continue to have them in their lineup until Rozier and Ball return. The Hornets have a 4 game week and Smith should play big minutes in all 4. Enjoy the ride while you can!

Isaiah Stewart – Pistons (PF/C)

Isaiah Stewart has had a great start to the season averaging 13.1 points and 10.4 rebounds. He will be inserted in the starting lineup while Jalen Duren is sidelined due to an ankle injury he suffered against the Warriors on Sunday. Stewart has already been playing close to 30 min per game and in the last two games, he’s dropped double-doubles (24pts 13 rebs, 11pts 11rebs). He has extended his range this season to the three-point line so if your league punts 3pt% that is a huge bonus for fantasy owners.

Anfernee Simons – Blazers (PG/SG)

Simons showed flashes of what he’s capable of last season when Dame was out of the lineup. He’s had some good games playing alongside Dame this season, but when Dame is out Simons takes his game to the next level as he becomes the primary scorer on the Blazers. Case and point in his first game with Dame out he dropped a season-high 30 points with 5 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal, and 1 block. We all know Simons is a bucket-getter, but what will cement him as an elite fantasy player is if he can put up numbers across the board. He’s currently averaging 27.9 fantasy points. Look for him to continue to put up monster numbers while Dame is out.

Sits of the Week:

Deandre Ayton – Suns (C)

The big man in Phoenix suffered an ankle injury last Friday against the Pelicans and is out for at least a week. The Suns have 3 games this week and he will most likely miss all 3 if not more. The ideal scenario would be for Ayton to come back for one of the games against the Blazers, but ankle injuries can be tricky. I expect the Suns to err on the side of caution and not rush Ayton back as he will be a big factor in how far the Suns go this season. If you haven’t already, look to pick up Bismack Biyombo (rostered in 25% of Fantrax leagues) or Jock Landale (rostered in 37% of Fantrax leagues) while Ayton is out.

Kawhi Leonard – Clippers (SG/SF)

We knew the Klaw would be under load management this season, but it’s concerning that he will miss 6 straight games this early especially after being out all of last season. The Clippers have 4 games this week and there’s a chance he will be available to play against the Jazz on Sunday but I would not count on it. The Clippers will definitely tread with caution when it comes to their franchise player which makes it frustrating for fantasy managers. When healthy, no doubt Kawhi is a top 10 fantasy player, but we can not depend on him playing 50-60 games this season. He will most likely be day-to-day or questionable for the majority of the season.

Damian Lillard – Blazers (PG)

Dame is dealing with a sprained calf and will definitely miss Wednesday’s tilt against the Grizzlies. The Blazers have 3 games this week and they’re hoping he can play one of the back to back games against the Suns. I personally think he’ll play one of those games against the Suns at best and wouldn’t be surprised if he missed all 3 games this week. We should get more clarity on if he will play this week come Thursday, but if I was a Dame manager I would look to grab Shaedon Sharpe (rostered in 49% of Fantrax leagues) on waivers since he started for Dame against the Rockets.

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