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Fantasy Basketball Rotation Watch: Playing Time Updates for Week 10

Welcome to Rotation Watch, Rotoballers! Each week, this article will highlight the players that are gaining minutes in their team's rotation. Fantasy managers want to roster the players that are accumulating stats and racking up the playing time. They want to avoid the players falling out of favor and watching the action from the sidelines.

The trade deadline is one month from tomorrow (March 25), and it will be fascinating to see how the play-in games factor into a particular team's decisions. Who will be buyers or sellers as the deadline draws closer? We are already seeing this conundrum spread throughout the league with Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin sitting out games for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons, respectively. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Cousins was released by the Houston Rockets as they look to the future with a younger frontcourt.

So without further ado, let's start searching those box scores from Feb. 15 to Feb. 21 and look for those hidden gems that grabbed minutes to help your fantasy basketball team achieve the ultimate prize: a championship. These suggestions are the cream of the crop, and if you ever need an extra slice of advice, feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @EuanOrYouOut, and I'll happily talk about some fantasy basketball with everyone.

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NBA Playing Time  Changes

Kendrick Nunn - PG/SG, Miami Heat

Season: 28.1 Minutes per Game

Week 9: 33.3 Minutes per Game

Is this the end of Kendrick Nunn's joyful run of fantasy production? Goran Dragic could return anytime this week, and it would take a significant chunk out of the sophomore guard's fantasy ceiling. Before Dragic's injury, Nunn averaged 25.7 minutes per game. The Slovenian veteran missed nine games for the Heat, which led to Nunn taking off for fantasy basketball.

In those nine games, the 25-year old posted 17.1 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.6 steals, and 3.3 three-pointers in 34.8 minutes per night. Hopefully, this type of production will earn him more minutes on the court. Dragic may sit one more game on Wednesday versus Toronto, and we may get one final flurry from Nunn, but this fantastic February is likely winding down. If you can see if there's a manager in your league willing to take a buy-high, sell-low trade for anyone that has been underperforming during the first half of the 2020-21 season.


Jae'sean Tate - SG, Houston Rockets

Season: 26.6 Minutes per Game 

Week 9: 34.7 Minutes per Game

One team that is already flying around the trade deadline rumor mill is the Houston Rockets. On Tuesday, they officially released DeMarcus Cousins, and it's doubtful that's the last move this franchise makes as it hits the rebuild button. Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, and P.J. Tucker could all be off this squad when the calendar flips to March 26th. That would leave a spaceship-sized amount of minutes to fill for this team—the leading candidate to absorb more of them: Jae'Sean Tate.

The 25-year old has been a pleasant surprise for the Rockets this season. He's started 19 of 20 games since James Harden was traded and is beginning to put it together in his first NBA season. Since Feb. 8, Tate is averaging 14.3 points, six rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.4 steals, with his shooting splits sitting at 59.2/36.8/75.0. With all the potential moves coming in Texas, Tate is definitely worth a flyer and should be rostered in all 12-team leagues.


Josh Hart - SG/SF, New Orleans Pelicans

Season: 27.8 Minutes per Game

Week 9: 31.9 Minutes per Game

Hart is playing the most minutes of his NBA career, and the playing time is starting to add up. The fourth-year win is averaging career-highs in rebounds (7.6) and assists (2.1) while posting his best field-goal (45.7), three-point (35.8), and true shooting percentages (58.9) since his rookie campaign. Hart leads the team in defensive rating among players getting more than 15 minutes per night, and his defensive efforts spurred a 24-point comeback against the Boston Celtics on Sunday. Plus, trade rumors are beginning to whirl around J.J. Reddick, which would only boost Hart's playing time.

His Week 9 performances gave fantasy managers some hope to build upon. In 31.9 minutes, the former-Villanova standout averaged 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.5 assists, one block, and 2.5 triples in four games. He came off the bench in each of those games, but a Reddick trade would open the door for Hart to take his vacant minutes on the court.


Justise Winslow - PF, Memphis Grizzlies

Season: 0.0 Minutes per Game

Week 9: 23.5 Minutes per Game

Everyone knows the scene in The Office where Dwight Schrute simulates a fire in the workplace, and Michael Scott yells, "Oh my God! Okay, it happening. Everybody stay calm." That's how I feel about seeing Justise Winslow return to the court after a year-long absence. He's only got two notches in his game log, but the early returns have some encouraging signs.

Winslow has been active across the box score, recording 10 rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal in the two games, but he needs to shake off the rust when it comes to his shooting game. He went a combined 4-for-24 from the field and 2-for-9 from three-point land. Winslow can become another option for the Grizzlies to run with its young core. While he's not immediately startable, every fantasy basketball team sitting pretty after 10 weeks should stash him on their bench in the hope he rounds into form just in time for the final run of the regular season and the fantasy playoffs.


Tristan Thompson - PF/C, Boston Celtics

Season: 22.1 Minutes per Game 

Week 9: 28.1 Minutes per Game

Recommending Tristan Thompson was my most challenging call of the week because I'm not entirely sure what the Celtics are trying to accomplish with their frontcourt rotation. Daniel Theis has been battling injuries this month, and it's given Thompson and Robert Williams some extra time on the hardwood. However, Brad Stevens said that he wants Williams to peak with his minutes at the end of the season when the games matter the most. Those comments make me believe that Thompson could be in line for a more significant share of time as the trade deadline approaches. Is it possible the Celtics are showcasing the 2016 NBA Champion? If they want to get out of the East this summer, they need an upgrade, and his $9 million per year is a nice trade chip when it comes to matching contracts.

Besides all that trade speculation, Thompson has been putting up useful fantasy numbers. The 29-year old is averaging 13.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and shooting 75.9 percent from the floor in his last four games. While it may not be the exciting, week-winning addition fantasy managers dream about, those counting stats will accumulate quickly and be appreciated when you check your matchups on Sunday nights. Ride Thompson during his playing time boost and stay tuned to the rumor mill. If he finds himself in a different uniform and a more valuable fantasy opportunity, he may be worth holding onto for longer than initially thought.


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