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Fantasy Basketball Rotation Watch: Playing Time Updates For Week 11


Welcome to Rotation Watch! Each week this article will break down who is gaining and who is losing minutes around the NBA. Fantasy managers want the players that are getting the opportunity to shine, not the ones who are sitting on the bench and watching from the sidelines.

New decade, new me. That's what the kids say right? It doesn't matter if it's the player empowerment 2010s or the soon to be named 2020s, Rotation Watch rolls on! Some interesting developments took place over the Holiday break as Eric Gordon returned to the Houston Rockets lineup and Denver Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone started to let the unicorn Michael Porter Jr. out of the stable. I am assuming unicorns would be kept in stables.

So without further ado, let's start searching those box scores from December 23rd to December 29th and look for those hidden gems that are grabbing some minutes to help your fantasy basketball team.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NBA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive DFS tools, Lineup Optimizer and daily Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

NBA Playing Time Changes

Tomas Satoransky (PG, SG - Chicago Bulls)

Season: 28.2 Minutes per Game

Week 10: 31.5 Minutes per Game

Tomas Satoransky is going to be a key to winning your fantasy basketball championship. You heard it here first! Long thought of as a player that can only fill in voids when owners need a boost in assists and three-point shots, Satoransky has found new life in Chicago. Week 10 was a perfect example of this as he played 30 minutes in both games and helped his managers in several categories.

He averaged 31.5 minutes, 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 made threes. If we look back over his past four contests, those averages sit at 33.7 minutes, 16.0 points, 7.25 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.

It's his first season in Chicago and he is rewarding his new team with career highs in points, rebounds, and assists. Over the past two weeks, he has been a top-50 player in standard formats and if he keeps getting minutes like he has been recently, Satoransky should be a favorite target in trades for the smart fantasy basketball manager. He is a name that many casual owners will happily trade for a bigger name that is producing at lower levels. Float some offers out and you could snag yourself a very useful foundation piece as you push for a fantasy championship over the second half of the season.

 

Ben McLemore (SG - Houston Rockets)

Season: 24.1 Minutes per Game

Week 10: 26.8 Minutes per Game

Ben McLemore was allowed to earn a regular spot in the Houston Rockets rotation while Eric Gordon was sidelined after knee surgery. Unfortunately for McLemore and his fantasy owners, Week 10 could not have gone any worse.

Although he saw an uptick in minutes from his season average, he saw his points per game dip from 10.1 to 7.3 and his three-pointers made go from 2.4 per game to 1.8. He cracked the double-digit barrier in one of his four games and shot 25% from the field on the entire week.

The bigger hit to McLemore's fantasy value is the return of Eric Gordon. In the 10 games to start the season, before Gordon went down with his injury, McLemore averaged 15.5 minutes per game and 4.5 shots. In the 22 games after Gordon's injury, McLemore saw his stats skyrocket to 27.7 minutes per game and 9.8 shots. Gordon will take some time to return to his full workload again, but it looks like McLemore's days of being a useful fantasy asset for the 2019-20 season are over unless another injury hits the Houston Rockets.

 

Michael Porter Jr. (SF - Denver Nuggets)

Season: 9.7 Minutes per Game

Week 10: 14.3 Minutes per Game

Denver Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone channeled his inner Davey Jones from Pirates of the Caribbean and "Unleashed the Kraken" over the weekend. Michael Porter Jr. played 19 and 26 minutes in a weekend back-to-back and put together his best performances of the season.

On Sunday he set a career-high with 19 points in 26 minutes in his first career start. The Nuggets are a bit banged up with Gary Harris and Paul Millsap both nursing injuries and it is an encouraging sign that MPJ was Malone's first choice to fill one of the open starting spots. His athleticism was on full display during the Kings game as he grabbed several tough rebounds and had a putback dunk.

Owners looking to take a flyer on Porter should monitor his minutes in coming games though as his season has been filled with two steps forward, one step back performances. If he can keep this run of consistency going though Porter owners, Nuggets fans and NBA fans will be seeing him a lot more in the coming games.

 

Ersan Ilyasova (PF - Milwaukee Bucks)

Season: 16.9 Minutes per Game

Week 10: 22.0 Minutes per Game

Do not adjust your screens. You have not been teleported back in time to the 2011/12 NBA season. We are actually talking about Ersan Ilyasova on the first day of a brand new decade. The 12-year veteran is having the most efficient season of his NBA career and he stepped up last week when the Bucks were missing their MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo.

In Week 10, Ilyasova averaged 14.0 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 made threes and 1.3 blocks. He had back to back double-doubles against the Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks too. He has been great for most of December and his advanced stats speak to that. The Bucks have a +25.4 net rating when Ilyasova is on the court and they are simply wiping the floor with teams. Giannis has already returned to the lineup, but Ilyasova should be on any DFS player's radar when the Bucks decide to sit their main man again.

 

Julius Randle (PF, C - New York Knicks) 

Season: 32.1 Minutes per Game

Week 10: 37.0 Minutes per Game

In Julius Randle's first 341 games in the NBA, he scored 30 or more points in 14 of them. That's good for once every 24 games. In Week 10 of the fantasy basketball season, he scored 30 points THREE TIMES IN THREE GAMES. I'll let you do the math on that one.

For the season he was averaging 32.1 minutes, 18.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 1.2 made threes per game. Those minutes jumped up to 37.0 per game in three contests and his stats followed suit. He averaged 32.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, and 3.7 made threes.

Unfortunately, if you didn't have Randle on your team this week you have probably missed out on his best stretch of performances for the season. If you do own him though and you can somehow offload him for a player with consistent value, that would be the smart play.

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