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Fantasy Basketball Starting Lineup Changes - Week 7

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.

Here's how Week 6 played out for the Rotation Watch with their player ranking over the last seven days:

There's some good and some bad in there from last week's selections. Okoro and Wade fell victim to the Cavs getting healthy with their minutes and opportunities, although Wade is injured now. Frank Jackson only scored more than 10 points in one of his last four games for Detroit, which is what we wanted him for. However, Patty Mills and Desmond bane saved the day with two top-75 performances. Joe Harris (ankle) is undergoing surgery, so Mills will continue to contribute in formats with three-point shooting. Meanwhile, up-and-coming star Ja Morant (knee) went down, and it's kept the door open for Desmond Bane to earn more playing time and shots in Memphis.

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So without further ado, let's start searching those box scores and look for those hidden gems that grabbed minutes to help your fantasy basketball team achieve the ultimate prize: a championship. Of course, 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.


NBA Playing Time Changes

Garrison Mathews - SG/SF, Houston Rockets

Yahoo: 10% rostered

Week 6: 32:40 Minutes per Game

With Christmas only three and a half weeks away, the Rockets are already in tank mode and giving out green lights to their entire roster. With Jalen Green (hamstring) out, there is an opening for minutes and shots in Houston. Bizarrely, it seems as though 25-year old Garrison Mathews has become the first choice to take them on. And, despite some initial double-taking, he is making the most out of this opportunity in Clutch City. He's been a top-50 option in nine-category formats over the last seven days, yet only rostered in 10 percent of leagues.

In his last three games (two starts), Mathews plays over 32 minutes per game while posting 17 points, 4.0 three-pointers, and 3.3 rebounds. Coincidentally, the Rockets are 3-0 in these games, with wins over Chicago, Charlotte, and Oklahoma City. Jalen Green will return before Santa gives out his presents, but the Rockets play three games before the end of Week 7. This makes Mathews a must-have streamer if you need points, threes, and even some rebounding help to close out this week.

Herbert Jones - SF, New Orleans Pelicans

Yahoo: 7% rostered

Week 6: 31:15 Minutes per Game

At first glance, fantasy managers may look at Herbert Jones and see 7.8 points per game average over the last seven days and instantly ignore him. However, since you are reading this article, I'll let you know that he's contributing all over the box score and is returning a sixth-round value in nine-category leagues over the last week. How is this possible? Let's dig in.

Over his previous five games, the rookie out of Alabama sees 31:15 minutes per night. In those minutes, he's putting up 7.4 points on 47.1 percent shooting, 4.2 rebounds, 2.6 steals, and 2.2 assists. So Jones is genuinely contributing in five of the nine categories. In addition to his overall output, the Pelicans play three games in the next five nights, including one against the most turnover-prone team in the league, Houston.

Alex Caruso - PG/SG, Chicago Bulls

Yahoo: 63% rostered

Week 6: 29:15 Minutes per Game

It seems a lot of fantasy managers are anchoring themselves to a preseason evaluation of Alex Caruso. Valued as the 295th best option in Yahoo leagues, Caruso is the 54th player in nine-category leagues on the season and a top-40 choice over the last seven days. A lot of his value comes from his league-leading 2.2 steals per game. However, he's picked up his contributions in other categories over the previous week and needs to be on more than 63 percent of rosters.

Since Nov. 24 (four games), the Bald Eagle (thank you basketball reference) has averaged 13.8 points, 4.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 2.0 steals, and 1.8 three-pointers per night. In addition, he's shooting 63.3 percent from the floor, 53.8 percent from three, and 76.9 percent from the line on his 3.3 attempts per game. That's six categories where Caruso is positively affecting your fantasy roster. The 27-year old has proven to be an integral part of this Chicago Bulls team, and he can do the same for your fantasy league in the 37 percent of leagues where he is available.

DeAndre' Bembry - SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets

Yahoo: 16% rostered

Week 6: 28:19 Minutes per Game

I mentioned Patty Mills in last week's Rotation Watch, and he came through with top-60 value for our fantasy rosters over the last week. However, his teammate, DeAndre' Bembry, closely followed him, who produced top-90 value in nine-category leagues over the previous seven days. Bembry has been playing 30.9 minutes per game for the last five contests and producing 9.6 points, 6.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.0 blocks. His 63.9 field-goal percentage isn't half bad either for the 2016 first-round pick.

Admittedly, Bembry is being helped by the number of Net's absence. Joe Harris (ankle) is out for a while, and Blake Griffin is receiving CD-DNPs a lot more than anyone could've imagined. If either of these things change, or Head Coach Steve Nash decides to switch things up, then it could spell the end for Bembry's run. However, until that day comes, Bembry is worth a bench stash. Additionally, the nets play two games during the rest of Week 7, and the latter occurs on Saturday. Therefore, I would pick up Bembry for these two games and then drop him for another Sunday streamer if you need to squeeze out another category in your head-to-head leagues.

Bones Hyland - PG/SG, Denver Nuggets

Yahoo: 5% rostered

Week 6: 21:00 Minutes per Game

Recommending Bones Hyland is a little bit of hoping and praying Nuggets Head Coach Michael Malone lets the young gun play. Although, to be honest, Malone may not have any choice other than to play him with Jamal Murray (knee) still recovering Michael Porter Jr. (back) out for the year. Hyland returned from a two-game absence on Monday and played 21 minutes. He had another impressive performance with 19 points, five three-pointers, three assists, and a steal, as he continued to flourish when receiving the playing time.

The rookie has played at least 20 minutes in five games this year. During those games, he's averaging 14.6 points, 3.4 assists, 3.2 rebounds, and 3.0 triples. Meanwhile, Hyland shoots 52.3 percent from the floor, 46.9 percent from deep, and converts on 92.3 percent of his trips to the free-throw line. The 21-year old is efficient when he shoots, produces in multiple ways when he's on the court, and the Nuggets are running out of options. You can probably get away with leaving Hyland on the waiver wire for a week or two, but if he has another impressive outing, I will run to grab him as a speculative bench guy.


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