Minutes Watch: Week 5

Kirk Hinrich
Kirk Hinrich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whether you’re playing on DFS sites or planning for H2H matchups in your fantasy league, players’ MPG are the key to success. Being on the floor naturally leads to rebounds, steals, and assists for even the least flashy player, so guys that are in line for more playing time belong on your roster.

Three Up

Jared Sullinger (Celtics): 4 games in Week 5 = CHA, MEM, CLE, MIL

Tinkering with an NBA roster is fantasy death, and Brad Stevens has been undeniable fickle with his frontcourt rotations. Sullinger averages a double-double (20.5 PPG, 11.1 RPG) per 36 minutes, but he has only played 36 or more minutes once this year. In the past four games he’s played an average of  25.25 MPG and posted 14.5 PPG and 9.5 RPG in that span. With a FG% of .486, FT% of .821, and only 29 TOs, he’s not going to hurt your fantasy team, and he‘s attempting 2.1 3pt per game which will help you with outlying stats.

Kirk Hinrich (Bulls): 3 games in Week 5 = UTA, DET, CLE

With Jimmy Butler expected to miss 2-3 weeks, Hinrich and Mike Dunleavy are allegedly competing for the starting SG spot. Regardless of whether he earns the job, Hinrich has been quite serviceable as the Bulls 6th man this year, and is averaging 10.6 PPG and 6.4 APG per 36 minutes. None of Tom Thibeadou’s starters play a ton of minutes, but Hinrich should be in line for 30+ MPG in the next couple weeks. The surprisingly athletic guard has blocked at least one shot, hit 3 of 10 3pt attempts, and dished out 19 assists with only 5 turnovers in the last three games, so he will be a positive addition to any squad.

J.J. Hickson (Nuggets): 4 games in Week 5 = DAL, MIN, DEN, TOR

The Nuggets have been experimenting with their rotations as well, but Hickson has displayed the “effort” that Brian Shaw says will determine playing time on his team. Coming off a season high 18-point, 19-rebound performance in 33 minutes, Hickson seems to be capable of banishing Timofey Mozgov to a backup role. Keep in mind Hickson was 10th in the NBA with 10.4 RPG as a member of the Blazers last year, and despite his subpar FT% , he is blocking 1.2 shots per game this season.

Three Down

Jeremy Lin (Rockets):

After a brief bout of Linsanity, the Rockets flawed point guard has come crashing back down to earth. He is 2-14 from 3pt range and is averaging 12.25 PPG in his last four appearances. As a result of his streaky shooting and poor defensive play, Kevin McHale seems to favor playing Patrick Beverley at the point. Lins’s minutes have dropped from 32, to 24, to 17 in the Rockets’ last three games, and if others are slow to catch on, now might be the time to move him.

Grievis Vasquez (Kings):

Vasquez is another struggling point guard who seems likely to be supplanted in the upcoming weeks. In the Kings last three games he is averaging 23.4 MPG and has posted a +/- of worse than -10 on two occasions. Unless Sacramento is looking to showcase their newly acquired free agent in the hopes that they can trade him, they may have to give way to Isaiah Thomas, who is playing lights out offensively and deserves more time.

Dion Waiters (Cavaliers):

For some reason, Mike Brown decided that C.J. Miles belongs in the Cavs starting lineup even though Waiters has returned from a brief illness that kept him sidelined for two games. Waiters seemed to respond negatively to the change, as he went 2-13 from the field and turned it over three times in 30 minutes on Wednesday night.  What makes matters worse is the fact that Waiters only played that much out of necessity, because Miles left the game with a calf injury. This is a situation to monitor but if Waiters is truly behind this old journeyman in the rotation he may be worth dropping.

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