Welcome to Rotation Watch, Rotoballers! Each week, this article will highlight the players gaining minutes in their team’s rotation. Fantasy managers want to roster the players that accumulate stats and rack up the playing time. They want to avoid the players falling out of favor and watching the action from the sidelines.
With the new season here, Rotation Watch is well… back in the rotation. With new rotations and players bouncing around from season to season, it’s important to take note of who’s “in” and who’s “out”. I’ve been consistently updating my data model to account for minutes over the 2022-2023 regular season, as well as each player’s last four games, and their stats based on who’s on and who’s off the floor (accounting for injury, etc.).
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 @LucidMediaDFS.
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NBA Playing Time Changes
ESPN: 3.4% rostered
Week 1: 29:00 Minutes per Game
The Nuggets were happy to welcome back Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. from their injury hiatuses that kept them out for the majority (if not all) of the 2021-2022 season. While they are back in relatively-full capacity, I’m sure they will each have nights off for injury management as the season sets foot.
In comes offseason acquisition Bruce Brown. Brown had been a solid player for the Brooklyn Nets last season, especially after the departure of James Harden. Brown has always been a solid fantasy player, just one who lacked the minutes. He’s coming off an 18-point, five-rebound, and four-assist performance against the Lakers on Wednesday, where he logged 33 minutes. He’s a solid backup-guard option in deeper point leagues and can serve as a streaming option in both point and category formats.
ESPN: 25.5% rostered
Week 1: 32:20 Minutes per Game
I’ll take a look at a guy who we won’t be taking advantage of because of team injuries, but mostly because he’s under-owned across fantasy leagues. McDaniels is an athletic, rangy player with a lot of quality attributes. I wanted to take a look at the Timberwolves’ rotations before jumping the gun on McDaniels, but I think now is as good of a time as ever.
McDaniels is coming off a game where he logged 20 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and three blocks against the Spurs. He’s getting starter minutes on a fast-paced and high-scoring Minnesota team and should be rostered in all formats. He’s played at least 24 minutes in each game of the campaign while logging 35+ in three out of the five. He’s somewhat points-dependent but is able to log the peripheral stats needed to help you out in all formats.
ESPN: 10.5% rostered
Week 9: 24:50 Minutes per Game
Quite frankly, I’m a bit shocked at Grant Williams’s roster percentage on ESPN’s fantasy app. Reports came out earlier this week that Robert Williams will most likely not return to action until Christmas time, if not being held out through the New Year. This open’s up the door for Grant Williams to grab key minutes off the bench as one of the primary Celtics big men behind Al Horford and Noah Vonleh.
While some may look for Vonleh in this spot, I prefer Williams, who is averaging 9.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and a block per game for Boston this season. He will serve a one-game suspension for making contact with an official during Monday night’s matchup with the Bulls, but once he returns he’s a quality and under-rostered option in leagues of all formats.
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