Opening week is here, and it's time to lock those fantasy lineups in. All teams play two or three games this week, which is one of the first variables to consider when deciding on the active unit. Also, watch for players taking on greater roles or in new situations, which could improve or limit their potential early in the year. 

Stars from the teams with two games should still start in most fantasy leagues, but it's best to consider players with three games instead of some less reliable or less certain alternatives.


Consider starting: Dennis Schroder, TOR (78% ROS, 30% START)

Opponents: MIN, @CHI, PHI

Schroder will be debuting with his new squad and will likely be looking to impress his home fans in his first two games at Scotiabank Arena. Schroder enters the season after an impressive summer, where he led Germany to its first FIBA World Cup title and was named MVP of the tournament. The point guard averaged 12.6 points, 2.5 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 0.8 steals in 30.1 minutes per game last season with the Lakers. However, he has a good chance to turn up more impressive numbers on a Raptors squad that will likely be more dynamic on the offense than the star-centric Lakers. 

Consider sitting: LaMelo Ball, CHA (99% ROS, 92% START)

Opponents: ATL, DET

Ball missed the last month of the 2022-23 season with an ankle injury. With Ball playing only two games during the week, fantasy managers in shallow leagues should consider alternatives on their roster playing three games. Ball averaged 23.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 8.4 assists and 1.3 steals in 35.2 minutes per game through 36 appearances last season. Keep in mind, a player on a three-game week would only need to average 15.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 0.9 steals to match Ball's production. If he can remain healthy, he will likely find his rhythm and pick up as a troublesome force for opponents. 

Consider starting: Devin Vassell, SAS (94% ROS, 60% START)

Opponents: DAL, HOU, @LAC

Vassell averaged 18.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 1.1 steals in 31.1 minutes per game through just 38 appearances last season. Despite the limited availability, Vassell showed he can be a high-level offensive threat in the backcourt. He tallied a season-high 29 points on three occasions and reached the 20-point mark in 18 of his 38 appearances. Vassell has three matchups this week, all of which can be high-scoring games. He also has the benefit of playing with Victor Wembanyama, who will draw a lot of attention from the defense and should allow plenty of assist opportunities. 

Consider sitting: CJ McCollum, NOP (99% ROS, 79% START)

Opponents: @MEM, NYK

Aside from having just two games in the week, McCollum will likely take a back seat on offense and, rather, focus more on setting the table for guys like Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson, who are expected to be the scoring leaders for the Pelicans. McCollum averaged 20.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 0.9 steals in 35.3 minutes per game last season and should be up for another strong campaign. However, it is doubtful that sitting him this week will result in regret.


Consider starting: De'Andre Hunter, ATL (58% ROS, 16% START)

Opponents: @CHA, NYK, @MIL

Hunter averaged a modest 15.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.4 assists while shooting 46.1 percent from the field last season. Nonetheless, he is in line to open his fifth NBA season in a more significant role now that the Hawks no longer have John Collins in the frontcourt. Hunter poured in a high of 26 points last season and reached the 20-point mark on 16 occasions while shooting 53.3 percent from the field in those games.

Consider sitting: Khris Middleton, MIL (99% ROS, 76% START)

Opponents: PHI, ATL

Middleton was plagued by injury throughout last season and never really got a chance to build a rhythm. Regardless of the circumstances, he managed to top 30 points twice and still delivered several solid performances while averaging 15.1 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists. Nonetheless, with only two games this week and the Bucks having to acclimate to Damian Lillard's presence in the offense, it might be best to leave Middleton on the sideline until he begins to look like his old self. 

Consider starting: Isaiah Stewart, DET (41% ROS, 10% START)

Opponents: @MIA, @CHA, CHI

Stewart inked a four-year extension with the Pistons during the offseason and should come into the opening week with lots of confidence, ready to pick up on his averages of 11.3 points and 8.1 rebounds from 2022-23. Stewart missed the final five weeks of last year due to injury, but he impressed through his 50 games played, including 13 games with a double-double of points and rebounds. With Cade Cunningham healthy and the young squad coming in with another year of experience, Stewart and the Pistons have a chance to get off to a good start. 

Consider sitting: Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN (100% ROS, 94% START)

Opponents: @TOR, MIA

Hampered by injuries, Towns was limited to 29 games last season, averaging 20.8 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He showed well in FIBA World Cup action in the offseason, but with just two games to play in the opening week, giving precedence to a player with more opportunity could be best. It may also be beneficial to allow Towns time to reacclimatize his role among other key players, including Anthony Edwards and Rudy Gobert.


Consider starting: Jalen Duren, DET (81% ROS, 30% START)

Opponents: @MIA, @CHA, CHI

Duren is heading into his sophomore year after averaging 9.1 points, 8.9 rebounds, 1.1 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 24.9 minutes per game through 67 appearances last season. His solid performance has earned him the clear starting spot this season, and with the benefit of time to build chemistry among the team, he is in a good position to thrive in his role. Duren logged at least 15 rebounds five times last season, including a high of 19 in a game where the center played 36 minutes. Duren averaged 14.2 points, 13.6 rebounds and 1.1 blocks in games where he played at least 30 minutes of action.

Consider sitting: Kristaps Porzingis, BOS (100% ROS, 93% START)

Opponents: @NYK, MIA

Porzingis is entering his first campaign with the Celtics and playing for his third team in the last three seasons. He was hampered by injuries in 2022-23 and was held out of international competition for the same reason this summer. His new squad features two major offensive players, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, meaning Porzingis will adapt to a role as a third option, at best. The Celtics also had a few other roster changes, and there will likely be no harm in sitting the big man while observing how the first two games play out.