2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Planner

by Mike Cooper
2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Planner

Welcome to the 2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Planner!

If this is your first time reading this column, you've chosen a great week to start. Week 5 has the most scheduling variability between teams of any week this season.  Being prepared will be key!

With the Kyrie drama of Week 3 simmering down, Week 4 has let us enjoy the big-scoring performances from players around the league, particularly from Stephen Curry. It's a year of outlier scoring. There are 7 players averaging over 30 ppg this season, versus just two last year.  When Joel Embiid, Damian Lillard, and Ja Morant are having great seasons but still rank lower than the top 30, you know we're having statistical anomalies.

This week we will start with a look at the NBA week 5 schedule, check in on the Priority Pickups, and end with a look at the latest injury news.

2022-23 Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Planner

Week 5 Schedule Overview

This week has large scheduling variability, with one team playing five times (the Spurs), and four teams playing just twice.  Meanwhile, there are 10 teams with a four-game slate, and fifteen teams with three games.  In weekly leagues, you'll want to be cautious with any of the two gamers.  The Chicago Bulls, LA Lakers, Minnesota Timberwolves, and Philadelphia 76ers all share that games-deficiency.

That creates a risk for even the big names, especially when you consider how much rest superstars can get by skipping out on one or both of these matchups.  The biggest rest concerns are for Lebron James (actively dealing with an injury), Anthony Davis (always a risk), Zach Lavine, Karl-Anthony Towns, and, notably, Joel Embiid.

In Daily leagues, you'll want to pay attention to the teams with games on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (see schedule below).  There are 5 games on both Tuesday and Saturday and just 3 games on Thursday.

NBA Week 5 Schedule

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Team to Target

San Antonio Spurs

The Spurs are the only team with five games this week, and they play Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.  Bear in mind, that includes two back-to-backs, which are always risky with Gregg Popovich at the helm.  But this is a young team, and I don't anticipate much rest forthcoming. Devin Vassell, Jakob Poeltl, and Keldon Johnson are the obvious must-starts.  Tre Jones should be primed for a nice week as well and has been an 8th-round value over the past week.  This team has almost no depth and guessing who else might benefit this week is tough.

One name to watch is Charles Bassey. In his last three games the big man is averaging 17 minutes but putting up fifth-round value thanks to 2.0 blocks, 1.0 steals, and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 63.6% on his 6.0 ppg. If Poeltl gets a rest game in this five-game stretch, look out!


Team to Avoid

Philadelphia 76ers

Somehow, the brilliant minds at the NBA managed to give the 76ers a back-to-back for their only two games in an eight-day span.  James Harden is already out for these matchups. One has to wonder if the Sixers might give oft-injured Joel Embiid some extra time off.  If he sits one of the back-to-backs it will earn him five days off.  Skipping both would get him an eight-day span to heal any nagging injuries.

It's never easy to choose to rest a superstar like Joel Embiid, but if there's any week to do it, it's this one (assuming you have a viable four-game replacement).  Tobias Harris and Tyrese Maxey are likely benchable as well unless you're lacking for replacements.

Priority Pickups (under 50%)

Tari Eason, SF/PF, HOU (27%)

Tari was a popular rookie to nab late in drafts after a fantastic preseason, but his ownership has dropped significantly after a slow start.  However, in the last week, he is starting to roll putting up averages of 13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 2.3 apg, and a tremendous 2.7 steals, to go along with 1.3 three-pointers in just 22 minutes per game.  If he can carve out a consistent role, don't be surprised to see him put up top 75 numbers the rest of the way.  Houston plays four games this week, making Tari a fantastic addition now and in the future.

Norman Powell, SG/SF, LAC (36%)

The Clippers play four games this week, including on all three days of Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, which are low-volume game days. Norm has so far failed to capitalize on his opportunities with the Kawhi-less Clippers.  However, he has shown the ability to score a bucket or two throughout his career.  Most importantly, he looks like he is about to begin heating up.

In his past two games, he is averaging 17.5 ppg on 66.6% shooting, along with 85.7% free-throw percentage on 7 attempts per game.  He'll throw in some steals and threes, and should get better as the season goes on and his minutes climb.

Aleksej Pokusevski, SF/PF/C, OKC (49%)

Last call for Poku! The versatile yet lanky big man is putting up fifth-round value in the last two weeks and second-round value in the last seven days!  He has appeared in more waiver-wired articles than anyone else over the last year, mostly because of his inconsistency. However, he has a clear path to minutes and looks ready to contribute. His past week's stats: 15.5 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.0 steals, 3.0 blocks, and 2.5 three-pointers.

Injury List

Robert Williams, C, BOS - He's begun dunking recently and seems likely to return around or just after Christmas.

Kawhi Leonard, SF, LAC - Kawhi is working hard to return to the court, but will still miss the next few games.  Even once he's back, he will very likely be on minutes restrictions and sit back-to-backs.

Jaren Jackson Jr, PF, MEM - There's a chance JJJ could be in the conversation for a week 6 return.  The opportunity to buy-low is running out.

Khris Middleton, SF, MIL - Middleton is currently set to be re-evaluated in the coming week and may be nearing his return.

James Harden, PG, PHI - Harden will be out until at least December 5th, though he is set to be reevaluated next week.

Cam Johnson, SF, PHX - Cam will be out until at least Dec 11th as he recovers from surgery.

Pascal Siakam, PF, TOR - Following a groin strain, Siakam was reportedly set to miss a couple of weeks. He could return as soon as Nov 23, but these injuries can linger.

Thanks for reading the Fantasy Basketball Week 5 Planner!

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