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NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 18

*Mike Barner*

Use Code "LABWP50" at checkout for 50% off Seasonal Package
Use Code “LABWP50” at checkout for 50% off Seasonal Package

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 18

It’s important to know the intricacies of the NBA schedule to gain an advantage over your opponent in a head-to-head fantasy league as starting your best players might not always give you the best chance to win. Here are some moves you might want to consider for your team based on the week ahead.

Teams With The Most Games – 2 Games Each
Atlanta Hawks, Brooklyn Nets, Chicago Bulls, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz

The NBA All-Star break comes this week, meaning no team will play more than two games. However, with 22 teams each playing two games, you might not need a lot of help this week filling out your roster. If you do, consider adding the players below who are still available in the majority of leagues.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 18

Dewayne Dedmon, Atlanta Hawks

Since returning from injury, Dedmon has mostly come off the bench for the Hawks. However, they decided to change things up Sunday and started Dedmon against the Pistons. He played 31 minutes as a result, finishing with 20 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and one block. The Hawks won the game and coach Mike Budenholzer said afterward that they would probably stick with the same starting lineup moving forward. That’s good news for Dedmon, especially since one of his two games this week comes against a Bucks team that struggles to defend centers and the other comes against the Pistons again. He’s still available in 62% of Yahoo! leagues and could give you a boost at center this week.

D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic

The Magic traded Elfrid Payton to the Suns, opening up the starting point guard role for Augustin. He played 35 minutes in the Magic’s first game without Payton, scoring 18 points to go along with nine assists, two steals, and two three-pointers. However, he played just 23 minutes Saturday against the Bucks as Shelvin Mack had the hot hand, logging 28 minutes and posting a double-double. Augustin should continue to start going forward and will likely play closer to 30 minutes on a nightly basis. He gets to face two bad teams in the Bulls and Hornets this week, leaving him with upside. If you need help at point guard, he is still available in 69% of Yahoo! leagues.

Emmanuel Mudiay, New York Knicks

Mudiay thrived in his debut with the Knicks on Sunday, scoring 14 points to go along with 10 assists in 29 minutes. The Knicks are going nowhere with Kristaps Porzingis (knee) out for the season and have stated they want to give their young players an extended look moving forward. Starting point guard Jarrett Jack played only eight minutes Sunday and might not play much down the stretch. Mudiay is still available in 81% of Yahoo! leagues and is worth considering if you need help this week.

Teams With The Fewest Games – 1 Game Each
Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers, Memphis Grizzlies, Portland Trail Blazers, Washington Wizards

Eight teams play only one game each this week, leaving their players with limited upside. As a result, consider benching the players below who you might otherwise have in your starting lineup.

NBA Fantasy Basketball Schedule Analysis for Week 18

Jusuf Nurkic, Portland Trail Blazers

Nurkic left Sunday’s game against the Jazz and did not return due to lower back soreness and pain in his right hip. With only one game this week, it’s possible the Trail Blazers sit him so he gets extended rest over the break. Even if he does play, it’s not a good matchup against a Warriors team that likes to use a lot of small lineups. It’s not worth the risk starting him this week based on his limited potential.

Harrison Barnes, Dallas Mavericks

Barnes has been one of the best offensive players on the Mavericks this season, averaging 18.3 points and 1.4 three-pointers per game. The problem is, he provides very little production in terms of assists, steals and blocks and his 6.6 rebounds per game isn’t a difference maker either. Since he usually doesn’t provide much outside of scoring, it might not be a bad idea to sit him this week if you need help in other categories.

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Tatum has been excellent for the Celtics this year, but his game doesn’t always translate to great fantasy production. He hasn’t excelled in any one area, averaging 13.6 points, 5.1 rebounds. 1.4 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.3 three-pointers per game. Those types of numbers can be valuable on a week where he has extra games, but with only one game this week, the best decision might be to place him on your bench.

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 12/28/17

*Mike Barner*

NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks for 12/28/17

Use Code “CYBER30” at checkout for 30% off Seasonal Package


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Ish Smith, DET at ORL
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $4,900

The Pistons suffered a big loss with Reggie Jackson (ankle) being ruled out for 6-to-8 weeks. Luckily, they have a solid backup ready to fill in with Smith. Smith is only averaging 20 minutes per game this season but has put up respectable averages of 8.9 points, 2.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game. He showed what he can do in 32 starts with the Pistons last year, averaging 12.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in 30 minutes per game. The Magic allow the most points per game to opposing point guards on both FanDuel and DraftKings, so take advantage of Smith at this price.

Tyus Jones, MIN at MIL
FanDuel = $3,600
DraftKings = $3,400

Timberwolves starting point guard Jeff Teague went down with a knee injury Wednesday that did not look good. An exact timetable for his absence has yet to be determined, but Jones will now step into a starting role for the foreseeable future. He played very well in three starts earlier this season, averaging 12.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists, 4.0 steals and 1.7 three-pointers per game. Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau is used to dealing with his starting point guard being out from his days with Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls. Backups like Aaron Brooks, John Lucas III, D.J. Augustin, Mike James and Nate Robinson all thrived when given the chance to start, so Jones’ success isn’t that surprising. Make sure Jones is in your lineup at this cheap price Thursday.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Khris Middleton, MIL vs. MIN
FanDuel = $7,500
DraftKings = $7,500

Middleton has been getting all the playing time he can handle of late, logging at least 37 minutes in 10 of his last 11 games. The heavy minutes are great for his value as his 25.1% usage rate is inside the top-45 in the league. He’s averaging career-highs in points (20.7), rebounds (5.2), assists (4.5) and three-pointers (2.1) per game as a result. Expect him to play big minutes and put up valuable numbers again Thursday against the Timberwolves.

Terry Rozier, BOS vs. HOU
FanDuel = $3,800
DraftKings = $4,300

Rozier has been getting consistent minutes lately, playing at least 26 minutes in four straight games. He’s taken advantage of the opportunity, averaging 10.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.0 steal and 1.8 three-pointers per game. Jaylen Brown (knee) missed Wednesday’s game and might not play Thursday either, which should leave Rozier with the chance for extra playing time again. The Rockets already like to use a lot of small lineups, but might really go small with Clint Capela (face) out for this game. Rozier is cheap enough to take a chance on at this price. Of note, he is shooting guard eligible only on DraftKings as he is point guard eligible on FanDuel.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Jimmy Butler, MIN at MIL
FanDuel = $8,900
DraftKings = $7,700

If you watched any of the Timberwolves overtime victory against the Nuggets on Wednesday, one thing for certain is that Butler is clutch. He scored 12 points in overtime and finished with 39 points overall, the third time in the last five games that he has scored at least 32 points. If you think he might see limited minutes on the second night of a back-to-back after playing 42 minutes Wednesday, you’ve got another thing coming. Butler always plays big minutes and coach Thibodeau is never one to rest his star players. Butler’s 24.0% usage rate is second highest on the team (behind Jamal Crawford of all people), so expect him to thrive again Thursday. Of note, he is only small forward eligible on FanDuel as he is listed at shooting guard on DraftKings.

Reggie Bullock, DET at ORL
FanDuel = $4,400
DraftKings = $4,000

Avery Bradley (groin) is expected to be out again Thursday, leaving Bullock with added minutes. Bradley has missed the last five games for the Pistons, during which Bullock has averaged 12.8 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 2.0 three-pointers per game. The Magic play at the sixth-fastest pace (102) in the league, so Bullock should have added opportunities to score in this contest. He’s cheap enough to warrant consideration if you want to save money at small forward.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

LaMarcus Aldridge, SA vs. NY
FanDuel = $8,500
DraftKings = $7,800

Aldridge continues to be a rock for the Spurs, averaging 22.1 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game this season. Even though his production is likely to decline with the return of Kawhi Leonard, Leonard hasn’t played more than 26 minutes in any game so far. Even with Leonard playing 26 minutes Tuesday against the Brooklyn Nets, Aldridge finished with 20 points, nine rebounds, two steals, and one block. The Knicks have a lot of size up front, so expect Aldridge to keep things rolling Thursday.

Jayson Tatum, BOS vs. HOU
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,500

Tatum continues to get plenty of playing time in his rookie season, logging at least 33 minutes in four straight games. Marcus Morris (knee) sat out Wednesday’s game against the Hornets and will likely only see limited minutes if he does return Thursday. As already mentioned, this should be a game full of small lineups with Capela out. The Rockets also play at the eighth-fastest pace (101.4) in the league, so look for Tatum to get his chance to provide value at this price.


NBA Daily Fantasy Basketball Lineup Picks

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at MIL
FanDuel = $10,000
DraftKings = $8,900

The addition of Butler has certainly hurt Towns’ value as he’s averaging almost five points less per game this season. His usage rate of 22.9% is the lowest of his three-year career. That being said, he’s still averaging a gaudy 20.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 three-pointers per game. The Bucks don’t have much size up front, which has resulted in them allowing the fifth-most points per game on FanDuel and the fourth-most points per game on DraftKings to opposing centers. If you saved money going with cheap guards, it might be wise to spend some of it on Towns.

Bismack Biyombo, ORL vs. DET
FanDuel = $5,500
DraftKings = $4,600

Biyombo played 30 minutes Tuesday is his first start filling in for Nikola Vucevic (hand). He only scored three points, but his offensive skills are not why you consider him for your entry. He came through with 12 rebounds and five blocks, which was no easy task with Hassan Whiteside back for the Miami Heat. He’ll be counted on for big minutes again Wednesday against Andre Drummond, making him a great value play option at center.