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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.
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.
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.