Final week for most leagues.  It’s that one time of the fantasy season when it doesn’t matter who you’d drop (unless it’s a keeper/dynasty), ‘coz if you’re still managing your team, then it must be playing for something.

In my opinion, the moves available this week is very limited unless one of your top guys encounter an injury or team setup is where you have 2+ guys playing for the teams not playing on Friday and/or Sunday.  This is because there are 11 games that will be played on those days.  So really if you haven’t streamed on Thurs, you really probably want to load up for Saturday’s slate especially if the players’ last game for the week is Friday or Saturday (MIN, LAC, DET, ORL, POR, SAC).

So for today, I’ll only focus on Saturday’s games.  Tad anti climactic being the final edition of this series for this fantasy season.

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Nope, not talking about baseball here.  Hopefully most of the us reading this advanced into the 2nd round of the fantasy playoffs.  As for me, I got knocked out in the JB vs. Slim Razzball Year 3 League.  I was somewhat disappointed, but with no KD and a combination of missed and sub par games from Poison Goose it was inevitable.  No excuses, all part of the game.  I’m in the midst of trying to advance in JB’s ‘Secret Attack’ RCL League so hopefully I can advance…at the expense of Mr. JB himself.

Planning for the remaining games this week is tricky and I think the margin of error is slimmer – not just in terms of what’s at stake, but due to the scheduling.  Friday and Sunday are slated to have 10 games each.  Now, if you wait until Saturday before making any moves, your team might not even make use of it due to the number of teams playing on Sunday.  So you really have to look at your Friday-Sunday rosters and see if it makes sense to wait before adding for Sunday’s games.

Players on teams playing on Saturday should be a target as there are only 5 games being played.

WAS/MIN/CLE are the only teams that play on Fri. & Sat.

POR/LAC are the only teams that play on Sat. & Sun.

You see what I’m getting at here?  You need to be really clever about your moves trying to shore up or catch up on some cats you’d need to advance to the next round.

Let’s get right to it.

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Fantasy playoff time is just a mere few days away.  Whether it’s playing for that final playoff spot, playoff positioning or just like me in one of my leagues—playing spoiler, the next few days could end up being very pivotal.  I will not show the opponent ranking grid for this article as it hasn’t really changed much for the last few weeks.  If you’ve been reading the posts here, it’s basically a big fantasy opportunity to face teams like the LAL and BKN.  If you’re looking for PG stats, ATL, DEN and CHA are teams to target.  PHO, PHI and ORL are the teams to face if you’re looking for big man stats although you’d have to be specific as to which big man stat you’re looking for for each of those teams’ opponent.

So let’s get straight to it…

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Dirk Nowitzki became the 6th player in NBA history to reach 30,000 points, becoming the first international player to hit 30k and one of three players to score all 30,000+ points with one team. It’s been a truly impressive career for the future hall-of-famer. As Steve Nash joked, what’s German for ball hog?

20 points shy of the milestone heading into the game, Nowitzki wasted no time, knocking down and a fadeway early in the second quarter:

Scoring 18 points in the first quarter, Dirk finished with 25 points (all in the first half), 11 rebounds, 1 block, and 3 threes for his third double-double in the last four games. His fantasy days are numbered, but after a slow, injury-filled start to the season, Nowitzki has given patient owners plenty to smile about since the start of the New Year.

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Sorry for not posting last week everyone!  I’ve been a bit under the weather lately.  Before we kick off the updated list, we have some basketball to talk about!

As many of you may have heard, Yogi Ferrell had an absolutely epic scoring performance against the Blazers, and now his ownership is up to 50% already.  If you got him, I’d hold til he cools off, but if you didn’t, I wouldn’t worry too much.  He puts way too much leg into his jumper to maintain accuracy, and that’s partially because he’s undersized.  On top of that, he has a bit of a hitch as well.  I think he’ll end up being a solid bench spark in the league, but it wouldn’t be surprise me if this was the only time in his career that he’s 10 team relevant.  He probably will flirt with 12er relevance with injuries, but that’s not a must add.

At any rate, lets dive in!

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C.J. McCollum, last year’s Most Improved Player, continues his ascension as one of the best shooting guards in the game. In a battle for the 8th playoff spot in the west between the Trail Blazers and Mavericks, McCollum dropped 32 points (13-21 FG), none bigger than his runner with 0.9 seconds left that sealed a Blazers’ win:

Ultimately the game winner, it came right after Dirk Nowitzki hit a clutch three to put the Mavericks up 113-112 with 3.9 seconds to go. Nowitzki turned back the clock in the game to post 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, and 4 threes, but it wasn’t enough as McCollum put the nail in the coffin.

The 4th year guard is having a career year, but has been shooting even better lately. In the last 5 games, he’s knocked down 13-28 from deep and shot 55.8% from the field overall.

Having such an efficient backcourt mate has taken some of the pressure off of Damian Lillard (29 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 5 threes), who is having his best shooting season of his career as well.

Unfortunately, both guys will need to continue to step up, if the Blazers have a chance at the playoffs, as guard Evan Turner broke his right hand in the third quarter of the game. No timetable has been announced, but he should miss at least a couple weeks. The injury should open up opportunities for Allen Crabbe (4 points) and Maurice Harkless (8 points, 7 rebounds).

It was a short slate of games on Tuesday, as only 3 games were played. JB made sure to make it known to me that he had to recap 11 games on Monday. Boy, did I get lucky this week! Here are the rest of the nightly notables:

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Down at halftime and without fellow All-Star DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry took over in the 2nd half, carrying the Raptors to an overtime victory against the Pelicans. He hit a big time step back jumper with just 4.3 seconds to play to secure the win. Lowry finished with 33 points, 10 assists, 4 rebounds, and a season-high 6 threes.

After returning to the court on Sunday, DeRozan experienced swelling in his ankle, forcing him to sit Tuesday’s game. He’s already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game, giving Lowry another chance at monster scoring numbers.

Known for pouring it on in stretches, it was his 3rd straight 30+ point game, the longest streak of his career. Had he scored 1 more point last Wednesday, he’d have a streak of 5 games. You’re already starting Lowry regardless, but the loss of DeRozan really ups Lowry’s value.

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Austin Rivers is finally busting out, and showing the ability that we all knew he had.  It appears that biggest factors in this breakout are minutes and confidence.  Rivers is playing with swagger now, and the numbers bear that out.  Over the last two weeks he’s averaging a slash line of 17.2/2.3/4.3/0.5/0.3 with 2.2 treys, 48% FG and 80% from the stripe.  He’s a must-own while CP3 is out, and frankly, he should be a solid part of the Clippers future from here on out.  Unfortunately he’s now just over 50% owned in most leagues, so this is the last call on Rivers.  Please go get him…

Secondly, I would just like to point out what a miserable team the Sacramento Kings are.  Rudy Gay is out now, yet nobody gained any value.  How is that even possible??? Gay’s injury opened up 34 minutes per game of playing time, and the result is negligible!  Come on man!

Anywaysssssss, here are the updated wire recommendations for the week:

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Over the last few games, Kelly Olynyk has established himself in the Boston front-court.  His ability to space the floor really makes him a deadly weapon in the Celtics already stacked lineup.  At only 26% ownership, I highly recommend his solid mix of points, boards, and 3s.  Plus, he’s been assisting at a high rate, and even blocking a shot here and there.   Give him a look!

Without further ado, here are this weeks updated pickups.

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Was it enough to topple the visiting Boston Horford’s? Well, no, because the evolution of Muggsy Bogues, Isaiah Thomas, is as as it gets in the 4th quarter, but you can’t say the Hawks had their winning streak snapped due to anything Tim Hardaway Jr. did. We knew from his days as a Knick that he could fire up shots, but as a Hawk this year he’s starting to play with a much higher efficiency, and from a fantasy perspective it’s exactly what we need. I’ll save that for a moment, though, and focus for a second on why it’s what the Hawks need, too. Sure, an efficient scorer is every team’s need, but when you trade one of the greatest shooters, especially while defended, in NBA history in Kyle Korver there’s a chasm-wide role left to fill. It seemed as though the Hawks were planning on throwing in the towel to rebuild with Carver’s trade a harbinger of future moves and a move towards their youth. But whether it’s still a play for the future (THJ is a free agent after this year) to showcase his value, or simply a pure replacement to Korver, Hardaway Jr.’s never played like this before. The league’s taken notice, but have you yet for fantasy?

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