I really didn’t want to write a 76ers preview before the inevitable Ben Simmons trade, but alas, the season is almost upon us and BS is still on the roster.  I don’t practice santeria … I ain’t got no crystal ball, but there are some safe assumptions I can make for Philly as they part ways with Simmons.  The most obvious is that Joel Embiid is the undisputed focal point of the team.  He is hungry for a deep postseason run and perhaps some individual hardware after finishing second in MVP voting and being upset by the Hawks in the conference semifinals.  Aside from his continued dominance and Tobias Harris’s reliability, there are few guarantees on this roster heading into the 2021-22 season.  Notwithstanding the unknowns, here are the things to consider when looking at the 76ers for your fantasy draft and beyond.

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After nine years, including eight straight playoff appearances, the Terry Stotts era is over in Rip City.  Chauncey Billups takes the reins with the aim of shoring up the defense to complement the Blazers’ number two ranked offense.  Aside from the coaching change, Portland retained its nucleus from last season.  They will look to take advantage of having a healthy Jusuf Nurkic and a full season of Robert Covington and Norman Powell.  Given their ability to run up the score, the Blazers present a target-rich environment for fantasy drafts.  Here are the names to watch going into the 2021-22 campaign:

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After a heartbreaking first-round exit, the Dallas Mavericks made relatively small adjustments over the offseason.  That’s not to say the past few months have been without drama in The Big D.  At the center of the post-season speculation was Kristaps Porzingis, who had a rough series against the Clippers.  While there may have been some talk of shopping him, it likely dissipated when the Mavs realized the extent of the decrease in trade value.  Other trade rumors involved the Mavs making a deal with the Raptors to bring Goran Dragic to Dallas.  That deal hasn’t materialized, but stay tuned.  In the meantime, the Maverick core remains intact, as Porzingis remains on the roster and Dragic is still in Toronto.  With real-world expectations running high for another season, let’s take a look at the roster from a fantasy perspective.

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I have a Scottish co-worker who started following the NBA in 2003.  Heading into the 2003-04 season, the Lakers and Spurs had monopolized the Larry O’Brien trophy for five consecutive seasons, but the upstart Timberwolves looked poised to challenge their dominance.  Led by MVP Kevin Garnett, Sam Cassell, and Latrell “I have a family to feed” Sprewell, the Minnesota Timberwolves posted 58 wins and made a deep playoff run.  My co-worker became one of the team’s newest followers, and although the Lakers ousted the Wolves in the Western Conference Finals, his loyalty was sealed (wait for the turn…).

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Since LeBron James fled for La La Land in 2018, the Cavaliers have accumulated an overall record of 60-159 (.274).  Nonetheless, there is hope on the horizon if you practice good expectation management.  Despite the ongoing Kevin Love saga, the Cavs head into the 2021-22 season with an intriguing frontcourt that now features Lauri Markannen and Evan Mobley along with defensive anchor Jarrett Allen.  The guard positions are securely in the hands of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, who raised their respective fantasy profiles last season.  They now have a competent backup point guard in Ricky Rubio, who should have at least one offensively-capable frontcourt option when matching up against other second units.  Let’s take a look at Cavs to target and avoid for your fantasy draft.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week 20!  To all of you that won your championship in the previous few weeks, congratulations!  To those who are going for it in week 20, gird your loins, because I have a feeling this is going to be a wacky end to the season in terms of player availability.  You may have started your season with this…

But due to injuries, load management, COVID, and the like, you’re probably trying to drag some version of this bloated corpse across the finish line…

Regardless of where you’re at, this post is going to help you identify streaming options that will maximize your chance of victory, whether that involves bragging rights, cash $, or both!

It’s crucial that you take the schedule into consideration over these last few days.  Every team plays on Sunday.  As a result, you need to focus on streaming options for games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  There are no back-to-backs on Friday and Saturday.  Ideally, you’ll pick up a guy who plays a back-to-back on Thursday/Friday, then drop him for another player on Saturday.

Last week’s post holds some relevant streaming options that I won’t mention here for the sake of brevity, but check that out if you need some additional point-outs.  Hopefully, you were able to cash in on guys like Kenyon Martin Jr., Terence Davis, and Trevor Ariza (may he never grow old), who were featured in that post.  Also, in case you missed it, check out my conversation with Son on his podcast here.

At this point in the season, many of the ownership percentages are deceptively low due to the fact that many managers have checked out.  Undoubtedly, you have savvy managers in the playoffs who have scooped up some of these names.  Nonetheless, the following players are owned in less than 50% of ESPN and/or Yahoo leagues.  I am only profiling players who have two games remaining before Sunday, since playing on Sunday is assumed.  Unless noted, these players are not known turnover risks for nine-category formats:

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week 19!  I assume that if you’re reading this, you’re playing for a championship or the chance to get to the final round.  It’s time for some….

The focus of this post is to help you find players to win your H2H categories matchup, whether it’s an eight or nine-category format.  If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely had to make some tough decisions for your roster already.  This week, a guy like Christian Wood – as surprising as it may sound – might be a drop.  Especially if you’re in the championship round, consider the cost/benefit equation of keeping a high-quality player who may only play one game this week, versus streaming his spot using some of the players listed below.  In aggregate, the streaming option will likely yield more counting stats than hanging onto Wood for a maximum of two games.

That being said, the name of the game is adding players who will sustain you in the categories you’re already leading and help you overtake your opponent where it’s close.  The following players have two or more games remaining this week and are rostered in 50% or less in ESPN and/or Yahoo leagues.  Unless I indicate otherwise, it should be assumed that these players do not pose a significant turnover risk.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 18!  If you’re reading this now, you’re contending for a championship.  Congrats on making it this far.  Now it’s time to get the chip!

In many leagues, the non-contending managers are likely asleep at the switch, which may subdue the usual waiver wire feeding frenzy at the end of each week.  If that’s not the case, however, I’ve compiled a longer-than-usual list of streaming targets to tide you over until the next round.

The blurbs will be shorter this week.  Though there may be some guys that you hang onto going into the next round, I’m focusing exclusively on streaming rather than mid-to-long-term holds due to where we are in the season.  That being said, it pays to be ruthless at this stage.  If you have a player like Collin Sexton, who is missing games with no definitive return date during your playoffs, it may be best to cut him loose and stream the spot if you’re in a tight one.  The four games that you can pick up from that spot should make up for losing a top 80 guy if you play it right.

The following list is divided into players who can help you in four, three, or two categories.  Everyone listed below is rostered in 50% or less of ESPN and/or Yahoo leagues.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week 16!  The goal of this post is to find you stream candidates who will help you win your matchup in eight or nine category H2H leagues.  The annual tank-a-thon is in full effect for some teams, while others will begin resting their stars in preparation for the playoffs.  All that to say, there will be some diamonds in the rough that surface as we near the end.

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