Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 18!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchups.  I’m coming to you later than usual this week, since the post-All-Star Break action didn’t start in earnest until last night.  It should be all about the playoffs for most of you.  In some cases, there’s no tomorrow if you don’t win this matchup.  For others, your focus is Week 19 and beyond.  I’ll try to cater to both in this edition of midweek guidance.

Schedule Notes: With fantasy playoffs looming, it’s important to point out that the Hornets, Heat, and Knicks play three games in the next four days.  Players from those teams will be identified as having a game on Monday in the blurbs below.  Meanwhile, the Mavericks, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Blazers, Spurs, and Jazz play just once in the next four days.  If you add a player from the Lakers, Grizzlies, Blazers, or Spurs, you at least have the option to hold on for a four-game Week 19.

Here are the players I’m watching and adding to close out the week.

Four Category Contributor

  • Dennis Schroder (Points, Threes, Assists, FT%): D’Angelo Russell sustained an ankle injury last night that may open up some additional minutes for Schroder.  It’s love/hate for me with Dennis – love the FT%, hate the FG%.  Playing against the Warriors in the lead PG role, he stepped up to provide 13 points (4/4 from the line) and 6 assists (Plays Sun).

Three Category Contributors

  • Immanuel Quickley (Threes, Assists, FT%): The arrival of Josh Hart and uncharacteristically poor free throw shooting put a damper on Quickley’s value before the break, but if he can continue to see at least 24 MPG, he has an opportunity to continue continue doing what he did on Thursday – 12 points, 2 triples, and 3 assists.  It’s not the stuff of fantasy lore, but when you’re heading into the playoffs, high floor streamers like Quickley are at a premium (Plays Fri, Sat, Mon).
  • Gabe Vincent (Points, Threes, Steals): He’ll continue to draw starts with Lowry maaaaaybe back before the end of the month.  If you can absorb the sub-40 percent shooting or are punting that category, Vincent is a decent pickup.  At the same time, I’m concerned about the impact of Victor Oladipo and Tyler Herro as they return to the lineup on Friday, since they’ll hoover up some of Vincent’s looks on offense.  Ride with Gabe for now, but don’t get too attached (Plays Fri, Sat, Mon).
  • Charles Bassey (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): A 19-minute performance against the Mavs puts Bassey back on the radar as a streamer for big man stats (16 points on 88% shooting, 7 rebounds, 1 steal).  The Spurs finish out the week with a single game on Saturday before playing a robust four-game slate in Week 19 (Plays Sat).
  • Josh Richardson (Threes, Assists, Steals): He unexpectedly started on Thursday, contributing 11 points, 2 threes, 3 assists, and 3 steals.  On a wing-heavy roster, I’m not sure if we can take those 29 minutes to the bank for future outings, but it’s an area to watch if nothing else (Plays Sat, Mon).

Two Category Contributors

  • Victor Oladipo (Assists, Steals): There’s a risk that he rests on Saturday after playing Friday’s game, but Oladipo showed the ability to command big minutes as the Heat’s first option off the bench.  Kyle Lowry is set to miss at least another game, which bumps Dipo up higher in the rotation than where he was when he last played (Plays Fri, Sat, Mon).
  • Nick Richards (Rebounds, Blocks): A five swat outburst against the Spurs (15 February) skews Richards’ block rate higher, but he has reliably posted 1 per game while playing just 17.2 minutes per contest on the season.  He’s also been in the rotation in all four games since the Plumlee trade and hasn’t grabbed fewer than five rebounds over that stretch (Plays Fri, Sat, Mon).
  • Dennis Smith Jr. (Assists, Steals): Adding DSJ in 12-team leagues is mostly contingent upon Terry Rozier missing more time, which is far from a guarantee.  Even with Rozier in the mix, however, Smith is receiving minutes in the low twenties, making him a persistent dime and D stat threat.  If DSJ ends up on your roster, you should at least get a nice bump from the upcoming three game in four night slate (Plays Fri, Sat, Mon).
  • Talen Horton-Tucker (Points, Assists): Bad shooting weighed him down in Thursday’s matchup with the Thunder, but he was still good for seven rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block in 35 minutes.  He’s now registered six or more assists in six consecutive games, and there’s no indication Collin Sexton will be ready to go for Saturday (Plays Sat).
  • Malik Monk (Threes, Assists): Monk dropped 15 points in 20 minutes on Thursday night, reigniting the hot streak that was temporarily extinguished by a two-game absence.  The point tally could have been even higher if the game wasn’t a blowout and Monk hadn’t gone two of four from the line as a 90% shooter (Plays Fri, Sun).

Hit me up in the comments with any questions or feedback.  Good luck!