Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 21! In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head playoff matchup. Since we generally know the capabilities of most players at this point, I take on a conservative mindset in the fantasy playoffs. Every add has the potential to swing a matchup, and there’s no reason to make speculative adds this close to the finish line. A couple pieces of advice may seem obvious, but are worth repeating: If you’re in a tight one and have a cap on your weekly player acquisitions, I recommend making your adds as close to tip off as possible in order to avoid wasting an add on a late scratch. This also means that, unless you’re way behind and needing to take a moonshot to catch up, you should wait until an injured player is actually ruled out before adding his replacement. Give yourself the best chance to win!
Schedule Notes: This is a week for streaming, with eight games being the most you’ll see on any night. If quantity over quality makes sense for you, then look to the Nuggets, Magic, and Raptors as teams that play three more games this week. If you have more flexibility, then you may be able to afford adding someone from the Hornets, Mavs, Cavs, Knicks, and Jazz, who play just one more time this week.
Here are the players I’m watching and adding to close out the week.
Three Category Contributors
- Isaiah Jackson (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): Keep your powder dry until we hear more on Myles Turner’s status for tonight, but if Turner sits for a third consecutive game, Jackson is a safe add for big man stats with massive blocks upside (Plays Thurs, Sat).
- Malik Monk (Threes, Assists, FT%): Despite playing minutes in the low-20s over the past two weeks, Monk garnered a high usage rate and posted 2 threes, 4.7 assists, and 81% free throw shooting on 3.7 attempts (down from his season average of 89%) over that span. If you can benefit at all from Monk’s skill set and you are likely to play in Week 22, Sacramento’s schedule makes him an enticing add (Plays Thurs, Sat).
- Patrick Beverley (Threes, Rebounds, Assists): After beginning the season with anemic rebounding numbers, Beverley is averaging 6.9 boards in his nine starts with the Bulls. Having chipped in almost a block per game over the same span, he’s an ideal fit for any team that’s punting points (Plays Fri, Sat).
Two Category Contributors
- T.J. McConnell (Assists, Steals): After practicing on Wednesday, there’s a reasonable chance McConnell takes the floor tonight. If that’s the case AND Tyrese Haliburton misses the contest, there is potential for a big game from McConnell, akin to what we witnessed during his run of five starts in January when he put up 14.8 points, 5 rebounds, 9.2 assists, and 1.6 steals per game (Plays Thurs, Sat).
- Andrew Nembhard (Assists, Steals): Even if McConnell and Haliburton are in the lineup, there may be a few extra minutes going Nembhard’s way tonight with Chris Duarte already ruled out. If he doesn’t assume starting PG responsibilities, he’ll be more of a three and D threat than a ballhandler. However, if he’s able to start again at PG, he’ll look to build on the 15 total assists he accumulated in his past 2 games (Plays Thurs, Sat).
- Cole Anthony (Assists, FT%): With five games in the next eight nights, the Magic have a pair of guards worth targeting. If you’re looking for decent scoring upside to go along with dimes and solid performance from the line, then Cole is your man. In 28.8 MPG over his last 8 games, he averaged 13.8 points, 1.4 threes, 4.4 rebounds, and 3.1 assists (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
- Matisse Thybulle (Steals, Blocks): Thybulle’s minutes suddenly soared back to 38 in Tuesday’s loss to the Knicks, and he took advantage by dropping 15 points, 2 threes, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block. We know by now not to trust the offensive output, but if he can stay above 30 MPG, he’s a valuable D stat commodity (Plays Fri, Sun).
- Joe Ingles (Threes, Assists): Playing 25+ minutes in each of his last five outings, Ingles hit 3 triples per game to go along with 5.4 assists and 1.2 steals. I’m under no illusions that 53% from the field is sustainable for him, but he’s doing enough in the counting stat categories to be worth a look (Plays Thurs, Sun).
One Category Contributors
- Jalen Suggs (Steals): I’ve recommended against Suggs on multiple occasions this season due to a combination of injury, efficiency, and playing time concerns, but he is playing well enough of late to warrant adding him for Orlando’s favorable upcoming schedule. He’s recorded a steal in seven straight appearances, and his scoring output has also seen a modest increase over that range (12 PPG) (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
- Bruce Brown (Rebounds): Having proven himself to be the most durable Nugget this season with 69 games played, Brown can be relied upon to play in each of Denver’s remaining 3 games this week. That counts for a lot if you’re in the finals and can use the 10.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 0.5 blocks he averaged over his last two weeks of action (24 MPG) (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
Hit me up in the comments with any questions or feedback! Unless you’re currently matching up against me in the finals (shout out to Kris and the Redeem Team), good luck!
1. Tre Jones hit the WW I guess cuz he did not start tonight. Branham played a ton. You like Tre, Branham, Monk or Olynyk for next week?
2. How bad was Ant’s ankle? I did not see it.
Hey JC – Sounds like things are looking up if you’re able to plan for next week. Winning time!
1) For me, it’s between Monk and Olynyk. I have trust issues with the Spurs, especially since they have a back-to-back in Week 22. I lean Monk, since you’d be able to stream his spot after Tuesday if necessary, but Kelly is the more consistent option and should be the priority if you need rebounds and efficiency.
2) Sounds like it was pretty bad. We shouldn’t expect him for tonight, and he may not be very useful in Week 22 with the Wolves playing early in the week.
Got hot down the stretch and grabbed a bye surprisingly. Missed on Olynyk but now in the #1 claim position among the final four teams. I will likely just grab a streamer for both Monday and Tuesday by dropping MJP and then claiming him back for his Wednesday game.
Nice – Unless you’ve done it before, check your league settings before proceeding with the ‘claim back’ tactic. Some leagues prohibit you from claiming a guy back if you dropped him in the first place.
Dumb, I know, but it exists.
It is an ESPN league. I have not heard of that rule. Hmmmm…
I am winning 6-5 cat. my 11 cat. League (with DD and 3D) finals week 1 of 2 by barely a 2% FG% (507-505).
Right now, I am trailing in steals by 5 and assists by 24.
I have Harden, Lillard, D. Garland, Bane, Beal, Markannen, JJJ, Claxton, Sengun, Carter Jr, Mobley + two streaming spots.
My oponent has Luka, Kawhi, Sabonis, C. Paul, Dinwiddie, Kuzma, Capella, k. Looney, Z. Collins, J. Hart, + 3 streaming spots.
We both have 6 waiver adds left.
What would you do in this second week:
1. Stream centers to try to protect the FG%?
2. Try to catch the steals and assists by streaming players that can add to those stats? (TJ Mac. is in the waiver wire right now).
Thanks in advance, keep the good work.
Hey PR – Exciting matchup! I would go with option 2 and try to win more counting stats. It’s really hard to count on percentages, and I imagine the guys you’d be getting to bolster FG% might leave you vulnerable to getting caught in other areas.
TJ’s a great start. Hopefully he’ll continue to see these minutes. Good luck!
Thanks for the reply PB. I am thinking of adding Kris Dunn and Dennis Smith Jr too. What’s your opinion on those guys for assists and steals?
It doesn’t get much more ‘assists ‘n steals’ than those guys. Both are great adds for what you’re chasing. As with every action in category formats, there’s a downside. FG% in this case. But again, I think the counting stats are easier to predict.
Any time. Go get ‘im!