Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 24!  In this post, I will present you with player recommendations to help you win your final head-to-head matchup.  For the brave souls still grindin’, there is no shortage of variables threatening to derail a championship bid.  And, while your post-draft image of your team probably looked something like this:

Due to heavy attrition, your squad likely devolved to the point of looking more like this:

Poor Kemba.

There is intense polarization between playoff teams in rest mode and teams actively trying to lose, which leaves us with only a handful in the middle that can be counted on to field their best lineups.  Given the schedule, the goal should be to use your adds before Sunday, when every team plays.  You’ll maximize your transactions by targeting guys that play Thursday/Friday’s back-to-back or the Thursday/Saturday combination.  All of the players listed below fall into one of these two categories.  No teams play a Fri/Sat back-t0-back, so don’t let Thursday go by without streaming someone.

For those of you still with me (Hi Mom! … Actually, she also stopped reading after Week 21), thanks for your support this season.  It’s been a pleasure to put these posts together, and I hope they’ve been helpful for all.  Since fantasy hoops are my only fake sport, I’ll now go into a prolonged period of withdrawal until we start putting out previews for next season.  In the meantime, I’ll have to find other distractions that allow me to neglect my real-world responsibilities.

Here are the players I’m watching as we close out the season.

Three Category Contributors

  • Dwight Howard (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): Anthony Davis is likely to miss the front end of the Lakers’ Thursday/Friday back-to-back, so Howard should get some significant run.  However, if you need to win FT%, then you know what not to do (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Tre Jones (Assists, Steals, FG%): A look at the Spurs past eight games serves as an explainer for how they’ve locked up the ten seed over the flagging Lakers.  Half of those games were won against tanking teams.  This factor might also provide some insight into how Tre Jones committed a total of ZERO turnovers through four games during which he played a total of 115 guard minutes!  With Dejounte Murray unlikely to play in Thursday’s game, Jones is an ideal streamer against the Wolves (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Brook Lopez (Threes, Blocks, FT%): Brook’s playing time is fluctuating from game to game, with minute totals ranging from 20-30, depending on the night.  The three blocks in Tuesday’s game against the Bulls indicate that he’s thawing out just in time for the playoffs (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Tyus Jones (Threes, Assists, Steals): Ja Morant is probably out until Saturday at the earliest, giving Jones the opportunity to play 30+ minutes and put up big numbers for at least one more game (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).

Two Category Contributors

  • Ben McLemore (Points, Threes): With the Blazers playing for the lottery, there’s no sign of McLemore’s three-point barrages coming to an end before Monday.  Take into consideration the fact that he shoots almost no twos and doesn’t contribute any other counting stats, so his fantasy value is tied almost exclusively to his three point percentage (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Keon Johnson (Threes, Steals): You never know who’s going to rise to fantasy relevance in Week 24.  To illustrate this assertion, I present to you Exhibit A: Keon Johnson.  He averaged 14.1 points, 2.3 threes, 2.6 assists, and 1 steal across his previous 8 games (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Josh Richardson (Threes, Steals): The blocks are long gone, but Richardson is playing enough minutes of the Spurs’ bench to put up averages of 2.4 threes and 1.9 steals over 7 outings (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).

One Category Contributor

  • Damion Lee (FT%): Highlighting FT% as a player’s sole categorical contribution is probably a first for this post, but Lee is good at getting to the line and converts them at an 87% rate.  He doesn’t consistently provide much else aside from hitting threes (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).

Best of luck to those of you in the championship round, and thanks again for a great season!  Hit me up in the comments with any questions or feedback.