It’s hard going into the fantasy playoffs without thinking of that cliche soundbit over and over… I feel like the dude from Pi trying to write an open to this, the drill is plugged in!
But seriously, if you’re still reading at this point in the season, there’s a 95% chance you’re in the fantasy playoffs or in the running to win your Roto league. The other 5% of you… I love you. Thanks for reading until the bitter end!
As with the advice you’ll see anywhere, now is the time to move on from anything that isn’t nailed down, no more stashing unless you have a bye, and it’s week-to-week, all-hands-on-deck (can-I-come-up-with-any-more-linked-together-phrases?!) here on out. I’m all over the place with emotions right now, I can’t focus on a succinct open! I shocked the world by winning the reg. season of the Slim vs. JB RCL, got another playoff berth in the REL, UNCW (my alma mater) is playing in-state rival and a buncha-crooks Duke, just had my first epic fantasy baseball draft… There’s so much going on! And with March Madness obviously cutting into our basketball time, don’t sleep on your fantasy hoops postseason and start partyin’ it up like James Harden when your season is on the line. I don’t care about getting my 14 over 3 upset, I need to get to the semis! So stay locked and loaded, don’t let the NCAA Cinderellas these first 2 rounds distract you, and let’s go out and bring home the bacon. Here’s what went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, plus The 7 Ahead for Week 20 – the first week of the playoffs for standard H2H leagues:
Brandon Knight – The Brandon Knight Rises! Earl Watson said Knight would start when ready, well, WE READY! WE REAAAADDDYYYY! WE REAAADDDYYYY! For y’all! 37 and a half minutes starting against the Warriors, and the Suns gave em a hell of a game. 30/6/7/1/1 for Knight on 11-20 shooting with 7 treys. Knight stashers have legit doubled their confidence for the playoffs after that line…
Devin Booker – Not to be forgotten with Knight back, The Book of Devin went 18/0/11 in the same game. 18 dimes is plenty enough for both to be viable!
Giannis Antetokounmpo – Picked up his 4th tripdub in his last 11 games. His numbers are off-the-charts awesome, but I found it ironic he also shot 4-11 FT in that game last night. 4-11 is awesome for a tripdub streak, not so good on freebie shooting, Mr. Alphabet!
Robert Covington – Scary moment when Covington had to get carted off, but thankfully it ended up only being a neck strain and a concussion – could’ve been a lot worse. He’s set to miss at least the next two games, so non-bye week teams have got to move on. In the same game, Jerami Grant, after getting tangled with Lord Covington for that injury, took a hard fall himself and got a concussion. I got really confused thinking I was recapping Eagles injuries… Grant might be back by tomorrow, so if you’re using him for some swats in deepers, I might hold there.
Donald Sloan – After doing what any serviceable NBA vet can do – have a good game against the Sixers (14/9/9) – went back to being blah last night. Philly still counts as a top-end matchup for streaming!
Courtney Lee – Strung together some usability, but after back-to-back backend-12er worth games (so much back!), went… back… to being unownable in 12ers. 12/2/1 with 2 treys against the Rox Saturday night and is a low-end streamer only for shallowers.
Jae Crowder – Nooooooo! Boston Clam Crowder just got put on the shelf… Picked up a kankle and it might cost the entirety of the fantasy playoffs. I’m too depressed to labor on this any more. Evan Turner could be OK.
Jared Sullinger – To quote Phoebe, “Back to happy! Back to happy!” Huge game against the Rox Friday night for a 24/12/4/4/2 rainbow line without a single TO. No Crowder should help add that smidge more of usage his way too.
Michael Beasley – Took 19 shots in 15 minutes, aka a Tuesday night for Amanda Bynes. Well, that was actually Friday night for Beasley, then scored 15 in 15 on Saturday. Deep leagues needing scoring could do worse.
Joe Johnson – It was JJ who stole the show with no Wade, going 28/4/5 albeit in an OT loss. I’ve been pretty anti iso-Joe, and that was still only his 2nd “must-own” kinda game for the Heat out of his 8 games since taking his talent to South Beach. And even so, 4 TO, no D-stats, no D-Wade… Meh.
Serge Ibaka – Speaking of meh, Iblocka laid an Iturda on Friday night, fouling out in under 20 minutes for 0/2/0/1/1. Bounced back a little on Saturday against the Spurs for 7/12/0/3/0, but still, a 3-17 FG shooting weekend from a key big with only 1 block… Ouchie.
Matt Barnes – After I recommended him as a drop to several commenters for their final roster spot (hey, it was for good players, OK?!), goes tripdub Friday against the Pels for 26/11/10/2/0 with 0 TO in 44 OT-aided minutes. Hit 4 treys as well. Luckily he went back to being just another guy for 6/6/0/1/1 Saturday with 4 TO… Pelicans are such a disgrace.
Lance Stephenson – Speaking of Pelicans-as-a-disgrace, Stephenson went 33/7/4/2/1 in that OT-win, and just like Barnes, disappeared in the encore for 18/8/6/0/0. Well, I guess that’s still usable and not really “disappearing”. Went from full Paris Hilton to your run-of-the-mill nip slip…
Briante Weber – Yikes. Mike Conley went from garden variety sore Achilles (which he had earlier in the season as well and didn’t end up being a big deal), to out 3-4 weeks with tendinitis and they’re lumping his foot as part of it. On one side I did slam Conley for wearing down too much in the pre-ranks and was vociferously low on him, on the other I told commenters to try and hold a few days ago… Well, luckily you know now you can drop him… Anyway, Weber is getting a boatload of minutes, but only 10/5/7/1/1 and 2/4/3/3/1 in a whopping 71+ minutes his first two games. Ray McCallum is in the fold as well as another Grizz pickup, going 13/4/2/2/1 in 27 minutes at the Hawks. Reviews on Weber haven’t been that strong, while McCallum (more experienced) looked a lot more comfortable. I’d add McCallum of the 2, but not going crazy for either.
Jrue Holiday – Was on a near first-round streak for a while there (34/5/10 Friday night kept it going), but took a screeching halt at the Bucks Saturday for only 8/3/4/1/1 with 7 TO. Like my wife sometimes says, “You’re suffocating, JB!” Jerryd Bayless with that suffocating D! 17/4/4/2/1 for JB, and much rather have him than the Grizz mezz.
Shelvin Mack – Another PG I’d still have over the Grizz mezz is the Mack Truck, who is finally settling into his groove in Utah. Put up a career-high 27 Pts in a 27/3/4 line Friday then 14/5/8/2/0 last night. Neato!
Elfrid Payton – Whew, we’re just thanking the heavens he’s an NBA player and not a pitcher in Spring! His elbow strain is getting better according to Mr. Shelfrid, but he said there’s still pain. There’s no need for Orlando to push him either. This is a tough one for playoff bound teams – I might try to hold until tomorrow and hope he plays, but it seems iffy. And with no clarity there, there’s no reason to even care about C.J. Watson, who has been dreadful in the past 2 as a fill-in starter.
Robin Lopez – Wait, what?! He’s putting up crazy fantasy lines?! I don’t believe it! Is he secretly playing these games in the D-League??!! Almost went Goro against the Clip on Friday night (DeAndre Jordan – you should be ashamed of yourself… ASHAMED!) for 20/19/2/1/1 then 16/8/2/0/2 against the Lakers late last night. Rolo owners I guess should be a little excited for the playoffs, but he’s gonna lay a goose egg in there somewhere this week I’d bet….
Jeff Green – The lesser of the “J Green”s out there (love me some JaMychal!) was off back-to-back nice games on Wednesday and Friday, only to completely fall off like he always does for a paltry 7/3/5/0/0 against the Cavs yesterday afternoon. NOT super Green!
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – I finally watched Mad Max: Fury Road, and now every time I watch KCP, I spray my face with silver spray paint. 23/4/6/2/0 last time out – given it was against the Sixers – but was solid scoring 24 Pts against the Hornets on Friday as well. Starting to get into some career-best play and I’m hoping it helps carry KCP owners in the playoffs. WITNESS!
DeMar DeRozan – Went nuts in a playoff atmosphere OT-win against the Heat Saturday for 38/10/7/2/1. As the weather warms up outside, we’re seeing more and more double-Ds showin’ off!
Otto Porter – After a really dreadful stretch, went 23/2/1/5/0 at the Nugs Saturday night. I’m still worried about his hip, but he’s worth a look if he was dropped in your league.
D.J. Augustin – In that same game, DJ got 31 minutes and vastly outplayed Emmanuel Mudiay (22 mins) for 17/2/10. The Nugs actually blew out the Wiz, who could be this year’s most disappointing team. I have no idea how they’re 30-35, and it seems like I’m always talking about how they’ve lost to a scrub squad… DJ is right there with the Grizz mezz for me, tough to trust game-to-game.
Jusuf Nurkic – The Jamba Jus is finally re-opening! 17/4/1/1/2 in that win over the Harry Potters, but still only 18 minutes. And yet again we have to be scared, as he came up limping late after banging his knee. Yeesh, big fellah just can’t stay healthy – it’s gonna be tough to rank him too high again next year.
Marreese Speights – The Ace of Speights! Haven’t been able to use THAT one in a while! 25/9/0/2/1 outta nowhere, hitting 10-14 FG in that win against the Suns that was actually a pretty close game. This whole blurb was only written so I could write ACE OF SPEIGHTS! again.
Omri Casspi – He’s been a main target of mine for bye-week playoff teams (OK, all of one of them), as he seemed like the best available playing next Monday. My foresight was awarded with the foreskin-less Casspi, who went 20/3 with 4 treys yesterday. L’claim him off waivers if you can!
The 7 Ahead
- 5-game week: TOR
- 4-game weeks: BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, MEM, NO, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, UTA, WAS
- 2-game week: LAL
- Weekly League Streamers (by Y! ownership percent/games this week): Cory Joseph (6%/5), Bismack Biyombo (12%/5), Wesley Johnson (7%/4), Shelvin Mack (17%/4)
- Stream days: n/a
Overall Thoughts: Oh man, the pressure! “What do you know, about PRESSURE!” Me and my buddy used to quote that from Ace Ventura all the time… “Laces out, Dan!” It’s our most important 7 Ahead yet, as we stream our way through the quarterfinals and hope to push into the semis.
The overall scheduling is a little funky – lots of evenly spread nights of action with a peak of only 9 games on Monday and Saturday. All eyes go to the Toronto Raptors though, who get a 5-game week to start the playoffs. Two of my weekly plays are from our neighbors up North, and I considered Patrick Patterson as well, but I think Cojo and Bismack could have 2 big games as TOR has a pair of back-to-backs and they’ll likely limit some minutes for the starters. Wesley Johnson has been a great glue guy for multi-cat and ends on a great matchup @NO to wrap the week, and the Mack Truck is off two nice games and seemed very under-owned to me. Utah gets a matchup with the Suns in there, and just seemed like the best sub-20% owned player available.
Monday: We start the week with a pretty busy Monday, with 9 games on the slate to kick-off the playoffs. CLE and UTA are coming in on b2bs from Sunday; be sure to check in on your Cavs as they didn’t rest anyone last night. Heading INTO b2bs are DEN and TOR, really only worried about maybe a lost game from one of your Raps to start the week. If you can make daily moves-today in your league, you gotta like the [email protected] matchup for some streaming upside in what is primed for a high-scoring affair.
Tuesday: 6 games on Tuesday, with BOS, LAC, ORL and SAC heading into b2bs. I’m likely not dipping into the streaming pool in 4-moves-per-week RCLs quite yet, but with the schedule this spread out, it’s tough not to look at those Lakers playing the Kings. I actually streamed Brandon Bass for one more game yesterday in an RCL, and PUMPED he gets a Kings matchup before I let him go again. Marcelo Huertas could also be a widely-owned stream to consider. If Donald Sloan is out there in your league, we get yet another matchup against the Sixers, so that’s a guy I’m targeting if feeling antsy on the waiver wire.
Wednesday: Usually our action-packed full schedule day, this time on Humpday we only have 9 games. It’s going to be rare to have a full-schedule line-up on any one day this quarterfinals round. ATL, CHA, CHI, MEM and WAS are your back-to-back teams, so if you feel like doing an early Wed/Thur stack, you could consider those squads. Oh lord, just as bad as [email protected] is [email protected] for Wednesday. Load up on your Pelicans and lordy, Norris Cole better be healthy!
Thursday: Eesh, 8 games on Thursday, and looks like I might have to skip my morning Friday pickup game to get through Thursday’s daily notes… What is the NBA doing to me?! PHI, PHO, POR, TOR (which sounds like something a fairy tale giant might say) all head into back-to-backs, so if any of the better players from those squads are available, I could see doing a little streaming there. [email protected] is pretty boring, but the other big stream-against team gets a nice one: [email protected] If Porter wasn’t so widely owned I’d call him a stream – I like him in that one.
Friday: Man, another night that’s usually packed with games is only an 8er… 16 teams in action, with CLE, DET, GSW, HOU and OKC on the back-to-backs. 3 teams have Sat/Sun stacks if you don’t want to use your final pickups for Fri/Sat stacks (more below), but none of those teams have very appealing stream options barring any early-week injuries. Oh lord, [email protected] KCP better score like 40 points in that one! [email protected] should be a great streaming game to look at Friday. I also would take a gander at some Blazers or Pels in [email protected]
Saturday: Man, it’s gonna be tough to not burn through all my allotted adds by the weekend, as there’s yet again a low-scheduled 9-game Saturday… If you’re saving your final move or two, LAC, NY and UTA are your Sat/Sun stacks to maximize your final minutes. Jeff Green – and as mentioned above – Wesley Johnson could both be options, and Jose Calderon has played decent lately and gets @WAS and the big kahuna, hosting SAC, to wrap up the weekend. If Calderon is out there by the weekend in any of my RCLs, I’m definitely going there and hoping he doesn’t spontaneously combust. Love those matchups for the Knicks, but there’s no one else that interesting to stream from their roster. Another guy who I have in my weekly streams is the Mack Truck, who is far-and-away the best Sat/Sun stack option from the Jazz that is widely available.
Sunday: Wrapping up the week, we have a 6-game Sunday. BOS, MIL, ORL, PHI and SAC head into b2bs crossing over until Monday, so monitor any banged up guys there. As always, my eye immediately goes to that [email protected] matchup as mentioned above. Clip go at the Pels, liking Wes J there, and [email protected] should be an interesting game to stream some guys in Green. If Evan Turner was somehow available by then (50% owned right now), I would love him in that one.
The playoffs have arrived, Razzball Nation! Big props by making it to the postseason, and if you’re a Roto player, sorry for all the playoff talk! Although it’s the stretch run all the same! Good luck to everyone in your fantasy playoffs, and be on the lookout for the Razzball Bracket Challenge coming out this afternoon. Thanks again for dropping by, Razzball Nation!