Week 19 Fantasy Analysis: Playoff Bound
So, we finally made it to the final week of the fantasy season. For some, the playoffs are next week and for others, it’s o v e r as they can finally take a deep breather and try again next year. If you’re fighting for a playoff seeding this week, all bets are off. You have to evaluate as soon as now on your upcoming week’s schedule. Are your players playing on the quieter days? (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday?) Are your players playing the maximum 4 games? If they play only 3 games or less, you have to evaluate the risks.
Sometimes, a hot waiver-wire pick up might be your saving grace.
Here’s some names that will help this week:
Jordan Crawford PG SG NOR – He’s really come back into the NBA with some ferocity. JCraw hasn’t played in an NBA team in over 3 years and has found a nice home in New Orleans, thanks to the depleted amount of wing players. He’s pumping out 4th round value in 3 games with the Pelicans, averaging 16 PPG 4 APG with 3.3 3PTm.
David Lee PF/C SAS – LaMarcus Aldridge is out indefinitely with a heart issue, and Pau Gasol isn’t going to be logging 35 minutes per game in his absence, making Lee a very nice player to add as long as Aldridge is out. For the record, Aldridge might not even play again this season. Look for Lee to provide double-doubles with nice percentages.
Jamal Murray PG/SG DEN – Coach Mike Malone has said he wants to play Murray down the stretch. Murray’s upside with treys and scoring gives him a nice appeal.
Sean Kilapatrick PG/SG BKN – He’s officially hot again, averaging 16.8 PPG 4.8 RPG 2.8 APG with 1 steal and 1.3 3PTm. Don’t trust him completely, but at this point you have to gamble on him if you have dead weight.
CJ Miles SG/SF IND – Not reliable, but can get hot on any given night and possibly be a difference maker because of his treys upside.
Allen Crabbe PG/SG POR – Like Miles, Crabbe is a hit or miss. The Trail Blazers play 4 times this week.
Thabo Sefolosha SG/SF ATL – Thabo is a glue guy who can really help your squad to fill up a bit of everything. However, if he’s not contributing in steals, he’s a liability in standard leagues.
JR Smith SG/SF CLE – With Kyle Korver out of commission, JR has a good opportunity to get his rhythm back. It hasn’t happened yet, but much like the guys mentioned above, JR can get hot any minute.
Buddy Hield SG SAC – Just when I dropped Buddy, the Kings decided to finally start him. While I’m not kicking myself over it because I don’t need his scoring and 3-pointers, he’s going to be given a long leash as the Kings are going to let him have the green light. He’s valuable if you need scoring and 3-pointers.
Ivica Zubac C LAL – Chances are if you’re in a competitive league, he isn’t on your waiver wire. If he is available, run and don’t walk. He is officially the Lakers starting center going forward.
There are also guys who should be given a look depending on statistical needs:
Spencer Dinwiddie, Norman Powell, Ian Mahinmi, John Henson, Patty Mills, Garrett Temple, Isaiah Whitehead, Nene, Iman Shumpert, Lance Thomas (plays Tuesday and Thursday), Larry Nance Jr, Kelly Olynyk, Tony Snell, Nemanja Bjelica, Jaylen Brown, Wayne Ellington
4 Games: BRK, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, NOP, POR, SAC, SAN, TOR, UTA, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, DEN, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, OKC, ORL, PHI, PHX
2 Games: NYK
The Cavaliers, Thunder, and Warriors are the other teams that play both Tuesday and Thursday. No team starts the week with a back-to-back. Once we get past Wednesday (with 10 games) there are three teams with back-to-backs Thursday and Friday (Nets, Raptors and Magic), four teams with back-to-backs Friday and Saturday (Wizards, Bucks, Bulls and Rockets) and four teams with back-to-backs on Saturday and Sunday (Spurs, Kings, Blazers and Cavaliers).
In a playoff week, remember you need to do anything you can to advance another week. In theory, anyone is droppable. Use all of your acquisitions to maximize your games played and therefore the statistics which will matter most. It will completely depend on statistical need at this point. Every stat counts and can determine a win or a loss in a Head-to-head matchup. PLAN AHEAD and good luck!!