We’re still a few weeks away from playoffs in many of the CAC leagues, but the NBA fantasy basketball playoffs are starting up real soon. Here’s a quick guide for what teams have favorable schedules, who’s stock is up, and who you should absolutely trade if someone will deal with you.
Schedules: On Mon-Sun weeks, standard= Week 1 of the playoffs 3/18-3/24, Week 2 3/25-3/31, Week 3 4/1-4/7
The Following teams are green lights the rest of the way, meaning they have four games every week of the playoffs according to standard schedules and you should get full use out of them. Everything is relative this time of year, so keep this in mind as you realize that Trevor Ariza for 12 games > than World Peace for 9.
The 4-4-4s: Hawks, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Knicks, Jazz, Wizards, and the Celtics (with a disclaimer for the C’s 35-and-over group and their need for rest before the real NBA playoffs)
Almost every other team has some combination of 3-4-3 for 10 games or 4-4-3 for 11, but there are a couple with some real weak sauce schedules.
Outliers: The Lakers have only 2 games in the first week of the playoffs, then follow that up with 4 and 3. On the other end of the spectrum the Blazers have 5 games in the first week (followed by 3 and 4), add the fact that all their starters play around 38 minutes and the former blunt-smoking bad boys of the northwest become must owns.
The 3-3-3/4s: Teams that either have 3-3-3 the rest of the way, or at least 3-3 in the first two weeks of the playoffs take a hit, considering you have to make it to the finals before you get a 4 game-week out of them.
They are- Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, Raptors, and Warriors.
Stock’s up! Obviously no one is going to lose their shit and trade James Harden for Josh Smith and a box of cookies so that they can get a few more games, but here are a couple of people that may be floating around in free agency who are on one of those team’s with favorable schedules:
Trevor Ariza– The aforementioned Ariza is healthy at the right time and his versatility is very valuable as he provides owners with threes, steals, boards, assists, and the occasional block. He will bring FG% down at times, but should get plenty of run even if Bradley Beal gets over his ankle injury since Martell Webster= meh.
Devin Harris- For assists, threes, steals, decent percentages and consistent disappointment.
Any Celtics Guards- Honestly Lee, Terry, Crawford seem interchangeable right now and bring similar things to the table, but Courtney should get the most run in busy weeks if Pierce/Terry get extra rest.
Tony Allen- Usually not owned because he doesn’t hit threes and can struggle shooting at times, but T.A. is asked to do more without Rudy Gay in the mix, and provides elite defensive numbers.
Other Pickups: People to keep an eye on even if they don’t play the max games
Gerald Wallace- Has been dropped in a bunch of leagues as people got fed up with his inability to turn it around at any point. Even if he continues to score like 8 points on 1-7 shooting, the other numbers may be worth it, considering he had 5 blocks the other night.
Matt Barnes- Again, guys that can provide blocks, steals, and threes (like G-Force) are the ideal glue guys you want filling the last roster spot. (If Barnes is scooped already think about Sefolosha)
Dorell Wright- Not too bullish on this one but he has dropped 15-20 the last few games with Nick Young (ankle) out, doubt he will produce into the playoffs but he can help you get into them.
Marco Bellinelli- Has been playing well with solid percentages, threes, and around 20 points a game. His continued success as a facilitator is tied to “The Return’ but as long as this is the current Bulls’ roster Thibs seems to want to run offense through this clown.
Then there’s the fresh-off-injury crowd= Mo Williams and Andrew Bogut, chances are if you slept on their updates this Monday you lost the chance to add them. Not even going to speculate on D-Rose or K-Love but the latest news is that Love has to see a doctor in a week to find out if he can practice in a week, and then maybe play in another week. Yeah, too many weeks.
Moves at the Deadline? Use this information to trade with anyone that is none the wiser, unload your Lakers if you want to win the first-round matchup, consider selling (really, really, high) on Steph Curry or other Warriors, and always- ALWAYS, plan ahead. Fantasy in any sport is the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately (EDDIEE) business, so forget where you drafted or how long you stashed Nash or anyone else, just make the move!