Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Looking to the Playoffs
The All-Star break is over, the trade deadline has come and gone, and now it’s time to get down to the business of winning your fantasy league. I’ve got all the tips and insights you’ll need right here.
I’ve already made some bold predictions about guys who will perform well after the all-star break. I’ve mentioned chronic underperformers like Emmanuel Mudiay and Gorgui Dieng. After those two, I’d also nominate Myles Turner and Jordan Clarkson as second half breakout candidates.
Injuries have been minimal this year, at least to the big names. We’ve seen Bledsoe go down and now Bosh, but there will still be some chips to fall down the stretch. It’s a good time to shore up your reserves if you haven’t already. It can be the difference between a deep run in the playoffs or an early exit.
For some owners, it’s the time of the year to start looking to next season. In my opinion, the best way to do this is to watch games very closely, and look for guys who are flying under the radar who might might be able to make the leap next year.
Finally, enjoy these remaining weeks. If you’re in a good league like the one I’ve been in for the last 18 years, there will definitely be a small void in your life once the season ends. So, as we head down the stretch, I wish everyone a deep run in the playoffs and good luck.
Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Preview
|Team||Number of Games||Schedule Favorability||Must Start||Consider Sitting|
|Favorable||Paul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff Teague||Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore|
|Neutral||Isaiah Thomas||Evan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley|
|Unfavorable||Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young||Jarrett Jack|
|Unfavorable||Kemba Walker, Nicolas Batum||Al Jefferson|
|Neutral||Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler||Derrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic|
|Neutral||Lebron James, Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson||Mo Williams, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving|
|Neutral||Chandler Parsons||Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki|
|Unfavorable||Danilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel Mudiay||Kenneth Faried, Will Barton|
|Favorable||Andre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Stanley Johnson||Tobias Harris, Ersan Ilyasova, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope|
|Golden State||0 home|
|Highly Favorable||Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson||Andre Iguodala|
|Unfavorable||James Harden, Dwight Howard||Ty Lawson, Trevor Ariza|
|Favorable||Paul George, Myles Turner||Monta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi|
|Los Angeles Clippers||2 home|
|Highly Favorable||Deandre Jordan, Chris Paul||Blake Griffin|
|Los Angeles Lakers||1 home|
|Poor||Julius Randle, Kobe Bryant||Roy Hibbert|
|Neutral||Marc Gasol, Mike Conley||Zach Randolph|
|Favorable||Hassan Whitehead, Dwyane Wade||Goran Dragic, Chris Bosh|
|Neutral||Greg Monroe, Khris Middleton, Giannis Antekokounmpo||Michael Carter Williams, Jabri Parker|
|Favorable||Karl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng||Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio|
|New Orleans||2 home|
|Favorable||Anthony Davis||Eric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson|
|New York||3 home|
|Favorable||Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis||Robin Lopez|
|Oklahoma City||1 home|
|Favorable||Russel Westbrook, Kevin Durant||Serge Ibaka|
|Favorable||Victor Oladipo, Nikola Vucevic||Elfrid Payton|
|Neutral||Jahlil Okafor, Nerlens Noel||Robert Covington|
|Neutral||Devin Booker, Archie Goodwin||Tyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight|
|Favorable||Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum||Mason Plumlee|
|Unfavorable||Demarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy Gay||Omri Casspi|
|San Antonio||0 home|
|Favorable||Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge||Tony Parker, Tim Duncan|
|Neutral||Kyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozan||Jonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo|
|Favorable||Rudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney Hood||None|
|Favorable||John Wall, Otto Porter||Marcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris|
Damian Lillard, PG, Portland Trail Blazers
Lillard has been on fire as of late, including a 51 point outburst against the league best Warriors. Some people say he’s angry because he didn’t make the all star team. Maybe. Or maybe he’s just decided to play like he’s capable of playing. Get him in the lineup across all formats.
Brook Lopez, C, Brooklyn Nets
Speaking of big games, Lopez put up 33 in first game after the all star break. He’s been showing signs of becoming a dominant offensive force again. He’ll never be a great rebounder, but he can block shots and score on a very high level.
Tristan Thompson, PF, C, Cleveland Cavaliers
— CanBallRay_NPH (@CanBallReport) February 19, 2016
Thompson has been playing really well as of late. Over his last three games, he’s shot a blistering 83 percent from the field and averaged a double double. When he plays like that, Thompson is a top tier center in most leagues.
Reggie Jackson, PG, Detroit Pistons
Reggie has been in a funk lately, and it looks like the all star break may not have been enough to get him out of it. On Friday night, he had a modest game putting up 16 points on 38 percent shooting. He’ll break out again at some point, but honestly, consistency has been a problem for him all season.
Andrew Wiggins, SG, Minnesota Timberwolves
I’m beginning to wonder if Wiggins is going to be one of those guys who looks good in the highlight reels, helps his team win, but ultimately doesn’t translate very well to Fantasy Hoops. He’s tantalizing for sure, but he’s been in the league nearly two years now, and the numbers simply aren’t there. He’s still so young, so I’m not giving up on him; however, I am recommending a sit this week and for the foreseeable future.
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