Week 18 Fantasy Basketball Preview: Looking to the Playoffs

By on February 21, 2016
Fantasy Basketball Preview Photo Credit: Nikk La

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

TeamNumber of GamesSchedule FavorabilityMust StartConsider Sitting
Atlanta3 home
0 away
FavorablePaul Millsap, Al Horford, Jeff TeagueDennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore
Boston2 home
1 away
NeutralIsaiah ThomasEvan Turner, Jared Sullinger, Avery Bradley
Brooklyn0 home
3 away
UnfavorableBrook Lopez, Thaddeus YoungJarrett Jack
Charlotte0 home
3 away
UnfavorableKemba Walker, Nicolas BatumAl Jefferson
Chicago2 home
1 away
NeutralPau Gasol, Jimmy ButlerDerrick Rose, Nikola Mirotic
Cleveland2 home
1 away
NeutralLebron James, Kevin Love, Tristan ThompsonMo Williams, J.R. Smith, Kyrie Irving
Dallas3 home
0 away
NeutralChandler Parsons Deron Williams, Dirk Nowitzki
Denver1 home
2 away
UnfavorableDanilo Gallinari, Nikola Jokic, Emmanuel MudiayKenneth Faried, Will Barton
Detroit2 home
2 away
FavorableAndre Drummond, Reggie Jackson, Stanley JohnsonTobias Harris, Ersan Ilyasova, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope
Golden State0 home
4 away
Highly FavorableStephen Curry, Draymond Green, Klay ThompsonAndre Iguodala
Houston1 home
2 away
UnfavorableJames Harden, Dwight HowardTy Lawson, Trevor Ariza
Indiana3 home
1 away
FavorablePaul George, Myles TurnerMonta Ellis, George Hill, Ian Mahinmi
Los Angeles Clippers2 home
1 away
Highly FavorableDeandre Jordan, Chris PaulBlake Griffin
Los Angeles Lakers1 home
2 away
PoorJulius Randle, Kobe BryantRoy Hibbert
Memphis1 home
3 away
NeutralMarc Gasol, Mike ConleyZach Randolph
Miami2 home
2 away
FavorableHassan Whitehead, Dwyane WadeGoran Dragic, Chris Bosh
Milwaukee1 home
3 away
NeutralGreg Monroe, Khris Middleton, Giannis AntekokounmpoMichael Carter Williams, Jabri Parker
Minnesota1 home
3 away
FavorableKarl-Anthony Towns, Gorgui Dieng Andrew Wiggins, Ricky Rubio
New Orleans2 home
1 away
FavorableAnthony DavisEric Gordon, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson
New York3 home
1 away
FavorableCarmelo Anthony, Kristaps PorzingisRobin Lopez
Oklahoma City1 home
2 away
FavorableRussel Westbrook, Kevin DurantSerge Ibaka
Orlando2 home
2 away
FavorableVictor Oladipo, Nikola VucevicElfrid Payton
Philadelphia2 home
2 away
NeutralJahlil Okafor, Nerlens NoelRobert Covington
Phoenix2 home
1 away
NeutralDevin Booker, Archie GoodwinTyson Chandler, TJ Warren, Brandon Knight
Portland2 home
2 away
FavorableDamian Lillard, CJ McCollumMason Plumlee
Sacramento2 home
1 away
UnfavorableDemarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, Rudy GayOmri Casspi
San Antonio0 home
3 away
FavorableKawhi Leonard, LaMarcus AldridgeTony Parker, Tim Duncan
Toronto1 home
2 away
NeutralKyle Lowery, DeMar DeRozanJonas Valanciunas, Bismack Biyombo
Utah3 home
0 away
FavorableRudy Gobert, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors, Rodney HoodNone
Washington2 home
3 away
FavorableJohn Wall, Otto PorterMarcin Gortat, Bradley Beal, Markieff Morris

Starts

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

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.

 

Sits

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.

John Mantooth

John Mantooth

John Mantooth is an award-winning author whose short stories have been recognized in numerous year's best anthologies. His first book, Shoebox Train Wreck, was released in March of 2012 from Chizine Publications. His debut novel, The Year of the Storm, came out in June 2013 from Berkley. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Becky, and two children where he spends far too much time thinking about fantasy basketball.
John Mantooth

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