Fantasy Basketball: Playoff Prep
Chris Paul and Kevin Love have lousy playoff schedules.
by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach
It’s crunch time, people.
For those of you in head-to-head leagues, be aware that the Wizards, Nets, and Nuggets only play two games this week. If you’re scouring the waiver wire for some help, choose somebody from one of the 15 teams that play four games this week. The schedule grid can be found right here.
Looking ahead at the team schedules, a few things stand out:
• New Orleans has the fewest games remaining (17). Also, Chris Paul is expected to miss Monday’s game because of the concussion he suffered in Cleveland on Sunday. If you own CP3 and are fighting for a playoff spot, I would trade him. Actually, no matter where you are in the standings, you ought to consider trading him as long as you get excellent value in return. He’s been the number one ranked player all season long, so finding a suitor won’t be difficult. In trading a player like Paul, you should be able to garner one premier player along with another solid contributor.
• After this week, Minnesota will have only 14 games remaining which ties them with New Orleans for the fewest in the league. Several teams (Boston, New Jersey, Phoenix, Sacramento, and Washington) will play 18 games during the same stretch. Most of All of my leagues are head-to-head, except for one rotisserie that I need to quickly make up ground in assists and steals. I have a nice cushion in rebounding because I’ve owned Kevin Love all season, so I traded him away for Rajon Rondo and Andrei Kirilenko. Love is obviously capable of producing more in 14 games than many players can in 18, but if you can find a good trade it could end up being a savvy move. Take Amar’e Stoudemire, for example. He’ll play 17 games in the final five weeks. Would you rather have him for 17 or Love for 14? Amar’e would give you a clear advantage in points, field goal percentage, steals, and blocks. So, if you struggle in those categories then I’d make that move. Since Love is such a beast, you can probably get a solid additional player in that trade as well. Love will still dominate the rebounds despite the discrepancy in games played and will also be markedly better in threes, turnovers, and free throw shooting. It all depends on your team’s strengths and weaknesses.
• Those of you in head-to-head leagues should be wary of owning Pacers during the finals of the fantasy playoffs. Indiana has a very strong fantasy playoff schedule up until the final round (which typically includes the last week and a half of the season). They play only four games when every other team plays five or six. This doesn’t rock the world exactly, but if you’re looking for a reason to trade Danny Granger before the trade deadline (March 10th in many YaHoo leagues) now you have one.
ON THE WIRE
Randy Foye – Gotta be owned. Sounds like Eric Gordon’s season is in jeopardy. I can’t imagine one good reason for him to return with the Clippers mired in lottery-land. Foye was effective while Gordon was out, averaging 17.5 points, 3.9 assists, 2.2 threes, and 1.4 steals. He may have been let go once Gordon returned, so check the wire.
Tyrus Thomas – Due to return Wednesday. The Bobcats are fighting for the eighth seed, so I expect Thomas to contribute solid rebounds, blocks, and steals to finish out the season.
Samardo Samuels – He’ll help with boards and blocks, but be careful because he’s a terrible free-throw shooter.
Francisco Garcia – Cisco Kid should be a friend of yours for the rest of the season. He missed 21 games with a calf strain but returned Saturday to score 18 points. He made four threes and had two steals. The Kings have more games remaining than any other team in the League.
Anthony Morrow – Went across the pond and came back with a concussion. However, BlackBoiPachino (how Morrow chooses to be identified in the Twittersphere) tweeted that he feels fine and expects to play Wednesday. As mentioned earlier, the Nets have a weak schedule this week but conclude the season with five straight “max” weeks. The best three-point shooter in NBA history (hey, I’m just lookin’ at the numbers, man) could be a huge help come playoff time.
Matt Bonner – Speaking of three-point shooting, Bonner has made 86 of his 164 attempts this season. That’s 52.4 percent. No, he won’t contribute anything else. But if you anticipate a tight matchup in threes, he’s quite the useful specialist.
Nenad Krstic – Getting more comfortable in Beantown. He went 7-of-8 from the field on Sunday, finishing with 17 points. In five games with the Celtics he’s averaging 12.2 points and 4.8 rebounds. Apparently, Shaquille O’Neal won’t be playing anytime soon, so Krstic is a decent option in deep leagues.
Ed Davis – In two games in London last weekend, the Raptors collected two L’s and allowed 253 points. Davis, though, collected 24 points, 23 rebounds, five steals, and shot 10-of-12 from the field over the weekend. Plus, his ‘Heels pummeled the Dukies. He was probably feeling better than most of his teammates on the flight back. Just sayin’. The hope here is that Davis gets an increase in playing time to finish the season, as the Raptors are playing for nothing.