Welcome to week 14. The time is now to put the screws down for our playoff approach. This means maximizing and optimizing our game spread throughout the week and finalizing roster moves that include making a big splash via trade before the deadline expires. Roster optimization is straightforward. Follow the below fantasy basketball schedule, pick up players that enhance your schedule alignment, and then adjust as needed.
Fantasy Basketball Schedule Preview
Player trades are a different story. While every General Manager will be looking for something different, let’s look at a few players that could be available, discounted (“buy low”), and could surge in the last quarter of the season.
Top Trade Targets
- Rudy Gobert (MIN – Center) The big man has struggled this year, completely disappointing in blocks. However, the Timberwolves are still figuring their chemistry out and as chemistry improves, the Minnesota guards will learn to utilize the strengths of Gobert. He suffered a right groin injury this weekend so now is the time to pounce on a Buy Low with a frustrated General Manager. His dominance will return as Minnesota fights for playoff seeding.
- Khris Middleton (MIL – SF) Middleton has been battling knee soreness all year keeping him out of the lineup. This is greatly affected the workload of Giannis and other Bucks players. The medical staff will make sure to get Middleton right before he returns and will need the final portion of the season to get him up to speed and lessen the minutes on Giannis. Don’t overpay, but if you are firmly in the playoffs try to negotiate a buy-low with a General Manager needing a healthy player.
- DeAndre Ayton (PHO – Center) While providing decent big-man stats, Ayton has largely disappointed as a key cog on the offensive end. He is currently in a buy-low phase with rather poor play but has upside for the rest of the season. Either the Suns will need him to up his play to salvage their year, or he will be traded to what is hopefully a better situation.
Let’s get into the schedule:
This week’s schedule:
- Monday (01/16): 9 games
- Tuesday (01/17): 4 games
- Wednesday (01/18): 9 games
- Thursday (01/19): 5 games
- Friday (01/20): 9 games
- Saturday (01/21): 7 games
- Sunday (01/22): 7 games
Teams with 5 games this week
Teams with 4 games this week
DEN, LAL, MIN, BKN, PHO, LAC, CLE, NYK, IND, ATL, MIA, NOR, MEM, GSW
Teams with 3 games this week
HOU, CHA, BOS, WAS, OKC, SAC, POR, UTA, DAL, PHI, MIL
Teams with 2 games this week
Teams with 1 game this week
Optimize your Streaming
Toronto has 5 games this week, including all three “low” days, albeit typically a terrible ‘streaming’ team. After Toronto, the 76ers have three games this week, also on the low nights. Brooklyn gives you four games, two of which are on Tuesday/Thursday. Portland will give you games on Tuesday and Thursday, but don’t offer much value unless an injury occurs. Oddly, Chicago and Detroit have 1 game this week but are streaming options for Thursday. Depending on your league the players available will vary, but the players below should be available in most 12 or 14 team formats.
TORONTO RAPTORS (MON/TUES/THUR/SAT/SUN)
- Precious Achiuwa (PF/C): The Toronto Raptors run their starters into the ground, leaving little opportunity for streamers. With a 5-game week, there might be wiggle room for a bench player to contribute. Enter Precious, a deep-league streamer, who can provide points, some threes, and defensive stats from the center position. Emphasis on deep league streaming.
PHILADELPHIA 76ERS (TUES/THURS/SAT)
- De’Anthony Melton (PG/SG): Melton makes for a great addition this week, if available. Melton can produce points, threes, rebounds, assists, with modest defensive contributions. His production is muted on a healthy 76ers squad, but can still be useful with a great schedule this week.
- Shake Milton (PG): Milton’s minutes are not guaranteed but can creep into the twenties. In those minutes, Milton can provide points, a few rebounds, and assists off the bench for the 76ers. Just temper your expectations if the 76ers are completely healthy.
- Georges Niang (PF): Niang is most valuable as a conditional streamer when Tobias Harris sits. However, he remains a three-point specialist and can provide double digit points on any given night.
BROOKLYN NETS (TUES/THURS/FRI/SUN)
- J. Warren (SF): In the absence of Kevin Durant, Warren enters the Brooklyn lineup as a great source of points. Occasionally he will produce in threes and rebounds, but Warren is mostly a points streamer.
- Seth Curry (PG/SG): Curry is currently in a points-only role with the Nets, but offers major upside on any given night if he gets hot. Expect threes as well, but he will not be a great source of rebounds, assists, or defense.
- Joe Harris (SG/SF): As Harris gets healthier, he offers more consistent value across categories. More of a deep league streamer, Harris can provide threes, points, and occasionally rebounds which is additionally valuable given his schedule this week.
PORTLAND TRAILBLAZERS (TUES/THURS/SUN)
- Gary Payton II (PG): Back in the lineup in a sub-20-minute role, Payton offers a boost in steals, and that is it. However, he could potentially flip the steals category for you if your team build can support his lack of production elsewhere.