At long last, we’ve finally reached the last weekend of the NBA regular season. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re fighting for your life in the final three days of your fantasy championship. At this point, you have to add or drop anyone from your team to pull out a victory in the coming days. Nothing is off limits, and there are a number of players available who could potentially be “silly season heroes” with monster stat lines in meaningless games. And with almost every team playing twice over the next three days, there are more options than in any other weekend. So let’s dive in and narrow those options down to a handful of top choices who can be major difference-makers to help you win your leagues.
Keon Johnson, SG/SF, Portland Trailblazers
Best Categories: 3PM, PTS, AST
With the Portland Trailblazers essentially trying to lose these last few games of the season, Keon Johnson has stepped into minutes in the 30s on a nightly basis, and he has taken advantage of the opportunity. Johnson ripped off three straight games of 21, 19, and 18 points, totaling 10 threes, 12 boards, and 12 assists, before posting somewhat of a dud last night. But even then, the 20-year-old still managed to dish out 8 assists, knocking down a pair of threes and tallying a steal. The touches and opportunities are there for the talented sophomore, so the strong performances should be there over this final weekend.
Jaylen Hoard, SF, Oklahoma City Thunder
Best Categories: 3PM, PTS, REB
The Thunder have seen random, obscure players break out in the craziest of ways all season long, and this one might just be the most insane of them all. Jaylen Hoard has played major minutes in the last four games, four of his only five games played this entire season, and the 23-year-old has burst onto the scene with some absolutely incredible stat lines. Starting with a wild showing of 11 points, 20 rebounds, and 2 blocks, Hoard followed that up just two games later with 24 points, 21 boards, and 3 steals. And with 23 points and 5 threes in his last game, Jaylen Hoard has proven to be a mixed bag of tricks, capable of putting up monster numbers in any category on any given night. He should continue to impress us all over these final two games of the year.
Jericho Sims, PF/C, New York Knicks
Best Categories: PTS, REB, BLK
With the Knicks finally playing their youngsters and resting most of their key rotation players the rest of the way, Jericho Sims has stepped into the starting center role, seeing 35 minutes in Wednesday’s loss to the Nets. In those minutes, the former Texas standout double-doubled with 10 points, 13 rebounds, a steal, and 3 blocks. And that is exactly what you can expect from him over these last two games. Sims is an impressive shot blocker and excellent rebounder, and he should make his presence known for a Knicks team without many other options down low. The sample size is admittedly small, but I expect Sims to pick up right where he left off and have a big weekend.
Ish Smith, PG, Washington Wizards
Best Categories: PTS, AST, STL
Ish Smith is a boring veteran whose numbers won’t pop off the stat sheet, but he might be the best bet for assists this weekend out of everyone who might be available. Playing minutes in the upper 20s of late, Smith has averaged 8.2 assists across his last five games. Along with that, Smith has been a useful enough fantasy contributor elsewhere with 11 points per game in that span as well as 11 steals in his last 11 contests. It won’t be flashy, but Smith provides value in an area that few others do, so he could definitely be worth a pickup for these last three days.
Talen Horton-Tucker, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers
Best Categories: 3PM, PTS, STL
With the Lakers shockingly out of playoff contention and resting their star veterans as a result, Talen Horton-Tucker has stepped into a primary role on offense for the team down the stretch. Playing 37 minutes last night, THT dropped 40 points to go with 3 boards, 3 assists, 4 steals, and a pair of threes. Horton-Tucker has proven in spurts that he is capable of taking over and putting up massive stat lines when he has the minutes and offensive touches, and it seems like he will have free reign over the team’s last two games. As a result, THT could potentially put up some MVP-type numbers on his way to hopefully helping you win your fantasy leagues this weekend.