Fantasy Basketball: Week 3 Schedule Primer


Two weeks are in the books, but plenty more to go before any manager is walking away with the fantasy championship this season.  No need to panic even if you are sitting at the bottom of your standings.  It is essential to evaluate your team and figure out why you are in the basement, though.  Then, create a plan of action to get back to the top and execute it.

If your league is head-to-head then perhaps you are not doing enough streaming and maximizing your games.  This article is here to help. 

Today, I will look ahead at the week 3 schedule for both weekly and daily changes head to head leagues in an attempt to allow you to maximize your games and win your matchup.  Big thanks to the excellent advanced schedule grid on Hashtag Basketball.  

Weekly lock leagues

Tip of the week: The Brooklyn Nets play our first two-game week of the season.  I would not feature a Net in my starting line-up in any standard weekly lock league.  Two games are just not enough with 19 teams playing four games.  That goes without mentioning Coach Atkinson’s propensity to fiddle with his rotations and minutes.  Bench all Brooklyn players including D’Angelo Russell this week.

Note: I am not benching any studs that have three games, only bench players at the end of your starting line-up.  Last three active spots in a standard league is a safe rule.

Top 10 potential pickups playing four games:  (All ownership percentages based on ESPN leagues and under 40 percent owned was the cut-off for available on the waiver wire)

  1. Jamal Murray- Denver Nuggets (34.0%): Keep the faith because this young man can play.
  2. Josh Richardson-Miami Heat (19.7%)
  3. Rodney Hood- Utah Jazz (26.5%)
  4. Austin Rivers- Los Angeles Clippers (13.0%)
  5. Al-Farouq Aminu- Portland Trail Blazers (37.8%)
  6. Maurice Harkless- Portland Trail Blazers (7.5%)
  7. Terrance Ross- Orlando Magic (8.1%)
  8. Jeremy Lamb- Charlotte Hornets (17.1%)
  9. Domantas Sabonis- Indiana Pacers (29.1%): Double-double machine with Myles Turner out
  10. Tyreke Evans- Memphis Grizzlies (16.4%)

Daily roster changes

Head-to-head leagues with daily roster changes create more opportunities for streaming, but usually, limit the number of adds each week.  The goal here is to use back-to-back sets to maximize the streaming potential. 

First, a word on the schedule itself: Wednesday and Friday both feature 12 games so more than likely you will not be able to fit a streamer into your active line-up.  That means we will be looking hard at pseudo-back-to-backs this week.  Sunday has ten games, and Monday has nine, so it could be a nightmare week for streaming.  Without further ado, here are the pickups for Week 3.

Back-to-backs

Monday-Tuesday

No teams

Tuesday-Thursday pseudo

Los Angeles Lakers

Larry Nance Jr. (22.0%)- Nance Jr. should provide a significant boost in the defensive categories even in limited minutes.  The sneaky rebounds, points, and field goal percentage raise his value into quality stream territory.

Thursday-Saturday pseudo

Golden State Warriors

Andre Iguodala (17.8%)- It is difficult to recommend any Warrior because the bench minutes are in flux from each night, but Iguodala should provide quality assists with a steal per game potential vaulting him into my streamer for this pseudo back-to-back set.

Saturday-Sunday

LA Clippers

Austin Rivers (13.0%)- Do not look now but the coach’s son is playing 34.3 minutes in a night in his last four games heading into the week and has scored over 16 points in each of his previous three games.  Significant minutes should stick with Milos Teodosic out, so ride the hot hand.

Memphis Grizzlies

Tyreke Evans (16.4%)- Evans played in both games of the Grizzlies first back-to-back set, so he should be all systems go here.  He is only playing 23 minutes a night but has a great shot to score in double figures with two 3-pointers, four rebounds, two assists, and a steal.  Not bad overall per game production for a streamer.

Chandler Parsons (5.6%)- Parsons was once a fantasy stud, but he will likely sit one of this back-to-back, so avoid him.

James Ennis III (4.0%)- Ennis III is playing 29 minutes per game, but he is not producing a ton.  I would look to stream him if I needed rebounding late in the week (and Taj Gibson was already owned), though.

Minnesota Timberwolves

Taj Gibson (11.9%)- Gibson has been a quality back-to-back stream candidate for years, and not much has changed this season in Minnesota.  Expect 12 rebounds, 15 points, five assists, one steal, and one block from the two games of Gibson.

Jamal Crawford (13.1%)- Crawford is playing limited minutes, so he is a difficult recommend.  He could be the difference in points or 3-pointers made in a deep league, though.

Looking ahead to Week 4

Perhaps, you have the week in hand going into Sunday’s slate of games, and you are looking for a leg up in Week 4.  Here are the teams playing both Sunday and Monday and the potential additions.

Sunday-Monday of Week 4

Atlanta Hawks

Taurean Prince (20.7%)- Should be picked up and kept in a standard league.  Prince is getting minutes and should be an excellent source of steals with 13 points and five rebounds per game.  He could easily finish as a top 100 player this season.

John Collins (29.5%)- Collins has been fantastic in limited minutes in points and rebounds.  He is a player to monitor all season because if 30 plus minutes a night come his way, then Collins could be a fantasy stud.

Marco Belinelli (10.8%)- Belinelli has been hot lately but should be a reliable source of 3-pointers all season.

Dewayne Dedmon (9.5%)- Dedmon should provide quality rebounds with a block per game even in limited minutes, so stream him for those categories.

Boston Celtics

Marcus Morris (21.3%)- Morris should return from injury this week, so monitor his minutes and production before picking him up.

Aron Baynes (1.4%)- Baynes is starting and should be in a similar mold to Dedmon with quality rebounds and a block per game, but he is further under the radar.

Miami Heat

Josh Richardson (19.7%)- Richardson is another player that could easily be top 100 this season and is worth holding in standard leagues.  He could legitimately average a block per game at the guard spot.  Own him!

Kelly Olynyk (23.1%)- Just playing 22.6 minutes per game so far, but Olynyk has shown he can be valuable in limited minutes.  Double-digit points with a steal per game are not out of the question in his current playing time, so stream him.

Justise Winslow (20.9%)- Winslow provides an opportunity for significant out of position rebounds at a guard spot, but be aware he will actively hurt you in specific categories.

Tyler Johnson (20.1%)- Johnson is off to a slow start, but could provide double-digit points with a steal per game even in his current limited playing time.

Phoenix Suns

Josh Jackson (38.7%)- Jackson should provide about 12 rebounds, two steals, and 20 points over the back-to-back set.

Tyson Chandler (25.6%)- Chandler should provide solid rebounds and block even if his minutes are limited.

Alex Len (9.8%)- Len is playing limited minutes behind Chandler, but still should be a source of rebounds if needed.

Mike James (8.5%)- James is a starting point in the NBA.  He is splitting the minutes with Tyler Ulis (3.7%), and both are streamable with the hope your man takes the lion’s share of playing time and production that evening.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, your team dominates the opposition in Week 3, and you check back with us next week for another edition of the Schedule Primer.  Be sure to check out the Watching the Boxes Podcast for all the fantasy basketball information you desire.

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