Welcome back! We have reached Thanksgiving week, and that creates some NBA schedule chaos. The league always has off on that Thursday, so that packs the schedule into six days this week. Also, the slate has heavy days and quite light days to navigate. Fear not though, that is why I am here to help you with the week ahead. Do not forget to check out the fantastic Advanced Schedule Grid on Hashtag Basketball. Let us roll right into it.
Weekly lock leagues
Tip of the week: Three teams (Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Lakers, and Houston Rockets) play only two games this week. Conversely, 11 squads play four games this week, so the only lock to be in your lineup two game player is James Harden for me this week. Chris Paul’s minute's limits make him a questionable call and Andre Drummond may earn the nod is specific builds. Keep that in mind when setting your lineup.
Note: 16 teams play three games this week. That is over half the league, so I doubt you are benching any top 50 player who has three games this week. It is entirely natural for your lineup to feature a handful of three games players.
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)
- Taurean Prince- Atlanta Hawks (30.3%)- Prince is solid across the board fantasy contributor that should finish as a top 100 player this season. Add him and hold him for the rest of the season.
- John Collins- Atlanta Hawks (30.4%)- Points and rebounds stream with good %’s and a block a game equals sign me up and I would consider holding in 12 team leagues and deeper.
- Courtney Lee- New York Knicks (12.6%)
- Marvin Williams- Charlotte Hornets (15.6%)
- Marco Belinelli- Atlanta Hawks (8.9%)- 3’s and steals streamer with decent points and 2.5 assists per game.
- Kris Dunn- Chicago Bulls (14.7%)- Current leading the point guard battle for the Bulls and playing extremely well. I would pick him if I needed assists and steals boost but expect poor percentages.
- Michael Kidd-Gilchrist- Charlotte Hornets (8.6%)
- Marcus Morris- Boston Celtics (34.0%)
- Chandler Parsons- Memphis Grizzlies (4.2%)- 4 games for Memphis and no back-to-backs so Parsons should play all four, but production and minutes have been down this season.
- Terrance Ross- Orlando Magic (5.1%)- Slowing bouncing back after a poor start to the season. Ross could be worth holding if he can return to last season’s production. Stay tuned.
Daily roster changes
Head-to-head leagues with daily roster changes are the cat’s meow for streaming players. Most leagues create a limit to the additions for the matchup to keep the streaming from getting out of hand. That makes the goal to maximize the pickup's usefulness by using back-to-back sets or just any schedule advantage.
First, a word on the schedule itself: Four days have double-digit games this week including a massive 14 game slate on Wednesday. Also, Monday has 11 contests, and both Friday and Saturday have 10. Streaming will be extremely difficult for all of those days. Add in no games on Thursday because of the holiday, and we are looking at just days worthy of streaming. That means maximizing your additions won’t be as important this week.
NOTE: The Chicago Bulls have two quality games by playing on both of the light schedule days. That means Bulls players like Kris Dunn, Denzel Valentine, and Jerian Grant are fantastic pickups to target and hold for this week.
I figured I would eliminate Wednesday and take a look at the back-to-backs just in case you had an open spot on a few days you were looking to fill.
No teams scheduled
Kris Dunn (14.7%)- Mentioned above in the weekly additions, but I’ll repeat he is a worthy source of assists and steals.
Denzel Valentine (4.1%)- Valentine has a sneaky valuable fantasy game if given the minutes and he is averaging just under 30 per game in his last three contests. Solid across the board contributions
Jerian Grant (8.8%)- Grant is an assists streamer, but expect poor percentages and little help elsewhere.
Taurean Prince (30.3%)- I mentioned Prince in the weekly lock leagues section, but it worth repeating that he should be picked up and held all season.
John Collins (30.4%)- Rebounds stream with solid points, percentages, and a block per game
Marco Belinelli (8.9%)- 3’s and steals addition
Bojan Bogdanovic (27.5%)- points and 3-pointers made streamer
Cory Joseph (3.5%)- Joseph is helpful across the board in a deeper league because he gains you a small amount in every category
C.J. Miles (8.4%)- Miles is hot right now, but he is usually just an addition for 3-pointers made help.
Fred VanVleet (0.3%)- VanVleet is the backup point guard this week with Delon Wright injured, and he should provide decent assists and steals in this back-to-back.
Marcus Morris (34.0%)- Morris helps in points and 3’s with decent rebounds
Terry Rozier (21.6%)- Rozier is a fantastic rebounder for a guard and should chip in a few assists and steals in limited minutes
Marvin Williams (15.6%)- Williams had a slow start, but he is picking it up. Would prefer Prince, Belinelli, Morris, and Bogdanovic just to name a few.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (8.6%)- MKG has been hampered by injuries this season, but the minutes are returning to 30, and the rebounds plus defensive stats should follow.
Cody Zeller (7.5%)- Zeller is a blocks and rebounds streamer even in limited minutes.
New Orleans Pelicans
E’Twaun Moore (5.8%)- Moore is a steals and points streamer who should chip in 2.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game with 1.5 3-pointers made. Not too shabby
Jameer Nelson (1.2%)- Nelson is the backup point guard receiving additional minutes as Rondo builds his minutes. He should be good four assists per game with a steal and a three.
Darius Miller (0.2%)- Miller is a deep league cut, but he is a 3-point shooter who can score double-digit points if given the minutes.
New York Knicks
Courtney Lee (12.6%)- Lee is an underrated fantasy option who should finish somewhere between 90 and 120 in the final rankings, but has no upside to surpass that.
Frank Ntilikina (5.5%)- Not quite ready for prime time yet, but should provide four assists per game with over a steal.
Kyle O’Quinn (2.7%)- O’Quinn is a per minute stud and producing well in limited minutes you could do worse than six rebounds, two assists, half a steal, and a block per game.
Jarrett Jack (0.8%)- Purely an assists streamer, but he has been consistently producing five per game even in the limited run.
Oklahoma City Thunder
Jerami Grant (4.1%)- Grant should provide close to one block and one steal per game. He is an excellent addition to a deeper league squad.
Andre Roberson (0.5%)- Roberson is a nice steals streamer with the ability to snag you four rebounds per game.
Jonathan Simmons (31.4%)- Simmons is a points streamer who could sneak in two rebounds and assists per game with almost one steal a night.
Terrance Ross (5.0%)- Prefer Ross to Simmons long-term as Ross should provide 1.5 threes and steals per game.
Bismack Biyombo (1.9%)- deeper league blocks streamer
Portland Trail Blazers
Evan Turner (16.4%)- Turner is a lottery ticket streamer. He has season highs of seven rebounds, seven assists, four steals, three blocks, and 17 points. Just hope it is your lucky night.
Maurice Harkless (4.3%)- Harkless is currently in a rough patch, but a block and steal per game still sound sexy to me.
Ed Davis (6.1%)- Davis is averaging eight rebounds per game even in the limited run. Perhaps the best boards stream.
Noah Vonleh (0.5%)- Another rebounds streamer, but Vonleh is only secure six per game.
Golden State Warriors
Andre Iguodala (13.6%)- Iggy has been a great streamer during his time with the Warriors, but he has been cold lately. I think you can do better.
David West (1.8%)- West is a fantastic add for blocks in a deeper league with the potential to pop in an additional category and %’s will be reliable.
No teams scheduled
Looking ahead to Week 7
Perhaps, you have an extra addition heading into Sunday and would like to take advantage of both Sunday and the beginning of next week. Here is the place for you:
Sunday-Monday of Week 7
Spencer Dinwiddie (28.2%)- Dinwiddie should be picked up and held until D’Angelo Russell returns (Basketball Monster projects Jan.1). Add him. Now.
Trevor Booker (19.2%)- Safe for double-digit points and six rebounds per game with an assist per game.
Allen Crabbe (10.7%)- Points and threes stream
Caris LeVert (7.0%)- solid across the board contributor just wish he got 2-3 more minutes per game.
Hopefully, your team continues to dominate, and this article is a small piece of your success. Please 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 in podcast form.