Fantasy Basketball Week 8 Schedule Primer

Welcome back! We are reaching the meat of the fantasy season.  The casual NBA fans will join us in about three weeks, and things heat up from there.  Week 8 is an interesting slate. Do not forget to check out the fantastic Advanced Schedule Grid on Hashtag Basketball.  Without further ado, let us jump right into it.

Weekly lock leagues

Tip of the week:  19 teams play four games this week, so your lineup should feature almost all of those players.  Five squads (Houston Rockets, LA Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and Portland Trail Blazers) play just two games.  The only players I would put in for sure are James Harden, Chris Paul, and Damian Lillard.  Others like Clint Capela, DeAndre Jordan, and C.J. McCollum are questionable choices.  Make sure you are maximizing your games and playing time this week.

Note: Only six teams play three games this week.  That is a small group so three games players will be limited a little bit this week.  Still, it is hard to bench a top 50 option with three games, but be sure to check your waiver wire.

Top 10 (plus two bonus) 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. Taurean Prince- Atlanta Hawk (26.5%)- You have heard my story on this guy plenty of times.
  2. Jamal Murray- Denver Nuggets (37.9%)- Own this guy. He is young and should continue to improve.  I expect big games while Nikola Jokic is out.
  3. Markieff Morris- Washington Wizards (35.8%)- Playing more minutes and he will be a top 80 player at season’s end.
  4. Courtney Lee- New York Knicks (36.3%)- Producing across the board and should be owned in every standard league
  5. Joe Ingles- Utah Jazz (38.9%)- I know he plays in Utah, but own Ingles. Come on.
  6. Wesley Matthews- Dallas Mavericks (35.9%)- Matthews is averaging 2.5 3-pointers made and 1.2 steals per game for the season after a poor start. Expect Matthews to be worthy of holding going forward
  7. John Henson- Milwaukee Bucks (18.5%)- Rebounding and block shots making him worth keeping
  8. Kris Dunn- Chicago Bulls (29.8%)- I know this sounds crazy, but Dunn is averaging over two steals per game plus four plus rebounds and assists with almost a dozen points. Add him
  9. Bojan Bogdanovic- Indiana Pacers (37.7%)- threes and points stream which has been on fire
  10. Kenneth Faried- Denver Nuggets (14.1%)- Double-double threat nightly with Jokic out
  11. Marcus Morris- Boston Celtics (29.1%)- Morris could have his restrictions lifted this week. Stay tuned.
  12. Danny Green- San Antonio Spurs (17.0%)- Add for the threes, steals, and blocks

Daily roster changes

Head-to-head leagues with daily roster changes are the crown jewel for streaming players.  Most leagues create a limit to the additions for the matchup to keep the streaming from getting too 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: Three days have double-digit games this week.  Monday has the most with 11 games, while both Wednesday and Saturday have ten games.  Friday has eight games in the only other potential heavy day.  You could have an empty space in your starting lineup every single day again this week.  That creates a plethora of streaming options and way to attack streaming.  This matchup is the week you need to maximize your additions to develop a games played advantage.

NOTE: Quality games are spread out this week making life a little tricky for owners.  The Toronto Raptors have three quality games this week, so if I am going only one addition, it may be a Raptor.

I won’t eliminate any days this week, and we will jump right into the back-to-back sets.

Back-to-backs

Monday-Tuesday

Phoenix Suns

Greg Monroe (34.5%)- Points and rebounds just wish I knew how many minutes he would play.

Marquese Chriss (28.8%)- Risky defensive stats addition.

Alex Len (20.6%)- Hampered by an ankle injury, worth streaming if he plays and worth adding Monroe or Tyson Chandler if he is out.

Tyson Chandler (20.2%)- Provides bulk rebounds but not much else.

Mike James (9.0%)- Assists stream with three rebounds per game for a one.

Tyler Ulis (3.3%)- A slightly worse assists add.

Utah Jazz

Joe Ingles (38.9%)- steals and threes with over four rebounds and assists per game equals my signing on the dotted line.

Rodney Hood (35.8%)- Injury question mark, but points a plenty if healthy.

Alec Burks (5.5%)- Playing fantastic and looking healthy.  Even better if Hood is out.

Thabo Sefolosha (1.6%)- steals streamer.

Ekpe Udoh (0.4%)- deeper league blocks add.

Washington Wizards

Markieff Morris (35.8%)- Add him!

Kelly Oubre Jr. (22.4%)- Taking on a larger offensive role with John Wall sidelined.  Worthy add for points, rebounds, and steals.

Tomas Satoransky (0.9%)- Playing well with Wall out, but risky.

Tim Frazier (1.3%)- assists stream in deeper league.

Tuesday-Wednesday

No teams scheduled

Tuesday-Thursday pseudo

Oklahoma City Thunder

Jerami Grant (2.8%)- helps in both steals and blocks

Phoenix Suns

Listed under Monday-Tuesday

Utah Jazz

Listed under Monday-Tuesday

Washington Wizards

Listed under Monday-Tuesday

Wednesday-Thursday

No teams scheduled

Thursday-Friday

No teams scheduled

Friday-Saturday

Charlotte Hornets

Frank Kaminsky (16.8%)-  Splitting minutes with Williams, but is a solid points and 3’s stream for a big.

Marvin Williams (13.4%)- Solid across the board line especially if Kaminsky is out.

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (5.5%)- fantastic rebounder for a wing with solid defensive stats.

Cody Zeller (5.5%)- Block and rebounds streamer in 12-14 team leagues and deeper.

Chicago Bulls

Kris Dunn (29.8%)- Dunn is averaging 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 2.1 steals, and 11.6 points per game this season.  Enough said.

Denzel Valentine (18.5%)- Assists, rebounds, threes, and steals stream. Worth a shot.

Jerian Grant (7.5%)- Still dishing out five dimes a game.

David Nwaba (1.1%)- fantastic rebounder for a guard plus defensive stats.  Love him in a deeper league.

Cleveland Cavaliers

Tristan Thompson (16.3%)- expected to return this week, but unlikely he plays in both games here.

Kyle Korver (10.8%)- 3-pointers made stream (averaging 2.6 per game).

J.R. Smith (9.5%)- 3-pointers made add (1.9 per contest) with over a steal per game.

Jeff Green (3.7%)- Deeper league add providing double-digit points with almost a steal per game.

Memphis Grizzlies

JaMychal Green (13.6%)- six rebounds and double-digit points per game.

Mario Chalmers (5.4%)- Starting point with Mike Conley out.  Four assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Chandler Parsons (3.8%)- Buyer beware: he is currently injured.

Ben McLemore (0.6%)- Earning more minutes since the coaching change, deeper league add.

Milwaukee Bucks

John Henson (18.5%)- Blocks and rebounds stream playing enough minutes to own going forward.

Tony Snell (2.9%)- Threes and steals for a deeper league.

Orlando Magic

Jonathon Simmons (26.2%)- Points streamer that offers little else.

Bismack Biyombo (2.2%)- Blocks enough shots to matter even in 16 minutes a night.

San Antonio Spurs

Kyle Anderson (33.9%)- Injured on Sunday night so monitor his status before adding.

Danny Green (17.0%)- Not a sexy scorer but helps in the low volume categories tremendously.

Patty Mills (6.5%)- Unlikely to rest and should provide a small help everywhere.

Saturday-Sunday

Atlanta Hawks

Taurean Prince (26.5%)- Prince ends in the Top 80 for the season.  Add and hold.

Marco Belinelli (10.2%)- 3’s and steals streamer who should score around 12 points per.

Ersan Ilyasova (9.8%)- Injuries should create more minutes for Ilyasova, and he should provide rebounds, steals, and double-digit points.

Miles Plumlee (0.1%)- Started the last game and played 19 minutes, a deeper league blocks and rebounds stream.

New York Knicks

Courtney Lee (36.3%)- Steals, points, percentages plus a little help in the other categories.  Stream with confidence.

Kyle O’Quinn (5.9%)- Rebound and blocks add.

Jarrett Jack (3.4%)- Top assists streamer on the board as he consistently dishes six per game.

Philadelphia 76ers

T.J. McConnell (10.1%)- Monitor his shoulder injury, but enough assists and steals to add plus a hefty 3.5 rebounds for a point guard.

Amir Johnson (0.8%)- Rebounds and blocks add for deeper leagues.

Looking ahead to Week 9

Perhaps, you have an extra pickup 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 9

Toronto Raptors

C.J. Miles (5.5%)- If healthy should provide points and threes.

Norman Powell (4.8%)- Plays well with Miles out and solid when he is in.

Boston Celtics

Marcus Morris (29.1%)- Morris should give solid points with a rebounding boost.

Terry Rozier (15.3%)- steals streamer.

Aron Baynes (2.5%)- 14 teams or deeper blocks stream.

Daniel Theis (0.4%)- Another deeper leagues blocks add.

New Orleans Pelicans

E’Twaun Moore (4.9%)- playing over 30 minutes a game for the season and averaging 11.9 points, 1.6 3-pointers, and 1.0 steal.

Darius Miller (1.2%)- Threes streamer.

Jameer Nelson (1.1%)- Nelson’s playing time has dipped, and so have the assists, but in a deeper league you could do worse.

Final thoughts

Hopefully, the schedule has been friendly to you, and first place is all yours.  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.


Like what you've read? Share it with your friends on