Week 20 Matchup Rankings
This weekly ranking is based on opponents’ points given up per possession based on pace.
Congrats to those still rolling through the playoffs. Similar strategies from last week should continue to favor you, but you will likely be going up against your strongest foes. It’s crunch time, leave it all on the table. Use all of your weekly allocations, even if you are dropping some decent players. Your drop list should expand even larger this week. Especially due to the diversity of games played by teams during this crucial week. Five games by the Raptors is a huge boost, especially since 10 teams will be playing less than four games, including the Lakers who will only play two. Problem is that Raptor’s bench is not the most consistent or valuable group in the world. Bismack will get you blocks, and Ross will get you threes, James Johnson and Jason Thompson are seeing more minutes as well. Keep an eye on them and play the hot hand.
This is the best time during the roto season, the final stretch. The complexity of point gathering against a group of opponents versus just winning enough categories each week makes the roto game far superior but not for the casual fantasy player. Depending on the lay of the land, the final strategies needed could take on many shapes. Understanding your ranking in each category is the first step.
If you are losing assists by a ton, give up and focus on something else. Winning rebounds by 300 or so, stop playing your rebound heavy players. After you’ve narrowed down your categories to ones you are competing in, you need to find the cat’s that have the most bang for their buck. Is the steals race close between four players? That’s much more valuable than spending starts on gaining one point in rebounds. FG%, points, turnovers, and rebounds are the hardest things to gather quickly. Threes and blocks (and lesser so steals) have a specialist that can move you up the ranks in bunches.
Pick some specialists off the waivers and start them over your normal low tier starters. Remember, the teams you area chasing will be aware of your new strategy, so don’t be surprised if they focus on not allowing you to catch them. If you want to get really intricate, see which categories will hurt those above you in the ranks. Focus on destroying their points in categories you can catch them in.
For the truly hardcore, the keeper league. Depending on your keeper penalties (which range wildly from league to league), you should be focusing on stashing a few guys from the waivers now. If you are in a playoff race or roto race, winning is everything, so don’t blow up your team just for keepers.
Guys I’m liking for next year, who will be underrated and might or might not be available now:
- Dennis Schroder
- Darren Collison
- Hollis-Jefferson (very serious about this guy)
- Myles Turner
- Gary Harris
- Bobby Portis (if the Bulls blow it up)
Guys who are probably owned but love their potential next year:
- Aaron Gordon
- Dieng (if starting)
- Tobias Harris
What to Watch This Week
Denver vs Miami
Denver vs Miami - Mudiay has been playing very well over the last two weeks and you have to wonder if that is due to his maturing as a playmaker or the recent stability in the Nugget’s rotation. His shooting has improved from the field, though not from the line, and he is playing the best ball of his rookie season. He is a great commodity for owners who are punting percentages and turnovers. Miami has finally got Dragic going, and that is mostly due to the lanes clearing out with Bosh gone. Deng has thrived as well in a stretch four role. It would really be great if he was still on the BULLS!!! (Bitter Bulls fan).
Kings vs Lakers
My favorite 90’s matchup. We have Russell actually starting and looking like he has actual game, vs a porous Rondo. I like my odds running with Russell in this game. Randle will probably get beasted by Boogie, though. Early foul trouble I suspect. More minutes for Brandon Bass perhaps if you are streaming.
Atlanta vs Detroit
Bazemore has been ceding playing time to Kirk Hinrich of all people since Hinrich’s return to Atlanta. This is a pretty bad sign for anyone still holding on to Bazemore. While some of the core stats are there, if his shot isn’t falling he won’t play. Schroder is another victim of the crowded Hawks’ backcourt. Who would have thought Hinrich would be such a disruption? When Schroder or Jeff Teague were not moved at the trade deadline, Schroder was always going to be the overall loser in this situation. His minutes have dwindled. Tobias Harris has found his home and a coach who knows how to use him. Now can Caldwell-Pope get his shot going to bump him into standard league value?
Phoenix vs Utah
Booker is the lone bright spot in a horribly dysfunctional season for the Suns. Since the dust settled on the various rotation, personnel, coaching and front office drama, young Booker has been allowed to play heavy minutes and work on his game. With the return of Brandon Knight to help facilitate the offense, Booker should benefit from defenses forced to pay attention to two backcourt scoring threats. Utah is underrated, and being bad… How they couldn’t address their obvious need for a point guard, in a league full of point guards still baffles me. Hood and Shelvin Mack are starting. One of them is good, but since Mack actually plays 30 mins a game, he’s worth a stream or a flyer.
Minnesota vs Houston
The TWolves are in fine form lately. Shabazz Muhammad off the bench is a good look for streaming guys, other than that everyone else should be owned and played with confidence. Speaking of confidence, I’m not confident that the Rockets know what they are doing. Picking up Chinese superstar Michael Beasley is a questionable choice, but when your season has gone this way, why not? He’s actually looked good in limited minutes, but any guy who takes 19 shots in 15 minutes is worth keeping an eye on. Not sure I want to embrace his potential or run from his craziness.
New Orleans vs Clippers
Holiday has steadily improved since his minutes restriction was lifted right before the new year. While it has been a slow progression, owners of Holiday have to enjoy that his best playing will come down the stretch for their playoff run. Contribution across the board is what gives Holiday his value, and with Tyreke Evans out for the rest of the year, Holiday will run the bulk of the Pelican’s offense. Is Blake ever coming back? Probably not.
If you have any fantasy basketball questions or comments follow me on twitter at @WatchTheBoxes.