2017 Fantasy Basketball Weekly Planner: Week 24
Steve Pimental takes you through every teams schedule for the week and tells you what to expect from those matchups.
This week we have three teams that play just twice, up from one team a week ago. I don’t know how you can play anyone from one of those three teams who isn’t a superstar. For every other team, this is the last full week of the NBA season. Let’s look at the week ahead for all 30 NBA teams.
Atlanta Hawks (@MIA, MIA, @WAS, @BOS): With Dennis Schroder ruled out for the rest of the season, Isaiah Taylor should continue his strong play. Taylor is averaging 19.3 points and 6.0 assists over the last week.
Boston Celtics (@MIL, @TOR, CHI, ATL): Marcus Morris has scored at least 17 points in five consecutive games, and while that streak will almost certainly end soon, he should continue playing at a high level. Morris averaged 18.9 points and 5.6 rebounds in March.
Brooklyn Nets (@PHI, @MIL, @CHI): Milwaukee and Philadelphia are both battling for playoff seeding, and Brooklyn is unlikely to make these games easy for them. Saturday’s game at Chicago could be an easy Brooklyn win, however.
Chicago Bulls (CHA, @BOS, BKN): The Bulls don’t have any player averaging more than 27.3 minutes, 14.7 points, 10.0 rebounds or 5.6 assists over the last two weeks. The Bulls have plenty of guys who can get numbers from game to game, but no one you should be excited to start, especially this week.
Cleveland Cavaliers (TOR, WAS, @PHI): George Hill is out Sunday due to a left ankle sprain, and if he misses any more time, Jordan Clarkson and Jose Calderon should split Cleveland’s point guard minutes. Rodney Hood and J.R. Smith could see a few more minutes as well.
Dallas Mavericks (POR, @ORL, @DET, @PHI): The first two games of the week are back-to-back, and Dallas loses an hour in the process. Harrison Barnes is the only Mav averaging more than 27.7 minutes per game over the last week, and he and Dennis Smith Jr. are the only ones I am looking forward to playing this week.
Denver Nuggets (IND, MIN, @LAC): Wilson Chandler suffered a broken nose Friday, and it might actually be a blessing in disguise if he misses any time. Torrey Craig could see his minutes double if Chandler is out.
Detroit Pistons (PHI, DAL, @MEM): Blake Griffin will be reevaluated at the end of the week, but he seems likely to get shut down for the rest of the season. Reggie Jackson should assume a larger part of the offense with Griffin out.
Golden State Warriors (@OKC, @IND, NOR, @PHO): The only easy game on the Warriors’ schedule comes at Phoenix on the second of a back-to-back. Quinn Cook is averaging 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game over the last two weeks, and Kevon Looney is a must-add if you need rebounds. Look for Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson to each get at least one day off this week.
Houston Rockets (WSH, POR, OKC): The Rockets have clinched home court advantage throughout the playoffs, so it will be interesting to see how much James Harden, Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and Chris Paul rest considering Houston is home all week and gets a day off between each game.
Indiana Pacers (@DEN, GS, @TOR, @CHA): Who would have thought we would reach a point in the season where all five of the Pacers’ starters are must-starts for fantasy?
Los Angeles Clippers (SA, @UTA, DEN): The Clippers probably have to win out if they are going to make the playoffs, but it might help that they face three of the teams they are battling for a playoff spot. Denver is defensively challenged, but not enough to make me go out of my way to play any Clippers this week.
Los Angeles Lakers (@UTA, SA, MIN, UTA): Brandon Ingram has been diagnosed with a concussion, and Lonzo Ball is dealing with a knee bruise. Kyle Kuzma, Josh Hart and Alex Caruso should continue to see an uptick in minutes going forward.
Memphis Grizzlies (@NOR, SAC, DET): Tyreke Evans has missed five consecutive games due to personal reasons, and there has been no indication of if or when he will return to the team. Evans is averaging 19.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game this season, and he remains a must-play for fantasy whenever he is available.
Miami Heat (ATL, @ATL, @NY): Hassan Whiteside ranted to the media about his lack of playing time following Saturday night’s loss to the Nets, and while it won’t necessarily have much of an affect with five games left in the season, it could. Whiteside is an excellent source of blocks even in limited minutes, and I might be willing to take a chance that he sees more minutes down the stretch.
Milwaukee Bucks (BOS, BKN, @NY): Tyler Zeller played 28 minutes Friday with Thon Maker and John Henson out. Zeller had two points, five rebounds, two assists, three blocks and a steal in those minutes, and he is a sneaky fantasy play while Henson is out.
Minnesota Timberwolves (@DEN, @LAL): Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose are both dealing with nagging injuries, and that situation bears monitoring. Tyus Jones was great when Teague was out earlier this season, but his fantasy value is severely limited if either of the other point guards are healthy. It may not matter considering Minnesota only plays twice this week, and they are back-to-back on the road.
New Orleans Pelicans (MEM, @PHO, @GS): The last two games of this schedule are back-to-back, but considering how all three of the Pelicans’ opponents are dealing with a slew of injuries, I’m not sure how much it matters.
New York Knicks (ORL, MIA, MIL): Enes Kanter sat out Saturday with a back injury, but the good news is the Knicks only play once until Friday. Kyle O’Quinn grabbed 15 rebounds in 32 minutes with Kanter out Saturday, and he is playable until Kanter returns.
Oklahoma City Thunder (GS, @HOU): You probably can’t bench Paul George or Steven Adams if you have made it this far, but it is tempting. The Thunder can’t afford to fall to the eighth seed, but do you really trust them to take care of business against two teams with nothing to play for?
Orlando Magic (@NY, DAL, CHA, @TOR): As the NBA’s Tankapalooza winds to an end, the Magic face three fellow tankers and a Toronto team that could be basically locked into the one seed by the time they play Sunday. There could be a lot of fantasy points to be had in these games.
Phoenix Suns (SAC, NOR, GS): This is why you can’t ignore bad teams late in the season. Troy Daniels is averaging 17.7 points and 4.1 rebounds per game over the last two weeks. He, Tyler Ulis, Marqueese Chris and Josh Jackson are all playable for fantasy the rest of the way.
Portland Trailblazers (@DAL, @HOU, @SA): Considering they only play three games, and they are all on the road, this schedule isn’t too bad. Portland gets a day off between each game, and they never have to leave the state of Texas.
San Antonio Spurs (@LAC, @LAL, POR): San Antonio’s first two games are back-to-back, but at least they are in the same building. Dejounte Murray is averaging 3.9 assists per game over the last two weeks, and if he can keep that up, he can be useful for fantasy.
Sacramento Kings (@PHO, @MEM): The Kings are one of the aforementioned teams with just two games this week. There is no reason to play anyone from this team, no matter how good the matchups look.
Toronto Raptors (@CLE, BOS, IND, ORL): The Raptors entered Sunday’s play only two games ahead of the Celtics for the number one seed, so they will be hard pressed to rest anyone in their back-to-back to start the week. If Kyle Lowry were to get a game off, Fred VanVleet would be interesting for fantasy.
Utah Jazz (LAL, LAC, @LAL): Dante Exum scored 21 points in 27 minutes with Ricky Rubio out Friday, and while that will probably wind up being the best game of Exum’s career, he should see heavy minutes if Rubio misses any more games.
Washington Wizards (@HOU, @CLE, ATL): John Wall is back, but he sat out the second half of a back-to-back Sunday against the Bulls. He seems like a safe bet to sit out against either Cleveland or Atlanta this week, which would give him just two games. He won’t be the only superstar to get some rest this week, but it is still difficult to play him.