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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: All-Star Break

by Jonas Nader

Weeks 18 and 19 Schedule: Games Played


5 Games: NYK




3 Games: LAL, PHX, SAC, SAS, UTA


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Weeks 18 and 19 Streaming Schedule:


Monday, Feb. 11 (9 Games): Knicks @ Cavs, Wizards @ Pistons, Hornets @ Pacers, Nets @ Raptors, Bucks @ Bulls, Mavs @ Rockets, Clippers @ Wolves, Blazers @ Thunder, Heat @ Nuggets


Tuesday, Feb. 12 (5 Games): Lakers @ Hawks, Celtics @ 76ers, Spurs @ Grizzlies, Magic @ Pelicans, Jazz @ Warriors



Wednesday, Feb. 13 (11 Games): Nets @ Cavs, Bucks @ Pacers, Pistons @ Celtics, 76ers @ Knicks, Wizards @ Raptors, Grizzlies @ Bulls, Rockets @ Wolves, Heat @ Mavs, Kings @ Nuggets, Warriors @ Blazers, Suns @ Clippers


Thursday, Feb. 14 (3 Games): Hornets @ Magic, Knicks @ Hawks, Thunder @ Pelicans


All-Star Break (Feb. 15-Feb. 20)


Thursday, Feb. 21 (6 Games): Suns @ Cavs, Heat @ 76ers, Blazers @ Nets, Celtics @ Bucks, Kings @ Warriors, Rockets @ Lakers


Friday, Feb. 22 (9 Games): Wizards @ Hornets, Pelicans @ Pacers, Bulls @ Magic, Spurs @ Raptors, Pistons @ Hawks, Wolves @ Knicks, Clippers @ Grizzlies, Nuggets @ Mavs, Jazz @ Thunder


Saturday, Feb. 23 (12 Games): Blazers @ 76ers, Suns @ Hawks, Nets @ Hornets, Grizzlies @ Cavs, Pacers @ Wizards, Lakers @ Pelicans, Pistons @ Heat, Celtics @ Bulls, Kings @ Thunder, Wolves @ Bucks, Rockets @ Warriors, Mavs @ Jazz


Sunday, Feb. 24 (3 Games): Magic @ Raptors, Clippers @ Nuggets, Spurs @ Knicks





Monday-Tuesday: None

Tuesday-Wednesday: Celtics, Warriors, Grizzlies, 76ers

Wednesday-Thursday: Knicks


All-Star Break: Feb. 15-Feb. 20


Thursday (Feb. 21)-Friday: None

Friday-Saturday: Hawks, Hornets, Bulls, Mavs, Pistons, Pacers, Grizzlies, Wolves, Pelicans, Thunder, Jazz, Wizards

Saturday-Sunday: None



Schedule Notes:


-If you weren’t already aware, the vast majority of fantasy platforms combine the shortened weeks of 18 and 19 for the All-Star break. 


-Please keep in mind that your weekly transactions do not reset after Week 18 for the All-Star break unless your commissioner tweaked the settings, so use your adds wisely. 


-The following teams play three times from Monday, Feb. 11 to Thursday, Feb. 14: Knicks.


-The following teams play three times from Tuesday, Feb. 12 to Thursday, Feb. 21: Celtics, Warriors. 


-The following teams play three times from Wednesday, Feb. 13 to Friday, Feb. 22: Knicks.


-The following teams play three times from Thursday, Feb. 14 to Saturday, Feb. 23: Hawks, Hornets, Pelicans, Thunder.


-The following teams play three times from Thursday, Feb. 21 to Sunday, Feb. 24: None



Waiver-Wire Pickups: 


*These are guys you should consider keeping for the long haul (with some short-term adds mixed in), but are not in order because everything depends on your roster build. To qualify these players have to be available in at least 50% of Yahoo Leagues.



5 Games: 


Mitchell Robinson (21%)- Coach David Fizdale seems content with riding DeAndre Jordan as his starter, but for how long? This is a franchise that has every intention of finishing in the bottom three to improve their chances of Zion, and Jordan probably doesn’t have a future with the team with his expiring contract. It’s just a matter of time before Robinson’s workload increases, but he’s already been very productive in his last two games with 12.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in just 19.0 minutes. He has monster upside and you can argue that he’s already a top-3 shot blocker in the NBA, but he will have some bumps in the road with his FT% and fouling issues. 


4 Games 


Kevin Huerter (34%)- I was stunned that the Hawks didn’t make any moves at the deadline, as it was widely reported that the likes of Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Jeremy Lin and Dewayne Dedmon were available. However, it doesn’t seem like that will be an issue for Huerter, as he logged 28 minutes in his first post-deadline game compared to 15 for Bazemore. Huerter and Prince look like the wings to own going forward, though I could see Bazemore challenging the latter. Most rookies are hard to rely on and I’m not expecting Huerter to be a mid-round player by any means, but he should have late-round value with 12.2 points, 3.8 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.4 triples per 36 minutes. 


Marcus Smart (45%)- He’s been a pretty easy player to gauge in fantasy this season. Smart is going to provide inconsistent scoring and his FG% could be all over the place at times, but the reason he’s been a top-70 player in 9-category leagues is because of his elite contributions in steals (1.4) with 3.9 assists and 2.5 triples. If you’re punting any of those three categories you should probably look elsewhere, but he’s been very effective for many roster builds. With a quiet deadline in Boston, Smart’s role should be locked in with the Celtics winning five out of their last six. 


Cody Zeller (18%)- The Hornets have eased him back into action after a five-week absence, but Zeller picked up right where he left off with 7.5 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists. 1.0 steals and 0.5 blocks in 24.0 minutes over his last two games. Zeller has been a borderline top-100 player with season averages of 9.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 steals, and while those numbers don’t jump off the page, he’s a good glue guy for your fantasy roster and his percentages are easy on the eyes with a 56.3% mark from the field and 81.2% from the line. His minutes should be close to 30 the rest of the way as Charlotte makes a push for the playoffs. 


Dwight Powell (22%)- I was a bit too bullish on Powell because I thought coach Rick Carlisle would give him 30 minutes, but that hasn’t been the case so far with 23.9 minutes over his last four. However, he’s still been a top-55(!) player in that stretch, posting 10.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.0 triples on 53.8% from the field and 90% from the line. He has the potential to help you in every category and it’s clear that all he’ll need is a 25-minute role to put up mid-round numbers. 


Maxi Kleber (12%)- Like Powell, Kleber is another huge winner of the deadline. Harrison Barnes logged 82% of his minutes as the PF in Dallas, while Kleber has played 88% of his minutes there. With Barnes no longer around and the Mavs thin up front, that should clear the way for Kleber to see minutes in the high 20s the rest of the way. Kleber can do a little bit of everything, but he’s mainly known for his contributions in the money stat categories — he’s averaging 2.3 blocks, 1.0 steals and 1.8 triples per 36 minutes. 


Malik Beasley (49%)- Monte Morris’ impressive run was brought to a halt by Jamal Murray’s return, but Beasley is still rolling with Gary Harris forever sidelined. There’s been zero indication that Harris is close, so I think we can comfortably deploy Beasley this week unless we hear otherwise. Over his last nine games, Beasley has been the definition of a breakout player with averages of 19.4 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.1 triples on 55.4% shooting and 81.3% from the line. He also has less than a turnover per game and is cruising with top-45 value in that span. Take your time, Harris. 


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (31%)- He’s coming off a pair of letdowns, but SGA is a big winner of the deadline after the Clippers shipped Tobias Harris and Avery Bradley out of town. The Clippers replaced those guys with two low-usage players in Garrett Temple and JaMychal Green, and with the franchise eyeing the future instead of an immediate playoff push, that means SGA should have a longer leash to run the offense. He’s a fantastic player who has had the typical ups and downs of a rookie, but he was putting up 10th-round value over his last seven games with 12.1 points, 3.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals. Going forward, I think he could flirt with 15-5-5 with a handful of defensive stats and solid efficiency.


Patrick Beverley (37%)- Like SGA, Beverley is a big winner of the deadline and it sounds like coach Doc Rivers is happy to stick with a Bev-SGA backcourt. I just cited a 7-game sample for SGA, so I think it’s worth noting that Beverley has been the 27th(!) ranked player in standard leagues in that span with 11.9 points, 6.7 rebounds, 4.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.9 blocks and 2.1 triples. He’s such a fantasy dynamo when he’s confident and healthy and I’m calling him a must-own player until further notice. 


Ivica Zubac (32%)- The trade deadline created a lot of value in Los Angeles with Zubac being the third Clipper on this list. Coach Doc Rivers is confident that Zubac can be their starting center going forward, and while Montrezl Harrell should still get his 25-28 minutes, I’d imagine that the Clippers will be using them alongside each other for small stretches too. With 19.6 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per-36 minutes, Zubac is worth taking a flier on and I’m expecting him to carve out a role with minutes in the mid-20s. I’m also keeping an eye on JaMychal Green as a potential add, but in a best-case scenario he’s probably a borderline top-90 player. 


Delon Wright (11%)- I called him a must-add player during the frenzy of the trade deadline, but I assumed the Grizzlies were going to deal Mike Conley. I still like Wright as a flier, especially since he’s more than capable of playing both guard spots — he played mostly off the ball in Toronto. All he has to do to carve out a 28-minute role in Memphis is to beat out Avery Bradley, something that shouldn’t be too hard. With per-36 averages of 13.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.8 steals, 0.6 blocks and 1.2 triples, I’m excited so what Wright does with the best opportunity of his career. 


Kenrich Williams (23%)- How in the world did this guy go undrafted? Williams is averaging 13.2 points, 8.8 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.2 blocks and 2.3 triples over his last six games, playing at least 30 minutes in every single contest. E’Twaun Moore (quad) is due back on Saturday, but I don’t see how coach Alvin Gentry can justify going away from the rookie. He does have some roadblocks in front of him with the Pelicans getting healthier, but I’m on board with picking Williams up to see how this shakes out. 


Thomas Bryant (38%)- I hope you held him through his rough patch because Bryant has stabilized again with 19.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.5 blocks over his last two games. His role is still volatile and coach Scott Brooks has a couple new rotation pieces in Bobby Portis and Jabari Parker to mix in, but if you can put up mid-round value in just 20 minutes that says a lot about your fantasy stat set. Bryant should be owned, but it could be a bumpy ride. 


3 Games


Mikal Bridges (39%)- He’s a regular on this list and his ownership rate remains absurdly low despite being ranked 37th over his last six games. In that stretch he’s putting up 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.8 triples on 54.4% shooting. He’s playing a ton of minutes right now and his scoring was really the last piece of the puzzle. I think we’re seeing the early stages of the next Robert Covington


Streaming Options


*The following section is for owners searching for help in specific categories. The stats provided are over the past two weeks, and the players must be available in over 50% of leagues. 


Point Leaders:


Malik Beasley (19.5)

Cedi Osman (17.7)

Collin Sexton (17.2)

Dwyane Wade (16.0)

Mikal Bridges (14.7)

Monte Morris (14.6)

Malik Monk (14.5)


Assist Leaders:


Tim Frazier (6.6)

Dwyane Wade (5.4)

Andre Iguodala (5.0)

Terry Rozier (5.0)

Marcus Smart (4.9)

Monte Morris (4.8)

D.J. Augustin (4.7)

Cory Joseph (4.6)


Rebounding Leaders:


Cody Zeller (12.0)

Ed Davis (8.4)

Kenrich Williams (7.6)

Noah Vonleh (6.9)

Ivica Zubac (6.8)


Steal Leaders:


Mikal Bridges (2.5)

P.J. Tucker (2.5)

Cedi Osman (1.7)

DeMarre Carroll (1.7)

George Hill (1.6)

Delon Wright (1.5)

Cory Joseph (1.4)

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (1.4)


Block Leaders:


Mitchell Robinson (2.5)

Nerlens Noel (2.0)

Robin Lopez (1.5)

Richaun Holmes (1.5)

Daniel Theis (1.4)

Bruno Caboclo (1.3)


3-point Leaders:


Reggie Bullock (3.5)

Malik Beasley (3.3)

Allen Crabbe (3.0)

Jae Crowder (3.0)

Darius Miller (2.9)

Mikal Bridges (2.8)

Wayne Ellington (2.7)

Malik Monk (2.7)

Marcus Smart (2.6)

Gerald Green (2.5)

Jonas Nader