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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Week 16

by Jonas Nader

Week 16 Schedule: Games Played

 

4 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, DEN, IND, LAC, MEM, NYK

 

3 Games: CHI, DAL, DET, GSW, HOU, LAL, MIA, MIL, NOP, OKC, ORL, PHI, SAS, UTA, WAS

 

2 Games: CLE, MIN, PHX, SAC, TOR

 

1 Game: POR

 

For lineup questions or fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!

 

Week 16 Streaming Schedule:

 

Monday (5 Games): Knicks @ Hornets, Warriors @ Pacers, Nets @ Celtics, Nuggets @ Grizzlies, Hawks @ Clippers

 

Tuesday (7 Games): Wizards @ Cavs, Bucks @ Pistons, Thunder @ Magic, Bulls @ Nets, Pelicans @ Rockets, Suns @ Spurs, 76ers @ Lakers

 

Wednesday (8 Games): Hornets @ Celtics, Bulls @ Heat, Mavs @ Knicks, Pacers @ Wizards, Grizzlies @ Wolves, Nuggets @ Pelicans, Hawks @ Kings, Jazz @ Blazers 

 

Thursday (6 Games): Mavs @ Pistons, Pacers @ Magic, Bucks @ Raptors, Nets @ Spurs, 76ers @ Warriors, Lakers @ Clippers

 

Friday (5 Games): Grizzlies @ Hornets, Celtics @ Knicks, Thunder @ Heat, Hawks @ Jazz, Rockets @ Nuggets

 

Saturday (12 Games): Clippers @ Pistons, Bulls @ Hornets, Nets @ Magic, Bucks @ Wizards, Mavs @ Cavs, Pacers @ Heat, Pelicans @ Spurs, Lakers @ Warriors, Nuggets @ Wolves, Hawks @ Suns, Rockets @ Jazz, 76ers @ Kings

 

Sunday (3 Games): Grizzlies @ Knicks, Thunder @ Celtics, Clippers @ Raptors

 

 

Back-to-Backs:

 

Sunday (Jan. 27)-Monday: Clippers, Knicks

 

Monday-Tuesday: Nets

 

Tuesday-Wednesday: Bulls, Pelicans, Wizards

 

Wednesday-Thursday: Mavs, Pacers

 

Thursday-Friday: None

 

Friday-Saturday: Hawks, Hornets, Nuggets, Rockets, Heat, Jazz

 

Saturday-Sunday: Clippers

 

 

 

Schedule Notes:

 

This isn’t what you would call a balanced week, as nine teams play four games, 15 teams play three games, five teams play twice and one team plays just one game. 

 

If you own any Blazers, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are the only guys you can even consider in a weekly lineup with just one game. 

 

As for the two-game teams in the Cavs, Wolves, Suns, Kings and Raptors, the only players I’d be looking to start are Karl-Anthony Towns, Devin Booker, De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Kyle Lowry, Kawhi Leonard and Pascal Siakam

 

There is only one day (Saturday) with double-digit games this week, so quality streaming days don’t really apply for Week 16. 

 

The following teams play three times from Monday-Thursday: Nets, Pacers.

 

The following teams play three times from Tuesday-Friday: None.

 

The following teams play three times from Wednesday-Saturday: Hawks, Hornets, Mavs, Nuggets, Pacers, Heat, Jazz.

 

The following teams play three times from Thursday-Sunday: Clippers.

 

 

Waiver-Wire Pickups: 

 

*These are guys you should consider keeping for the long haul, 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.

 

4 Games

 

Kevin Huerter (32%)- He’s fresh off a two-game absence due to a minor neck injury, but the rookie wing is expected back on Saturday. Huerter is one of the few untouchables on the roster at the trade deadline unlike Taurean Prince and Kent Bazemore, so his role can only increase. In his last five active games, Huerter was the 55th ranked player in standard leagues with 17.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 3.2 triples on 47.8% shooting. The best part? He played 37.2 minutes per game in that stretch. He’s going to get all the touches he can handle the rest of the way. 

 

Shabazz Napier (7%)- Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) is expected to miss anywhere from 3-6 weeks, catapulting Shabazz Napier into the sixth man role for Brooklyn. "I've always been a Shabazz Napier advocate,” coach Kenny Atkinson said. Atkinson kept his word and Napier passed the eye test on Friday night, posting a 27.8 usage rate en route to 18 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes. Yes he shot just 3-of-13 from the field and his FG% (39.7%) has been an issue all season, but the counting stats are going to be there and we know he can get to the free throw line with a 15-of-16 mark over his last three games. Just don’t cut someone who can help you in the fantasy playoffs, as Napier’s value has an expiration date. 

 

Justin Holiday (38%)- He hasn’t found his shot, hitting 39% from the field for 8.4 points over his last five games. However, there are encouraging signs here, as Holiday has played 33.0 minutes in that stretch with 4.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 1.6 triples. The Grizzlies are already a dumpster fire and will be even worse when they move on from Marc Gasol and Mike Conley, so Holiday could be in a similar situation to the one he had in Chicago when he consistently put up mid-round value for his shot volume, 3-point shooting and defensive stats. He could be a huge post-deadline winner.

 

Mitchell Robinson (16%)- This one is a no-brainer if your team needs blocks. He has a league-leading 9.5% block percentage and is swatting 4.1 shots per 36 minutes, but foul trouble has kept him in check all season — he has fouled out in 17 minutes or less twice in the past week alone. Robinson is coming off a 4-block game, Enes Kanter should be gone within the week or two and coach David Fizdale said finding the rookie big man minutes will be a priority. Add him, but be prepared for a rollercoaster ride. 

 

Allonzo Trier (26%)- He has a lot of things working in his favor these days. Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee and Damyean Dotson are all on the trade block, and the Knicks are going to be without Emmanuel Mudiay (shoulder) for a couple weeks. Trier is having the best stretch of his season over his last four games, posting top-40 value with 18.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.3 triples on 60% shooting. He’s not going to stay this hot forever and his steal and 3-point totals were mediocre prior to this stretch, so yes I’ll be approaching him with some skepticism. But based on sheer opportunity alone, I think he’s worth a pickup to see what happens at the trade deadline in New York. 

 

*Trey Burke and Frank Ntilikina- Keep an eye on these two with the Mudiay news. Frank was playing terrific vs. the Nets on Friday before he got into foul trouble, so Trey Burke took advantage of that en route to 25 points and five assists. 

 

 

3 Games

 

Kenneth Faried (50%)- There are a lot of fantasy owners asleep at the wheel based on Faried’s ownership rate. His role has increased in all three games for Houston, and so far he’s putting up 15.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks on 62.1% from the field and 47.1% from the line. He has a simple role in the offense catching lobs from James Harden and cleaning up around the rim, and it’ll only get easier with Chris Paul due back Sunday.  Coach Mike D’Antoni was gushing about his athleticism and said he’s exactly what the Rockets needed in the absence of Clint Capela (thumb). Pick up the Manimal and enjoy the ride for the next 4-6 weeks. 

 

Ivica Zubac (35%)- The third-year center has been a top-90 player in 22.8 minutes over his last four outings, averaging 17.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.5 blocks on 70% from the field and 93.8% from the line. He’s a better shot blocker than he’s shown lately with 1.9 blocks per 36 on the season, and he’s going to be rock solid in points, rebounds and FG%. Zubac even started the last game for the Lakers with Tyson Chandler moving out of the rotation completely, and Zubac just needs minutes in the low 20s to put up top-100 numbers. I think he’s a strong add due to the scarcity of centers on the wire, and it’s going to be interesting to see how his value changes after the trade deadline — the Lakers are dangling all of their role players in trade talks in the hope of acquiring another star. 

 

Derrick Jones Jr. (4%)- He’s not exactly a waiver-wire pickup because Miami’s rotations are still a nightmare. DJJ is still one of my favorite stashes, especially with the Feb. 7 trade deadline getting closer. The Heat will be looking to unload several bad contracts, and if they move someone like a James Johnson that could open the door for DJJ to be a mid-round fantasy player the rest of the season with per 36 averages of 14.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 triples on 51% from the field and 61.6% from the line. 

 

Jahlil Okafor (43%)- Unlike a lot of players on this list, Okafor won’t have much value beyond this week with the Pelicans dealing with injuries to all three of Anthony Davis, Julius Randle and Nikola Mirotic. Over his last three outings, Okafor has averaged just over 30 minutes per game with 18.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks on 72% shooting. Those are top-70 numbers even when you include his awful free throw shooting (33% in that stretch), but just don’t cut anyone you’re going to miss. 

 

Jonathan Isaac (49%)- Is he finally turning the corner after months of frustrating fantasy owners? It sure looks that way, as Isaac has been a top-55 player over his last three contests with 10.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 blocks, 0.7 steals and 1.3 triples on 44.8% shooting. His defensive stats keeps his value afloat even with his microscopic usage rate on offense, but if the Magic move one or even both of Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic at the deadline then there is a ton of unlocked upside here. Just in case you’re wondering where Terrence Ross is, he’s owned in 52% of leagues and it’s well deserved. 

 

 

2 Games

 

Ante Zizic (38%)- The second-year center has had quite the six-game stretch, putting up 16.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 0.8 blocks on 60.3% from the field and 75% from the line. Those are top-90 numbers for standard category leagues, but I need to warn you that Larry Nance is going to complicate things. Nance played 21 minutes compared to 27 for Zizic on Friday night, with the Cavs “easing” Nance back into action. Nance played exclusively at center Friday, so that could spell trouble for Zizic. Tristan Thompson (foot) still isn’t close and Kevin Love (foot) remains without a timetable, so I’m still on board with keeping Zizic for now to see how this plays out. For what it’s worth, coach Larry Drew talked him up quite a bit. "He's got terrific stuff on both blocks," Drew said of Zizic. "Uses both hands very well. He can manufacture a shot for a big man. He just has to get the experience of playing consistent minutes, which with our situation as far as bigs are concerned, that's going to happen. He's going to play a lot of minutes and he's getting the experience and he's made good usage of it.”

 

Cedi Osman (31%)- When you have a team as bad as the Cavaliers, it doesn’t take much for a player to stand out. Cedi Osman has done exactly that lately, putting up 19.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.8 triples on 58.3% shooting over his last four games. I’m not going to tell you that these numbers are sustainable because they most definitely are not, as Osman is still shooting 41.8% on the season and is ranked outside the top-200 despite getting over 30 minutes per night. I feel like I just convinced you to leave him on the wire and I’m definitely skeptical, but it’s hard to ignore this hot stretch and maybe the light finally flipped on for the preseason sleeper. “Yeah, I think he’s starting to figure it out,” coach Larry Drew said. “I think the way teams are playing him, he’s really just kind of taking what they give him, not really looking to force things. That’s where when I think he gets in trouble trying to create something that’s not there. Now, it seems like he’s just allowing the game to come to him.”

 

 

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:

 

Marco Bellinelli (17.6)

Cedi Osman (15.7)

Kevin Huerter (15.3)

Kenneth Faried (15.0)

Allonzo Trier (14.6)

Malik Beasley (14.6)

Collin Sexton (14.3)

 

 

Assist Leaders:

 

T.J. McConnell (5.5)

Dwyane Wade (5.3)

Frank Ntilikina (4.8)

Kevin Huerter (4.7)

Shelvin Mack (4.6)

Fred VanVleet (4.5)

D.J. Augustin (4.3)

 

 

Rebounding Leaders:

 

Ed Davis (9.5)

Kenneth Faried (9.3)

Bobby Portis (8.8)

Bismack Biyombo (8.6)

Kevon Looney (8.5)

Alex Len (7.8)

Ante Zizic (7.7)

 

 

Steal Leaders:

 

P.J. Tucker (3.1)

Justin Holiday (1.9)

Corey Brewer (1.7)

DeAndre Bembry (1.6)

Marcus Smart (1.5)

Mikal Bridges (1.5)

Nerlens Noel (1.4)

 

 

Block Leaders:

 

Mitchell Robinson (2.5)

Kenneth Faried (1.7)

Mo Bamba (1.6)

Bismack Biyombo (1.6)

Maxi Kleber (1.5)

 

 

3-point Leaders:

 

Kevin Huerter (3.7)

Marco Belinelli (3.2)

Malik Beasley (3.0)

Kyle Korver (3.0)

Davis Bertans (2.8)

Reggie Bullock (2.6)

Terrance Ferguson (2.6)

Jonas Nader