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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Week 20

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: February 24, 2019, 1:15 am ET

Week 20 Schedule: Games Played

4 Games: ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOP, OKC, ORL, POR

3 Games: DAL, DEN, NYK, PHI, PHX, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS

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

Week 20 Streaming Schedule:

 

Monday (11 Games): Warriors @ Hornets, Blazers @ Cavs, Pacers @ Pistons, Spurs @ Nets, Suns @ Heat, Bucks @ Bulls, Hawks @ Rockets, Lakers @ Grizzlies, Kings @ Wolves, 76ers @ Pelicans, Mavs @ Clippers

Tuesday (3 Games): Magic @ Knicks, Celtics @ Raptors, Thunder @ Nuggets

 

 

Wednesday (11 Games): Rockets @ Hornets, Wolves @ Hawks, Wizards @ Nets, Warriors @ Heat, Bulls @ Grizzlies, Blazers @ Celtics, Pistons @ Spurs, Pacers @ Mavs, Clippers @ Jazz, Bucks @ Kings, Pelicans @ Lakers

Thursday (6 Games): Wolves @ Pacers, Warriors @ Magic, Cavs @ Knicks, Heat @ Rockets, 76ers @ Thunder, Jazz @ Nuggets

Friday (7 Games): Bulls @ Hawks, Hornets @ Nets, Blazers @ Raptors, Wizards @ Celtics, Pelicans @ Suns, Clippers @ Kings, Bucks @ Lakers

Saturday (9 Games): Pistons @ Cavs, Magic @ Pacers, Nets @ Heat, Warriors @ 76ers, Grizzlies @ Mavs, Thunder @ Spurs, Pelicans @ Nuggets, Lakers @ Suns, Bucks @ Jazz

Sunday (8 Games): Blazers @ Hornets, Rockets @ Celtics, Hawks @ Bulls, Knicks @ Clippers, Magic @ Cavs, Raptors @ Pistons, Wolves @ Wizards, Grizzlies @ Thunder

 

Back-to-Backs:

 

Sunday (Feb. 24)-Monday: Clippers, Spurs

Monday-Tuesday: None

Tuesday-Wednesday: Celtics

Wednesday-Thursday: Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Heat, Wolves, Jazz

Thursday-Friday: None

Friday-Saturday: Nets, Lakers, Bucks, Pelicans, Suns

Saturday-Sunday: Cavs, Pistons, Grizzlies, Thunder, Magic

 

Three Games in Four Nights:

 

Monday-Thursday: Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Heat, Wolves

Tuesday-Friday: Celtics

Wednesday-Saturday: Nets, Warriors, Pacers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Pelicans, Jazz

Thursday-Sunday: Cavs, Thunder, Magic

 

Waiver-Wire Pickups 

*These players must be available in 50% of Yahoo Leagues, but are not listed in order because it depends on your roster build. 

 

4 Games 

 

Kent Bazemore (42%)- After weeks of playing 20 or fewer minutes, Bazemore reemerged on Friday night with Kevin Huerter (ankle) on the shelf. He was productive with a solid line, scoring 12 points with seven rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. The Hawks listed Huerter as doubtful for this weekend and his absence could extend into Week 20, so I’ll be adding Bazemore wherever possible. Remember, this is a top-70 player in standard leagues from opening night until his ankle injury on Dec. 29 with averages of 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.7 steals, 0.9 blocks and 1.5 triples on 44.7% shooting. Huerter will have a big role once he’s ready to play again, but based on coach Lloyd Pierce’s comments on Friday, it sounds like he’s open to playing Bazemore for longer stretches now that he’s 100 percent.

 

Allen Crabbe (41%)- I feel like I need to put an asterisk beside his name because he’s shooting 37.6% from the field this season, but he’s been playing out of his mind for four straight games. In that stretch he’s hitting 55.6% from the field with 18.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 4.0 triples with top-70 value. He won’t be this hot forever, and if you factor in his 4-2-3 fantasy playoff schedule (Weeks 22-24) there are other guys I’d prioritize on the wire. 

 

Miles Bridges (5%)- His first NBA start on Friday came out of nowhere, but Bridges made a strong impression with 14 points, six rebounds, one block, three steals and one 3-pointer in 29 minutes. Coach James Borrego said he moved Jeremy Lamb to the second unit to give them a scoring boost, adding that he wants to “balance the two groups.” Bridges gives the starting lineup more versatility on defense, and it sounds like this could be a permanent switch. Bridges has the 1-1-1 upside for steals/blocks/triples that fantasy owners desire and is a flier worth taking with per-36 averages of 12.5 points, 6.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.3 triples on 45.3% from the field and 73.3% from the line. I just wish he had a better fantasy playoff schedule (3-4-3). 

 

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Cody Zeller (28%)- His minutes have stabilized again now that he has legs under him, and Bismack Biyombo and Willy Hernangomez are not legitimate threats to his role for the remainder of the season. Over his last four games, Zeller is hanging around the top-100 for standard 9-category leagues with 13.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.3 blocks, 0.8 steals and 1.0 turnovers. While not a must-start player, Zeller is a serviceable big who fits a lot of roster builds. 

 

Robin Lopez (23%)- If I told you two weeks ago that Lopez would be a top-50 player at any point in February you would think I’m insane, but RoLo has been exactly that in his last four games with 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 28 minutes. It wasn’t long ago that Lopez’s agent was plotting his escape out of Chicago, but coach Jim Boylen said he has "not discussed a diminished role” with Lopez which means fantasy owners can keep throwing him into lineups until further notice. The only thing working against him is Chicago’s fantasy playoff schedule (3-3-3 in Weeks 22-24). 

 

Cedi Osman (42%)- He’s back from his ankle injury and has picked up right where he left off with 16.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 3.5 triples over his last two games. Osman is ranked inside the top-60 over the past month (six games played) and has all the opportunity in the world on a team starved of talent. He also has a solid fantasy playoff schedule (4-4-3) working in his favor. 

 

Wayne Ellington (10%)- In his first three games with Detroit, Ellington has already attempted a whopping 26 3-pointers. He’s cold right now, but he’s a career 37.8% shooter from long range and started with 37 minutes on Friday. It won’t be long before he’s one of the best 3-point specialists in fantasy leagues. 

 

Landry Shamet (14%)- Yes he’s coming off a pair of duds, but coach Doc Rivers is sticking with Shamet as his starter going forward and has brought back the “J.J. Redick package.” In his first four games with his new team, Shamet is putting up 12.0 points, 2.3 assists, 1.8 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.8 triples. There’s some late-round value to be had here. 

 

Ivan Rabb (11%)- He’s going to be flying off waiver wires this week following the news that Jaren Jackson Jr. is sidelined with a “deep thigh bruise.” Yes, you heard that right. The Grizzlies are shutting down their franchise player with a 'charlie horse' cramp so they can improve their Zion Williamson odds. Rabb will likely slot in as the starting power forward alongside Jonas Valanciunas and looked great on Friday, scoring 15 points with nine rebounds, three assists, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. He’ll probably eclipse 30 minutes many times, and his per-36 numbers are solid with 16.2 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 blocks. If only he had a better fantasy playoff schedule (2-3-4). 

 

Derrick Jones Jr. (1%)- He remains one of my favorite stashes, but might be pushed into a larger role sooner than expected with Justise Winslow battling knee soreness and the washed James Johnson dealing with a shoulder sprain. DJJ has logged minutes at three positions for the Heat this season (SG, SF, PF), so I’ll be watching his workload closely on Saturday. If the Heat ever committed to DJJ for significant minutes (they likely will soon if Miami falls out of the playoff race), he’ll have obvious top-75 upside with per-36 averages of 14.8 points, 8.6 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.4 blocks. 

 

Elfrid Payton (41%)- He’s back from his ankle injury and immediately saw 28 minutes on Friday with 15 points, four assists, two rebounds, two blocks, one triple and two turnovers. That might be where his minutes stay because the Pelicans are embracing the tank, and while Payton is outside the top-150 in 9-category leagues on a per-game basis, he can be a big help in assists (5.8) and steals (1.1). Just beware of his lack of 3-pointers (0.7), heavy turnovers (2.4) and free throw percentage (69.7%). 

 

Cheick Diallo (7%)- As I’m writing this, the Pelicans just announced that they will sit Anthony Davis on Saturday for the second night of a back-to-back. I imagine that they will stick to that plan for the rest of the season, and they have already made it clear that his minutes are capped around 20-25. That opens the door for the 22-year-old Diallo to see minutes in the mid-20s, and we already know that coach Alvin Gentry is OK with using him at both the four and five — he has even played next to Jahlil Okafor. He’s coming off one of his best games with 16 points (5-of-7 FGs, 6-of-7 FTs), a career-high 18 rebounds, one assist and one block in 26 minutes, and I won’t hesitate to add him if he builds on that momentum Saturday night. 

 

Mitchell Robinson (47%)- It’s hard to believe he’s still under 50% owned when he’s winning the blocks category by himself every week. Robinson got into foul trouble for the first time in a month on Friday and still swatted three shots in 13 minutes. Robinson is making a strong push for more of DeAndre Jordan’s minutes and we know coach David Fizdale won’t hesitate to do that after calling his development a “priority” for the franchise. With a league-leading block rate and 4.3 blocks per 36 minutes he could be in for a monster finish. 

 

3 Games

 

Dwight Powell (16%)- Powell is strictly a low-end fantasy option, as coach Rick Carlisle has opted for a frontcourt-by-committee approach in Dallas. Powell is averaging 10.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in 23.1 minutes over the past month, but gets a bump because of his shooting percentages (58.8% from the field and 82.9% from the line). 

 

Malik Beasley (48%)- One of the most efficient guards in the NBA, Beasley is 0.9% away at the free throw line from joining the elite 50/40/90club. Coach Malone said he’s willing to go small with his lineups to keep Beasley and Monte Morris involved with Gary Harris and Isaiah Thomas finally healthy, and that’s what we saw on Friday night with Beasley scoring 13 points with three rebounds, four assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes. With a 3-4-4 fantasy playoff schedule, I’m holding onto Beasley for the time being and keep in mind that he’s a big winner anytime the Nuggets are missing just a single rotation player. 

 

Boban Marjanovic (23%)- I’m not dropping an asset that could help me in the fantasy playoffs for Boban, but he’s a strong pickup for this week with Joel Embiid sidelined with his troublesome left knee. The 76ers will be cautious with The Process and it’s obviously a big possibility that his absence extends right up to or even into the fantasy playoffs. Boban finished with 19 points (6-of-7 FGs, 7-of-10 FTs), 12 rebounds, two assists and one block in 27 minutes in his first start, but his production could be volatile because he’s not matchup proof (he’s struggling vs. the Blazers as I’m writing this). 

 

Derrick White (47%)- There’s really no need to go into much detail here. White had a long stretch of early-round value before yet another heel injury kept him glued to the shelf, but he played 20 minutes in his first game back on Friday and his minutes should only ramp back up from here. In his last full month of action, White put up 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.1 triples on a blistering 59.7% from the field. 

 

Jeff Green (38%)- He was in a slump recently which was likely a result of his ailing back, but Green is rolling again with 19.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.5 triples over his last two games. Coach Scott Brooks absolutely loves this guy and has used him all over the floor including as a small-ball center. With a 4-4-4 fantasy playoff schedule, Green is absolutely worth picking up. 

 

Streaming Options

*The following section is for owners searching for help in specific categories. The stats provided are over the past month, and the players must be available in over 50% of leagues. If a player is no longer relevant at this point, I will not include them. 

Point Leaders:

Malik Beasley (19.3)
Cedi Osman (19.0)
Collin Sexton (16.7)
Josh Jackson (16.6)
Kenneth Faried (16.4)
Jeff Green (16.3)
Allen Crabbe (15.4)

 

Assist Leaders:

Rajon Rondo (8.7)
Elfrid Payton (7.0)
Matthew Dellavedova (5.9)
Shabazz Napier (5.3)
D.J. Augustin (5.3)
Dwyane Wade (4.9)
Andre Iguodala (4.7)

 

Rebounding Leaders:

Kenneth Faried (10.5)
Cody Zeller (9.5)
Ed Davis (9.0)
Jahlil Okafor (8.8)
Kenrich Williams (7.8)
Mason Plumlee (7.3)

 

Steal Leaders:

P.J. Tucker (2.3)
Mikal Bridges (2.0)
T.J. McConnell (1.8)
Marcus Smart (1.5)
Delon Wright (1.4)

 

Block Leaders:

Mitchell Robinson (2.9)
Robin Lopez (1.6)
Nerlens Noel (1.3)
Richaun Holmes (1.3)
Bruno Caboclo (1.2)

 

3-point Leaders:

Allen Crabbe (3.4)
Malik Beasley (3.2)
Reggie Bullock (3.0)
Isaiah Thomas (3.0)
Jae Crowder (3.0)
Darius Miller (2.9)
Cedi Osman (2.7)
Patty Mills (2.6)