Each Sunday, the Dashboard centralizes all the crucial information fantasy managers need to dominate their weekly head-to-head matchups or climb the standings in their rotisserie leagues. The Dashboard covers schedule analysis, status updates, adds, drops, watch list candidates, and deep league targets for managers of all skill levels. Quite simply, it is a comprehensive weekly cheat sheet that is packed with so much information that we’ve devoted two writers to producing it.
Schedule Breakdown – essential schedule information for the upcoming week and beyond
If you haven’t already, take a look at out our schedule primer, which provided a high-level introduction to this season’s NBA schedule from a fantasy perspective. In addition, Basketball Monster’s team schedules provides a basic weekly schedule reference. It should also be noted that there is no data for Basketball Monster’s ease rankings yet (since no games have been played this season), which considers ease of schedule. Ease rankings will be incorporated into the Dashboard’s schedule breakdown once the season starts and we have enough data to start seeing emerging trends. For purposes of our analysis, quality games are when ten teams or less have games on a given day. In addition, the Yahoo! default playoff schedule for head-to-head leagues is set for Weeks 21-23, and is the playoff schedule we will be referring to.
Let’s break down the schedule in a variety of ways, examining both total games and quality games over the course of the next week, next month, remaining season and for the head-to-head playoffs.
Week one, total games.
Best: MIA (4)
Worst: CHI (2), ORL (2), SAS (2), TOR (2), WAS (2)
Week one, quality games.
2 games: LAL, MIA, PHO, UTH
1 game: BOS, DAL, GSW, HOU, LAC, NJN, OKL, ORL, POR, WAS
Next month, total games.
15 games: NYK
14 games: LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, POR, TOR, UTH
13 games: ATL, BOS, CHA, DEN, DET, GSW, MIA, MIL, NJN, OKL, ORL, PHI, PHO
12 games: CLE, DAL, HOU, NOH, SAC, SAS, WAS
11 games: CHI, IND
Next month, quality games.
5 games: LAL
4 games: PHO, POR
3 games: BOS, CHI, GSW, LAC, MIA, OKL, SAC
2 games: DEN, DET, HOU, NYK, ORL, SAS, TOR, UTH, WAS
1 game: ATL, DAL, IND, MIN, NJN, NOH
0 games: CHA, CLE, MEM, MIL, PHI
Head-to-head playoffs, total games.
12 games: BOS, IND, NJN, PHO, SAC, WAS
11 games: CHI, CLE, DAL, GSW, MIA, OKC, PHI, POR, SAS
10 games: ATL, CHA, DEN, HOU, LAC, MEM, MIL, NYK, TOR, UTH
9 games: DET, LAL, MIN, NOR, ORL
Head-to-head playoffs, quality games.
Best: CHI (5), DAL (4), POR (4), WAS (3)
Worst: DEN (0), DET (0), ORL (0)
Remaining season, quality games.
Best: CHI (18), BOS (17), MIA (17), POR (17), DAL (16), DEN (15), LAL (15)
Worst: TOR (3), DET (3), PHI (5), MIN (5), MEM (5), CLE (5), CHA (5)
Status Updates - quick hitters from around the league
• The New Orleans Hornets have acquired combo guard Jerryd Bayless(notes) from the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for a protected future first-round draft pick. The Blazers no longer needed Bayless with Wes Matthews slated to absorb the majority of the backup guard minutes. From the Hornets’ perspective, Bayless instantly becomes the backup to Chris Paul(notes) that they have been searching for since moving Darren Collison(notes) this summer. Bayless’ fantasy value is limited unless CP3 goes down with an injury, in which case Jerryd becomes a must-add in virtually all formats.
• Gregg Popovich recently named DeJuan Blair(notes) the starting center in San Antonio. Blair beat out veteran Antonio McDyess(notes) and Brazilian rookie Tiago Splitter(notes) for the starting spot. Blair should remain in the Spurs’ starting five for the near future, with Splitter being the only serious threat to usurp his spot once he gets healthy.
• Stephen Curry(notes)’s recent ankle injury sustained against the Lakers is not thought to be serious. Curry was scheduled to be re-examined over the weekend and may be available for Wednesday’s season opener against the Houston Rockets. Consider him day-to-day until the Warriors divulge more information.
• John Kuester named Austin Daye(notes) the starting power forward for the Detroit Pistons. The versatile forward’s main competition for the spot was from Charlie Villanueva(notes), whose porous defense kept him out of the starting unit. If Daye struggles, rookie big man Greg Monroe(notes) could also be given a look, as he has better size to play power forward.
• Wayne Ellington(notes) has been practicing with Minnesota’s starters at the two. There has been no official indication that Ellington will be named the starting shooting guard, but the situation is worth monitoring over the next few days.
• Al Harrington(notes) has a ton of opportunity for minutes in Denver this season, with both Chris Andersen(notes) and Kenyon Martin(notes) sidelined to start the season with Harrington’s main competition for minutes being Shelden Williams(notes). Harrington recently experienced a minor setback that kept him out of the Nuggets’ preseason finale against the Suns. The official stance out of Denver is that Al will be available to start the season and that he should not be significantly hampered by his plantar fasciitis.
• Spencer Hawes(notes) is expected to be available for the season opener, and is even being considered for the starting center spot. Reports regarding Hawes’ back have vacillated this off-season, but it sounds like Hawes should be ready to go for the beginning of the season.
• Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott confirmed that J.J. Hickson(notes) beat out veteran forward Antawn Jamison(notes) for the Cavaliers’ starting power forward spot. Scott recently criticized Hickson’s focus, but ultimately decided to start him and bring Jamison’s scoring punch off the bench.
• An MRI confirmed that Andre Iguodala(notes) has a right wrist sprain, and not a more serious injury. Head coach Doug Collins speculates that the wrist injury has been lingering since Iguodala represented the United States in Turkey this summer. While the injury itself is not serious, Collins’ comments are mildly concerning, especially considering Andre’s importance to the Sixers. Monitor the situation closely in the opening days of the season.
• Jose Calderon(notes) has handed the starting point guard position to Jarrett Jack(notes) through his terrible play this preseason. Jack is also overcoming an inflamed bursa sac, but should not be significantly limited by the ailment.
• Wesley Johnson(notes) has been dealing with a lingering hamstring injury since July. If Johnson’s injury does not improve over the coming days, the Wolves could make the decision to shut the rookie down until he fully heals.
• Corey Maggette(notes) finally saw his first minutes of game action in a Bucks’ uniform, and he posted a somewhat unusual stat line (0-2 field goals, 17-20 free throws). File this bit of news under the “they are who we thought they were” category.
• Another season and another rosy preseason outlook from Tracy McGrady(notes). Head coach Kuester is (justifiably) a bit more skeptical of McGrady’s status for the opening tip, and prospective managers should be too.
• C.J. Miles(notes) recently suffered a minor ankle injury but should be available for the season opener. Jerry Sloan also plans on bringing Miles off the bench this season, making him strictly a deep league prospect at this point.
• While there have been no shortage of minor injuries this preseason, Miami’s Mike Miller(notes) suffered one of the more severe injuries this summer after tearing a ligament in his right thumb while trying to guard LeBron James(notes) in practice. Miller has already undergone surgery and is expected to be out until at least January. Miller will be in a hard cast for the next month and then will begin the rehabilitation process after the cast is removed. Expect updates on Miller’s situation in mid-to-late November.
• The Portland Trail Blazers signed Fabricio Oberto(notes) as an insurance policy, in case Joel Przybilla(notes) and Greg Oden(notes) experience additional setbacks in their respective recoveries. Oberto should backup Marcus Camby(notes) in the beginning of the season and will be pushed further down the bench as Przybilla and Oden return.
• New Orleans point guard Chris Paul is wearing a brace on his surgically repaired left knee. While the brace may be slightly uncomfortable for Paul, his fantasy production should not be significantly affected.
• Miami Heat signed Jerry Stackhouse(notes) to a contract as a direct result of Mike Miller’s thumb injury. It should take Stackhouse some time to work his way into game shape and into Eric Spolestra’s rotation. James Jones(notes) is the more immediate beneficiary of Miller’s injury.
• Martell Webster(notes) has a lingering back injury from last season, which occurred during Portland’s playoff series against Phoenix. The Timberwolves are now discussing surgery, meaning Webster’s back injury is indeed serious and Martell can be safely ignored as a viable fantasy option for the near future.
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