Setting the stage for Week 22 of the fantasy basketball season.
Four-game teams: ATL, BOS, CHI, DAL, DEN, GSW, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, MIN, NJN, OKC, ORL, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTH, WAS
Three-game teams: CHA, CLE, DET, LAC, LAL, MEM, NOR, PHI, PHO, POR
Two-game teams: NYK
Five best schedules: Orlando (@PHI, @ATL, MIN, DEN), Golden State (PHO, MEM, DAL, @LAC), Dallas (@NOR, LAC, @POR, @GSW), Phoenix (@GSW, NYK, @MIN), Charlotte (@WAS, MIN, WAS)
Five worst schedules: Philadelphia (ORL, @MIL, ATL), New York (DEN, @PHO), New Orleans (DAL, CLE, POR), LA Lakers (@SAS, @OKC, @HOU), San Antonio (@OKC, LAL, CLE, @BOS)
Team schedules through end of season:
14 games: HOU (4,4,4,2), MIL (4,4,4,2), OKC (4,4,4,2), SAS (4,4,4,4,2), TOR (4,4,4,2), WAS (4,4,4,4,2)
13 games: ATL (4,3,4,2), BOS (4,3,4,2), CHA (3,4,4,2), CHI (4,3,4,2), DAL (4,4,3,2), GSW (4,3,4,2), NJN (4,4,3,2)
12 games: DEN (4,3,3,2), DET (3,3,4,2), IND (4,3,3,2), LAC (3,4,3,2), LAL (3,4,3,2), MEM (3,3,4,2), MIA (4,3,3,2), MIN (4,3,3,2), NYK (2,4,4,2), ORL (4,3,3,2), PHI (3,3,4,2), PHO (3,4,3,2), SAC (4,3,3,2), UTH (4,3,3,2)
11 games: CLE (3,3,4,1), NOR (3,4,3,1), POR (3,3,3,2)
Pickups/Plug-ins – Players owned in fewer than 40% of Yahoo! leagues
**Note: Once again, I've called out a number of notable players under 40-percent ownership. Whether or not you should consider any one of these players depends on team needs and who you'd be dropping, so the specifics of your particular situation are likely to be better addressed in the comments section.
• James Johnson(notes) - He's averaged 12.2 points, 1 three, 4.7 boards, 1.2 steals, and 1.5 blocks in six starts and is locked into the starting five now that Luol Deng(notes) has had a setback (see below). Week 22: HOU, MIA, NJN, @DET
• Toney Douglas(notes) - Douglas has averaged 16.8 points on 54-percent shooting, 2.2 threes, 3.2 boards, 3.5 assists, 2 turnovers, and 1.5 steals in his six starts at point guard and is all but guaranteed the spot for the rest of the year. H2h owners will only get two games from him this week, but four next week. Week 22: DEN, @PHO
• Jonas Jerebko(notes) - He's been an underrated source of steady and diverse production. In 10 March games, he's averaged 11.7 points, 0.5 threes, 8 boards, 1.7 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 30 minutes. Week 22: IND, @NJN, CHI
• Jason Maxiell(notes) - Maxiell went for 16 points, nine boards, and a block on Sunday as Ben Wallace(notes) sat because of knee pain. Maxiell should remain the starter the rest of the way, regardless of Big Ben's specific availability. Week 22: IND, @NJN, CHI
• Anthony Tolliver(notes) - Tolliver has been very inconsistent but continues to play plenty for Don Nelson. In 11 games during March, he's averaged 12 points on 38-percent shooting, 1.8 threes, 6.7 boards, 2.7 assists, 1.4 turnovers, 0.9 steals, and 1.1 blocks in 35 minutes. Week 22: PHO, MEM, DAL, @LAC
• Terrence Williams(notes) - Williams has averaged 13 points, 7.5 boards, 3.5 assists, 3 turnovers, and 1.5 steals in two games since moving into the starting five, but also shot just 33 percent from the field and 67 percent from the line.Week 22: MIA, SAC, DET, CHI
• Francisco Garcia(notes) - He filled in admirably for Tyreke Evans(notes) on Sunday (37 minutes, 16 points, 2 threes, 1 steal, 1 block) and has playing fairly consistent minutes lately (26 per game in March). Obviously he would be in for more usage if Tyreke Evans' injury situation ends up to be worse than it appears (see below). Week 22: MEM, @NJN, @BOS, @CLE
• Delonte West(notes) - Looks to be all the way back from a knee sprain and has averaged 13.8 points on 49-percent shooting, 3.9 assists, 1.6 turnovers, and 1 steal over his past eight games. Week 22: @NOR, @SAS, SAC
• Reggie Williams(notes) - Has averaged 17.3 points on 54-percent shooting, 2.3 threes, 5.7 boards, 3 assists, 1.7 turnovers, and 1.3 steals in 33 minutes over the past three games, and even got the start on Saturday at small forward. Disclaimer: he's a Warrior, so expectations need to be fluid. Week 22: PHO, MEM, DAL, @LAC
• Robin Lopez(notes) - Lopez had a big game Friday (34 minutes, 19 points, 10 boards, 4 blocks) but it was his first outburst in almost a month. In 28 starts, he's averaged 11.6 points on 60-percent shooting, 6.4 boards, and 1.2 blocks.Week 22: @GSW, NYK, @MIN
• Nicolas Batum(notes) - Batum has been very inconsistent but reasonably productive overall as a starter (11.5 points, 55% FG, 1.8 threes, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks in 13 games). Week 22: DAL, @NOR, @OKC
• Taj Gibson(notes) - Gibson followed up a huge game on Friday (20 points, 13 boards, 3 steals, 1 block) with more modest numbers Saturday (7 points, 7 boards, 1 block) and his nagging plantar fasciitis makes him a less-than-ideal option. Week 22: HOU, MIA, NJN, @DET
• Ersan Ilyasova(notes) - Ilyasova has made some noise over the past two games (13 points, 1 three, 10.5 boards in 33 minutes) and the Bucks have a four-game week. Luc Richard Mbah a Moute(notes) seemed locked in at power forward, but it's at least worth watching. Week 22: ATL, PHI, MIA, MEM
• Earl Watson(notes) - Watson comes with well-defined strengths and weaknesses. In 10 games during March, he's averaged 8 points, 0.8 threes, 5.6 assists, 3 turnovers, and 1.9 steals in 31 minutes. Week 22: @DET, WAS, UTH, @ATL
• Andrew Bynum(notes) - Bynum is expected to miss the next six games as he recovers from a strained left Achilles' tendon. That timeline puts a serious damper on his fantasy impact [schedule], and as of this point he's scheduled for a re-evaluation next Thursday (April 1). He's "hoping" to be back in the lineup on April 2, but it will depend on how quickly the injury heals. Lamar Odom(notes) stands to benefit from Bynum missing time.
• Wilson Chandler - Chandler's season may or may not be over, but he's certainly going to miss the next week to 10 days as he rests a strained groin that has been bothering him for the past six weeks. There is little to be gained by bringing Chandler back at this point, especially with Bill Walker being perfectly capable of filling in.
• Luol Deng - Deng has suffered a setback in his return from a right calf strain and is now expected to miss two to three more weeks, and possibly the remainder of the regular season. This news means that he's droppable and James Johnson merits consideration in most formats.
• Tyreke Evans - Evans has a slight concussion, bruised jaw, gum laceration, and chipped teeth, but he does not have a fractured jaw. He didn't play Sunday but what happens beyond that won't be known until after he is re-evaluated on Monday. It does at least appear that he's avoided any injury that would cost him significant time. Regardless, his fantasy owners should stay tuned for the results of his re-evaluation.
• Marc Gasol - Gasol has missed the past three games because of a slight tear in the muscle in the left side of his collarbone, and his immediate status remains murky. He's officially day-to-day, but this seems like the kind of situation that could drag out a bit. Hasheem Thabeet has averaged 7.3 points, 8.3 boards, and 2.3 blocks in 22 minutes during his three starts.
• Andrei Kirilenko - AK has missed four of the past five games due to a left calf strain and his status for Monday is unknown at this point. C.J. Miles has averaged 18 points, 1.5 threes, 4 assists, 1 turnover, and 1.5 steals in 33 minutes over the past two games in AK's spot in the starting five.
• Joakim Noah(notes) - Noah played nine minutes on Saturday (7 points, 4 boards) and the plan for now is to keep him in the neighborhood of 10 minutes per game. It's unlikely that he'll be helping fantasy owners in standard leagues any time soon.
• Lamar Odom - Odom is due to join the Lakers' starting five while Andrew Bynum is sidelined, but he's not 100 percent himself. His left shoulder has been bothering him since an injury on February 18, and he's said that he doesn't expect to shoot or rebound well in the short-term.
• Mehmet Okur(notes) - Okur missed Saturday's game with a stomach illness - he had arrived at the arena for the game but was sent home to rest and recuperate. He seems likely to return on Monday, but that is only speculation at this point.
• Chris Paul(notes) - Paul is hoping to return to the lineup on Monday, but we won't know for sure until at least after the team's morning activities. Jeff Bower says he's "very close." The Hornets have three games in Week 22 (Mon DAL, Wed CLE, Sat POR).
• Louis Williams(notes) - Williams played only 12 minutes Saturday because of lower back tightness and has only averaged 17 minutes over the past three games. His status for Monday won't be determined until game day, and Willie Green(notes) would be the beneficiary if he were to miss a game (or more) [schedule].
• Thaddeus Young(notes) - Young is out indefinitely with a right thumb fracture and seems a lock to miss most of Week 22 at the least. It's his non-shooting hand, but the 76ers have no real reason to rush him back.
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