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Fantasy Basketball Week 21 Schedule Breakdown

Week 21 marks the beginning of the fantasy playoffs in most standard leagues. Navigating game schedules is of even greater importance because, simply put, there's money (and bragging rights) on the line. While two teams only play twice in Week 21, most of the NBA will have three games to play, and there will be some solid "silly season" options available among those who play four. Let's look at the Week 21 schedule breakdown.

Week 21 Games Played

4 Games: BOS, CLE, DET, GSW, IND, MIA, MIN, NOR, PHI, POR, SAC, UTA

3 Games: ATL, BKN, CHI, DEN, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHO, SAS, TOR, WAS

2 Games: CHA, DAL

Week 21 Storylines

- Lakers lose Anthony Davis to a left eye injury

Davis's Saturday night ended prematurely, as he suffered a corneal abrasion during the first quarter of the Lakers' home loss to the Warriors. According to reports, the eye was swollen to the point where Davis's vision was impaired. He will be monitored closely before deciding his availability for Monday's game against Atlanta. That's the first of three games the Lakers play in Week 21, with the second not until Friday (vs. Philadelphia). The schedule could be used to sit Davis, even if his eye is recovered to the point where he could play on Monday. Jaxson Hayes will likely move into the starting lineup if AD sits, while Rui Hachimura's role as a starter could be enhanced. Also, look for LeBron James and D'Angelo Russell to do even more heavy lifting offensively.

- How many games will managers get out of Stephen Curry?

Curry missed three games with a sprained ankle ahead of Saturday's game against the Lakers, and his presence impacts the entire Warriors rotation. With his best offensive weapon sidelined, Steve Kerr started Chris Paul and Klay Thompson at the guard spots, which relegated Brandin Podziemski to the bench. Curry's return also resulted in Podziemski returning to the starting lineup, raising the rookie's fantasy ceiling. The good news for fantasy managers is that there are no back-to-backs in Week 21 for the Warriors, so there should not be a need for an "injury management" night for Curry. Also, Draymond Green's return from a back injury bumps Trayce Jackson-Davis to the bench, and Kevon Looney drops out of the rotation entirely. Jackson-Davis had his moments as a spot starter, but the bench role may not be enough to keep him relevant in deep leagues.

- Could fringe Hornets and Mavericks players be on the "chopping block?"

This certainly does not apply to Luka Doncic, Kyrie Irving, or Miles Bridges, to name a few. But there are other options on these rosters whose fantasy values will take a hit in leagues that set weekly lineups on Monday. In the case of the Mavericks, their final game is scheduled for Thursday (vs. Utah), which impacts the rostered percentages of Daniel Gafford and Tim Hardaway Jr. in leagues that allow for daily lineup changes toward the end of the week.

As for Charlotte, the fantasy impact will be felt most during the middle of the week, with three days between road games against the Magic (Tuesday) and Hawks (Saturday). Vasilije Micic, Grant Williams, and Tre Mann have all figured prominently in the Hornets rotation recently, with the former providing top-100 value in 8-cat formats over the past two weeks. Do managers pull the plug without hesitation or wait things out, as the Hornets (and Mavericks) play four games in Week 22?

- Heat to remain without Tyler Herro for at least another 1-2 weeks

On Saturday, it was reported that Herro received a PRP injection into his injured foot and will be re-evaluated in 1-2 weeks. That timeline could make it difficult for fantasy managers to rely on him in their playoffs; one would imagine there will be a ramp-up period, no matter when he's cleared to play. As a result, Duncan Robinson should remain in the starting lineup, where he'll continue to be relevant in standard leagues. Miami plays four games in Week 21, beginning with the 76ers on Monday. In addition to Robinson, Caleb Martin should offer increased value despite coming off the bench. Over the past two weeks, he has played 30 minutes per game, while rookie Jaime Jaquez Jr. has also taken on an enhanced role in recent weeks.

- Week 21 could be tricky for managers who rely on Celtics players

Boston's recent schedule has been loaded with back-to-backs, with the second of three during two weeks spanning from the final day of Week 20 to the first of Week 21. The third is a Friday/Saturday road trip to Detroit and Chicago, capping a four-game Week 21 for the team with the NBA's best record. Al Horford has yet to play both games of a back-to-back this season, so a four-game week could be two, as he is available for Sunday's game against the Wizards (Boston hosts Detroit on Monday). Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown are questionable for that matchup, while Kristaps Porzingis and Derrick White have been ruled out. As a result, Sam Hauser and Payton Pritchard could be in play as deep-league streamers for either (or both) of those games to end Boston's Week 21 slate.

- How much longer will the Clippers be without James Harden?

Harden missed two games with a left shoulder injury and was considered questionable for the Clippers' March 17 matchup with the Hawks at the time of publishing. If he can return for that matchup, there would not be too much for fantasy managers to worry about heading into Week 21. If not? That would keep Bones Hyland on the radar in deep leagues, even with the Clippers only playing three games. It's worth noting that the first two are road matchups with the Blazers, a team playing out the string.

The third and final game of Week 21 is a home matchup against the 76ers, with the Pacers visiting the following night to begin Week 22. In addition to Harden, Norman Powell also landed on the injury report after he hurt his left shin during Friday's loss to the Pelicans. Terance Mann and Amir Coffey could also enter the conversation in deep leagues for Week 21. Still, none of the potential streamers have provided consistent production when asked to take on an expanded role.

- How many games will managers get from Coby White?

The Bulls, who played three games in Week 21, have been without starting point guard Coby White for the last two with a hip injury. Torrey Craig was moved into the starting lineup, with Ayo Dosunmu shifting into the point guard role. With DeMar DeRozan also capable of initiating offense, Dosunmu has not been the only player taking on those responsibilities. However, the role change has boosted his value, with Ayo providing top 75 per-game value in 9-cat formats over the past week. The Bulls open Week 21 with a home game against Portland on Monday, and that could be viewed as an opportunity to give White a few more days to get closer to full strength, as the Bulls will end the week with games against the Rockets (Thursday) and Celtics (Saturday).

Light Game Days

Tuesday: 5 Games

CHA vs. ORL

HOU vs. WAS

NOR vs. BKN

DAL vs. SAS

DEN vs. MIN

Week 21 Back-to-backs

Sunday (Week 20)-Monday: ATL, BOS, DET, MIA

Monday-Tuesday: MIN

Tuesday-Wednesday: None

Wednesday-Thursday: MIL, PHO, SAC, UTA

Thursday-Friday: NOR

Friday-Saturday: BOS, POR, SAS, TOR

Saturday-Sunday: None

Sunday-Monday (Week 22): CLE, DET, IND, LAC, PHI