Yahoo Fantasy analyst Dan Titus offers strategy advice ahead of the fantasy playoffs and runs through 5 players to target ahead of the trade deadline.
DAN TITUS: What up? I'm back with "Tip-Off with Titus," here to discuss the things that I would do to prepare for the fantasy playoffs.
- It's the playoffs.
DAN TITUS: For most default leagues, the playoffs start week 21. But for some, it's going to be week 20. And you also have the trade deadline that finishes this Thursday. So there's actually a lot of things at play here that you'll want to consider.
- OK, I got it. New game plan.
DAN TITUS: The first thing that I would do.
- OK, number one.
DAN TITUS: If you have a bye week in week 20 or week 21, make sure you're planning ahead. Same goes for fantasy football as it does to fantasy basketball. You want to make sure you're identifying your potential opponent weaknesses, but then also jumping ahead and scooping up players that they won't even have a chance to by the time they play you.
- I got him!
DAN TITUS: So in week 20, to me, that means I would be targeting teams like the Boston Celtics, the Miami Heat, the Lakers, the Magic, the Raptors. All of those teams have a nice balance of back-to-backs and also having games on lesser slates.
And looking to week 21, if your playoffs start in week 21, you'll be actually looking forward to week 22 where I'd be looking to get teams like players on the Kings, players on the Rockets. Those teams also have a nice balance of back-to-backs and also playing on lesser slates. So you've always got to get ahead of the game if you have a bye week.
- Works for me.
DAN TITUS: Which brings me to my next point. Make sure you're active at the trade deadline.
- Oh, I'm buying.
DAN TITUS: Don't wait around and assume that your team is good enough to keep going. You could always improve. So whether that's getting rid of dead weight and people that don't have advantageous schedules for what you're going to be preparing for, or you just want to bolster your roster.
- All right, here we go.
DAN TITUS: Well, here are five players that I'm really looking to target at the trade deadline. The first one is Jrue Holiday, and I'm really banking on the fact that Giannis isn't going to be playing much down the-- I mean, he's going to be playing, but he's not going to be playing back-to-backs.
And with that injury, we may not see as good of production as we've seen as of late. And Jrue Holiday has been one of the biggest benefactors, if not the best benefactor, any time Giannis misses time. So be looking to acquire Jrue Holiday.
The next person, and actually same team, Mikal Bridges and Cam Johnson. I think Mikal Bridges is going to be way more expensive, but Cam Johnson, I think, is a player that you'll definitely want if you're playing from fantasy weeks week 20 to week 22 because they play the most games, along with the 76ers.
And not to mention, his role is growing and expanding with this Brooklyn Nets team. He's going to get more points. And the stocks are definitely something that I'm really interested in, as well as his efficiency. So I think Cam Johnson is definitely a player you'll want to acquire at the deadline.
- But wait, there's more.
DAN TITUS: The next one is Markelle Fultz. He's been almost top 50 in per-game value over the last month. And with Paolo Banchero struggling, as well as Franz Wagner, this is the guy that's going to help them get to the potential play-in tournament. So I think you should really consider acquiring Markelle Fultz, who's been phenomenal from the line, gives you stocks, and also the points and assists as well as a good rebounding number for a guard.
- Damn, that boy can sing.
DAN TITUS: And the last one, Jalen Williams of the Oklahoma City Thunder. We know that the Thunder always love to kind of play with their rotation and get their younger guys some burn towards the end of the season. Jalen Williams has been 33rd in per-game value over the last month. He's continuing to grow. One of the best rookies in this class. Definitely one of the best fantasy rookies in this class, along with Walker Kessler, another guy that I would also be interested in acquiring at the deadline.
- Go get him.
- I'm getting him.
DAN TITUS: And my final point is, in daily leagues, it's not about how many games you play but when those games are played. For example, in week 20, there's going to be 10 games on Saturday night. That means you're going to have to make some tough start-sit decisions.
- Why is this so hard?
DAN TITUS: So rather than just having people wasting away on your bench, go plan ahead for the next Sunday game that only has seven or six games. So make sure that you're being equitable with the amount of time and the roster that you have. You've got to be flexible. Don't be afraid to cut bait. You can drop those players, look ahead, and potentially get an extra game towards the latter half of the week.
- This is great stuff.
DAN TITUS: Make sure you check out my week-to-week fantasy playoff schedule tracker that I'll be dropping every Thursday to prepare for the next week, as well as my waiver pickups. But also, as a relevant source, if you want to look ahead at the schedule, make sure you check out "Hashtag Basketball," their advanced schedule grid. An extremely valuable source as you close out the season.
So good luck at the fantasy trade deadline. Good luck in your fantasy playoffs. I hope you bring home the title.