The Week Ahead: Week 23

Jonas Nader
Rotoworld
Jonas Nader looks at some waiver-wire pickups and the schedule to prepare you for Week 23!

The Week Ahead: Week 23

Jonas Nader looks at some waiver-wire pickups and the schedule to prepare you for Week 23!

Week 23 Schedule: Games Played

5 Games: GSW

4 Games: BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, HOU, IND, MIA, MIL, NYK, SAC, SAS, TOR, UTA, WAS

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3 Games: ATL, CHI, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIN, NOP, OKC, PHI, PHX, POR

2 Games: BKN, ORL

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

Week 23 Streaming Schedule:

Monday (9 Games)- Pistons @ Cavs, Jazz @ Wizards, Nuggets @ Celtics, Knicks @ Raptors, Heat @ Thunder, Warriors @ Spurs, Pelicans @ Mavericks, Bulls @ Suns, Pacers @ Blazers

Tuesday (6 Games): 76ers @ Hornets, Rockets @ Hawks, Lakers @ Bucks, Warriors @ Wolves, Nets @ Kings, Pacers @ Clippers

Wednesday (9 Games): Bucks @ Cavs, Pelicans @ Magic, Celtics @ 76ers, Jazz @ Knicks, Wizards @ Bulls, Rockets @ Grizzlies, Heat @ Spurs, Raptors @ Thunder, Mavs @ Blazers

Thursday (6 Games): Wolves @ Hornets, Nuggets @ Wizards, Jazz @ Hawks, Pistons @ Suns, Mavs @ Kings, Pacers @ Warriors

Friday (7 Games): Grizzlies @ Magic, Clippers @ Cavs, Nuggets @ Knicks, Thunder @ Raptors, Spurs @ Rockets, Heat @ Bucks, Nets @ Lakers

Saturday (8 Games): Celtics @ Hornets, Heat @ Wizards, 76ers @ Hawks, Jazz @ Bulls, Wolves @ Grizzlies, Mavs @ Warriors, Pistons @ Blazers, Suns @ Kings

Sunday (8 Games): Clippers @ Knicks, Cavs @ Bucks, Nuggets @ Pacers, Hornets @ Raptors, Rockets @ Pelicans, Spurs @ Celtics, Pistons @ Warriors, Kings @ Lakers

Back-to-Backs:

Sunday (Mar. 17)-Monday: Bulls, Pistons, Heat, Knicks, Raptors

Monday-Tuesday: Warriors, Pacers

Tuesday-Wednesday: Rockets, Bucks, 76ers

Wednesday-Thursday: Mavericks, Jazz, Wizards

Thursday-Friday: Nuggets

Friday-Saturday: Grizzlies, Heat

Saturday-Sunday: Celtics, Hornets, Pistons, Warriors, Kings

Three Games in Four Nights:

Monday-Thursday: Mavs, Warriors, Pacers, Jazz, Wizards

Tuesday-Friday: Rockets, Bucks

Wednesday-Saturday: Mavs, Grizzlies, Heat, Jazz Wizards

Thursday-Sunday: Hornets, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Kings

Waiver-Wire Options

*To qualify for this list, players must be available in less than 50% of Yahoo League. Players listed are not in order because it depends on your roster build and league size. 

 

5 Games

Kevon Looney (4%)- Normally he wouldn’t come close to any waiver-wire list, but we have to make an exception for Golden State’s 5-game week. I’m expecting one or two DNPs for DeMarcus Cousins this week, while several others could get sporadic rest as well. Looney is averaging a modest 6.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks in 16.3 minutes over his last three games, so he does offer some streaming appeal in deeper formats. I’d consider Andre Iguodala (7%) in some cases as well, but I feel like he’s a lock to sit out at least one game.

 

4 Games

Marcus Smart (47%)- He’s one of the easiest players to gauge in fantasy these days as a 3-category specialist. Smart is getting the job done in dimes (4.0), steals (1.8) and triples (1.6), and that has helped him return 7th-round value on the season in standard leagues. The Celtics have a tough 4-game schedule vs. the Nuggets, 76ers, Hornets and Spurs, and it’s possible Kyrie Irving misses one of these for rest which would give Smart a slight bump.

Frank Kaminsky (8%)- This one is for deep-league owners only. Cody Zeller's (knee) timetable is unclear at the moment, but I could see him missing a lot of time since this is the same knee he had surgery on in 2017-18. Bismack Biyombo can’t handle a large workload because he’s not healthy, and you’d think Willy Hernangomez keyed coach Borrego’s car because he can’t get out of the doghouse. Kaminsky isn’t even ranked inside the top-150 for the past two weeks, but has been a decent source of points (13.7), boards (5.0) and triples (2.0) which can make him useful in a 4-game week.

Brandon Knight (3%)- Knight has looked like a “BIG3” player for the past few years with his health holding him back, but he’s suddenly very relevant on a talent-starved team. In his last four games, Knight has played at least 24 minutes in each with 12.5 points, 3.0 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 1.8 triples on 50% from the field. Matthew Dellavedova still doesn’t have a timetable from his concussion, so I’m expecting the Cavaliers to keep throwing Knight out there. “He’s the Brandon that I remember,” Cavs coach Larry Drew said. “Probably not as explosive as he’s been in the past, prior to the injury, but still a guy who has a tremendous work ethic and he competes" (h/t Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com). I’m taking a flier on him in a few leagues for his 4-game week.

Jalen Brunson (44%)- He looks like a completely different player since the start of the season and has become a huge part of Carlisle’s game-plan. In the past two weeks, Brunson is the 42nd ranked player in standard leagues with 18.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 1.7 triples on 59.2% from the field. Yes his shooting will come back down to earth and his numbers are inflated from his 33-point outburst vs. the Spurs, but Brunson is a solid pickup for a 4-game week and the Mavs open the week with three games from Monday-Thursday if you’re looking to maximize your games played.

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Maxi Kleber (8%)- Kleber is more of a deep-league asset because his production is so volatile, but he’s played 29+ minutes in three straight games and he’ll have three games from Monday-Thursday which puts him on the radar as an early-week stream. There’s some decent upside here with per-36 numbers of 11.5 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 triples.

Monte Morris (15%)- Here’s a sneaky pickup that has had multiple stretches of top-75 numbers this season. Morris’ strong play has pushed Isaiah Thomas completely out of the rotation, and he continues to play alongside Jamal Murray. He’s played at least 27 minutes in each of his last three games, and he’s been the 37th ranked player in that span with 13.3 points, 5.3 assists, 1.7 rebounds, 1.7 steals, 2.0 triples and 1.3 turnovers. The Nuggets will have three straight weeks of four games each, making Morris a must-add player barring another role change.

Wayne Ellington (13%) and Langston Galloway (4%)- Need 3-pointers? Ellington is averaging 2.4 per game over the past two weeks and Galloway is hitting 2.9(!) per game. Galloway’s numbers are very fluky because he’s hit 20-of-29 from deep over his last six games, so I prefer Ellington because he has the resume of one of the NBA’s best shooters.

Wesley Matthews (34%)- For those of you punting FG%, Matthews is an option for his production in points (11.0), rebounds (3.8), assists (2.0), steals (1.2) and triples (1.8) over the past two weeks. He’s hitting 38.8% from the field, so be aware of that if you can’t take the hit in that category. The Pacers open the week with three games in four nights from Monday-Thursday.

Bam Adebayo (42%)- The Heat are committed to Bam as their starting center and that isn’t going to change based on coach Spoelstra’s comments earlier this week. While it’s true that he’s basically in a timeshare with Hassan Whiteside, he’s still the 66th ranked player in a 24.0 minute role over his last six games. He’s been a sneaky source of assists (2.7) and is also getting the job done in points (12.5), rebounds (6.7) and FG% (71.4) with 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. He also doesn’t hurt you anywhere, and beginning on Sunday, March 17 the Heat will play five times in seven nights. He’s a must-own player in my book.

Damyean Dotson (29%)- I’m not in a huge hurry to add Dotson because the Knicks have a two-game schedule next week, but if you want to ride him this week I have no issue with that. Dotson is the 101st ranked player in his last seven games with a big workload (34.0 minutes), averaging 16.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 0.9 steals and 2.6 triples. Emmanuel Mudiay (15%) should also be on your radar, but only if Dennis Smith Jr.’s back issue lingers — in his last two games, Mudiay put up 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 triples. Then again, the thought of adding Mudiay in the fantasy playoffs is terrifying.

Jakob Poeltl (21%)- One of the top adds of the week, the preseason sleeper has finally arrived with top-55 value for the past month with 7.3 points, 8.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 blocks. He had one of his best games of the season on Friday with 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two steals and a career-high tying five blocks, and it sounds like he’ll stick in the first unit with Popovich wanting Rudy Gay to be the focal point of the second unit. He’s not going to score much, but he’ll hit an absurd percentage of his shots and his blocks alone makes him an add.

Jae Crowder (37%)- Like Wesley Matthews, Crowder is an option for fantasy owners punting FG%. Crowder is only hitting 39.7% of his shots in his last five, but he’s been productive with 12.8 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 triples. The Jazz open the week with three games from Monday-Thursday, making him a popular early-week streamer.

Troy Brown (0%)- I talk about Jeff Green (32%) and Thomas Bryant 23%) almost every week, so let’s switch our focus to someone with some sneaky appeal. Tomas Satoransky could miss time with a possible concussion, and it was Brown who closed alongside Bradley Beal on Friday. Brown had a 10-8-2 line with two triples in just 17 minutes, and with the Wizards falling behind in the East, they might as well give Brown extended run. He has solid upside as a playmaking forward and drew comparisons to Andre Iguodala during the draft. With a 4-4-4 schedule, Brown is on all my watch lists and is one strong game away from a spot on a lot of my fantasy rosters. Keep your eyes peeled for a Satoransky update.

3 Games

Alex Len (29%)- He’s got a bad reputation in fantasy for his Doritos ankles and inconsistent play, but Len has been playing out of his mind in March with 17.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 blocks on 51.7% from the field 56% from the line in 27.6 minutes. It’s worth noting that Dewayne Dedmon missed two out of the seven games in that sample which inflates Len’s numbers a bit, but the Hawks have been using Len alongside Dedmon for about five minutes per game in that stretch which could keep Len in the standard-league conversation. He’s hard to trust, but he’s worth a look if you need to stream a center on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for three games in five nights.

Kevin Huerter (27%)- The rookie is heating back up and took advantage of his matchups vs. two lottery-bound teams, averaging 21.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 4.0 triples vs. the Pelicans and Grizzlies. However, he was held to a combined 11 points in the two previous games, and like most rookies, he’s going to have a lot of ups and downs. The Hawks have been experimenting with Huerter as a primary ball-handler for the second unit which will make him good for a few dimes, and we know that he’ll be a solid source of points and triples when he’s hot. Like Len, Huerter is a decent streaming option for a three game stretch from Tuesday-Saturday.

Robin Lopez (43%)- He’s long gone in competitive leagues, but it’s pretty crazy that he’s still under 50%. Lopez has scored 20+ points in back-to-back games and continues to log 30+ minutes on a nightly basis. Sure his schedule is brutal with three straight weeks of three games each, but you can’t argue with top-60 value over the past month with 16.3 points, 6.5 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.8 blocks on 60% from the field and 80% from the line. You can’t ask for more from a player who was supposed to be riding the Golden State bench and ring chasing.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (26%)- Patrick Beverley (48%) is a must-start player in category leagues with top-50 value over the past two weeks, so I didn’t feel the need to include him on this list since it’s a no-brainer. As for SGA, he’s the 73rd ranked player in that same stretch with 13.7 points, 3.8 assists, 3.2 rebounds, 1.3 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.2 triples. Things are finally clicking after running into the rookie wall a couple times, but it’s unfortunate that the Clips play just three times. That means guys like Monte Morris and Tyus Jones should be prioritized.

Landry Shamet (11%)- The Clippers have a light schedule with games on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday, so Shamet is more of a streamer for those looking for help during the weekend. He’s not exactly lighting up fantasy leagues, but is an 11th-round value for the past two weeks with 12.5 points, 2.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 3.5 triples.

Alex Caruso (4%)- Imagine calling this guy a pickup before the season started. That’s how far the Lakers have fallen off and with LeBron James starting to rest that’s a sign that the Lakers are waving the white towel on their season. Caruso had plenty of success in the G League with a 14/6/4 line with 2.2 steals and 1.1 triples, and he’s been a nice surprise in the last two games for the Lakers with 16.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.5 triples. I think he’ll be a better add next week when the Lakers play four times and they will probably start reeling in Rajon Rondo’s minutes at that point.

Delon Wright (16%)- With Memphis coming off a two-game week, Wright is readily available in a ton of leagues and is capable of producing some head-turning lines. In his last game he put up 10 points, seven rebounds, three dimes, two steals and two blocks, and he’s the 54th ranked player in standard leagues in his last five games with 14.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.4 dimes, 1.4 steals and 0.8 blocks in 29.6 minutes. He’s Memphis’ sixth man right now with minutes at both PG and SG, and he’ll benefit from some potential rest for Mike Conley with the Grizzlies currently in 7th in the tank ranks.

Joakim Noah (23%)- Again, here’s another player that was likely dropped for Memphis’ 2-game week. He continues to play minutes in the lower 20s for Memphis, putting up 8-7-4 with nearly a block and steal per game for the past two weeks. I don’t think he’s a must-own player, but Noah could flirt with top-100 numbers in his current role for punt-FT% builds.

Tyus Jones (15%)- It would not surprise me at all if Jeff Teague’s season was over, as he was sent back home this weekend to have his troublesome foot further evaluated. Meanwhile, Derrick Rose’s elbow is still giving him problems and the injuries are adding up. This sets up Jones for a monster finish to the season, and he’s been terrific in his last two starts with 14.0 points, 6.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 triples. He’s a no-brainer add off the wire with elite assist/steal rates with an efficient all-around game — he has a total of two turnovers in his last five outings.

Mikal Bridges (28%)- He’s having a rough stretch right now, but his elite production in steals makes him the best specialist in that category. With 2.0 steals per game over his last six outings, he’s ranked in the top-70 despite bringing very little to the table in other categories. 

 

Streaming Options

*The following section is for owners searching for help in specific categories. The stats provided are over the past two weeks, and the players must be available in over 50% of leagues. 

 

Point Leaders:

Robin Lopez (17.0)
Jalen Brunson (16.1)
Damyean Dotson (16.1)
Alex Len (15.8)
Frank Jackson (15.1)
Avery Bradley (14.8)
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (13.7)
Frank Kaminsky (13.5)
Luke Kennard (13.3)
Allonzo Trier (13.3)

Assist Leaders:

Patrick Beverley (5.8)
D.J. Augustin (5.1)
Jalen Brunson (4.6)
Ish Smith (4.6)
Joakim Noah (4.3)
Marcus Smart (4.3)
Tyus Jones (4.0)

Rebounding Leaders:

Ed Davis (8.8)
Ivica Zubac (8.5)
Bam Adebayo (8.0)
Joakim Noah (7.2)
Mason Plumlee (7.2)
Maxi Kleber (7.2)
Jakob Poeltl (6.8)

 

Steal Leaders:

Marcus Smart (2.3)
Mikal Bridges (2.0)
P.J. Tucker (1.9)
Kenrich Williams (1.7)
Jakob Poeltl (1.4)

Block Leaders:

Jakob Poeltl (1.8)
Thon Maker (1.4)
Mason Plumlee (1.3)
Robin Lopez (1.3)
Josh Jackson (1.0)
Joakim Noah (1.0)

3-point Leaders:

Landry Shamet (3.5)
Wayne Ellington (2.8)
C.J. Miles (2.8)
Langston Galloway (2.8)
Damyean Dotson (2.6)
Luke Kennard (2.5)
Malik Beasley (2.3)
Kevin Huerter (2.3)

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