• Most people know that it is better to use players with more games. Player A averages 20 points and 10 rebounds. Player B averages 15 points and 7 rebounds. Player A has two games in a certain week while player B has four. Of course player B will probably produce a larger output than player A.

    When trading for players, pay attention to their playoff schedules. The Bucks have a 4-4-4 playoff schedule and Wolves have a 4-3-3. So if you were in the playoffs, would you rather have Karl-Anthony Towns or Giannis Antetokounmpo? As far as free agent pickups go, take it one week at a time as you can swap them for another player every week.

    There is an additional step you can take to increase your chances of winning, but you might need a spreadsheet or a calculator. First, take the averages of all the players on your team and your opponent’s team (you can use season average, last month or any average you want). Then you multiply each player’s average by the number of games they have in the upcoming week.

    This will give you the player’s expected total output for the week. Add up all of the expected outputs and compare to your opponent’s. This will tell you which categories will end up being close and which will not. (For percentages, you will want to use average number of shots made and attempted and add those up, instead of using the actual percentage)

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    Not only will you be looking for players with the most games, but you would also know exactly which categories to focus on. Your needs will vary from week to week depending on your matchup. This is a little more time-consuming but it will give you a huge advantage over your opponent by knowing which categories are expected to be close before the matchup even begins.

    Rest days are another concern when nearing the fantasy playoffs. The Cavs and Spurs are notorious for giving their players games off and you can expect the best players from these two teams to sit at least one, possibly two games for the duration of the fantasy playoffs. This will hurt a lot if you are in a close matchup. As hard as it may be, it might be wise to trade players from these teams for someone of equal value, but for someone you know will give you maximum output during the upcoming weeks (preferably someone from a team fighting for playoff positioning).

    Also watch out for the teams that are tanking. These teams will rest their veterans more as the season progresses to give their young players a chance to gain experience. The Nets have already begun this process, giving out rest days left and right. So it might be smart to trade away Brook Lopez and Trevor Booker for players of equal value while you still can. Very soon, other teams will also start fading out of the playoff picture, such as the Heat, Suns, Lakers and perhaps even the Knicks, making star players like Hassan Whiteside and Carmelo Anthony rest day candidates.

    As I mentioned before, teams out of playoff contention have another element of interest to fantasy. Their younger players are given more opportunity toward the end of the season. This gives intriguing stash consideration for players such as Caris LeVert, Marquese Chriss, Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac and Willy Hernangomez, among others. If you have any other candidates for young players you might stash, please let us know in the comments below.


Fantasy News

  • Trae Young
    PG, Atlanta Hawks

    Trae Young was up to his old tricks on Wednesday, finishing with 23 points (7-of-19 from the field, 8-of-10 from the line), nine assists, a steal, a block, a 3-pointer and no turnovers in 35 minutes of action.

    Its worth noting that the Hawks want to get Young up to 35 minutes per game this season, making this line a very attainable benchmark for him to hit on a night-to-night basis. There likely won't be too many games where he has zero turnovers, but it's nice to see after his rough stretch holding onto the ball to start the preseason.

  • Darius Bazley
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Darius Bazley played a team-high 31 minutes in Wednesday's 119-124 preseason loss to the Grizzlies, posting seven points, nine rebounds, six assists and a steal.

    Bazley shot 2-of-8 but the playing time is worth noting considering the Thunder's depth, or lack thereof, on the wings. The rookie remains a bit of an enigma considering he opted to train privately and work at an internship with New Balance, but he certainly looks like a potential contributor. Deep-league managers should remember the name.

  • Hassan Whiteside
    C, Portland Trail Blazers

    Hassan Whiteside has been diagnosed with a left ankle sprain and will not return to the Blazers' game against the Jazz.

    The second injury of the night for Whiteside proved to be too much to play through, and he will likely be reevaluated in the next couple of days. There is mild cause for concern considering that he was already dealing with a sprain to this ankle. If he misses extended time, Zach Collins will soak up a ton of minutes in the middle while Mario Hezonja and Skal Labissiere could see extended run as well. Whiteside finished his night with 11 rebounds and five points in 16 minutes.

    Source: Portland Trail Blazers PR

  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
    SG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander put up 17 points, five rebounds, three assists and a block in Wednesday's preseason loss to the Grizzlies.

    Gilgeous-Alexander will share the backcourt with Chris Paul, at least at the start of the season, but figures to take on a larger role over the course of the year. He's gaining steam in fantasy leagues and as his ADP rises there's less room for profit, but we're down with SGA as a middle-round selection with upside.

  • Russell Westbrook
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Russell Westbrook just couldn't get it going in Wednesday's loss to San Antonio, scoring 14 points (5-of-13 shooting from the field, 1-4 from the line) to go with four assists, four rebounds and eight turnovers.

    Ouch. Westbrook's bad games look a lot worse when his volume scoring and playmaking is taken away, which is exactly what James Harden did tonight. He's a confounding player for fantasy managers to consider around the second round where he is being taken. No, he won't be this bad every night, but when he is, you will not have a good time.

  • Mike Muscala
    PF, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Mike Muscala was cooking on Wednesday night, scoring 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting in only 14 minutes of action.

    Muscala knocked down 4-of-6 threes to do his damage. He remains a quality stretch big for fantasy purposes and should threaten top-200 numbers given the state of OKC's depth chart up front.

  • Dennis Schroder
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    With Chris Paul out on Wednesday, Dennis Schroder moved into the starting five but disappointed with eight points (3-of-9 shooting) and six assists.

    Schroder added two threes and a steal so it wasn't a total waste but DFS players were hoping for much more. Though there are questions about his fit with CP3 and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander around, Schroder still figures to play a ton as the team's sixth man and could be in for a big finish if Paul gets traded or shut down. He's a fine selection in the last few rounds of all drafts. Danilo Gallinari also had an off night, going 3-of-12 from the field en route to 16 points and 10 rebounds.

  • Eric Gordon
    SG, Houston Rockets

    Eric Gordon moved to the bench in Houston's preseason loss to the Spurs, finishing with 14 points (5-of-11 shooting) and four 3-pointers in 23 minutes.

    It seems that Gordon will go back to providing a scoring punch to the second unit as Houston continues to tinker their lineup in the wake of the Gerald Green (broken left foot) injury. He'll get you tons of 3-pointers not matter where he plays, but with a lack of supporting stats to go with it, you could do better towards the end of your draft.

  • Steven Adams
    C, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Steven Adams briefly left Wednesday's game with an elbow injury but returned to post 12 points, nine rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes.

    A light night at the office for Steve-O, who missed both of his free throw attempts. He's locked and loaded as a safe top-90 guy that could threaten top-50 numbers if he ever worked out his kinks at the charity stripe. The big takeaway here is that he's healthy.

  • Dillon Brooks
    SF, Memphis Grizzlies

    Dillon Brooks led the Grizzlies with 30 points (10-for-17 shooting) on Wednesday night, adding five 3-pointers and a steal to round out his effort.

    This is a huge performance from Brooks, and very well-timed considering the recent speculation that Grayson Allen will start at shooting guard. Though there's deep-league scoring pop, the fact that Brooks managed zero rebounds or assists in this one underscores just how hollow his stat set is. Even if he starts, we're looking at top-225 value at best.