• 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.


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