• Something the NBA consistently does better than the NHL is having their games not all go on intermission at the EXACT SAME TIME. I’m frantically refreshing fantasy hockey scores in parallel to my fantasy basketball scores, and that also involves tuning into extra games and hoping my dumb goalie can find a save at the right time. ALSO, NHL teams do this bit where someone is ruled out with an injury 38 seconds before puck drop and it’s the first time you even heard that the player was wounded. I’m not mad, I’m just frustrated, disappointed and not going to win a hockey league this year.

    With my hockey dreams dying, we shift our attention to fantasy basketball postseason in full swing. I’m unfortunately on the way out in one of my leagues, but still fighting with a shot in one more. The unlucky part is that it’s a dynasty league and some of the teams that are left have built… quite the dynasty. Come on Steph, it’s you and me. Additional obligatory my volleyball team got embarrassed again and I sneezed and almost dislocated my shoulder so I have nothing left to look forward to.

     Week 18 Stream Table

    In the stream table, home games are in orange because basketballs are orange. Road games are in blue because blue is not orange. As always, check back for cancellations.

    Back to Backs

    Brought to you by Drake*

    *not actually

    Sun/Mon (of Week 17): ATL, CLE, MEM, ORL, PHX, SAC, WAS
    Mon/Tues: DAL, MIN, OKC, TOR
    Tues/Weds: BOS, CHA, POR
    Weds/Thurs: DEN, NOP
    Thurs/Fri: BKN, MIL
    Fri/Sat: ATL, CHI, CLE, MEM, ORL, UTA, WAS
    Sat/Sun: CHA, DAL, HOU, MIA, OKC, TOR
    Sun/Mon (of Week 19): LAL, NYK, PHI, POR, SAS

    Working The Wire

    Availability is king and for some reason we have three teams with five game weeks coming up here. We’re going to see some Mavericks, Thundermen (what) and Raptors over the next few words here.

    Point Guards

    Raul Neto: Neto is that annoying guy who seems like he’s not getting anything done but then you realize he’s accomplished everything you asked by pushing the pencil a little further every day. He’s starting in a three guard lineup for the Wizards right now and is a very solid 3-and-D efficient player with above average passing ability.

    De’Anthony Melton: Whenever he’s in the rotation, Melton has to be in the picture in all formats. He’s now played three games since returning from injury and we’ve gotten three different outings. The first game back last Monday was the incredible 41-minute near triple-double. Logically, that means he was only going to get 15 minutes on Wednesday, and finally he settled in the middle with 24 minutes and a decent multi-cat line. This is annoying as all heck.

    On the Radar
    Brandon Goodwin: I understand Trae Young is out and Goodwin had 17 points on Friday. I also understand this hasn’t really panned out into incredible standard league value since that injury. Goodwin is more of a deep-league stream until we get the Trae update.

    Shooting Guards

    Kendrick Nunn: Nunn is right back to his unpredictable hot streak scoring almost 20 points per game and hitting 4.2 triples over this last five game stretch. During this streak he’s a top-35 option in 9-category leagues. The shot is falling and this is the time to juice this orange.

    PJ Dozier: Dozier has been strong starting next to Facundo Campazzo for a banged out Nuggets team missing Will Barton and Monte Morris on top of losing Jamal Murray. On Saturday against a hapless Rockets defense he went 10-of-13 for 23 points and seven cash counters.

    On the Radar
    Trevor Ariza: Ariza continues to get on my radar by playing this many minutes (29.6 over the past nine games) despite his advanced age. He’s making triples but isn’t standing out in the ways he used to defensively. Basically he’s a roto compiler without much downside.

    Small Forwards

    Darius Bazley: Bazley has been a popular add and is sitting at 50% rostered status in Yahoo! leagues, so this is more of a formality acknowledging that if he’s out there, especially in a 5-game week upcoming, he needs to be on a team. The same applies for Luguentz Dort, who has shot up on the back of a top-20 run over the past two weeks.

    Reggie Bullock: Bullock is right there as a top-75 player in the last two weeks in very quiet fashion. The Knicks are on an unconscious run and Reggie is definitely helping them along that train. The worst-case scenario here is that he makes two triples instead of four.

    On the Radar
    Jeff Green: Green lives on the radar just for volume but Kevin Durant’s return will definitely put a damper on what we get here. Not an add in standard leagues, could still hold some streaming appeal in deep formats with his flexibility.

    Kenyon Martin Jr.: If he’s going to be a starter we have to be somewhat interested. Jae’Sean Tate and Danuel House being banged up has cleared the runway for KJ to take off.

    Power Forwards  

    Isaiah Roby: Five game week for the Thunder next week and Moses Brown sucks now. Brown is holding on just because of the five-game volume play and I’d be more interested in dropping him until he figures out what to do with his arms and doesn’t commit four fouls in seven minutes.

    Oshae Brissett: As long as the Pacers frontcourt is out, we have a perfectly good deep-league streamer, Over the last week Oshae has gotten 35 minutes per game and is averaging almost a double-double with 2.3 defensive counters and 2.3 triples.

    On the Radar
    Aleksej Pokusevski: Poku is too over-rostered in standard leagues so he’ll be on the radar instead of on the Stream Team this week. Five games coming up and Poku should be able to at least block some shots for us.

    Khem Birch: Reliable high 20s minutes with some energy popcorn stats and two or three defensive counters. It’s pretty good in a deep league.

    Center

    Mo Bamba: Para bailar la bamba se necesita una poca de injury to Wendell Carter Jr. and a realization that if the Magic want Mo to be a part of their future they should probably send him and see what happens.

    Dwight Powell: Look, if Kristaps Porzingis misses time we’re suddenly not that uninterested in a Dwight Powell situation where he plays five times next week and doesn’t do anything dumb. This 25-point night against the Lakers kind of came out of nowhere.

    On the Radar
    Naz Reid: Very inconsistent minutes here for Naz but it’ll be interesting to see whether KAT sits out a few games down the stretch.

    The Stream Team

    PG: Payton Pritchard – Five straight double-figure scoring games. Better if Kemba and Jaylen Brown don’t play, obviously, but some deep streaming value right now.

    SG: Edmond Sumner – Basically a permanent fixture as a starter for the Pacers at this point without Jeremy Lamb breathing down his neck now, making him a good volume play in a deep league.

    SF: Moe Harkless – He’s getting minutes for the dumb Kings as they continue the Haliburton second-unit charade. Harkless, therefore, is a borderline top-100 guy over the past two weeks with good efficiency and some steals.

    PF: Kevon Looney – Still going to get minutes so I feel that he should continue to be featured on lists like this. I’m just not that excited about his production outside of rebounds.

    C: Dewayne Dedmon – Smart veteran who might move into the Kelly Olynyk role down the stretch after he gets up to speed and doesn’t feel like he’s playing twice as hard in half the minutes. 

    Miscellaneous Musings

    This is the peak intersection of fantasy sports for me with baseball, basketball and hockey lineups getting set at the same time. Even when I’m feeling like I’m caught up, there’s always something else happening. I commission most of the leagues I participate in at this point, and I always sympathize with all the commissioners out there who take it seriously enough to make sure everyone is participating and no one does anything too silly. In the process of trying to organize all my leagues and make sure everything was running smoothly I missed a goalie start in my fantasy hockey semifinal while visiting with my parents. It could end up being the difference in a win and a loss and now I’m somewhere between sick to my stomach and depressed. I just want to lose bad enough that it didn’t matter. Fantasy sports is as cruel a mistress as any and I’m already on bad beat three of this fantasy postseason across basketball and hockey. Everything is pain.

    In other world ventures, yours truly is exploring other media avenues and will shamelessly plug a comedy podcast that will be dropping in your earwaves within the next couple of weeks. Two of my friends and I are going to make tier lists of borderline inconsequential cultural items and argue with each other because that’s the foundation of our friendship for the last decade. We’re going to be dropping one episode a week with each week of the month associated with one broad categorical bin. Our current rotation is Food and Drink, Spaces and Places, Art and Media (movies, music, TV) and Sports and Leisure (video games, board games and sports, obviously). Stay tuned and follow us @rankunext on Twitter and Instagram! Thanks for checking in to another edition of Working the Wire and let me know how your fantasy playoffs are going here on Twitter.

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