• My baseball team made a big splash this week by inking Christian Yelich to a lengthy extension that’s by far the biggest in franchise history or a historically penny-pinching organization. It seems like an obvious move, but there was definitely no guarantees that Yelich, one of the loves of my life, was going to get the contract from a non-spending team who cut 20 percent of their payroll this offseason. If it didn’t get done, there was a nonzero chance I’d commit some minor crimes and flee to Honduras.

    There’s some debate about holding a lot of sporting events coming up without fans in the stands because of the reality of the Coronavirus outbreak around the country. It’s no laughing matter, but it’s a funny site to see that enacted in real life. I played in a lot of empty gyms growing up and every brick was louder than you ever want to hear. In all seriousness people, wash your hands, be smart, trust the science, don’t freak out, don’t do anything your mom wouldn’t be happy with.

    We’re getting to the point in the year where the loyalty is dead. There’s just no getting around the fact that in a redraft league, there isn’t time left to hold onto some guys that may have gotten you here. If there’s someone on your wire that you want and you’re holding Clint Capela on your bench, it’s not out of bounds to move on for the sake of a playoff push. Good thing we have some names to move on to.

    Week 21 Stream Table

    General key:
    Home games are in orange because basketballs are orange.
    Road games are in blue because blue is not orange.
    Green means heavy schedule because green means go.
    Red means light schedule because red means stop.

    Back to Backs

    Brought to you by Drake*

    *not actually

    Sun/Mon: MIL, TOR
    Mon/Tue: none
    Tue/Wed: DAL, NYK
    Wed/Thu: none
    Thu/Fri: BKN, BOS
    Fri/Sat: CLE, LAC, MIA, MIN, NOP, SAS, UTA
    Sat/Sun: CHI
    Sun/Mon (of Week 22): LAL, WAS

    Working the Wire

    Every day there seems to be another major injury or some shutdown risk and that gives us a litany of options on the waiver wire. We hate the injuries and we love them just the same because everyone has them.

    Point Guards

    T.J. McConnell: How crazy is this injury-filled season in Indiana? Somehow, they keep chugging along due to hard work and great coaching. Malcolm Brogdon is week-to-week with a nasty hip injury that realistically might just cost him the rest of the year, so T.J. McConnell is a huge get, especially for some late assists.

    Aaron Holiday: In the same breath as McConnell, we have to mention Aaron Holiday just because he’s going to get the run. He hasn’t done much with ample opportunity all year so it may just be the same old show. However, there’s potential here that is yet untapped and we don’t want to miss the boat entirely. Look, the Pacers rotation is just ravaged. Victor Oladipo pops by when he’s able and T.J. Warren is hobbled as well. I prefer McConnell, but Holiday will have some appeal.

    Jordan McLaughlin: A stream-team recognition a week ago is really trending up of late as a passer. In garbage time for this garbage team, he figures to pop up more often than expected with minutes at both guard positions. He’s not a bad passer at all, with 22 assists in the last three games and has snagged at least one steal in all but one of the last 14 games dating back to the beginning of February.

    Shooting Guards

    Alec Burks: We thought this goose was cooked when he came over to Philly, but we didn’t predict that Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid would miss so much time (maybe that was a collective mistake) and that Josh Richardson would join them on the shelf for so long. Concussions are unpredictable so Richardson could be back tomorrow or have a setback and be out longer term. Either way, Burks will be counted on to score when he’s in the game and is a deep-league streamer.

    Justin Holiday: Sometimes I feel like I’m banging this drum all by myself. I quizzed my fellow co-hosts on Fantasy NBA Tonight on where Holiday is ranked on the season and they were both wildly off. In 25 minutes per game, Justin Holiday is 112th in 9-category formats. That’s solidly in mid-round value and for some reason he isn’t owned in even close to half of leagues. The Pacers need all hands on deck, and these are hands that make 3-pointers and rip steals in bulk.

    Donte DiVincenzo: I’m a noted DiVincenzo supporter of late and I’ve been hoping he gets a starting job on this team. He has kept the Bucks in some games that could have gotten out of hand (see third quarter vs. Lakers on Friday). He rebounds well for his position and plays hard-nosed defense. He should be a pivotal player for this Bucks team as they try to find who can help Giannis out in big moments.

    Small Forwards

    Trevor Ariza: I know it’s lame and I talked about him last week, but Ariza needs to be owned in every league. The minutes aren’t going anywhere. In four games this week, he played 36, 34, 36 and 29 minutes (in a dud performance and bad loss). It seems safe to assume he’ll score about 12 points with a couple threes, a couple steals and a smattering of boards and assists. It’s the diverse profile that made Ariza a top-75 asset for years.

    Josh Jackson: Jackson is starting to show off the potential again in limited minutes. He’s doing a great job scoring in bunches in 20-25 minutes. His usage is really high in his playing time and he’s adding a lot defensively as well, with at least two stocks in this strong stretch of double-digit scoring games. On top of that, he’s averaging just 0.75 turnovers per game in that stretch. Could be a useful guy for the Grizzlies the rest of the way.

    Cameron Johnson: Deandre Ayton’s absence clears up a lot of clogged space. Cam Johnson could start and be a 3-point specialist in deep leagues. He’s out with an illness right now but we have to think that’s partially precautionary if we look around the gravity of the real world right now. When he’s in the game, he’s going to rain down 3-pointers (21 points and five triples in his last appearance).

    Power Forwards

    Trey Lyles: Lyles has to be a consideration with some strong scoring nights recently and a bunch of triples. He can rebound reasonably well and pitches in defensive contributions. LaMarcus Aldridge is yet to return after suffering a setback in his recovery so until Aldridge is full-strength, Lyles should be a decent contributor.

    Dario Saric: By default, Saric is going to get some attention filling in for Deandre Ayton. Aron Baynes is deservedly getting a bump for his monster outing, but Saric is going to get enough minutes to be relevant with volume. He could put up a low-end double-double line every night with a couple threes and assists. It’s not a high-upside profile statistically, so expect something more in the top-100 ballpark.

    Danuel House Jr.: We’ve really come full circle on this program. We started the early weeks talking about Danuel House only to be a bit disappointed that he couldn’t run with the locked-in role. He hasn’t even done a ton recently, but Eric Gordon is banged up yet again and House should be a late-round value. If someone else pops up, he can probably be cast aside if he doesn’t put up some nicer lines.

    Centers

    Aron Baynes: I gotta say, the Deandre Ayton update that says “Ayton hopes to play again this season” doesn’t seem very promising. Baynes is the one that probably analogs closest to Ayton on a production standpoint in terms of his playstyle. He also had 37 points and hit nine threes on Friday so that’s a decent game.

    Dewayne Dedmon: Clint Capela has basically been dealt a death blow for his outlook the rest of the way, and with injuries running rampant, Dewayne Dedmon has a real shot to get 30 minutes every night. The good thing about Dedmon is his ability to be productive enough for late-round value in 20 minutes of action, so in 30 he should be a solidly reliable play the rest of the way. I can’t see Capela getting in for more than 20 minutes in any contest even if he comes back late.

    Naz Reid: Well I bailed on Naz Reid early and now KAT will be re-evaluated in two weeks, which realistically means he may not return this season. Naz is making some 3-pointers, blocking some shots, rebounding occasionally and should definitely be on standard-league radars. Don’t be me. I hate myself.

    The Stream Team

    PG: Mychal Mulder – Deep league diving on a guy who probably deserves another 10-day contract. Steph Curry wants to play every day but if we’re realistic that may not happen.

    SG: Matthew Dellavedova – Can you imagine that we’re still here with Delly? Darius Garland and Kevin Porter Jr. are both hurt to varying degrees and Delly should start. Should be a decent source of assists.

    SF: Cody Martin – Both of the Martin twins play hard and deserve some credit for giving it their all for a team treading water. Cody has an edge and toughness to his game and has caused some havoc on the defensive end. Could be a volume streamer who could pitch in some steals and assorted popcorn stats.

    PF: Mike Scott – Scott has done enough in spot-fill duty with the Sixers down three starters to be considered in deep-leagues. Mainly a popcorn stat producer who can hit the outside shot.

    C: Willy Hernangomez – Free Willy again perhaps, but be wary of this weird rotational thing the Hornets are doing with their big men. The pickup could be Bismack Biyombo in a deep-league as well.

    Miscellaneous Musings

    Atlanta Hawks: I don’t think I’m going to get my wish on the Clint Capela bit this season. I guess we’ll get amped about Dewayne Dedmon instead.

    Brooklyn Nets: Weird firing in Brooklyn to move on from Kenny Atkinson in a year that their best player went down with a string of frustrating injuries. Something else has to be up right?

    Boston Celtics: I traded for Gordon Hayward in a critical moment and he hasn’t played since, so I’m not bitter about that at all.

    Charlotte Hornets: I get a weird amount of joy from watching Cody and Caleb Martin play together. Not only do they look the same, but they also wear consecutive jersey numbers. If you ask me which brother wears which number, I’m 100% guessing.

    Chicago Bulls: Something something new garbage takes about Jim Boylen’s credentials and support for this borderline unwatchable product. John Paxson doubled down on Boylen’s body of work.

    Cleveland Cavaliers: It must be hard to get excited about (insert washed-up or suboptimally talented Cavalier). This week that’s Matthew Dellavedova.

    Dallas Mavericks: I’m glad Kristaps Porzingis is rounding into form. That’ll be a fun dynamic duo in Dallas for years to come.

    Denver Nuggets: Denver is so unpredictable. Sometimes I think they should be better and other times I think they should be worse. Can’t lose to Cleveland.

    Detroit Pistons: I should get a reward for working hard to find stuff to say about the Pistons. Some of these teams are impossible. They’re in such a bad place that there are articles about what Alex Caruso would have been on the Pistons

    Golden State Warriors: Steph came back, performed well, and promptly got sick. Is he sick or is that just the front to rest him off an on (not a bad idea)?

    Houston Rockets: Does it actually count as a quadruple-double if 10 turnovers are involved? It shouldn’t because that’s pathetic.

    Indiana Pacers: The Pacers bringing Lance Stephenson back is the story we didn’t know we needed.

    Los Angeles Clippers: Clips signing Joakim Noah is not something I thought I’d see this year. Depth is depth I guess.

    Los Angeles Lakers: Statement win over Milwaukee in a tough game on Friday. Giannis is my boy but LeBron is something else.

    Memphis Grizzlies: I’ve historically not been a fan of Josh Jackson because his face looks very disinterested. It’s not his fault.

    Miami Heat: For as much as I love the Heat’s pink and blue logo, I hate the pink and blue court. It’s too much.

    Milwaukee Bucks: Reality check for the Bucks in Los Angeles. Giannis can’t do this by himself. Khris Middleton and especially Eric Bledsoe have to be better.

    Minnesota Timberwolves: It’s interesting that Malik Beasley couldn’t do this on a good team in Denver. They couldn’t find minutes for a guy popping off for 27 a night in a new city?

    New Orleans Pelicans: Interesting development regarding the Nuggets’ interest in Jrue Holiday. That seems like an optimal fit for Denver and it’s interesting that the Pels are so adamant about fighting for a playoff berth.

    New York Knicks: Isn’t the interest in Chris Paul the most typical Knicks move ever? I know he’s an All-Star again and the Knicks really need a point guard for the future but he’s also nearly 35, carries an unpalatable cap hit and is not for the future. How close to the delusional Knicks think they are?

    Oklahoma City Thunder: Look, I like Chris Paul as much as the next guy, but if the Knicks are willing to give up assets for Chris Paul, it’s worth exploring and giving the reins over to SGA for good.

    Orlando Magic: Maybe I’m in the minority, but I think the Magic should look at the Aaron Gordon trade market after it appears at the very least, the Suns were calling. I think Jon Isaac is the future of this team and Aaron Gordon is stagnant. This is what he is and I don’t know that it’s good enough.

    Philadelphia 76ers: I’m taking a weird amount of joy in the Sixers’ struggles. I don’t wish for injuries, but I do wish for the Sixers to fail because they get all the media attention with none of the actual production. They’re fighting for seeding with a team that has literally played zero minutes with a full-strength lineup.

    Phoenix Suns: Nobody listen to the recent Fantasy NBA Tonight where I wasn’t that pro-Aron Baynes. He’s the best player in the world.

    Portland Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic is coming back in a week, but I think it’s too little, too late. We can probably pack it up.

    Sacramento Kings: I was very not aware that the Kings were 7-2 in their last nine games. Good for them for playing themselves out of great lottery odds.

    San Antonio Spurs: We are tweeting about cereal in San Antonio now to distract from the on-court product. Cereal before milk or you’re nuts.

    Toronto Raptors: I have to say, I know that Steph Curry is a big deal, but the Warriors are completely irrelevant in 2020. The Raptors didn’t reign over anyone, they won a game they were supposed to anyway because they’re the second best team in the Eastern conference.

    Utah Jazz: I think my favorite thing about journalism is having to come up with adjectives and superlatives to describe games. Jazz “keep cool heads” to beat Pistons. It’s never “Jazz beat Pistons because Jazz are good and Pistons are bad.”

    Washington Wizards: I didn’t even realize this was even a question for the Wizards. Why would John Wall play this season at all? To find out if he can play basketball? We know what he is. It’s pretty good and very injured.

    Stay safe and wash your hands. Hit me up on Twitter here.

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