• THE HOME STRETCH

    Joel Embiid fractured his face on the recently active Markelle Fultz (irony alert) and will be out 2-4 weeks, which makes him a drop in my leagues. Players keep going down; this season is like the long walk.

    Many H2H leagues will be wrapping up, but for those who are still playing, good luck. For my roto people, I hope you’re focused on close matchups and again, don’t plan to max all of slots the last day or two. There will probably be some random missed game or three that you may need.

    Week 25 & 26 Schedules

    6 games: BOS, LAL, ORL, PHI, TOR
    5 games: ATL, BRK, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, POR, SAS, UTA, WAS
    4 games: CHA, MIN, OKC, PHO, SAC

    I bolded the standouts. Look for teams that play 4 games in Week 25 and 2 games in Week 26. Deep diggers can play it more aggressively.

    ATL 41
    BRK 3-2
    BOS 4-2
    CHA 3-1
    CHI 3-2
    CLE 3-2
    DAL 41
    DEN 3-2
    DET 3-2
    GSW 41
    HOU 3-2
    IND 41
    LAC 3-2
    LAL 4-2
    MEM 3-2
    MIA 3-2
    MIL 3-2
    MIN 2-2
    NOR 3-2
    NYK 3-2
    OKC 2-2
    ORL 4-2
    PHI 4-2
    PHO 3-1
    POR 3-2
    SAC 2-2
    SAS 3-2
    TOR 4-2
    UTA 3-2
    WAS 3-2

    For My Streamers

    Weeks 25 & 26 cumulatively run from Tuesday April 3 through Wednesday, April 11.

    Monday has 0 games:  NCAA Championship Game

    Tuesday has 13: Raptors at Cavaliers, Nets at Sixers, Hawks at Heat, Magic at Knicks, Hornets at Bulls, Wizards at Rockets, Celtics at Bucks, Warriors at Thunder, Blazers at Mavericks, Pacers at Nuggets, Lakers at Jazz, Kings at Suns, and Spurs at Clippers.

    Wednesday has 6: Sixers at Pistons, Mavs at Magic, Heat at Hawks, Celtics at Raptors, Grizzlies at Pelicans, and Spurs at Lakers.

    Thursday has 6: Warriors at Pacers, Wizards at Cavs, Blazers at Rockets, Nets at Bucks, Clippers at Jazz, and Wolves at Nuggets.

    Friday has 10: Mavs at Pistons, Hornets at Magic, Cavs at Sixers, Hawks at Wizards, Bulls at Celts, Heat at Knicks, Pacers at Raptors, Kings at Grizzlies, Pels at Suns, and Wolves at Lakers.

    Saturday has 6: Nuggets at Clippers, Bucks at Knicks, Nets at Bulls, Thunder at Rockets, Pels at Dubbs, and Blazers at Spurs.

    Sunday has 7: Pacers at Hornets, Mavs at Sixers, Hawks at Celts, Pistons at Grizzlies, Magic at Raptors, Jazz at Lakers, and Dubbs at Suns.

    Monday has 9: Raptors at Pistons, Bulls at Nets, Thunder at Heat, Cavs at Knicks, Magic at Bucks, Grizz at Wolves, Kings at Spurs, Blazers at Nuggets, and Pels at Clips.

    Tuesday has 6: Hornets at Pacers, Sixers at Hawks, Celtics at Wizards, Suns at Mavs, Dubbs at Jazz, and Rockets at Lakers.

    Wednesday has 12: Nets at Celts, Knicks at Cavs, Raptors at Heat, Wizards at Magic, Bucks at Sixers, Pistons at Bulls, Nuggets at Wolves, Spurs at Pels, Grizz at Thunder, Lakers at Clippers, Jazz at Blazers, and Rockets at Kings.

    Back-to-Backs

    Tues/Weds: ATL, BOS, DAL, LAL, MIA, ORL, PHI, SAS, TOR
    Weds/Thurs: none
    Thurs/Fri: CLE, IND, MIN, WAS
    Fri/Sat: CHI, NOR, NYK
    Sat/Sun: GSW
    Sun/Mon: DET, MEM, ORL, TOR
    Mon/Tues: none
    Tues/Weds: BOS, HOU, LAL, PHI, UTA, WAS

    3 games in 4 nights

    Tues/Weds/Fri: ATL, BOS, DAL, LAL, MIA, PHI, TOR

    Tues/Thurs/Fri: CLE, IND, WAS

    Weds/Fri/Sat: NOR

    Thurs/Fri/Sun: IND

    Thurs/Sat/Sun: GSW

    Fri/Sat/Mon: CHI, NOR, NYK

    Fri/Sun/Mon: ORL, TOR

    Sun/Mon/Weds: DET, MEM, ORL, TOR

    Sun/Tues/Weds: BOS, LAL, PHI, UTA

    Working The Wire

    Point Guards

    – Trey Burke dropped 42 and 12 on Monday and might have won a few owners the week just off that. He didn’t stop there and averaged 24.3 points, 1.8 threes, 9.0 assists and 1.5 steals on the week, good for top-25 value. Shazzam!

    -Your turn, Isaiah Taylor. Dennis Schroder (knee, tanking, possible legal problems) is out for the rest of the season and Taylor should be able to approximate the 19.3 points, 1.0 threes, 6.0 assists and 1.3 steals he put up last week, though the scoring seems a tad high.

    -We have no idea when Lonzo Ball (knee) will be back and Josh Hart busted back into the lineup after missing 14 games with 13 points, a three and 13 boards. Like Dejounte Murray, he’ll usually get you more rebounds than assists and if that’s what you need, go for it.

    -Tyler Ulis looked like a new player last week, getting 19.3 points, 2.7!! threes and 7.3 assists. I don’t know where the scoring and threes came from but Ulis deserves a look.

    -Quinn Cook was a top-60 play last week, but with K.D. and Draymond back, his numbers from Friday are probably more indicative of his future production- 10 points, two threes, three boards, three assists and a steal. *With Pat McCaw (back) now out indefinitely, Cook might pick up a bit more usage.

    -J.J. Barea missed the whole week (should be back this one) but DSJ was playing pretty well so Yogi Ferrell managed just 11.7 points, 1.7 threes, 3.0 assists and 1.3 steals. That’s not great, but certainly usable to some teams.

    -Fred VanVleet stayed hot last week, averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 threes and 3.0 assists on 62.5 percent shooting. Aside from his fantasy impact, this kid a scrapper. Me like.

    -D.J. Augustin was his usually blah self with 14.5 points, 2.0 threes and 3.5 assists on 38.5 percent from the floor. If only he could get assists and 3s together. Patty Mills was like a not as good version of Augustin last week.

    -Sac-Town legend Frank Mason III continued his deep league act with 10.7 points, 0.7 threes and 3.7 assists.

    Shooting Guards

    -After three seasons playing overseas, MarShon Brooks is back, and the Grizzlies are happy to let him chuck away to his heart’s content. In two games (just 20 minutes per) Brooks managed 22.5 points, 3.0 threes and 1.5 steals on 60 percent from the field and 100 percent from the line. If you look at his career numbers, that won’t last but he might as a chucker off the bench.

    -Caris LeVert: yerp.

    – Denzel Valentine: the 1.4 threes and 1.7 steals were nice last week. Everything else wasn’t as coach Hoiberg seems determined to play everybody on his roster 25 minutes a game.

    -Wayne Ellington was not helped by the return of Dwayne Wade and hit all of three 3s over his last three games. Gee, thanks.

    -Troy Daniels is still running hot without Devin Booker (hand, tanking) and he averaged 18.7 points and an incredible 5.7 threes last week. Giddy up!

    -Rodney Hood had top-100 value last week with Kyle Korver (personal) still out. 15.0 points, 2.3 threes and 0.5 steals seems about right.

    -Ty Wallace has been back and forth to the G-League since the Clippers are fiddling with their cap hit, but after a 13-minute dud upon returning, Wallace got over 34 minutes in the next two averaging 12.0 points, 6.0 boards and 2.0 steals. Not bad.

    -Marco Belinelli got you 12.0 points, 1.3 threes and 1.0 steals last week and there you go.

    Small Forwards

    -Reggie Bullock did his thing with 15.0 points, 2.0 threes and 1.0 steals last week; steady as she goes captain!

    -Mario Hezonja put up 14.0 points, 1.5 threes and 1.5 steals last week and while we’ve seen this before…I’m not sure how to finish that sentence, but it looks like we’re seeing it again.

    -Slo-Mo Kyle Anderson barely held on to standard league value last week with 1.3 steals a game, but the rest of his numbers aren’t very good, so he’s more of a deep league guy unless he picks it up.

    Power Forwards

    -JaMychal Green had a bad week with Marc Gasol playing every game (well, at lest the first three quarters). He only had 6.3 points, 0.7 threes, 8.3 rebounds and 0.7 blocks last week and disappeared at the wrong time for owners.

    -Richaun Holmes was a disappointment in his first game without Embiid, getting seven points, three boards and a block in a little under 24 minutes. And that was after benefiting from some 4th quarter garbage time. Not good.

    -Jae Crowder was decent enough last week with 11.7 points, 1.7 threes and 0.7 steals which put him in 14-16 team range for a stream.

    -Kevon Looney. His name makes me think of Australia, so by default, I thought he’s from Australia. He’s from Milwaukee, lol. Anyway, over the last two week he had the tenth highest weighted block value with 1.8 per game. He also got 1.5 steals with 7.5 points and 6.3 boards and has carved out a spot in the rotation as a hustle guy. Same goes for Jordan Bell who’ll probably see the court less than Looney.

    -Rookie Jonathan Isaac is another defensive stat guy and got 3.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 21.1 minutes a game last week.

    -Weekly Marquese Chriss Watch: Haha, man, what a season. On the hush, Chriss was a top-50 guy last week with 12.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1.7 blocks. I should stop while I’m ahead.

    Center

    -I found Jarrett Allen in one league and he might end up helping me win it. Last week he was effective with 10.3 points, 4.7 boards, 1.0 steals and 1.3 blocks on 63.2 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the stripe. Over the last two weeks, he’s had the eight highest weighted blocks value.

    -Starting next to Dewayne Dedmon hasn’t helped John Collins bust out, but his 7.0 points, 0.7 threes, 8.3 boards, 2.7 assists and 1.3 blocks are certainly usable. So is Dedmon.

    -Skal Labisierre got 10.8 points, 0.5 threes, 5.5 boards and 0.8 blocks last week which wasn’t horrible but he really struggled with turnovers, losing the ball three and four times on his last two.

    -Noah Vonleh surprisingly outplayed Cristiano Felicio last week and put up 10.7 points, 0.7 threes, 12.0 boards and 1.3 steals. He doesn’t block a lot of shots, but the rest of his line looks nice. Can he keep it up?

    -Kyle O’Quinn came back the same day Enes Kanter (back) sat. He got eight points, 15 rebounds and a block. It’s what he does.

    -Nerlens Noel grabbed 9.0 boards last week, but only got 1.0 combined stocks which is why you added him, and he misses random games. Frustrating.

    Random Observations

    -Shout out to notorious slow starter Lord Robert Covington for saving the best for last (top-25 value over the last two weeks).

    -Remember a few years ago when everyone (and they mama) was using ‘fulcrum’ in seemingly every NBA/fantasy article, as if legislated? (I want to say I first saw it in a Zach Lowe article, but that could be my pro-Lowe bias kicking in.) One could say the word fulcrum was a stylistic fulcrum of hoops writers at the time (and one would be using fulcrum incorrectly ?

    -LeBron passed Mike for consecutive games scoring in double figures with 867. When did Jordan’s streak end? During his ill-fated stint with the Wizards. Cue Crying Jordan meme.

    -Speaking of Michael Jordan, he was also finally passed in another category- salary. He made $33.1 million in the 1997-98 season, and 20 years later with inflation hitting food, housing, healthcare, college- everything but Chinese stuff, wages, COLA adjustments and whatever the hell the Federal Reserve is tracking- only multiple MVPs LeBron James (33.3 mil) and Steph Curry (34.7 mil) make more, and they only accomplished that this year. With all that inflation, it took two decades for M.J.’s 33.1 million to be topped. That shows how incredibly valuable Mike was, and that’s with noted short arms/deep pockets owner Jerry Reinsdorf cutting the check. 20 years; that’s probably another Jordan record.

    I had last week off from teaching and planned on doing a lot of reading but did none; I was consumed by the H2H championships and had no psychic energy to spare. I watched basketball all day with one eye on the screen and one eye on my two squads that are still in it.

    I’ll still be wiring columns to finish out the season, but my teams will be done, so that’ll free up some space in the noggin for other activities.

    I’m beat,
    -Chef

    Ask me anything here.

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