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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Week 7

by Jonas Nader

Week 7 Schedule: Games Played






2 Games: DEN, OKC, SAC


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Week 7 Streaming Schedule:


Monday (7 Games): MIL @ CHA, MIN @ CLE, HOU @ WAS, SAS @ CHI, BOS @ NOP, IND @ UTA, ORL @ GSW


Tuesday (5 Games): NYK @ DET, ATL @ MIA, TOR @ MEM, LAL @ DEN, IND @ PHX


Wednesday (10 Games): ATL @ CHA, NYK @ PHI, UTA @ BKN, DAL @ HOU, CHI @ MIL, SAS @ MIN, WAS @ NOP, CLE @ OKC, ORL @ POR, PHX @ LAC


Thursday (3 Games): GSW @ TOR, IND @ LAL, LAC @ SAC


Friday (11 Games): CLE @ BOS, UTA @ CHA, CHI @ DET, WAS @ PHI, MEM @ BKN, NOP @ MIA, ATL @ OKC, HOU @ SAS, ORL @ PHX, DAL @ LAL, DEN @ POR


Saturday (7 Games): MIL @ NYK, GSW @ DET, BKN @ WAS, TOR @ CLE, CHI @ HOU, BOS @ MIN, IND @ SAC


Sunday (6 Games): PHX @ LAL, NOP @ CHA, UTA @ MIA, MEM @ PHI, LAC @ DAL, POR @ SAS





Sunday (Nov. 25)-Monday: Hornets, Magic, Jazz


Monday-Tuesday: Pacers


Tuesday-Wednesday: Hawks, Knicks, Suns


Wednesday-Thursday: Clippers


Thursday-Friday: Lakers


Friday-Saturday: Celtics, Nets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Pistons, Rockets, Wizards


Saturday-Sunday: None


Sunday (Dec. 2)-Monday: Clippers, Pelicans




Schedule Notes:


This week there are 11 teams with four games, 16 teams with three games and three teams with two games. 


With the Nuggets, Thunder and Kings only playing twice, I would only start the following players in weekly lineups: Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, Gary Harris (if healthy), Paul Millsap, Russell Westbrook, Paul George, Steven Adams, De’Aaron Fox, Buddy Hield, Bogdan Bogdanovic and Willie Cauley-Stein


The following team(s) have front-loaded schedules with three games from Monday-Thursday: Pacers


The following team(s) have back-loaded schedules with three games from Thursday-Sunday: Lakers


Apart from the Pacers and the Lakers, the following teams play three games in four nights at some point this week: Hawks (Tuesday-Friday), Nets (Wednesday-Saturday), Bulls (Wednesday-Saturday), Cavaliers (Wednesday-Saturday), Rockets (Wednesday-Saturday), Suns (Tuesday-Friday), Wizards (Wednesday-Saturday). 


There are five days this week with seven or fewer games, so we will call those our quality streaming days. The following teams have the most quality streaming days this week: Pacers (4), Warriors (3), Lakers (3), Raptors (3). 


The Celtics (2), Hornets (2), Bulls (2), Cavs (2), Pistons (2), Rockets (2), Clippers (2), Grizzlies (2), Heat (2), Bucks (2), Wolves (2), Pelicans (2), Knicks (2), Suns (2), Kings (2), Spurs (2), Jazz (2), Wizards (2) all have two quality streaming days. 


I had some requests to distinguish between waiver-wire pickups and streaming options, so that’s exactly what I’m going to do this week. To be clear, a waiver-wire pickup is someone you take a flier on in the hopes that they stick on your roster for the long haul, while streamers are players you pick up for a game or two and then dump straight back to the wire. 



Waiver-Wire Pickups: Available in 50% of leagues or more


Jeremy Lin (24%)- Trae Young has been struggling mightily, and while the Hawks aren’t going to make a change at point guard, Lin’s minutes are on the rise. He’s played at least 24 in four out of his last five games, averaging 16.8 points, 4.4 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 2.4 triples on 62% shooting in that span. He won’t stay this hot, obviously, but he’s been a fantasy dynamo in the past and just needs 24 minutes to be a top-100 player. Unfortunately, that’s probably his ceiling because the Hawks are hesitant to use him alongside Young — that combo has played just eight minutes together over their past five games with a horrendous -34.1 net rating. 


Allen Crabbe (46%)- I’m not a fan of players who can Titanic your FG% on any given night, but Crabbe has been given an enormous opportunity since Caris LeVert (leg) went down. Crabbe has played at least 29 minutes in four straight and has put up standard-league worthy numbers with 15.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 0.5 blocks, 0.5 steals and 3.8 triples on 46.7% shooting. Now let’s see if he can sustain it because we know coach Kenny Atkinson is committed to him. "We've been doing that lately, just trying to get him shots, get him looks out of timeouts," said Atkinson. "Looking for him in transition, the guys were looking for him."


Collin Sexton (50%)- He’s had quite the turnaround. Two weeks ago the veterans in Cleveland were questioning Sexton’s ability to run the point, but the rookie has responded with his best stretch of the season. Over his past six games Sexton has posted 18.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.3 triples on 47% from the field and 83% from the line, but his lack of defensive stats (0.5 steals and 0.2 blocks) has kept him outside the top-100. I still think he should be owned and I see no reason for the Cavs to go back to George Hill when he returns from injury. 


Cedi Osman (40%)- He’s finally looking like the fantasy sleeper many were expecting this offseason, as he’s played 42 minutes in back-to-back games with 20.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 3.5 triples in that span. He also shot a combined 14-of-27, a huge relief considering he’s still sitting at 39.4% on the season. His FG% is the key, as we know Osman can provide enough points, rebounds, assists and 3-pointers to sneak into the top-100. 


Quinn Cook (33%)- This one is simple. Cook is a must-own player until Stephen Curry (groin) is cleared to return, so his value has an expiration date. Cook has been solid in five fill-in starts so far with 15.6 points, 4.2 assists, 3.6 rebounds, 0.6 steals and 2.4 triples on 49% shooting. Those are borderline top-75 numbers in 9-category leagues. 


Jordan Bell (31%)- I’m picking him back up in a bunch of leagues in the hopes that Steve Kerr finally unleashes him. Damian Jones is fading fast, and Kerr called Bell the “story of the night” when he racked up five points with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and two blocks in 21 minutes vs. the Blazers on Friday. “It’s kind of match-up based. But Jordan has earned himself some more minutes, for sure,” Kerr said. “All three of our young centers are going to play. It’s just a matter of matchups and who’s playing well and what rhythm we’re in. We’ll see what happens.” With per-36 minute averages of 7.8 points, 3.6 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.8 blocks, Bell is a potential lottery ticket that should be stashed while we see how this plays out. 


P.J. Tucker (31%)- He’s been undervalued all year because his stats don’t jump off the page. Tucker has been a top-80 player in standard leagues with 8.4 points, 5.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.5 blocks and 2.2 triples in 35.4(!) minutes per game. He’s a nice glue guy for the end of your roster. 


Aaron Holiday (3%)- Darren Collison is having a down year and Cory Joseph is still Cory Joseph, and Indiana hasn’t gotten consistent production out of Tyreke Evans. There’s been no indication from coach Nate McMillan that a lineup change is being considered, but if he does I like Holiday’s chances of taking over the starting PG duties. The rookie first-rounder has been terrific in his last four games, taking advantage of some minutes vacated by Victor Oladipo (knee). He’s averaging 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 triples over his last four games, and that’s in just over 20 minutes per game. Coach McMillan has already talked about expanding his rotation to include Holiday when Oladipo gets back, so his play hasn’t gone unnoticed. “I love the energy. I love the intensity he brings to the floor,” McMillan said.


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (50%)- It’s been a bumpy ride for the PG, but that’s par for the course for most rookies. However, coach Doc Rivers absolutely loves him and his minutes have been steady with at least 25 in nine out of 11 November games. His role in the offense is only going to grow, and I’m still confident that he could become a top-75 player after the end of the calendar year.


Trey Burke (48%)- I don’t really trust any Knicks, especially with David Fizdale’s wacky rotations, but Burke’s play has been hard to ignore. Sure he’s coming off a 7-point dud, but Burke still has averages of 22.0 points, 3.6 assists, 3.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 2.0 triples over his last five games.


Noah Vonleh (42%)- He’s coming on strong with 30+ minutes in four straight games with three double-doubles in that span. He’s also averaging 12.8 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.8 blocks, 1.3 steals and 2.3 triples with top-15(!) value over that stretch. There are lots of reasons to be skeptical, but with Mitchell Robinson struggling to stay out of foul trouble and the Knicks keeping Enes Kanter’s minutes down as they look towards the future, Vonleh has a clear path to sustainable value. "He’s starting to make his threes, he brings the ball up for us, he guards 1 through 5, he blocks shots at the rim, runs the floor,” Fizdale said, adding that he might be New York’s “most complete player.” He’s my favorite add of the week. 


Mitchell Robinson (25%)- I’m demoting him to a stash with 18 or fewer minutes in four straight due to foul trouble and Vonleh’s emergence. Robinson is still a blocks specialist with 10 swats over his last three and still leads the NBA in block rate. 


Terrence Ross (33%)- His ceiling isn’t as high with Jonathan Isaac back, but Ross continues to get no love despite being a borderline top-100 player in November with averages of 14.1 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 2.5 triples. He’ll get the job done if he’s the last guy on your roster, but there are plenty of players with better upside on this list. 


Mikal Bridges (16%)- Entering Friday’s game, Bridges led the entire in NBA in on/off differential. The Suns moved him back into the starting lineup on Friday, but even though he was quiet, there’s enough upside here to stash him if you have the roster space. In his previous stint as the starter, he averaged 11.7 points, 2 steals, 2+ triples and 1 block with 65/50/100 shooting splits.


Tomas Satoransky (11%)- With all the drama in Washington, Satoransky is officially a name to watch. John Wall and Bradley Beal are on the trade block along with every other Wizard, meaning Satoransky could be one trade away from 30+ minutes. His role has already started to rise with coach Scott Brooks saying that he needs to find more minutes for the wing, and he’s now played 19, 24 and 24 minutes in his last three outings with 10.7 points, 4.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.0 triples. 



Streaming Options: Available in 50% of leagues or more


Markieff Morris (40%)- Has moved to the bench, but has elevated his game with 14.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.0 steal, 1.0 block and 1.0 triple in 27 minutes over his last two. He’s been playing some small-ball center with Dwight Howard (back) out, so his fantasy value will be in trouble when Howard comes back. 


Bryn Forbes (24%)- You can make an argument that he’s more than a streamer, but he’s really just a 3-category player for his points (12.7), assists (2.2) and triples (2.3).


Alec Burks (1%)- This selection is speculative, as it’s unclear if Donovan Mitchell will miss time with his rib contusion. The last time Mitchell missed a game, Burks posted 22 points with three assists, two triples and a block in 27 minutes. 


Fred VanVleet (44%)- Maybe his health really did hold him back, as FVV has scored in double digits in three out of his last four games with 5.5 assists and 2.0 triples in that span. I still think he’s more of a streamer unless you have Kyle Lowry on your roster, as FVV and Terry Rozier are two of the best handcuffs in fantasy basketball. 


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Patty Mills (15%)- 15.0 points, 2.5 assists and 2.0 triples over his last two games, but he was ice cold before that and doesn’t have top-150 upside. 


Richaun Holmes (2%)- Holmes is putting up 8.8 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.4 blocks and 0.8 steals over his last 5 games in just 16.6 minutes, but he’s playing exclusively behind Deandre Ayton. An Ayton injury could turn Holmes into a top-50 asset, but until then he’s a solid streamer/deep-league handcuff. 


Thomas Bryant (1%)- Has mouth-watering upside, but only played an average of 18.5 minutes in his last two games without Dwight Howard (back) with 7.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, 0.5 steals and 0.5 triples. 


Allonzo Trier (9%)- Scored a career-high 25 points with eight rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers in 34 minutes on Friday, but played 15 or fewer minutes in his previous three. Might lose some minutes when Courtney Lee gets back, but should be heavily involved later in season when the tank picks up speed. 


Emmanuel Mudiay (7%)- I’m not buying his recent success, but maybe I’m biased. He’s a career 38% shooter from the field, but I’d give him a look if you’re targeting counting stats. 


DeAndre Bembry (3%)- His percentages (38.2% field goals, 61.0% free throws) are hard to ignore, but he had 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four blocks, two steals and one 3-pointer on Friday and Kent Bazemore could miss time with an ankle injury. Atlanta’s rotations could be a nightmare though, as coach Lloyd Pierce talked about using 12-13 guys on a nightly basis. 


DeMarre Carroll (10%)- Has played at least 20 minutes in six out of his last seven games, but the production hasn’t been there yet. Carroll was a mid-round player for stretches last season and there’s plenty of opportunity in Brooklyn, so I’ll be watching him closely. 


Ed Davis (7%)- 8.1 rebounds in 17.4 minutes per game makes him the best rebounding specialist on the wire. Also a great source of FG% (63.8). 


Cody Zeller (24%)- Can make a case for him to be on your fantasy roster long term, but I’d rather stream his spot or take a flier on someone with more upside like Noah Vonleh or Jordan Bell. Zeller is one of the most readily available and consistent streamers with 9.5 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.7 blocks with solid percentages. 


Rodney Hood (25%)- He’s shooting 44.4% on the season and has been inconsistent, but 13.4 points, 2.1 assists and 1.2 triples for a streamer isn’t bad. 


Jordan Clarkson (39%)- Has scored 15+ points in five out of his last six, and his dimes are trending up with 16 in that span. He’s still just a 3-category player for his points, dimes and triples. 


J.J. Barea (15%)- Has been sneaky good all year with 10.3 points and 5.7 assists in just 19.4 minutes. Leads the NBA in assist percentage at 48.1%(!). 


Dorian Finney-Smith (6%)- Has played at least 32 minutes in four out of his last five games with 10.0 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 blocks, 1.2 steals and 1.8 triples. Has been flying under the radar all season. 


Reggie Bullock (12%)- He’s still Detroit’s best wing and is playing just under 34 minutes over his last five with 13.0 points, 3.2 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 3.0 triples. 


James Ennis (13%)- Since Carmelo Anthony left Houston with a fake illness, Ennis has posted 12.0 points, 3.4 boards, 0.8 blocks, 1.2 steals and 1.6 treys in 31.2 minutes.


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (40%)- With Josh Hart struggling, KCP has stepped up and has played 25+ minutes in four straight, but he shot below 38% from the field in each game. Has a ton of opportunity if he finds his rhythm. 


JaMychal Green (16%)- Jaren Jackson Jr. isn’t going anywhere, but the Grizzlies are only using three bigs which means Green can still play 25 minutes off the bench.  A borderline top-150 player that will get the job done as a streamer. 


Wayne Ellington (21%)- Arguably the best 3-point specialist on the wire with 2.7 triples in 25 minutes per game.