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Bam Adebayo
The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Week 8

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: December 2, 2018, 1:14 am ET

Week 8 Schedule: Games Played






2 Games: BOS, PHI


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Week 8 Streaming Schedule:


Monday (7 games): OKC @ DET, GSW @ ATL, CLE @ BKN, WAS @ NYK, DEN @ TOR, HOU @ MIN, LAC @ NOP


Tuesday (5 Games): CHI @ IND, ORL @ MIA, POR @ DAL, SAC @ PHX, SAS @ UTA


Wednesday (10 Games): GSW @ CLE, DEN @ ORL, WAS @ ATL, OKC @ BKN, PHI @ TOR, LAC @ MEM, DET @ MIL, CHA @ MIN, DAL @ NOP, SAS @ LAL


Thursday (3 Games): NYK @ BOS, PHX @ POR, HOU @ UTA


Friday (10 Games): DEN @ CHA, PHI @ DET, IND @ ORL, TOR @ BKN, SAC @ CLE, OKC @ CHI, MEM @ NOP, LAL @ SAS, MIA @ PHX, GSW @ MIL


Saturday (9 Games): HOU @ DAL, SAC @ IND, DEN @ ATL, WAS @ CLE, BKN @ NYK, BOS @ CHI, LAL @ MEM, MIN @ POR, MIA @ LAC


Sunday: (4 Games): NOP @ DET, MIL @ TOR, UTA @ SAS, CHA @ NYK


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


Monday-Tuesday: None


Tuesday-Wednesday: Mavericks, Magic, Spurs


Wednesday-Thursday: None


Thursday-Friday: Suns


Friday-Saturday: Nets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Kings


Saturday-Sunday: Knicks


Sunday (Dec. 9)-Monday: Pistons, Bucks, Pelicans, Jazz


Schedule Notes:


This week there are eight teams with four games, 20 teams with three games and two teams with two games. 


With the Celtics and 76ers playing just twice, I’d only start the following players in weekly leagues: Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Kyrie Irving, Jayson Tatum and Al Horford


The following teams have front-loaded schedules with three games from Monday-Thursday: None


The following teams have back-loaded schedules with three games from Thursday-Sunday: Knicks


The following teams play three games in four nights at some point this week: Nets (Wednesday-Saturday), Cavaliers (Wednesday-Saturday), Nuggets  (Wednesday-Saturday), Lakers (Wednesday-Saturday), Grizzlies (Wednesday-Saturday), Magic (Tuesday-Friday), Suns (Tuesday-Friday), Spurs (Tuesday-Friday). 


There are four quality streaming days this week, or days with fewer than nine games. They are on Monday (7 games), Tuesday (5 games), Thursday (3 games) and Sunday (4 games). 


The following teams have the most quality streaming days: Knicks (3), Jazz (3), Pistons (2), Rockets (2), Pelicans (2), Suns (2), Blazers (2), Spurs (2), Raptors (2). 


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Waiver-Wire Pickups:


*These are guys you should consider keeping for the long haul. To qualify these players have to be available in at least 50% of Yahoo Leagues. 


Marcus Smart (18%)- This isn’t an ideal week to pick him up with just two games on the schedule, but Smart has started the past two games with averages of 10.0 points, 6.0 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, 2.0 triples and 0.5 turnovers. The Celtics won both of those games and we’ve heard rumblings that Smart could be left in the starting lineup even when Jaylen Brown (tailbone) comes back. Coach Brad Stevens hasn’t made up his mind yet because he likes Smart’s energy off the bench, but Kyrie Irving is a fan of the move. “When he’s playing with me, we play pretty well together at the 1 and 2 spots,” Irving said. “My energy can get depleted coming up and down and directing the ball every single time. Having Marcus in there gave me that outlet to be able to get off the ball.” If you’re willing to risk your FG% (Smart is a career 36.2% shooter), the counting stats are going to be solid if Smart keeps his new role. 


Alec Burks (13%)- He scored 15 points with six rebounds, four assists, two steals and zero turnovers in 26 minutes during his Cleveland debut on Friday. He posted a 23.7% usage rate which would be on pace for his highest since 2015, and coach Larry Drew was genuinely excited about his new addition and said Burks would fit right into their offense. With the Cavaliers lacking in talent, I’m taking a flier on Burks in a few leagues to see if he takes advantage of this golden opportunity. 


Monte Morris (10%)- He’s been the 114th ranked player in 9-category leagues over his last 10 games with averages of 9.9 points, 5.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 1.0 triples and 0.7 turnovers. He leads the NBA in assist:turnover ratio and should be able to sustain this until Will Barton comes back. 


P.J. Tucker (34%)- He’s been an underrated fantasy asset this year, currently sitting at No. 81 on BasketballMonster.com. He’s playing 35.5(!) minutes per game and is making his money with the steals (1.4) and triples (2.0). 


Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (55%)- Just throwing his name on here in case your competitors are asleep at the wheel. SGA has taken control of the offense in Los Angeles and has top 75-100 upside going forward. Had 17 points with five rebounds, four assists, two steals, two blocks and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes in his last game and is becoming the total package. 


Bam Adebayo (41%)- He’s averaging 11.2 points, 11.4 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 blocks and 0.8 steals in 24.0 minutes over his last five games and is slowly chipping away at Hassan Whiteside’s workload. Whiteside hasn’t played in four straight 4th quarters(!), and coach Spoelstra has been gushing about the second-year big man. “He’s doing it on both ends, you just feel his energy….that force is definitely something that we can build on.”


Kelly Olynyk (18%)- He’s out of the doghouse after his DNP-CD with an increasing workload in four straight games. He had 13 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals and three triples in 25 minutes on Friday, closing that game alongside Bam. He was a top 75-100 player for most of the 2017-18 season and I love his out-of-position assists with 3.8 dimes per 36 minutes. 


Wayne Ellington (27%)- He’s carrying owners in the 3-point category (2.8), but he’s been solid in points (10.1) and steals (1.4) as well. He has played 32+ minutes in five out of his last six games with the Heat banged up. 


Tim Frazier (12%)- Jrue Holiday said he wants to play off the ball more, so the Pelicans moved Frazier into the first unit and the results have been positive so far with 9.0 points, 10.5 assists, 6.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 1.5 triples. Has about a month-long window to produce low-end fantasy value until Elfrid Payton comes back. 


Mitchell Robinson (17%)- To be 100% clear, Robinson is a luxury stash and blocks specialist. He leads the NBA in block rate and his upside will be obvious when he gets his fouling issues under control. Still has 15 blocks in his last six games. 


Terrence Ross (47%)- This one is pretty simple. Ross took on a larger role after Isaac’s injury but hasn’t taken his foot off the gas. Over the past month, Ross has been a top-80 player in standard leagues with 15.3 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.5 triples on 48% shooting in just 25 minutes. You know what to do here. 



Streaming Options:


*These are guys you can dump straight back to the wire after getting a game or two of value out of them.


DeAndre Bembry (11%)- Has been getting the job done as a low-end fantasy asset for his counting stats. Over his last five he’s averaging 10.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.6 blocks and 1.0 triples in 23.6 minutes. If he wasn’t shooting 40.3% from the field and 60% from the line on the season, he’d be on a lot of my rosters. Has seen minutes at three different positions (69% at SF, 27% at SG and 4% at PG) and that likely won’t change. A solid streamer in standard leagues. 


Alex Len (13%)- A bottom-of-the-barrel big man with November averages of 10.9 points, 5.5 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.8 triples. Still getting about 20 minutes with the Hawks getting healthier, so he’s a viable deep-league streamer. 


Kevin Huerter (2%)- Someone to keep an eye on in really deep leagues. The Hawks are trying to get the first-round rookie more involved and have moved him into the first unit. He has played just under 25 minutes per game over his last five, but the production hasn’t been great with 6.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 triples and 0.8 triples. He’s shooting 40% from deep and does have the tools to become to a top-150 player. 


Terry Rozier (44%)- He’s starting to play better with double-digit points and at least three assists in three out of his last four. His minutes are still capped around the lower 20s, so he doesn’t offer much standalone value, especially in a 2-game week. With that said, he might be the best handcuff in fantasy basketball if Kyrie went down or if Rozier gets traded. 


DeMarre Carroll (9%)- He had his best game of the season on Friday with 21 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal and four triples in 39 minutes. The big line and workload were a direct result of Joe Harris (groin) sitting out, but it sounds like Harris is day-to-day with coach Kenny Atkinson calling it a precautionary absence. Still, if we get word that Harris will miss another game Carroll will be the clear pickup/streamer. 


Allen Crabbe (40%)- His ownership is way too high as a one-category player. Crabbe is strictly a 3-point streamer with 16 triples over his last five outings, but he’s shooting a brutal 30.9% on the season. Unless you’re punting FG% you might want to avoid him like the plague. 


Ed Davis (7%)- A two-category specialist who is shooting 61.3% from the field with 8.1 rebounds in just 17 minutes a night. He’s 3rd in the NBA in total rebound rate and 4th(!) in offensive rating. He’s still unlikely to be a consistent contributor as long as Jarrett Allen is active. 


Cody Zeller (25%)- He suffered a rib injury on Friday, but he dodged a bullet and is considered probable for Sunday. He’s flirting with top-100 value and has been one of my favorite streamers this season. In his last full game before the injury he put up 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and two blocks. If you need a big and want to keep him long term, go for it. 


Tony Parker (3%)- Has seen a small bump in production with the Hornets playing smaller lineups. Parker is averaging 6.0 assists over his last three games, but he’s nothing more than a low-end streamer and a constant threat for a random DNP. 


Ryan Arcidiacono (29%)- As expected, Arcidiacono fell back to earth on Friday after two straight 20-point games. Kris Dunn will probably return around mid-December, giving Arcidiacono about two more weeks for low-end numbers. 


Jordan Clarkson (44%)- One of the most consistent players on this list, which isn’t saying much. Posted averages of 15.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.6 triples in November, playing 25.3 minutes. He’s been hot recently with 19+ points in four out of his last six games. 


Cedi Osman (33%)- Could lose touches with Alec Burks in town and is hitting 37.6% of his shots on the season. A low-end source of counting stats who is proving to be a hit-or-miss fantasy option depending on the night. 


Rodney Hood (26%)- One of the most boring starters in the NBA. His production in November leaves a lot to be desired with 12.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.5 triples, but he’s a streamer and not a pickup for a reason. 


Wes Matthews (44%)- Finally healthy again and he’ll need to be more aggressive on a team lacking firepower. Solid source of points (15.5), assists (2.2) and triples (2.5), but he’s a career 42.8% shooter. He’s not someone that I’d be looking to keep long term and he should lose value later in the season. 


Dorian Finney-Smith (4%)- His minutes have gone down in six straight games, but he still has 2+ steals in five out of his last six with 1.6 steals and 1.9 triples per 36 minutes on the season. He’ll heat back up again soon and should be on your watch list in deeper leagues. 


J.J. Barea (29%)- An assist specialist who leads the NBA in assist percentage (50.8) and averaging a career-high 11.0 assists per 36 minutes. The problem here is that he’s only getting about 20 minutes per night. 


Mason Plumlee (11%)- Before his dud vs. Portland, Plumlee played 21 minutes in three straight with 12.0 points, 9.3 rebounds, 2.3 dimes, 2.3 blocks and 1.0 steals. “I think Mason is the most underrated player in the league, the way how he protects the paint, aggressiveness,” Nikola Jokic said. “He cannot shoot, but he’s doing everything else.” Coach Malone called him a Sixth Man of the Year Candidate, but his fantasy production could be volatile unless his minutes trend up. He’s definitely a stat stuffer, though. 


Juancho Hernangomez (27%)- He had just nine points in his last game, but averaged 12.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.7 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers in his previous three games. He has played at least 29 minutes in nine out of last 10 games, and the only reason he’s not a “pickup” is because Will Barton will crush his value. 


Reggie Bullock (12%)- Good luck relying on anyone in Detroit not named Andre Drummond and Blake Griffin. Bullock is the only decent wing in fantasy for Detroit, averaging 11.2 points, 2.9 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 0.9 steals and 2.4 triples in November. 


Doug McDermott (6%)- Starting to show signs of life with 17.3 points and 3.0 triples over his last three games. It’s not sustainable, but he’ll get the job done as a 3-point specialist in very deep leagues. 


Cory Joseph (14%)- With Aaron Holiday cooling off and Victor Oladipo out indefinitely, Joseph is going to be a popular streamer. In his last five games he put up a modest 8.6 points, 5.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.2 triples in 27.4 minutes. Not bad, but not great either. 


Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (38%)- KCP and Josh Hart are heading in opposite directions, with KCP slowly becoming the SG to own in deeper formats. He has played at least 24 minutes in seven out of his last eight games and is worth a look for his points, triples and steals. Doesn’t project to be anything more than a late-round asset. 


Dwyane Wade (31%)- He will continue to have short-term value as long as Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson are out.  Wade has played at least 24 minutes with 20.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.8 triples over his last four. 


Noah Vonleh (43%)- He went from the pickup of the week in week 7 to streamer material in the span of a few days, but such is life in David Fizdale’s wacky rotations.  Vonleh was an early-round fantasy asset for a five-game stretch, but then played 19 and 18 minutes in his previous two games. If you stream him and he gets hot, there’s enough upside to give him a long leash. 


Allonzo Trier (22%)- We have to take a step back as Trier hit a bump in the road in his last game with eight points on 27% shooting. With Courtney Lee coming back tonight, I have no idea what’s going to happen to the rookie. 


Nerlens Noel (9%)- One of the best per-minute guys in fantasy is somehow returning late-round value in under 14 minutes per game… A potential league-winner if Steven Adams goes down. 


D.J. Augustin (44%)- Arguably the most boring starting PG in the NBA is getting the job done as a late-round guy with 10.6 points, 5.4 dimes and 1.6 triples. 


Richaun Holmes (7%)- He’s averaging 15.7 points, 12.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.9 blocks per 36 minutes, but has played 99% of his minutes at center. Deandre Ayton is playing 32 minutes a night, so there’s not much room for Holmes to trend up unless they use him at PF more often. Has top-50 upside if Ayton goes down. 


Elie Okobo (18%)- I don’t like trusting rookie PGs, especially one as raw as Okobo. He does have a lot of opportunity though and has 14.0 points, 3.0 boards, 3.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.0 triples over his last two games. 


Evan Turner (10%)- His value is trending down, but 4.3 assists per game is keeping him afloat in deeper leagues. 


Derrick White (10%)- Is he ready to finally show us something after several weeks of irrelevance? He scored 11 points (5-of-8 FGs) with five rebounds, nine assists, and one 3-pointer in a season-high 33 minutes against the Rockets on Friday, but the Spurs were run out of the building. 


Tomas Satoransky (4%)- I’m demoting him to a stash because the John Wall rumors aren’t going away. At least Satoransky will have standalone value in very deep leagues until Washington makes a move. 


Thomas Bryant (1%)- Please give him more minutes. Dwight Howard is out indefinitely and Bryant has mouth-watering upside on a team that will likely tank — he has per-36 minute averages of 16.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.2 blocks. For what it’s worth, those would be early-round numbers.