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The Week Ahead

The Week Ahead: Week 9

by Jonas Nader
Updated On: December 8, 2018, 4:52 pm ET

Week 9 Schedule: Games Played

 

4 Games: BOS, CLE, DAL, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, OKC, PHI, PHX, SAC, TOR, WAS

 

3 Games: ATL, BKN, CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, MIL, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, POR, SAS, UTA

 

For lineup questions or fantasy advice, find me on Twitter here!

 

 

Streaming Schedule:

 

Monday (11 Games): WAS @ IND, DET @ PHI, NOP @ BOS, SAC @ CHI, CLE @ MIL, UTA @ OKC, ORL @ DAL, MEM @ DEN, LAC @ PHX, MIN @ GSW, MIA @ LAL

 

Tuesday (3 Games): POR @ HOU, PHX @ SAS, TOR @ LAC

 

Wednesday (11 Games): DET @ CHA, NYK @ CLE, MIL @ IND, BKN @ PHI, BOS @ WAS, POR @ MEM, OKC @ NOP, ATL @ DAL, MIA @ UTA, MIN @ SAC, TOR @ GSW

 

Thursday (4 Games): LAL @ HOU, LAC @ SAS, CHI @ ORL, DAL @ PHX

 

Friday (9 Games): ATL @ BOS, NYK @ CHA, WAS @ BKN, MIL @ CLE, IND @ PHI, MIA @ MEM, OKC @ DEN, TOR @ POR, GSW @ SAC

 

Saturday (7 Games): UTA @ ORL, LAL @ CHA, BOS @ DET, HOU @ MEM, CHI @ SAS, LAC @ OKC, MIN @ PHX

 

Sunday (7 Games): ATL @ BKN, PHI @ CLE, NYK @ IND, LAL @ WAS, SAC @ DAL, MIA @ NOP, TOR @ DEN

 

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Back-to-Backs:

 

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

 

Monday-Tuesday: Clippers, Suns

 

Tuesday-Wednesday: Blazers, Raptors

 

Wednesday-Thursday: Mavericks

 

Thursday-Friday: None

 

Friday-Saturday: Celtics, Hornets, Grizzlies, Thunder

 

Saturday-Sunday: Lakers

 

Sunday-Monday (Dec. 16): Knicks, 76ers, Kings

 

 

Schedule Notes:

 

This week is as straightforward as it gets with 14 teams playing four times and 16 teams playing three times. 

 

The following teams have front-loaded schedules with three games from Monday-Thursday: Mavericks, Clippers, Suns

 

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

 

Apart from those teams mentioned above, here are the rest of the teams that play three times in four nights at some point: Blazers (Tuesday-Friday), Raptors (Tuesday-Friday), Celtics (Wednesday-Saturday), Hornets (Wednesday-Saturday), Grizzlies (Wednesday-Saturday), Thunder (Wednesday-Saturday). 

 

There are four days this week with fewer than nine games: Tuesday (3 Games), Thursday (4 Games), Saturday (7 Games) and Sunday (7 Games). We will call these quality streaming days. 

 

The following teams have the most quality streaming days: Spurs (3), Rockets (3), Clippers (3), Lakers (3), Bulls (2), Mavericks (2), Magic (2), Suns (2), Raptors (2). 

 

 

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. 

 

DeAndre Bembry (9%)- He’s shooting just 40.9% from the field and 60.4% from the line on the season which limits his upside in category leagues, but the counting stats have generally been solid with 8.4 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.6 blocks and 0.8 triples. Taurean Prince (ankle) is going to miss several weeks and Jeremy Lin (back) is banged up, so two of Atlanta’s top-4 usage guys are on the shelf. The Hawks have used Bembry all over the floor, so he could flirt with a 20% usage rate and 30+ minutes per night. 

 

Marcus Smart (26%)- The Celtics are coming off a two-game week, so Smart is still available in quite a few leagues. The Celtics have won four straight and Smart’s insertion into the starting lineup is a big reason why — the Celtics are averaging 323.8 passes per game over their last four, compared to 288.5 over the course of the first 20 games of the season (h/t to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe). In four starts he’s averaging 7.5 points, 5.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.5 triples on 44.4% shooting, so he’s doing enough in the hustle categories to warrant ownership in certain roster builds. 

 

Marvin Williams (36%)- He returned from a one-game absence with 14 points, ten rebounds, two assists, one steal and three 3-pointers in 33 minutes even though he was supposed to miss at least a week. After a slow start to the season, Old-Man-Marv is trending up with three double-doubles since Nov. 25 with four games of at least three triples in that span. He was a reliable mid-round producer in recent years, so he does have the ability to sustain his current form. 

 

Alec Burks (19%)- We now have a five-game sample size to work with and it looks like Burks could do just enough to warrant a spot on the end of your roster. He’s averaging 14.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.2 triples in 28.0 minutes on 39.3% shooting, and while the FG% is a buzzkill, those counting stats are solid. His 23.5% usage rate is on pace to be the second highest mark of his career, and it could trend up as he’s playing on one of the least talented teams in the NBA. With Rodney Hood (right toe sprain) doubtful for Saturday’s game, Burks is a strong flier. 

 

Mason Plumlee (14%)- With Paul Millsap (toe) out indefinitely, the Nuggets might be tempted to use Plumlee alongside Nikola Jokic for stretches. That combo played 8.4 minutes together across 54 games with a +6.8 net rating last season, so it’s definitely something coach Malone will consider. Plumlee has been a stat stuffer this season with 6.9 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 blocks and 1.1 steals in just 17.3 minutes. To put those numbers into context, he would be averaging 14.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 2.3 steals and 2.0 blocks per 36 minutes. If you’re OK with his awful foul shooting (he makes Drummond look like Steve Nash at the line), I think he’s definitely worth a flier if you need a big. 

 

Juancho Hernangomez (40%)- Hernangomez has played 38% of his minutes at SF and 62% of his minutes at PF, so you’d think the latter could go way up with Millsap out indefinitely. He’s been a top-45 player in 9-category leagues over the past two weeks with 13.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 triples on an efficient 53.8% shooting, making him a must-own player until further notice. 

 

Trey Lyles (12%)- It’s no secret that Lyles has been terrible lately with 28.2% shooting in his last five games, and that’s why I’d prioritize Hernangomez and even Plumlee before him. However, Lyles has played 94% of his minutes at PF, and the opportunity is massive with Millsap out indefinitely. If you want to wait a game to see how this shakes out, that’s probably the right call given Lyles’ struggles. 

 

Kevon Looney (7%)- Jordan Bell has the better upside, but coach Steve Kerr simply trusts Looney more. With Damian Jones (pectoral) possibly done for the season, Looney could see 25+ minutes until Christmas when Boogie is targeting a comeback. In his last three games as the starting center, Looney put up 10.0 points, 5.6 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 blocks. 

 

Bam Adebayo (38%)- He’s my favorite pickup of the week with Hassan Whiteside failing to stay out of the headlines. Bam scored a career-high 22 points with 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and no turnovers in 32 minutes vs. the hopeless Suns on Friday with Whiteside (personal) away from the team, but prior to that game he was forcing his way into a timeshare at center. Pick him up immediately where you can, especially with Whiteside expected to miss more time. If he plays like he did on Friday again, will the Heat be able to justify removing him out of the starting five?

 

Kelly Olynyk (38%)- If Whiteside comes back and finds his form, Olynyk will have a better path to consistent minutes than Bam because he can play some stretch PF. He’s starting to heat up after a miserable start, averaging 13.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals, 2.8 triples and 0.8 blocks over his last four games. He’s been a different player since his DNP-CD and we know the upside is there with him posting top-75 numbers for long stretches last season. 

 

Mitchell Robinson (20%)- He’s still stashed on most of my rosters even if he’s just a blocks specialist for a while. The rookie is averaging 4.0 swats per 36 minutes, the toughest stat to find in fantasy basketball. 

 

Damyean Dotson (30%)- It’s hard to trust any Knicks outside of the obvious ones, as David Fizdale has the most volatile rotations in the NBA. Before his dud against the Celtics, Dotson scored 16+ points in four straight with a combined 13 triples and six steals in that span. He’s also on the trade block, giving him some stash appeal in case he’s traded to a more favorable situation like Detroit. 

 

Nerlens Noel (12%)- He’s somehow been a top-100 player in under 15 minutes per game because of his absurd per-minute production -- per 36 minutes he’s averaging 14.6 points, 13.3 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 3.6 blocks. If Steven Adams ever goes down, Noel offers league-winning upside. 

 

D’Anthony Melton (7%)- One of my favorite rookies in a perfect situation to break out. He showcased his upside during the Summer League with per 40 minute averages of 21.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 4.0 steals, 1.1 blocks and 3.2 triples, and the Suns are finally giving him an opportunity with the first team. He made his first career start on Friday and has played 23+ minutes in three straight with 13.3 points, 3.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 2.0 triples in just 24.6 minutes. He has mouth-watering upside, but it could be a bumpy ride like it is with most rookie PGs. 

 

Richaun Holmes (17%)- Holmes and Noel are per-minute monsters that are in similar situations, as both players are stuck behind centers who average 30+ minutes. Holmes is still holding value in standard leagues with 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks over his last five in just 20 minutes per game, but if Ayton goes down or if the Suns finally give him some run at the four, his upside will be through the roof. 

 

Thomas Bryant (5%)- He’s coming off his best game as a pro with 16 points, nine rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block and one triple in just 21 minutes. With the Wizards possibly heading to the lottery and Dwight Howard out indefinitely, I started stashing Bryant in my deeper leagues and I suggest you do the same. He has all the tools to become a 9-category stud. 

 

 

Streaming Options:

 

*These are guys you can dump straight back to the wire after getting a game or two of value out of them. To qualify, they must be available in at least 50% of Yahoo Leagues. 

 

Kevin Huerter (2%)- Huerter has four assists in four straight games and his workload is on the rise with the Hawks missing a few players including Taurean Prince (ankle). He’s averaging 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.6 steals and 1.8 triples over his last five in 26.4 minutes per game, but it may not be long before he eclipses the 30-minute mark on a regular basis as the Hawks ramp up their tanking efforts. He leads the team in net rating (-3.4) and the Hawks have every reason to give the first-round pick more touches. 

 

Terry Rozier (44%)- He’s still one of the best handcuffs in fantasy basketball, but doesn’t offer much standalone value with just top-200 numbers on the season. However, it’s worth noting that Kyrie Irving tweaked his shoulder on Thursday night, so be prepared to run to the wire if we get bad news. If not, Rozier will continue to be a streamer for his points (9.2), triples (1.6) and dimes (3.2 over his last five). 

 

Allen Crabbe (43%)- Do you want more 3-pointers (2.2 per game on the season) at the expense of your FG% (32.3)? Then look no further. He’s a one-trick pony, but Crabbe has been better lately with at least three triples in five out of his last six. 

 

Ed Davis (6%)- The best rebounding specialist on the wire with 9.6 boards in 17.2 minutes per game over his last five. He’s been a force of nature on the glass all season. 

 

DeMarre Carroll (7%)- We’re starting to see some glimpses of the player he was last season. Over his last five games his role has been on the rise with 11.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.8 triples in 26.0 minutes. Still not doing enough to be a standard-league pickup, though. 

 

Cody Zeller (20%)- Since returning from his left rib contusion, Zeller has played 32 and 33 minutes with averages of 8.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 0.5 blocks. He’s ranked just outside the top-100 and is exactly what you should be looking for in a streamer. 

 

Cedi Osman (29%)- I was fooled into thinking Osman was a good player over the summer, as he’s shooting just 36.9% on the season. He’s still playing a ton of minutes with 10.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.2 triples over his last five, so stream him if you must. 

 

J.J. Barea (28%)- Has been one of the best streamers this season. Unfortunately, coach Rick Carlisle has been adamant about keeping him with the second unit even with Dennis Smith Jr. (wrist) hurting. He’s still been productive with 13.6 points, 5.2 assists, 2.6 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.0 triples in 19.2 minutes over his last five games. 

 

Dorian Finney-Smith (4%)- He usually benefits the most whenever the Mavs are shorthanded, and that’s obviously happened a lot this season. In 11 total starts DFS has put up 9.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.6 blocks, 1.3 steals and 1.4 triples which is good enough for late-round value. 

 

Malik Beasley (3%)- He doesn’t have the upside to be a standard-league pickup, at least not yet. However, with Gary Harris looking at a lengthy absence, it’s worth noting that Beasley has been the primary beneficiary. He’s now played 27+ minutes in three straight, averaging 13.0 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 3.0 triples. 

 

Cory Joseph (11%)- Need a boring PG? Look no further. Joseph is putting up 8.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.8 triples in his last five games. His upside will be decent until Victor Oladipo comes back, which could be a while — his usage rate is up nearly 4% with Dipo off the court. 

 

Avery Bradley (10%)- Prior to his 5-point dud vs. a tough Memphis team, Bradley put up 14.3 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 triples in his previous three games. I’m not ready to pick him up in standard leagues, but I could be talked into streaming him in certain spots. 

 

Josh Hart (44%)- He’s been awful lately with four straight games with single-digit points, but could have some nice value if he heats up since Brandon Ingram (ankle) will miss at least a week. Even though he was bad on Friday, I was encouraged by the 36-minute workload. 

 

JaMychal Green (28%)- His numbers have been misleading because Jaren Jackson Jr. has been fouling left and right. Green is averaging 19.0 points, 8.7 boards, 2.7 steals and 1.7 treys over his last three games, and while you shouldn’t expect these numbers, if he’s half as good he’ll have decent value as a streamer. 

 

Justise Winslow (12%)- He’s been sensational over his last three games with top-45 value, but that’s because the Heat are missing several bodies. He went off against a laughable Phoenix team with a 20-point effort and is averaging 14.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.3 triples in that span. 

 

Tim Frazier (19%)- Has replaced J.J. Barea as the best assists specialist on the wire with 7.8 per game over his last six. Unfortunately, that’s pretty much all he does with mediocre supporting stats. 

 

D.J. Augustin (43%)- He’s slumping over his last two games, but will get the job done as a streamer more often that not for his points (10.3), assists (5.3) and triples (1.6). 

 

Nemanja Bjelica (38%)- He went from an early-round producer to an inconsistent late-round guy with the Kings unleashing Marvin Bagley at the request of the front office. It was a fun run, Bjelica. 

 

Jakob Poeltl (20%)- He’s starting to turn some heads and caught the eye of coach Popovich. "Jakob, he’s a quick learner,” Popovich said. "He executed his role.” The Spurs have been very underwhelming and Poeltl has been one of their best players for the past three games, so he’s on my watch list in every league to see if his role grows. He notched 13.3 points, 7.6 boards and 1.3 blocks in just 19.3 minutes per game in that span. Is the preseason sleeper finally awake?

 

Tomas Satoransky (3%)- He gave us a glimpse of his upside if John Wall is ever traded when he put up 14 points, seven assists, four rebounds, two steals and one block in 38 minutes vs. the Hawks. A mid-round fantasy asset if Wall misses another game.