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Week 8 Fantasy Basketball Schedule Breakdown

A star is born in Pacers' Tyrese Haliburton
Natalie and Callie Lawson-Freeman discuss the emergence of Indiana Pacers star point guard Tyrese Haliburton in the NBA In-Season Tournament.

With the inaugural In-Season Tournament concluding Saturday night in Las Vegas, the NBA’s regular season schedule will be back to “normal” in Week 8. Every day will feature at least five games, with Monday (13) and Saturday (10) being the busiest. And 24 teams are scheduled to play four games, with the other six playing three. Let’s take a look ahead to Week 8 and some of its important fantasy storylines.

Week 8 Games Played

4 Games: ATL, BOS, BKN, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, IND, LAC, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, PHI, PHO, POR, SAC, SAS, UTA, WAS

3 Games: LAL, MEM, MIN, OKC, ORL, TOR

Week 8 Storylines

- The 76ers have a great fantasy schedule for Week 8

Of the 24 teams that will play four games in Week 8, few have a schedule that looks as enticing as what the 76ers will face. All four of their games are against teams ranked 24th or worse in the league in defensive rating, beginning with the Wizards (29th) on Monday. While Washington was able to hang around in their December 6 loss to Philadelphia, the 76ers still scored 131 points on 51% shooting from the field. That game will be followed by two against the struggling Pistons (24th in defensive rating) and one against the Hornets (30th in defensive rating). Joel Embiid, who is believed to be fine going through an injury scare during Friday’s win over Atlanta, and Tyrese Maxey could feast in the 76ers’ Week 8 matchups.

- Rockets’ Thompson set to return from ankle injury

Sidelined since November 1 with a Grade 2 sprain of his right ankle, Rockets rookie Amen Thompson was recalled from the team’s G League affiliate on Saturday and is expected to be available for Monday’s game against the Spurs. He’ll have to get through Sunday’s practice without any issues in order for that to become official, but Thompson’s return would improve Houston’s depth on the wing. However, fantasy managers should be mindful that he only surpassed 20 minutes in one of the four games he played pre-injury. So, remain patient. And in his lone outing for the Rio Grande Vipers, Thompson put up 29 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, three steals, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in a two-point loss to the OKC Blue. Even if the points aren’t there immediately, Thompson is good enough to add value in other areas, similar to twin brother Ausar.

- What should fantasy managers do with Mavericks’ Irving?

Kyrie Irving suffered a scary right leg injury during the second quarter of Dallas’ win in Portland on Friday, as teammate Dwight Powell fell on the star guard while he was sitting on the court after being fouled. With it being reported that he needed a wheelchair to exit the arena in order to undergo further evaluation, many feared the worst. Saturday afternoon, it was reported that Irving is “only” dealing with a contused heel, which is great news for him and the Mavericks. Dallas plays four games in Week 8, but the schedule begins with a road/home back-to-back against the Grizzlies and Lakers on Monday and Tuesday. It isn’t difficult to envision a scenario in which a four-game week becomes three at most for Irving if the injury is one that he can play through. Should Irving miss time with the injury, Seth Curry is the most likely replacement in the starting lineup.

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- The Bulls’ guard rotation takes another hit ahead of Week 8

Chicago has won four straight games, a run that began when the team was without Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan. While the latter has since returned, the former will be down for another 2-3 weeks. And LaVine was joined on the injury report during Friday’s win over the Spurs, as Alex Caruso went down with a sprained left ankle. His status for Monday’s game against the Bucks remains undetermined, and that’s the first of four games Chicago will play in Week 8. Following that matchup is a home tilt with the Nuggets on Tuesday, followed by two games in Miami. Ayo Dosunmu’s value could be boosted if Caruso misses time, while Coby White and Patrick Williams have enhanced their values with solid play during the Bulls’ win streak.

- How many games will fantasy managers get out of Bam Adebayo?

The Heat center has missed Miami’s last three games with a hip injury, including Friday’s loss to the Cavaliers. Miami plays four games in Week 8, beginning with a road game against the Hornets on Monday. Orlando Robinson has been the starter in Adebayo’s absence, logging 29, 33, and 20 minutes, providing top-50 per-game value in 9-cat formats during this stretch. He’s still rostered in just 23% of Yahoo leagues, and it wouldn’t be a bad idea for fantasy managers to add Robinson ahead of the start of Week 8. Even if Adebayo is cleared to play Monday, the Heat do have a midweek back-to-back to navigate.

- Will Anthony Edwards be headed back to the sideline?

The Timberwolves star guard made his return to action from a hip pointer on Wednesday but had to exit Friday’s win over Memphis after playing just four minutes. Will Edwards have to miss more game time? That’s the question fantasy managers will be seeking an answer to when the initial injury reports for Monday’s games drop on Sunday afternoon. Minnesota is one of the six teams that will only play three games in Week 8, beginning in New Orleans on Monday. Should Edwards be sidelined, Troy Brown Jr. would fill the resulting void in the starting lineup, and he’s ranked just outside the top 100 in 9-cat value over the last week. If Edwards doesn’t play Monday, that could be the only game in which Brown is worthy of streaming consideration, as the Timberwolves’ second game of the week isn’t until Thursday night in Dallas.

Light Game Days

Tuesday: 5 Games

CLE vs. BOS

LAL vs. DAL

DEN vs. CHI

GSW vs. PHO

SAC vs. LAC

Sunday: 5 Games

ORL vs. BOS

NOR vs. SAS

HOU vs. MIL

WAS vs. PHO

GSW vs. POR

Week 8 Back-to-backs

Monday-Tuesday: CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, LAC, SAC

Tuesday-Wednesday: LAL, PHO

Wednesday-Thursday: BKN, MIA, UTA

Thursday-Friday: BOS

Friday-Saturday: ATL, CHA, DET, IND, NYK, PHI

Saturday-Sunday: GSW, MIL, POR

Sunday-Monday (Week 9): HOU, WAS