• After months of reading the Week Ahead, listening to podcasts, sifting through previously unknown names like Omer Yurtseven and Javonte Green on waiver wires, we are in the final two weeks of the regular season. Whether your playoffs have just begun or you’re in your league’s Finals, it’s time to go for glory.

    Week 23 offers a few avenues of attack. Like last week, the Bulls offer the best schedule in the league. They’re the only team that plays on each of the low-volume nights this week. As an added bonus, they offer a few different types of streamers. Are you in need of scoring and 3s? Coby White’s an option. Are you in search of steals and assists? Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu fit the bill. Would you like some steals, out-of-position boards and good percentages? Look no further than Javonte Green. The Bulls offer several streamers who can swing a category or two over the course of the week.

    Other teams we like in week 23 are the Nets, Sixers and Jazz, the other three teams playing on the three five-game nights. The Nets offer Patty Mills, Andre Drummond, Nicolas Claxton, LaMarcus Aldridge and Bruce Brown as potential 12-team targets. The Sixers mainly offer Matisse Thybulle as a defensive specialist and not much else in standard leagues. The Jazz offer Jordan Clarkson, who’s typically over-rostered, Royce O’Neale, Bojan Bogdanovic (left calf strain) and Hassan Whiteside (right foot sprain), if the last two are healthy heading into their Tuesday game.

    The 15 teams playing on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday are the Celtics, Mavs, Nuggets, Rockets, Pacers, Wolves, Pelicans, Thunder, Magic, Suns, Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Raptors and Wizards. Fringe guys on these 15 clubs are on the chopping block. What good is Derrick White if he can’t make it into your best 10 on the high-volume nights? Why not swap White, who’s rostered in at least 77% of leagues between ESPN and Yahoo, for Caruso who’s rostered in fewer than 40% of leagues across those same platforms?

    Set your lineups, look at how they play out over the week and determine who is expendable. From there, drop your fringe players that don’t suit up for you on the high-volume nights to target waiver wire guys that play on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Don’t be afraid to use all of your adds by Saturday night as Sunday’s the most difficult day to stream with 12 games scheduled for it. Look at the Bulls, Nets, Sixers, Hawks, Jazz and Cavs for streaming options this week in place of your fringe guys with less favorable schedules and bask in your rightful championship glory.

    Schedule Breakdown

    Three Games: Nets, Hornets, Grizzlies, Wolves, Pelicans, Suns, Jazz

    Four Games: Hawks, Celtics, Bulls, Mavericks, Nuggets, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers, Lakers, Heat, Bucks, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, Sixers, Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Raptors, Wizards

    Five Games: Cavaliers

    Back-to-Backs

    Monday/Tuesday: Bulls

    Tuesday/Wednesday: Mavs, Wizards

    Wednesday/Thursday: Hawks, Cavs

    Thursday/Friday: Pistons, Clippers, Lakers, Bucks

    Saturday/Sunday: Cavs, Warriors, Heat, Knicks, Sixers

    Schedule Maximizers

    We’re looking to avoid the loaded nights, so we’re aiming at Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday for streaming. Teams that play on all three of those nights are the Nets, Bulls, Sixers and Jazz. The Hawks join the previous four in playing on Thursday and Saturday.

    Teams playing on Tuesday and Thursday include the Bucks, Clippers, Pistons and Lakers. Of the four teams playing on each of the three low-volume nights, the Bulls and Sixers offer four games and a doubleheader. The Bulls kick off week 23 with a doubleheader on Monday and Tuesday while the Sixers close the week off with a back-to-back on Saturday and Sunday.

    The Bulls’ streamers are in a bit of a struggle right now. Alex Caruso and Ayo Dosunmu are outside of the top-230 in 8-category rankings over the past week. Javonte Green and Coby White have posted back-end value in that same period, but they’re playing fewer minutes than Caruso and Dosunmu. The Sixers offer Matisse Thybulle as a defensive specialist and Georges Niang as a 3-point threat, but their streamers aren’t too appealing either.

    Best Schedule: Bulls (@ Knicks, @ Wizards, vs. Clippers, vs. Heat)

    The Bulls win this prestigious recognition for the second straight week! I’m sure they’ll hang it up there with their six championship banners and Michael Jordan’s retired jersey. Like last week, the Bulls play four games in week 23. The Bulls play on each of the low-volume nights and on Monday, the nine-game evening. Some managers may find it difficult to stream on Monday but if you can fit a Bull into your lineup, you should consider it. Streaming a Bulls player on Monday would net you a back-to-back against the Knicks and Wizards before finishing up with two contests on five-game nights heading into the final day of the week. Despite some recent struggles, Javonte Green, Alex Caruso, Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White can all contribute to a few categories and are worth considering.

    Worst Schedule: Suns (@ Warriors, @ Grizzlies, @ Thunder)

    The Suns just edged out the Wolves and Pelicans this week. All three teams share an identical schedule in which they play away from home on the most crowded evenings, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. The Suns face the toughest schedule of the group as they face the Warriors and Grizzlies on Wednesday and Friday before a drop in competition against the Thunder on Sunday. Each of their three games are on the road and the Suns are relatively healthy now. With the team nearly at full strength, only Jae Crowder holds any streaming appeal among the non-must-roster types, boasting a top-90 ranking over the last two weeks in 9-category formats.

    Game of the Week: Bucks @ Nets, Thursday, March 31st, 7:30 pm ET

    In a rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference finals, the new-look Nets host the defending champs. Kyrie Irving will be at Barclays Center for this one now that the city’s vaccine mandate has been relaxed. Irving was unavailable for the later games of last year’s postseason meeting after suffering a sprained ankle in Game 4 against the Bucks. His scoring ability going against Jrue Holiday’s lockdown defense is always an awesome clash between two incredible talents. Two other incredible talents in Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant will add another chapter to their budding rivalry as two of the league’s very best players of all-time. With both teams having recently brought in or welcomed back players that figure to be in the playoff rotation in a couple weeks when the stakes are highest, Thursday’s meeting is the most relevant measuring-stick game between the two yet.

    Quick Adds

    Davion Mitchell, PG, Sacramento Kings

    While the Kings’ schedule isn’t great, considering they play on the four busiest nights of the week, Mitchell’s a must-roster player at the moment. With De’Aaron Fox likely out for the remainder of the season with his injured right hand, Mitchell’s getting all of the minutes he can handle in the backcourt. Rostered in fewer than 55% of Yahoo leagues and 20% of ESPN formats, Mitchell’s putting up top-50 numbers in 8-category formats over the past two weeks in nearly 37 minutes a night. The rookie’s averaging 20.3 PTS, 2.3 3s, 5.5 AST and 1.2 STL on 48.5% shooting from the field and 90.9% shooting from the line in that span. While the shooting numbers will come down a bit, the minutes and opportunities will not. Stop what you’re doing, add him now and finish this article afterwards.

    Ayo Dosunmu, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls

    Dosunmu’s a bit of a schedule steamer here, along with a few of his teammates. As mentioned throughout this article, the Bulls’ schedule is too good to pass up on. Bringing any of them in for a week’s worth of games in exchange for a fringe guy who won’t make it into your lineup could swing that elusive fantasy title your way. Dosunmu, Caruso, Green and White are all viable options in week 23.

    Royce O’Neale, SF/PF, Utah Jazz

    Reliable Royce is what I like to call him. He’s not a sexy fantasy asset, he’s never going to explode for eight 3s or score 30 points, but O’Neale’s a solid low-volume contributor with an emphasis on cash counters. He’s posting back-end value as a 12-team streamer over the past two weeks. On the season, O’Neale’s inside the top-100 in 9-category formats. The Jazz’s favorable schedule increases the veteran’s value. O’Neale’s available in most formats, boasting roster percentages under 50% in Yahoo leagues and 10% in ESPN formats.

    Matisse Thybulle, SG/SF, Philadelphia 76ers

    Thybulle feels like the defensive specialist we’ll be adding at the end of the week for the next decade. Everybody’s familiar with the athletic wing’s work on defense. He averages 2.8 combined defensive numbers in 26 minutes a night on the season. Over the past two weeks, he’s inside the top-30 in 9-category formats due to averages of 2.3 steals and 1.3 blocks in about 25 minutes a night over that seven-game span. Adding Thybulle in place of a fringe guy not suiting up for your team this week can win you the defensive battle with one swift add. The Aussie is an option for week 23.

    Injury Report

    John Collins (plantar fascia tear & right ring finger sprain) has been ruled out ahead of Monday’s game.

    Al Horford is doubtful for Monday’s game due to personal reasons. Robert Williams III went down on Sunday with sprained left knee that will at least keep him out of Monday’s game against the Raptors.

    Ben Simmons (conditioning/back) remains out indefinitely.

    Gordon Hayward remains out indefinitely with a sprained left ankle.

    Lonzo Ball (torn left meniscus) has taken a break from running in favor of strength training over the past week or so to heal the knee and strengthen the surrounding muscles. It’d be miraculous to see him suit up before season’s end.

    Jarrett Allen is out indefinitely with his fractured right ring finger.

    Michael Porter Jr. (back) and Jamal Murray (left ACL tear) remain without firm return dates.

    Jerami Grant missed Sunday’s game with a strained left calf. It usually flares up when the team’s tanking.

    Stephen Curry (left foot sprain) won’t be retuning until just before the playoffs at the earliest.

    Myles Turner (left foot stress reaction) will not return this season. Malcolm Brogdon will rest on Monday night.

    Paul George’s (right elbow) timetable for a return remains unclear despite him practicing and warming up with the team recently. Kawhi Leonard (right ACL) remains sidelined with very little hope of returning for a regular season run. Norman Powell has no timetable for a return from a broken bone in his left foot.

    Anthony Davis (right foot sprain) remains out indefinitely. LeBron James often appears on injury reports but has been good to go lately.

    Ja Morant (right knee) is considered week-to-week. Jaren Jackson Jr. is questionable for Monday night with right thigh soreness.

    Jrue Holiday missed the team’s recent Saturday game with left ankle soreness and should be considered day-to-day.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (right ankle) will miss Monday’s game while Josh Giddey (right hip) will miss the remainder of the regular season.

    Cameron Johnson missed Sunday’s contest with a right quad contusion. Chris Paul is of course out with his right thumb avulsion fracture through the end of the season and Cameron Payne missed Sunday’s game with a non-COVID illness.

    Josh Hart (left knee) and Justise Winslow (left calf) will miss Monday’s game. Anfernee Simons (left patella tendinopathy), Damian Lillard (abdominal surgery) and Jusuf Nurkic are all out for the season or should be considered as such.

    De’Aaron Fox (right hand) missed Sunday’s game. Richaun Holmes will miss the rest of the season due to personal matters. Domantas Sabonis suffered a knee injury that forced him out of Sunday’s game. Fox and Sabonis should be considered shutdowns at this point.

    Gary Trent Jr. is considered questionable for Monday with a hyperextended left toe.

    Rudy Gobert missed Sunday’s game with a right leg contusion.

    Kyle Kuzma missed Sunday’s game with right knee tendinitis.

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