March 14, 2022, 1:16 am
Week 21 isn’t the friendliest week for streaming. 17 teams play three or fewer games, while the rest play four. The four-game teams’ schedules aren’t all that appealing in terms of streaming, either. All four-game teams play on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, the high-volume nights. Some of them even play on Sunday, the fourth high-volume night. Some three-game schedules are better than their four-game counterparts, so keep that in mind when noting how many games each team plays.
Usually, managers have multiple doubleheaders to choose from when planning out the coming week. In week 21, however, there are only two back-to-back streaming opportunities, and they each rely on a 12-game night on one end of the doubleheader. Only one team plays on the three low-volume nights, and only one other team plays on two volume nights. In other words, 28 teams do not offer two low-volume evenings for streaming. Monday and Sunday, the two lighter high-volume nights, feature nine games apiece, which can mean you’ll have a full lineup.
While streaming will be difficult this week, it’s not impossible. The Magic and Pistons are the two teams we’re heavily targeting in week 21. They’re the only two teams offering at least two low-volume nights. If you have two streaming spots available to you, dropping your back-end guys in place of Magic and Pistons streamers should net you multiple games. Leave two adds for the weekend to target your categories of need and win the week.
For managers looking at week 21 like an opportunity to stash schedule streamers for week 22, we’re looking at teams like the Bulls, Hawks, Nuggets, Bucks and Knicks. Make sure you know how your potential streamers fit into your daily lineups. Individuals to target are guys like Alex Caruso and Brook Lopez (back surgery), who’s returning on Monday the 14th. They’ll be strolled out there for three games apiece in week 21, get their feet wet and hit the ground running in the following week. Considering their favorable week 22 schedules, this is a viable move for two top-100 guys at worst.
Managers in win-now mode, don’t be afraid to let go of your Floridians out of South Beach. The Heat only hit the floor twice this week, and one of those contests is on Friday while 11 other games are on. Jimmy Butler missed two contests last week. One was because of a sinus issue and the other was his nagging toe. He’s a bit unreliable. The guy’s always hurt. If he’s ruled out ahead of Tuesday, it’s your final week, you’re in a do-or-die situation and you have no IR spot, it might be time to thank him for his service and send him packing. When it’s winning time, nobody’s safe.
Two Games: Heat
Three Games: Celtics, Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Mavs, Pistons, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers, Grizzlies, Bucks, Wolves, Pelicans, Knicks, Magic
Four Games: Hawks, Cavs, Nuggets, Lakers, Thunder, Sixers, Suns, Blazers, Kings, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards
Tuesday/Wednesday: Nets, Suns
Friday/Saturday: Cavs, Mavs, Lakers, Wizards
If you have a back-end Heat player, they’re expendable due to their two-game week. As usual, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday are the low-volume nights. Thursday’s extra special in week 21 because it’ll only feature one game between the Magic and Pistons. Wednesday and Friday offer 12 games apiece while Monday and Sunday each showcase nine. The Pistons are the only team that plays on each of the low-volume nights, so they’re certainly a team to target. Marvin Bagley III’s a double-double threat, Killian Hayes (right adductor contusion) is an assists and steals specialist and Cory Joseph can provide some assists if Hayes is out.
The Magic are the only other team playing on Tuesday and Thursday this week, making them an interesting option as well. If you can fit a streamer into your best 10 for this week’s doubleheaders, it would be worthwhile. Of the four-game teams, only the Lakers, Cavs and Wizards offer a doubleheader over the weekend. Each of the four-game teams plays on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, making some of them difficult streams on the high-volume nights.
Best Schedule: Pistons (@ Heat, @ Magic, @ Cavs)
As the only team playing on the week’s three low-volume nights, the Pistons win the recognition by default. That doesn’t make them less interesting or valuable, though. In shallower formats, Bagley, Joseph and Hayes are all potential streamers. Isaiah Stewart, currently out with a right knee bone bruise, has been replaced by Bagley. However, if Bagley ends up compromised in some way, Kelly Olynyk is the next man up in Detroit. If Hamidou Diallo (left finger sprain) suits up this week, he can offer steals and rebounds on a decent FG%.
Worst Schedule: Heat (vs. Pistons, vs. Thunder)
If the Heat were the only two-game team this week but played on Tuesday and Thursday, their schedule wouldn’t be as rough. This isn’t the case, though, as the Heat play on that jam-packed Friday instead of Thursday. Guys like Duncan Robinson, P.J. Tucker and Gabe Vincent can all be dropped in favor of Pistons or Magic streamers. If it comes down to it, even Kyle Lowry is a guy who’s on the chopping block based on last week’s production. If this week’s your final, don’t be afraid to cut bait with the big names in favor of guys with three games left from Wednesday on.
Game of the Week: Celtics @ Warriors, Wednesday, March 16th, 7:30 pm ET
There are many good games on this week. Nikola Jokic versus Joel Embiid goes down on Monday. The Grizzlies take on the Hawks on Friday. Young Evan Mobley faces Jokic, Embiid and fellow rookie Cade Cunningham this week. Still, the game of the week comes on Wednesday between the surging Celtics, who are 18-4 in their last 22 games, and the Warriors who’ll have Draymond Green (back) at their disposal. Prior to Green’s injury, the Warriors had two impressive wins over the Suns and were still the league favorites to win the title. Now at full force and coming off a blowout victory over the Bucks, they’ll host the Celtics who boast a top-5 offensive and defensive rating over their last 15 games. Jayson Tatum, in the midst of a top-10 MVP season, leads his upstart squad against the two-time MVP Steph Curry and his veteran group focused on reclaiming the gold. It’ll be an awesome measuring stick game for the Celtics and a healthy test for the Warriors.
Alex Caruso, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls
Caruso made his triumphant return on Saturday. The Bulls guard missed nearly two months of action after Grayson Allen’s dirty foul that caused Caruso to fall and fracture his wrist. In Caruso’s first game, the Bulls planned on playing him between 24 and 30 minutes. They ran him out there for 29 minutes and Caruso delivered 11 points, a board, a triple, four dimes and four steals on 50% shooting from the field and 2-of-2 shooting at the charity stripe. He’s a stud in the steals department that also dishes out assists and other goodies. Caruso should be added in most formats.
Andre Drummond, C, Brooklyn Nets
Drummond’s more of a specialist option. We all know what the Big Penguin brings to the table. Drummond provides big boards, sometimes big points, good defensive numbers and a usually solid field goal percentage. The Nets also offer one of the week’s rare doubleheaders on Tuesday and Wednesday against the Magic and the Mavericks. Since LaMarcus Aldridge is dealing with a right hip impingement, Drummond’s the main man in the middle. He doesn’t need much playing time to compile big-man numbers in volume, making him at least an intriguing add to start the week.
Trendon Watford, PF, Portland Trail Blazers
Watford’s emergence is a recent one. The forward out of Portland’s averaging 32 minutes a night over his past five games. Not only is he seeing minutes, but he’s also tallying some serviceable numbers. In Watford’s last five appearances, he’s averaging 17.0 points, 7.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 0.8 blocks on 50.0% shooting from the field and 88.5% shooting at the free throw line. The Blazers offer a juicy four-game schedule in week 21 and Watford’s slated to play heavy minutes in each of the four contests.
Marvin Bagley III, PF/C, Detroit Pistons
Bagley doesn’t possess the most diverse fantasy game, but the big man does what big men typically do. He’s a double-double threat, he hits a high FG% and plays heavy minutes now that Isaiah Stewart is sidelined with a bone bruise in his right knee. Bagley’s 32 minutes a night over the past week compared to Kelly Olynyk’s 16 indicates the Pistons fancy the deadline acquisition a bit more than the Canadian. Add in the Pistons’ great week 21 schedule and Bagley’s a clear add.
John Collins is a game-time decision on Monday with injuries to his right foot and right finger. He missed the team’s contest on Sunday to rest them.
Ben Simmons (conditioning/back) remains out indefinitely.
Gordon Hayward is out indefinitely with a sprained left ankle.
Zach LaVine is questionable for Monday’s contest with left knee soreness. Lonzo Ball (torn left meniscus) remains without a firm timetable for his return.
Caris LeVert is listed as questionable for Monday’s meeting with the Clippers with a sprained right foot. Jarrett Allen is out indefinitely with his fractured finger.
Luka Doncic is considered day-to-day due to his left hamstring.
Draymond Green (back) is on pace to play on Monday after scrimmaging on Saturday.
Myles Turner (left foot stress reaction) is expected to return at some point in March, but we have nothing concrete at this time. Malcolm Brogdon missed the team’s last two contests with a concussion and should be considered day-to-day moving forward.
Paul George’s (right elbow) timetable for a return remains unclear. 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 (mid-food sprain) will be re-evaluated in a few weeks.
Jimmy Butler missed the team’s recent Saturday game due to a toe injury.
Brook Lopez is returning on Monday after missing essentially the entire season after undergoing back surgery.
Anthony Edwards (left patella tendinopathy) is probable for Monday’s contest.
C.J. McCollum should be nearing a return from the league’s health and safety protocols. Brandon Ingram will be re-evaluated at some point towards the end of week 21 for his right hamstring strain.
Josh Giddey is expected to miss at least two more weeks with right hip soreness.
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.
Anfernee Simons is out for 1-2 weeks with left patella tendinopathy. Damian Lillard (abdominal surgery) will be re-evaluated in one-to-two weeks. Jusuf Nurkic will miss at least three weeks with plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
OG Anunoby (right finger fracture) will be re-evaluated in mid-to-late March. Fred VanVleet (right knees soreness) missed Saturday’s contest and is tabled as questionable for Monday night.
Rudy Gobert is questionable for Monday with a left foot issue. Mike Conley sat out Saturday’s game for rest but should be good to go for week 21.
Kristaps Porzingis (right knee injury maintenance) rested on Saturday. The Unicorn will sit out back-to-backs the rest of the way. He should be good to go for Monday, though.