• We’re heading into the 23rd week of the NBA season, and that means that many head-to-head leagues will be deciding their titles over the next seven or 14 days. If you play all the way to Game 82, you’re a saint and also a little bit crazy. Most of us are gearing up for final matchups, and that means that you have nothing left to lose by going wild with your adds and drops.

    Managers in head-to-head leagues should bust out the calculators to figure out what your opponent is set to produce next week, assuming that everyone operates in the normal range of outcomes. You’re going to try and scrape together a volume edge but you can also focus on specific categories to give yourself the five wins you need to conquer the matchup. As such, managers who have gotten by without a strict punt build can change course and zero in on key areas. If you’re only average in blocks and your opponent has Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner, you can probably drop whoever your main rim protectors are (as long as they aren’t critical to another area of strength for you) and focus on another category.

    This week, which will be the last for many out there, we’re going to highlight some players who should be rostered in just about all leagues (with an exception for aggressive streaming situations) and then go category by category to find some names who can help.

    If your league doesn’t end this Sunday, we’ll catch you back here for the final fortnight of the campaign.

    Should be Rostered Everywhere

    Amen Thompson, F, Houston Rockets

    Thompson has always had an intriguing stat set and is seizing the opportunity to show it off of late, as he’s stepped into the starting five and pumping out top-90 numbers over the last two weeks. No matter how the rest of this Rockets season unfolds, you’ll be doing alright. If Houston surges for the Play-In, it means that Thompson is playing well and the Rockets will let the good times roll. If the team slips out of contention, Thompson might see his role increase. Points, rebounds, steals and a sky-high FG% offers a blend of numbers that should help just about any roster.

    Kelly Olynyk, C, Toronto Raptors

    Olynyk has no competition for minutes and offers enough skills that most of Toronto’s lineups will collapse without him, which is to say that deploying Olynyk offers tangible development benefits for the organization. A jack of all trades but a master of none, Olynyk is liable to deliver a notable number almost anywhere across the box score on any given night. Last week he had a game of 10 assists. The week before he had a game of nine rebounds, plus another with eight assists, two steals and two blocks. You never know exactly what you’re going to get, but odds are it will be good.

    Tre Mann, G, Charlotte Hornets

    Mann is best known for his ability to rack up points in a hurry, but he hasn’t done much of that since rising to Charlotte’s starting lineup. Mix that in with an uncharacteristic .538 mark from the charity stripe and it’s a bit of a wonder that he’s even in the top-150 over the last couple of weeks at all. And yet, he is, with plenty of easy room for improvement. Mann is delivering solid rebounds, assists and steals without finding his stride, and remains locked in a starting role. If he can ever get into a groove it’ll be a game-changer but as is he’s already got the role and baseline to warrant a spot.

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