The 2016-2017 NBA Fantasy Basketball Playoffs Are Approaching
I’ve been doing a lot of research, preperation and getting my mind right for the 2016-2017 fantasy playoffs. This is crunch time for me and for The Couch as the fantasy postseason is only about one-two weeks away for most leagues. I recently made a guest appearance on the Fantasy NBA Today Podcast and we covered a variety of topics. It inspired me to put my thoughts down in writing and help you guys go deep in the playoffs and succeed.
Winners and Losers from the trade deadline, from a fantasy perspective
A slow start with the Mavs, but he’s coming off the bench as Dallas looks to ease in a key piece of their future.
Paul George & Jimmy Butler
Staying put keeps both of these studs as the clear-cut, go-to players for their respective teams. Had one of them gone to Boston, their stats would surely dip to an extent, and probably drop them from 2nd round to maybe 4-5th round value.
Willie Cauley-Stein & DeMarcus Cousins
The Sacramento big man benefits from Cousins leaving, but the real winner is… Cousins. A change of scenery was much needed for the best big man in the league. I know he just picked up T #18 and is sitting out a game because of it, but he’s paying for past baggage. And I saw the technical foul get called–it was silly. Had it been anyone else in the league besides Boogie, or maybe Draymond Green, it’d be a non-incident.
In addition to the change of scenery, Cuz now has some actual help to take some pressure off the defense so not all five guys are honed in on him at all times.
Small sample size, but since the trade with the Pelicans vs. stats post-Rudy Gay injury with Kings:
Cousins is putting up similar stats, but with less effort and it’s showing on the defensive end and in his efficiency. I left out his three-point shooting because that has stayed relatively the same. The fact he hits them and has the handles he does is impressive. Big Cuz and his new frontcourt teammate Anthony Davis are the two best centers in the league, hands down. AD at least played point guard growing up, but it’s Cousins who is averaging 5 dimes per game.
From a real-life perspective, D. Will now has a real chance to compete for a ring for the first time in his career. But from a fantasy point of view, he went from having a solid bounce-back campaign, averaging 13 pts and 7 dimes, to being a backup PG. He’s no longer worth rostering in most leagues.
Virtually everything is down across the board from last year, and the rumors that Atlanta might move him could have given Millsap a new look and fresh environment to try and bring out the last of his peak play.
He was having a pretty good year until the 6ers moved him to Atlanta, understandably so to give rookie Dario Saric more run, but Ghost Face Ilya was averaging almost 15 pts, 6 boards, 2 threes and decent percents.
Players off the wire to own down the stretch
These guys might be available in your league, or could be had in a smaller trade. Each has their own unique situation why they could help your squad in the playoffs.
Khris Middleton SG/SF Mil
Looks like he’s starting to catch his stride, and could be a real steal for whoever was able to nab him off the wire. Most project he won’t reach the lofty expectations of last year’s stats, but I think he can.
Frank Kaminsky PF/C Cha
I know Cody Zeller just returned, but I don’t see how Charlotte can keep Kaminsky out of the lineup with the way he’s been playing recently. If Frank The Tank Kaminsky is somehow still on the waiver wire, definitely take a flier on him.
Willy Hernangomez C NY
With news that Joakim Noah is out for the year, and the Knicks needing to figure out who they should keep (outside the Unicorn), look for New York to give Hernangomez plenty of run.
Patty Mills PG SAS
He won’t blow you away, but in deeper leagues, if you need a 4th or 5th PG or are just looking for some scoring help; Mills should get some good run down the stretch.
Ish Smith PG Det
Look for Detroit to give Ish a good look as they try to see what they have in him. Reggie Jackson was openly on the block, so maybe Smith can give the Piston’s front office a reason to believe they don’t need to net a starting PG in a trade, in return for Jackson.
Tip: scheduling for the playoffs
Maximizing your schedule–the amount of games played is huge. Traditionally, you have 8 slots for starters, so having as many out of the weekdays as possible with 8 players is big.
In most leagues, the finals run March 27th – April 2nd. Minnesota, Denver and Portland play only 3 games that week. Everyone else plays 4.
BUT… in the week of the finals, both MIN and POR play on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday where there are limited games. This is also very valuable when considering your schedules. So players like C.J. McCollum & Damian Lillard and Karl Anthony-Towns & Andrew Wiggins will be huge for teams in the championship.
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