Below are the playoff schedule breakdowns for the following four playoff setups:

1) Leagues that begin their playoffs on April 5th (Week 15) and finish on April 25th

2) Leagues that begin their playoffs on April 12th (Week 16) and finish on May 2nd

3) Leagues that begin their playoffs on April 19th (Week 17) and finish on May 9th

4) Leagues that begin their playoffs on April 26th (Week 18) and finish on May 16th

You can find the complete 2020-2021 Fantasy Basketball schedule grid here.

*See Page 2 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting April 12th.

**See Page 3 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting April 19th.

***See Page 4 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting April 26th.

 

Playoff Schedules for leagues with playoffs beginning on April 5th

Teams with 12 games:

DET, HOU, IND, MEM, PHO, SAS, WAS

Teams with 11 games:

ATL, BKN, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, GSW, LAC, MIA, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, OKC, POR, UTA

Teams with 10 games:

LAL, ORL, PHI, SAC, TOR

Teams with five-game weeks:

DET – Week 15 (Quarterfinals)

Teams with two-game weeks:

TOR – Week 17 (Finals)

 

Overall Analysis

  • This is a fairly vanilla playoff setup. There are no super problematic situations outside of the Raptors’ two-game finals schedule. Despite the Raptors’ rough Week 17 schedule, I would not be looking to move their studs, as you will be getting four games out of them in both the first and second round. Win the first two rounds and then figure out what to do in the finals when you get there.
  • At least 19 teams will play four games in each of the three playoff weeks. Due to the large number of four-game teams, you will be at a greater disadvantage than usual if your studs only play three games.
  • This could be a messy setup for Anthony Davis owners. The Lakers play a league-low 10 games over the three playoff weeks and have a back-to-back set starting on Monday of Week 16. Davis could easily end up playing nine games or less during the most important stretch of the fantasy calendar. If you own Davis, and your second- and third-round players also have weak playoff schedules, I would consider making a move to shore up your playoff schedule. Quantity often trumps quality in the fantasy playoffs.
  • The Sixers are the only team that starts the fantasy playoffs with back-to-back three-game weeks. In deeper leagues where they have value, I would look to move Seth Curry and Danny Green when we get closer to the playoffs, as you will likely end up dropping them early in the playoffs due to their weak schedule.
  • If you are on a pace to earn a bye, target players on the Nets, Hornets, Bulls, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Grizzlies, Heat, Suns, Spurs, and Wizards. Those 11 teams all play four games in both the semifinals and the finals.

 

Week 15 Analysis

You can view Week 15’s full schedule here.

  • The Hornets and Magic do not start their week until Wednesday. Because of this, I would be looking to move their borderline options before the playoffs. Their borderline players will not have much value to you because you are likely going to be dropping them on Sunday of Week 14 for a streamer that plays on both Monday and Tuesday. The Raptors and Pistons are the two teams that start the week with two games in two nights.
  • The Pistons’ five-game schedule is going make players like Jerami GrantDelon Wright, and even Mason Plumlee potential difference-makers in the first round of the playoffs (assuming they are healthy and having similar roles to what they have now). If your top-end players have rough Week 15 schedules, considering targeting Pistons in trade talks. You will also want to stash the Pistons’ borderline players early. Don’t wait until Sunday of Week 14. You will not be the only manager in your league aware of the Pistons’ five-game schedule.
  • Picking up the Mavericks’, Suns’, Thunder’s, and Jazz’s role players a little early also makes sense, as they are the only teams that play three games in four nights to start the week.
  • Ten games are played on both Friday and Sunday of Week 15. Before making any moves to bolster your playoff schedule, check to see if you already have a full roster on these days. You don’t want to waste a pickup on a player you can’t start.

 

Week 16 Analysis

You can view Week 16’s full schedule here.

  • A whopping 22 teams play four games in Week 16, and we will need to be wary of overload. Wednesday and Friday look especially problematic with 12 games being played on Wednesday and 11 games being played on Friday. Because of this, it is important to take some time to check what days your players play on. Don’t just look at the schedule grid and make assumptions. If most of your players play on the two busy days, your team likely won’t have as strong of a schedule as the schedule grid suggests.
  • Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee do not start their week until Wednesday. That makes all of their role players cut candidates on Sunday of Week 15. I would also not want to own any of the borderline Blazers in Week 16. Portland only has one game before Friday.
  • The best early-week streamers will come from the Warriors, Lakers, Suns, and Kings. Those are the only four teams that play three games from Monday to Thursday.
  • There are no back-to-back sets starting on Saturday, so don’t be saving too many moves for the end of the week. It is completely reasonable to use up all of your moves early in the week if that is the best way to maximize your games played. I have won plenty of playoff matchups where I have used all of my moves by Thursday or Friday.
  • You will want to add the role players on the Pacers and the Heat on Monday night. From Tuesday to Monday of Week 17, each team plays five times.

 

Week 17 Analysis

You can view Week 17’s full schedule here.

  • This is a two-game week for Toronto. The Raptors play on Wednesday and then are off until Saturday. After that Wednesday night game, all of the Raptors are droppable. A streamer with three games from Thursday to Sunday will be more valuable than any of the Raptors’ studs. This is the finals. Everything has to be on the table.
  • After their second game of the week on Wednesday, the Kings are off until Sunday. That makes De’Aaron Fox, Tyrese Haliburton, Buddy Hield, and friends no-brainer drops after Wednesday. The Jazz, Thunder, Clippers, Knicks, and Wolves also only have one game after Wednesday. I would hold onto your Thunder and Clippers because both teams play on Friday, but everyone on the Jazz, Knicks, and Wolves will be expendable after their second game.
  • Besides the Raptors, the Mavericks are the only team that doesn’t start their week until Wednesday. If you have a move left over on Sunday of Week 16, consider dropping their role players for a streamer.
  • Your best early-week streamers will come from the Bulls, Pistons, Spurs, Suns, and Sixers. All five teams play three games in four nights to start the week. No team has games on both Monday and Tuesday.
  • Look to the Hornets, Celtics, and Bucks for a late-week season-saver. Those three teams play three times from Thursday to Sunday.
  • Check your Wednesday night schedule before making any moves. There are 12 games on the docket that night.

 

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