Playoff Schedules for leagues with playoffs beginning on April 19th
Teams with 12 games:
CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, MEM, OKC, PHI, PHO, POR, SAS, WAS
Teams with 11 games:
ATL, BKN, BOS, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MIA, MIL, NOR, ORL, SAC, UTA
Teams with 10 games:
MIN, NYK, TOR
Teams with 9 games:
Teams with five-game weeks:
DAL – Week 18 (Semifinals), OKC – Week 18 (Semifinals), TOR – Week 18 (Semifinals), DET – Week 19 (Finals)
Teams with two-game weeks:
TOR – Week 17 (Quarterfinals)
- This is a devastating playoff setup for those heavily invested in the Clippers. In one league, I have Kawhi Leonard, Paul George, and Serge Ibaka on my roster and this setup has put me on tilt. You can still win your league if your squad is led by Leonard or George, but the schedule makers did you no favors. Hopefully, your supporting cast is strong because there’s a good chance that your first and/or second-round pick won’t be as productive as your opponents’ top options.
- The Raptors’ schedule is going to be tricky to navigate. Usually, when a team has a two-game schedule in the fantasy playoffs, all of their players will be droppable at some point during that two-game week since the schedule puts your team at a huge disadvantage. However, since Toronto plays five times in the semifinals, I would try to gut it out and find another way to get extra games. If you drop your Raptors, you are likely going to have to square off against them in the semifinals, and their five-game week is going to make almost all of their fantasy-relevant options early-round players. Of course, if there is no way to get to the semifinals without dropping your Raptors, then do what you have to do. I’d rather be in the semifinals with a weak schedule than in the fifth-place game with a strong one.
- This is an extremely busy playoff setup. Twenty teams play at least four games in Week 17, 25 play at least four games in Week 18, and 21 play at least four games in Week 19. With so many teams playing four games, players on three-game teams will have less value than usual.
- The three busy weeks make it imperative that you double-check your playoff schedule before making any major moves. Don’t just look at the schedule grid and make assumptions. There are plenty of days over these three weeks where it will be possible for your team to be overloaded. If you just follow the schedule grid instead of digging deeper, you may waste a move or make a bad trade.
- If you know you are going to have a bye, stash as many Mavericks, Thunder, and Raptors as can. If you have a bye and are heavily invested in those three teams, you are likely going to waltz to the finals.
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. Normally, I would tell you that all of the Raptors are droppable after Wednesday, but due to the team’s five-game Week 18 schedule, I would try to hold onto everyone but the role players. If you drop one of their big guns, you will likely end up facing an early-round weapon in the semifinals.
- After their second game of the week on Wednesday, the Kings are off until Sunday. That makes all of the Kings drop candidates after Wednesday. Any member of the Kings who isn’t producing at least mid-round numbers should be dropped. 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 except the top-end options on the other three teams can be swapped for a streamer if your matchup is tight.
- 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.
Week 18 Analysis
You can view Week 18’s full schedule here.
- Find a way to get as many Raptors, Thunder, and Mavericks on your team. With five games on the schedule, even their borderline players are going to be extremely valuable. My condolences to those who have to face off against the studs on those three teams.
- Twenty-five teams play at least four games this week, so those unlucky enough to own a bunch of players from the three-game teams are going to be at a significant disadvantage. I wouldn’t be selling my three-game players low in trades, but I would be looking for ways to tweak my roster to make it more viable in the semifinals.
- The three five-game teams and the Mavericks start their week with a back-to-back set. If you have a move left over on Sunday of Week 17, target those four teams’ role players.
- Those four teams all play three games in four nights to start the week, and so do the Pelicans, Wolves, and Nuggets.
- The Mavericks, Bucks, Nets, Rockets, Thunder, and the Raptors all end the week with a three-games-in-four-nights stretch.
- There are double-digit games being played on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday of Week 18, so you need to check to see if your team is overloaded on any of those days before making any moves that you think will upgrade your playoff schedule.
Week 19 Analysis
You can view Week 19’s full schedule here.
- The Pistons’ five-game schedule makes all of their fantasy-relevant players strong targets in trade talks. There will be plenty of Pistons on championship rosters this year. If you have Week 18 wrapped up early, use a move on their borderline players. A borderline top-100 player will be at least a mid-round asset in a five-game week unless they absolutely bomb.
- The Wolves, Celtics, and Rockets do not start their three-game weeks until Wednesday. The poor schedule makes all of their borderline players drops on Sunday of Week 18. You should replace those borderline options with players from the Warriors, Pistons, Pacers, Wizards, Grizzlies, and Hawks. Those six teams play three games in four nights from Monday to Thursday.
- The Hawks have a strange but helpful schedule. You get three games out of your Hawks by Thursday, and since the team is done for the week after that, you can drop all of them for extra games on the weekend. It’s going to be easy your maximize your games played this week if you have some Hawks on your squad. The Bucks are done on Friday, and you will want to swap their players for players on the Thunder and Pistons, as those are the only two teams who start a back-to-back set on Saturday.
- The Hornets, Mavericks, Bulls, Pistons, Thunder, and Lakers play three games in four nights starting on Thursday.
- The only day with double-digits games is Friday, but I would keep an eye out for overload on Wednesday as well since there are nine games on the schedule that night.