Playoff Schedules for leagues with playoffs beginning on March 9th

Teams with 11 games:


Teams with 10 games:


Teams with 9 games:


Teams with two-game weeks:


Overall Analysis

  • This playoff setup demands more consideration of playoff schedules than the two setups with later starts dates due to the mess that is Week 21. Early-round players Joel Embiid, Andre Drummond, Ben Simmons, Pascal Siakam, Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, and Myles Turner will only provide mid-round value, at best, during Week 21 due to their weak schedules.
  • Only six teams play four-games during the opening round. The lack of four-game weeks does make the two-game weeks slightly less damaging.
  • Brooklyn’s two-game week in Week 22 is going to be brutal for Kyrie Irving owners. No other team plays two games that week and 13 teams play four games. If you draft Kyrie in the first or second round, make sure that you pair him with players with strong playoff schedules in the middle rounds. It is going to be very hard for Kyrie-led teams to overcome a matchup against teams led by Steph Curry or Karl-Anthony Towns if the other top-end players on the Kyrie teams do not have strong playoff schedules.
  • The potential first-round picks with the best schedules in this setup are Rudy Gobert and Bradley Beal. Andre Drummond, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Joel Embiid have the weakest schedules of the players with the potential to be drafted in the first round of fantasy drafts.
  • Oklahoma City’s nine-game schedule complicates the already very tricky Chris Paul dilemma. He has top-15 per-game potential as the Thunder’s lead guard. Unfortunately, his floor during the fantasy playoffs is zero games played.
  • Only three teams play four games in both the semi-finals and finals. Those teams are the Sixers, Spurs, and Wizards. The back-to-back four-game weeks are not a boon for Joel Embiid’s value because the Sixers play a back-to-back set during both weeks. He’ll be on a load management program this year and will likely sit out a game during most back-to-back sets. A 2/3/3 playoff schedule for Embiid is very possible, if not likely. I’d also be hesitant to load up on Wizards with the aim of taking advantage of their strong playoff schedule. The Wizards will be playing for ping pong balls in March and will be looking for excuses to sit their proven players.

Week 21 Analysis

You can see Week 21’s full schedule here.

  • Detroit, Philadelphia, and Sacramento don’t start their week until Wednesday. If I wasn’t confident about my chances of getting a bye this would make me stay away from their role players on draft day. You might end up dropping them before the playoffs even begin due to the two-game week and late start.
  • The defending champions start their week on Monday and then don’t play again until Saturday. You are probably going to drop any Raptors that are not mid-round players or better after Monday so you have to ask yourself if it is worth it to draft one of their role players. If you play in a league that starts their playoffs in Week 21, you probably want to stay away from Fred VanVleet, Norman Powell, and Serge Ibaka.
  • Dallas only has three games in Week 21 and two of those games are part of a back-to-back set. This is scary news for Kristaps Porzingis owners. Week 21 could end up being a two-game week for the big man.
  • The Clippers have a similar schedule to the Mavericks. They play three games in Week 21 and play a back-to-back set against the Nets and the Pelicans. It could be a rough week for Kawhi Leonard owners.
  • The Cavaliers also have a back-to-back set and only play three games in Week 21. What makes their back-to-back set especially bad news is that one of the games is against the Hornets. That game could end up being an extremely important matchup for each team’s final ping pong ball count. Add Kevin Love to the list of very scary players to own if your playoffs start on March 9th.

Week 22 Analysis

You can see Week 22’s full schedule here.

  • Brooklyn only plays two games and doesn’t start their week until Wednesday. The second game doesn’t come until Saturday. All Nets not named Kyrie Irving could end up being droppable after Wednesday or even earlier in the week. When considering players from the Nets, figure out if you are fine with potentially dropping your X round pick in the middle of Week 22. You may want to look elsewhere and grab a player who is more likely to be on your roster in Week 23.
  • The Mavericks start the week with a back-to-back set against the Clippers and Kings. Kristaps Porzingis may take a seat during one of those games. The Mavericks play four games in Week 22 so you could still get three games from Porzingis.
  • The Lakers have a back-to-back set this week that includes a game against the Hornets. Anthony Davis and LeBron James could see their four-game week turn into a three-game week.
  • The Sixers have a back-to-back set that starts with a revenge game against the Raptors and ends with a trip to Charlotte. The odds of Joel Embiid suiting up for the game against the Hornets are…not good. Luckily, the Sixers play four games that week so you should still get three games from The Process.

Week 23 Analysis

You can see Week 23’s full schedule here.

  • The Sixers have a four-game week that includes back-to-back games against the Bulls and the Suns. Joel Embiid feels like a lock to miss at least one of those games. It’s possible he sits out both. Given the weak competition, a night off for Al Horford is possible as well. You’ll more than likely get four games out of Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris, and Josh Richardson.
  • The Clippers also have a scary back-to-back set against the Pistons and Hornets. Kawhi Leonard won’t play against the Hornets. He may not play against the Pistons either. There were some back-to-back sets last year where Kawhi sat out both games. He also sat two non-back-to-back games in Week 24 last season. Paul George could also get a night off against the Hornets. To make matters worse, the Clippers also play the Knicks during Week 23. Load management is the worst.
  • Bradley Beal and the Wizards have a back-to-back set late in Week 23. Given that this week takes place at the end of the March, a rest day for Beal makes a lot of sense.

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