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

1) Leagues that begin their playoffs on February 28th (Week 19) and finish on March 20th

2) Leagues that begin their playoffs on March 7th (Week 20) and finish on March 27th

3) Leagues that begin their playoffs on March 14th (Week 21) and finish on April 3rd

4) Leagues that begin their playoffs on March 21st (Week 22) and finish on April 10th

You can find the complete 2021-2022 Fantasy Basketball schedule grid here.

*See Page 2 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting March 7th.

**See Page 3 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting March 14th.

***See Page 4 for the playoff schedules of leagues with playoffs starting March 21st.

 

Playoff Schedules for leagues with playoffs beginning on February 28th

Teams with 11 games:

CLE, HOU, LAL, MIN, OKC, PHO, SAC, SAS, UTA

Teams with 10 games:

ATL, DAL, DEN, DET, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI, TOR, WAS

Teams with 9 games:

BKN, BOS, CHA, GSW, POR

Teams with 8 games:

CHI

Teams with two-game weeks:

ATL – Week 19 (Quarterfinals), CHI – Week 19 (Quarterfinals), POR – Week 19 (Quarterfinals), MIA – Week 21 (Finals)

Overall Analysis

  • I do not recommend this playoff setup for a couple of reasons. The first is that the quarterfinals come less than a week after the All-Star break wraps up. Starting your playoffs right after the overwhelming majority of the league was on vacation is going to lead to some extra variance. The second reason is Week 19. The Week 19 schedule is very light and contains only eight back-to-back sets. The lack of back-to-back sets is going to make it very difficult to stream, which will increase the luck factor since it will be harder to make mid-week adjustments. Week 21 has a similar setup, but that is not a week that can be avoided unless you plan on playing until the final day of the season.
  • If you play with this setup, you have to move members of the Bulls down your draft board, especially if you play in a league without byes. Zach LaVine, Nikola VucevicLonzo Ball, and DeMar DeRozan have no chance at being early-round assets under this setup. If you do invest in a Bull or two on draft day, make sure that you offset those picks with players with 11-game playoff schedules. You should also make sure that you pick up some players on the teams with four games in Week 19.
  • Stephen Curry and Damian Lillard only have nine games in this setup, but fortunately, only two other likely first-round picks play 11 games (Anthony Davis and Karl-Anthony Towns). You’ll be at a slight disadvantage during the playoffs if you select one of the two superstar guards, but I would not drop them on your draft board. Curry will still be a great bet to produce first-round value over the three playoff weeks, and Lillard should post at least second-round numbers.
  • The Nets’ three-game Week 21 should make Kevin DurantJames Harden, and Kyrie Irving investors nervous. During what will be the finals in your league, the Nets will have a back-to-back set that includes a game against the Magic in Orlando. It’s not hard to picture the Nets giving one or two of their studs the night off. That three-game week could easily end up being a two-game week.
  • If this is your playoff setup, I would ding Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. I wouldn’t discount Kyle Lowry quite as much since his price will be reasonable, and we shouldn’t worry too much about the playoff schedules of our mid-round picks. A rough schedule for your fifth-round pick isn’t going to hurt nearly as much as a rough schedule for your second-round pick. Not only do the Heat have only two games in the finals, one of their games comes on a day where 24 of the league’s teams are playing.
  • This setup will also make the Hawks’ and Blazers’ roleplayers difficult to draft. Due to those two teams’ two-game Week 19 schedule, you will be dropping those roleplayers almost immediately after the playoffs start. The two-game week doesn’t make them undraftable, but I would only draft them at a discount since they will be regular season-only assets.
  • For those who wrap up a bye early, you will want to stash Hawks, Lakers, Suns, Spurs, and Jazz. All five teams play four games in both Week 20 and Week 21.

 

Week 19 Analysis

You can view Week 19’s full schedule here.

  • The Bulls play their first game of the week on Monday and then only play once more over the next six days. You won’t be able to drop the Bulls’ studs since this is only the first round, but anyone beyond the top four is going to have to go. The very rough schedule makes it hard to take a flier on Patrick Williams on draft day, and in deeper leagues, I would stay away from Coby White and Alex Caruso.
  • Atlanta’s two-game week starts on Tuesday and with only one game on the schedule after that, everyone on the Hawks not named Trae Young, John Collins, or Clint Capela are going to be droppable. Bogdan Bogdanovic and De’Andre Hunter should be somewhat useful this year, but due to the weak schedule and the possibility that you will be dropping them two days into playoffs, I’d look elsewhere in the middle rounds. The bad schedule also makes taking a flier on Cam Reddish, Danillo Gallinari, and Kevin Huerter less appealing.
  • Week 19 is going to be a scary one for Joel Embiid owners. Embiid is always a risky bet at the end of the season, and the Sixers’ three-game schedule contains a back-to-back set that includes a game against the Cavaliers.
  • There are only eight back-to-back sets this week, so streaming will play less of a role than it usually does during the fantasy playoffs. The lack of back-to-back sets is going to make overcoming a poor playoff schedule more difficult. Keep an eye on your Week 19 schedule during your draft because you likely won’t be able to fix a weak playoff schedule later. In most competitive leagues, it’s going to be difficult to trade players with poor playoff schedules for players with strong playoff schedules.

Week 20 Analysis

You can view Week 20’s full schedule here.

  • This is the one normal week in this setup. There are plenty of back-to-back sets spread out through the week and there are no teams with problematic schedules. On draft day, focus on beefing up your Week 19 and Week 21 schedules. Week 20 should not be a major issue.
  • The Nets’ three-game schedule does not include a back-to-back set and all three games come against playoff contenders. Week 21 will be a scary week for owners of the big three, but you shouldn’t run into issues before then.
  • The Sixers end the week with a Sunday game against the Magic. That is the first half of a back-to-back set, so that will be a scary game for Joel Embiid owners. That game is followed by a date against Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets, so a rest night for The Process is possible. March is a long way away and Embiid is not a lock to be on some type of load management program at that point, but that back-to-back set and the potential for problems in Week 19, does make me worry.

Week 21 Analysis

You can view Week 21’s full schedule here.

  • Week 21 has even fewer back-to-back sets than Week 19. There are two back-to-back sets starting on Tuesday and four sets starting on Friday. There are no sets starting on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday. It’s going to be very difficult to make up ground through streaming, so make sure that you keep this week in mind on draft day. If you go in the playoffs with a weak Week 21 schedule, you are probably not going to come away with a ring.
  • The Heat’s two-game week starts on Tuesday against the Pistons and ends on Friday against the Thunder. Both of those games should be layups for the Heat, which puts a one-game week for the Heat’s studs in play. Complicating things further is the fact that the second game comes on a night where 12 games are played and you are likely to be overloaded. Since this is the finals, every single player on the Heat will be droppable after Tuesday.
  • This is a scary week for owners of the Nets’ big guns as the team will play its three games over a four-night stretch. Those three games also contain a back-to-back set that includes a game in Orlando. It’s easy to picture the Nets giving their stars a night off.
  • The Sixers play four games this week and only their Sunday game is part of a back-to-back set. If Joel Embiid is still in one piece at this point, it should be a very fun week for his owners.
  • The Nets, Bulls, Clippers, and Heat all finish their week on Friday. Unfortunately, there are no back-to-back sets starting on Saturday, but the frontloaded schedule will make it easier for those investing in those teams to pick up extra games.

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