22/23 Week 18 Schedule Analysis and Streaming Guide
With the NBA taking a week off, we have some extra time to take a long look at our teams and figure out what changes we need to make before the playoff starts. Don’t assume that your team is in a good spot because it’s around the top of the standings. Dominant regular season teams go down all the time due to bad playoff schedules or a bad matchup. Compare your team to your likely playoff opponents, figure out what the toss-up categories are, and then try to strengthen yourself in them. That may mean leaning harder into punts, tossing additional categories, or making trades. Punting multiple categories makes more sense during the fantasy playoffs than it does earlier in the regular season because margin does not matter. Punting two or three categories from now until the end of the regular season is a completely reasonable strategy. However, I still do not recommend punting four categories because that leaves very little room for error. An injury or two and a few random rest days, and all of sudden, you are in big trouble.
- The double week is always a tricky one to navigate. There are always some very busy days during the first half of the week and surprise rest days leading up to the break are very common. When planning out your matchup, try to factor in a random sit or two. Anyone nursing a minor injury is a candidate to miss their final game before the break. Fortunately, the league has given us a schedule that makes streaming fairly easy. There are back-to-back sets starting every day of the week and quite a few teams that play three games in four nights during the second half of the week.
- Targeting the teams that play three games in four nights on either side of the break is an easy way to maximize your games played during Week 18. The Bulls and Wizards the only teams that have three games between the start of the week and the start of the break. The Warriors, Kings, Cavaliers, Thunder, Raptors, and Nuggets are the six teams that play three games during the second half of the week.
- Double-check your Monday and Wednesday lineups before making any moves. It’s possible that you are overloaded on one or both days. If you’re not, then there are plenty of back-to-back sets during the first half of the week that you can target. Golden State, Orlando, Portland, and Washington play on both Monday and Tuesday. The Celtics play on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The Bulls are the only team that plays on both Wednesday and Thursday.
- Usually, it’s a good idea to save the majority of your moves for the second half of the double week. That is the case this year, not only because the second half of the week contains more back-to-back sets and three-games-in-four-night stretches, but because a lot of news usually comes out over the break. We usually get a lot of injury updates and that often leads to an interesting pickup or two popping up. The Cavaliers, Warriors, Thunder, and Kings all have back-to-back sets starting on Thursday after the break. All four teams also play three games during the second half of this week. The Hornets, Heat, and Knicks play on both Friday and Saturday after the break. The Nuggets and Raptors are the only teams that play two games over the final two days of Week 18.
- In weekly leagues, there are no must-starts on the Pistons due to the three-game schedule. Three-game schedules this week aren’t quite as damaging as two-game schedules are during a normal week, but they will make it hard for non-studs to be more than back-end options. Even Ja Morant is a long shot to be a top-100 player in Week 18 if he plays to his averages. Jaren Jackson Jr. should hit that mark easily and so should Desmond Bane if he shoots decently. Both are must-starts in weekly leagues.
- The Raptors, Grizzlies, Kings, and Pistons all have only one game during the first half of the week. If you drop their role players for role players on the Bulls or Wizards on Sunday of Week 17, you will pick up two games in Week 18 without using a Week 18 move. No team plays fewer than two games during the second half of the week and every team has at least one game over the final weekend of Week 18.
- The Warriors have the best schedule of the five-game teams. Donte DiVincenzo is a must this week in even the shallowest of leagues. Kevon Looney is also a very strong option this week, although he’s FG% impact, boards, and not much else which makes him a matchup-dependent play. Of the four-game teams, the Jazz have the easiest schedule. They are the only team with four plus-matchups. Keep an eye on their new rotation. There are a lot of minutes available in Utah right now. Talen Horton-Tucker looks like the best bet of the bench players to become a solid streamer and a viable deep league hold. The Blazers and Mavericks also have very favorable schedules.
- The Bucks have the toughest schedule this week of the teams with four games. You’ll also want to downgrade your Hawks and Lakers. The Hawks get an easy matchup against the Hornets and then three very touch matchups. The Lakers only plus-matchup comes against the Warriors.
Monday/Tuesday Back-To-Back Streamers
Delon Wright (AST, STL), Deni Avdija (PTS, REB, STL), Corey Kispert (PTS, 3PM), Drew Eubanks (FG%, REB, BLK), Matisse Thybulle (STL, BLK), Gary Harris (3PM), Cole Anthony (FT%, PTS, AST), Jalen Suggs (STL), Moe Wagner (PTS, REB), Bol Bol (BLK), Donte DiVincenzo (PTS, 3PM, REB, AST, STL)
Tuesday/Wednesday Back-To-Back Streamers
Derrick White (FT%, PTS, 3PM, AST, BLK), Sam Hauser (PTS, 3PM), Grant Williams (3PM, REB), Luke Kornet (BLK)
Wednesday/Thursday Back-To-Back Streamers
Alex Caruso (AST, STL), Coby White (3PM), Andre Drummond (REB), Patrick Williams (PTS, REB, STL), Ayo Dosunmu (PTS, AST)
Thursday/Friday Back-To-Back Streamers
Donte DiVincenzo (PTS, 3PM, REB, AST, STL), Isaac Okoro (3PM, STL), Dean Wade (3PM, REB), Caris LeVert (PTS, 3PM, AST), Malik Monk (FT%, PTS, 3PM, AST), Isaiah Joe (PTS, 3PM), Kenrich Williams (FG%, REB, AST), Jaylin Williams (3PM, REB)
Friday/Saturday Back-To-Back Streamers
Gabe Vincent (PTS, 3PM, AST, STL), Caleb Martin (3PM, REB, STL), Max Strus (PTS, 3PM), Nick Richards (FG%, REB, BLK), Dennis Smith Jr. (AST, STL), Isaiah Hartenstein (FG%, REB, BLK), Quentin Grimes (3PM), Jericho Sims (FG%, REB, BLK), Immanuel Quickley (PTS, 3PM, AST)
Saturday/Sunday Back-To-Back Streamers
Thomas Bryant (FG%, REB, BLK), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (PTS, 3PM, STL), Bruce Brown (PTS, 3PM, AST, STL), Precious Achiuwa (REB), Chris Boucher (REB, BLK)
Sunday/Monday of Week 19 Back-To-Back Streamers
Monday to Thursday Three Games in Four Nights
Delon Wright (AST, STL), Deni Avdija (PTS, REB, STL), Corey Kispert (PTS, 3PM), Alex Caruso (AST, STL), Coby White (3PM), Andre Drummond (REB), Patrick Williams (PTS, REB, STL), Ayo Dosunmu (PTS, AST)
Thursday to Sunday Three Games in Four Nights
Donte DiVincenzo (PTS, 3PM, REB, AST, STL), Isaac Okoro (3PM, STL), Dean Wade (3PM, REB), Caris LeVert (PTS, 3PM, AST), Malik Monk (FT%, PTS, 3PM, AST), Isaiah Joe (PTS, 3PM), Kenrich Williams (FG%, REB, AST), Jaylin Williams (3PM, REB), Thomas Bryant (FG%, REB, BLK), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (PTS, 3PM, STL), Bruce Brown (PTS, 3PM, AST, STL), Precious Achiuwa (REB), Chris Boucher (REB, BLK)