If you look at the NBA in the same fashion as the NFL then there are 25 weeks of NBA action. By breaking down each week and analyzing team schedules you can load your roster with players playing more games and sit those who are playing fewer games.
If all this sounds like a lot of work then you need not worry; because we have done the leg work for you. We are posting a weekly NBA start em’ and sit em’ fantasy guide to assist you in maximizing your fantasy roster potential.
Week 18 in the NBA is upon us and with it marks the end of the turmoil surrounding the NBA trade deadline. The much anticipated day in the NBA came and went with barely a ripple as teams stood pat for the most part. When J.J Redick is headlining a day of NBA activity one knows it is going to be a slow one. That being said the moves that were anticipated did not come to be as Josh Smith and everyone else stayed put.
Last week I recommended four players for your fantasy roster; Greivis Vasquez showed his usual double-double production, David Lee had a solid week that was highlighted by a 25 point 22 rebound performance, Zach Randolph rolled out four consecutive double-double games and LeBron James continued to assert his dominance as evidenced by yet another triple-double performance during the week. All in all, a very successful week for racking up fantasy points.
Here we go with eDraft’s week 18 fantasy start em’s and sit em’s. Week 18 in the NBA runs from February 25 through to the evening games on March 3.
WEEK 18 – START EM’
Rudy Gay – Toronto Raptors
Gay and the Raptors have a nice four game week ahead as they host the Washington Wizards and the Indiana Pacers while they head out on the road into Cleveland and Milwaukee; a fairly favorable schedule as three of the four teams are below .500 on the season. Look for Rudy Gay to continue his strong play of late as he along with the rest of the Raptor squad look to make a push for the playoffs. Since the trade Gay has seen a nice bump in his fantasy production as his stats are up across the board.
Al Horford – Atlanta Hawks
The past two weeks have been very good to be an Al Horford owner. His stat line reads as such: 24.2 ppg, 10 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.6 blocks and 1.4 steals per and a .679 field goal percentage. The Atlanta Hawks have a four game week, all of which are coming on the road. It isn’t an easy road trip as it includes games against Utah and the Los Angeles Lakers, both of which have decent big men to guard Horford. Nonetheless, I like Horford to keep the momentum going and have another solid week of production.
Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
Nowitzki started off slowly as he worked himself back into game shape after his injury. The minutes and production were slow to start; however, Dirk is back and has re-asserted himself as the offensive focal point for the Mavericks. If the past two weeks are any indication then Nowitzki is starting to find his game. A four game week for the Mavericks gives Nowitzki good opportunity to post some decent fantasy numbers for you.
David Lee - Golden State Warriors
Without a doubt, David Lee has been my favorite fantasy play of the year. A consistent double-double threat game in and game out, he is a grinder with an offensive skill set that allows him to play away from the basket. The Warriors have four runs this week, all of which come on the road. Looking at the schedule there is no reason to think that Lee won’t be up for the challenge of going against the likes of Kevin Garnett, Tyson Chandler and Amar'e Stoudemire. In my opinion David Lee is just too good of a fantasy option at this stage of the season to not capitalize on him playing four games during the week; run him out there and reap the rewards.
WEEK 18 – SIT EM’
Paul Pierce & Kevin Garnett – Boston Celtics
The dynamic duo in Boston is starting to show their mileage as the season progresses. Both players have nagging injuries that have contributed to their play of late. Pierce has struggled this past week and his field goal percentage has plummeted to .333. Kevin Garnett has also struggled this past week as he is averaging 12 ppg and only 6.5 rpg. Until such time as these aging stars are healthy again they both must be considered sit em’ fantasy options.
Damian Lillard – Portland Trailblazers
Super-rookie Damian Lillard continues to impress this season as he leads the Portland Trailblazers in assists per game and is second only to LaMarcus Aldridge in team scoring. Regardless of playoff participation, this season has been a resounding success for Lillard and the Trailblazers as the franchise has identified the point guard of the future. Only drawback for Lillard this week is that the Blazers only play two games. Given the unfavorable schedule, sit Lillard down and look at picking up a player like Stephen Curry for the week.
Danny Granger – Indiana Pacers
Don’t be too keen to add players coming off injury back to your fantasy rosters just yet. While the temptation is there as salary cap leagues will have greatly discounted their value; the on-court production can take a while to return. It remains to be seen just how Granger’s knee will hold up to game action and his place in the lineup and role alongside Paul George has yet to be determined. Be patient with Granger, give him a couple weeks to get back in game shape and then we can see just how the Pacers intent on using him in their lineup.