What will happen to the buyout market?

On the horizon is NBA All-Star Weekend, which has been a different “week” in fantasy for years. Week 18 will run for two weeks and 22 teams will play four matches. Six are in prime position that they will play five games, while the Pistons and Grizzlies only get three games each. Add in the recently passed trade deadline and more veterans entering the buyout market, and we have a very interesting week 18 ahead.

Week 18 schedule: matches played (13-26 February)

5 games: CHI, CLE, DEN, GSW, OKC, WAS


3 games: DET, MEM

The best textures to watch

How will the takeover market play out?

Now that the trade deadline has come and gone, the next step is for some veterans to find new homes after agreeing to make acquisitions. Danny Green (Cleveland), Reggie Jackson (Denver) e Terrence Ross (Phoenix) is among the veterans who have reportedly struck deals with new teams. However, players like Russell Westbrook, John Wall E Patrick Beverley could be on the board if they aren’t already. Most of these moves are made with the goal of making a team destined for the playoffs, which doesn’t always fit where the player can have the most value in fantasy basketball.

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Important injury updates coming during the All-Star break

Sunday brought bad news to the New Orleans Pelicans, David Griffin revealed Zion Williamson aggravated his hamstring injury. Though he has yet to be reevaluated following the All-Star break, he is considering missing more weeks. Simply put, keep Trey Murphy if you have him. Some other injury updates of interest to fantasy managers expected to arrive at some point during week 18 include Stephen Curry (left leg), Kevin Durant (right knee), Kyle Lowry (left knee) e Mitchell Robinson (right thumb). Curry and Durant are obviously the bigger names, but in the latter case we don’t yet know the details of how it will be used in Phoenix. Fantasy options to explain the absences of Curry, Lowry and Robinson are now well known; how much longer will executives have to count on replacements? We should find out at some point in week 18.

How many games will fantasy managers come out of Klay Thompson?

The Warriors guard has yet to play both ends of a back-to-back this season. And with Golden State’s Week 18 five games including two, how many games will Thompson be in? Given the previous trend, many managers will probably assume he will play three games at most. Golden State starts the “week” with a Monday/Tuesday back-to-back against the Wizards (home) and Clippers (away), and starts the game after the break with a Thursday/ Friday against the Lakers (away) and Rockets (home).

Add in a game against the Timberwolves to end Week 18, and three of Golden State’s games will be against teams they’ll have to compete against for playoff (or play-in tournament) seeding. The game against Washington will have no tiebreaker implications and the Warriors are expected to beat Houston whether or not Klay plays. With the aforementioned Curry already out, Thompson joining him on the sideline for injury management reasons could push Donte DiVincenzo returns to the starting lineup. Rostered in 48% of Yahoo leagues, DiVincenzo has provided value per 7th round game over the past two weeks. He looks for that roster percentage to go up, especially with the Warriors playing five games in Week 18.

Will Mavericks’ Green be able to get the ball rolling?

With the Dallas trade Spencer Dinwiddy E Dorian Finney-Smith to the Nets in exchange for Kyrie Irving e Markieff Morris, DFS departure has left the team with a clear shortage at the defensive end of the field. That, combined with his improved play, increased Josh Green’s position with the Mavericks’ rotation. He started the team’s last five games, including the first game Irving and Luka Dončić shared the court as Mavericks teammates on Saturday night in Sacramento. Green played 40 minutes in the overtime loss to the Kings, posting 23 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal and five 3-pointers.

Is this two-week run of being a 6-round player in 9-cat formats a mirage or can it continue? Dallas will play four games in Week 18, two on each side of the All-Star break. Something else that might increase Green’s value in the short term is the health of Tim Hardaway Jr., who exited Saturday’s game with hamstring strain. In addition to Green, fantasy managers should keep an eye on how minutes are divided up at the center position. Christian Wood may be the best offensive player, but the need for defense continues Dwight Powell and even JaVale McGee in discussion. And that doesn’t include Maxi Kleber, who is expected to return from a hamstring injury sometime after the break.

What should fantasy managers do with the Nets’ Thomas?

The “Cam Thomas Experience” was incredibly fun this past week, as he scored 40 or more points in three straight games. But that was while the Nets were in limbo due to the eventual decisions to move from Irving and Durant. The rotation was nearly as complete as it has been in a while for Saturday’s loss to the 76ers, with Seth Curry is the only absentee. And that affected Thomas’ minutes/place in the rotation, as he came off the bench and played 18 minutes.

He shot 7-of-12 from the field and finished with 14 points, one rebound and two assists, but is that enough playing time to keep a player’s fantasy relevant when he doesn’t offer much beyond points, rebounds and 3-pointers? The recent lockout boosted Thomas’ roster percentage to 74% in the Yahoo leagues, but we’ll see if that holds up after the break. Brooklyn two games before and two games after the All-Star break, which kicked off Monday night against the Knicks.

What will happen with the last unresolved trade?

We’re still awaiting a resolution to the four-team trade involving the Warriors, Trail Blazers, Hawks and Pistons, which hit a snag when it was revealed that Gary Payton II failed the Warriors-administered physical. They are also set aside until this situation is resolved Saddiq Bey (Falcons), James Wiseman (Pistons) and Kevin Knox (Trail Blazers). Knox and Wiseman weren’t in the rotation at their previous stops, but it was reported by ESPN’s Marc Spears that the Pistons intend to start Wiseman.

Where you go Jalen Duren remains to be seen, who has been a sixth-round player for the past two weeks in 9-cat formats. Does he sit down once Wiseman arrives and gets to work? Or the Pistons would have booted him along with Wiseman, moving Isaiah Stewart on the bench? Knox’s arrival in Portland won’t have a significant impact on the rotation, while Bey’s addition could reduce young AJ Griffin’s playing time and Jalen Johnson in Atlanta. According to reports, Payton is expected to miss 2-3 months due to his core injury, so the impact of him on the Warriors wouldn’t come until the actual playoffs instead of those of the fantasy variety.

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Days of light games

Tuesday (February 14): 5 games

ENT versus TOR
SAC versus PHO
ERA against POR

Thursday (February 16): 3 matches

MIL versus WHO
WAS against MIN
LAC versus PHO

Week 18 Back-to-back

Monday Tuesday (February 13-14): GSW, ORL, POR, WAS

Tuesday Wednesday (February 14-15): BOS

Wednesday Thursday (February 15-16): WHO

Thursday Friday (February 23-24): CLE, GSW, OKC, SAC

Friday Saturday (February 24-25): CHA, MIA, NYK

Saturday Sunday (February 25-26): DEN, TOR

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