RDT NBA Schedule Analysis – Week 9

Updated: December 9, 2018

Christmas Planning

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Yes, it is that time of the year. Trees are up and decorated, the Elf on the Shelf is back, parents are being forced to listen to an endless stream of Christmas songs in the car and at end of year concerts. Kevin McAllister has been left by himself again, John McLaine is having a bad day, and Arnie is trying to chase down a Turbo Man.

Let’s face it though, the only thing that is really important is how the holiday period affects the Real Dream Team NBA schedule. The Christmas week (Tuesday 25th to Monday 31st) typically has less games than a normal week, and this year is no exception. On the plus side for Australian fans, the NBA makes Christmas day are marquee day on the NBA calendar. This means that there are some great games to watch. Due to the time difference, the NBA Christmas games actually take place on Boxing Day in Australia. The NBA also gives all teams the day off on Christmas Eve (Christmas Day in Australia) which means you don’t have to worry about missing any action when you are stuck talking to Great Aunty Mabel for 2 hours at Christmas lunch.

There are only two teams (LA Lakers and Portland) who have 4 games that week. This means that we need to take a longer term look at the schedule to maximise our points.

The table below shows the total number of games for each team over the next 3 weeks and the full break down of games can be found in the Schedule Breakdown.

Starting with the easy strategy.

Denver – Look to get rid of Nikola Jokic either this week or next week if you have him. Denver play 3, 2 and 3 games in the next 3 weeks.

Portland – Portland are one of only 2 teams that have 4 games in Week 11. Damian Lillard is a must own, and you can also look at CJ McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. You can hold off a week on these players however, as they have 3 games in Week 9, and then 4 games in Weeks 10 and 11.

LA Lakers – The other team with 4 games on Christmas week, the Lakers play 4, 3 and 4 games over the next 3 weeks. Look to bring in LeBron James this week to maximise the value that you get out of him. JaVale McGee is the other Laker you can look at. He is averaging 21.4fppg, though he has cooled off recently after a strong start to the season.

11 Game Teams – Looking at the list of 11 game teams above, there are only a few with uber-premium players. LA Lakers (LeBron), OKC (Russell Westbrook, Paul George) and Portland (Lillard) are the only teams that have players averaging over 25fppg. You will need to focus on bringing these guys in over the next 3 weeks. Lebron and at least 1 of Russ and George this week, then Lillard in Week 10.

There are a whole bunch of players in these teams that are averaging between 20 and 25fppg. The two DeAndre’s (Jordan and Ayton), Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell, Steve Adams, John Wall, Nurkic, Bradley Beal, McGee, Devin Booker (when healthy), Danillo Gallinari, De’Aaron Fox, and Tristan Thompson are all worth considering.

Memphis and Indiana – These two teams both have 2 games in Week 11, but play 4 games in both Weeks 9 and 10. The strategy here is to bring in players for the first two weeks, but make sure you trade them out in Week 11. I would recommend only having one, maybe two players from these two teams on your court. For the Grizz, it could be the perfect time to upgrade Jaren Jackson Jr. He will be close to topping out in price – he is averaging 18.6fppg, which is the equivalent of around $8.6 million. You can also look to bring in Marc Gasol this week, who is having a career year at age 33. Gasol is averaging 27.2fppg (15th in the league) and there is no sign of him slowing down.

Indiana is a bit harder to read. With last year’s Most Improved Player Victor Oladipo struggling with injury, it has been left to other players in the team to shoulder the load. One player that has stepped up to the plate (wrong sport, but you get the idea) is the other player that came over from OKC with Oladipo in the Paul George trade. Domantas Sabonis is having a break out year, even though he has come off the bench in all bar one game. He is averaging 23.7fppg, as well as career highs in Minutes Played, FG%, 3PFG%, RPG, APG, BPG, SPG and PPG. Could Indiana have back to back Most Improved Players? For the record, this has NEVER been done since the inception of the award in 1986.


Schedule Breakdown


Trade Targets (8 Game Teams)

Cleveland (@Mil, NYN, Mil, Phi) – WOD 545

Cleveland have been active on the trading block recently, moving Kyle Korver to Utah for Alec Burks and sending George Hill and Sam Dekker out the door to bring back Championship winning point guard (and Aussie legend) Matthew Dellavedova. None of these trades are really relevant for RDT NBA, though Burks did have a very nice game in his debut for the Cavs. Burks also started on Sunday due to an injury to Rodney Hood, so be aware of that if he has another big score. Hold Tristan Thompson, Colin Sexton and Cedi Osman if you have them, but I wouldn’t be looking to bring any of them in this week.

Dallas (Orl, Atl, @Pho, Sac) – WOD 581

The Mavericks have easily the best matchups this week playing 3 teams who are in the top 6 for Fantasy Points Against for the season (Atl – 1st, Pho – 4th, Sac – 6th). If you still have Luka Doncic, you need to be playing him on the court. You can also look to bring in De’Andre Jordan. He hasn’t had the greatest season, but is still averaging 25Fppg.

Indiana (Was, Mil, @Pho, NYK) – WOD 559

Domantas Sabonis has missed the past few games due to illness, so definitely check on his health status if you are looking to bring him in.

LA Clippers (@Pho, Tor, @SAS, @OKC) – WOD 557

The Clips are playing some great team basketball. They have 3 players averaging more than 20Fppg (Tobias Harris, Montrezl Harrell and Danillo Gallinari) however none of them are averaging more than 25Fppg. You can look at them if you need some cheaper options, however I think there are better options out there this week.

Memphis (@Den, Por, Mia, Hou) – WOD 553

Despite scoring his coaches a horrific -1 on Saturday Jaren Jackson Jr is still performing well (when he can stay out of foul trouble). You can look to him for an average of 17-20Fppg this week, with some good matchups and 3 games at their home arena.

Oklahoma City (Uta, @NOR, @Den, LAC) – WOD 543

The Thunder have a middling schedule this week, so you can look at all 3 of Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams. All should provide at least 23+ Fppg this week.

Phoenix (LAC, @SAS, Dal, Min) – WOD 552

Rookie De’Andre Ayton is in most coaches teams. He is in for a tough week however with games against LaMarcus Aldridge, De’Andre Jordan and Karl-Anthony Towns. I would expect his output to drop a bit also as he is starting to hit the Rookie wall, with his coach commenting in the media this week that he is starting to fatigue. I think he is still worth starting on the court, but I wouldn’t be scared to bench him if there is a better option at the centre position that you can afford.

Sacramento (@Chi, Min, GSW, @Dal) – WOD 535

The Kings are having a better season than expected, but their highest averaging Fantasy player is averaging only 20.5Fppg (De’Aaron Fox). There are better options around, and they have a relatively tough schedule this week anyway.

Washington (@Ind, Bos, @Bkn, LAL) – WOD 520

Washington have the toughest schedule of the 4 game teams this week. Their best Fantasy option is John Wall, who is averaging 23.5Fppg. He has missed the last couple of games due to the birth of his child, and any parent knows that is a draining time both emotionally and physically. I would be steering clear.

Oh Captain, My Captain!

Kyrie Irving (Season Average 25.4, WOD 579)

LeBron James (Season Average 31.3, WOD 570)

Marc Gasol (Season Average 27.2, WOD 553)

Russell Westbrook (Season Average 31, WOD 543)

Paul George (Season Average 26.4, WOD 543)

Joel Embiid (Season Average 33.6, WOD 538)

Kawhi Leonard (Season Average 29.1, WOD 547)

John Wall (Season Average 23.5, WOD 521)

Keeler’s Captain Choice – LeBron James (LAL)

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

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