RDT NBA Schedule Analysis – Week 15

Updated: January 19, 2019

It looks like we are going week on/week off with strong weeks for Fantasy. Week 14 had very few Fantasy relevant teams with 4 games, and week 15 has a tonne. Will we see a few more 1200+ weekly scores this week? Let’s hope so!

Schedule Breakdown

Trade Targets (8 Game Teams)

Yep, OK then. Not a lot of choice here. The LA Clippers are the only team with 8 games over Weeks 15 & 16. Tobias Harris and Montrezl Harrell both offer reasonable value. They are averaging over 20 Fantasy ppg this season, and will be priced around $10 million. The Clippers also have a pretty good run in Week 15, playing @Dal, @Mia (back to back), @Chi and finishing off with Sacramento at home.

Update 1 – Turns out writing this article at 5am means you miss a couple of things. Namely two other teams with 8 games!! Thanks to Austin in the Fantasy Sports NBA Facebook group for pointing this out to me!

Memphis and New York also have 8 games in the next two weeks. Unfortunately neither have many Fantasy relevant players. New York Coach David Fizdale seems to mess around with lineups and minutes based on last nights lotto numbers, the results of the latest Survivor season and the alignment of the stars in the night sky. How we wish for the days when we could at least bank on the unicorn Kristaps Porzingas to be a regular contributor.

The Memphis Grizzlies are also pretty unreliable for premium Fantasy players. Marc Gasol will go on a streak where he averages 25+Fppg, but will then have 3 games in a row of under 20Fppg. Mike Conley is well priced at under $10 million, but he is priced at that for a reason. In 3 games in week 4, he had a highest score of just 21. Jaron Jackson Jr is probably the most relevant player, but he has done his job and made us the cash that we need.

Oh Captain, My Captain!

There is a wealth of 4 game teams this week, but realistically, there are only two names to look at for your Captain – James Harden and Anthony Davis. At the end of Week 13, they were the number 3 and number 1 averaging players for the season. With Harden going ballistic in the absence of Chris Paul and Clint Capela, he could well move up to number 2 in the near future.

The Rockets play @Phi, @NYK, @BKN and finish with Miami. They also have the rare 4 game week with no back to back games. Capela is still a while away, so it’s hard to see Harden’s usage dropping off. It was interesting to note (and thanks to Dane Swan for pointing this out on twitter) that in the first two games of Week 14, Harden scored over 100 points, and had 0 assists.

I’m sure everyone who has played social basketball has played with that person who you know once they get the ball, it’s not getting passed again. This is taking that to the next level.

The Pelicans play @Mem, Det, @OKC (back to back) before finishing the week with Mil at home. Whilst it is a tougher run than what Houston have, that doesn’t seem to worry ‘The Brow’. He gets 30Fppg without trying, and regularly goes 40+. It is amazing to see that he is actually averaging over 40Fppg through the first 13 weeks – even with a trip to the locker room every second or third game!

Update 2 – In a blow to all Fantasy players, AD injured his hand in Saturday’s game against Portland. He had scans on Sunday and was diagnosed with a left index finger sprain and is expected to miss 1-2 weeks. At least he did it in the last game of the week, not the first!

So this leaves us with two matters to explore. First, who steps up for the Pelicans? Nikola Mirotic is the obvious one. Early in the season (before his injury), he was easily scoring 23+ Fppg. Since coming back from his injury, his output has been significantly lower. He scored 14 Fantasy points in his comeback game against the Cavs (22 minutes), 16 against the T-Wolves (27 minutes), then a putrid -1 against the Clippers (17 minutes). He was then had a bounce back game against the Warriors with 35 Fantasy points in 29 minutes, before scoring 14 Fantasy points in the last game against the Blazers (24 minutes). Mirotic came off the bench in all these games, but with Davis out, he should be put back into the starting lineup. If he can get to 30+ minutes per game, I expect him to go 23+ Fppg whilst Davis is out.

The good news is that his poor run will make him relatively cheap. He should be priced under $8.5 million after week 14, so you can make a massive $11 million by trading Davis to Mirotic.

You will also likely see the usage rate of Jrue Holiday increase. As with Mirotic, he was in many Fantasy teams early in the season, before his output leveled out.

The second point to consider now is our Captain options. Harden is still the number one option, but it is always good to have a choice.

Karl-Anthony Towns hasn’t been in the greatest form, but he has two good match ups to start the week (@Pho and @LAL) where he should easily go 30+Fppg. He then finishes the week with 2 games against the Jazz and in-form centre Rudy Gobert. Could be risky, but would be a very interest COD (Captain of Difference).

Speaking of Gobert, he also has 4 games this week, and has been scoring exceptionally well. Week 14 has seen scores of 44, 52 and 42 Fantasy points. This will see his price jump up a fair bit at lockout, but he is still definitely worth considering.

The two stars of the Thunder – Paul George and Russell Westbrook – can also be considered. Russ has been shooting horrendously recently, but has still been scoring well due to his all around game. If he can find his shot again, his scoring could jump by 5 Fantasy points per game simply due to not losing points for missed shots!!

Keeler’s Captain Choice – James Harden (Hou)

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Written by Archie Keeler (@OTLSArchie)

Header graphic by Corey Wade Media (@CoreySWade)

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