Jonas Nader

The Week Ahead

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The Week Ahead

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hello and welcome back to The Week Ahead! I’m changing things up this week for those of you in fantasy playoffs, so I’ll be doing a quick team-by-team outlook to get you ready for Week 23. If you guys have any questions or just need some advice, click here to follow me on Twitter!



Week 23 Schedule


5 Games- BKN, CHI







With five games on the schedule for the Nets and Bulls, here are some players to consider giving a look:


Sean Kilpatrick- He’s been lighting it up for a while now and could be a sneaky source of points and 3-pointers this week, but unfortunately that’s really all he can do. He’s averaging 15.2 points, 1.8 boards, 0.8 assists and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games.


Shane Larkin- He’s starting now and has played well in two straight games (both wins), averaging 15.0 points, 6.0 assists, 2.0 boards, 1.5 steals and 0.5 3-pointers in that span. He’s been a letdown for most of the season, but it’s hard to pass up on these numbers with five games this week.


Rondae Hollis-Jefferson- He has no jump shot, but he’s a future stud. He’s averaging 7.0 points, 4.3 boards, 1.7 assists and 1.7 steals in just 16.0 minutes over his last three games since returning from his ankle injury and it’s possible that the Nets will ramp up his workload this week. He’s worth a long look if you need an edge in steals.


Must-start players for Nets- Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young and Bojan Bogdanovic. Keep in mind that Lopez and Young could get a maintenance day or two since the Nets aren’t playing for anything, but you still have to fire them up in lineups.


Bobby Portis- He’s been awful lately with averages of 5.0 points and 5.2 boards on 32.3 percent shooting, so he’s only worth a look in deeper leagues. I’d be shocked if Pau Gasol (knee) played all five games and the same goes for Taj Gibson, so he could draw a start or two this week. 


Nikola Mirotic- Over the span of his last five games he had a 35-point outing and was also held to single digits three times, but you still have to roll with him this week. He averaged 13.6 points, 5.0 boards, 1.6 assists, 0.8 blocks and 2.8 treys in that span and his owners will just have to hope that he can post a couple of awesome lines this week. There’s just too much upside to ignore in a five-game week.


Doug McDermott- If you need to win your 3-point category this week, McDermott is averaging 1.6 triples in just 19.6 minutes over his last five games. He’s a solid 3-point specialist.


Must-start players for Bulls- Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Taj Gibson



Team Outlooks: Injury information is accurate as of 1:00 pm ET


Hawks: They play three times this week and coach Mike Budenholzer has already made it clear that he won’t rest his studs this week. 


Must-start players- Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Jeff Teague


Borderline options- Kent Bazemore, Kyle Korver


Injuries- Paul Millsap left Saturday’s game early after taking a shot to the face and needed 10 stitches, but he’s not expected to miss any time.



Hornets: They play three times this week and there’s no reason to worry about maintenance days since they’re fighting for playoff seeding.


Must-start players- Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams, Nicolas Batum


Borderline options- Courtney Lee, Cody Zeller, Al Jefferson




Pistons: They’re sitting in eighth place in the East and will treat every game as a must-win situation. They play three games this week.


Must-start players- Andre Drummond, Tobias Harris, Reggie Jackson, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope


Borderline options- Marcus Morris




Rockets: They’re in eighth place in the West and have three games this week. 


Must-start players- James Harden, Dwight Howard, Trevor Ariza


Borderline options- Patrick Beverley, Michael Beasley




Lakers: They’re tanking and want to give their young players an extended look this week. They have three games on the schedule.


Must-start players- D’Angelo Russell


Borderline options: Kobe Bryant, Jordan Clarkson, Julius Randle, Lou Williams


Injuries- D’Angelo Russell played through a sprained ankle on Sunday, but he looked great and finished with 22 points. He should be fine and belongs in all lineups. Kobe Bryant intends to play in all of the Lakers remaining games despite not being 100 percent.



Bucks: They’re out of the playoff race but they’re still playing their studs significant minutes. They play three times this week.


Must-start players- Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker, Khris Middleton


Borderline options- Greg Monroe, John Henson



76ers: They’re obviously tanking and are quickly running out of bodies in their frontcourt. 


Must-start players- Ish Smith, Robert Covington


Borderline options- Nerlens Noel (knee), Jerami Grant


Recent injuries- Noel has missed three straight games and has been diagnosed with a knee contusion, but he’s day-to-day. The 76ers may not risk him, so he’s going to be very risky to use in weekly lineups with just three games. Grant left Sunday’s game with a knee/quad strain, so he’s going to be risky to use unless we hear something positive on Monday. Richaun Holmes (Achilles) could be out for the season.



Spurs: They’re resting their veterans a lot and that will continue down the stretch. They have three games this week.


Must-start players- Kawhi Leonard (quad), LaMarcus Aldridge


Borderline options: None that I like


Recent injuries- Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker will all rest on Monday vs. Memphis, meaning they will only play in two games at best. Kawhi Leonard has been ruled out for Monday, but I’d still start him even if he could only play in two games this week. Leonard is a top-3 player in fantasy and this is the playoffs we're talking about. LaMarcus Aldridge missed the last game for rest purposes, but he’s expected to play Monday and I’m still locking him in lineups.



Celtics: They’re fighting for playoff seeding in the East and play four games this week.


Must-start players- Isaiah Thomas, Jared Sullinger, Evan Turner, Avery Bradley


Borderline options- Jae Crowder (ankle), Amir Johnson, Marcus Smart


Recent injuries- Jae Crowder is unlikely to play on Monday, but coach Brad Stevens said he would be day-to-day after that contest. If he was able to play in three games this week, he could give your team a nice boost. He’s probably too risky for weekly lineups, though.



Cavaliers: They play four times this week, but they do have a back-to-back set on Thursday vs. the Nets and Friday vs. the Hawks. I’d expect LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love to get a maintenance day this week with the Cavs in first place in the East.


Must-start players- Kyrie Irving, LeBron James, Kevin Love, J.R. Smith


Borderline options- Tristan Thompson



Mavericks- They’re trying to catch up to the eighth seed in the West and must get at least three wins this week. They play four games and don’t have a back-to-back set.


Must-start players- Dirk Nowitzki, Wesley Matthews


Borderline options- J.J. Barea, Deron Williams (abdominal strain)


Recent injuries- Deron Williams has already been ruled out of Monday’s game vs. Denver and the results of his MRI haven’t been released yet. At best he will play in three games this week.



Nuggets- They won’t make the playoffs, but coach Malone refuses to tank and is still trying to win games. 


Must-start players- D.J. Augustin, Nikola Jokic, Jusuf Nurkic, Gary Harris, Will Barton


Borderline options- Emmanuel Mudiay, Darrell Arthur, Kenneth Faried


Recent injuries- Kenneth Faried (back) has missed six games in a row but has been “available” for the last two, so hopefully he will actually play this week. The Nuggets are being cautious, so he’s a little too risky for weekly lineups unless you’re desperate.



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