X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Fantasy Sports Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball 2014: Week 22 Strength Of Schedule

Andre Drummond

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

 

Five game slates are awesome.

They are even more awesome if you know the status of the star player schedule to play in those five games.

The Portland Trail Blazers are the only team in basketball to suit up five times in Week 22, making them an automatic favorite in many fantasy owners’ minds. Of course, All-Star power forward, LaMarcus Aldridge is still dealing with back issues, and has already been ruled out for Monday’s game, meaning his five-game slate becomes potentially four. Look at guys like Dorrell Wright and Thomas Robinson to be nice adds in leagues, especially if they continue to flirt with 30 minutes per game. Especially Robinson, who has been a fantasy point per minute guy all year long. And, of course, Damian Lillard and Nicolas Batum are must-plays. Batum, in particular, who is grabbing every rebound in sight lately, hauling in 12.2 boards per game over his last five.

Now let’s get to the madness.

Detroit Pistons

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Jazz 101.2 15th
Cavaliers 101.7 16th
Heat 98.6 7th
76ers 110.0 30th

 

He’s baaaack.

After missing essentially two games with a neck injury, center Andre Drummond returned to the lineup on Friday, doing his normal thing. He scored 13 points, adding 16 rebounds and then followed it with a 16-point, 12-rebound performance on Saturday night. The Pistons are a trainwreck, but it’s great to see Drummond back and healthy, who should lift fantasy owners either to a playoff berth or to the next round this week. His matchups are ideal for opposing centers.

Let’s start with the Jazz, who are coughing up 46.1 points in the paint per game this year, the third-most in basketball. Utah is also allowing the seventh-most fantasy points per game to opposing centers this season (44.91), allowing the 10th-most rebounds per game to the position during that span as well (14.24). Meanwhile, Cleveland, from a numbers standpoint, isn’t all that bad against centers, but they have zero rim protectors to slow down someone like Drummond, and in two games against the Cavs, he is averaging 15 points and 14 rebounds.

Miami is a very good defensive team, but an atrocious rebounding one. Opposing centers against the Heat are averaging a whopping 15.24 boards per game this season, only behind the Lakers atrocious frontcourt. Centers are also averaging a healthy 45.55 fantasy points per game against the Heat this year, the 5th-most in the league. And over the last 15 days, they have been getting torched by the position, allowing almost 50 fantasy points per game. Drummond, meanwhile, is averaging 14.7 boards per game against the Heat this year.

And finall, there is the 76ers, perhaps the worst defense in the league. They are coughing up the second-most fantasy points per game to centers this year (49.19), and are also allowing the second-most total rebounds per game (56.4). Drummond, who is swatting 1.8 shots per game, should have a field day against a Philadelphia unit that is being blocked more than anyone in basketball, coming in at 7.1 times per game. Drummond is absolutely dominating the 76ers this year, too. In three games, he’s averaging a gaudy 21.3 points, 15 rebounds and a whopping 4.3 blocks per game.

Enjoy.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Opponent

PPG Allowed

Rank

Nuggets 105.8 28th
Mavericks 102.3 19th
Kings 103.6 26th
Jazz 101.2 15th

 

Kevin Durant is your MVP, folks.

LeBron James made quite the run, but the dude has won four of the last five, so give Durant one. And that’s coming from a guy who loves LeBron more than anyone, possibly. Anyway, I’m not ever, ever going to dive into why you should play Kevin Durant in fantasy.

Ever.

However, the Thunder are an interesting team to monitor this week. They play a strong four games, but point guard Russell Westbrook should see some rest down the stretch, especially after escaping a scary hiccup after bumping knees with Kyle Lowry. OKC already stated they want to rest Westbrook for back-t0-backs, and the Thunder open their week with two consecutive games, which means there may be some appeal to Reggie Jackson. Even when he hasn’t been starting, Jackson has been averaging 30.8 minutes per game over his last five outings, and his coming off a massive 25-point, 12-rebound, three-assist performance against Toronto (the same game Westbrook exited early). There is definitely some upside here, as the Nuggest give up a ton of points, and he could potentially draw the start in that game. Meanwhile, he is averaging strong rebounding numbers for a point guard over his last five, hauling in 6.6 boards per game. That bodes well against a Denver unit that is coughing up the third-most total rebounds per game (53.2) and the 7th-most rebounds to point guards.

5 games: POR

4 games: ATL, BKN, CLE, DET, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIN, NOP, NYK, OKC, PHX, SAS, TOR, UTA

3 games: BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, HOU, MIL, ORL, PHI, SAC, WAS

2 games: GSW

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.