29th March 2016
With Week 22 in the NBA behind us, the conclusion of the regular season in April looms ahead. Some players are already being shut down for the season because their team has no hope of a playoff berth, and others are being rested so they can save their energy for the postseason. Regardless, it’s more important than ever to keep an eye on the injury report as we count down the days to the playoffs. Though there wasn’t much shocking news to come out of the Association last week, the fact that the San Antonio Spurs didn’t have a winning week and that Blake Griffin was finally activated did raise some eyebrows. Here’s what else you need to know about Week 22 so that you can make Week 23 your best yet.
The Chicago Bulls are truly struggling to make the postseason. After a dismal 1-3 week that included two losses to the Knicks and a terrible performance in Orlando, the Bulls sit at an even 36-36. This puts them in the ninth slot in the East, two games back of the Detroit Pistons for the final playoff spot. The playoffs wouldn’t be the same without the Bulls, and they need to have a a significant turnaround if they want to battle it out with the Cavaliers in a few weeks. Chicago’s core of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, and Pau Gasol must step up if they are to win out down the stretch. Specifically, Butler needs to return to the level he was playing at in the first half of the season, before he was injured. He’s never scored less than 23 fantasy basketball points in the last two months, but his ceiling hasn’t been quite as high as it used to be. Since his injury, he has broken 40+ points just once and must justify his $8,000 price tag with more consistent play if he wants to carry the Bulls to the playoffs.
In the West, despite the Spurs’ struggles in Week 22, LaMarcus Aldridge is poised to put up big numbers for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs too. He hasn’t been rested as often as the Spurs’ more seasoned veterans, and this has given him an opportunity to score much more and carry his team to victory. When the Spurs sat out most of their roster including Leonard, Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili, Aldridge proceeded to score 57 DFS points against an undermanned Memphis Grizzlies team. His 32 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks was one of his best performances of the season, and this should be the norm down the stretch for the hot-shooting big man. Though his teammates will return on Monday, Aldridge scored less than 30 DFS points in March just once, making him arguably the most consistent big man in fantasy basketball betting today. At only $7,300 to $8,000 on FanDuel and DraftKings, he is a must-have for the next two weeks.