Fantasy Basketball

Fantasy Basketball Week 4 Preview: Candidates You Can Believe in

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Whether you voted for Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or a dead gorilla named Harambe, there is something everyone can support: Fantasy Sports. It is the great equalizer when it comes to sports knowledge. People can argue their political opinions all day, but there is no winner in that debate. Fantasy allows us to put our knowledge and skills to the test and quantify our opinions.

The only things that political opinions and Fantasy teams have in common are that people can’t wait to tell you about theirs, and couldn’t care less about someone else’s.

Sure, when your political candidate wins there is a sense of pride and excitement about the future, but let’s be honest, that always fades. Fantasy championships go in the books forever, and your name is the only one on that plaque.

So maybe it is time to look at yourself in the mirror and consider the important things in life, like streaming the right players on your fictional basketball team this week.

Week 4 Fantasy Basketball Preview

Schedules to Target

Portland Trail Blazers (4 Games)

No matter who the Blazers are playing, chances are, they are going to score points. They have on the most explosive offenses in the league, with Lillard and McCollum opening the floor for many role players to excel. They have three road games this week, but their lack of defense along with three games against teams in the bottom third in scoring defense, they should put up points.

Oklahoma City Thunder (4 Games)

Though sometimes it seems like he tries, Russell Westbrook can’t score every point for the Thunder. I expect them to have a big week and keep up their high pace, which is sixth in the league. With their stellar rebounding creating extra possessions against four poor rebounding teams, I see a lot of opportunity in OKC this week.

Indiana Pacers (4 Games)

Who else would be third in the league in pace but the Indiana Pacers? Yes, I know that was lame, but it is the truth. The Pacers defense is mostly to blame for their mediocre play, but what I see there is Fantasy gold. Jeff Teague and Monta Ellis aren’t going to be stopping anyone any time soon, and this is only going to lead to the Pacers trying to put up big numbers to be competitive in games.

Schedules to Avoid

Memphis Grizzlies (4 Games)

The Grizzlies play in an arena nicknamed the Grind House, named aptly after their style of play, which is a grind to watch. The Grizzles lull opposing teams and fans to sleep with a slow and defensive brand of basketball, ranking in the bottom half of the league in pace and in the top half in defense. Memphis is going to struggle to produce this week going up against four of the league’s slowest teams in the Clippers, Jazz, Mavericks, and Timberwolves.

Sacramento Kings (3 Games)

When Dave Joerger took over as coach of the Kings, we all knew that the fast pace, no defense days were numbered. The Kings started out as the Kings we knew from last year. As the season goes on, however, we are starting to see a shift in their style of play. They have plummeted down the rankings in scoring and pace, and host the Spurs, Clippers, and Raptors this week. No thank you.

San Antonio Spurs (3 Games)

The Spurs are on a short slate this week, and that may be a good thing for them, as they seem to have lost their mojo. Look for Coach Popovich and company to get back to what they do best in the upcoming week by slowing it down and playing elite defense. That is a great plan for success for the Spurs, but maybe not for our purposes.

Waiver Wire Targets

J.J. Barea, PG, Dallas Mavericks

Something about Dallas has always been good to J.J. Barea. His small stature doesn’t suggest someone who can pull down four rebounds per game from the point guard position, but Barea does just that. Barea plays over 30 minutes per game for the Mavericks and is one of few bright spots in their offense. This is a player that can get you solid production in three categories almost every night.

Tyson Chandler, C, Phoenix Suns

Chandler is quietly having a monster season on the boards, yet is still available in over 50 percent of leagues. His lack of production in other categories and recent absence due to a family matter may have something to do with this, but he should be back in the lineup soon. If you are hurting for rebounds, look no further, as Chandler has pulled down double digit boards in almost every game this season.

Al-Farouq Aminu, SF/PF, Portland Trail Blazers

Al-Farouq Aminu’s official positional eligibility should just be UTIL. Because that is what he does for the Blazers. As long as you have strong field goal percentage players surrounding him in your lineup, Aminu will contribute in everything else. He rebounds, get steals, gets blocks and might even knock down a three pointer for you. Many people have dropped him because of a recent injury, but he is expected back near the beginning of the week and should be scooped up before it is too late.

About Chris Wright

Chris is a self-diagnosed, non-recovering Fantasy addict. Balances stats on paper with actual on field evidence when making projections. Check him out on Twitter @ChrisWright_F6P

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