Jan 5, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade (left) stands next to Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (right) during the second half against the Toronto Raptors at American Airlines Arena. Miami won 102-97. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Basketball: It's Never Too Early to Think About Playoffs

Playoffs?  Don’t talk about fantasy basketball playoffs!  (In my best Jim Mora Sr. voice)

LeBron James

Mandatory Credit: Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

It is never too early to think about the postseason, but only a few members of your league will have the luxury of positioning themselves for the big dance.  If you are scrapping for a top six finish, you have to improve your team at all costs just to give yourself a fighting chance.

If you can acquire a few players from favorably scheduled NBA teams, it will greatly improve your chances even if you have inferior players going into the playoffs.

Here is my simple formula.  A team receives one point per game during the playoff weeks.  If a team plays on an “odd” night (a night where there are six games or less), the team receive 0.25 bonus points.  This benefits head-to-head league competitors more than anyone because of the night-to-night flexibility.  If you need the entire rationale, I wrote a whole article about it before the season began right here.  For the advanced players, you might want to reference Basketball Monster’s Ease Rankings which analyzes team-to-team matchups.  If you want to simply look at how many times your star players play during your playoff dates, check out the Basketball Monster Schedule Grid.


March 10 – 16

Mil Phi Sac Was Mem Den Bos Cha GS LAC Mia Pho Por SA Tor Uta
5.5 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


March 17 – 23

Cle Was Atl Mia Orl Tor Bkn Chi Dal Den Ind Phi Pho
4.5 4.5 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4 4 4 4 4 4 4


March 24 – 30

Por Atl LAC LAL Cle Det Mia NO NYK OKC SA Tor
5.5 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25


March 31 – April 6

Bos Dal BKN Cha Chi Det GS Hou LAC LAL Mil Min Phi SA Tor Was
4.5 4.5 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25 4.25


What do you do with this information?  You start trading for players on these teams right now.  If you anticipate getting a bye, trade for players with favorable Week 2 and 3 schedules.  If you are just a standard playoff team, you have to consider the Week 1 teams.  Another variable to consider is coaches sitting stars.  Beware of the Heat, Spurs, Pacers, Portland, and Thunder.  If they are battling for home court advantage, expect coaches to play their marquee players, but if they have the opportunity to get them some rest, history has shown that they will do so.

I hesitate to release this information because many of my league members read my material, but I am gradually maturing as a fantasy philanthropist.  Good luck, and start trading.  Let me hear from you at [email protected].

Tags: Fantasy Basketball Indiana Pacers Miami Heat NBA Oklahoma City Thunder Portland Trailblazers San Antonio Spurs

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