The fantasy basketball season is nearing the homestretch, and yes, it’s Saturday, but there’s no need to wait till Monday to start managing your team. Looking ahead to your next matchup and preemptively adding a player or two from the waiver wire is a smart managerial move and could mean the difference between winning and losing.
Los Angeles Lakers (5 games in Week 19):
From March 3-9, the Lakers will play five games. It will be just the third time all season that a team will have a five-game week. The Milwaukee Bucks will also play five games in Week 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers will have their second five-game set during Week 24.
Not only will the Lakers play nearly every night, but they will also face off against four of the top 10 teams in the NBA in pace — the Portland Trail Blazers, Los Angeles Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Oklahoma City Thunder. They’ll also play the Pelicans on Tuesday, who have lost six straight games, are 10-21 on the road, and have been decimated by injuries.
When heading to your league’s waiver wire, the player that should stand out the most is Jordan Farmar.
Farmar (2.8 percent owned), the Lakers’ backup point guard, went off against the Kings on Friday night, scoring 30 points on 9-of-14 field goals, including eight 3-pointers. His monster night came on the heels of a 16-point outing vs. the Grizzlies on Wednesday, who are no slouch on defense.
Owners should be grabbing Farmar if they can, but need to also be aware that coach Mike D’Antoni likes to ride the hot hand, and Farmar is putting up these numbers while the previously sizzling Kendall Marshall has been slumping.
Three of the Lakers’ opponents in Week 19 — the Blazers (30th), Thunder (25th), and Nuggets (23rd) — have all been extremely poor against opposing point guards over the past month.
Another Laker, Kent Bazemore, is also a near must-add in fantasy leagues. In the five games since being acquired by the Lakers in the trade that sent Steve Blake to the Golden State Warriors, Bazemore (26.7 percent owned on ESPN.com) has averaged 16.2 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 2.0 steals, and 1.6 treys in 33.4 minutes. It’s not always a guarantee that a hot player will continue to get minutes in D’Antoni’s ever-changing rotations, but he’s definitely worth an add while he’s playing this well.
As long as Nick Young is sidelined with an aggravation of his knee injury (which could be awhile), other Lakers to consider are MarShon Brooks (0.6 percent owned) and Wesley Johnson (16.0 percent owned).