The NBA All-Star break begins Feb. 16 and doesn't end until Feb. 21. Because this would create two partial weeks, ESPN fantasy makes one eight-day session that spans that two-week period. In short, this session will include games from Monday through Thursday, then from the following Thursday through Sunday. Thus, in this space, the Forecaster ratings will reflect this extended schedule.
Check below the Forecaster ratings for a handful of potential streamers from teams with good schedules, as usual. However, in this space let's talk about streaming options (or just plain potential pickup options) brought about by all of the turbulence in the NBA this week.
The NBA trade deadline was Thursday, and there were a lot of players that changed teams. Similarly (but unfortunately), there also have been a lot of major injuries to impact players that have led to production vacuums on teams that will need to be filled. These are excellent opportunities to find value in unexpected places, and it might be the last major opportunity to do so this season.
A few examples to look for?
Michael Beasley, New York Knicks (49.6 percent available): Beasley moved back into the starting lineup for the Knicks after Kristaps Porzingis (knee) went down for the season. In the last seven games that Porzingis missed, Beasley averaged almost 23 points and six rebounds per game, including a strong effort on Thursday with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals.
D.J. Augustin, Orlando Magic (89.5 percent available): The Magic traded starting point guard Elfrid Payton to the Phoenix Suns for a second-round draft pick. Augustin picked up the first start in Payton's absence and grabbed ahold of his new role with 18 points, 9 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals in Thursday's game.
Larry Nance Jr., Cleveland Cavaliers (76.5 percent available): Nance already was having a solid season off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers, but they just traded him to his hometown franchise -- a team that retired his father's jersey after a long career in Cleveland. It's a team that, by the way, is missing its starting power forward and just traded away their backup center. Nance should get enough minutes and opportunity, especially in the short term, to improve upon his numbers.
Matchup ratings are based upon a scale from 1 (poor matchup) to 10 (excellent matchup). These are calculated using a formula that evaluates the team's year-to-date and past 10 games' statistics, their opponents' numbers in those categories and their performance in home/road games depending on where the game is to be played. The column to the left lists the team's total number of games scheduled, as well as home games, and lists the overall rating from 1-10 for that team's weekly schedule.
The week ahead
Because of the unique two-week schedule, most of the teams in this session play four games. The Philadelphia 76ers play five games, the Indiana Pacers play two games, seven teams play three games, and the remaining 21 teams play four times. As such, outside of the outlier 76ers and Pacers, most of the differences in this week's Forecaster Ratings come from the strength of the team versus the difficulty of its schedule.
The Pacers obviously have a '1' rating and make obvious fade candidates, but each of the Memphis Grizzlies ('1'), Atlanta Hawks ('2'), Boston Celtics ('2'), Brooklyn Nets ('2'), Dallas Mavericks ('2') and Portland Trail Blazers ('2') have only three games and very low Forecaster ratings to fall into the likely-to-fade-outside-of-star-players category, as well.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Rockets are joined by the following four-game teams: the Denver Nuggets ('7'), Golden State Warriors ('10'), Houston Rockets ('9'), LA Clippers ('7'), Minnesota Timberwolves ('7'), San Antonio Spurs ('7') and Washington Wizards ('7').
Here are some streamable options worth considering from those teams:
Markieff Morris, Washington Wizards (48.0 percent available) and JJ Redick, Philadelphia 76ers (48.1 percent available): Both Morris and Redick are good enough that they should be owned in most 12-team leagues anyway, so if they're available in your league, this is a great time to add them because of their favorable upcoming schedules.
Austin Rivers, LA Clippers (85.5 percent available): Rivers is coming off a heel injury that sidelined him for 18 games. Before he got hurt, he was challenging to become one of the bigger impact players on that injury-riddled iteration of the Clippers. Lou Williams has dominated ever since, the trade has brought in new talent and Danilo Gallinari has returned from injury. Rivers is, therefore, a question mark, but he has a good schedule and upside if he can get his rhythm and role back.
Tomas Satoransky, Washington Wizards (90.5 percent available): Satoransky is still starting in place of the injured John Wall. In his past seven games, Satoransky has averaged a solid 9.9 points, 5.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.1 3-pointers while shooting 50.0 FG% and 100.0 FT%.
Patty Mills, San Antonio Spurs (96.8 percent available): Mills gets a bump in value while Dejounte Murray is out with his ankle injury, even if Bryn Forbes might get the actual start. (Forbes actually is worth potentially streaming, as well.) Murray already has been announced to be out on Saturday, and there's no timetable given for his return. In Murray's absence in the second half of Wednesday's game, Mills piled up 18 points with 3 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 1 block in only 17 minutes of action.