Fantasy Basketball Start and Sit: Week 22 Top 150 rankings

Editor’s Note: Every week we will release the Top 150 players based on their projections for that scoring period. Use this list to compare players and help make those really tough decisions.

I’ve long been a proponent of shortening the Fantasy basketball season, and I’ve gotten some great examples of why lately.

While the NBA season runs through April 12, we’re already seeing teams start to wind things down, either in anticipation of the playoffs or another offseason of rebuilding. In pretty much every league, I have to deal with the loss of a key player in the final weeks, in some cases solely in order to rest them. It happens every year, and makes the last few weeks even more of a mad dash than normal.

Some of these decisions don’t make much of an impact for Fantasy. The Lakers’ decision this week to rest Luol Deng and Timofey Mozgov for the remainder of the regular season won’t change much for Fantasy players, beyond giving some promising young guys a bit more run over the last few weeks. There are opportunities in Los Angeles for Fantasy value to come to the fore, but losing Mozgov and Deng isn’t something any Fantasy player with championship aspirations is sweating.

Some, however, can be the difference between a win and an inglorious first-round exit in Week 22 (March. 20-26). In one league, for instance, I just lost Eric Bledsoe, who the Suns announced this week will not play again this season. He is dealing with knee soreness, but Bledsoe told reporters he did not want to be shut down. He missed just one game this season prior to the injury, and was averaging 21.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.3 assists in a nice bounce-back season. That obviously leaves me with a huge hole in my rotation heading into the most important part of the season.

Tyler Ulis PG / Phoenix

The obvious answer here is to pick up Tyler Ulis. Ulis might not be the shortest player in the league, but he is among the most slight, which helps explain why he tumbled in the draft to the second round. However, he is starting to look like a piece for the Suns moving forward, averaging 9.3 points and 6.0 assists per game since the All-Star break. His ascension made sitting Bledsoe out an easier one, because the Suns want to see just how good this kid can be -- with 13 points and 13 assists in the first game without Bledsoe, every Fantasy player should want to find out too. The likes of T.J. Warren, Marquese Chriss and Devin Booker should all see more usage in Bledsoe’s absence, as well.

Bledsoe wasn’t the only player ruled out for the season this week, as the Bulls also lost Dwyane Wade to a season-ending elbow injury. Wade was diagnosed with a fracture in his right elbow, as well as a sprain, though it’s possible he could be back for the playoffs if the Bulls get there. This seems like one of those injuries that likely wouldn’t have been a season-ender a month ago, but this makes Wade droppable in all formats.

It also opens up a big opportunity in Chicago. Wade isn’t the star he used to be, but he is still a big part of Chicago’s offense, sporting a 29.7 percent usage rate and 23.0 percent assist rate, two big things the team will need to replace. On the passing front, it looks like Rajon Rondo is going to step up for the Bulls. It’s been an up-and-down season for the former star, but he has played well of late, recording at least six assists in six of 10 games since the All-Star break, while averaging 10.8 points and 5.9 assists per in that span. He has played 30-plus in each of the past two games heading into Friday, and with Jerian Grant and Michael Carter-Williams looking like non-factors, Rondo should get plenty of opportunities moving forward.

Nikola Mirotic PF / Chicago

The Bulls will also likely need someone to step up and replace some of Wade’s scoring, and I would look to the likes of Nikola Mirotic and Denzel Valentine. Fred Hoiberg can’t seem to decide if he likes Mirotic or not, as he went from not playing in three straight games to topping 27 in each of the next two. Mirotic will be risky, but with 38 points and 16 boards over those two games, he’s worth betting on if you need a starter in Week 22.

Valentine hasn’t been any more consistent overall, though he enters play Friday having scored in double figures in three straight, while adding at least two assists in three of the last four. He is a lower-end option than Mirotic, but could be useful for Fantasy purposes in Wade’s absence.

The Bulls and Suns both play four times in Week 22, so this a great opportunity for them to provide value. It’s bad timing if you were relying on Bledsoe and Wade -- or both, as I was in one league -- but these rotation changes could be Fantasy winners if you play it right. 

5 Games: LAC

Week 22 Sportsline Projections
1Chris Paul, PG, LAC 510.55.048.781.92.40.1319.28207.56
2Blake Griffin, PF, LAC 52.028.924.90.842.320.5421.8197.88
3John Wall, PG, WAS 45.014.5310.31.894.120.6822.18182.97
4Russell Westbrook, PG, OKC 36.2710.2310.471.945.10.430.43176.52
5Stephen Curry, PG, GS 417.385.026.471.663.580.2327.45174.96
6Damian Lillard, PG, POR 411.664.756.350.872.450.326.23169.6
7Isaiah Thomas, PG, BOS 412.712.956.531.
8Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, MIL 42.348.5351.482.751.621.88162.91
9James Harden, SG, HOU 38.877.479.81.614.170.5728.07159.45
10Jimmy Butler, SG, CHI 44.685.534.651.732.250.5524.98159.32
11Kemba Walker, PG, CHA 411.094.155.621.242.150.3423.23152.2
12DeAndre Jordan, C, LAC 5014.40.90.721.241.9911.72146.97
13Paul George, SF, IND 49.836.923.651.52.880.2722.35141.91
14Nikola Jokic, PF, DEN 42.569.484.750.912.420.7616.88140.37
15Draymond Green, PF, GS
16Carmelo Anthony, SF, NY 47.416.953.40.822.050.4521.43137.58
17Devin Booker, SG, PHO 48.9144.050.83.520.324.25135.71
18LeBron James, SF, CLE 34.387.237.631.333.270.6123.77134.82
19Jeff Teague, PG, IND
20Paul Millsap, PF, ATL 44.097.823.651.362.420.9717.8131.33
21CJ McCollum, SG, POR 410.023.453.650.991.80.4922.32131.03
22Karl-Anthony Towns, C, MIN 33.9312.832.570.672.81.3326.5131.02
23Nicolas Batum, SF, CHA 47.326.55.721.022.520.5614.97127.89
24Dennis Schroder, PG, ATL
25Bradley Beal, SG, WAS 411.483.333.381.141.980.222.23126.65
26Klay Thompson, SG, GS 414.253.882.20.741.950.6423.52124.94
27Al Horford, C, BOS 44.337.574.350.791.551.2914.22124.11
28DeMarcus Cousins, C, NO 34.5510.733.731.22.931.422.7121.71
29Brook Lopez, C, BKN 45.415.881.850.612.421.5119.98116.96
30Kawhi Leonard, SF, SA 35.795.873.571.911.870.7225.1116.6
31Anthony Davis, PF, NO 31.5510.531.
32Derrick Rose, PG, NY 41.83.954.830.672.350.2216.38114.05
33Kristaps Porzingis, PF, NY 46.217.731.650.611.681.8516.57113.56
34DeMar DeRozan, SG, TOR 31.485.634.1712.670.2125.3113.43
35Khris Middleton, SG, MIL 47.574.533.621.41.930.2216.77112.98
36Dwight Howard, C, ATL 4011.951.380.862.251.2913.45112.23
37Myles Turner, PF, IND 41.817.851.430.961.3214.9109.04
38Mike Conley, PG, MEM 37.493.66.371.392.20.2520.03107.43
39Jusuf Nurkic, C, POR 4092.481.172.351.6812.4107.41
40Marc Gasol, C, MEM 33.486.874.630.912.21.2719.6107.13
41Kyrie Irving, PG, CLE 36.012.935.
42Hassan Whiteside, C, MIA 3015.10.630.762.172.7717.2104.77
43Goran Dragic, PG, MIA 34.944.
44Ricky Rubio, PG, MIN 33.374.539.11.962.830.0912.23102.55
45Gordon Hayward, SF, UTA
46Rajon Rondo, PG, CHI 42.515.
47Avery Bradley, SG, BOS
48Jeremy Lin, PG, BKN
49Alan Williams, C, PHO 4010.250.880.951.381.021298.4
50Andrew Wiggins, SF, MIN 34.074.332.271.072.430.3824.998.35
51Nikola Vucevic, C, ORL 30.610.732.60.891.671.2516.2397.93
52T.J. McConnell, PG, PHI 40.883.76.81.7220.137.3397.9
53Tyler Ulis, PG, PHO 41.781.986.
54Robert Covington, SF, PHI 410.
55T.J. Warren, SF, PHO 41.785.551.520.980.970.5114.9796.38
56Dario Saric, SF, PHI 45.786.752.40.732.30.3413.5595.48
57Marcin Gortat, C, WAS 4010.151.250.531.40.9411.1595.45
58Danilo Gallinari, SF, DEN 46.874.41.880.661.10.2815.8595.35
59Andre Drummond, C, DET 3013.530.931.511.731.3515.1394.96
60Markieff Morris, PF, WAS 43.276.351.951.211.70.5313.4394.84
61Greg Monroe, C, MIL 406.972.121.081.570.5112.3294.23
62Wilson Chandler, PF, DEN 45.875.921.880.71.520.3814.2593.93
63JJ Redick, SG, LAC 511.
64Marcus Smart, PG, BOS
65Jameer Nelson, PG, DEN 45.872.735.470.752.020.0910.190.36
66Julius Randle, PF, LAL 30.689.83.670.642.170.4613.9390
67Jae Crowder, SF, BOS 47.565.672.021.010.930.3412.3589.98
68LaMarcus Aldridge, PF, SA 30.837.432.070.581.371.0218.1789.9
69Thaddeus Young, SF, IND 42.316.481.931.531.40.3611.6289.77
70Evan Turner, SF, POR 42.254.574.10.851.70.3510.0789.39
71Otto Porter, SF, WAS 46.655.81.381.460.620.5112.1288.05
72Jrue Holiday, PG, NO
73Marvin Williams, PF, CHA 46.726.51.50.740.780.7811.586.99
74Kevin Love, PF, CLE 36.179.0320.681.470.416.286.56
75Reggie Jackson, PG, DET 33.642.875.830.772.270.1115.686.23
76Rudy Gobert, C, UTA 3011.871.40.731.772.1812.7785.73
77Elfrid Payton, PG, ORL
78Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, SF, CHA 407.551.480.940.820.899.885.22
79Jahlil Okafor, C, PHI 405.551.30.421.951.1913.4585
80Malcolm Brogdon, SG, MIL 44.272.754.11.131.570.1510.4384.3
81D’Angelo Russell, PG, LAL 36.463.
82George Hill, PG, UTA 35.743.
83Victor Oladipo, SG, OKC 35.464.832.91.41.930.4416.9782.52
84Will Barton, SG, DEN
85Jamal Crawford, SG, LAC56.061.661.980.721.240.1910.9882.06
86Frank Kaminsky, PF, CHA 45.54.751.90.70.950.5611.5781.7
87Cody Zeller, C, CHA406.551.
88Harrison Barnes, SF, DAL 33.225.471.670.681.330.2318.2779.92
89Zach Randolph, PF, MEM 30.938.531.870.581.530.1914.8379.02
90Tobias Harris, SF, DET 33.845.731.90.771.130.5316.678.9
91Sean Kilpatrick, SG, BKN 45.853.771.950.661.820.0912.9378.09
92Al-Farouq Aminu, SF, POR 45.126.881.620.951.230.778.8877.97
93Tim Hardaway Jr., SG, ATL 47.592.52.080.641.230.213.1277.56
94Andre Iguodala, SF, GS 43.84.333.350.9610.477.8577.23
95Alex Len, C, PHO 408.250.880.491.651.29.2277.06
96Robin Lopez, C, CHI405.880.970.211.231.7110.7277
97Tyreke Evans, PG, SAC 33.374.24.631.242.30.2712.9776.93
98Trevor Booker, PF, BKN
99Cory Joseph, PG, TOR 31.964.14.671.11.770.2112.3776.03
100Zaza Pachulia, C, GS 407.252.080.841.480.587.5875.7
101Darren Collison, PG, SAC
102Pau Gasol, C, SA 31.557.172.630.381.271.1412.2374.75
103Tyler Johnson, SG, MIA 33.834.033.431.131.20.5513.3774.24
104Courtney Lee, SG, NY45.
105Dirk Nowitzki, PF, DAL 34.36.571.530.5210.6414.873.78
106Evan Fournier, SF, ORL 35.623.332.91.031.87016.273.48
107Austin Rivers, SG, LAC 55.551.981.920.621.060.119.1873.35
108Dion Waiters, SG, MIA
109Mason Plumlee, C, DEN 405.832.520.631.320.667.4273.07
110Serge Ibaka, PF, TOR
111Monta Ellis, SG, IND 42.612.353.30.981.680.279.772.92
112Willy Hernangomez, C, NY 407.91.520.531.550.597.5572.29
113Bojan Bogdanovic, SG, WAS 46.953.231.270.451.30.11372.11
114Kent Bazemore, SF, ATL
115Jordan Clarkson, PG, LAL
116Jonas Valanciunas, C, TOR 3010.20.770.411.530.9912.371.7
117Lou Williams, SG, HOU
118Marquese Chriss, PF, PHO
119Sergio Rodriguez, PG, PHI45.342.154.720.61.750.117.2871.33
120Gorgui Dieng, PF, MIN 30.428.
121Kelly Olynyk, C, BOS 44.144.881.980.711.350.439.0370.6
122Michael Beasley, PF, MIL
123Gary Harris, SG, DEN 45.592.481.8811.10.1911.2570.28
124Wesley Matthews, SG, DAL 37.423.
125Matthew Dellavedova, SG, MIL 43.8424.530.651.6807.2569.11
126Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, SG, BKN 40.845.31.771.031.480.448.3868.9
127Marcus Morris, PF, DET 34.344.832.20.771.070.3213.768.87
128Seth Curry, SG, DAL 36.4333.071.11.570.1114.1768.83
129Kenneth Faried, PF, DEN 406.430.850.560.970.578.8268.4
130Nerlens Noel, C, DAL 307.831.431.21.371.2111.0368.33
131Nikola Mirotic, PF, CHI 45.764.90.970.671.150.799.9368.33
132Enes Kanter, C, OKC 30.367.830.90.471.730.5413.8368.21
133Eric Gordon, SG, HOU 38.962.632.60.841.370.4514.967.98
134Matt Barnes, SF, GS
135Patrick Beverley, PG, HOU34.685.373.831.451.130.458.767.51
136Ty Lawson, PG, SAC 31.742.575.51.131.870.129.5367.46
137Bobby Portis, PF, CHI42.
138Ersan Ilyasova, PF, ATL
139Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, SG, DET 35.553.332.271.371.070.2113.966.85
140Clint N’Dumba-Capela, C, HOU 308.270.80.6111.3611.4366.83
141Ish Smith, PG, DET 30.912.935.230.871.370.32966.67
142Tony Parker, PG, SA 31.351.975.070.581.530.0910.966.41
143Jared Dudley, SF, PHO
144Derrick Favors, PF, UTA 30.0971.30.841.21.0111.8366.25
145Aaron Gordon, PF, ORL 32.45.931.830.791.070.6811.9765.93
146Maurice Harkless, SF, POR 43.584.31.10.970.850.759.165.88
147Amir Johnson, PF, BOS41.115.551.770.621.070.956.865.58
148C.J. Miles, SG, IND49.143.120.780.650.680.3611.3565.44
149Gerald Henderson, SG, PHI 43.552.881.70.651.120.2110.2565.04
150Trevor Ariza, SF, HOU 36.415.472.031.680.870.2310.7363.91
Fantasy Writer

Though he can be found covering three different sports depending on the time of year, there is one unifying theme in how Chris Towers approaches sports; "Where's the evidence?" It doesn't matter how outlandish... Full Bio

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