This article is part of our NBA Waiver Wire series.
A crushing batch of injuries dominate the Week 16 waiver wire, and that's despite one of the most consequential schedules of the remainder of the season.
Multiple players who were top-20 picks in the fall are either facing extended absences – like Victor Oladipo (quad) and Anthony Davis (finger) – or are on the brink of returning, like Chris Paul (hamstring) and Andre Drummond (concussion). Additionally, a large swath of regular fantasy starters – like Nikola Mirotic (calf) and T.J. Warren (ankle) – suffered late-week injuries.
Let's start with the schedule.
Schedule NotesThe NBA schedule is also important, as Week 16 has fewer games than any other week for the rest of the season. The average team plays just 3.07 games. For comparison, teams averaged 3.53 games during Week 15, and – excluding the All-Star weeks and the final week of the season – the average games per team per week over the rest of the season is 3.38. Managers in games max leagues will have to go much deeper into their benches, and matchup quality takes on added significance with so many fewer games on the docket.
The Trail Blazers have the final one-game week of the NBA season, with only a game on Wednesday before five days off. Even during a slow week for the league, managers in weekly leagues should consider benching Damian Lillard, and Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic are the only Blazers deep-league managers can even consider starting.
Five teams play only