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Week 21 Fantasy Basketball Player Rankings: The Playoffs Begin

It's playoff time!

Week 21:March 16th – March 22th
Three Games:PHO, CHI, LAL, HOU

For most fantasy leagues, Week 21 represents the start of the fantasy playoffs, and the playoffs are what playing fantasy basketball is all about: the chance to prove that you are the best fantasy player in your league.

Here are our Week 21 rankings to help you navigate your first-round matchup. The Rankings are based on each player's projected stats (which you can find here), as well as the number of games each player plays in Week 21. A few things to keep in mind:

  1. The table above shows the number of games each team plays in Week 21. Only four teams play three games, which makes it more difficult than usual to play players with only three games.
  2. RotoWire's recommended strategy (which we've discussed since the preseason) for head-to-head leagues is to focus on being as dominate as you can in the six positive counting categories (points, rebounds, three-pointers, assists, steals, and blocks), even if that means you aren't competitive in the other three categories (field goal percentage, free throw percentage, and turnovers).

This strategy is even more effective in the fantasy playoffs because all that matters now is advancing to the next round. As a result, these rankings take into account only the six positive counting categories. If you're using a different punting strategy, you can create custom rest-of-season rankings here.

Point Guard

My Two Cents:

Marcus Smart's production in the counting categories have been underrated all season, and with Isaiah Thomas's (back/elbow) health in question, Smart becomes close to a must-add this week. Over the last month, Smart has averaged 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.3 3PM, and 0.3 blocks.

Mo Williams has played great since arriving in Charlotte (21 points, 7.9 assists, 2.5 rebounds, 0.8 steals, 0.2 blocks, 2.7 3PM), but with Kemba Walker working his way back into the rotation, I'd be nervous about the level of playing time Mo will get this week. I'd keep him out of your lineup in shallower leagues if possible.

Isaiah Canaan projects to make 11.4 three-pointers this week, the third-highest in our projections. (I wish I had an audio clip from our Fantasy Basketball Podcast of Kyle McKeown yelling "Canaan Ball!" to put here.) Canaan is owned in just 22% of ESPN leagues.

RankPlayerGamesOverall RankOverall ValueESPN %
PG1Russell Westbrook41$67100%
PG2Stephen Curry42$64100%
PG3Chris Paul45$52100%
PG4Damian Lillard47$44100%
PG5John Wall49$42100%
PG6Ricky Rubio410$4079%
PG7Kyle Lowry411$3998%
PG8Kyrie Irving414$35100%
PG9Michael Carter-Williams428$3084%
PG10Kemba Walker429$2980%
PG11Mike Conley430$2992%
PG12Jeff Teague434$2691%
PG13Deron Williams443$2275%
PG14Isaiah Canaan444$2122%
PG15Isaiah Thomas446$2173%
PG16Rajon Rondo448$2080%
PG17Marcus Smart449$207%
PG18George Hill453$1955%
PG19Elfrid Payton455$1936%
PG20Ty Lawson458$1996%
PG21Reggie Jackson474$1474%
PG22Goran Dragic478$1292%
PG23Louis Williams487$1044%
PG24Tony Parker489$983%
PG25Eric Bledsoe3102$596%
PG26Mario Chalmers4103$516%
PG27Trey Burke4106$434%
PG28Dennis Schroder4107$412%
PG29Ray McCallum4109$35%
PG30Mo Williams4115$366%
PG31Devin Harris4118$23%
PG32Greivis Vasquez4119$13%
PG33Brandon Knight3126$181%
PG34Jarrett Jack4132$130%
PG35D.J. Augustin4138$116%
PG36Ish Smith4152$13%
PG37Andre Miller4153$11%
PG38Nick Calathes4158$ -0%
PG39Aaron Brooks3168$ -19%
PG40C.J. Watson4172$ -2%
PG41Shaun Livingston4173$ -5%
PG42Gary Neal4177$ -3%
PG43Patrick Beverley3178$ -19%

Shooting Guard

My Two Cents:

The only shooting guard with three games this week that I'm willing to play is James Harden. There are simply too many other good options to consider playing anyone else on Chicago, Phoenix, or Los Angeles.

RankPlayerGamesOverall RankOverall ValueESPN %
SG1Klay Thompson412$3999%
SG2Victor Oladipo415$3585%
SG3Monta Ellis422$3197%
SG4Gordon Hayward423$3095%
SG5Dwyane Wade433$2795%
SG6DeMar DeRozan447$2094%
SG7Eric Gordon457$1954%
SG8James Harden360$18100%
SG9Kyle Korver461$1879%
SG10Danny Green464$1756%
SG11Bradley Beal466$1672%
SG12Andrew Wiggins467$1682%
SG13J.J. Redick468$1660%
SG14J.R. Smith470$1547%
SG15Kevin Martin473$1575%
SG16Joe Johnson479$1279%
SG17Kentavious Caldwell-Pope481$1210%
SG18Avery Bradley482$1235%
SG19Tony Allen484$116%
SG20Jason Richardson485$112%
SG21Evan Turner490$918%
SG22Rodney Stuckey492$839%
SG23Alexey Shved493$813%
SG24Langston Galloway499$612%
SG25Iman Shumpert4104$44%
SG26Dion Waiters4108$47%
SG27Ben McLemore4111$310%
SG28Will Barton4117$27%
SG29Arron Afflalo4120$148%
SG30Markel Brown4122$10%
SG31Jodie Meeks4127$14%
SG32Courtney Lee4128$17%
SG33Manu Ginobili4129$123%
SG34Terrence Ross4130$113%
SG35Randy Foye4131$11%
SG36Gerald Henderson4133$120%
SG37Tim Hardaway4135$17%
SG38Dante Exum4147$11%
SG39Henry Walker4148$11%
SG40Kent Bazemore4149$10%
SG41O.J. Mayo4156$16%
SG42Tyler Johnson4159$ -1%
SG43Marco Belinelli4170$ -1%
SG44Rodney Hood4181$ -1%
SG45Evan Fournier4186$ -4%
SG46P.J. Tucker3190$ -24%
SG47Lance Stephenson4192$ -24%
SG48Anthony Morrow4193$ -2%
SG49Elijah Millsap4199$ -0%
SG50Bojan Bogdanovic4200$ -1%

Small Forward

My Two Cents:

Jae Crowder has a great chance to accumulate 6+ three-pointers and steals this week. He also provides solid production in rebounds and blocks, which makes him a solid add this week.

Even if Josh Smith and Trevor Ariza are usually in your lineup, this might be a week to go with a different option due to their three-game schedule.

RankPlayerGamesOverall RankOverall ValueESPN %
SF1LeBron James44$55100%
SF2Kawhi Leonard46$4698%
SF3Draymond Green413$3881%
SF4Rudy Gay424$3099%
SF5Khris Middleton427$3059%
SF6Nicolas Batum432$2782%
SF7Tyreke Evans438$2586%
SF8Chandler Parsons441$2287%
SF9Giannis Antetokounmpo450$2070%
SF10Jae Crowder459$187%
SF11Danilo Gallinari465$1746%
SF12Luol Deng469$1669%
SF13Thaddeus Young472$1578%
SF14C.J. Miles477$136%
SF15Wilson Chandler480$1251%
SF16DeMarre Carroll483$1132%
SF17Matt Barnes488$107%
SF18Michael Kidd-Gilchrist491$833%
SF19Jeff Green495$869%
SF20Andre Iguodala496$714%
SF21Paul Pierce4101$540%
SF22Luc Mbah a Moute4112$37%
SF23Harrison Barnes4123$121%
SF24Marvin Williams4125$11%
SF25James Johnson4146$15%
SF26Solomon Hill4151$13%
SF27Trevor Ariza3154$175%
SF28Caron Butler4155$11%
SF29Otto Porter4163$ -1%
SF30Omri Casspi4167$ -1%
SF31Jerami Grant4175$ -1%
SF32Jared Dudley4176$ -1%
SF33Hollis Thompson4179$ -1%
SF34Cleanthony Early4180$ -0%
SF35Josh Smith3188$ -76%

Power Forward

My Two Cents:

There was some concern about whether Robert Covington would ever regain his pre-injury level of playing time in Philadelphia. Over the past three games, he's averaged 26.3 minutes, so feel free to deploy him as usual.

If you are lacking three-pointers and steals, Ersan Ilyasova projects to get five three-pointers and three steals this week. I would have to be a little desperate to trust him, but his unusual-for-his-position production makes him interesting this week.

RankPlayerGamesOverall RankOverall ValueESPN %
PF1Anthony Davis43$56100%
PF2Paul Millsap417$3497%
PF3LaMarcus Aldridge419$33100%
PF4Blake Griffin426$3098%
PF5Greg Monroe435$2689%
PF6Serge Ibaka436$2699%
PF7Kevin Love437$26100%
PF8Tim Duncan439$2594%
PF9Derrick Favors440$2591%
PF10Tobias Harris445$2180%
PF11Robert Covington454$1935%
PF12Zach Randolph462$1894%
PF13Dirk Nowitzki475$1497%
PF14Kenneth Faried476$1383%
PF15Ersan Ilyasova494$89%
PF16David West497$766%
PF17Andrea Bargnani4100$529%
PF18Patrick Patterson4110$35%
PF19Brandon Bass4121$115%
PF20Nene Hilario4124$120%
PF21Pau Gasol3136$197%
PF22Luis Scola4140$14%
PF23Amir Johnson4142$115%
PF24Joe Ingles4144$10%
PF25Tiago Splitter4145$11%
PF26Markieff Morris3162$ -72%
PF27Terrence Jones3164$ -62%
PF28Tristan Thompson4166$ -20%
PF29Amar'e Stoudemire4171$ -13%
PF30Trevor Booker4174$ -1%
PF31Adreian Payne4182$ -1%
PF32Louis Amundson4183$ -1%
PF33John Henson4185$ -6%
PF34Thomas Robinson4189$ -2%
PF35Boris Diaw4194$ -3%
PF36Channing Frye4195$ -4%
PF37Jason Thompson4196$ -1%
PF38Anthony Tolliver4197$ -0%


My Two Cents:

It's hard for me to believe that Rudy Gobert is unowned in 39% of ESPN leagues, but if that's true for your league, please, for the love of everything that is holy, go pick him up. He should get you 45+ rebounds and 12+ blocks this week, which is absurd.

Andrew Bogut's per-minute numbers have been off the chart this season (12.2 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per 36 minutes), so I have no problem using him this week as a stream option in daily moves leagues; however, I would be nervous to put him in a weekly league. The risk of injury or rest far outweighs the potential reward.

RankPlayerGamesOverall RankOverall ValueESPN %
C1DeMarcus Cousins48$42100%
C2Rudy Gobert416$3561%
C3DeAndre Jordan418$3397%
C4Andre Drummond420$3298%
C5Hassan Whiteside421$3179%
C6Nerlens Noel425$3066%
C7Marc Gasol431$2999%
C8Nikola Vucevic442$2296%
C9Al Jefferson451$2097%
C10Brook Lopez452$1982%
C11Al Horford456$1996%
C12Gorgui Dieng463$1846%
C13Marcin Gortat471$1582%
C14Tyson Chandler486$1079%
C15Andrew Bogut498$627%
C16Kelly Olynyk4105$410%
C17Roy Hibbert4113$355%
C18Robin Lopez4114$337%
C19Jonas Valanciunas4116$271%
C20Zaza Pachulia4134$13%
C21Omer Asik4137$126%
C22Enes Kanter4139$157%
C23Dewayne Dedmon4141$11%
C24Timofey Mozgov4143$136%
C25Cole Aldrich4150$13%
C26Spencer Hawes4157$ -3%
C27Tyler Zeller4160$ -8%
C28Nikola Pekovic4161$ -43%
C29Joakim Noah3165$ -91%
C30Jusuf Nurkic3169$ -6%
C31Chris Kaman4184$ -3%
C32Ian Mahinmi4187$ -1%
C33Bismack Biyombo4191$ -1%
C34Steven Adams4198$ -3%

More Rankings (Just for Fun Section)

Because basketball is fun and rankings are also fun, I ranked my four favorite GIFs from last week to share with you all:

4. Apparently Danilo Gallinari is nicknamed the "Rooster", which makes me like him at least 30% more than I did before. Here is the Rooster going coast to coast:

3. DeAndre Jordan's 1st career three-pointer. What's the over/under for his career, 2.5?

2. Doc Rivers' pregame routine, apparently:

1. Kyle Lowry hip checks Hassan Whiteside:

Also the Top-4 Blocks of the Week

4. RUDY! Extra points for running the floor and finishing on the other end.

3. Jerami Grant from the weak side!

2. The Manimal doesn't like layups, and this is what he's doing about it:

1. After this play, Tyler Zeller is going to need a hug: