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Fantasy basketball forecaster: March 1-14

Brandon Ingram and the Pelicans have a busy stretch ahead. Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images

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Read below for the fantasy basketball Forecaster


In weekly transaction leagues, the schedule is one of the most important factors in determining how to fill out your fantasy basketball lineups. All fantasy teams have a hierarchy of player calibers, with a set of "best players" surrounded by a cast of lesser but still productive players from which to draw your weekly starting lineup.

All things being equal, a manager would start the best players every week and fill out the rest of the lineup based on factors such as matchups. However, all things aren't equal.

The schedule changes the bottom line, because teams can play a different number of games, against a different caliber of opponent, with different breakdowns of home vs. road, back-to-backs, rest nights, etc. All of these things matter, and as I've seen this season, they often matter more than a player's skills.

For example, would you rather get two games of a great player at 35 minutes per night against tough competition, or four games of a lesser player at 30 minutes per night against high-paced, weak competition? When looking at it quantitatively, it's surprising (to me) how often the correct answer is actually the lesser player -- yes, based on schedules, sometimes even star players should sit for a week.

Thus, below, we have the Forecaster, which provides a scheduling and matchup tool to help you make better-informed lineup decisions for the upcoming week.

We also take your weekly prep to another level with my weekly projection rankings. Here, you'll find my top-150 weekly rankings, based on ESPN standard points-league scoring, so you can compare players to determine which players to start, sit, stream or drop for the week ahead. I also provide several typical starters whom you might want to sit, and several bench/free agents whom you might want to stream.

Without further ado, let's check out the Forecaster with my comments below.