The 2018-19 season has moved past the All-Star Game, and that means every game is critical for teams fighting to make the playoffs or improve their playoff position.
Team LeBron got the best of Team Giannis Sunday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, and after three more days off for the NBA's non-All-Stars, the season will pick up again Thursday night.
Once the schedule resumes, it will be a sprint to the end of the season as the final 24-25 games take on new meaning for management, coaches, players and fantasy owners.
The searching and hoping part of the season is over in fantasy basketball. Mistakes can no longer be tolerated, and it's not about finding the solution later. It's about finding the solution right now.
There are six games on Thursday night's schedule, nine more Friday and 12 on Saturday. We take a look at two players to start, two players to sit and two players to add to your roster based on this week's schedule.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Power Forward, Memphis Grizzlies
At this point in the season, you want to bring in players coming into their own and playing with confidence on a consistent basis. Jackson appears to be one of those players.
While the Grizzlies are at the bottom of the Southwest Division with a 23-36 record, this team has split its last six games and appears to have not quit on this season yet.
The opportunity should be there for Jackson to establish himself the rest of the season. He has been solid all year, and there have been clear improvements in recent weeks.
Jackson is averaging 13.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game while playing slightly over 26 minutes nightly. His numbers have increased in February, as he is averaging 16.8 points and 5.0 rebounds while playing 29.2 minutes this month.
The Grizzlies play back-to-back games Friday and Saturday, hosting the Clippers and then heading to Cleveland.
Jackson is the 64th-ranked player by ESPN.com, and he should have an opportunity to climb the ladder this week.
Otto Porter Jr., Small Forward, Chicago Bulls
Acquired from the Washington Wizards in a trade at the deadline, Porter has fit in brilliantly with his new team in his first four games with the Bulls.
Porter is scoring 22.5 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, and he is also shooting 62.1 percent from the field. The Bulls have needed a go-to scorer, and while that was not necessarily going to be Porter's role when the Bulls made their move for him, he is doing the job in that area.
Even if he can't reach the 22-point mark each and every night, he looks like a sensational add from a fantasy perspective. Porter is averaging 13.5 points and 5.6 rebounds for the season, but his numbers over the last 10 games are the same 22.5 and 5.8 they are with the Bulls.
The Bulls closed the first half of the season with a 122-110 win over the Grizzlies, and while one game is just that, this team has to do better down the stretch than it has to this point in the season.
The Bulls are at Orlando on Friday night before hosting the Celtics on Saturday, and we don't see Porter slowing down any time soon.
Al-Farouq Aminu, Power Forward, Portland Trail Blazers
Aminu has been a steady player for the Trail Blazers, but Portland faces two tough road games once the All-Star break is over.
They open with a game at Brooklyn on Thursday night followed by a rough assignment in Philadelphia on Saturday. Portland has lost five of its last seven road games, so this does not appear to be an ideal situation for Aminu.
The Portland power forward is averaging 9.4 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. Aminu may give the Trail Blazers the rebounds they expect, but scoring on the road can be difficult. Aminu is averaging 8.9 points on the road, and we see the Nets and Sixers keeping him from reaching those totals.
He has been dropped by 7.7 percent of ESPN.com's fantasy players, so keep Aminu on your bench this week.
Danny Green, Shooting Guard, Toronto Raptors
Green has been a solid contributor for the Raptors throughout the season, but he has been dropped by 7.1 percent of ESPN.com's fantasy players and is starting to trend downward.
Green is averaging 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds this season, and those numbers have stayed fairly close at 9.5 points and 4.0 rebounds in his most recent games.
The Raptors have home games against the San Antonio Spurs and the Orlando Magic this week, but Green has better splits on the road than he does at home. He is averaging 10.6 points on the road and 8.9 points per game at home.
The Raptors play two games on the road the following week, and we may decide to put him back in the lineup at that time, but he will sit this week.
Caris LeVert, Small Forward, Brooklyn Nets
LeVert will play an important role with the Nets as the season heads toward the home stretch. The combo player—he can also play the shooting guard spot—has been added to more rosters than any other player, per ESPN.com.
LeVert's ownership rate has increased from 30.0 percent to 56.0 percent on ESPN rosters, as he has returned from a long layoff following a dislocated ankle. He is coming back to a thriving team that is contending for a playoff spot.
LeVert is averaging 16.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.1 assists over the 17 games he has played this year, and he has two games this week to reward his fantasy owners.
Jabari Parker, Small Forward-Power Forward, Washington Wizards
It looks like the Wizards have made a couple of savvy additions with Parker and Bobby Portis, as both players were acquired from the Chicago Bulls at the trade deadline.
Just as Porter appears to be a strong fit for the Bulls, Parker has the scoring talent to become an impact player for fantasy owners.
Parker's scoring numbers are not over the top in his first four games with the Wizards, as he is averaging 12.3 points per game. However, Parker is shooting 51.3 percent from the field in those games. That's an improvement from the 47.4 percent he was shooting with the Bulls.