The fantasy basketball playoffs start next week — here's everything you need to know

From Deep: Final tips before the fantasy basketball playoffs

The three-ball has become arguably the staple of scoring in the NBA — so we figured we'd take some shots from way downtown, too. Here, fantasy basketball analyst Dan Titus will break down the three things fantasy managers need to know. Or, he'll break down multiple three-point pieces of advice, analysis and more — it just depends on how open he is From Deep.

The fantasy playoffs begin on Monday (Week 21) for most Yahoo Fantasy basketball leagues and run through Week 23. Here are three tips to help you navigate those three weeks and, hopefully, take home a fantasy basketball championship.

1/3: Prioritize quality over quantity when thinking of NBA games to stream from

Now that we've entered playoff mode, strategic streaming is key. You can get away with taking fliers on the wrong players in the regular season, but you don't have that luxury when it's a win-or-go-home scenario. Typically, targeting players with the most games each week is an effective strategy to accumulate stats, but it's less about the quantity and more about the quality in the fantasy playoffs.

Starting as many active players as possible is vital in points or category formats. That's nothing new; however, it must be emphasized if you're vying for a fantasy title. I've touched on why knowing the schedule is important, and here's an example:

In Week 22, a lot of teams play four games (the most for that particular week), but those games fall on the heaviest slates of 10 games or more. The Nets, Rockets, Knicks, Jazz, Cavaliers, Bulls, 76ers, Clippers, Nuggets, Hornets and Wizards fall into this category, playing on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

I'm not saying to avoid must-add players from these squads in the wake of injuries or otherwise. I'm talking about picking the fringe waiver guys who'll help you win in the margins. So, for Week 22, look to stream players on teams who play on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday because you won't have anyone wasting away on your bench. You can only start so many players on a large slate. The Bucks have the best schedule, hitting all three days, so Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley or Pat Connaughton in deeper leagues become increasingly more valuable. Other teams to consider are the Pelicans, Hawks and Celtics.

This methodology applies no matter when your playoff period begins or ends. And while the games across Week 21 are well distributed, I'd still keep this in mind because large slates are prevalent throughout the rest of the season.

2/3: Do your homework — research strengths and weaknesses

To better understand where your team stands in category leagues, visiting your league homepage to view your league stats is helpful. To access this information on desktop, hit the drop-down arrow under "Current Standings" and select "Head-to-Head Stats."

Dan Titus' league
All fantasy managers can search for their win-loss record or total stats for the season broken down by category on their league home page.

You can see your performance, broken down by each category, and gauge where you've been most successful or deficient. The referenced data is accessible for points or category formats.

Just remember that when playing in nine-category formats, the goal is to win five categories. So, I'd determine which five categories you're best at and lean into them for your upcoming matchup.

Pivots may be required based on your opponent, though. As part of this effort, dig into your opponent's stats as well. I would also encourage you to return to your matchups earlier in the season. Ask yourself how to lessen the gaps in specific areas by making thoughtful and informed streaming maneuvers. It may be something other than a volume move that needs to be made. Sometimes, it's honing in on an efficient player who can help overtake a category you previously lost.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

3/3: Don't get complacent if you have a bye week

Never take your foot off the gas. Your transactions work, so monitor the player pool to scoop up any value your leaguemates might have been forced to discard. Even if there aren't any discreet gems out there, you can look forward to pick up players with favorable matchups or schedules for the week ahead. This is a prime opportunity to use your time to research your opponent, analyze the schedule and make moves to put your team in the best position to win after the bye.

If you're battling as a 3-6 seed, do what you must. There will be some unsettling decisions, but play to win the week and worry about the fallout after you've secured the victory.

While those three tips cover the high-level strategic moves, here are three resources I often use during the season and for the playoffs: