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NBA Power Rankings: Week 12 schedule analysis for fantasy basketball forecasting

Need help targeting players for this week? We break down each teams strength of schedule and rank who is in the best position for Week 12.

Dallas Mavericks forward Luka Doncic and forward Dorian Finney-Smith in action during the game between the Mavericks and the Hornets at the American Airlines Center. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

This week, we’ll be switching things up from the normal NBA Power Rankings. Instead, I’ve went through each teams schedule for the team and ranked all of them based on how many games they’ll be playing and which have the easiest opponents. This should help you get a good idea of who to pick up off the fantasy basketball waiver wire in your season-long league, and also which teams are performing well heading into the week. If you’re in a league that locks at the beginning of the week, this will help you count games to max out your lineup.

A lot of the times we see a that is usually elite on defense or offense, and they end up underperforming. There’s a recency bias that doesn’t really exist in the NBA, as must fantasy owners won’t take into account how well a particular team may be playing recently. In the table below, you can see how each team performed in the previous week, so that you can see which teams are hot and which are cold.

NBA Week 12 Schedule Breakdown

Teams playing 4 games: Bucks, Celtics, Jazz, Nuggets, Mavericks, Bulls, Wizards, Thunder, Pelicans, Knicks, Hawks, Nets, Spurs, Hornets, Warriors
Teams playing 3 games: Grizzlies, Rockets, Raptors, Lakers, Heat, Magic, Pistons, Pacers, 76ers, Suns, Timberwolves, Cavaliers, Kings, Trail Blazers
Teams playing 2 games: Clippers

NBA Schedule Power Rankings, Week 12

Team Schedule Week 11 Record PPG Week 11 Opp. PPG Week 11
Team Schedule Week 11 Record PPG Week 11 Opp. PPG Week 11
Milwaukee Bucks @ SAS, @ GSW, @ SAC, @ POR 3-0 118.7 108
Boston Celtics @ WAS, vs. SAS, @ PHI, vs. NOP 3-0 109.7 100.7
Utah Jazz @ NOP, vs. NYK, vs. CHA, @ WAS 3-0 105 91.7
Denver Nuggets @ ATL, @ DAL, vs. CLE, vs. LAC 2-2 115.5 122.3
Memphis Grizzlies vs. MIN, vs. SAS, vs. GSW 3-1 125 115.3
Dallas Mavericks vs. CHI, vs. DEN, vs. LAL, vs. PHI 1-3 109.8 112
Chicago Bulls @ DAL, @ NOP, vs. IND, @ DET 0-3 101.3 112
Houston Rockets @ ATL, @ OKC, vs. MIN 2-1 120 113
Toronto Raptors vs. POR, @ CHA, vs. SAS 2-2 102.8 95.3
Washington Wizards vs. BOS, @ ORL, vs. ATL, vs. UTA 2-2 113.8 115.8
Oklahoma City Thunder @ PHI, @ BKN, vs. HOU, vs. LAL 4-0 108.5 101.8
New Orleans Pelicans vs. UTA, vs. CHI, @ NYK, @ BOS 2-1 119 116.7
New York Knicks @ LAL, @ UTA, vs. NOP, vs. MIA 1-2 120.3 116
Los Angeles Lakers vs. NYK, @ DAL, @ OKC 3-0 116 105
Atlanta Hawks vs. DEN, vs. HOU, @ WAS, @ BKN 2-1 107.7 104.3
Miami Heat @ IND, @ BKN, @ NYK 2-2 99 103.8
Orlando Magic vs. BKN, vs. WAS, @ PHX 2-2 104 99
Brooklyn Nets @ ORL, vs. OKC, vs. MIA, vs. ATL 0-3 109.3 122
San Antonio Spurs vs. MIL, @ BOS, @ MEM, @ TOR 1-2 112.7 116.3
Detroit Pistons @ CLE, vs. CLE, vs. CHI 1-2 101.3 111.3
Indiana Pacers @ CHA, vs. MIA, @ CHI 1-2 114 112.3
Charlotte Hornets vs. IND, vs. TOR, @ UTA, @ PHX 2-2 107 113
Philadelphia 76ers vs. OKC, vs. BOS, @ DAL 0-2 102.5 116.5
Golden State Warriors @ SAC, vs. MIL, @ LAC, @ MEM 0-3 100.3 109
Phoenix Suns vs. SAC, vs. ORL, vs. CHA 2-2 115.8 115
Minnesota Timberwolves @ MEM, vs. POR, @ HOU 3-1 110.8 102
Los Angeles Clippers vs. GSW, @ DEN 3-1 120 117.8
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. DET, @ DET, @ DEN 0-4 103 116.3
Sacramento Kings vs. GSW, @ PHX, vs. MIL 1-3 111.3 116.3
Portland Trail Blazers @ TOR, @ MIN, vs. MIL 1-3 110.5 116

So if you look at some of the top teams for this week, the Bucks, Celtics, Jazz and Nuggets are all in great spots. Milwaukee will face four opponents who are under .500 and mostly on the outside of the playoff picture. All four are road games, but the Bucks are 14-3 on the road this season, so it shouldn’t impact much.

The Celtics start things off with an amazing matchup vs. the Wizards, following by easy matchups in the Spurs and Pelicans sandwiched between the 76ers. Kemba Walker is out with an illness Monday, but should be back soon. With Walker out, we’re able to target some players who will see more minutes, like Marcus Smart, Brad Wanamaker and Enes Kanter.

The Jazz are still trying to figure things out on offense, but their defense has been incredible recently. Utah will face four teams in the bottom half of the league in terms of points allowed per game this season. This could be a huge week for Donovan Mitchell, who has already been killing it lately. D-Mitch is averaging 25.8 points per game over his past 10 games, shooting 51.3% from the field.

The Nuggets are all of a sudden playing poor defensively, which actually makes them a very appealing fantasy team to target against this week. They have a soft schedule for the most part, but also take on Luka Doncic and the Mavs, and Kawhi Leonard and the Clippers. Those could be sneaky game stacks depending on how rosters shake out this week.

A few surprise teams include the Grizzlies, Thunder and Knicks. The Grizz dropped 140 points on the Clippers last week, and face three teams in the bottom third of the league in points allowed. The Thunder went undefeated last week and get a few games against teams who play up in pace. The Knicks are actually starting to look like a real team again, winning three of their past five games. They nearly knocked off the Clippers to end last week. The Knicks offense isn’t a complete joke of late, averaging 120.3 points in three games last week.