Hello everyone! We're getting close now. The playoffs have already started in many head-to-head leagues, and the nightly shifts in roto leagues are probably slowing. 

As we enter this closing stretch, something to keep in mind for roto and head-to-head managers:

  - Roto leagues: Remember that many players, especially stars, will sit some games during the last couple weeks of the season. You want to be on track to overshoot your positional games max, so that those late absences don't hurt.

 - Head-to-head leagues: Games played is the most important factor during the playoffs. You are better off starting a mediocre player with four games than someone who is 30% better but plays only three times. How you optimize for this factor varies greatly depending on your league's rules. Just remember not to get attached to good-not-great players if letting them go can meaningfully increase your games played. 

Schedule-wise, Week 21 is on the lighter side, and it is shockingly balanced day-to-day. The Lakers and the Timberwolves play just two games, and only 12 teams play four times. Every day features between six and nine games. That makes it ideal for streaming if your league rules permit the practice. 

We're skipping the "deep league special" this week, but that's actually because of some good news for you deep leaguers. Four of the players featured as all-leagues adds have roster rates under 20%, and the other recommendations section features several more widely available guys. The best deep-league adds right now are guys who are also attractive in standard-sized leagues.

As always, the players in this article must be rostered in less than two-thirds of CBS leagues. Players are listed in the order that I recommend adding them, assuming they are equally good fits for your team. 

Adds for all leagues 

Naz Reid, Timberwolves (59% rostered)

Karl-Anthony Towns (knee) got diagnosed with a meniscus injury Thursday and is expected to miss the rest of the regular season. When Towns missed a game in late February, Reid put up 22-6-1 with two steals, one block and one 3 in 33 minutes. On Thursday, the first game of Towns' new extended absence, Reid posted a 13-8-2 with a steal, a block, and a 3-pointer in 26 minutes. Those are objectively awesome box scores for a waiver pickup. Reid can contribute in every category. He is now an all-leagues must-start.

Grayson Allen, Suns (62% rostered)

I promise that I'll stop mentioning Allen every week if he ever drops out of the top 100. But even with last week's three-game slump, he's still safely inside the top 75 (and top 55 in 9-cat!). He broke out of that slump in a big way, posting back-to-back games of at least 26 points and eight threes. Sometimes Fantasy basketball is hard. Other times, there is a free all-leagues starter just waiting for you on the waiver wire. 

Herbert Jones, Pelicans (59% rostered)

Speaking of free top-100 players, Jones has scored at least 13 points in 10 of his last 12 games, addressing what has long been the weak spot in his Fantasy game. He's always been a steals dynamo, but now he's also red-hot from 3 and mildly useful in points. He should be rostered everywhere. 

Kelly Olynyk, Raptors (67% rostered)

Loathe as I am to admit it, it is time to add Olynyk. If Jakob Poeltl (finger) returns at all this season, it will likely be after most Fantasy seasons are already over. Scottie Barnes (hand) will miss a similar amount of time. In the first game without both Poeltl and Barnes, Olynyk started and put up 15-6-7 with two steals, two blocks and one 3 in 28 minutes. His follow-up Thursday was less impressive, in part due to fouling out, but it doesn't change the underlying situation. Olynyk has long been overrated by the Fantasy basketball intelligentsia, but the opportunity he's currently presented with is undeniable. A must-add in all formats, and most managers should probably be starting him nightly. 

Vasilije Micic, Hornets (15% rostered)

Fantasy managers may be getting whiplash trying to track the Hornets' point guard spot, especially if you've been following this column. After Charlotte acquired Micic and Tre Mann at the trade deadline, I pointed out that Micic had been far more successful when both were on the Thunder. Charlotte initially prioritized Mann, but they recently elevated Micic to the starting lineup alongside Mann. As Mann's play has slipped, Micic's has remained solid. He's up to 17-4-5 as a starter, adding two steals in 32.5 minutes. It's possible both players could remain rosterable down the stretch, or that LaMelo Ball (ankle) returns and both become drops. But, between the two new Hornets guards, I'm back to preferring Micic.

Nick Richards, Hornets (51% rostered) and Andre Drummond, Bulls (59% rostered)

Same as last week. Richards is your boring floor play; Drummond is your inconsistent upside guy. Both are good, rosterable bigs, though neither are a must-add by any stretch.

Duop Reath, Trail Blazers (16% rostered)

Reath has been starting in place of the injured Deandre Ayton (hand) over the last four games, with solid results. He's contributing across the board, highlighted by 18 points, 1.5 blocks, and two 3s. His only flaws have been poor free throw shooting and a rebounding load below what you'd want from a center. Ayton has been plagued with injury problems all season and should be considered a shutdown risk as Portland leans into the tank down the stretch. Reath is unusable while Ayton is active, but a useful play for almost any lineup when Ayton is out. 

Jaden McDaniels (22% rostered) and Kyle Anderson (26% rostered), Timberwolves

Following Towns' injury, most of the Fantasy attention is going to Reid – and fairly so. But these two forwards are also big winners. Though McDaniels already plays a lot of minutes, that's likely to tick up even more now, and he's likely to see a usage jump with Towns out. Anderson has more upward mobility in his minutes, and it was Anderson who got the start Thursday over Reid. McDaniels is better at real basketball than Fantasy, and Anderson is clearly past his prime. That said, both players should be able to provide some help, especially for managers who can handle their low points totals. McDaniels is best for managers who need defense and efficient shooting, while Anderson can provide excellent out-of-position assists. 

Miles McBride, Knicks (19% rostered)

Jalen Brunson (knee) appears to have avoided disaster, despite what looked like a potentially devastating injury Sunday. It's possible he will play as soon as Friday, a few hours after this is published. That said, McBride warrants mention for two reasons. First, McBride is playing a shocking 46.5 minutes in the two games without Brunson; he's an obvious Fantasy start if Brunson doesn't return right away. Second, I want to remind managers that they should not necessarily be in a rush to drop McBride even once Brunson returns. I'm obviously not a doctor, and I have no inside info on Brunson's knee. But that injury Sunday looked like it was going to be a season-ender. If he rushes back from that, I'm going to be concerned about a re-injury for a while. We see this happen all the time – including in the infamous examples of Tyrese Haliburton and Joel Embiid earlier this season – where a star comes back too quickly, plays only a few games (or less), and goes right back to the sidelines. If your league settings allow you to painlessly carry a non-contributor, then I'd hold McBride. 

Matisse Thybulle, Trail Blazers (8% rostered) and other specialists

There are just five weeks left in the Fantasy season. If you are in a roto league, it's time to start aggressively targeting whatever categories will help you the most. Take 10 minutes, go category by category through the standings, and figure out where you can catch and pass multiple teams, and where you cannot (or where you are at risk of being passed, etc.). Once you've finished that exercise, then 'tis the season for specialists.' If steals are the biggest lever that you can push, then add Thybulle and start him every night. The fact that he's nowhere near a top-200 Fantasy player is no longer relevant. You just determined that a big jump in steals is your best chance to win your league, so go get steals!

I'm focusing on Thybulle here, but he's just a useful avatar for the type of player I'm talking about. If what you need is 3s, then Tim Hardaway Jr. (64% rostered) or Duncan Robinson (49% rostered) should be your targets (and those two have the advantage of being borderline rosterable even if you don't need a specialist). If you need blocks, you need Payton Watson (5% rostered). If you need assists, hopefully Micic is available, but if not, then grab T.J. McConnell. At this point in the roto season, these players' strengths matter much more than their weaknesses. 

Other recommendations: Gary Trent Jr., Raptors (38% rostered); Tim Hardaway Jr., Mavericks (64% rostered); Duncan Robinson, Heat (49% rostered); Santi Aldama, Grizzlies (43% rostered); Isaiah Stewart, Pistons, 52% rostered); Isaac Okoro, Cavaliers (21% rostered); Norman Powell, Clippers (32% rostered); T.J. McConnell, Pacers (28% rostered); Luke Kennard, Grizzlies (24% rostered); Jordan Goodwin, Grizzlies (9% rostered); Toumani Camara, Trail Blazers (9% rostered); Royce O'Neale, Suns (41% rostered); Jake LaRavia, Grizzlies (7% rostered)