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This one’s for the douchebags, as Kanye might say after playing the theme to ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ for a seemingly endless amount of time. Sometimes fantasy basketball can’t be all pigtails and pillowfights. Sometimes to win your league you gotta get a little dirty. And yeah, inviting yourself over to your leaguemate’s house, asking if you can use his computer to check e-mail and then offer yourself a lopsided trade with his team because you know he never logs out of his fantasy homepage is the classic dirty fantasy tactic, but it’s also cheating. The only thing worse than cheating at fake sports is lip-syncing bad songs. Seriously Milli-Vanilli, your songs were as bad as your porkpie hats. You couldn’t have found Prince’s collaborators and slipped them a few bucks to fake you a few timeless classics? At least when Britney Spears lip-syncs poorly, she’s doing it to songs so catchy I have to slam a medium sized rock into my head to forget. No, let’s stay within the bounds of fairness.

Sometimes owners have two or three free agent pickups that they just can’t decide on. Toney Douglas or Eric Bledsoe? Reggie Evans or Hakim Warrick? Kyle Lowry or Jonny Flynn? In competitive leagues, where the waiver wire is constantly being tapped, sometimes all you need is a few extra days to solidify your decision. I mean, we’re into the meat of the season now and you can’t afford to waste your time on Nazr Mohammad for five games if Saturday’s performance was a fluke, right? Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your wins-low. Amiright Yeezy? Unfortunately, in competitive leagues, a few extra days is exactly what you won’t get. This is where the Waiver Block Maneuver comes in handy. Can’t decide between Amir Johnson and Brandan Wright? Pick up Wright, then immediately drop him in favor of Johnson. In many leagues, rostering a player from a free agent pool, then dropping him back into it automatically triggers a 2-3 day waiver wire period where other teams would have to burn their waiver priority to grab that player if they want him. You’d be surprised how many owners will skip a player who will cost them their high waiver priority. You never know if tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day, a really great no-brainer of a waiver pick-up might be available. And if it’s not a case of wanting to maintain a high waiver priority, it’s a case of instant gratification. Owners don’t want to wait three days to pick up a player, they want him now. Tonight. Before he plays tomorrow against the Knicks, for Christsake!

Essentially, this is the same rule I apply to calling a girl back for a second date. By forcing them to wait three days, they forget all about how they felt earlier in the week and either agree to date me again or decide that Wright isn’t worth it (depending on which side of the analogy you decided to focus). Again, the Waiver Block Manuever is kind of a dick move. But if it buys you a few days (and if you’re really meticulous, you can keep this going for weeks) to decide which waiver pick-ups are worth it, then do it. And then have a toast for the scumbags, everyone of ‘em that I know.

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  1. Speaking of working the waiver wire, I need to make a move. I want to add a PF, and I was waivering (oh ho!) between Villanueva and Amir Johnson. Would you grab either one of those guys in place of Louis Williams? LW has been performing poorly recently, and he’s also not a name brand, so I feel comfortable dropping him, but I want to make sure there’s something I’m not registering. For example, David Lee is doing poor-Lee, but I don’t want to drop him for obvious reasons. Same thing with Igloo-dala, who has been colder than Eskimo genitalia.

  2. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @ChrisV82: RE: ‘Waivering’ +1 Pun point.

    I’d go ahead and grab Villanueva. He’s getting the most minutes and doing the most with those minutes. Screwy Louis tends to lose concentration, which results in reduced playing time and general disdain from his last few coaches. I tend to think that’s again what’s happening in Philly. He’s played 26+ minutes only once in the last seven games and his shot looks like it should be taken to a nice farm upstate somewhere.

  3. Scott says:
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    Hey Adam,

    A guy in my league is really trying to unload Kobe and I need points. Should I continue to expect 25/6/5 from him or do you stick with your pre-draft recommendation of stay away?

    Thanks.

    He declined the “best offer I received” so far which was Brandon Roy for Kobe.

    My roster is:

    Lowry
    Captain Jack
    Udrih
    Deron
    W. Chandler
    Josh Smith
    K Love
    Troy Murphy
    R Jeff
    Lamar Odom
    Batum

  4. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Scott: Has he made you an offer yet? I ask because I don’t know what it means for someone to really try to unload a player that they are not shopping to other people.

    If he’s refused Roy, then you won’t likely get Bryant off him for anything less than Deron, Josh, or maybe Love+a second name like Odom or Murphy. I wouldn’t recommend any of those deals.

    Why not low-ball him and ask him what he’s looking for from your roster. If he’s trying to unload Bryant, he’s going to have to do some work, yes?

    It sounds like he wants a stud for a stud, but I wouldn’t give up any of your studs for Bryant.

  5. papafrog says:
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    I have been sitting with James Harden on my reserves in a 14 team competitive league and have been on the verge of cutting bait but he finally got some burn last night. What kind of minutes/numbers do you see for young James the rest of the way? I was hoping for something like 25 mpg, 12 ppg, 3 apg, 2-3 rpg, 100 3s, 100 steals, 80+ FT but he hasn’t gotten much love from that madman, former assist machine, Scott Brooks.

  6. Adam says:
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    Adam,

    You’re the man. You’re my secret weapon in fighting my friends in our fantasy basketball league. I am clearly the biggest underdog in this league, but with your genius I humbled the big dog last week 7-1.

    One of the guys is dying to ditch Bosh and so I’m thinking of making a 2 for 1 trade and taking advantage of his emotion.

    Roster:
    Scola
    Duncan
    Lebron
    Curry
    Grant Hill
    Charlie Vill
    Bledsoe
    Rush
    Dan Gibson
    McGee
    Hinrich
    Weems

    He expressed interest in Scola. I’m trying to maybe get either Bosh and Ray Allen for Scola or Bosh and Vince for Scola ORR Bosh and Vince for Duncan.

    What do you suggest??

  7. Mike says:
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    @Adam

    Some trade advice if you’d be so kind:

    Deep H2H league, I have points and 3s to spare, need assists and steals.

    I’ve been offered Rondo, Jamison, Casspi for Jennings, Boobie Gibson and Beasley.

    Am I overthinking this? I take it and run, correct?

  8. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: Oops, sorry, Adam, I forgot to address my question directly to you. I have been sitting with James Harden on my reserves in a 14 team competitive league and have been on the verge of cutting bait but he finally got some burn last night. What kind of minutes/numbers do you see for young James the rest of the way? I was hoping for something like 25-27 mpg, 12 ppg, 3 apg, 2-3 rpg, 100 3s, 100 steals, 80+ FT but he hasn’t gotten much love from that madman, former assist machine, Scott Brooks.

  9. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @papafrog: The problem with Harden is that he’s just not a big part of the offense when he’s on the floor, so he really will have to keep getting 32+ mpg to reach the numbers your hoping for. Barring an injury or Brooks developing a deep hatred for Sefolosha, I don’t see Harden passing 26 mpg/10 pts/3 rbd/2 apg/1.5 stl/1 3pt and that’s more of an optimistic view.

  10. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Adam: Oh, nice! Isn’t that a great feeling to David the hell out of Goliath. That, and Screwdrivers on Sundays, totally make my week.

    If you can parlay Luis Scola into Ray Allen and Chris Bosh, you shouldn’t hesitate. It’s not as if Bosh’s struggles are a secret to the Miami brass. And it’s been well-documented that I don’t think Bosh will be who he was last season, he’ll be better than he is now in a few months time.

    I don’t like Carter this season, and I’d hate to see you get stuck with him.

    @Mike: Yeah, you should probably accept it. Really, it comes down to whether you a) think Beasley will continue scoring the way he has 10 games into the season and b) if you DO think he will, are the five extra assists and one extra steal worth the 22-ish points you’ll lose each time this trio plays.

  11. Ryan says:
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    Adam how would you rank these five this year? Paul millsap, zach Randolph, andray blatce, luol deng, David lee. Who has the biggest up and down sides?

  12. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Ryan: Millsap first, then Deng, Lee, Randolph, Blatche. I tend to think Deng has the most upside, but I think Lee will improve the most between his performance so far and his end-of-the-year stats.

  13. Scott says:
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    @Adam: He had a very lopsided trade set up with his wife vetoed by the league and he posted that he wouldn’t accept the best offer he received so far (Roy) so he was just going to accept the other worse one that got vetoed. I agree that I don’t want to do those trades you mentioned. Any points heavy players you would target? Clearly, I have rebounds to offer.

    Thanks.

  14. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Scott: Intra-marital trading seems like cheating to me.

    It’s hard to speculate which points-heavy players you would have a shot at, but I’m warming up to the idea that Kevin Martin might not miss half a season this year. You might still be able to get Luol Deng cheaply. I think he’ll average 20+ ppg even after Boozer returns. Maybe try Jason Richardson after people forget he scored35 last night. People seem to really to not want to give him any respect.

  15. Scott says:
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    l@Adam: Cool, thanks.

  16. jacoby says:
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    This is exactly why I only play in leagues with weekly pickups.

  17. Cory says:
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    Sneaking onto your friend’s computer to make a trade sounds more like something from The League than Family Matters, but a good idea is a good idea.

  18. papafrog says:
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    @Adam: Thanks on the Harden foresight, Adam. I will keep my eye on the waiver wire and cut bait with him in the next few weeks barring some fortuitous turn of events on his part. I already have one guy with an ugly beard in Baron anyway, hehe.

  19. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @jacoby: Ha.

    @Cory: Whoa! A reference to ‘The League.’ Did that show ever make it to a second season?

    @papafrog: If you feel that way, I assume you don’t have Ben Wallace on your team.

  20. Peter says:
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    @Adam: Yup, season 2 is rolling. Oddly enough, the missus is a fan. “it’s so much like your baseball league!” she says. “Yes, except we’re simultaneously less conniving and more pathetic.”

    Jeff Green is out (again) tonight. Apparently he messed his shiz up this weekend. I’m new to fantasy basketball, so a heads-up when he becomes droppable in a 10 team league would be hugely appreciated. I hate wasted roster space. Yet I tolerate a messy desk.

  21. Cory says:
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    @Adam,

    The League did make it to Season 2, and is on Hulu.

  22. Adam –

    IF given 30-32 minutes of run per night, how do you project these 2 guys:

    George Hill (assume Tony Parker healthy)
    Wesley Matthews (assume Brandon Roy continues playing hurt)

    Thx

  23. Jeremy says:
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    Speaking of the waiver, Bynum is currently available in my league. I’d love to snag him up and let him chill on IR till he starts doing something, but I already have A Brooks out for another 4 weeks or whatever on my IR. Should I swap brooks for bynum. At the guard position i currently have DWill (playin fantastic as usual) and Jameer nelson who’s actually looking fairly decent, as well as d-fish who is only a weekly pick up. Down low I have blowpez who continues to defer to Humphries for boards and gets into foul trouble and is just a general piece of tissue paper, Ibaka who had a performance of a lifetime tonight vs the jazz which i don’t really expect him to continue although i’m hoping but he is a consistent surce of blocks, Nene who also doesn’t like to rebound, amir johnson and tyson chandler. if only i could have two guys on IR

  24. Jeremy says:
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    oh Big Baby too. I suppose I could just swap bynum for his spot and have be useless on my bench til he returns, which from the last i heard will be thanksgiving. I don’t know I feel like I can’t just let him sit on the waiver! So to clarify the options are a) Drop Aaron Brooks and get Bynum on my IR, b) simple add/drop with Bynum and Glen Davis, or c) sit and hope no one notices he’s there. I think I’m leaning towards b even though big baby is one of my lone sunday guys this week

  25. Quintero says:
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    My personal-favorite dirty move in Y! is alternating “Trading Block” to cover up recent dropped player.

    But this only apply when you play in an ultra-competitive league where all managers memorize each team’s roster.

  26. Adam

    Adam says:
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    @Peter, @Cory: Ha. I caught a few episodes, then lost interest. Hang onto Green. His injury isn’t a long-term kind of deal.

    @El Burro: Given your parameters, I’d prefer Hill. He’s shooting poorly so far, but he won’t stay at .360 all season, which is the biggest difference between him and Matthews. I’d say Hill averages 12/3/4/1.5/0.5 in 32 mpg whereas Matthews would be closer to 14/4/2/1/0.

    @Jeremy: Yeah, I’d go with B. Anything that lets you keep Brooks. Your forwards are better than your guards and I trust Brooks to retain heavy minutes when he returns. Bynum may be a 20-minute player at best.

    @Quintero: Oooo, sneaky. It’s not nice, but sometimes you gotta scuff up your sneakers.

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