Player Page Matches

There were several quality match-ups coming into the week including 1v6, 4v5, and 7v9.  It could have been the kind of week that destroys dreams, crushes hopes, spoils milk.  Maybe not the last 1 so much, and really not the other 2 either since all 3 match-ups finished close.  After 9 weeks we finally have a couple of tiers of teams starting to develop.  There’s the top 4, the playoff teams, who have started to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the field.  Then there’s the top 9, the playoff contenders.  All 5 teams are capable of making the playoffs but each has an issue or two they need to solve first.  Finally there’s everyone else.  There might be one or two teams capable of making some noise but they are falling behind and need to make a simple decision.

To play for now or not, that is the question
Whether ’tis Nobler to hold your aging vets
The 3s and Assists of outrageous Fortune
Or to trade Arms against a Team of troubles



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4 weeks in = we’re roughly 20% through the fantasy regular season!  Crazy that we’re about that far already…  Where has the time gone?!  While 4 weeks does start giving you a sample of how your teams are doing, it’s also good to keep in mind your schedule.  I always play the top teams early in the REL, then get the rebuilding teams in the second half.  So before you start selling everything, be sure and check to standings and maybe the schedule just hasn’t been forever in your favor.  Here’s how week 4 went down in the REL:

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After a wild week of NBA action featuring a few injuries to some of fantasy’s top performers, owners are quickly trying to adjust to their league’s new equilibrium. As a Kevin Durant owner, I can personally attest to the struggle of making up for lost production while trying to stay competitive in a weekly matchup.

Despite all the planning, research, and strategy an owner can put into his team, fantasy ultimately comes down to luck, and the injury bug seemed to be biting in full force last week.

While some teams succumbed to rotten luck in week 3, the strongest teams managed to persevere to claim the top spots in the standings.

Check out how your teams stacked up in week 3 of the 2015-16 RCL Master Standings Table table, and here’s how the action went down in the third regular season week across our 22 RCL Leagues:

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It just took prime time to rejuvenate Derrick Rose!  After an utterly atrocious outing against the Hornets on Tuesday – and three straight games of single-digit scoring – it certainly looked like the injuries had maybe made Rose a below-average PG…  I just edited out about 3 flower puns from this open, NO ONE IS READING FOR BOTANY OR WHATEVER THE WORD IS FOR FLOWER-STUFF!  Is it horticulture?  SHUT UP ABOUT IT ALREADY!  That’s me yelling at myself.  And also venting some anger, because I wanted him to be poopy for one more week as I face him in REL, so of course he would have by far his best game of the season last night.  Rose looked pretty spry out there, shooting 12-25 for a nice popcorn 29/5/7 stat line.  But as always, his lines have thorny stems supporting the bloom (AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!), as he didn’t notch a trey or steal.  He’s got no treys and only two swipes though 6 games now.  Even Jarrett Jack is like, “is this really an NBA PG?!”  At the very least, Rose is keeping the TO in check and he looked pretty healthy last night.  I think he’s still hovering in that 80-100 range that he fell in ADP, but if anyone would buy last night’s game as he’s back to vintage Rose, you’re obviously selling.  I actually saw him dropped in an RCL, and I’m pending my waiver claim.  Of course I won’t get him at my #6 spot, and of course I could use PG depth.  I’ve luckily avoided Rose the past half-decade, but now my frustration with him is reaching Nate Robinson levels.  Waived like three days after being the opening night starter?!  Or maybe it’s a Pelicans issue, THE WORST RUN NBA FRANCHISE!  Aight, aight, I’ve taken my diazepam, I’m ready to mellow.  Thankfully NO didn’t play last night, or else I mighta needed to double my dosage…  Here’s what else went down yesterday in fantasy hoops action:

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Week 1 is in the books!  It’s great to be officially into the grind of the season, emphasis on grind after I had to completely remake the back end of my roster.  I’m hoping it’s more like True Grit than Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Damn you Tim Burton!  You will forever be dead to me for ruining a childhood favorite.  He’s the movie director equivalent of Nate Robinson.

If you’re new to Razzball, we take weekly look-ins every Monday into the REL Dynasty League (link below) to track the deepest of deep wires.  It’s a weekly FAAB with all pickups becoming $1 keepers, and a great way to track the wires in your deeper leagues.  I hope everyone had a great first week of action in their leagues this season, and may your deep dynasties prosper!


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Yikes.  After an injury-plagued 14-15 season where virtually every starter missed a good chunk of time, the injury bug hath reared it’s ugly head yet again for the Pelicans.  I need comfort!  Time to shame eat 50 beignets!

After Jrue Holiday‘s slow recovery from another stress reaction in his leg, the Pelicans plan to limit him to 15 minutes a game until January and sit him on back-to-backs.  Then Norris Cole suffered a high-ankle sprain a little over a week ago, and given an “up to 6 weeks” timetable.  And right when the Tyreke Evans buzz couldn’t get louder, we get hit with news on The Blindside (starring Sandra Bullock) that he had arthroscopic knee surgery and will be out 6-8 weeks.  The Pelicans need a new conditioning staff!  Hopefully this gets all the injuries out of the team’s system and we see 82 games of Brow…  Anyway, the Pelicans signed Nate Robinson late last week, and all the sudden he’s looking at starting minutes to open the season – starting when Jrue sits and playing a ton off the bench after Jrue’s 15 allotted minutes.  Lord help me, but I actually drafted him in the JB vs. Slim RCL last night…  All he needs to do is put it within 15 feet of Brow and he could fall into 5 assists with the upside for a few 3s and some points with low TO (18 Pts last night, but 0 AST and 4 TO – had 9 dimes previous 2 games with only 3 TO, TO isn’t usually an issue).  It’s like Jose Calderon, but with a few more minutes.  Ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little with that comp though…  Here’s what else has gone down over the past few days in preseason action:

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rcl-basketball-logoThe regular season approaches — fewer than three weeks before our lives finally have meaning again! My RCL had a draft last weekend, and I wanted to share the results with all of you wonderful readers as a fascinating case study and (perhaps) cautionary tale! This was an excellent draft– I think all managers were drafting live, making some ballsy and brilliant picks. I’ve included a grade and a few words on each of their teams after my pick-by-pick blow-by-blow. Off we go!

[editor’s note – we still have leagues open to join the RCL fun, plus we need more leagues!  Hop over to the RCL sign-ups and start a league today!]

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I pounded the coffee, we live-podcasted the draft, and my hopes at the 15-16 REL title now dance in my dreams like sugarplums and Ricky Rubio’s face!  My favorite basketball league, I brought my limited chips to the table then went all-in on a rookie I have to stash…  Wahhhhh!  Hopefully other teams like their backend roster more than I do, and with an added IL spot this year, we have some early FAAB money getting spent on the wire.  Here’s how the draft and first round of FAAB went down in the REL:


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Auction drafts are chess, snake drafts are checkers!  Pretty sure Denzel in Training Day agrees!

Nothing beats a good auction draft.  Yes, they can be long, hard, and full of Kaman, but they also ensure you can get players you like as long as you’re willing to pony up the dough.  Luckily this year has more parity across the first round, and you can spread your bets accordingly.  Pre-Kevin Durant injury last year, it was back-to-back seasons of paying a ridiculous premium for the Slim Reaper since he was safe (ugh, I guess not really!) and so much better than the field.  Now there’s a case to be made for any of the big 3 as #1 overall, I’ve heard KD even enter the discussion that high, some like DeMarcus Cousins over some of the PG, some don’t like John Wall as a first-rounder, etc. etc. etc.  So while I do like the stars-and-scrubs philosophy, I don’t think I have to overpay too much unlike the past two seasons where I had KD in the high-$90s.  However, I will note there’s a steep dropoff for me outside the top-10.  And you’ll notice a bevy of guys at $1-$2.  I’ll go in hoping to get two elites, a few mids, and a lot of dollar guys where I see value.

A big luxury of auction drafts is it’s much easier to maintain a team strategy.  I don’t love punting in snakes, as guys that fit your build can be picked before you.  But in an auction, you can build more efficiently and accurately.  You can also punt positions – I would be all for getting two elite PG and having 3-4 $1-$2 high-upside bigs and hope I hit on one or two to flank some mid-range guys.

And one obligatory final note – I know I am high on Andrew Wiggins this year, so obviously if he hits $23 with only one team left bidding, don’t suddenly climb it with one bid from $23 to $39 willy-nilly!  These suggested auction values are a framework for my ranks, and the price I’d go if drafting with 11 other mes.  Ugh, horrifying, it’d be like having an auction draft in the “Malkovich, Malkovich, Malkovich!” scene!

Values are based on Yahoo standard line-ups (PG, SG, G, SF, PF, F, C, C, UTIL, UTIL, BN, BN, BN) and 12-team leagues (RCL size – and we need more leagues!  Commish one now!) with a $200 budget:

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You aren’t going to find too many elite fantasy basketball assets sitting on an NBA bench. You’re going to find them on a 50’ wide by 94’ long stretch of hardwood, running their shoes tread-bare.

Fantasy production or “numbers” – essentially the only thing you’re mining for as you prepare for your drafts – is what results from the beautiful union between talent and opportunity.

Talent with limited opportunity (think: Jonas Valanciunas) leaves you with little choice but to sit back and wonder what could have been. Conversely, all the opportunity in the world afforded to players short on talent (I’m looking at you, Courtney Lee) has you questioning why you’re tending to vines that bear no fruit.

Unfortunately, in the world of the National Basketball Association, opportunity is usually held to a finite number each night – and that number is 240. Two hundred and forty minutes is all a given team can distribute amongst its roster during a regulation game. (For our purposes here today we’ll refrain from delving into the impact of overtime/multi-overtime games adding to the pool of minutes, though it does obviously impact the calculus.)

With NBA coaches now regularly employing rotations of nine and 10 men, there are very few players (regardless of talent, youth and good health) who are asked to play more than 75% of a game. In point of fact, during the 2014/2015 NBA season a grand total of six players averaged over 36 minutes of court time. Go just one year farther back and that number jumps to 16. The 12-13 campaign? 22 such players eclipsed the 36 MPG mark and seven ran for over 38 minutes a night. And to really put things into perspective – less than a decade ago we saw nine players average 40 minutes, with the kicker being that none of them missed more than 10 games.

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