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Razznation! I can’t even begin to express how pumped I am to join the Razzball staff and help you beat all who have yet to discover this fantasy sports behemoth. With that said, allow myself to introduce… myself. I’m Mel, an avid fantasy baller, Razzball truther, and Will Ferrell enthusiast. I root for players, not for teams, which makes me your perfect fantasy resource. Yes, I do have some player biases, but the information you’ll find here will have nothing to do with Grant Hill or Michael Redd, I promise. What you’ll find here on a weekly basis is some in-depth analysis on the players who can win you a week, or win you a season. You see, the NBA decided to start a few weeks early this year, which will only make things more confusing for us all. Less preseason games, less draft prep, less games per week. Fantasy Basketball is taking a beating and will be more complicated than ever before. But not for you, extraordinary gentlemen and five lady folk that I write to today. I will have you prepared with those deep sleepers who will make your league mates wonder what the hell you are doing. How great does that sound?

Who are these deep sleepers? I’m talking about the glue-guys, the fundamentalists, and defensive specialists. The seldom-used but uber-useful fantasy assets that pass by with a silent-but-deadly flatulence from the public eye. Players like Tony Allen and Thabo Sefolosha may not get you going, but there are plenty of fantasy players out there who are turned on by their assets. We’re talking about the type of players who have the potential to get to that next level and reach the prestigious 1-1-1 plateau, but do little else. Beyond the Glory will focus in-depth on one player every week who can, not only help you win, but will be available for you, either, at an extreme buy-low price or for free off the waiver wire.

Last year, Dion Waiters was probably available for free for most of the season. You may be thinking, Dion Waiters is that high school kid who ends up eating shit at the end of Step Brothers. He’s the ultimate, cancerous, team-killing loser. A deeper look will show you a player in a great situation who ended up getting a ton of touches and contributing in as shallow as ten-team leagues. The Heat offer a ton of cheap fantasy potential. This year, Waiter’s teammate, could be that guy. The “experts” will tell you that this Heat teammate is James Johnson, a multi-cat beast last year with multi-position eligibility. I have a few questions. Is there value in a 30-year-old journeyman who has only started in 145 of the 470 plus games he’s appeared in?  Would you trust a player who has been injured for extended periods of time in four of his nine seasons in the league? The answer should be nope to both.

The teammate that I am referring to is Josh Richardson. Richardson just signed a four-year contract extension, at 24 years old, after only two years in the league. This is a guy the Heat want to develop. There were talks of him handling the ball before injury struck last year and his smooth three-point stroke will make you purr like an Arabian tigress. He’s going un-drafted in standard leagues and could be off waiver wires before the first week of the season. But Mel, give me the cold hard numbers! I need some facts!

Purrrrr!

The 6′ 6″ product out of Tennessee is long and athletic and has averaged a mere 8.4 PPG, 2.6 REB, and 2.0 AST for his career. In today’s 3-ball era, his 1.4 3PM is nothing to write home about, but let’s look a little deeper. Per 36, Richardson owns a career 11.6/3.6/3.1/1.3/0.8/1.7 line. Thats 1.3 STL, 0.8 BLK, and 1.7 3PM, ever so close to the sneakily-valuable 1-1-1 stat line to go with some pretty counting stats to boot. The Heat have three players that they trust handling the ball: Goran Dragic, Tyler Johnson, and Richardson. Johnson is extremely successful playing off the ball, and while Dion Waiters enjoys having the ball in his hands, he’s a two-guard by trade. Richardson has elite ball handling skills for a player his size. 6′ 6″ point guards don’t come around often. Think of the successful career Shaun Livingston has carved out for himself following the injury that shall not be mentioned. Now, think of Livingston with a 3 point shot, a potential starting job, and a long leash called a four-year contract and the Miami youth movement. When Pat Riley sat down over the weekend and discussed the point guard position, he dropped Richardson’s name in the conversation. All of this only assures that he has all the ingredients in place to make a big splash this season.

Yes please!

My Prediction: 14.0/4.0/4.5/1.3/0.8/1.8

  1. Nathan says:
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    Nice write up Mel, it’ll be nice to hear your thoughts through out the year.. I’ve found razzball has always been the best of the expert sites…

    I’m starting a 10 team 9 cat h2h keeper auction league and I’d like your opinion.. what would you say are the best settings for this format?
    Number of keepers, enough to give bad teams a chance but reward the good teams too?
    Penalty for keeping a player? Specific Number of dollars or specific percentage ?
    Roster size?

    Thank you for your opinion

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @Nathan:

      Nathan,

      If I was starting up a keeper league like this, I’d probably go with 3 Keepers per team that could only be kept for a max of 3 years. Keeper price would add $5 the first year, $10 from the first year price to year 2 and $15/20 from year 2 price to year 3, before being placed back in the player pool. Something along those lines should allow for parity within the league in terms of keepers and add trade value to players on your bench as you make a run to the ship and other teams play for next year.

      In this format I feel like 10 starters and 6 or 7 bench slots would be plenty.

      Good luck out there!

    • The KAT's Meow says:
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      @Nathan: Personally, I like 15 player rosters with 1 IL spot. I like the 9 categories. We do a dynasty type format in which we get $300. We get to keep 8 players from one year to the next.

      Year 1: Have an auction. Cannot keep players who are not bought. Players have a one year contract. (Otto Porter for $2)
      Year 2: Resign up to 8 players for previous years auction price for one year. (Otto Porter for $2)
      Year 3: Decide how many you want to keep up to 8 players. Sign them to a long term extension if you’d like, but they then cost original auction price plus $5 for each year you want to sign him for. (Otto Porter for 4 more years: $2+$5+$5+$5+$5=$22/year for the next four years).

      We also have a rule for players like Larry Sanders who retire during a long term contract and for expansion when the time comes. If you want more info on that let me know.

  2. E says:
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    Mel – good to have you on board, I believe these type of players are the subtle, yet key, moves you need to make on a weekly basis that helps you steal an extra category or two, (see what I did there)?

    Looking forward to reading more of these posts.

    Good luck!

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @E:

      Love it and completely agree!

      I think some of these players will for sure help you win a week if their schedule makes them worth the start, but (I hope) all of the players I cover have a chance to be mainstays in your lineup for a very cheap price.

      A lot more to come!

  3. Drez1 says:
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    Nice write-up, man. How do you rank J-Rich vs Taurean Prince and RHJ? I’m trying to decide between the 3 for the last roster spot in one of my leagues. Thanks!

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @Drez1:

      I happen to love Prince as well (he may or may not be next week’s post).

      People who weren’t paying attention missed a real gem at the end of the season.

      I think it’s a matter of preference and you can’t go wrong with any of the three as a flier.

      My ranking would be Richardson, Prince, RHJ

  4. dan-o1 says:
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    good read. look forward to more.

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @dan-o1:

      Thanks!

  5. Renz says:
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    Good read, Mel! Looking forward to more of this.

    What is your thought if dealing Dipo (my team) for Jrue? I’m in dire need of assist and this is what I can get since we’re on h2h 9 cat 16 team league. Below is the list of my draft

    Rd1 12 Jokic
    Rd2 21 Turner
    Rd3 44 Klay Thompson
    Rd4 53 Oladipo
    Rd5 76 Avery Bradley
    Rd6 85 Aaron Gordon
    Rd7 108 Lin
    Rd8 117 Taurean Prince
    Rd9 140 Jamal Murray
    Rd10 149 Dedmon
    Rd11 172 Crabbe
    Rd12 181 Josh Richardson
    Rd13 204 PJ Tucker –> *waiver* Seth Curry

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @Renz:

      In a 16 team league assists are probably hard to come by. I happen to like Jrue over Dipo so I would do it.

      P.S. I love you late round picks, well done.

      • Renz says:
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        @Mel:

        Yea, actually one of the teams was left auto-draft and it so happened that the picks were mostly guards like SC30, IT4, Conley, and Teague so majority of us lacks assists.

        Alright, I will consider it now since I think I already have tons of sources in pts. 3pts, reb and stl. I initially offered Avery but he’s leaning towards Dipo.

        Thanks! I was able to grab them due to the amazing guide of Son lol.

      • Renz Raymudo says:
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        @Mel:

        Hi Mel,

        My apologies but I have come up with another trade, and this is for Klay+Dipo for Green+Horford. The reason why I like this better than Dipo-Jrue is the Reb/Assists/Steals/Blocks that I will be able to get. Since I have tons of source in 3pts/pts, I think it would not hurt me that much losing them for other aspect of cat. What’s your view on this?

        Thanks!

        • Mel

          Mel says:
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          @Renz Raymudo:

          If we’re talking Dray Green I think it’s a no-brainer. His across the board production is hard to find, and while you take a dip in points here, your team is a prime candidate to punt that cat anyways. This will just add fuel to that fire and could be a winning strategy with your roster construction.

          • Renz says:
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            @Mel:

            That is what I thought as well regarding Draydray. I’m a fan of his hustle and how he plays except the kicking part lol. Thank you, Mel!

          • Renz says:
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            @Mel:

            Hi Mel! Something came up and the other guy changes his mind, so what do you think of his offer?

            Klay-Dipo-A.Gordon for his Dray-A.Horf+DSJ

            • Mel

              Mel says:
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              @Renz:

              Still think it’s a preseason yes for me.

              Get the best player IMO, not a big Dipo guy. Gordon is supposed to “Breakout” every year and doesn’t. You get 2 multi cat monsters and the potential ROY with the keys to the Mavs. I’m in.

              • Renz says:
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                @Mel:

                Aight. Appreciate your inputs! Thanks mate!

              • Renz says:
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                @Mel:

                Sorry for flooding but there has been a lot of trade offers here at work haha! What’s your side on M.Tuner + Bradley for PG13 + Ingram?

                • Mel

                  Mel says:
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                  @Renz:

                  This goes a little bit against your strategy. If you got Dray and are punting points, I don’t think this is beneficial. If you’re looking to add some points then it would be worth it. I happen to like Ingram a lot this year, but not more than Bradley, and I think with your team structure, I like Turner over PG.

                  • Renz says:
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                    @Mel:

                    Thanks Mel! Maybe, I’ll just stick with this line-up for now and see how the season goes. Cheers mate and I’ll look forward for more entries!

  6. Lasandro says:
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    Oh I love this read. And your bold prediction – that line would have him ranked quite high in 9 cat rotos, like mine. One minor comment: I’d argue that my crush James Johnson should be included on that list of ball handlers in MIA. He absolutely initiated much of their offense during crunch time. He’s amazing.

    • Mel

      Mel says:
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      @Lasandro:

      Thanks!

      No hard knock on Johnson. I do think that with the East being so weak, Johnson will provide the needed veteran leadership and counting stats to make him a play in Miami, I just think he’ll be starting at the 4 and the backcourt is going to be a nice youth movement. Richardson will be a big part of that.

  7. Court Vision says:
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    Great column Mel. The new one about Prince as well. I look forward to benefiting from your insight through the season!

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