Did everyone survive their holiday, hmm? I know not everyone who reads the Razzball basketball articles are from the US, but seeing as the NBA is based in the continental United States (save the Raptors, from my hometown of Toronto, Canada!), we will default to the US holiday schedule. Sorry Buddists, you get screwed. Again. But until Krishna can dunk a basketball, we’re going with Thanksgiving and Christmas, as it affects the game schedule, as well as our hearts. The reason I like Thanksgiving from a fantasy perspective, is that it indicates the first quarter of the fantasy season is done – we’ve just rounded the first post. Which is relevant, why? You should know where your squad’s deficiencies are by now, and, theoretically, the guys to target to address said needs. It’s a process, fella, so don’t freak out if you’re not on top, nor feel too smug if you sit upon the throne thus far. I have been waiting in the weeds with Kevin Durant, for example, so I hope to be rising in the ranks in my Razzball league (League Awesome, for those who are uninformed). Perhaps some of these following cats can help you in your climb:

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It’s Thanksgiving around the NBA, tomorrow, in case it slipped your mind. I’m told there would be stuffing, which represents the cure for scurvy given to the Pilgrims by the locals, on Plymouth Rock, or something to that effect.

Certainly, it is a joyous occasion, but it begs the question, why is there no Thanksgiving music? There are about 5000 Christmas songs being rammed down our throats right now, like we were fois gras geese, But nary a pilgrim/first nations crossover ditty! Anyone in the music industry, you’re welcome, the idea is my gift to you, run with it. What has become the primary celebratory routine is a plying of alcohol, followed by a gorging, followed by sporting event, followed by a retail sales the likes of which are only seen on this day all year! And we here at Razzball are no different.  We have deals you can’t afford to miss out on, everything must go, go, go! Take a gander at these beauts:

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Yeesh, it’s cold outside, no way around it. Frosty, like an Ice tray (whut what?! …check last week’s article for that reference) I’m up in Toronto, where, yes, it’s a tad chilly, but if you didn’t know, it’s even colder in New York! I mean they freezing their kishkas off, and the infantile side of me couldn’t be giggling more gleefully. I’m chock full of hip hop cultural references today, so strap in, soldier! To that end, If you ever gave a moment’s thought to my avatar, Flav wasn’t chosen haphazardly. While it’s true I’m a beathead from the nineties,  me choosing the most recognizable hype man in the world was intended to be appropriate.  I am the Flava Flav to Slim and JB’s Chuck D, good people, so take the advice I give accordingly, it’s mostly hype: “Yeaaaaah Boooooyyy!” Sorry. But you can take this to the bank, the Knicks are terrible, and the Nets aren’t much better. You gots to get up fo’ dis game, nephew, like Allan and Germaine do. If haven’t seen these Fox ads from back in the day, you sleepin’ son! And speaking of sleeping, and frosty, and New York slippin’, check this out: one two, one two…

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Howdy Cool Cats, great news! Due to a combination of all my hard work and Martha from accounting going on maternity leave, I’ve been awarded an actual office, and given the primetime spot of Wednesday, up from that smelly old Friday! Ok, the office is virtual, but the slot is real. By that I’m referring to Wednesday, not Martha. The virtual office comes with more responsibility (I have to drive into the Razzball building and make sure the recycling is sorted, and restock the coffee creamers in the kitchen), but it’s nice to finally get some recognition! I asked for a parking space and a vacation package, and they told me, fine, you are now on permanent vacation. How cool is that?? I gather that means I can work when I want, we artists can be a finicky bunch, it’s prudent of them to recognize that. Well, never fear, good reader, I won’t let my success go to my head, I still have plenty of nuggets to share with the little people. I strive to be humble, and keep doing what got me to the big show. Speaking of getting to the show, here are a few guys on the way up to that corner office, and a few who are heading to the mail room:

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Ok. I’m never beating Rabbit in a freestyle battle with rhyming skills like in my title, I know.  Maybe my Dad was right, it’s time to hang up the mic for good, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, but Parents just don’t understand. My hip-hop name was MC Ice Trey. Booking the YMCA rec room on seniors discount day to perform my edgy, in-yo-face raps was a disaster, and yet it was the height of my career. Who knew the Canasta league would be filled with so much rage? Still, I like to think I spit the truth to that old white group.

So, maybe I don’t know how to flow, but I do know how to dribble and dime, amirite? That’s not true, either. I’m a 2 dribble max, pick and pop player, at best. What you CAN take to the bank is that there is fantasy fools gold glittering in them thar hills, and you gotta know when you have itI was never on the Caron Butler bus, which appears to have been a very quick bus route, so I’m not exactly revealing any nuggets here. That said, I’m still high on Jonas Valanciunas, as I said in my “bold predicitions” article, despite his minor injury currently. What I’m saying here, gentle reader, is that some players who look dope early on are the fantasy equivalent of “good from far, far from good” types (Butler), while others are starting slow, but have much more to offer you, the type you bring home to your Nonna/Bubby/Gram Grams (JV). What’s our mantra here? Buy low, sell high, chikka chikka, what?? (my written imagery of record scratches right there). So throw yo hands in the air, and wave ‘em like you just don’t care, and if you wanna learn who to buy and sell, somebody say: “Oh yeah!!” Sorry. I’ll cut that out.

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I’m back y’all! It’s gonna be a stunted article, as the season started Tuesday, and I’m writing this on Thursday evening to submit, so please, just be happy for this small sample of what’s to come. Think of it as dessert before dinner. Then more… dessert?

Ok: I have been contacted by a few of you out there , already stressing about your squad (you know who you are, don’t look around the class!) It’s been a few games. Please try to “chill”, as the kids are saying these days. Adopt your Macaulay Culkin stance in the Michael Jackson video, as a baaad mutha…

First and foremost, I council patience. Don’t tinker too much with your squad in the first 3 days, nobody has any idea what’s what in the world of fantasy, too small a slice thus far.  But since I am contractually obligated to come up with something, consider the following as guys to consider, considering what I just asked you to consider:

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Ahh, it’s good to be back. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. Except it’s the fall, not the spring. And I’m fatter, not thinner… Ok, it’s a terrible simile. Just shaking off the rust. But it appropriately illustrates what you should expect from the following cerebral voiding.

This is my bold predictions article, my writing equivalent to a Dubbya Bush “going with my gut!” moment. You want facts, stats, metrics? Keep walking, fella. This here piece is chock full of conjecture, fact-glossing best guesses, and shockingly basic deductive reasoning. Slim and JB are the fact finders, and, let’s face it, the guys whose advice you really should follow. BUT FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BOLD! And if nothing else, the following moves would certainly be considered bold. What I hope you take away from this, good reader, are reasons that I think a few players may be under valued, and therefore grabbed, or higher than they should be, and not reached for.

We’re wheeling and dealing here folks, no reasonable offer refused, so come on down to the lot, there’s a clown making balloon animals for the kids! Take a gander:

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If you’ve made it this far, you are about to head into the championship match week, or perhaps your semi finals. Wait, whut? There are a smattering of leagues only starting their playoffs now?? Madness. In March. Hmmm… that’s catchy, should try to remember that one.

I digress. You gotta get your game-face on, your heart rate up! Go to your bathroom, turn up your volume,  and listen to some inspiring music while mean-mugging in the mirror, it’s go time! As for me, I acknowledge that if you are indeed in the big dance, you probably don’t need me too much. To paraphrase Vince Vaughn in Swingers: “My baby’s all growed up!!” That said, should you may have to replace an injured cat or two, may I suggest the following:

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I imagine if you’re reading this, you have an injury or two on your fantasy roster, and you need promenade left to do-si-do your way into week 2. I don’t know where I’m going with this analogy, I’m more of an electric bugaloo type myself. But while I may not understand the allure of square dancing, I do understand all too well how an injury can derail your playoff hopes. I lost Kyrie Irving, and Jameer Nelson this week, and I will be hard pressed to make it past my opponent. There are more cats out than just those two: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Nikola Pekovic, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Jamal Crawford, and the list goes on. So what’s a fantasy owner to do? You already know the answer, and it sucks the sack: Captain Obvious reminds you that you have to look long and hard at your situation, and decide whether you can afford to hold onto your injured player, or to drop him, because he can’t help you if you don’t make it to the semis. Of the few I just listed, only Kyrie, Jamal, LaMarcus and Nikola are pretty much guaranteed to be out for the weekend at least, perhaps into the semi finals week, so take that into consideration. If you do decide to drop somebody, here’s, in my opinion, the best of the waiver:

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So, the playoffs are looming, duh. If you made it this far, looking into the first playoff week, I applaud you. I’m a nervous fantasy owner,  as I’ve never had a Cobra-Kai caliber team, one that looks to absolutely dominate in the playoffs, and gets all the chicks.

So if you’re like me, (fact: the number of Clubber Lang ass kicking teams out there are very few, so don’t get cocky), most of you you need to take a close look at your line up, and try to remove the attachment factor, when assessing your current roster’s talent. The thing that makes most fantasy managers difficult to trade with, myself included, which is over-valuing your current talent. Who is dead weight, who’s a streamer, and who is blue chip? Before you start worrying your pretty head with all that talent evaluation, it is absolutely essential that you first read Slim’s super duper article on the strategy of availability. It puts players in perspective. Not that I would suggest dropping Chris Paul or the other Blue Chippers on the Clippers, just because they play 2 games week 1 of the playoffs; but in the case of CP3, for example, you may need to focus on guard-typical stats from your streamer, as opposed to big-typical stats week 1. Make sense? Good. Here are a few cats you might be able to use off the wire:

Please, blog, may I have some more?