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:

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So, I would wager that most of you have passed the trade deadline, if your league has one. And it should. Nothing sparks a conspiracy theorist like an “uneven” trade between a contender and a team out of contention 2 weeks from the playoffs. If you are in a league that still allows trades, have your hand hovering over the “bullsh*t” button when trades come across the wire.

But what do you do when you have a player that needs replacing? The waiver is your saviour! Check these cats out if you need some last minute replacing:

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I don’t know if you can’t see the double entendre I just did there in the Title. Big… get it?  As in “bigs”.  As in big guys who play the power forward and/or centre position. Pretty clever, I know. To further the mystery of my creative process, I submit that you need to secure the Power Forward and Centre position if you want to have a deep run in the playoffs. In addition, in case you had yet to arrive at this revelation, you will also need great wings and guards to complete the package. That is my Madden-ism for the week. So, to summarize: you need great bigs, wings and guards, or you won’t go far on your fantasy run.

For today, I’ll focus on the bigs only. The following dudes may be raising you up, or bringing you down. Take a gander:

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And you thought that the trade deadline was gonna be a dud. And to that, sir or madam, I give you two words: Byron Freakin’ Mullens. Bam! The Sixers have just dropped the mic on the NBA stage, a la Chris Rock.

Actually, all joking aside, Lord Byron might be worth watching in deeper leagues – if the Sixers stick with the free flowing offence they’ve been playing thus far, there’s a long shot he might actually produce. He started for the Bobcats for half a season, and wasn’t all that bad. Yeesh!, that’s a limp di*k endorsement if I’ve ever given one.

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It’s finally here: All Star Weekend! It’s a shortened week, so you get a shortened article.  Like New Years Eve, I’m getting hyped up to be let down, the most common experience in life. I’d like to say I’m optimistic for the weekend’s festivities, that the changes to the dunk competition will make the product exciting, but I’m not. Nevertheless, it’s all about expectation. Take your fantasy squad: If you’re like me, you enjoy having a player on your roster being named to the All-Star squad. From my  perspective, it increases his value, even though we all know, that it really comes down to the numbers. But I have an expectation that players who have been named an All-Star will live up to that honour.

So now might be the time to buy an All-Star, who has the best part of the season (and his production) left, or to sell high on an All-Star who is overvalued. Understand that there are no steals here. You’ll pay (or receive) for every player listed below.  That said, here are a few names to consider:

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Sometimes there’s not much you can do to affect your situation. If you’re reading this, digging this deep into the murky ether of the worldwide inter-webs for fantasy basketball advice, I’m sure you’ve had a daydream or two about being an NBA baller. We both know, however, for you and I, it wasn’t about not getting enough shots up after practice that held us out of the Association, we didn’t have the talent, pure and simple. But, if you’re petty like me, you might take some ironic comfort in knowing that even some of the Ballers in the NBA get shafted as well. Take Kyle Lowry, for example. He gets snubbed for the All Star game, then snubbed for the replacement players, THEN gets named Eastern conference player of the week, and then receives the worst call of the year, just to burst his bubble. That is a travesty of injustice, and while I’m not shedding any tears for Kyle inherently, it just goes to show that even the elite get effed with. There is a karmic balance going on, people, stop pretending there isn’t, and start paying it forward, eat your vegetables, and help old ladies across the street.

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Last time I’m gonna mention it, I’m not a masochist, but last week, I suggested that Terrance Ross should be dropped. Well, I think he may read my smelly little article, because homeboy went off for 51 with 10 treys, making me look a fool. Well, to Terrance I say: “I don’t need any help looking like a fool, thank you very much!” I think I won that joust. But in all seriousness, there’s a good lesson to be learned here: never drop slam dunk winners! Wait, whut? No, Daniel-san, the real lesson is no matter how good you are, you’re gonna make mistakes in fantasy. I had Ross, and dropped him just in time to watch him put in a performance that would have won my week. But he had scored 14 points his previous 3 games, with not a lot of supporting stats, the drop was a good move, based on his numbers up to that point. I, like any good fantasy player, have to shake it off, and not beat myself  up too much.  So on that note, if you’re still reading, you may want to know whom to buy and whom to sell, and to that I say, thank you, read on, but obviously, buyer beware!

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Waa-Wuuuuh… That is the written version of the sad trombone. This week’s title is a flop, just like Lance Stephenson‘s excuse for flopping, amirite? He essentially said that the floor was slippery, so he embellished the contact. I love you, Lance, but c’mon son! Just say you were trying to draw the charge, no shame in that, and let that be the end of it! Lance has been flopping into our fantasy hearts this year, though, so we can’t stay mad at him. We are at the halfway point in the NBA season, and like mid-winter for us northerners, if you’re not careful, you could catch a case of the fantasy basketball doldrums. It’s harder to find the waiver wire break outs, because most of them have broken out already. You could just pack it if you let the blahs take hold. But don’t brave reader, you’re better than that! Is there still some gold to be mined out there? I submit there is. But adjust your expectations accordingly. You ain’t finding a mountain full of gold, Smaug done got got his, you’ve left picking up what’s left. So what did my pick axe knock loose this week? Have a gander:

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