I hope all of you enjoyed your fair share of Turkey and fixings this past Thanksgiving! The shortened week always messes me up. Or is it the L-Tryptophan? For this of you who don’t know, or have never seen that Seinfeld episode, Tryptophan is an amino acid released in proteins (especially present in Turkey), that will induce lethargy and/or sleep. After this weekend, perhaps we should take a look at which Fantasy Basketball players overindulged this week, and who has been flying right:

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The Bird is the word this week, gentle reader. I know that Thanksgiving themes are played out, but if you’ve ever read any of my previous articles, you will know that I can’t resist the low hanging fruit. My vertical won’t really allow for anything but the lower branches anyhow. So what are you thankful for good reader? Jrue HolidayKristaps Porzingus? Donald J Trump? Whatever it is that makes you thankful, we all remind ourselves that in fantasy there is a yin and then there is a yang. (Stat)Stuffers, and Turkeys, as the title suggests. So loosen your belt, Fantasy GM, pass the gravy, and let’s take a hearty serving of both on our plates:

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Ah, the early weeks of the fantasy season, when a young man’s or woman’s fancy turns to love. Love of the game, love of that reach you made for Gordon Hayward in the draft when others were worried about his injury. Love of how good your picks look thus far, and how bad your opponents picks look. Because everyone has a chance at this stage, right? And that’s good for the game, no? Somewhere out there, somebody is giddy that they selected JJ Barea in the later rounds. Others are pleased that they nabbed a tasty morsel, or pleased their blue chip pick is performing as advertised. The scientific term is the honeymoon phase, and fella, you are smack-dab in the middle. At this time people often complain that it’s hard to make trades, so while I will make some trade recommendations, I will also comb the waiver for you, gentle reader, to try to polish the proverbial turd for you to grab. Let take a look at what is to be had:

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Everythang we do is funky up in heaaah! I love how so many cats have been laying down the nasty funk these first few weeks in the N.B.A., and not your regular humdrum contributors! It makes for interesting fantasy trade bait, you dig? Ok, I may not be able to lay down the fresh jive in the caliber of the late great host of Soul Train, Don Cornelius for you, but I appreciate the art form of weaving sexy soul into speak. And some of the early season performances from our fantasy faithful have been nothing short of artisanal. But are these performances going to endure like Jay-Z, or be a flash in the pan like Kris Kross? Let’s take a look at a few cats that are Big Pimpin, and the wannabes who fake the funk, and come off wiggity whack: (I realize that I jump from funk to hip hop analogies, but you get the gist, leave it be, good reader, I’m on a deadline here.)

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I’ll admit it: I’m rusty. I took the off-season lightly, expected my natural talent to take me through the early season, and I’ve been huffing and puffing up and down the keyboard this week, trying to earn my contract. Can’t stay in the show too long with that attitude, you gotta earn it. “Stay hungry, young blood!”, my Nanna always used to say! That, and: “Don’t trust a fart when running a marathon”. I don’t really know why that was a go-to for her, but she stood by that pearl, so I will as well. We can see that there are some NBA ballers who had a few too many Mai-Tai’s on the beach when they too should have been in the gym, while others were hungry, working on their craft. And while it may be a touch too early to be blowing up your squad, we have been advised to not trust a fart when running a marathon, do with that what you will. So let’s take a look at some cats who might be worth a deuce:

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This is the part in your fantasy run where, if you were in Independence Day, Bill Pullman would give you that inspiring speech about not going quietly into the night, that we will fight to the last man, etc, etc. In fantasy terms, simply put, it’s The Final Countdown, which ironically as it relates to Independence Day, was performed by a band called Europe. Perhaps you are inspired by Rocky, maybe you like Rudy.  Whatever floats your boat. You are in the win or go home stage, I would gather, if you’re reading this article, and very likely not going swimmingly, if you’re looking to add a desperation piece. So clearly my advice is not really possible in the traditional sense, as trades are no longer possible in leagues. This is more of a Add/Drop waiver kinda thing; we’re trying to polish a turd, essentially. So, before I don my Randy Quaid hat and fly my jet up an alien’s exhaust pipe, let’s try to glean some usable quality off the waiver for streaming or injury replacement, shall we?

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In the immortal words of the 90’s poet turned thespian, Ice Cube, you better check yo’ self before you wreck yo’ self! He went on to inform us that shotgun bullets are bad ‘fo ‘yo health, but while accurate, doesn’t apply for our lesson here in Fantasy Basketball. How does it apply here, you may ask? I have been harping about the trade deadline for several weeks. You need to know when your trade deadline occurs, and when your playoffs begin. Keeper leagues GM’s need to sell off assets if you’re out of the playoff picture for picks. Contenders need to shore up their bench for a playoff push. According to Cube, He can do it, put yo’ ass into it. I don’t know what more motivation you need.

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A real American hero! Are you old enough to remember the wisdom doled out by various G.I. Joe soldiers, such as Skidmark, Scarlett, Airtight and Ripcord at the end of the afternoon cartoon? When you were repeatedly reminded that knowing is half the battle? I have not forgotten these pearls of wisdom from the brave warriors who stood up to resist the nefarious C.O.B.R.A., but as they applied to regular life. What would Duke tell you about your fantasy team? He would tell you not to take candy from strangers, and to be aware of your league’s trade deadline! Yo Joe!

You need to be aware of when you can last make a deal, as the waiver wire is probably less likely to bear significant players. If you still can, check out if these cats would be Joe worthy:

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The season, fantasy wise, is well past it’s mid-life crisis. It is into acceptance, and just wants to enjoy it’s grandkids a bit before hitting the old dusty. So this means that it becomes more difficult to make trades, right? Well, these old bones may creak, but they aren’t buried yet! You, fantasy GM, have to decide what it is you are looking for? Your league not really trading this season as much anymore? Try trading for next season! Two for one trades! Draft picks! Everything must go! Just remember the used car salesman’s mantra: what’s it going to take to get you into this Marcin Gortat? Er, that doesn’t exactly translate too well, but you get the drift, so come kick the tires on these cool cats:

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We are entering the 4th month of Fantasy Basketball, and if your leagues run with any similarity to mine, there should be approximately 20%-30% teams in your league that are essentially approaching being out of any playoff contention. These fellows may no longer be paying attention to their daily lineup, won’t be perusing the waiver wire as much, and won’t be as motivated to do much of anything other than blame the Basketball Gods, and any analyst that whose advice they had the misfortune to follow (ah, ahem.).  If you are in a keeper league, and have a shot this year, take a close look at their lineup, and make an offer with draft picks as incentive. If you are in a total redraft, the following means little to you, and I wish you godspeed. To those of you that have a shot at scooping some quality off the basement dwellers, let me make mention of some particularly appealing cats you should try to pry away:

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