Uh oh…  Brandon Knight had a good game…  JB’s gonna talk about his Brandon Knight infatuation all year now!  Great…

One of my big sleeper calls last year (which was, only, kindasorta right), I again came into this season with Knight well ahead of the consensus (six spots ahead of the next highest among 25 experts – the only one in green!).  And while his knight (womp womp) was still redonkulous, there was more to like than only the stat line.  Went 22/8/13/0/1 with 2 treys and 10-10 FT. But what’s to salivate over is he led the Bucks in minutes, clearly started the game as the PG, and both Kendall Marshall and Nate Wolters didn’t get off the bench.  Jerryd Bayless was the only backup PG to get off the pine for a measly 14 minutes.  I think a big hesitation for fantasy owners was if Knight was going to play more SG like he did down the stretch last year, having his dimes eaten away like Raymond Felton at a CiCis.  Certainly looks like that won’t be the case, and when I face opposing fantasy teams, Knight is going to be my Public Enemy #1.  Here’s what else went down in our first big slate of games for the 2014-15 season:

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What a night for the Brow!

On a near-unparalleled night for my bold call for MVP yesterday and Razzball’s #1 fantasy pick, I’ve gotta say, it feels like it’s going to be a great season!  An unbelievable 26/17/2/3/9 in a near trip-dub with the blocks, and fitting he’d be 2014-15’s first rainbow line (at least 2 Pts/Reb/Ast/Stl/Blk).  In H2H leagues, if you have Brow you better win blocks this week!  Not only were those blocks more than enough, but Brow was a solid 10-22 from the field (6-9 FT), and didn’t commit a single TO.  About all you could complain about is if you play in a triple-doubles league, he just needed one more swat!  Just one!

Of the 25 experts on FantasyPros, only 5 had Brow #1 overall with yours truly one of the five, and Razzball’s Seth a second.  Now, before you go unloading your top 5 picks for Brow in a desperate trade, don’t forget this was against the Magic who looked pretty horrific.  Then again, Stephen Curry and LeBron James are going to have to do something outrageous to make the Brow non-believers feel better tomorrow…

Here’s what else went down across the league’s first three regular season games:

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It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

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[Reposting to the top with Updating Rankings as of October 22nd!

This will be the final ranks we put out before the season starts, so cross your fingers these look good when we reflect on them at the end of the year!]

Here it is, folks!  Below is our official Razzball Basketball top 200, which we’ll be updating through the preseason, listed with Yahoo position eligibility and accompanied by a small blurb for my reasonings.  Which isn’t a word?!  What if I have more than one reasoning!?

And as an extra step up from last year, Slim has included his projection for each player.  All in this one, easy to use list!  Slim and I see eye-to-eye on most things fantasy hoops, but he’ll of course have some differences of opinion.  So if you see a Slim projection that looks variant from my rank, you’ll know why!  And as always, we’re both always hitting up the comments and can [attempt to] explain our reasonings… There it is again!  I want it plural, dammit!  Here’s our one stop shop for our 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So this is why preseason wrap ups are tough.  News flutters around willy-nilly like that bag that dumbass had an obsession with in American Beauty.  And most of the news has about as much meaning…

First there’s Razzball lovebrows Anthony Davis spraining his wrist last night, and Monty Williams held him out as a precaution.  Davis wanted to come back into the game, but Monty was like, “nuh uh, girlfriend!  Shaniqua don’t live here no mo’!”  Not to be out-overreactioned, Russell Westbrook also sprained his wrist on Sunday.  Neither are serious, and this is why the wrap-ups are eye-roll fests through preseason.  A lot of worthless mud to pan through just to get a fleck of gold.  (True story – when I was like 8 or 9 years old, we did a class field trip to pan for gold and a portly kid got a tiny mote worth, the only one to get any.  Then I traded him some peanut butter-filled chocolate my mom packed me for lunch for it.  Talk about knowing your audience!)

Can you believe we’re a week away from opening tip?!  This is the last preseason wrap until next Tuesday to preview the season, and daily from there.  Can’t wait for this shizz to start!  My final re-rankings will be out tomorrow, we’ll get to meet some new writers, and two final preseason Pods (tomorrow and next Tuesday) before we get some real games to talk about on air.  Here’s what else has gone on in the world of preseason NBA action:

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Slim and I dressed up in suits and bow ties, Slim gelled his beard, I flossed for the first time since 2011, and we went in and crashed the Yahoo Friends & Family League!  What fantasy basketball draft isn’t improved with an early Latrell Spreewell joke in the draft chat?

So with the updated Yahoo player ranks eerily mimicking a lot of our sleeper calls, Slim and I had to really pull A Beautiful Mind to get our draft strategy in order.  On top of drafting with some experts, league settings were a major factor in our strategy.  The league is a 12 team H2H, but instead of RCL/default week 21-23 playoff schedule, the Y! F&F is weeks 22-24.  Right away, all Cavaliers were absolutely off-limits.  Looking at Slim’s ridiculously awesome breakdown of playoff schedules, the Cavs have 3 games week 22, 2 in week 23, then week 24 is the final 10 days of the season.  I’m not even going to look at their schedule, since there’s a good chance the Cavs rest their starters for several games in that final 10 days.  The experts knew this too, as Kevin Love fell to 15th overall, with us passing on him with pick 14.

The other main settings differences were roster composition and the league is weekly with only 2 moves allowed a week.  The roster breakdown is PG, SG, SF, PF, C, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, BN, BN, BN.  Slim and I unanimously agreed to go PG and C heavy, filling out SG/SF with ThrAGNOFs.  Limited moves also made us want to hoard PG since fewer will break out off the wire.  Here’s how team Razzball (will be co-managed by both of us) panned out:

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Well, there’s certainly been no lack of news this past week!  No fantasy sport is safe from injuries, even in the preseason!  Well, maybe fantasy fishing (yes, I’ve played it!).

As reported everywhere, even on tweens.com (I hope that’s not a real site and/or not an illegal site!  Not gonna find out in my web history!), Kevin Durant has a broken bone in his foot, and the initial timetable in 6-8 weeks.  But of course given it’s KD, and we’re nearing the home stretch of the fantasy drafting window, there’s all sorts of shrouds of uncertainty.  First there’s surgery vs. non-surgery, which I’m guessing the latter involves rum and Jobu, but I’m no voodoo.  Despite my limited knowledge on Jones fractures, I am hoping he opts for the surgery.  If he doesn’t get it, it seems like Durant is playing with fire.  We saw the Thunder bring back Westbrook earlier than expected last year with his knee issues, then he suffered re-injury (of course, causation is merely speculative).  Which leads to point number two – either way you look at it surgery vs. non-surgery, Jones fractures are all sorts of tricky.  Lingering issues, re-injuring it, it’s all up in the air. My perspective is Durantula has been healthy for virtually his whole career, spanning 7 seasons.  So I’m optimistic he can be a fast healer, and splitting the difference of 6-8 weeks to 7 weeks out.  Given when news broke, that’s missing just over a month of the regular season.

In my re-ranks I published yesterday, I only moved KD down to 2 with Anthony Davis up to #1 (side note – found this article with NBA MVP odds, how can I hop in on this?!  Brow 25/1?!  I’ll throw $10 on him to win $250!).  In H2H, if you’re a confident manager, you can stream and bear a .500 record for a month.  Then you have KD for the playoffs!  I think if you try to sell right now in a panic if you’ve already drafted, or let him fall too far in your draft, you’ll be kicking yourself in the postseason.  All that said, in Roto, I’m probably letting him fall until at least the middle of the first round.  Having by far the best per-game player for the fantasy playoffs weeks obviously doesn’t matter.  Hopefully by early next week there’s a little more clarity on Durant, and I’ll have one final rankings revision next Wednesday.  Here’s what else has gone down in fantasy hoops since the last wrap-up (which will be daily during the season!):

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Several have asked.  The path; fraught with peril.  The excruciating man hours; soul breaking.  But we got it together!  And well, I didn’t do that much work to be honest…  Everyone that uses the Official Razzball Top 200 on draft day with these sortable stats by Slim’s projections, be sure to thank Curtis and Rudy!  And Slim did the heavy lifting using his maths!  Curtis helped put together the stats, then Rudy with his wizardry made this look spiffy and easily sortable.  We’re such a community!  Need some steals late?  BOOM!  Mario Chalmers and Corey Brewer are still on the board.  If you have any questions let us know, and be sure if this helped you at all, thank Curtis and Rudy in the comments, and of course Slim for his hard work using his abacus!

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Preseason is here!  Preseason is here!  I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.

But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery.  He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically.  You can drop him off your fantasy teams now!  He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else.  I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.

I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues.  Pretty empty scoring.  Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact.  Now back to preseason!  Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks.  Here’s what’s gone on across the league:

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Buy low!  Sell high!  Somehow make millions off frozen orange juice futures by short selling them that still sorta confuses me!

Yessir, auction values are here!  And just like how I talked about approaching auctions last year, get your wallets wide open for KD (also look at my blurb for the final $1 pick… Haha – still my thoughts exactly!).  First off – unless you are fortunate enough to have Kevin Durant as a keeper or luck into a randomized first overall pick, you’re not going to get him.  So in an auction setting, I imagine the bidding to be frantic.  However, I think he’s worth the ridiculous premium I have him listed for.  Maybe by fortune of having the greatest fantasy editor job in the world, I have done so much work with rankings that I feel I can round out a stars-and-scrubs team spending half my budget on Durant.

As with all fantasy auction drafts, have a few guys on your radar, but have an open mind.  Value can come at any time for any player.  I also want to note, some of these values mean I’m getting a guy in all auctions, even if it’s at a price much lower than the values I have them listed for.  Michael Carter-Williams is the obvious guy there.  He’s averaging an $8 buy on Yahoo.  I’m not saying “if the bid is at $7, bid $38 on MCW!”  It’s just how I would have listed projected auction values using my ranks to give you an idea of how high or how low I would be in an auction setting.  So what my $38 is saying is, “buy MCW in all leagues!”

Sorry if I’m a little slow with your awesome comments this week, but I’m back full force this weekend with a new Pod with Slim next week as well.

Values are based on Yahoo standard line-up (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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?
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