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As you can tell with a heavy dose of exclamation points invading the short sentence periods, it’s JB writing the H2H Playoff Schedule post this year!  But do not fret, JB-unbelievers, Slim still came up with the tiers and was my main consultant for putting this together.  I’m like a machine for writing posts, Slim is like a machine for projections and dissecting numbers.  I couldn’t even dissect a frog without writing about it in Camus-existential prose!  My science teacher was like, “What in the hell is this?!  You were only supposed to write about the body parts, not existence itself!”

Speaking of existence, it doesn’t matter how long you make it in your H2H fantasy league if you don’t come away with the trophy.  Unless of course, you’re talking about how I did vs. Slim in the RCLs last year!  I went further in the JB vs. Slim league, woooooo!  But neither of us won, so I will begrudgingly admit, it was moot…  Should’ve spent more time analyzing the playoff sched!  This post is required reading if you’re in the RCL leagues…  Still hoping to start up or join more leagues this season?  Be sure to join the RCL leagues today by checking out our RCL signups post!

Slim is still going to sprinkle his sage-like, pixie dust of wisdom regarding the playoff schedule all through the comments – he picked up these abilities while on a walkabout in the Outback – so comment often about your thoughts on the playoff sched through the final week-and-a-half of drafting.  Here’s our H2H Playoffs Schedule breakdown, in tiers:

[playoff schedules below are based on Yahoo default playoff settings, going from Week 20-22, March 13th through April 2nd]

Da Cream of Da Crop Tier:

ATL – 3/4/4, BKN – 4/4/4, CHA – 3/4/4, GS – 3/4/4, IND – 3/4/4, MIL – 4/4/4, PHI – 3/4/4, PHO – 3/4/4, WAS – 4/4/4

Thankfully, there isn’t quite the divide we’ve seen in previous seasons with huge 5-game weeks vs. paltry 2-game weekers.

Just to preface how Slim put these tiers together – he ranks the playoffs weeks in order of importance: semi-finals, finals, then the first round.  Which I agree with – 1/3 of teams have a bye and don’t play in the first round anyway, then you have to get it together in the semis before having a chance at the final week.

To our favorite postseason teams, the Nets/Bucks/Wizards all run the elite 4/4/4 schedules.  Damn, I wish the Nets were any sort of semblance of good!  They have Tue/Thur sets all 3 weeks, and have a Saturday game on 4/1 in the finals with only 10 teams active.  They also play the final Sunday, giving them a critical Sat/Sun stack at the end.  I don’t see much changing ranks-wise though, maybe Jeremy Lin could get another boost in my ranks.  The Bucks don’t quite have the off-day luster, as they play on typically heavier schedule days.  No change to The Alphabet for me, but makes me feel better about him as a surefire 1st rounder.  The Wiz also play a more typical, heavy-schedule day week going M/W/F/Sun in both round 1 and the semis.  At least they get a @LAL on the first Tuesday of the finals.  John Wall is already falling in drafts too far; this nice schedule cements him as a PG to take in the early part of the 2nd round turn.

Da Hawkz only have 3 games in week 1, but make up for it with a game on Thursday 3/16 with only 6 games on the schedule.  Then it’s smooth sailing through the finals, including a pivotal Sat/Sun stack on 4/1-4/2 over the final weekend.  Make it to the end, Sapper, I need your knee healthy!  Schroder is looking “sehr tasty!” even more so than before.  The Buzz don’t have quite the same appeal, playing primarily on heavy-schedule nights, but at least wrap it up with 4/4 the last two weeks.  Your studs – Kemba and Batum – are going to be fixtures in your line-up either way.

The Warriors are tricky ones.  They indeed have a good schedule for the purpose of this article, but are making it widely known they’ll be benching guys at some point towards the end of the season.  Here’s to hoping it’s more over the final 10 days of the season vs. in the standard fantasy playoffs.  I still have Steph as my #1 regardless.

To Indiana, where the Pacers have an interesting Sunday finale in round 1 @TOR then host UTA on Monday for the semis.  Hopefully the travel doesn’t hurt em.  But they’re still easily in this tier for that 4/4 schedule at the end.  PHI also has that same theme, going from hosting the Celtics to @ ORL on 3/19-3/20.  Like the Warriors, it’s tough to feel great about your Sixers younguns, who all might get DNPs as they tank another season.  Their schedule is typically on the heavy-set days regardless, so the fringy guys on draft day don’t get much of a boost.

Finally to the Suns, and this might be your diamond in the rough.  Hopefully the guards you’re drafting in the top-100 (E Bled, Knight, Booker) can all survive until the end.  They have a pretty pukey round 1 with heavy-scheulded Wed/Fri/Sun, but then it gets really interesting.  Phoenix gets saucy matchups @BKN on a light-Thursday on 3/23, again on a light-Thursday on 3/30 hosting the Clip, plus a weekend stack in the finals with great matchups @POR and HOU, with that Blazers game on that light final Saturday on 4/1.  I really, REALLY want to move Bledsoe and Knight up, but this team looks awful and with their injury history, they might not make it until the end.  But this is really making me buy more into Devin Booker.  I know Slim doesn’t love him, he’s pretty ThrAGNOFfy, but the scoring and a chance at good dimes in these great final two weeks have me frothing at the mouth.  Froth with me, Razzball Nation!  Froth with me!

The Good Tier:

CHI – 4/4/3, LAC – 4/5/3, NY – 2/4/4, POR – 4/4/3

Pretty light tier here in the “good” zone.  The Bulls are annoying with their 3 game finals, but thankfully they get games on lightly-scheduled Thursday and Saturday in the last week, so as long as Buckets and [crosses fingers] Wade are healthy, they should give you a good finals performance.  The Blazers are similar with a Tue/Thur/Sat in the finals, all on pretty light schedule nights.  With a roster full of must-owns, you can get some great production by having Lillard and McCollum in the finals.

The Knicks are the only team in the NBA during the playoffs with a 2-game week.  They might be a super team, but they don’t have a super round 1 schedule!  But they stay in the good tier with 4/4 in the semis/finals, plus both of their games in round 1 are on off-nights, going on Tue/Thur with good matchups against the fast-paced Pacers and just-plain-terrible Nets.

Finally to the Clippers, who I argued with Slim a little bit on.  I would put them in Da Cream of Da Crop!  Especially saucy schedule for DeAndre Jordan, who has sat for only 5 games over the last 4 seasons.  Sure all 5 were last year, but let’s hope he guns for 82 again!  Like the Knicks, they’re the only team in the NBA with anything but 3 or 4 in the schedule column with the 5-game semis.  Then to top it off, the 3-game finals week is still mad usable – WAS on a busy Wed, @PHO on a light Thur, and LAL on a light Saturday.  Those final two games during light schedule nights could be HUGE matchups for your Clips.  Don’t hesitate drafting them for schedule reasons.

The Average Tier:

CLE – 4/3/4, DAL – 4/3/4, DET – 4/3/4, LAL – 4/3/4, MEM – 4/3/4, NO – 4/3/4, SAC 4/3/4, SA – 4/3/4, TOR – 4/3/4, UTA – 4/3/4

Wow, the NBA REALLY wants parity this season!  Look at all these teams with identical 4/3/4 playoff schedules.  Of course they play on different nights, but weird to see.

Starting with the Cavs, and oh boy am I scared.  Like the Warriors, just plain schedule-wise they’re in a different tier vs. my worry about DNPs.  In round 1, they go @LAC/@LAL on Sat/Sun, and if they’re as good as most expect, I would expect a lot of DNPs in the Lakers game on their West Coast trip.  Then in the semis, @DEN for a high altitude game on Wednesday, followed by @CHA/WAS Fri/Sat for a week of heavy travel including a back-to-back.  For the finals, they go @SAS for likely a good game (unless Pop benches people, which he might), then @CHI/PHI Thur/Fri and you have to imagine we see DNPs hosting the Sixers.  It’s a really perilous schedule, and I’ve yet to draft LeBron or Kyrie anywhere…

I’m not going to go through all of the other teams, as it’s all pretty even.  The Pistons are a little interesting; in the finals they go Mon/Tue/Thur/Fri, so you can drop even the must-own Pistons by Saturday (as long as your league has waivers) and stream Sat/Sun stacks over the weekend.  They’re the only team in the NBA that doesn’t have a game on the final Saturday or Sunday.  You’re always worried about your Spurs, but they thankfully avoid back-to-backs in the semis and finals, only having @MEM then SAC on a Fri/Sat b2b in round 1.

The “Bleh” Tier:

BOS – 3/4/3, DEN – 3/4/3, HOU – 3/3/4, MIA – 3/3/4, OKC – 3/3/4, ORL – 3/3/4

Boooooo, a lot of 3s on the schedules in this poopy tier.  And a lot of teams in this tier play on heavy-scheduled days.  BOS and DEN lack anything interesting.  Houston is a little weird in that they don’t play until Wednesday in week 1 of the playoffs, then go Mon/Fri/Sun for a big gap during the week in the semis.  They salvage that schedule with a 4-week finals, but it’s still annoying.  The Heat wrap up the playoffs with 5 games in 8 days, so hopefully they’re being scrappy and stay in the race and aren’t benching guys in that heavy run of games.  They don’t have Wade anymore, so no big concern there for your Miamians.  OKC also has the same 5 in 8, but not too worried about anyone there.  Westbrook will be playing every game he is able, even with a broken face.  Finally to the Magic, and at least there’s no SKIIIIIIIIILES!  Pretty blah schedule, although they do get @BKN on the final Saturday on 4/1 – a light schedule day – although it is on a back-to-back.

The “I’m Not Letting It Get To Me Too Hard, But I Don’t Want To Own Too Many Wolves” Tier:

MIN – 4/3/3

All caps BOOOOOOO!  You know I love my Wolves!  Especially mi amor Rubio.  Ricky is so Tricky!  Thankfully, as we mentioned in Da Cream of the Crop Tier, there isn’t a huge schism between the best playoff sched and the worst, so 4/3/3 isn’t killer.  Only thing it prevents you fron doing is loading up on Wolves.  I don’t think I’d be too happy with even two coming out of the draft.  So long, Dieng/Rubio combo in the 4/5 rounds!  While the schedule sucks – the Wolves are the only team with only 6 games in the semis/finals – there is a faint beacon of hope.  In the semis, the Wolves get the Lakers on Friday on an admittedly heavy-schedule day (but it’s a sexy matchup), then @POR on a light Saturday.  Then in the finals, they go @IND/LAL/SAC for a run of great matchups, and LAL & SAC are on Thursday and Saturday, both light schedule days as well.  It’ll be much tougher to win with hoarding the Wolves, but one main guy and maybe a second you added or is a later pick like Dunn or something, and you could make it work.

Razzball Basketball

2016-17 H2H Playoff Schedule

Week 21 Week 23  Week 23
3/13-3/19 3/20-3/26 3/27-4/2
ATL 3 4 4
BKN 4 4 4
CHA 3 4 4
GS 3 4 4
IND 3 4 4
MIL 4 4 4
PHI 3 4 4
PHO 3 4 4
WAS 4 4 4
CHI 4 4 3
LAC 4 5 3
NY 2 4 4
POR 4 4 3
CLE 4 3 4
DAL 4 3 4
DET 4 3 4
LAL 4 3 4
MEM 4 3 4
NO 4 3 4
SAC 4 3 4
SA 4 3 4
TOR 4 3 4
UTA 4 3 4
BOS 3 4 3
DEN 3 4 3
HOU 3 3 4
MIA 3 3 4
OKC 3 3 4
ORL 3 3 4
MIN 4 3 3
  1. bo says:
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    i dont get it…is that an actual picture of Slim next to yours JB? haha

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @bo: Yeah we still haven’t changed that. That was a stock pic I 1st went with and this one is a photoshop combination of a real picture of me and that picture. I had an old pick (with beard) that was oddly very similar.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @bo: @Slim: Hah yeah I need to remake it, I don’t have the source file of the logo anymore… Sometime soon I will!

  2. Foreign Affairs says:
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    Woo the playoff schedule column, nicely done you two.

    Despite the terrible options on the nets despite there great schedule I would argue they might actually be the sneaky best team. Lin and Brook will still be playing full minutes because that team can’t tank because they have no picks of there own this draft. Boston has 1st round swap rights with them this year. Also because the nets are so terrible there is alot of opportunity for surprise waiver wire gold for this team ala Michael Beasley last playoffs.

    Also like how this looks for my REL team so far, yep this rebuilding team is totally making the playoffs year, Embiid’s going lead the Dieng train all the way to the top choo choooo

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Foreign Affairs: It’s the benching of a healthy Thad and Brook at the end of the year last year that is a bit scary, and they gave that resulting draft pick to the Celtics too. But yeah, I’m assuming that doesn’t happen again, hopefully not to my own peril.

      REL is a tough league to make the playoffs in, 6 out of 20 teams. You are set up well though considering you’re strong at PG, which there are going to be very few, and weak at PF/C which has several good looking new ones coming into the league and a few older guys available before keepers were even selected. And you have plenty of upside youth to trade if you decide to go all in.

      • Foreign Affairs says:
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        @Slim: I forgot about Thad and Brook getting benched last year despite their lack of a pick, hmm that’s concerning but I think they’ll atleast be there for the first round and semi’s. It looks nice this year though that all the top tier teams that have shut down risks like GS, Phil, Mil, Pho Bkn and even the Wiz if they fall apart all have a benefit of having some guys on the bench or young players that could make for great streamers off the wire at the end there.

        Yeah during last season I kept seeing little in the way of promising pg talent in my opinion for the 2016 draft, just don’t see Buddy, Dunn or Murray as guys who will be anything more then scoring guards. And when the best pg’s in the draft last year were Rondo, MCW and Payton….yeah thought I needed to get that locked up.

        Im debating whether i’ll go all in on young big prospects including a few that yahoo has decided to giving the Dario Saric stash treatment to or dip my toe into what veteran bigs are there this draft, though maybe not quite so Kobe,Dirk,Zach old this time around lol. Got to say though the young big’s are not making a great impression this preseason but maybe that will drive down their value.

        I’ll really need my youth to have strong development though if I stand any chance at competing though (looking at you $38 Wiggins), and maybe not swinging and missing nearly as much on the wire, shakes fist at your Josh Richardson nab last year.

        • Slim

          Slim says:
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          @Foreign Affairs: I wrote about the Richardson pickup more than once in those REL posts. I think I FABBd him for like $1.

          I really like Bender but good lord he can’t score in preseason, but he does have a block every game (1.5 per in about 23 min). I like Murray too but 1 steal per game in college in 35 min and not a single steal in preseason. That’s so annoying. Dunn has that crazy steal upside which I think keeps his pricetag high, but yeah I’m not paying $35 for him. I’m curious to see if anyone is buying Ingram long term. He hasn’t looked all that good and has FT issues but he’s also blocking shots (1.75 in 22 min). I was getting a Vonleh vibe from Chriss early on but he looks like he’ll be a real good player someday and this team has almost nothing at PF. And what is Simmons going to go for? If it’s under $20 then he’s going to me…

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Foreign Affairs: @Slim: Thanks man! Yeah the benchings last year was annoying, Brook could be traded, maybe Lin sits but I do like it a lot for him, then for whatever adds are hot at the end obviously it is great!

            Yeah even though no titles, I’m happy making the semis the past two years, it’s bee a good run. I want the gold jersey though! It’s a tough year for sure figuring out rookies, that’s why I kept $9 so I wouldn’t have to debate em 🙂

            • Slim

              Slim says:
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              @JB Gilpin: JBs going for that $7 LeBron dont let him fool ya.

              • JB Gilpin

                JB Gilpin says:
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                @Slim: I’m gonna hack the other 19’s internet all at one time!

                • Foreign Affairs says:
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                  @Slim:@JB Gilpin: Yeah Murray’s playmaking and steals in college were subpar and I’ve liked what i’ve heard from you guys on Dunn but I think he’s getting out of my price range fast, got enough invested in Mudiay, Russell and Wiggins already to spend much more on guards. Man it’s a wide open opportunity for Chriss and Bender on the suns, amusingly Bender is about as lost on offense as Chriss has been on defense guess thats why they drafted both of them to switch out as needed. I’m really curious as well about Ingram and Simmons and what they’ll be going for, I thought they would be to pricey for my ($79 for 6 spots) budget but Ingrams been playing down to the worst expectations of him and Simmons foot injury takes owners competing this year out of the bidding, if its under $20 Slim im jumping all over that since thats in the range I was once willing to go to for the other rookie Bigs, though Im not sure if anyone will have to pay nearly as much as I once thought for Zubac, he of the 17 minutes 4 points preseason.

                  Hahaha everyone put up other players for auction and forget about Lebron, and come on JB you know you want to instead split $8 between MCW and Shelfrid.

                  Got to say im already looking at up rehab clinics for veteran big man addictions what with Marc Gasol, Dwight(looking spry in Atlanta) and probably very cheap options on the table in Hibbert,Noah,Jefferson and Randolph on the board. I’ll just have to watch more Embiid footage (14-16 ft last two games wooo) and try and keep your rule about over 30 players in mind Slim.

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
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                    @Foreign Affairs: Yeah Simmons isn’t going anywhere close to $20 with the money available. Someone might as well spend a good bit and hope he looks awesome in April and can be a keeper.

                    I’ll tak Elfrid for $7 hahahaha!

                    With my $9, I’m looking at a tier below those guys hah

                  • Slim

                    Slim says:
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                    @Foreign Affairs: Yeah no shortage of bigs available. I’m not entirely against 30+ year olds in this league (I kept Nene for $1, although truth be told he’s just a placeholder for a waiver add) but a guy like Randolph or Jefferson I only see as a 1 year rental at best which really drops his price tag. Gasol should get north of $20 but should stay under $40. Dwight still has his FT issues so I’m way off that one. Hibbert at under $10 would be solid.

                    I’m [email protected]$38 and I’m looking for [email protected]$25-30, [email protected]$5-10, and [email protected]$1. 2 at just short of $20 would work too, but that seems kind of unlikely. The lack of inflation is starting to catch up to us with so many players drastically underpriced.

                    • JB Gilpin

                      JB Gilpin says:
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                      @Slim: its not gonna happen, but id be ecstatic with $7 big al and two $1 fliers. Ugh i guess the same with Hibbert but i hate him. Agree on inflation. Makes the rookie feeding frenzy bloodier every year

                • Slim

                  Slim says:
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                  @JB Gilpin: Uhoh, do we have to question JBs ties to Russia now?

                  • JB Gilpin

                    JB Gilpin says:
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                    @Slim: In communist Russia, player drafts you!

  3. MAC says:
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    RAZZUP?!!!

    great job guys! thoughts on guys like hayward, rjax, collison on where wud u now get them. especially on leagues with IR.

    davis? does that ankle sprain scare u from drafting him at 6? man, the brow is made of glass. actually thinking of just getting cp or lebron over him then get dj with my next pick as im high on him than most with. so basically, wud u rather have davis-lowry/wall or cp/lbj-dj? and i think this article helped a lot with LAC sched vs NOP.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @MAC: Hayward I don’t think will miss much time and can still workout while his finger heals so he should come back close to full speed. He shouldn’t fall past pick 50. Collison won’t be IR eligible but it’s only 8 games missed and he’ll be full bore too. Maybe the 70s or so at the latest. Reggie is tough. 4 weeks worth of regular seems about guaranteed and he’ll probably come back kind of slow. So probably not full speed uptil January… probably… definitely inside the top 100 but I’m taking Collison ahead of him so maybe in the 80s. That feels like a bargain though, esp if you also draft Ish late.

      I’m about done with Brow. I think I have a new top 10… Curry, Westbrook, Harden, Durant (or whatever order you prefer), KAT, Giannis, Whiteside, CP3, Kawhi, LeBron.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @MAC: @Slim: I was thinking right at 50 for Hayward too. 60-70 range for Collison feels right too, right around the end of that PG run. I’m a lot more worried on R-Jax that this lingers into a surgery. Plus he has a thumb issue. All those years of uber-aggressive driving catching up with hiim. Wow, that’s high for Whiteside Slim. I am moving Brow down a little, but not out of the top 10 yet. If you feel like it’ll work and no one gets Bron before you, I like the Cp3 route!

        • MAC says:
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          @JB Gilpin: wudnt let davis past top 10 for xur. though i had him at 6 after kat, i think im leaning more on drafting cp and lbj ahead of him with a plan to pick dj in the 2nd round.

          how bout ish smith? frazier over for xur. but frazier seems getting picked early 100 while smith is there round 12-13
          tnx guys!

          • Slim

            Slim says:
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            @MAC: Yeah i dont think im drafting LeBron… I’ll go Brow 10. Im basically just replacing Whiteside with Brow. Esp with Bosh for good gone. Just like Giannis and Middleton.

            I guess people are worried about how long Jrue will be out. Reggie seems a bit more definable. I dont think either Ish or Frazier will matter in the playoffs so they are just late flyers for me and basically a pick em.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @MAC: @Slim: right now only CP and Giannis moving ahead for me I think.

              I think I have them right in the same range at PG there, I kinda like Ish more while he’s starting though… on a per game basis

  4. Scott says:
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    Slim or JB, please rate the strengths/weaknesses of this mock draft:
    Chris Paul
    Draymond Green
    DeAndre Jordan
    Nikola Jokic
    Trevor Ariza
    Gorgui Dieng
    Monta Ellis
    Otto Porter
    Nikola Mirotic
    Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
    Patrick Beverley
    Kyle Korver
    Cody Zeller

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Scott: Love the AST and D stats, I don’t know if you have enough FT volume to protect Jordan, thankfully everyone else is pretty good at the stripe, so might be OK. Scoring and 3s are wayyyyy low, this team would need a lot of ThrAGNOF streaming

      • Scott says:
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        @JB Gilpin: How about if I shoot for Jae Crowder over Ellis and Chandler Parsons over Otto Porter?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Scott: I dont love the assists. Paul + Dray + Jokic is maybe equal to 3 regular PGs. So its short 1. I think its definitely a FT punt. Theres just no positive volume. If Jordan didnt happen but a PG did instead then I would like it much better. Im a little concerned Gorgui in the 6th seems unlikely.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Scott: @Slim: def like both those changes to your squad if you can make them. And slims right, I read a little too quick and didn’t realize after your top two the dimes were a little light… replacing some of those last picks with Frazier and Ish and you’ll be solid

  5. Bryce Krispie Treats says:
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    Hey JB,

    So im getting around to planning for my auction league. I have a risky strategy, but I think it should work pretty well. According to my budget, I think I should be able to fit these guys on my roster pretty comfortably. I might have to go cheap after these guys, but let me know your thoughts!

    3s/Pts/Reb/Ast/Stl/Blk/TO — 7 Cat, no %’s

    Isaiah Thomas
    Goran Dragic
    Schroder – $1 Keeper
    Andre Drummond
    DeAndre Jordan
    Myles Turner – $3 Keeper
    Nurk
    Elfrid Payton
    Convington

    Im also thinking about Parsons depending on how much cash I have left. What do you think? Good strategy? Am I missing anything stats wise?

    Always appreciate the help!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Bryce Krispie Treats: Like this strategy! 3s are decent, scoring is really low in this build. You kill the D stats and have low TO though. Maybe you can squeeze in a couple scorers and then you’ll be set!

  6. Jeremy says:
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    How is NY in the good tier when they play less games than all the ones in the avg tier? lol. It only makes sense if you get a first week bye, but who can guarantee that at the start of the season.

    2 + 4 + 4 = 10, 4+ 3 +4 = 11.

    10 > 11 o.o??

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Jeremy: Figured this could get questioned and it boils down to the byes. If you have a 1st round bye its pretty obvious which is better. If you don’t have a 1st round bye then your opponent won’t be one of the top 2 teams, so you will nearly guaranteed have an easier opponent in the 1st round than the semis. Would i load up on NYK? Definitely No. Would I load up on 4/3/4s? Absolutely not. Both just about guarantee a loss. There are also fewer teams with 4 game semis than 4 game 1st rounds meaning its easier to make up for the loss of 1st round games. Total games is the least important thing to consider unless its a matchup that lasts 3 weeks.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Jeremy: @Slim: Yeah 33% of teams don’t even use this week. As we laid out, you’re playing for the championship, and looking at the playoff schedule just for pure aggregate numbers isn’t going to win you titles. You have to plan out some off days and who plays on light-schedule nights, which I write about above. All this said – I’m not too big on any Knicks this year except Goose

        • Jeremy says:
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          @JB Gilpin:

          I see where you guys are going with this. but can’t move on to semis unless you win the first week of playoffs. Still makes goose a little bit harder to swallow. Yes it’s true that you are basically playing a easier opponent if you are not on bye, but 4th seed playing the 5th seed is basically a even match up, i’ll give the edge to the 5th seed if the 4th seed owns goose cause he’s basically only getting 2 games from his 2nd round pick (or 3rd round maybe?)

          • Slim

            Slim says:
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            @Jeremy: I think the most important thing is just to be aware of it so you dont overload on a bad singular round. If my 1st round pick only played 3 1st round games i would be pretty torn on taking Goose. Going Goose/Melo 2nd/3rd simply cant happen. But if i draft 3 PGs with 4 games in the 1st round then Rose becomes a little easier to stomach with some pretty nice upside with a 4/4 finish. Esp if those 3 PGs all play only 3 games in their teams semis.

            • JB Gilpin

              JB Gilpin says:
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              @Jeremy: @Slim: Just to comment further, giving one team an edge over the other in the semis just because one player has two games on one of the teams seems like a really overreationanary look at it. Now, like slim said, if you own three or four Knicks then sure, you’re looking at being at a disadvantage, but just one I don’t think is a critical difference maker.

  7. james says:
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    My league starts its playoffs one week earlier Wk 20-22.
    For this OKC has a 3/3/3 schedule.
    Is this justifiable to move Westbrook below KD, who has a 4/3/4 playoff schedule

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @james: It’s close. I just feel like KD will rest at least once… I’d probably stick with Westbrook, but it’s close

  8. Yager says:
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    Asked this on an older article on centers, but thought you would see it better here.

    Lofty question, but I am in a league that does not count FT%. How would you rank these guys (centers) considering that? I love Clint Capela in this format, are there other guys I should be targeting? I am asking outside the obvious Andre Drummond and Deandre Jordan because I have the first pick (Russ), and in this format they will be long gone (my next pick is 34, in a 17 man league).

    We also do not count TO’s, so is there any guards that take a huge uptick because of that? Or anyone else that would be a huge value considering both are dropped at any position?

    Your insight would be greatly appreciated, I am having a hard time ranking guys, and this is only my second year in a long standing league. I am used to finishing top three at worst in other sports, but finished 7 of 17, out of the money last year. I used standard rankings last year and I think that is where I fell short.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Yager: We see everything! I’ll answer here though. Yeah Capela is aweeeeeesome in non FT. I would probably focus on the non-TO part over non-FT though and go heavy on guards. Schroder, D’Angelo Russell both come to mind. Nerlens Noel usually has bad TO for a big and bad FT, he’d be a target for sure. Mason Plumlee later would be awesome.

      Here’s a great tool – use basketballmonster, https://basketballmonster.com/PlayerRankings.aspx, and filter out TO and FT%. Cousins moves up to 6th. Noel top-30. Helps Okafor a bit. But yeah, there ya go!

  9. Hey Guys

    Was just invited to take over a keeper/auction team. I have my choice of two teams. $200 budget.

    Team 1
    Ish Smith – $5*
    Ellis – $15
    Bazemore – $3*
    Ilyasova – $4
    Gortat – $16
    Drummond – $46
    Batum – $25
    Markieff Morris – $6
    Terrence Jones – $14*
    LeBron – $71
    Rodney Hood – $1*
    Zaza Pachulia – $1
    Meyers Leonard – $1*
    Brandon Jennings – $1

    Team 2
    Wesley matthews – $3
    Chandler Parsons – $30*
    Covington – $1
    Anthony Davis – $90
    Ed Davis – $15*
    Wade – $22*
    Ryan Anderson – $7
    Affialo – $6
    LaVine – $1
    Iguodala – $10*
    Caldwell-Pope – $4
    Myles Turner – $4
    Jusuf Nurkic – $1

    A * means that they are a Restricted FA, so they go to the draft but I have the option of taking them for the high bid, whatever that is.

    I can keep 5 (including RFA) and it is a $200 budget.

    Leaning on team 2 with Nurkic, Pope, Matthews, Covington, LaVine as my 5 keepers and not even bothering with the RFA thing.

    Thoughts?

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @The discarded head of Ted Williams: Hmmm interesting, the Restricted FA aspect! Yeah there’s no question to me, team 2. Nurk at $1 might be one of the best keepers in the league in a few years. Def Turner over Pope for me too. That core of youth gives you sooooo much money to fill it out too

        • @JB Gilpin: cool. yeah, I guess the first year you keep someone you get it for that price and year 2 they become that RFA. I do not like any of those players enough to deal with that in my first year doing it. I wanna see how it plays out this year.

          So it is really only a 1 year keeper, then they are a RFA then they can not be kept. Which takes some value from all my young guys… And with that, I am just realizing that Matthews can not be kept, so I gotta exchange him for someone. I guess it will be Pope?

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @The discarded head of Ted Williams: Oh damn, that’s kinda annoying. Yeah so one year keepers, then you bid a ton if you want them back, then they’re too expensive to keep… sure yeah Pope is a good backup keeper to Wes

  10. Lior says:
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    Love this column every year. But it does seem to me like playoff schedule isn’t gonna affect the big picture too much this year. Would you guys agree? I mean, yeah, like you said – I don’t want all Timberwolves. But it wouldn’t kill to keep a bunch of “mediocre” schedule guys this year.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Lior: Yeah it isnt like 2 years ago when CLE and ORL had 2 in the semis. Also it looks like only 6 teams dont play 4 games in the finals. Makes it kind of tough to load up on 3 game finals even accidentily.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Lior: @Slim: yup it’s not nearly as variant as before. It’s good because you can’t really mess it up, and I like I think because there’s that little more nuance like how I like the Nets and the Suns just based on their matchups on playing on off nights

  11. dan-o1 says:
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    thanks guys. always look forward to this.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @dan-o1: Thanks for reading man, appreciate it!

  12. Everybody Loves Draymond says:
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    Would you trade Draymond for Davis right now even with Davis’ ankle injury?

    • Lior says:
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      @Everybody Loves Draymond: I feel like you just have to do that one, despite the awesome team name with Draymond. If Draymond gets rested for fantasy playoff games, it could be just as bad as Davis missing games due to injury (depending on how many he misses, of course).

  13. Saltyman says:
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    sweeeeeeeeeeeet

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Saltyman: Yessir!

  14. NYFantaC says:
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    Razzup!

    Here’s the scenario:

    14 Team H2H 11 Cats (DDs and Team Wins).
    First Pick,First round keeper: Steph Curry.
    Because of a league reward, you get first pick in the second round as well, pick #15. Then snake.

    Off the table are: Harden, Westbrook, Durant, Davis, CP3, Cousins, Whiteside, KAT, giannis, kawhi, Lebron, Millsap, Wall..

    After 15th, you pick again 42 & 43.

    While considering H2H playoff schedule, Who’s your next pick and why? Lol.

    Shameless, I know.. but this is killing me. Wanna go deandre or Drumm (for DD), but not sure I want to punt FT out the gate w Curry being so awesome at it.. then thinking, in a 14 team, might be good to shore up another elite PG like Lowry, Lillard early.. but w so many middle range PGs available, eh.. what say you!!!!?

    Checks in the mail.. ;’)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @NYFantaC: Love that first pick obviously! Yeah even with DD I dunno if I would go a FT punt that early. How about Draymond and you double up on team wins? Gotta imagine the Warriors are the best bet to win that cat. I think I’d go him or Lowry, then get some bigs with your next picks

  15. Nishinga says:
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    D’angelo at the 51th pick is too much of a reach? I really want him in my team but my next pick is at 70th and I don’t think he will last till there, but I also feel that I might miss out a proven player if I reach there.
    What do you think?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Nishinga: Nope i dont think so! Its a few picks higher than my rank, not by a ton. It obviously depends on who else is out there, like i wouldnt pass on Dragic and i still like schroder more, but vs. that pg run i rank in the 50s, its all personal preference so D’Angleo would be fine there at 51

  16. mak says:
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    9 cat h2h. 10 person league. i had the 9th pick. heres my team.

    Giannis, brandon knight, kemba, jeremy lin, ish smith, KCP
    tobias, hassan, brook, dieng, parsons, nurkic, winslow.

    do i need to make any moves. any strenghts?

    • Mak says:
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      @mak: waiver wire: Marcus Morris, Matt Barnes, taj Gibson

      • Slim

        Slim says:
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        @Mak: Nope no moves yet, your team looks strong. Winslow is the guy to keep an eye on if he isn’t progressing fast enough. At least a couple of weeks though unless there is a can’t miss pickup.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @Mak: @Slim: Agree with this. Love your team, good balance across the board. When Parsons is right, you might have too many 3s, and might be able to sell like a hot KCP or something

  17. Toni Vidal Ribes says:
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    Kanter o Valanciunas?
    In a points league

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Toni Vidal Ribes: So I’m not as big of a believer in Kanter as most. Billy the kid preaches defense above all else and Kanter is arguably (or not really) the worst defender in the league at any position. If they had equal minutes, in a points league, I would go Kanter. But I don’t trust his minutes at all and JV still has some upside if Casey ever decides to play him a few more minutes.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Toni Vidal Ribes: @Slim: Hah Kanter is no Isaiah Thomas out there! JK… Agree, I think they’re close in a Pts league, but I like JV

  18. Marshall says:
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    Did my draft a while ago but I was waiting to see if you guys were going to comment teams on the podcast like last year…I’m pretty happy with my draft but I think I might be a little light on scoring.

    12 team 9 cat h2h
    (4) Kevin Durant
    (21) Draymond Green
    (28) Brook Lopez
    (45) Gorgui Dieng
    (52) Dennis Schroder
    (69) Chandler Parsons
    (76) Ricky Rubio
    (93) Jeremy Lin
    (100) Jusuf Nurkic
    (117) Robert Covington
    (124) Luol Deng
    (141) Joakim Noah
    (148) Jerryd Bayless

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Marshall: I thought about it, just haven’t said anything to JB yet. I want to, it’s fun and informative. I think we will now that we’ve finished going through the ranks. Some pretty unbelievable value here. Parsons, Rubio, Lin, Nurk, Covington, Deng all drafted well after our ranks. If there is 1 cat I’m a little concerned about it’s points. Dray, Gorgui, Rubio, Noah are all pretty low end scorers.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Marshall: @Slim: Yeah season came up fast! We’ll def do this at least one show before the season starts. I actually think your scoring is pretty decent! I expect a little more outta Lin and Schroder than I think Slim does. Agree, you got some crazy values. Nice work!

  19. Dave says:
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    Matt Barnes or JR smith ? In standard 9cat h2h, I’m punting fg.

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Dave: I’ll do JR unless you are incredably strapped for blocks and believe in Barnes getting 28 min. I think JB does.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Dave: @Slim: Yeah I want Barnes for the D stats. Smith is very ThrAGNOF, very easy to stream his Pts/3s. I’ll take a shot on Barnes who could easily go 1/1 STL/BLK on top of the 3s

  20. Dave says:
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    whats is the outlook for M.Chriss rest of the season, his preseason numbers are awesome muliticatg potential, i sense consistancy and playing time could be issue but there is so much upside with this kid. Is matt barnes worth dropping for him?

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Dave: No way I can answer the Chriss question. The opportunity is pretty solid too all things considered. This isn’t like Porzingis from last year though since that was an open competition for the job. For now Chriss is worth owning, even in a 12er, and seeing what happens in the 1st couple of games. Odds are against it working out but it absolutely looks like a 24ish min role would be 12er worthy.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Dave: @Slim: I’m gonna disagree here, Chriss might make a cameo right at the very backend of my ranks with like Mahinmi dropping out and some jostling, but there’s no way Chriss will be ownable the first few months due to inconsistency, both on the court and in minutes. I’ll take the under on 24 MPG for the first few months.

  21. DK says:
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    I just finished my draft today. H2H 14 9 cat. I got 7th pick. I think I am fairly low in steals and treys.

    What do you think?

    Drafted 7th

    Round 1, Pick 7 (7th Overall)
    Karl-Anthony Towns Min – C
    Round 2, Pick 8 (22nd Overall)
    Kemba Walker Cha – PG
    Round 3, Pick 7 (35th Overall)
    Rudy Gobert Uta – C
    Round 4, Pick 8 (50th Overall)
    Nicolas Batum Cha – SG,SF
    Round 5, Pick 7 (63rd Overall)
    Dennis Schroder Atl – PG
    Round 6, Pick 8 (78th Overall)
    Jusuf Nurkic Den – C
    Round 7, Pick 7 (91st Overall)
    Dwyane Wade Chi – PG,SG
    Round 8, Pick 8 (106th Overall)
    Rodney Hood Uta – SG,SF
    Round 9, Pick 7 (119th Overall)
    Derrick Rose NY – PG
    Round 10, Pick 8 (134th Overall)
    Marcus Morris Det – SF,PF
    Round 11, Pick 7 (147th Overall)
    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Cha – SF
    Round 12, Pick 8 (162nd Overall)
    Matt Barnes Sac – SG,SF
    Round 13, Pick 7 (175th Overall)
    Zaza Pachulia GS – C

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @DK: I don’t think your 3s are all that bad! Scoring is decent, but not great. All that said, mannnnn you have a strong team for a 14er! I think KAT and Gobert will keeps blocks working, but I dunno if you have enough boards. Maybe MKG does enough out of position to help there. Actually at second look I think your scoring is fine. Like this team!

      • DK says:
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        @JB Gilpin: Thanks for the feedback. 3s, scoring is decent. I think the only glaring one would really be Steal. So far with this balanced strategy, I have gone to Finals twice in a row… always finishing 2nd. Hopefully some magic this year.

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:
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          @DK: Yeah I can kinda see that! Yup I like balanced teams too!

  22. Jay Wall says:
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    I just finished my H2H 10-cat, 10-team draft today (The categories are FGM, FG%, FT%, 3PTM, PTS, REB, AST, ST, BLK, and TO). I had the 9th pick.

    I think my team is slightly lacking in boards and blocks.

    What do you think of my overall squad, and what can I do to improve my team? Your feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    R1: Anthony Davis (9th)
    R2: Wall (16th)
    R3: Kemba Walker (33th)
    R4: Love (40th)
    R5: Dragic (57th)
    R6: Parsons (64th)
    R7: Aaron Gordon (81st)
    R8: Capela (88th)
    R9: Nurkic (105)
    R10: Gary Harris(112)
    R11: Jrue Holiday (129)
    R12: Matt Barnes (136)
    R13: Tim Frazier (153)

    … Then i picked up Jerryd Bayless off waivers and moved Jrue to the IL spot (I hope he comes back this season because if he does my guard lineup is stacked!)

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Jay Wall: Ah sorry I missed this! The combo article doesn’t give me the same comment alerts. Love that value on Kemba! Kinda feel like Capela was a bit of a reach…You have such good FT otherwise. Nurk I LOVE there. Even with Capela I think your BLK are a tad light, and def need Jrue to shore up your AST. I might see if a FT punt team is out there, see if they have a big that doesn’t fit like Rolo or something, and offer em Capela

  23. TheBeardedOne says:
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    Nice in depth review of scheds. Been waiting for thise. Thank you..

    With westy and harden being taken 1 and 2. Would you reach for giannis or cp3 as your 3rd – 6th pick, Considering playoff sched (no Bye), kd and steph might sit like lbj and KAT terrible playoff sched? 20 teams H2H. And also streaming will not be an option.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @TheBeardedOne: Thanks man, glad they help! Mehhhh, I’d be tempted to, but it’s just so hard to predict this far out. I thought FOR SURE Steph as sitting last year, and they chased a record. I would still go Steph 3 if those other 2 are taken, then KD 4

  24. SR says:
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    So I ended up drafting both Gorgui Dieng and Rubio, this is my current team which one do you think I should trade between the 2? Or should I trade either of them at all? And can you give me an overall team rating please, I had the 10th overall pick and recently acquired Dragic for Brandon Knight in a straight up trade (10 team, 9 cat-PTS, TO, BLK, AST, FG%, FT%, STL, REB, 3PTM)

    PG: Bledsoe
    SG: Dragic
    G: Rubio
    SF: LeBron
    PF: Porzingis
    F: Rob Covington
    C: Anthony Davis
    C: Gorgui Dieng
    Util: Jeremy Lin
    Util: Luol Deng
    BN: Chandler Parsons
    BN: Nerlens Noel
    BN: Mudiay

    • SR says:
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      @SR: I forgot to say this is a H2H league

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @SR: I don’t really see a big need to trade either, why are you hoping to trade them? You have great AST, so Rubio I’d be more apt to move. I think it looks really good! TO are high, but think you did a great job also building REB and BLK. Really nice draft!

        • SR says:
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          @JB Gilpin: I was thinking because of MIN’s playoff schedule at the end that two Wolves might be too much. I’m thinking of cutting Mudiay to cut down on TO and playing the waiver wire. Thanks man!

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