The Razzball Hoops Pod is back, and on today’s show we recap Tuesday and Wednesday’s games including drama in Houston and a breakout game for Nikola Jokic, play two games today (TWO!) debuting “Right or Wrong?” and another edition of “Higher/Lower”, preview tonight’s games with our 30-Point Challenge picks, and wrap up the week at the movies.

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Wow, how good is Russell Westbrook? Two nights after dropping 40 points and 14 assists against the Grizzlies, Westbrook scored 43 points, 8 assists, and 9 rebounds on Wednesday. The Thunder controlled the game, but never really put the game out of reach for the injury-riddled Pelicans. Whenever the Thunder needed a basket, Westbrook had no problem getting to the hoop or finding the open man. My only knock on Westbrook’s game is the turnovers, but when you’re posting near triple doubles every night, you’re allowed to turn the ball over as much as he does.

Now his stats are inflated a little because Kevin Durant has been sitting with a hamstring injury, but Westbrook is still a top 10 talent even with Durant in the lineup. Should Durant leave the Thunder next season (to go to, say, the Wizards!!!), Westbrook would enter my top three, along with Steph Curry and Anthony Davis.

Now onto the other notables from Wednesday night:

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[Final update as of October 26th!  I hope all of your drafts went swimmingly, and we have two more Razzball Basketball Commenter Leagues drafting tonight!   If you’re feeling light on your teams this year, or want one more shot at a great draft, sign up and join one of those leagues today!]

We’re back with the Razzball Hoops’ all-in-one, frequently updated, hopefully mostly right, let’s do this Rubio!, is this a run on sentence?, fantasy basketball ranks!

Below is our official Razzball Basketball top 200, which we’ll be updating all through the offseason, training camp, preseason, and up until the final night before 2015-16 tips off.  With each player, I give a small blurb on my thoughts, list Yahoo position eligibility (since this is where we’ll be playing our RCL leagues), and Slim gives his 9-cat projection along with projected minutes played.  Alas, Slim and I don’t agree on everything!  So if you see a projection that seems out-of-whack with where a player is ranked, we’ve probably argued the point on the Podcast…  But we also love all of your questions/comments/disbelief at ranks.  We answer any and all of your comments, so if you play in different formats, have keeper questions, salary cap quandaries, or want to be the one to break a piece of news, the comment thread on this running post will be our hub for all fantasy hoops thoughts!

So without any further [James Michael Mc]Adoo, here’s our one stop shop for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Rankings:

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After a wild week of NBA action featuring a few injuries to some of fantasy’s top performers, owners are quickly trying to adjust to their league’s new equilibrium. As a Kevin Durant owner, I can personally attest to the struggle of making up for lost production while trying to stay competitive in a weekly matchup.

Despite all the planning, research, and strategy an owner can put into his team, fantasy ultimately comes down to luck, and the injury bug seemed to be biting in full force last week.

While some teams succumbed to rotten luck in week 3, the strongest teams managed to persevere to claim the top spots in the standings.

Check out how your teams stacked up in week 3 of the 2015-16 RCL Master Standings Table table, and here’s how the action went down in the third regular season week across our 22 RCL Leagues:

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How do you decide who is most deserving of the lead between these two stellar performances?:

  • Player A – 25 points, 18 rebounds, 3 steals, 1 block, 10-15 FGs
  • Player B – 22 points, 14 rebounds, 10 blocks, 10-14 FGs

I’m going to give the nod to the player who posted his gaudy stats in a winning effort and that would be Player A, also known as Detroit center, Andre Drummond. The Pistons asked a lot from their franchise big man, and he responded with 39 minutes of terrific play that helped lead his team to a win over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers. Drummond was a +17 in a five point win, and even made the Cavs pay when they intentionally fouled him in the fourth quarter. After starting 1-4 from the line, AD made four of his last five to help seal the deal. It was a great overall performance and at this point the only thing fantasy owners need to fear is this heavy workload catching up to him later in the season. But at only 22 years old, there’s no reason why Drummond can’t make 2015-2016 his career campaign.

Player B is Miami Heat center, Hassan Whiteside. In just his 77th career game, Whiteside treated fantasy owners to his second points/boards/blocks triple-double. Unfortunately it was in a losing effort to the visiting Timberwolves, and was accompanied by four turnovers and a 2-9 mark from the charity stripe. Despite the sub-par free throw shooting (which was a bugaboo coming into the season), Hassan is providing first round returns and very likely earning himself a max contract when he hits free agency in the summer of 2016. Similar to Andre Drummond, there are no legitimate threats to Whiteside’s value other than injury, so it’s a “sit back and enjoy the ride” opportunity for his owners.

Honorable mention goes to Brooklyn’s pivot, Brook Lopez, who wasn’t too shabby himself on Tuesday night, dropping a 24/10/1/1/3 line in a two point win over the visiting Hawks. BroLo only turned the ball over once in 35 minutes and made 11-21 from the floor against a reasonably stout Atlanta front line. He may not be posting the monster lines like Whiteside and Drummond, but he’s chugging along as a third round per-game value in 9-cat leagues which is likely providing his owners with a solid return on their draft day investment.

Let’s take a look at what else shook down on a highly entertaining seven-game Tuesday evening…

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To Dennis Green and the Arizona Cardinals, the 2006 Chicago Bears were who they thought they were.

To Caitlyn Jenner, Bruce Jenner pre-2015 wasn’t who she thought he was.

And to fantasy basketball owners, Derrick Favors hopefully isn’t who he’s looking like he is. Or was. Or could be.

What is it about Favors that makes us ignore his inconsistent ways and clamor for him to be on our teams year after year?

Maybe it’s the allure of a rebounding power forward who could easily average a 20-10 with at least a block a game. Maybe it’s his name, which just sounds stud-ish.

But if you have Favors on your team, he probably frustrates you, right? He’ll go on a run, mixing double-doubles with mid-20s scoring nights, and then he’ll plop one or two turdburgers in the middle – like his five-point, seven-rebound Friday the 13th horror show – which might have cost you in a head-to-head matchup.

It’s tempting to say ah, he’s 24, he’ll become more consistent. But if you go back and look at his season-long game logs, you’ll start to hear the ghost of 2006 Dennis Green again … he just might be what we thought he was.

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Please tell me that some of you lived through, or at least recognize 90’s Hip Hop. I was a teen in the early 90’s, rocking the Adidas, Raptors cap way down low, and nodded to the illest hip hop, thinking I was fly. Well, I now know without any doubt that I was far from OG, but the hip hop was divine, the golden age of the art, some might say. And as hip hop and New York basketball culture are closely intertwined, I bumping beats while I was watching some outstanding point guard play in our beloved NBA last weekend. I heard a dope joint by House of Pain, called On Point, which seemed to be serendipitous, even cosmic. This had to be a sign that I was to do an all point guard edition of the BUY/SELL, obviously. I was chosen, gentle reader, it’s out of my hands, I am merely a vessel. Woe to thee who ignores such a powerful connection, I don’t need that caliber of bad JuJu on my plate. So I give to you, an all PG edition:

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The morning Pods are here!  Slim deserves at least 24 shrimp on the barbie for being able to knock out the Pods in the morning, as we opened the show with it still dark out.  I wish the Razzball Basketball Podcast Studio was on a farm!  We’d hear background roosters!  On today’s show we recap big news from over the weekend including the Hawks backcourt, from the suggestion of commenter LOLER go through a few of our early surprises and disappointments, play another edition of Can We Make Slim Look Stupid, then preview tonight’s games with our 30-Point Challenge picks.

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After witnessing the Philadelphia lose their eleventh straight contest this year, needless to say, it certainly takes balls to be a 76ers fan right now. I’m not referring to testicular fortitude or alpha masculinity, but rather literally, to the ping pong balls of hope known as the 2016 NBA Draft Lottery. With the possibility of multiple lottery picks in the 2016 Draft, it’s going to be okay Philadelphia fans. Put down your weapons, we’ll get through this together.

But it may take some time, since the franchise is focusing on future contention; the on-court product suffers as the 76ers appear to be the worst team in basketball once again.

At this point, I’m just surprised Philadelphia still has a team website, since they can’t string three “W’s” together…

I think I’m going to hide in a corner for the rest of my life after that joke.

Philly, I’m rooting for you, and I’m rooting for the process!

Jahil Okafor continued to impact the box score with a 19 points, 11 boards, 1 assist, 1 steal, and 2 blocks. The Rookie of the Year frontrunner recorded his second straight double double against a soft Dallas front court. Luckily for fantasy owners, Okafor will see plenty of minutes to develop in the interim despite concerns about his immediate impact to the team’s chances of winning. Long term, his inabilities to defend the rim and stretch the floor may impact his fit in Philadelphia. I don’t think the coaching staff has any surprising moves in store for 2015 (such as playing more small ball around Noel or limiting Okafor’s minutes experimenting with more perimeter-based lineups), but moving forward, it is a trend to monitor as he continues to develop this year.

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Week 3 is in the books, and I gotta say, looking at this week’s FAAB bids is why I love the weekly REL recaps.  Several of the awarded players were “deep league” mentions in this morning’s daily notes, and can be a great way to keep an eye on the emerging guys from the wire a week or two earlier than 12ers.  Since I prematurely shot my wad on what hopefully ISN’T a dry run, I have a mess on my hands!  And the Elites didn’t let any of the big names fall through the cracks.  Lewis Black couldn’t catch it!  Here’s how week 3 went down in the REL:

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