We’re back with an all new, special, Friday edition of the Razzball Hoops Pod! Ending the week in style! On today’s show, we catch up on “Walls”, alternative facts, and how rough a life is without Waiters! Hah! We also chat on Jabari Parker‘s sky-high stock, the Clippers getting a star back/some other guys stepping up, and our worry level for The Goose. Finally, we preview tonight’s games with our 30-point challenge picks and wrap up the week – as always – at the movies.

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I’m pleased to announce that the Razzball family has a new baby bot. We’re calling him Stocktonator and he’s programmed to assist (motherf***in’ pun!) season-long and DFS fantasy basketball players all while wearing uncomfortably short shorts that only just conceal his ball bearings. (Shoutout to JB for the Stocktonator visual)

The methodology behind Stocktonator’s projections (today’s games + next 6 days + a 7 day total) is as follows:

  • Create ‘per 36 minute’ rate stats for each stat category using past performance backtested to determine proper weighting – e.g., yesterday’s game has higher weight than 80 games ago.
  • Use a Player Reference file updated hourly to determine a player’s status – e.g., Healthy, Questionable, Out, etc.
  • Model likely starters based on active players and project player minutes using previous games and starter/bench role. Adjust/redistribute player minutes so that team minutes sum up to 240 + an OT adjustment (closer games more likely to go to OT).
  • Replaced modeled starters with actual starters if the lineup has been posted. (Shoutout to malamoney for his invaluable help on this task!)
  • Adjust player rate stats based on opponent defense.
  • Adjust player/team possessions based on team’s average possessions/game and opponent possessions/game.
  • Adjust player rate stats based on deltas between Vegas projected team points and Stocktonator’s projected team points.
  • Apply rate stats to projected minutes.
  • Tiny adjustment to player points based on deltas between Stockonator’s team point projection and Vegas point projection.
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A number of injuries to key players (at least fantasy wise) are starting to crop up again.  Hassan Whiteside is questionable for Friday vs CHI.  Deron Williams is the same for tonight’s game (2nd half of a b2b game) vs OKC.  Anthony Davis is showing how his body is truly made of glass and it seems like if he’s not a DNP, he’s missing quarters due to injuries.  It appears like he re-aggravated that thigh bruise and he could be shut for a game or 2 to give it time to completely heal. Al Horford, although listed as probable for tomorrow’s game vs ORL, seems to have some groin issues.

If any of these guys miss a game or two to end the week, it could open up some playing time for back ups and/or opposing players to produce above their averages.

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Oh man, what a fun day this is for Razzball Basketball! Let’s start with our big announcement we’re making later today – I’ve teased it a few times, but it’s coming this afternoon! We’ve got a special post going up today that is going to: Blow. Your. Mind. I’ll just leave it at this – it involved robots and very short shorts…

On top of THAT, what a fun night of hoops on Humpday! We had epic drama with the Kings somehow beating THE King (in Cleveland no less!), yet another tripdub for Russ, but then a late night wonder with my boyfriend Ivica Zubac having another awesome game! My preseason darling looked further away than ever for minutes when he barely got run in preseason games, but he just kept his head down and powered through some D-League stints and a handful of junk time minutes here and there until the Lakers finally started unleashing him. Had the 11/13/1/1/3 line 3 games ago against the Nugs, then after low minutes for two games, exploded again last night for 12/10/2/0/3.

He’s just so big and so fundamental! He did only shoot 5-15 from the field (a few “misses” were on consecutive putback attempts though…) and had 4 TO, but hit 2-2 FT and typically should be a true 8-cat guy (no treys). As I mentioned on the Pod last week, in the D-League he shot 57.8% from the field, 82.9% from the FT line, and had a 15.6/9.7/1.3/0.2/1.0 line in 13 games at 30 MPG. I mean, it’s not “epic”, but he’s still only 19 and looks like he could turn into Jonas Valanciunas with D-stats. With ZuBlock showing off his potential and our big announcement today, I’m like a rabid Beatles fan this morning!

After pimping him hard as a possible second-half sleeper in the preseason (I initially ranked him like 160 or something, but then they signed Tarik Black and never played Zubac in the preseason, so I cut him out of my top 200), it’s 100% time to add him if you need a big. It might be bumpy for minutes, but the Lakers have fallen to 16-33 and it’s time to keep the youth developing. Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball last night:

PS – Podcast will be out tomorrow morning – we are recording later today, just a day behind. Can’t wait to gloat about taking back the 30-point challenge lead!

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Austin Rivers is finally busting out, and showing the ability that we all knew he had.  It appears that biggest factors in this breakout are minutes and confidence.  Rivers is playing with swagger now, and the numbers bear that out.  Over the last two weeks he’s averaging a slash line of 17.2/2.3/4.3/0.5/0.3 with 2.2 treys, 48% FG and 80% from the stripe.  He’s a must-own while CP3 is out, and frankly, he should be a solid part of the Clippers future from here on out.  Unfortunately he’s now just over 50% owned in most leagues, so this is the last call on Rivers.  Please go get him…

Secondly, I would just like to point out what a miserable team the Sacramento Kings are.  Rudy Gay is out now, yet nobody gained any value.  How is that even possible??? Gay’s injury opened up 34 minutes per game of playing time, and the result is negligible!  Come on man!

Anywaysssssss, here are the updated wire recommendations for the week:

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Andrew Wiggins will turn 22 in less than a month, but he knocked down what should be the first of many buzzer-beating game winners, becoming the youngest player of the season to do so:

A buzzer-beater win in Minnesota is rarer than a healthy Nikola Pekovic. The last one happened almost 5 years ago on a Luke Ridnour floater on February 22, 2012. About the same time as Pek’s last game.

In addition to the game-winner, Wiggins added 31 points (11-22 FG), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 2 threes. Wiggins continues to develop in his third NBA season and makes the young Timberwolves roster a fun team to watch.

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Damn, what a game in Miami! There’s a sentence I wouldn’t have thought I’d say in 2017… Dion Waiters playing like an absolute boss and is 100% must own! Ditto…

Capping off an unbelievable game for Waiters (33/5/4/1/0 on 13-20 shooting with 6 treys), was this game-winning trey that will likely be the Heat’s biggest shot this season.

Take that, 14-15’s NBA title-winning Warriors! Revenge is a dish best served 1.5 years cold! Crazy win in Miami for the upset, and giving Waiters an encore of his career-high 33-points against the Bucks with a matching effort. I obviously don’t think he’s going to become a 30+ point scorer here on out, but the opportunity is there for him to jack up his shots. Absolutely add him everywhere – even if he is a hot ThrAGNOF – then if he goes ice cold, you just drop him! Why threes ain’t got no face! He should chip in a couple dimes as well, but even after a high-volume 25-39 FG back-to-back set, he’s still barely over 40% shooting from the field this season, and he’s a terrible FT shooter (65.2%). Coupled with 2+ TO a game, and he’s pretty metrics-unfriendly. I would still add him everywhere, which I tried to do yesterday, until Slim decided to be an absolute tool and beat me to it while recording the Pod yesterday. Well, joke’s on you Slim, you missed this game last night because it’s Daily – Tomorrow in the RCL!

What an incredible night in the NBA last night with two huge game-winners in the final seconds, plus for a little Razzball-specific incredibleness, we’ve got a huge announcement coming this week! Let’s just say it involves fortune-telling and amazingness… That’s right, we hired Miss Cleo! Wait, I think it’s “too soon” to make that joke… Anywho, here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Title says it ALL! Slim was the absolute worst on this Podcast – hell of a way to kick off our week – by taunting me with waiver wire adds and his general skullduggery… I would’ve picked up Dion Waiters first, if it weren’t for you meddling kids! We talk Waiters, some injuries, and have our general fun times, shower praise on our current RCL leader, play a Grammy Award-Winning version of Can We Make Slim Look Stupid, then preview tonight’s games with our 30-point challenge picks.

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RCL Nation! So much has gone on since we last checked in! Major injuries to highly drafted guys, we know who is going to be in the Super Bowl, we have a new US President… The world just never stops turning!

Speaking on turning, mannnn I need a few of my RCL teams on the fringes to start turning around, dammit! Losing Chris Paul in one and Pau Gasol/Rudy Gay in another has NOT been a fun week… Russia hacked my RCL rosters, I’m WikiLeaking water over here!

But weathering all the proverbial storms out there, is our current RCL leader in first place. He’s in…? He’s innnnn….? That’s right, The Doc is In! With a record of 81-34-2 and 164 RCL points, the Doc is in command, that’s for sure! So it’s up to the rest of the WE-GOT-A-TROPHY! league to put an end to this clinical madness!

Check out how your teams stacked up after weeks 12-13 in the 2016-17 RCL Master Standings Table table, and here’s some notable takeaways from the past two regular season weeks across our 23 RCL Leagues:

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REL Basketball1Usually in the open I talk about the team in first, but that seems self-serving and weird right now…  Did I veil that gloat at all?!  No, no, in all honesty, I have matchups against the 2-4 seeds still to go, so still have some work to do.  Dynasty leagues are never on cruise control!  Which was also the lesser-preferred subtitle to “Speed 2”.  A lot of squads got some reinforcements off the wire this week, but not big money splashes…  The trade deadline should see a nice big wad of cash thrown on the wire, like during a Pacman Jones lap dance!

Here’s how week thirteen in the 2016-17 REL went down, and how we’re looking heading into week fourteen:

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