Happy 2017, Razzball Nation!

After immense pressure from the DA’s office to flip on Tommy DeVito and Paulie Cicero, [redacted] needed protection to secure his testimony in putting those good fellas away. It didn’t start on the best foot either, as the WitSec guys asked [redacted] if he had any distinguishing marks and he lied about his tattoos… But the man formerly known as [redacted] changed his name to the very inconspicuous James Johnson, and moved his family to Miami. After being a humbling under-the-radar role player, Johnson was supposed to continue as merely a minutes-filler, amongst an uninteresting mix of PF to get through the tough void of losing Chris Bosh. He’s supposed to just shy away from dunk attempts and stand around on offense…

Well, way to ruin that, Johnson! We can’t protect you no more! An absolute monster weekend from Johnson, going 22/3/6/2/2 against the Celtics on Friday night with 4 treys, then followed it up with 20/7/3/1/1 against the Pistons. After a rough stretch of FT last week, he made 6-7 in these games too. With the added onus on O (no Goran Dragic or Justise Winslow OR Hassan Whiteside last night), he is turning it over a little too much (8 total in these two games), but with all the injuries and a void in playmaking on the Heat right now, Johnson is as erect as ever. He’s playing SF, PF, and even some C right now, so while we shouldn’t expect the 34 minutes like he got against the Pistons, he should be pretty solidified in his 25ish MPG role even when everyone is healthy. He’s gotta be a must-own in all leagues while this hot, as he has brazenly blown his cover. Hopefully no one recognizes him as [redacted]! Here’s what else went down over New Year’s weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

For richer for poorer, in SICKNESS and in health. Yeah, you gotta play through injuries, Josh Richardson! Part of the NBA grind! Attributing his shooting woes to a wrist injury (and hey, I’m not here saying he’s wrong or the wrist isn’t the issue!), J-Rich went into last night shooting an abyssal 26.4% from the field over the previous 5 games, and went so far as to saying he has a sharp pain in his wrist when he shoots right before last night. Well, apparently the Heat have some good painkillers, because ish wasn’t bothering him at all yesterday! Went for a career-best 22 points on 9-16 shooting (2-6 3PTM 2-2 FT) for 22/5/3/1/0 with no TO in 37 minutes.

Looks good to me! But yeah, BANK! Does that one still count…? Maybe more importantly though, kept gutting it out even after the Heat were getting slaughtered, unlike someeeeeeeeeeone (who we’ll get to below). I always liked J-Rich’s multi-cat ability, but argued with Slim about his FG/3PTM %s, not seeing a repeat of 45.2%/46.1% that we saw last year. Yeah, throw that out the window! But I don’t think he’s as bad as 38.6%/31%, and if the wrist thing was “that” bad, the lowly Heat would just shut him down. In one of his interviews on the ailing wrist, he did say “no excuses”; as I feel like I’ve seen a thousand times with lingering “smaller” injuries, it seems like the night is always darkest before the dawn when things turn around like this. I do wish we were seeing more steals (maybe the wrist is keeping him from playing more aggressive on D?) as his per-36 D-stats have fallen WAYYYY down from last year, but he’s on an awful team that is playing him big minutes, so I would be adding him again in 12ers. Let’s get the backed of our rosters J-Rich, bitch! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, without fantasy, blowout NBA games featuring sub-.500 teams might be more insufferable to watch than Vanderpump Rules. I would know, because I was watching both last night – L.A. hipsters being the absolute worst on the TV with the wife, then professional NBA players being the absolute worst on the iPad!

But of course some guys played well in the Denver @ Dallas travesty – a game I know Slim watched as well due to his Nuggets-bias – including Nikola Jokic going for a career-high 27/11/4/0/1. Hit 10-12 FG, 7-7 FT, and after Salah Mejri looked like Hassan Whiteside with 3 blocks in the first few minutes, Jokic really helped anchor down better post play.

Side note on those first two buckets for Jokic – look at Dwight Powell struggling to play D on centers. Just sayin’ based on our Pod this morning! Anywho, this is obviously the right step forward for Jock Itch to get unleashed, and he should have no problem working his way up to 30+ MPG every night now, right? RIGHT?!

F@#% You, Malone. So that tells me both A) you don’t reward players for playing well, B) but you do punish players for playing poorly, C) actually that makes total sense! It’s why we keep seeing the rotations wildly different night-to-night with no consistency for good performers. It’s exploitative coaching 101 – you don’t reward your underlings for doing something good, only punish them if they disobey. This also tells me it’s yet another Jusuf Nurkic slam, who went 4/6/2/1/0 on 2-6 shooting with 3 TO, and got thrown around a little by Mejri. I think Slim chose the wrong time to be REL-biased by the Nuggets, shoulda stuck with his Jazz! Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, hell of a weekend!  Injuries, DNPs, I got a credit card hacked, went to a wedding, saw the sorry Panthers beat Jay’s sorrier Chargers… Out of control out there!  Thankfully we’re nearing Christmas, time to see some family, gets some time off work, and hopefully get our fantasy teams healthy…  But noooooooooooooo!  The fantasy gods gave us a bah humbug last night, with Nerlens Noel finally debuting off knee surgery, only to go down with a kankle.  He was looking pretty good too, especially with a little dunk on his first basket!

The hair on the other hand…  I dunno…  Shot 3-5 FG, hit his 2 FT, for 8 points and a steal in his first 10 minutes of the season.  Sucks it ended prematurely with another injury, and especially on the Sixers, who are treating everyone with kid’s gloves and have too many centers anyway.  Also sucks we don’t have any idea what his role will be, as Joel Embiid sat this one out to further maintain his EMBIIIIIID minutes.  As long as it’s under 4 hours, we’re good!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in Fantasy Basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we’ve talked about in some of our intimate, 1-on-1 comments, Razzball Basketball is here to be your fantasy basketball therapist.  We coddle you through the bad breaks, get you through some SKIIIIIIIILES! frustration, help you be able to cut ties with injured players…  We’re a giant, comfy couch, and we want you to be comfortable and tell us why the fantasy gods hate you!

Well, in the same vein, you know I like to whine sometimes.  REL posts are great for that for my REL team, I sometimes get Kristaps Porzingis in 4 of 5 matchups in a hot week, etc. etc.  And I even pull in some real life whining, like today!  So, not for the first time, or the second time, but for the THIRD MF TIME in the past month, the Razzball Basketball studio’s internet got ripped from the house because a dumbass in an 18-wheeler-size Estes truck decided it was smart to drive it down our tiny side street.  That AND our good friends at Time Warner Cable assured us that the second time this happened, that it would be high enough to avoid large trucks.  The level of incompetency is unparalleled…  Well, I take that back, it’s about as competent as Mike Malone running his Denver rotations.  We talked about this in the comments that maybe he needs to become MALLLLLLLLLONNNNNNEEE!  …or something to that effect.  Just like ripping out a millennial’s life blood by taking out my internet, Malone has a team ritual every night, where he snatches up a fantasy basketball player and ties him up in the Denver locker room, and right before every game chants “KALI MA!  KALI MA!” and rips the poor guy’s beating heart out.  Depending on how many beats it has left is how long he plays Jusuf Nurkic.  Dude was playing fine last night!  11/3/1 in 17 minutes, with an efficient 4-6 FG and 3-4 FT – did have the 2 TO – but doesn’t play the final 22 minutes.  Even the poor Kenneth Faried owners got wrapped up in this mess, as Manimal played the opening 4 minutes, then didn’t play the rest of the first half, and got only 11 minutes total.  So you’re thinking big Nikola Jokic game right?!  21 minutes…  Joke was solid though, going 14/11/3/0/1 on 5-7 FG and 4-4 FT.  This is such a Temple of Doom, that even though it’s pretty common knowledge you should’ve been getting out ASAP, now it’s time to get out ASAP-er!  Drop Nurk, trade Joke off this game, I’m probably even dropping Faried.  Maybe in 12ers or limited-move RCLs you can give it one more game, but this was a good matchup against the Mess (even though Brook Lopez is playing on the perimeter now, maybe that screwed some stuff up), and if Malone has Faried in his doghouse, watch him start Darrell Arthur or some junk next Denver game.  Frustrating night!  Since I’m rushing through the notes at a Starbucks, this is going to be a lighter Daily Notes, so apologies for the brevity!  But I’ll be around for comments as always, so if something big happened I missed/you want to talk about, shoot your thoughts below!  Here’s what else happened last night in Fantasy Basketball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you love your ThrAGNOFs (who doesn’t love their 3PT shooters when they get mad hot!), then last night was a Monday for you! I imagine ThrAGNOF-lovers were like Al Pacino watching the NBA last night:

Even the ultimate ThrAGNOF (well he’s must-own, so like, ThrAGNOF on steroids) Klay Thompson fit the bill! Went nuts against the Pacers for a career-high 60 points in only 29 minutes. C’mon Kerr, let him go all 48 and chase Wilt! It was the most points scored in under 30 minutes in NBA history, and a much better movie than 30 Minutes or Less. Shot 21-33 for a 60/2/1/0/0 line with 8 treys. Doesn’t get ultimate ThrAGNOF any better than that!

Yay Klay, yay Klay! Steph has a new calling after his NBA career – Dallas Cowboys cheerleader. How did that not distract him?! Great game from Klay, and this what you get from him. Scoring outbursts, and not a whole lot else. So be happy you’re likely winning Pts and 3s this week, especially if you own some of the other big ThrAGNOF games last night! Here’s who else was notable in Fantasy Basketball on Monday Funday:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

In a matchup where they might’ve gone ahead and whipped em out to see who was bigger, this round went to Joel Embiid! The Sixers snapped the longest stretch of NBA games without back-to-back wins (108), by besting Hassan Whiteside and the Heat 101-94.

Look at Embiid flex those guns. So much man meat in the paint right there! Ok, I’m done with that, but it was awesome to see such prototypical, turn-back-the-clock big men face off against each other, with each being the current face of their respective franchise. Embiid had one of his best lines of the year, going 22/5/0/1/3 on 7-13 shooting, mainly highlighted by only one TO. He’s only had one game with 2 TO, and all the others 3+. On the flip side, Whiteside was a monster, going 32/13/0/0/2 on 13-19 shooting and hit 6 of his 8 FT. For the love of big man stats! Whiteside was 0-3 from the stripe in his previous game, so hopefully something has righted the ship there. Someone in the comments asked where Embiid might go in drafts next year, and I said 30-40 range. But at this rate, that might be too conservative! Let’s see him get through a full season first, and be sure none of that giant EMBIIIIIID gets hurt. I lied, I got one more in! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello Razzballers!  Welcome to the inaugural edition of the “The Numbers Game”.  I know, plain vanilla title but hopefully there will be some interesting golden nuggets of actionable information each week for everyone.  And I promise to not make it sound as boring as Statistics class.

This weekly segment will dig a little deeper into some league, team and players stats WITHOUT (hopefully) having to use the words Standard Deviation, Z-Scores, and all those weird stat symbols.  Who needs those when we can all exchange friendly banter in the comments section, criticize coaches and go through the roller coaster ride we submit ourselves each NBA season in the comments section.

The season is young and therefore take all of these stats with a grain of salt.  Nothing like the lack of sample size to skew numbers as outliers can easily move the numbers.  There is also the subjective aspect of it–whether it be a coaching change (did I hear someone say Asshat?) or a major lineup change or even just a relatively higher number of back to back games so far.

So without further ado, let’s get down to the it. This is a grid provided by BBM to its readers.  You might want to open it up in another tab as you might want to look back at it while reading further below.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

What an incredible NBA Opener for big men! Maybe the Sixers aren’t as crazy after all…? But the bigs across the league went absolute ham; they were big hams! It’s why in Supermarket Sweep the people would always go for the hams first. Why did they never go to the wine section?! Just nab the best ish there and start a party!

Myles and JV go for 30, Embiid has an epic debut, but it was Anthony Davis who takes home the best line of the openers thus far, going an absurd 50/16/5/7/4! I mean, it could literally be the best line of the season… Double rainbow, 7 steals?!, shot 17-34, and hit 16-17 FT. After taking a little flack keeping him #1 last year, Brow started the 15-16 season going 18/6/2/0/3 shooting 4-20 (420!) and 10-15 FT. Dude, apparently the Pelicans medical staff – in all of their immense glory and wisdom – should’ve taken a hammer to his ankle before last season! Hard to believe a mere 1.5 weeks ago his status for the opener was in question off a kankle, but we’re seeing the ups and downs of what it’ll be like to be a Brow owner. Especially the dread of seeing him play 41 minutes in a loss… I nabbed him in one league, and might try some preposterous sell highs. But the allure of lines like that are tough to ignore. We just all know we’re one horrific Pels medical staff decision away from this happening to him walking out of the training room. Here’s what else happened on our first major slate of NBA games of the 2016-17 Fantasy Basketball Season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With my Top 200 Rankings now complete and listed in one easy-to-use list, it’s time to take a look at where I stand against the experts. Every year, I ignore ADP and other ranking sets when making my top 200 list, so I’m not sullied with crazy opinions – many of which you can read about here! I am unsullied, like Khaleesi’s war general dude! That guy is boss! Except for… Well, ya know…

Stemming from a comment, I was asked more-or-less “who are your guys this year?” And well, without really knowing ADPs or expert consensus, it was tough to answer. So for the first time since I’ve been helming the Razzball ship (helm to 108!), I decided to put an article together, highlighting where I deviate from the septum. Time for a nose job! If Ryan Anderson breaks his nose this year, his new nickname should be Ryno-plasty! Ok, focus JB, I know you’re pumped for basketball, but we have your calls to get to! Here’s where I’m against the grain according to other experts’ ranks on FantasyPros:

Please, blog, may I have some more?