So… It was a ridiculous weekend of injuries with the NBA pulling its best NFL impression.  ”Look how many people we can hurt too!”  Right now the safest big sport might be hockey… The survivors of this NBA-wide injury bug should barricade themselves in a giant prison.  OK, so that’s not exactly the best analogy… Look out for the Governor!  Arguably the biggest injury over the weekend was another knee giving out for Derrick Rose, who tore his meniscus and is having surgery some time today.  This is about the worst thing that could’ve happened for fantasy this season.  No, not because I’m a Rose owner… But because of all the Rose questions!  Of course this would happen for a second straight year.  So obligatory memo, statement, press release – Razzball’s official stance on answering questions on Rose will involve no guesses or speculation to his return!  Well, Pete, Slim, & Dan can… I guess.  But I’m not doing this again!  ”Hey JB, when’s the end of the world?”  ”When am I going to win the lottery?”  ”How in God’s green earth did the Patriots win last night?”  ”When will the Spurs finally kick out all the vets and give Kawhi Leonard superstar touches?!”  I just don’t have the answers!  We saw Russell Westbrook go down with a meniscus injury, only to need a second clean-up surgery.  Rose has said he’s leaning towards a reattachment procedure that would cost him the season, plus Rose has his other knee just off the ACL.  His knees have gone the way of Kyle’s knees in that South Park episode after his expletive-plasty.  Hopefully Rose’s surgeon is part-Borg and can get something mechanical going on in there.  ”He’s more machine now than man…” Dude, I just crossed sci-fi swords there in a major fail… Here’s what else went down across fantasy hoops over the weekend:

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Ohhhh, Blake Griffin.  Well maybe stud is a reach… I don’t want to change the title!  With your powerful dunks and lifeless expression when you try to make the other team hit you…  Sigh.  I think Griffin was on some of the most overrated/bust/avoid lists on draft sheets heading into the season, and rightfully so.  But maybe I’m just in my own head with a false narrative… The scoring and rebounding in 2012-13 went down for the third consecutive season (as did his minutes), and he just didn’t do enough multi-cat for you to pay the premium over your moron little brother’s friend who only knows NBA players from Sportscenter top 10.  Gerald Green, first pick!  That said, it was still a solid 2012-13 campaign.  I ended up having him at 42, 7 higher than Yahoo and 10 below ESPN, so I was right in the middle.  His ADPs on both sites were 6-7 picks ahead of their respective rankings, but I think the hardcore fantasy players were probably avoiding at the ADPs.  He’s looked fantastic so far this season, averaging a career-high Pts, shooting his best FG% and stealing at a career pace.  I really liked what he did last night, as Serge Ibaka was letting him have his shot from outside, and BGriff was draining em.  Ended his night with a sultry 12-13 27/10/5/2 line.  It’s like he went back in time, and told his 2011 self to get better at racking up fantasy stats.  Championships? Pshhhh, we want fantasy goodness!  I know I won two fantasy leagues last year, but I have no idea who won the Finals!  I’m not exactly going to unload my roster to try and get Griffin, but I wouldn’t be selling high either if I ended up with him.  Sit back, and enjoy your highlight dunks.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Even though he looks exactly like the youngest kid from Malcolm in the Middle, Steve Blake is playing like an NBA PG in the top.  Last night’s 16 Asts gives him 10+ in four straight, and starting to remind us of Chris Paul who has started the year with the ten straight 10+ dime games.  You can’t go anywhere in LA without someone trying to give you a dimebag!  I think that’s going to be a new term I’m going to add into the Razzball lexicon, 10+ assists equals a dimebag.  As in, “the Lakers got so high last night with Steve Blake handing out a dimebag!”  Pretty soon it won’t even be a crime anywhere.  Rasheed Wallace is like, “man I played at the wrong time!” Blake is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and I think will be all year.  He’s been D-Antoni-ed. Here’s what else I saw across fantasy hoops over the weekend:

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Sooooo… Last night just happened.  It was the wildest night of fantasy hoops that I could ever remember.  Sure my memory isn’t exactly like Ken Jennings, but yea… Definitely going to break the “what the hey?!” record!  The Fantasy Basketball world just stood still.  It was just like the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.  Is that Keanu Reeves?  What is Jaden Smith doing here?  Wait, is this an actual plot?  There’s just too much crazy to care about these special effects!  There were like, a million three pointers last night.  Tony Wroten had a triple double.  Ok, who had Wroten in the triple-double pool?  I think if you had bet on that in Vegas you coulda turned a dollar into owning the state of Nevada.  18/10/11 while shooting 7-18.  A lot of Philly stats got boosted by the Rockets pace, and if you hadn’t heard yet, Michael Carter-Williams was a very late scratch with a sore foot.  What are they feeding these guards in Philly?  I think it’s obvious that to be a good NBA PG you must diet solely on cheesesteaks.  But enough meandering, let’s go straight into the nitty gritty, the CGI effects if you will, for the reason why you’re here:

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The Fournier-Year-Old Virgin

After a very tough start to his season going 2-14 in his first two games, Evan Fournier finally found his stroke last night going 5-10 (2-3 3PTM) for a 12/3/2 line in a season high 25 minutes.  If you’re like me, you’re a Fournier virgin in all leagues.  Sure he’s way off the map (I don’t know where France is!), but I have a feeling he could surprise later on in the season.  In the last 8 games of 2012-13, Fournier went 11.5 Pts (0.9 3PTM) 2.3 Rebs 2.8 Asts 1.4 Stls while shooting 50% from the field and 92.9% from the stripe in only 23 minutes a game.  Now that was on a playoff team, resting some stars – sure, but this Nuggets team is a mess right now.  I know they just beat the Hawks, but a lineup starting Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton (of course Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are on the shelf), Fournier could get late season run as I highly doubt the Nuggets make the playoffs.  He’s a great off-the-radar multi-cat guy to keep your eye on especially in deeper leagues as we start getting into the meat of the season.  Here’s what else I saw last night in the NBA:

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Things were looking oh so good for the Colonel’s original recipe heading into the season.  I bought the whole bucket, the two sides and a giant big gulp of tea.  But Larry Sanders could very well be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2013-14, for reasons on and off the court.

Sanders signed a 4-year deal in the offseason worth a cool $44 million bucks (worth, about, a million buckets of chicken!), and the Bucks regime had big plans for their center.  GM John Hammond, while trying to keep his Jurassic Park island under control, said Sanders was the key to the team.  Hammond, you lost your keys!  Bucks are locked out… Then the season started with Sanders nearly fouling out in 12 minutes, and in three games hasn’t played more than 22 minutes, hit 2 FGs, or grabbed more than 4 boards.  I was on the buy low bandwagon faster than a short sell in Trading Places.  But after complaining about playing time, Sanders reportedly got into a bar fight Saturday night and effed up his thumb.  Stop giving him roids, Braun, we don’t need more roid rage in Milwaukee!  I wonder if he was getting hazed by Ersan Ilyasova like Richie Incognito.  ”You must play better, now!” yells Ersan in a thick Turkish accident.  Hey, Ilyasova was a scratch last night too, Gus Ayonin’!  Anyway, Sanders is accused of breaking champagne bottles over peoples’ heads, and to top if off he then missed Monday’s game because his wife went into labor.  Sorry Larry Sanders Jr… I’m just sorry… Hopefully this version of The Larry Sanders Show ends anti-climatically with Sanders getting back on the court and giving fantasy owners something.  If you’ve got him, you have to be holding and hoping Sanders can settle down and have this blow over, before he’s looking back at his life and he’s Robert Swift.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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Are you not entertained?!

Chris Paul sure put on a show last night, dropping treys, lobbing alleys, fending off tigers chained up as obstacles.  You name it!  He torched the Warriors in the Clippers “home opener” (despite it being their second straight game in LA) for an unreal 42/4/15 and 6 steals.  Shot 12-20 from the field and won you FT% this week going 16-17 at the stripe.  Paul was so much like Russell Crowe.  In LA there’s even a “Coliseum” (ok maybe that’s a stretch)!  Games like this support Doc wanting to cover up the banners and jerseys.  Even when Kobe gets back, Paul has to be the best player in LA.  I said it before on Opening Night and reiterate below, but the acquisition of J.J. Redick does wonders for Paul in the Clippers spacing.  I said he’ll have double-digit assists almost every game.  I said he’d score 42 against the Warriors.  Dammit, OK so I didn’t say that second one.  Elite assists and steals are par for the course, and scoring like this in a few more games will have him the easy #3 fantasy player.  Here’s what else I saw in last night’s two NBA games:

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Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50.  Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots.  Have fun grilling these!

(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause.  Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury.  He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again.  He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3′s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter.  Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.

(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big.  The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.

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Social media has made it so that we know everything about everyone. I get that. That’s old news.

But the new news is the whole subgenre of “let’s-know-everything” in fantasy sports. The illustrious Grey Albright has been lampooning the adventures of Salvador Perez and his grandmother for the entire baseball season.

Not to toot our own horn, but I gotta say Razzball is one of the lone fantasy sites that rises above this silliness.

Yahoo!, on the other hand, is one of the biggest offenders. This summer we learned that Prince Fielder might have been in a slump because he was divorcing his wife, and teammate Torii Hunter was quoted as a source to back this assessment up. Definitely fodder for a celebrity gossip site, most likely a feature on increasingly sensationalistic ESPN and arguably relevant for a normal sports site. But for fantasy purposes? Didn’t need to know that.

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The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty.  With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar.  Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:

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