I’m back y’all! It’s gonna be a stunted article, as the season started Tuesday, and I’m writing this on Thursday evening to submit, so please, just be happy for this small sample of what’s to come. Think of it as dessert before dinner. Then more… dessert?

Ok: I have been contacted by a few of you out there , already stressing about your squad (you know who you are, don’t look around the class!) It’s been a few games. Please try to “chill”, as the kids are saying these days. Adopt your Macaulay Culkin stance in the Michael Jackson video, as a baaad mutha…

First and foremost, I council patience. Don’t tinker too much with your squad in the first 3 days, nobody has any idea what’s what in the world of fantasy, too small a slice thus far.  But since I am contractually obligated to come up with something, consider the following as guys to consider, considering what I just asked you to consider:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!

You’ve been clamoring for it, protesting for it, eager for it… But now it’s back!  DraftKings is once again a Razzball Basketball sponsor, so if you’re playing daily fantasy, DraftKings is the place to go.

Starting next Wednesday, DraftKings is spoiling Razzball Basketball with a RAZZBALL ONLY contest, which players can only get through a link on the Razzball Basketball article.  It will be mano-y-mano against Razzball competition.

Why daily fantasy?  Well, we all know the fantasy basketball season is a grind, so with daily fantasy leagues you win right away, never have to deal with injuries, and can talk smack on the spot.  If you’re new to daily fantasy, you’re given a starting budget ($50,000 in DraftKings) and select players that you think will score the most that night using that budget.  Scoring for DraftKings is similar to a points league, and you can find the breakdown here.

“Isn’t daily fantasy for money?” you may ask.  Well, a lot of the time it is, but you can play for as little as $0.25 along with playing in a ton of free contests with some substantial payouts.  Like the contest I’m in tonight (my username is JBRazzball), the NBA $50K LAYUP which is paying out $50 grand in cash prizes and is absolutely FREE!  Yup, free.  So clickity-click the link right there, and draft a team tonight!

With the Razzball only contest starting next week, I’m only giving away 5 of my picks each week.  That’s still 5 of my 8 players, so you’re getting a pretty in-depth glimpse into my soul!  You’re all like Mrs. Cleo out there… And of those picks, I’m going to try and pick a few value guys and a few bigger names that I think are worth the price.  Here’s my starting 5 for DraftKings tonight:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the season just a few days away, I’ll be covering the latest injury news for all those last minute drafters. Guys will be held out of preseason games for various ailments, so don’t overreact to every DNP in the preseason box scores. I can’t cover every NBA injury, but will try to cover the biggest injuries to start the season.

Unless you have been living under a rock over the summer, you have seen Paul George’s gruesome injury. He broke his leg in an US Olympic Team scrimmage. The leg injury has a 12-18 month timetable so George will be out for the entire regular season. He may play in the playoffs, but that doesn’t affect us fantasy players.

In redraft leagues, you don’t draft George. He won’t be playing this season, but should return to form the following year. In dynasty leagues, it gets a little trickier. If your team isn’t competing this year, then definitely invest a mid-round pick on him and stash him for the next season. If you think you can compete this year, get someone else who will play this year.

With George’s injury and Lance Stephenson’s trade to the Charlotte Hornets, there will be a lot of playing time and statistics up for grabs. Larry Bird says that the offense will rely more on George Hill. He’s never been the focal point of the offense so there may be some growing pains, but he’s a solid career shooter (44.8 FG%, 80.8 FT%, and 37.1 3FP%) and with increases in the counting stats, should be a solid mid-round value. He’s suffered a knee contusion, but should be ready to go for the start of the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So this is why preseason wrap ups are tough.  News flutters around willy-nilly like that bag that dumbass had an obsession with in American Beauty.  And most of the news has about as much meaning…

First there’s Razzball lovebrows Anthony Davis spraining his wrist last night, and Monty Williams held him out as a precaution.  Davis wanted to come back into the game, but Monty was like, “nuh uh, girlfriend!  Shaniqua don’t live here no mo’!”  Not to be out-overreactioned, Russell Westbrook also sprained his wrist on Sunday.  Neither are serious, and this is why the wrap-ups are eye-roll fests through preseason.  A lot of worthless mud to pan through just to get a fleck of gold.  (True story – when I was like 8 or 9 years old, we did a class field trip to pan for gold and a portly kid got a tiny mote worth, the only one to get any.  Then I traded him some peanut butter-filled chocolate my mom packed me for lunch for it.  Talk about knowing your audience!)

Can you believe we’re a week away from opening tip?!  This is the last preseason wrap until next Tuesday to preview the season, and daily from there.  Can’t wait for this shizz to start!  My final re-rankings will be out tomorrow, we’ll get to meet some new writers, and two final preseason Pods (tomorrow and next Tuesday) before we get some real games to talk about on air.  Here’s what else has gone on in the world of preseason NBA action:

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Ahh, it’s good to be back. I feel like a bear coming out of hibernation. Except it’s the fall, not the spring. And I’m fatter, not thinner… Ok, it’s a terrible simile. Just shaking off the rust. But it appropriately illustrates what you should expect from the following cerebral voiding.

This is my bold predictions article, my writing equivalent to a Dubbya Bush “going with my gut!” moment. You want facts, stats, metrics? Keep walking, fella. This here piece is chock full of conjecture, fact-glossing best guesses, and shockingly basic deductive reasoning. Slim and JB are the fact finders, and, let’s face it, the guys whose advice you really should follow. BUT FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BOLD! And if nothing else, the following moves would certainly be considered bold. What I hope you take away from this, good reader, are reasons that I think a few players may be under valued, and therefore grabbed, or higher than they should be, and not reached for.

We’re wheeling and dealing here folks, no reasonable offer refused, so come on down to the lot, there’s a clown making balloon animals for the kids! Take a gander:

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Slim and I dressed up in suits and bow ties, Slim gelled his beard, I flossed for the first time since 2011, and we went in and crashed the Yahoo Friends & Family League!  What fantasy basketball draft isn’t improved with an early Latrell Spreewell joke in the draft chat?

So with the updated Yahoo player ranks eerily mimicking a lot of our sleeper calls, Slim and I had to really pull A Beautiful Mind to get our draft strategy in order.  On top of drafting with some experts, league settings were a major factor in our strategy.  The league is a 12 team H2H, but instead of RCL/default week 21-23 playoff schedule, the Y! F&F is weeks 22-24.  Right away, all Cavaliers were absolutely off-limits.  Looking at Slim’s ridiculously awesome breakdown of playoff schedules, the Cavs have 3 games week 22, 2 in week 23, then week 24 is the final 10 days of the season.  I’m not even going to look at their schedule, since there’s a good chance the Cavs rest their starters for several games in that final 10 days.  The experts knew this too, as Kevin Love fell to 15th overall, with us passing on him with pick 14.

The other main settings differences were roster composition and the league is weekly with only 2 moves allowed a week.  The roster breakdown is PG, SG, SF, PF, C, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, BN, BN, BN.  Slim and I unanimously agreed to go PG and C heavy, filling out SG/SF with ThrAGNOFs.  Limited moves also made us want to hoard PG since fewer will break out off the wire.  Here’s how team Razzball (will be co-managed by both of us) panned out:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 50.  Through the top 20, we’ve already had 6 PGs taken off the board, but your third round is going to be more littered with 1s than Neo’s kung-fu program!  If you don’t have a PG through your first three rounds, you may as well turn into Brendan Fraser and live for 30 years with your dad Christopher Walken.  Or just scream in your draft lobby chat “WILLLLSSSOONNNNNN!”  …because you’ve been left behind, not because you’re drafting Wilson Chandler… “It’s not funny if you have to explain your joke, JB!”  Fine!  Probably the biggest change from the Way too Early Ranks is the catastrophic Isaiah Thomas falloff moving to Phoenix.  While he’s not in the top 50, I still think he’ll be a value.  More on that later!  Here’s my top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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Happy draft lottery, Cleveland-ites!  Is having another 1st overall pick enough to lure LeBron back?!  I think chances of that are as good as Anthony Bennett turning out to be a good player…

And now to the fun stuff… Figuring out where to rank the volatile middle-tier guys.  As Paris Hilton once said, “Studs are studs!  Except for when they’re busts!”  Wow, awful.  Needed to get some shock value in here – that was my proverbial watermelon mallet.

After the top 20, things get pretty tricky this early in the offseason.  And until a good bit after the NBA Draft, 50 is as high as we’re gonna go.  The draft class is loaded, and several should proliferate into the top 100, with a few even top 50 guys in the right situation.  Then free agency, old guys retiring, all that hooblah.  But if you’re thinking ahead to some dynasties or formulating some early fantasy draft strategies, here’s my way too early Top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: still no Jonas Valanciunas):

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More rankings, more “hindsight is 20-20″-ing!  Damn man, seeing LaMarcus Aldridge carve up the Rockets after his huge season is bumming me out – even before I hop into reviewing 21-50!  Get the red marker ready Slim!  Get that F ready!

Just like we reviewed in the Top 20, rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim busts out his grading pens and reviews for grammatical correctness and how stringently I followed the assignment.  “What if I stay after class for tutoring!?”  This dialogue and mental image is starting to sound like a low-rent porno.  It’s not like that!  Here’s a look back at the Top 50 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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When the mythical beast of the Goromotaro was awakened, we’ve seen very few bigs able to top the 20/20 plateau.  It’s what hindsight is!  Then Anthony Davis goes out and drops a 40-burger topped with multi-cat sauce.  “Welcome to King Burger where you can have it your way but don’t get crazy!”  Brow went too crazy!  40/21/3/1/3.  Sassy.  Almost a rainbow, definitely a Goromotaro, and certainly spiking the Brow value into probably the 3rd pick next year.  I said early on in the year I’d go top-5, but he’s locked in the three hole now.  You can set it and forget it.  Plus he’s a redonk 29 for his last 29 at the stripe.  Just so valuable that one of the big Boards-N-Blocks can actually hit free throws.  So in drafts next year, you can pass on Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan later on.  Plus you won’t be looking at your roster and taunting it like Katt Williams when pulled over by Shaq.  “No – could you hit a free throw!”  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend:

Please, blog, may I have some more?