So, the playoffs are looming, duh. If you made it this far, looking into the first playoff week, I applaud you. I’m a nervous fantasy owner,  as I’ve never had a Cobra-Kai caliber team, one that looks to absolutely dominate in the playoffs, and gets all the chicks.

So if you’re like me, (fact: the number of Clubber Lang ass kicking teams out there are very few, so don’t get cocky), most of you you need to take a close look at your line up, and try to remove the attachment factor, when assessing your current roster’s talent. The thing that makes most fantasy managers difficult to trade with, myself included, which is over-valuing your current talent. Who is dead weight, who’s a streamer, and who is blue chip? Before you start worrying your pretty head with all that talent evaluation, it is absolutely essential that you first read Slim’s super duper article on the strategy of availability. It puts players in perspective. Not that I would suggest dropping Chris Paul or the other Blue Chippers on the Clippers, just because they play 2 games week 1 of the playoffs; but in the case of CP3, for example, you may need to focus on guard-typical stats from your streamer, as opposed to big-typical stats week 1. Make sense? Good. Here are a few cats you might be able to use off the wire:

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Before this playoff roster post gets too out of control I have a few things to say that will hopefully help to put things into perspective.  Like how this is based off of daily roster changes, 9-cat, H2H, you know, like the RCLs.  First off, everyone’s playoff needs are entirely dependent on the makeup of their roster.  It should be noted that this isn’t just about maximizing games, it’s also about helping to make up for our deficiencies.  For example, If I had Chris Paul on my team then I’m only going to get 2 games in the first round.  If I want to win let’s say assists,  then I need to stream accordingly.  Second, I’m going to use the saying, “heavy day”.  While trying my hardest to avoid the feminine hygiene jokes I will be referring to whether or not that days NBA schedule has a lot of teams playing or just a few.  This is important because on most heavy days you usually won’t need to stream a player or you may have a player you won’t get much from.  For instance Boston plays Mon, Wed, Fri next week and Wed, Fri, Sun the following week.  Wed and Fri are always heavy days and depending on the rest of your roster you may only get 1 game each week from say… Jerryd Bayless.  That would make him just about useless.  Third, I’m going to use 3-letter abbreviations for teams and days of the week.  Otherwise this would get far too unwieldy to read and I would have to learn how to spell all of those cities.  That’s not going to happen, isn’t learning the names of players enough?

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It’s finally here: All Star Weekend! It’s a shortened week, so you get a shortened article.  Like New Years Eve, I’m getting hyped up to be let down, the most common experience in life. I’d like to say I’m optimistic for the weekend’s festivities, that the changes to the dunk competition will make the product exciting, but I’m not. Nevertheless, it’s all about expectation. Take your fantasy squad: If you’re like me, you enjoy having a player on your roster being named to the All-Star squad. From my  perspective, it increases his value, even though we all know, that it really comes down to the numbers. But I have an expectation that players who have been named an All-Star will live up to that honour.

So now might be the time to buy an All-Star, who has the best part of the season (and his production) left, or to sell high on an All-Star who is overvalued. Understand that there are no steals here. You’ll pay (or receive) for every player listed below.  That said, here are a few names to consider:

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So imagine you’re heading into fantasy hoops last night, wondering what the headline would be.  You knock on the mansion’s door and Tim Curry is standing there all snippity-proper.  You say, “Hey, Timmy, someone is gonna kill it tonight!”  Could it be, Colonel Larry Sanders Mustard?  Nope!  His vision is too blurred to be the culprit.  And no, it’s not because he topped off his third bottle of Cristal just to have another blunt weapon, it’s because he got poked in the eye!  Could it be Reverend Jeff Green?  No way, he had his big night a few games ago, we all know it’ll be at least another two weeks until another good one!  So it’s surprise suspect #3, Professor Mason Plumlee, who went all Krzyzewki on the Pelicans leading the Nets in Pts Rebs Stls and Blks for a 22/13/0/3/2 line.  Shot 8-10, 6-9 from the stripe, and made Anthony Davis lose a wee bit of hair on his Brow.  “I’m supposed to be the high-flying big man in this game, Mason!”  The crowd wasn’t chanting MVP for ya in this one!  Awww, that’s mean.  After playing under 12 minutes the previous two, Plumlee got 28+ in the past two games and productive in both.  Keep Kevin Garnett at 13 minutes a game, Kidd!  I think a good way to approach Plumlee right now is like James Johnson.  Puts up solid stats all around (although a little less all-around than JJ) when he gets the minutes.  I think he’s gotten himself to fringe 12-team worthy depending on your roster comp.  Definitely needs to get scooped up in deeper.  I think enough minutes will be there for him to fill in some Pts/Rebs/Blks.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops:

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I might be making this up, but doesn’t Denver play the Flavor Flav “Yeah Boy!” when Randy Foye hits a three?  Well I hope they do!  After a brutal Super Bowl for the Broncos (and America), the Denver populous got some slight redemption with Foye hitting this buzzer-beater last night.  Sportscenter!  But even with that game-winner, Foye had a rainbow flirt of 14/7/4/1/2.  That’s not ThrAGNOF!  Even with Ty Lawson back, Foye is rackin’ up multi-cat!?  I haven’t been a big Foye fan for shallower leagues this year – I thought he was constantly overvalued – but getting 16 dimes in his previous game then a nice all-around line last night with Ty-Ty back; I think I’m a little more a believer.  Sure it’s only one game against a fast-paced Clippers team, but 40+ minutes yet again last night and now in three straight games and Foye is looking pretty locked in for good value right now.  Owned in 57% of Yahoo leagues seems a little thin.  Show ya Foye a little Flavor of Love.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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Whoa, domino.

We’ve seen it time and again in this year of NBA action, which has looked more like an episode of “E.R.” wrapped inside a scene from “Grey’s Anatomy” inside Nurse Jackie’s scrubs than it has the FAN-tastic exhibition of athletic excellence constructed by now-ex-commish David Stern.

The injury domino effect has wreaked havoc everywhere in real life, wrecking players’ seasons, sending some teams into tank mode while helping other teams tank.

In the fantasy world, the impact of these boo-boos has been equally killer for some owners and the big ones don’t even need to be listed. You all know ‘em.

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Last time I’m gonna mention it, I’m not a masochist, but last week, I suggested that Terrance Ross should be dropped. Well, I think he may read my smelly little article, because homeboy went off for 51 with 10 treys, making me look a fool. Well, to Terrance I say: “I don’t need any help looking like a fool, thank you very much!” I think I won that joust. But in all seriousness, there’s a good lesson to be learned here: never drop slam dunk winners! Wait, whut? No, Daniel-san, the real lesson is no matter how good you are, you’re gonna make mistakes in fantasy. I had Ross, and dropped him just in time to watch him put in a performance that would have won my week. But he had scored 14 points his previous 3 games, with not a lot of supporting stats, the drop was a good move, based on his numbers up to that point. I, like any good fantasy player, have to shake it off, and not beat myself  up too much.  So on that note, if you’re still reading, you may want to know whom to buy and whom to sell, and to that I say, thank you, read on, but obviously, buyer beware!

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I could tell what JB was thinking just from the look in his eyes, or what I could see of them, but he had to verbalize it, “Come on I really don’t want to do this.”  I’m sure he didn’t but a lost bet has consequences.  It was time to go play some 2-on-2 tournament basketball and he looked ready.  He was carrying his basketball in one hand, his sandals in the other, and sporting a bright orange and pink spandex leotard, which can you believe has to be special ordered.  I thought the big and tall store would have a couple to choose from but they don’t.  Anyway where was I, oh yeah, and a matching blindfold with a couple tiny holes poked out.  For safety.  At this point there was no escaping our fate, JB knew that what he wanted was no longer relevant.  When we finally arrived we were ready to ball.  I knew we needed to make an impression so in a show of intimidation I threw my shirt off revealing my shiny black Tom Selleck-esque body fur, pulled my socks up high and tight, and mean mugged those fools as hard as I could.

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When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009, it was a great example of how the Sports Karma Gods can sometimes rush in after tragedy strikes to lift a city up and help it rebuild.

But then that was it. No more, said the Sports Karma Gods. Because since 2009, Big Easy sports fans have endured the Sean Payton scandal, the Chris Paul trade, the Hornets changing their name to the Pelicans, the freaking horrible uniforms for this year’s NBA All-Star game and a rash of injuries not unlike the rash Candy Flanders gave me in my sophomore year of high school. Er, ah, moving on.

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I’m sure we’ve all experienced a day in our lives that through some kind of grueling experience we somehow came out victorious.  On the inside all we cared about was the instant satisfaction of winning but on the outside we appeared broken and defeated.  Not so long ago I had such a night.  It’s not the shame that makes it so difficult to talk about, but the shame that there’s a sense of glory and accomplishment that goes with it.  JB and I decided a few drinks were in order one night and we decided, while watching some NBA action, to have ourselves a little drinking game.  Sure I thought, I’ve had a few already how bad can this be?  The deal was that we would pick a player and for each assist that player had the other person would have a drink.  JB wanted it to be field goals made but I managed to talk him into assists, or so I thought.  “Chris Paul“, I said without hesitation.  Looking back I probably had a really stupid smirk on my face.  JB calmly ordered himself another, then he ordered me an appetizer – which looking back may have saved my life.  With a perfectly calm demeanor I got to hear words that will still cause me to cringe, “Kendell Marshall“.

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