If you recall back to last week, I remember talking up Jon Leuer as an interesting deep league play.   Loved the out-of-position threes, the boarding, the all-around production.  I said I would probably go after him in REL, and then Slim tells me he’s probably not bidding on him this week.  So I figure, I can dangle a few bucks and if someone beats me to him so be it.  But it shouldn’t have been you Slim!!  He Leuered me in with scoffing and brush-off ness.  Slim, you want to repay me for this horrific slight of hand?  Trade him to me!  I guess I should talk more about Leuer than rant…  Just over 27 minutes last night for 16/12 with a three on 7-14 shooting.  This now marks five straight games of 23:30+ minutes, averaging nearly a double-double a game on top of almost a three a game with a few blocks.  He’s not going to turn into some superstar, but he’s a great stretch the court center, which fits Mike Conley trying to drive and dish.  Sorry Kosta Koufos, but your outside shots are labradoodles!  That term needs to be added to the glossary…  I see Leuer continuing his PT as a double double threat while Marc Gasol is out, with a handful of threes, steals and blocks to help out deeper leagues.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Ending up with a late-round pick in this year’s fantasy draft is like reaching the front of the line at McDonald’s and having the former computer analyst behind the counter tell you that they only have chicken sandwiches left.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with Al Jeffersons and Carmelo Anthonys, but I came here for the Big Macs, not those Southwest whatever-you-call-its with the weird sauce.

Picking in that slot seems to be having a ripple effect. At that point all the elite guys are gone, so you have to take someone like Jefferson or Anthony or gamble a little on a guy like Derrick Rose. Also, if you didn’t get James Harden, Stephen Curry or Paul George, you’re going to have to either reach or punt a little on SG, because there isn’t one of proper value to take at that spot.

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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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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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As we continue to navigate through the NBA Playoffs, it’s been a fun challenge to rank for the 2013-2014 season.  There’s still free agency.  There’s still a draft.  Hey, at least we know there will be a season unlike 2011!

If you missed it, my top 10 then top 20 came out last week.  Hey, it’s early, you might say “way too early” (see what I did there, it’s in the title!) so these rankings are subject to change.  And I want no accusations of flip-flopping!  It’s not my fault if all the sudden Dwight Howard goes to the Bobcats and becomes a first-rounder!  OK, so that is as likely as Rony Seikaly… returning.  You gotta stop on the word that rhymes Jean-Ralphio!  Man I’m liking that show.  Also, random side note, Googling Rony Seikaly to spell his name correctly broke Google.  I searched it and it would freeze, despite everything else working.  Weird.

As I battle my ADHD to get into the rankings, let’s just dive into it:

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So these guys aren’t in the top ten.  They automatically hate me and I automatically hate them… Well not really of course, but I want to tease out the drama!

After the first 6 picks, ending with Chris Paul for me, it’s becomes a mess of upside players and seasoned vets all tossed around like Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton in Twister.  Then that tornado finished the job last year, ripping off Hunt’s clothes for The Sessions.

Without further ado, here are the guys I’d be ripping my clothes off for to round out my top 20:

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In a light slate of games, there were two premiere matchups with the Knicks at Celtics and Clippers at Mavericks.  What game do I get highlights for?  Timberwolves at Pistons.  C’mon Gary!  J.J. Barea looked good!  Sigh.

The Knicks took care of the Celtics and apparently after being compared to Stevie Nicks in a major sports media outlet, have started playing like a team atop the East again.  In the West, The Mavs needed overtime to knock off the Clippers with both Chris Paul and Dirk Nowitzki putting up 33 a piece.  “Whatever you can do, I can do equal!”  How communistic.

Let’s go through the noteworthy fantasy performances last night:

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Where were you in 1999?  Hard to believe that’s 14 years ago!  I’m a spring chicken, so I was in 6th grade.  Man, middle school was the worst.  Elementary school was the shizz and in high school you could smoke good shizz.  But middle school kids were just mean.  Where was Tim Duncan in 1999?  Oh just winning an NBA title with David Robinson.  I had completely forgotten David Robinson has a 71-point game in 1994.  Maybe Brittney Griner could get that.  Duncan was huge last night fending off the Mavericks, grabbing the second highest total of rebounds this season with 19 and scoring 28 points on 12-20 shooting.  After missing a game with a sore knee, Duncan didn’t miss a beat in the post.  With the trade deadline passed, Duncan owners can have some optimism that even if he sits a game here and there down the stretch, he can still go off and be one board away from a Goromotaro.

It was a light slate of NBA games (only 2 last night), but let’s take a quick look at what happened across the NBA:

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In the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal magic and fantasy are all around you (expelliarmus!), but not far from there at the Amway center a different kind of fantasy Magic is taking place, and they play a lot uglier brand of basketball. Still there is fantasy goodness to be had here and Friday night Tobias Harris scored a career high 27 points with 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 3pm and 1 steal.  Yes, Tobias blue himself (up) last night, it was his fourth straight game in double digits and he’s criminally just 23% owned. After coming off a 23 point, 6 rebound performance Wednesday Harris is a must own, JB told you to buy him, so drop everything and go grab Tobias, you blowhard! Speaking of buys, Moe Harkless had 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and hit 3 threes in 29 minutes last night and should see consistent minutes at the wing going forward. He was my pickup of the week last week and is still under 20% owned.

Still not satisfied? Because wait there’s more–E’Twaun Moore, who had 9 points, 3 rebounds, 11 assists, 1 3pm, 1 steal and 1 block in 33 minutes. It’s still unclear who the better play at point for the Magic will be, E’Twaun got the start, but Beno Udrih had just as many minutes (33) and had 4 points (2-7 fg) and 8 assists. We’re going to see some inconsistency from these two at the point guard position for the rest of the season, but both are worth a look if you need assists. Not that you’d be interested in any non-Orlando related fantasy news, but other teams played last night so let’s get to it!

Here’s what else happened in fantasy basketball Friday night:

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Tobias Harris started the season fairly strong, putting together some decent lines in November, but then fell out of the Bucks rotation.  “Oh Tobias, you blow-hard!”  It looked like Harris’ career might be stalled.  “I got my hands on some money.  I can’t say how or when … or where my wedding ring is, but my purse overfloweth.”  But with a trade to the Magic right at the deadline, Harris got a much needed new beginning in O-Town.  “But guess what? There’s a new daddy in town.  A discipline Daddy.”  Harris has been a discipline daddy indeed, providing the Magic with their lone bright spot with 23 Pts 9-12 FG 2-2 FT 1 3PTM 6 Rebs 2 Asts and 2 Stls last night while being massacred by the Kings.  And if any of these references are giving you a chubby, suck it up and watch Arrested Development!  As I mentioned in both articles yesterday, I’m crushing hard on my boy T-Hair.  Shooting a total of 21-31 (68%) and averaging 17.7 Pts 0.67 3PM 6.7 Rebs 1.3 Asts 1.0 Stl and 1.0 Blk over his three games for Orlando, he’s been a dynamite find for their unloading of J.J.  I called him a pickup in deeper leagues, but with a third straight big performance where he looked worthy of 40 minutes (I watched this game – he attacked the rim hard, shot well, and played spry), I’m now calling him a pickup in all leagues.  Here’s what else happened last night across the NBA:

Deke! Don’t forget that all our Razzball mindscapes are now in one convenient social media lollapalooza on Facebook.  Shoot us a like, track all the new articles when they go up, and follow more of Grey’s game-winning musings on life.

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