Young players Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo returned to their respective teams last week, after missing the first few weeks due to injury. This week, the Washington Wizards welcomed back shooting guard Bradley Beal. He came off the bench to a standing ovation (or rather, the 25 fans in attendance stood up and cheered), but impressed in his first game of the season. In 26 minutes, Beal scored 20 points, with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 3PTM. It was only one game, but expect Beal to put up similar lines all season. He averaged 17.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 3.3 apg last season and I expect those numbers to rise slightly this year.

Now that Beal is back, owners should move on from Garrett Temple and Otto Porter. Garrett Temple started off hot, but has since cooled off and will go back to being a reserve and defensive replacement. In Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks, Temple threw a 3-pointer off the side of the basket and then air balled another three on the same possession! Porter is more offensively gifted than Temple and will have a good game off the bench here and there, but look elsewhere for more consistent production.

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#OccupyDraymondGreen baby!

Occupying so hard!  He’s like the Russia to the Nets Crimea!  The person whizzing in the bathroom on the plane while you wait in the aisle!

Owning the Nets front line (I can’t really say “owning Kevin Garnett as KG prematurely a-bench-iated for only 13 minutes since well, DrayDray overmatched him!), Draymond Green was magnificent for 17/8/7/1/2 shooting 7-14 (3-8 3PTM).  Near rainbow and three treys?!  But you gotta love the 33 minutes of burn with only a singular TO.  #OccupyEfficiency!  After a little bit of a rocky start, Green was money in bigger minutes from Nov. 5-9 but had 13 TO.  Wasn’t flashy against the Spurs on Tuesday, but had 5 dimes to only 1 TO and then had the monster last night.  There have some comments wondering how many minutes DrayDray is gonna play play when David Lee finally gets his new hamstring, but Steve Kerr has pretty much made Green the heart-surrounded face of his trapper keeper.  Quotes like ” I don’t know what my philosophy is… We’re 4-0 with DG,” and “We’re 4-0 and Draymond’s starting, he’s playing well, so I’ll keep starting him,” and “Yeah, I’d leave my wife for that!”  Maybe I made up the last one, but you get the gist!  Sure the minutes might go down from the 33 he’s at, but I don’t think by much.  #BuyIfYouStillCan!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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No Nicolas Batum, no problem!

The Blazers went nuts in the first half last night, putting up 84 on the hapless Nuggets through 24 minutes.  Indiana won last night at Miami scoring 81!  All your usual suspects had some good games, but who was the Keyser Soze?  The greatest trick bench players have ever pulled was convincing the fantasy basketball world they don’t matter!  But Chris Kaman is off yet another brilliant game, putting up 16/7/2/1/2 on 6-8 shooting (4-5 FT), and needs to be owned in virtually all leagues.  Was a little in junk time?  Sure.  Is he better than Robin Lopez?  Who isn’t?!  Will he start any time soon?  Well, no, but dude has grabbed at least 5 boards in every game and averaging over a block and a half a night.  The minutes are going to be there all year, as several NBA teams needing a starting big man have got to be mad they didn’t float Kaman a little offerewski.  And he’s a must add for RoLo fantasy owners, as while he had a good game last night scoring 19, zero blocks, only 5 boards, and most importantly only 21 minutes.  Blowout induced, yes, but topped 30 minutes only twice this year after averaging 32 a game last year.  He’s down 4 MPG from 2013-14 as Terry Stotts is utilizing the Blazers’ vastly improved bench, but thus far RoLo’s numbers are nearly identical from last year, and I don’t see that continuing with such lower PT.  So sell RoLo high!  And when other owners try to figure out why, tell em because you got high.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy action last night:

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It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

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Hmmmm, ok, who did you pick in you office “who scores 40 points tonight” pool?  I bet the Vegas odds were… a million to one on Nick Young.  “So you’re saying there’s a chance!”  Too bad Nick Young sucks in fantasy.  You actually have to go back 15 games to find him putting up a 5 in any counting stat other than treys.  The ThrAGNOF fairy strikes again!  Dude went a preposterous 15-26 (6-13 3PTM 4-5 FT) 40/4/1/2/0 and only had one turnover last night.  The Blazers should be ashamed.  I’m pretty sure this game never actually happened, and it was some sort of elaborate April Fool’s joke.  Swaggy P shockingly led the Lakers in minutes off the bench, and with his shoot first, ask questions later attitude, Mike D’Anotni’s rape stache kept curling upwards in facial hair glee.  By the end of the game (and yes, another Lakers loss), D’Anotni’s mustache looked like Rollie Fingers.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Yet another start for the Gorgui Apparatus, with Gorgui Dieng going all out with a Goromotaro!  I have to say, definitely the most unexpected Goromotaro since the term was coined.  22/21/4/1/0 and double-doubles in his last three games.  Except this was a double double-double.  There’s so many Ds in that sentence you’d think I was daydreaming about Tyra Banks!  And while Gorgui is out proving that he’s America’s Next Top C, what are doing right now in crunch time of fantasy?  He’s a tough guy to leave on the wire, but the Wolves only have Sunday left this week, and Nikola Pekovic is traveling with the team.  Pek is questionable, but Dieng has given the team every excuse to keep the youngun out there with pretty much no realistic expectations to make the playoffs.  So unless you’ve got a bye with a real scrub and you can stash Gorgui and hope for another big upside game, or your line-up is virtually full Friday and Saturday, you’re probably letting him ride in 10 or 12ers H2H.  Roto he’s worth a spin and if you’re crushing it in week 1 of the playoffs, maybe worth a stache as well.  Oh no, Grey has me daydreaming about baseball!  Mmmmm, Tyra Banks and baseball.  Get out of my head Grey!  What will be really interesting next year is what the Wolves do up front with Kevin Love having an uncertain future and Pek a FA.  Dieng would probably be a really flashy flyer if he projects to start.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.  A Priest, a Rabbi, and an Imam walk into a brothel.  The Priest says to the Rabbi…   Wait, why are you laughing?  You’ve heard it before.  That’s probably a good thing anyway because I might have been banned from the internet if I repeated it here.  Witty punchlines and non sequiturs aside the point remains unchanged.  No matter what our age, sex, or religion happens to be, we can’t just hope things are going to get better.  We need to prepare for the future.  For myself that means maintaining my perfectly quaffed facial hair with treatments of only the finest oils and herbs from the orient.  For JB, and he might get mad at me for telling you this, but he has this pink rubber bowl looking thing.  It has a wooden handle at the top and after about 5-10 minutes with that in the bathroom I swear he comes out looking taller.  Definitely more confident.  Still though – even the giants will shrink to the size of us mere mortals one day.  In fantasy basketball – as in real life – we can’t sit back and hope we are the next giants to be.  In a dynasty league, when our season is lost, that means selling off our older, declining players, and buying stock in the future.  Since we here at Razzball endorse insider trading, here is my take on a few future blue chippers:

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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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Man, that title seems all sorts of wrong… But what is right is Nikola Vucevic returned to action last night For a solid 16/10 dub-dub in only 20 minutes.  Efficiency!  Shot 6-12, 4-4 from the stripe and added a few steals.  Very encouraging return for a guy people were dismissing since he had no timetable from the concussion.  Concussions can really jack ya up, but hopefully you stayed true on your course to the playoffs and have a dynamic top-20ish big man.  Of course the Magic now have lost value in other places, with Big Baby going 5/4/4 in 32 minutes, Arron Afflalo looking like the scrub I’ve said he was all year (still think his 20+ PPG is one of the most preposterous stats this year) and Tobias Harris temporarily moving to the bench.  Although T Dawg isn’t Walking Dead (going 9/11/3/1/1 in 37 minutes), he shot like a stiff going 2-8.  Afflalo is still a sell as soon as you can, Davis a drop, and hope you bought low on Vuc while there was a window open.    Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?