As we head into August, now is a perfect time to take a look back at the free agency period for the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

While there is one big name yet to sign (Eric Bledsoe), a few less-intriguing options still on the market (Michael Beasley, Andray Blatche, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford), and another who’s unsure whether he’ll play or retire (Ray Allen), most of the fantasy basketball world knows where guys will be playing this season.  Of course, that still doesn’t include the possibility of Kevin Love finding a new home by the end of the summer, but that could be the subject of an entirely different article.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Love will land in Cleveland, which will make them a huge force in the Eastern Conference — and in the entire NBA.

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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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Razzball Nation!  Hopefully you’re hopping over here to boast your hardware.  To flaunt your gold.  To show us all your bigger red ass to display your dominance over us weakling chimps!  Most H2H leagues wrapped up last night, and I had a brutal year.  Multi-titles last year, not a one this time out.  But hey!  It’s been a fun season, and we’ve still got a few weeks left for other H2Hers and Roto players.  So we’ll be here!  And we’ve got a fun championship edition week coming at ya, with Slim’s REL acceptance speech along with Wednesday’s RCL Championship crowning.  Speaking of crowning, somebody get Aaron Brooks the iron throne (I thought about making a birthing joke instead, but that’s gross)!  Dude has been owning Westeros (I think that’s right, it’s hard to keep up with all the kingdoms when you haven’t read the books!), getting his second straight 40+ minute outing and blowing up for 24/8/15/3/0.  As I mentioned in the comments at some point last week, Brooks against the Rockets with no Patrick Beverley checking him was going to be saucy.  Then Ty Lawson had to sit on top of it!  Wow, that sentence comes off weird as a standalone…  Brooks looks to be an immediate add with Brian Shaw quoted that he’s not rushing Lawson back.  As well he shouldn’t, captain obvious!  Try and snatch up Brooks if you still can and ride him while Lawson sits on it, apparently.  Hah!  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend:

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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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The Lakers.  The Bucks.  Two terrible teams enter.  Only one team wins (well, actually neither of these teams are winners, unless you count if they get the first pick in next year’s draft, I guess winning the lottery is something…).  Two horrible teams with fast-paced awfulness where we see flashes of fantasy goodness.  And we got another taste of the sweet nectar that is Jordan Hill when given playing time!  31 minutes for 28/16/0/1/0 shooting a ridiculous 13-17.  With 9 of those boards offensive, Hill was abusing the paint and his shot chart around the rim looked like a rash in Kim Kardashian’s nethers.  Everyone that has watched the Lakers lately (a number that has decreased significantly, and would even more without fantasy!) knows Hill should be starting the 4 every night, and it’s taken way too long for D’Antoni to finally go back to him.  Even Hill is confused about his playing time based on his profile pic…  No Pau Gasol at least for tonight, and Chris Kaman barely arriving on time to last night’s game due to personal reasons might have put a craw in Doh-toni’s gears.  There was a report they hadn’t talked in weeks before Tuesday’s game.  Before that, Kobe Bryant said he hadn’t talked to D’Antoni in a while during his rant.  The Lakers coach is running this team like it’s freshman year of high school.  “OMG, like, Mike hasn’t put me in the game, so like, I stopped talking to him and, like just started posting memes on the internet!”  I knew it was Kaman!  You’re playing with fire, but for guys widely available, if you have a roster spot open Hill is as good as any to give you a really high upside double double tonight.  Against the Wolves should be a pretty free flowing game, so let’s all hope Jordan stays over the Hill before we bury Mike D’Anotni underneath it.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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It’s been a year long punching bag.  Larry Drew sucks, he has no idea how to grow a young team, and because he plays guys different minutes every night the Bucks are atrocious and have no cohesion.  But that’s nothing new, as he was awarded the first Razzball Worst NBA Coach Razzie.  It’d be a wonder if he could do anything right!  Yesterday, I said Ramon Sessions might be the best player on that team (and he got a ridiculous 20 minutes to show for it Sunday), and Larry Screw actually paid attention to my advice!  Sessions started last night against the Clips, played 44 minutes, making the most of it.  Shot a ridiculous 13-21 (2-3 3PTM) for 28/6/7.  While this game was nice, and I maintain he’s probably the best fantasy asset on the Bucks right now, he’s not necessarily the best pickup.  The Bucks have only two more games this week, Thursday against the Lakers (which you obviously love) then Sunday against the Heat (not so much).  Plus it’s the Bucks and we all know how Larry Screwballs can jack things up.  I picked him up in one league just to lock down that Thursday game since it’s a light slate with only four games.  If you can afford to do that, Sessions is your man.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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If Samuel Dalembert was drafted in your league this year, I’m guessing it was late. He was taken 12th in one of my leagues, and in the Razzball Dynasty League he was taken with the 176th pick for $6.

If Gorgui Dieng was drafted in your league this year, I’m guessing it was by a Louisville alum or a native of Senegal. He wasn’t taken in any of my leagues, including the Razzball Dynasty League.

Yet if you had Sammy D. or Dieng on your roster this week, you did very well in your playoff matchup. And if you had both, I’d be willing to wager you won.

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I imagine if you’re reading this, you have an injury or two on your fantasy roster, and you need promenade left to do-si-do your way into week 2. I don’t know where I’m going with this analogy, I’m more of an electric bugaloo type myself. But while I may not understand the allure of square dancing, I do understand all too well how an injury can derail your playoff hopes. I lost Kyrie Irving, and Jameer Nelson this week, and I will be hard pressed to make it past my opponent. There are more cats out than just those two: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dwight Howard, Nikola Pekovic, Andre Drummond, Jonas Valanciunas, Jamal Crawford, and the list goes on. So what’s a fantasy owner to do? You already know the answer, and it sucks the sack: Captain Obvious reminds you that you have to look long and hard at your situation, and decide whether you can afford to hold onto your injured player, or to drop him, because he can’t help you if you don’t make it to the semis. Of the few I just listed, only Kyrie, Jamal, LaMarcus and Nikola are pretty much guaranteed to be out for the weekend at least, perhaps into the semi finals week, so take that into consideration. If you do decide to drop somebody, here’s, in my opinion, the best of the waiver:

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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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