You know, Raymond Felton broke his hand last year, and this is no joke, less than two weeks after Twinkies were officially discontinued.  I imagine him hearing the news after a Knicks loss, and punching the glass out at a NYC convenience store.  “How will I ever carboload before rolling onto the court!”  Then Twinkies, after being bought out and licensed, again appeared on store shelves in July 2013.  And ohhhh boy, was it an offseason to remember for Roly Poly Felton!  Even though he’s always looked like a big boy, concerns about his weight surfaced yet again, and this year his stats were down before a myriad of injuries took their toll.  This past groin injury, where Felton reportedly heard a “pop”, finally got him to listen to the advice of the trainers.  “When my little guy down there told me something was wrong, I finally listened.”  Knicks head athletic trainer Roger Hinds had to think on the fly, eventually settling on a 12-grain/cashew cream vegan Twinkie-substitute.  Instead of the 15-17 off-the-shelf Twinkies comprising the majority of Felton’s daily diet, he was down to 12-14 “healthy-makers” (as he called them) while rehabbing his groin injury.  “The first three or four were kinda funky, but then you get that urge for more-and-more just like the old ones.”  After losing 34 pounds in 72 hours, Felton was ready to rejoin the team in practice.  “I felt great out there, mobile, my arms stopped running into my love handles when I was drivin’ to the hoop.”  Another 42 pounds came off in the next week, and he was ready to play last night.  And man, did those 76 lost pounds come in handy!  13/5/14/1/0 against the Heat in a surprise win.  I caught up with him after the game: “No J.R. Smiff in the game helped me keep the rock and everything runnin’ through me.  He can untie e’rybody’s shoelaces all I care!”  Back to reality, I did watch this game, and the bulk of those assists came on dishes to Carmelo Anthony burying jumpers, so the assist total is obviously a big outlier.  But Felton did look good.  Made good moves, looked agile, and more importantly, made the Knicks look better while playing 39 minutes.  We can have fun all we want, but I think I was wrong to be a little dismissive on him returning.  I like him right now over D.J. Augustin and Kendall Marshall for example.  More staying power, and while the most injury prone of the bunch, I think helps you more in the long-haul.  Must-own in 12-teamers, depends on need and depth in 10ers.  Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

All hail Trey Burke!  May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice!  And… the Jazz are still atrocious.  Poor Tyrone Corbin.  He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point.  Jerry Sloan got John Stockton.  Then Deron Williams.  It just ain’t fair!  In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8.  Trey with the trey!  If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player.   Deuce with the deuce!  Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!”  I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good.  His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater.  Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him.  Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time.  For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him.  PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset.  Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls.  Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes.  Just looked bad.  Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good.  Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch.  Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities.  So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season.  I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me.  It’s a mess.  Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz!  Here’s what else I saw last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sometimes it’s nice, oh so nice, to see so much potential that you saw through the preseason finally get the chance to shine, the star to sizzle, the Sun to finally get his run.  With Eric Bledsoe sitting last night with a bruised shin, my boy Archie Goodwin finally got a chance, running a season-high 19 minutes for 16/2/2/2 shooting 7-10 and hitting a three, including this highlight worthy pick 6.  “Give me a chance coach!”  Goodwin has great speed and a good feel for the game for a 19-year-old, and is showing a little bit of what he could do should he get extended time.  The Suns backcourt is flooded, muddled mostly by the breakout Gerald Green is putting on, but the hot start-Suns have now dropped three straight, going from 3-1 to 5-5.  Green is an ultimate sell-high, both in fantasy and in the NBA trade market, for his highlight-inducing big plays and he’s shooting 12% better from the field and 11% better from 3-point land than last year.  Obviously 2012-13 was a disaster, so some bounce back was coming, but yea, if the Suns could get anything in return, they’ll take it.  With Green signed through next season and Goran Dragic with a player-option for next year, both are potential trade chips the Suns could use to build around Bledsoe.  Sure, I’m dreaming up a scenario that may not be the most likely, but what I’m really dreaming about is a Bledsoe/Goodwin starting backcourt.  Mmmmmm.  Fantasy goodness everywhere!  Goodwin is worth keeping an eye on with the Bledsoe shin injury in the deepest of leagues, and deeper dynasty leagues should have him on the radar as well.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So the Pistons were looking like a playoff contending team with all their offseason acquisitions, but after a 2-1 record with the only loss a close one on the road to Memphis, the Pistons have dropped 4 straight to fall to 2-5.  Plus Memphis looks god awful after that looking like a “good” loss.  The Pistons aren’t very good.  Hire Jim Leyland!  The culmination of the four-game skid climaxed in an ugly 18- point loss to the Warriors last night that sent a few fantasy shockwaves down our fantasy spine.  First Josh Smith was benched before playing 19 minutes and shot 1-6 for 2 Pts and no boards.  That’s like a Robin Lopez line! He reportedly took some bad three-pointers.  Those familiar with Josh Smith are like, “aren’t they all bad three pointers coming from him?!”  Still think Smith will be fine and this could actually help him from killing your FG% on his off nights.  The biggest benefactor to the J Smoove benching was my boyfriend (!) Kentavious Caldwell-Pope getting 24 minutes and going 9/3/1 with a trey and two steals playing a small (literally) forward role at times.  Now I didn’t watch this game, so if he was matched up on Andre Iguodala who isn’t exactly a domineering 3, that makes sense.   Then to top off a terrible night for Pistons fans, Razzball commenter favorite Andre Drummond went down with an ankle injury, playing way too late in the game that was a blowout.  It was like a Booby Miles injury.  He walked off the court under his own power, but ankle injuries are like the fantasy grim reaper’s wheel of fortune.  Sometimes a terrible looking one turns into nothing, and sometimes you’re Tobias Harris.  Hell Tyson Chandler walked off the court with a broken leg!  You just never know… Keep your eye out for updates during the day.  Hey, at least Drummond put up 16/14/0/3/3 for ya!  Here’s what else I saw across the NBA last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Fournier-Year-Old Virgin

After a very tough start to his season going 2-14 in his first two games, Evan Fournier finally found his stroke last night going 5-10 (2-3 3PTM) for a 12/3/2 line in a season high 25 minutes.  If you’re like me, you’re a Fournier virgin in all leagues.  Sure he’s way off the map (I don’t know where France is!), but I have a feeling he could surprise later on in the season.  In the last 8 games of 2012-13, Fournier went 11.5 Pts (0.9 3PTM) 2.3 Rebs 2.8 Asts 1.4 Stls while shooting 50% from the field and 92.9% from the stripe in only 23 minutes a game.  Now that was on a playoff team, resting some stars – sure, but this Nuggets team is a mess right now.  I know they just beat the Hawks, but a lineup starting Randy Foye and Jordan Hamilton (of course Wilson Chandler and Danilo Gallinari are on the shelf), Fournier could get late season run as I highly doubt the Nuggets make the playoffs.  He’s a great off-the-radar multi-cat guy to keep your eye on especially in deeper leagues as we start getting into the meat of the season.  Here’s what else I saw last night in the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So if you watched any basketball on TNT last night, you probably saw Danilo Gallinari‘s injury where his knee buckled in a non-contact situation and it doesn’t look good.  Don’t want to speculate too much as he hasn’t gotten an MRI yet, but I think he’ll be out when next year starts.  Of course it could be just a strain and he got lucky, but I think he’s cuttable.  Sucks because I like the Nuggets and like the Italian (I’m double and triple checking players’ nationalities now!).

Another big name player, Tony Parker had to leave early as well with Big Pop “very concerned.”  On a night with only three games for there to be two big injuries puts the nail in the coffin of seeing the Miami Heat’s Big 3 play big minutes together again in the regular season.  LeBron James owners who were carried by his MVP-level play are cursing all things fantasy basketball as it looks he’ll sit tonight.  Dwyane Wade is also likely out.  If you play into the finals next week, don’t expect too much from either of these guys.  It’s a sad end for many teams’ best or second best players and will bring out your depth.

Here’s what else went down last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Sorry, Chris Bosh.  You don’t get to be called “The Big 1.”

As suspected, both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade sat out against the Knicks, and Carmelo Anthony went bonkers.  “I better play well with those guys out, because if we see them in the playoffs I’m gonna blow.”  Ok, that’s my attempt at his inner monologue.  So it might not be right at all the time, big deal.  It’s kinda like when you try to read NBA players lips and they say the craziest things.  That Bosh freeze frame is fantastic.

Here’s what else went down in a light night of NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Razzball Nation!  If you have made it this far, you are either in the championship of your league or semi-finals.  Or you play roto, which, let’s face it, almost everyone saves for baseball.  However, the end of the season is more like the end of fantasy football than baseball with teams benching their stars with the playoffs a mere few weeks out.  It’s the perils of owning great players on the elite teams.  Just ask my buddy who I knocked off in my fantasy football championship years ago when the Eagles benched McNabb and Westbrook on Monday Night Football.  Then the Eagles lost to my Panthers in the NFC Championship (I think it was that year, might be wrong – can I have another fact checker? I’m too lazy for Google).  But I digress.

The Heat benched both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with “injuries” on Sunday, and both are listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Knicks.  What, are they the new Patriots?  Actually it’s a lot closer than you’d think.  You have Brady/Bron who get booed everywhere, Wade/…  Eh, doesn’t really work does it.  If you’re a Chris Bosh owner, you’re loving this.  Especially if you’re up against LeBron in your championship, like I am in one league.  But in another I have LeBron.  Conflicted feelings!  Just like my reaction to Prometheus.  Man does it look awesome, but the script got fewer revisions than White Chicks (originally Black Chicks).

Let’s get down and dirty with what went down across the NBA last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?