As an ancient proverb goes – “I’d like to introduce you to an old friend and a new friend.”  Ok, so I made that up.  But it sounds good!

For an old friend I’ve mentioned a few times and pumped up in my last rankings update before the season started up, my boy Omri Casspi had another solid outing last night that probably was under the radar.  In 24 minutes, he went 7/8/5 with no turnovers, 2-4 from the field and 3-4 from the line.  He just looks awesome every time I see him play.  Did you know he was the first Israeli to play in the NBA?  He’s pretty much Chandler Parsons but with Chandler Parsons in his way.  After a ho-hum first two games, his past two have been fantastic – and this last one without hitting a three which is a big part of his game.  Not necessarily a must own in 12-teamers, but definitely worth a look, and needs to be grabbed in 14+.

Then my new friend – Gal Mekel on the Mavericks.  You’re like, “who the eff is Gal Mekel?  I thought this was NBA not WNBA!”  Mekel was signed to a three-year deal by the Mavs this offseason, and became the second Israeli to join the NBA.  Cut to Amar’e Stoudemire going, “Hey, I should count!”  With Shane Larkin dealing with an ankle injury, and no Devin Harris for a while, Mekel is getting full-on backup PG run and playing well doing it.  He got his 2nd 6 assist game last night going 9/4/6 and hitting a 3.  Sure some run was in junk time, but with the oft-injured Jose Calderon the only one ahead of him (hasn’t played in over 68 games since 2007), Mekel could find his way into starts.  Of course, now I’ve ruined my play on him in the REL League.  Let’s just hope no one in that league is reading!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Man, what a huge night it was across the NBA with nearly every team in action.  It obviously all starts with the shocker Philly put on the Heat, and Michael Carter-Williams‘ unreal debut.  I was following with my co-workers during the game and tweeted that if he got a triple-double in his first NBA game, the universe would implode.  Thankfully MCW was a steal short and we’re all still here.  His final line of 6-10 (4-6 3PTM 6-8 FT) 22 Pts 7 Rebs 12 Asts and 9 Stls might actually win some owners their matchups this week on its own.  Just preposterous.  Most steals in NBA history in a player’s debut.  Ok before we all go nutso, remember the Heat played without Dwayne Wade (rest), don’t have a PG, and had all their hands weighed down with new championship rings.  So that’s not really an excuse, but so what?!  The shooting efficiency was fantastic (the biggest knock on him coming into the year), plus he had only one turnover (his second main knock).  “Nice knockers!”  Thanks Young Frankenstein!  MCW indeed moves up a fair bit in value in my eyes, but this is likely his best line on the year.  MCW was wildly inconsistent in college and I don’t expect much consistency on a terrible 76ers team (I know they just beat the Heat, but c’mon).  Look for John Wall to lock him up on Friday and cool the hype.  Despite inconsistencies, it goes without saying that MCW should be owned in all leagues now (78% Yahoo, 59.4% ESPN), so if for some reason he’s available in your league, you gotta get him.  I’m not expecting MCW to be an elite player, but will continue to contribute even in down games.  Here’s what else I saw across Fantasy Basketball last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

There’s a few players who throw my drafts off course every year for no particular reason. Wesley Matthews. Jose Calderon. Al Horford. Regardless of where it happens, or whether it’s a good pick or not, when I end up taking one or more of these players, the wheels start to come off.

The three aforementioned players actually pale in comparison to my ultimate draft killer: Andre Iguodala. I really have a hard time rating him – either I see him as so overrated he’s underrated or so underrated he’s overrated.

Obviously I’m feeling self-conscious about my first RCL draft. It’s kind of like taking your shirt off at the beach after you’ve spent the winter gorging on pizza and ice cream.

All right, time to suck it up and show off my man boobs:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Ahhhh, it’s finally that time when drafts are becoming more and more meaningful and abundant, we’ve got the REL Auction draft on Thursday, and two RCL leagues drafting this weekend which still have spots open!  Don’t forget the grand prize in RCL of Razzball gear and a permanent imprint of your team name shaved in my head.  I mean, where else can you win a fan league and brand the resident editor?  I’m not really looking forward to the looks I’m going to get (doesn’t help I’m 6’7 and people be lookin’ anyway!), especially if a team like Your Mom wins.  Ugh.

So in order to hopefully restore my honor, my second RCL team was drafted last Thursday, and I gotta say, while I’m lukewarm to my team, you RCL leaguemates were brutal.  Here’s how the draft went down (full draft results):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After re-ranking the top 10top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May.  Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:

(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well.  I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.

(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him.  He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense.  The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much.  I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role.  The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio.  All that spells a slightly down ranking for me.  Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year.  I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them.  If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.

If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick.  Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities.  Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special.  Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”

Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200.  As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions.  But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re looking for fantasy basketball salvation this Easter weekend, Andre Drummond may be the closest your team gets playoff savior. He’s the missing link, drop everything and go pick him up! After missing two months with a back injury, rookie Andre Drummond returned to the court last night to start at center and scored 17 points (80 FG%) with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Drums has massive rebounding upside that we didn’t even see last night. In 13 January games before the injury, Dre averaged 8.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Translation: dude is an absolute beast on the boards. You can ask Greg Monroe (11 pts, 13 reb), Andre’s words-with-friend and personal mentor. With Drums figuring to be a huge part of the future of the Pistons, it’s hard to imagine they won’t give him every opportunity to play in the few games there is left. Drummond’s free throw percentage is rough, but the defensive stats are there and his upside alone makes him a great add in all leagues, especially for those in need of rebounds and blocks.  With the waiver wire scraps getting thinner by the day, Andre Drummond could definitely warrant a spot on your fantasy playoff roster.

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

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I bet you haven’t heard and I’m breaking the news… The Heat lost last night!  27 games in a row, down the drain.  One of the most impressive streaks we’ve seen in American sports is over.  However, instead of linking highlights to the game, I think this sketch from one of the best sketch comedy shows Mr. Show encapsulates what happened last night.  David Cross is the Bulls and Bob Odenkirk is the Heat.

Fantasy-wise, the Heat big three had their usual games and Luol Deng was the Bulls top performer with 28 Pts and 4 3PTM.  It was one of the most-hyped, most-talked about regular season NBA games in recent memory, so apologies this isn’t a fantasy-heavy open.  That’s what the rest is for!

Here’s what else went down across a heavy slate of NBA action (yes, there were other games!):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As a very fair skinned, freckly and tall guy (makes me closer to the sun) I have had my problems beating the heat.  One time in college (I went to UNCW so on the beach) I got burnt so bad on my legs it made me get shaky and more loopy than Joseph Gordon-Levitt. My friends thought I pulled an Ewan McGregor and snuck in some heroin. Suffice to say, I got some serious additional freckling on my calves.  With their long slender shape and pretty much invisible blonde hairs, I could pass them off as Lindsay Lohan’s legs.  Enough celebrity mentions already!

Unfortunately for the Celtics, St. Patty’s didn’t carry on into Monday night as the Heat led by LeBron James’ 37-7-12 (including this abuse of Jason Terry) were able to keep the streak alive at 23.  Although the city of Boston probably would have gotten blackout drunk again either way.  With no Kevin Garnett, the C’s gave another start to Jeff Green who exploded his green-ness on the Heat like Nickelodeon gak.  He was the Green Monstah last night, going for a career-high 43 with 5 3PTM, 7 Rebs, 2 Asts, 2 Stls, and 4 Blks.  Easily one of the best fantasy lines of the year for who is becoming a huge pickup for owners who nabbed him.  Speaking of getting nabbed, check out this guy nabbing a few boogers on national TV. Proves you can do anything if you have the charm. Just look at that wink with the debonair of Mark Harmon/Dennis Quaid.  I thought no more celebrity references!

Let’s take a look at what else went down last night across the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?