This is the best time of the year. Baseball is going to get real soon, pigskins are being thrown around, it’s the eye of the WNBA season, and my rankings start flowing out. I also forgot that my kids go back to school soon. I love my kids and all, but they need to start getting edumacated again. You scoff at the WNBA mention? I admit, I was not a fan in the early days, but those ladies got skills. In addition, they play beautiful basketball and the offensive sets that they run are poetry.
Since August 1st happened to be on a Tuesday, I’ll release rankings every Tuesday from here on out. Can one be semi-OCD? That’s an oxymoron right? Maybe I’m just a moron. Anyways, I get a little particular about things, like it would’ve bothered me if I started this whole endeavor on Monday the 31st. I know. I know. I’ve got issues, but lucky for you, the subscription is free!
Ok, before I begin, shit happens. As a result, I’ll put out a Top 200 list in early October that will highlight any player movement that happens over the next few months.
A big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and his thoughts and opinions on many players.
Whoa, how weird is that?! “2017-18 Fantasy Basketball”?!?! Already?! Well, as what typically happens with postseason fantasy hoops disappointments for me, I’m ready to again turn the page. Gonna get nothing but titles next year, wooooo! I’m gonna be like UCLA in the 60s-70s. Plenty of white players on those teams, right LaVar Ball!? Oh shizz, yeah let’s get straight to the inappropriate right off the bat for 2017-18!
As tradition, we’re kicking off our Way Too Early Ranks for 17-18 on the last day of the 16-17 season, passing the torch to next year on a hot handoff, but not hot enough to knock the baton out of someone’s hands. Ish ain’t allowed! Also, I should be disallowed from ranking Chandler Parsons, amiright?! Thanks again to everyone reading through the season, and let’s get some early rankings on! Here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:
The H2H season is in the books! Well, at least if you did a standard format, ain’t no reason to play out games the final week-and-a-half! People getting sat with hangnails! Even James Harden missed a game… Say it ain’t so!
Quick scheduling note for this week. Tomorrow we’ll announce the RCL winner, then Wednesday unveil the REL champ with their gold jersey. We’ll catch up with the Pod either Wednesday or Thursday and some daily notes by the end of the week for you Roto-ers still trucking through to the finish line, and then start up the Way Too Early Ranks for 2017-18! That’s what I’m excited about. Mostly just to never see Chandler Parsons in my ranks ever again…
So who were some unlikely heroes over the championship week? How about stupid, no good, can’t-take-a-shower-without-breaking-his-wrist Rajon Rondo just running game, and knocking me out of my one title-contending RCL. What a joke…. 10/9/9/3/0 last night against the Pels, giving him a 42/29/30/8/1 line over the Thur/Sat/Sun 3-games-in-4 nights stream if you used him in the Finals. Who woulda thought my death knell would’ve been made by Rondo… Eh well, baseball is here at least! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
It’s been a while since the East has boasted a better division than the West, but even when you spot a lowly East team a big lead on a West team, nothing is safe! Russell Westbrook just went insane (I would too if the Magic were beating my playoff bound team!) in the OKC comeback charge, turning around a 21-point deficit during the second half on his way to a 57/13/11/3/0 line. He shot 21-40 from the field with 6 treys, just willing OKC to the W after this dramatic 3 to get it into OT.
Good thing Nikola Vucevic can’t hit his FT! Westbrook took the missed freebie board, and no Magic was gonna stop him… Take that, Voldemort! It’s come to pass as just the norm, but at 31.8/10.6/10.4, it looks like Westbrook is going to easily average the tripdub, something I really didn’t think we’d ever see again. Hopefully you built your team around his deficiencies fairly well, because man he’s tough to beat if you can slaughter the right cats. Westy is your besty! What an unbelievable season, Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:
It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:
Ah, the fountain of youth. Something Arizona certainly doesn’t have! The retirement haven of America – just ask Tyson Chandler – oddly boasts the most ridiculously young team. Last Thursday, they had a younger starting 5 than all but 1 of the 8 college teams playing in the Sweet Sixteen that night, and not surprisingly, the youngest starting 5 in NBA history. The retirees in Phoenix love to watch em young!
Despite being a god awful team, there still is a lot of promise with the draft picks they made, highlighted by the absolute insanity that Devin Booker dropped 70 points on the Celtics last Friday night. Insanity that he was the youngest player to break 70, that he set a franchise record, OR THAT THE SUNS STILL LOST?! Hah, take your pick.
On that layup there to kick off the GIF, Marcus Smart is like, “meh, whatever, we up 20.” 21-40 FG (4-11 3PTM 24-26 FT) for 70/8/6/3/1 in the craziest line of the year. I mentioned on our last Pod that the Suns are kinda like random number generators right now, so who knows what you’ll get next?! Well, next was 23/4/5/0/1 with 4 TO in a blah encore for Dbook. His shooting arm was tired! He did get another 7-7 FT yesterday though against the Hornets (nice to see the volume staying high), but they yet again lost, and he’s doing this without Eric Bledsoe, instead with a group of similarly young pups. It might vault him to be drafted a little too high for my liking for next year, but maybe he can turn into DeMar DeRozan with 3s. Which hurts the FG%, but I’m all optimism right now! “Never Seen So Many Guys Happy After An L!” huh?! Well, Jae Crowder – aka Party Pooper – it’s the end of March and I’m in super depressed mode after I had 3 of my 4 alive teams lose in semis this week! Why you gotta harsh my buzz! Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball action over the weekend:
The Bulls came into Toronto having beat the Raptors in 11 straight games. It took overtime, but the Raptors snapped the losing streak behind DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Double D shot 17-38 and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter to secure the win.
DeRozan battled all game against Jimmy Butler, who also went off for 37/10/6. Despite these two all-stars’ phenomenal performances, the game was overshadowed by the fight between Serge Ibaka (16 and 6) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks):
Usually Lopez only fights mascots, but took exception to Ibaka’s shove in the back. Fortunately the guys were separated rather quickly, but the league will obviously review the fight and make a decision later on whether either player will be suspended any games. Personally, I’d expect both guys to miss at least one game, but hopefully it’s just a fine and they return for their teams’ next game.
Oh man, the jet lag is real! Sorry for the later daily notes again this morning, I’m in sunny Florida but couldn’t get my ass up in the morning! Still on LA time! And you could probably say the same for those lousy Chicago Bulls these days, they were sleepwalking in Orlando. The walking of the Bulls! Doesn’t have the same ring as running of the Bulls… But they looked old last night, even on only 1 hour difference, and no one covered Elfrid while owning from the Shelfrid! 20/14/14/2/2 last night, in an epic rainbow tripdub from Elfrid Payton. As voluptuous as his hair! He’s been unreal the past week going 16.3/10.0/8.8/1.5/0.8 hitting 66% from the field. Of course it’s just a hot streak, and in the daily notes I’ve been really apprehensive the minutes/production would go back down, but things be hot hot hot in Orlando! But one thing that occurred to me is Nikola Vucevic went down 4 games ago, and these last 3 games have been without Vucci Mane and his USG-whoreness down low. Replace him with Bismack Biyombo down low, and you need a lot more playmaking elsewhere. So while yet another season of SKIIIIIIIIIILES!!! residue and inconsistency for Elfrid has me hesitant to push for him yet again in 17-18, if they move on from Vuc and keep more-or-less this same core, I’ll be buying right back in and getting him on my Shelfrid on 17-18 teams. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
JB be California dreamin’! Sorry for the later notes today, as I wrap up my West Coast trip and head for sunny Florida tomorrow. I’m so discombobulated with my jet lag and California culture, I thought the Jamal version of Crawford got traded to the Pelicans or something! But nooooooo, Jordan Crawford is back in the NBA ladies and germs!
In a game where the Pelicans were unsurprisingly stagnated by the Jazz D, Jordan of the Crawfords kept it close with a bench spark, going 19/1/3/2/0 with 3 treys on 8-15 shooting. All that in 20 minutes too! Did the Pelicans expect the ridiculous offensive prowess of E’Twuan Moore and Solomon Hill would provide some bench wing scoring?! It isn’t shocking that a 28-year-old Crawford was slaying the D-League with nearly 24 points a game, and isn’t surprising to see him be a good bench scorer on the right squad. Maybe you give him a look in the Michael Beasley/Derrick Williams sort of way as a deep league scorer, but this is likely one of his best lines on the season. Not like he can gel with the twin tower USG-whores in the starting 5 – he’s gonna be the bench scorer like we’ve always seen from Jamal Crawford. Wait, I mean Jordan Crawford! Ahhhhhhhhhh! Here’s what else went down last night in NBA action:
All we needed is a royal event! Unfurl the red carpet, roll it out in the The Colonies’ biggest city, and The Duchess will grace over his royal territory! Wow, I just made a Brooklyn Mess game sound like a big event. FOOL YOU!
As we continue to see Khris Middleton get his minutes ramped up, this was maybe the most encouraging game of the night for me yesterday, as he gets the ASB to rest up and looks ready for a big second half. Even though it’s more like a big final 1/3, but ya know, NBA… 20/3/7/3/0 for The Duchess K Middleton, with only 1 TO and shooting 7-13 with a trey. His most minutes thus far (played 26 off the bench) and I just loved this little glimpse of chemistry with Giannis Antetokounmpo with the big highlight from this game:
Guys are looking N’Sync! I would totally watch The Duchess and Greek Freak lead a boy band… Through his 4 games back, Middleton hasn’t looked like he’s lost anything, with a stellar 18:4 AST:TO, is shooting 47%, and has two 3 steal games. With Jabari Parker out and a line-up that will need a playmaker next to Greek, this could be a really fun upcoming stretch. Kudos if you were able to stash him all season on your IL, and get ready for a royal finish! Here’s what else went down on the last busy slate of action before the All-Star Weekend: