Man, you guys don’t even know. There’s been a mob outside my house every night for the past two weeks carrying tiki torches and screaming, “We want the Top 200 with stats!” Or at least I think that’s what they were saying. Anyways, big shout out to Rudy who waved his magic wand and created the beautiful looking spreadsheet below. It even sorts. Here is Rudy in his lab:
FIVE… DAYS. The NBA “offseason” has kept us almost constantly entertained with a loaded draft, free agency rumors, the best summer league ever, and multiple superstar trades. But, it’s time for some real, official action. And by that, I mean actual stats that count in our fantasy leagues, of course. This season, more than any other, I’m just a huge fan of the entire NBA and my fantasy teams. You see, I’m a longtime Bulls fan. And while I’m an optimist that’s been quite obsessed with the Sixers rebuild and their amazing potential, the Bulls have messed up their tank job in half a dozen ways prior to even getting it off the ground. So, I’m really itching for some Lonzo outlets, CP3-to-Capela lobs, and an unexpected six-steal game from my most recent free agent acquisition. Let’s get going already with this new crop of talent!
Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)
Last week, I talked about ways to find advantages by removing certain stats your team doesn’t need for various reasons and shuffling up player values so you have a better idea of who’s actually the most helpful for your team during drafts. That’ll be a theme as the season goes on, because it really leads us to trades that can help us a ton, while helping the other team enough that they pull the trigger. But we’ve got another weekend of drafting to go, so I’ve compiled a list of a few more places to take advantage of what I see as market inequities. If you’ve already drafted, maybe this can spark some trade proposal ideas, too.
Let me start by saying this: do not go into a draft planning on building a punt FT (or punt anything for that matter) team. Never. Don’t. You aren’t being smarter than everybody else. You’re playing yourself. Unless you’re a late draft pick in a 36-team league, it’s probably not gonna work for you.
Also, never decide to build a punt FT team just because a punt FT guy falls a bit. I made this mistake last year and took Drummond in one of my leagues, after having Davis and Porzingis already on my roster. My thought process was, “I can definitely make some trades to make this work.” I did get Gobert, which helped, but throwing away a category to get better at stats your fantasy team already generates is, not only inefficient, it’s frustrating.
On top of this, do not draft guys when building a punt FT team just because they’re bad at free throws. I can not stress this enough. The point of drafting is to build a team that can win as many categories for you as possible, not to see how bad you can lose one. It’s comical how often people (myself included) try to see how bad they can get their FT percentage, thinking that they’re outplaying everyone else. You guys think this article is for you, it’s actually for me. I’m just trying to hold myself accountable when I’m drafting.
So when do you build a punt FT team? The simple answer is: when it helps you. What I’m hoping this article does is give you some scenarios when building a punt FT team makes sense. If you’re stubborn and are gonna go ahead and build one anyway, I’ll also give some advice on how to round out your team.
Wait, I forgot the most important piece of information you’ll see in this article. How the hell are there NBA players shooting less than 50% from the FT line? Seriously. I can’t wrap my head around it. That’s like an illiterate writer. That’s like a runner that can’t walk. That’s like the restaurant I used to work at who’s name was Burger’s etc. and stopped selling burgers. So many confused customers, just like there must be so many confused NBA fans.
Razznation! I can’t even begin to express how pumped I am to join the Razzball staff and help you beat all who have yet to discover this fantasy sports behemoth. With that said, allow myself to introduce… myself. I’m Mel, an avid fantasy baller, Razzball truther, and Will Ferrell enthusiast. I root for players, not for teams, which makes me your perfect fantasy resource. Yes, I do have some player biases, but the information you’ll find here will have nothing to do with Grant Hill or Michael Redd, I promise. What you’ll find here on a weekly basis is some in-depth analysis on the players who can win you a week, or win you a season. You see, the NBA decided to start a few weeks early this year, which will only make things more confusing for us all. Less preseason games, less draft prep, less games per week. Fantasy Basketball is taking a beating and will be more complicated than ever before. But not for you, extraordinary gentlemen and five lady folk that I write to today. I will have you prepared with those deep sleepers who will make your league mates wonder what the hell you are doing. How great does that sound?
1-Okaro. 2-Okaro. 3-Okaro. 4-Okaro. 5-Okaro. 6-Okaro. 7-Okaro. 8-Okaro. 9-Okaro. 10-Okaro. 11-Okaro. 12-Okaro. 13-Okaro. That’s how bad it got for the Heat last season. After opening the season 11-30 and enduring multiple injuries, the Heat signed Okaro White to a ten-day contract. Fans started counting wins as Okaro’s. 1-Okaro. 2-Okaro. 3-Okaro. 4-Okaro. 5-Okaro. 6-Okaro. 7-Okaro. 8-Okaro. 9-Okaro. 10-Okaro. Pat Riley ain’t no dummy, so he signed White to another ten-day contract. Hey, when you at the craps table, you gotta just keep pressing. Unfortunately, the win…I mean Okaro streak ended at 13, but the good fortune continued as the Heat became the first team in history to start the season 19 games under and finish with a .500 record. 11-30 then 30-11 to end 41-41. Would that be a dyslexic’s worst nightmare or wet dream?
Before I begin, head on over to the football side and play and/or host some RCLs by clicking here. I’ve got my league up, so come get it. I have no doubt that you are a degenerate so I’m just trying to help a brother or sister out. Also, check out Jay’s rankings. Not because he’s a swell guy, but because he was the third-most accurate ranker according to FantasyPros.
Ok, now back to hoops. If you missed it, here are the links for the Top 10 and Top 25. I’ll keep the intro to this piece short and sweet because there’s a ton of players to get through.
As always, big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and insight.
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:
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.
Ugh, rebuilding teams are starting to rebuild earlier, which is good for the waiver wire hounds, but sucks for our stars! I wish teams would avoid the backlash of the shame they get by just shutting guys down like 2/3 of the way through the season. Suns even did that more-or-less with Tyson Chandler!
Last night we got word Eric Bledsoe wouldn’t be starting, then after the game we got confirmation the Pee-nix Suns are shutting him down for the rest of the season with “knee soreness”. Here’s Bledsoe’s response.
Hah! Well fantasy owners’ emojis would be a lot angrier than that! A few commenters have posted about a Bledsoe shutdown, but I certainly didn’t think it would be this soon… Redraft leagues you obviously have to cut him; in keepers – at anything beyond about a 3rd round value – you’re holding on. Which brings us to one of the of big nights from emerging must-adds from Wednesday’s action – Ulis S. Great! Big night in the start for Tyler Ulis, going 13/1/13/2/1 in 39 minutes in the youthfest against the Kings. Yeah, he’s pretty much must-own now. Above Cory Joseph, Malcolm Brogdon, all those iffy PG that are hanging around as your last roster spot or two in 10/12ers. So be Great, and add Ulis! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Hold up there, Speedy Gonzalez! Before you keep reading, be sure and fill out your Razzball March Madness Bracket! Brackets are due by noon and we’re giving out a $50 Amazon Card, create yours this morning if you haven’t yet!