In yet another bad turn for fantasy top-100 Cs, JaVale McGee joins the triage with Tyson Chandler as centers with broken legs. However unlike Chandler with the impact fracture, McGee discovered a stress fracture in his tibia with the ominous “out indefinitely” declaration. It’s a very tough break (ugh) for the Nuggets and fantasy owners hoping to see stat lines of 10/10/5 when the Nuggets were on the slate. All joking aside, I hate seeing players get injuries and it’s my least favorite open in news recaps in any sport. There are a select few that are funny (my favorite will always be Bartolo Colon trying to swing for the fences and throwing out his back, and I have little sympathy because he’s a roider), but I wish McGee a speedy recovery. For fantasy, he’s droppable in virtually all leagues. A tall guy with a stress fracture isn’t swell, plus he was only playing 16 minutes a game anyway. J.J. Hickson and Tomfey Mozgov get immediate boosts in value, Mozgov is decent when he’s not getting posterized, but Hickson I think is the biggest takeaway and probably should be scooped up in most leagues if he’s not owned already. He proved he can be valuable with starting minutes and is a quality big man. Here’s some other headlines from over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Full disclosure: I’m getting killed in my first two weeks of Fantasy. The reason? I have 3 bench spots, filled by Wilson Chandler, Kobe Bryant and Tobias Harris. Am I dropping any of these guys? Nope. I’m cool, Daddio. Remember, good reader, that being down by a couple points early in the season will hurt, but dropping talented players for stop gaps can spell doom for your season. I’m betting smart money that these guys will kill it when they return, and were I to drop one or more, it leaves me to stream guys, gambling on good performances from players overachieving week-to-week. Dangerous. But if you like to live on the edge, or you lost Tyson Chandler for 4-6, and are a man of action, not words, then take a look at these fine fantasy finds:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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?
I always love when an off night (only 4 games yesterday) yields one of the best NBA games we’ve seen all year. So many story lines, so many stars. And more importantly – so much fantasy goodness!
I guess I shouldn’t have curtsied around it, but there’s no way Chris Paul doesn’t lead the NBA in assists this year. I said in the first recap of the season he would average a bajillion assists and rack up double-digit dimes almost every game. Score two for JB! Averaging 12 a game equates to a bajillion, right? John Stockton is deadpan staring me down right now. Creepy, Stockton! Creepy… J.J. Redick will be a really underrated acquisition if the Clips indeed make a title run with how he helps space the floor with his movement and shooting, and while we all know Chris Paul is awesome, I’m already putting him as the #3 fantasy player right now, leapfrogging James Harden.
I lucked out getting last night’s only late game, making Yahoo highlights for the 137-118 Clippers win. Pretty much everything played out like a video game. Everyone was hitting 3s, the scoring was astronomical, the pace was like a Peyton Manning offense, and finished off with some late alleys for the icing on the cake. Fantasy God #1 really got that L2 + Square alley working out by the end of the game; Fantasy God #2 just couldn’t quite time Harden’s 3-point shot release. Wait, do they even need controllers? We are the controllers! Whoa, too much philosophizing. Let’s just get this back on the rails and go over some of the news and notes from last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So Russell Westbrook played yesterday… Ummm… What?
After hurting his knee in last year’s playoffs, then requiring a second surgery on October 1st, Westbrook was one of the biggest fantasy news stories early in preseason with an uncertain timetable. Well that table has expired much earlier than anyone expected, and Westbrook was out there without a minutes restriction last night. It’s like the first surgery was done in Hostel, then the next one at the X-Mansion. Seriously, reports ranged from from early to mid-December as a target return date, but a little Adamantium in your bones goes a long way! The good news is he’s back, but the bad (and frankly, not shocking) news is he was mighty rusty. In nearly 33 minutes, Westbrook shot only 5-16 (0-2 3PTM 11-14 FT) for 21 points, with 4 Reb and 7 Ast and 4 TOs. Besides shooting like Michael Chiklis, you’ll take that line any day. Very encouraging to see Westbrook get to the line that frequently, and the minutes were indeed non-limited. He looked pretty Westbrook-ish in highlights as well. Even if Westbrook isn’t quite the player he was the past few seasons, all owners are looking at a steal for where they got him post-second surgery. Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy hoops action: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?
Whewwww-eeee! What a fun draft. A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team. But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!” Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.
So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars. Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late! The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots. Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned. Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters. There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts. Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract. So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Listen, I know a lot of drafts have gone down, but I think we’re still right in the sweet spot of the drafting season. And while we’re in that sweet spot, why not start up an RCL Hoops league where we need more commishes! I am putting an embargo on comments unless you start up a league! Haha – kidding. But what’s less funny is the curse of my love for Trey Burke, as he’s going to have surgery on his index finger. “Don’t you point at me!” “I can’t help it, it’s the cast!” The original report of him missing 8-12 weeks had him a 100% no bueno in my book, but then he tweeted out (I guess using other fingers) that it should only be 4-6 weeks. Apparently he’ll be in a splint three weeks and will be reevaluated. As in – “my fingy still hurty!” I’m moving Burke way down and taking it as a sign to completely cool off my love for him. As in Arnold in the last bad Batman movie cool. “Tonight’s forecast – a freeze is coming in!” John Lucas III becomes the starting PG it appears in most games and probably needs to be owned in deeper leagues, but I wouldn’t drop someone that good for him. Lucas III didn’t crack the updated rankings because I don’t see season-long impact from him. Alec Burks could start some games at the point as well, and remains ranked as I think he plays both guard positions and minutes all year. That is despite a horrible 1-13 shooting performance last night… The Jazz are also re-evaluating trading for the Bulls’ Marquis Teague in a possible trade. Then there’s a rumor that free agent Jamaal Tinsley might also get signed. Sounding more and more like the Jazz PG is going to be a black hole this season. So I’m avoiding them all, but still holding Burke in 12+ team leagues (like my 1st RCL League) and hoping. Here’s what else has been going down through the preseason, and a final rankings update:Please, blog, may I have some more?
After re-ranking the top 10, top 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?