Happy draft lottery, Cleveland-ites!  Is having another 1st overall pick enough to lure LeBron back?!  I think chances of that are as good as Anthony Bennett turning out to be a good player…

And now to the fun stuff… Figuring out where to rank the volatile middle-tier guys.  As Paris Hilton once said, “Studs are studs!  Except for when they’re busts!”  Wow, awful.  Needed to get some shock value in here – that was my proverbial watermelon mallet.

After the top 20, things get pretty tricky this early in the offseason.  And until a good bit after the NBA Draft, 50 is as high as we’re gonna go.  The draft class is loaded, and several should proliferate into the top 100, with a few even top 50 guys in the right situation.  Then free agency, old guys retiring, all that hooblah.  But if you’re thinking ahead to some dynasties or formulating some early fantasy draft strategies, here’s my way too early Top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: still no Jonas Valanciunas):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

So we’re through my top-50 and now getting into the mid-rounds.  We’re taking this through the whole top 100, but some of these are going to be gold and some fool’s gold.  As in, Larry Sanders‘ gold.  If I got to the end of a rainbow and Larry Sanders was there, I’d ask for a refund…

Through the Top 20 and Top 50, I think I’ve done the rankings pretty well.  They tell you towards the end of high school, “the smart ones get the As, but the most successful get Bs.”  I might have made that up since I never studied for virtually anything and got Bs…  But a 3.00 GPA thus far sounds about right!  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim then grades me.  I asked him, “will you give me As if I show you my double-Ds?”  He then flunked me…  Here’s a look back at the Top 75 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Can I has Triple Doublez? Man watching Kevin Love is fun.  I think he should enter the NFL draft.  Deep outlets like these, plus he’s almost 7 feet and would never get a pass deflected at the line!  I can just picture Kevin Costner and Denis Leary debating over it with the Browns first round pick.  “I’m not taking some bearded seven foot douchebag when I’ve got Johnny Football and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green!”  Eh, was going for a Leary-ism there, it’s hard to type it…  Huge night for Love, going 24/16/10/1/1 with two treys and continually adding millions to his next contract.  All after a report a few days ago that he was “exhausted” after a couple of non-Love-ish games.  Unloved games?  Something like that.  He’ll be one of the biggest stories to follow in the offseason, but he’s pretty much a shoe-in top-5 pick.  In Basketball Monster, he’s #3 in overall value and #4 per game.  He’s stayed durable and has been beastly.  Godly.  I kinda wanna get a Love bobblehead and put it in my locker and serve him rum.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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“1,000, 1,001, 1,002, 1,003.  Wow, I can hardly lift my left arm I did so many. I don’t know if you heard me, but I did over 1,000.”  Maybe should’ve stopped at like 40!  Kyrie Irving strained his left biceps a couple weeks ago, sending owners into a furious frenzy of wire replacements.  And one of the most fun times of the year (although you could argue most frustrating) is when the fringe or struggling playoff teams make drastic moves.  Well, I would argue dropping Kyrie when news hit wasn’t a drastic move, but I think you all know what I’m saying in H2H leagues.  After a very positive reevaluation, Uncle Drew was cleared for practice yesterday and could return as soon as tomorrow.  Talk about positivity!  While the game tomorrow against the Magic seems questionable, there still is cloudy uncertainty.  Both that game and the Cavs next on Friday at the Hawks are on very busy, heavily-scheduled days.  Of course when healthy, Kyrie is a no-brainer, but I’d imagine his first game back comes with a little bit of training wheels.  So if you’re in your final week in your title hopes, I’m not seeing an immediacy in picking him up.  But if your finals are next week, or a two-week final, go ahead and Cry Uncle.  Wait, that doesn’t mean what I was hoping.  Go ahead and pry Uncle?  Eh…  In Roto, hopefully you held Kyrie as that’s what I would’ve done.  Looking ahead to next week, it’s sadly only three games for the Cavs, but stay positive!  One against Detroit and another against da Bucks.  Gotta like those.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Last night might have been an utter low for the New York Knickerbockers.  Haha, yup they get a full name scolding like your mom used to do.  Got shellacked by the Lakers by 31, in another horrific TNT Overtime fail.  It’s funny that the Lakers were involved in another redonkulous blowout this month:  One because the first was also on TNT OT when the Clippers beat them by, I dunno a million (?), and second because I had the following remarks on Xavier Henry, whom I call Wheels, three-ish week ago after that Clips blowout: “I dunno, I just have a weird feeling he is going to be fantasy-relevant even in shallower leagues in a few weeks because D’Antoni likes him.  And why not give him minutes again on this team?”  And that’s me quoting me!  It’s been a little up-and-down, and Wheels is a bit of a ThrANOF, but 8-11 (3-4 3PTM 3-5 FT) 22/3/0/2/1 last night.  Only 23 minutes (and oddly enough 23:20 exactly in the past two games), but mid-20 minutes seems about right the rest of the way.  He can easily score mid-teens, get a couple swipes, and nab a trey for you.  Jodie Meeks-lite, if you will.  I think even in 12-teamers he’s worth a look right now for the remainder of the week with three games left on the slate that all are pretty saucy (@MIL, @MIN, PHX).  And another 4-gamer next week with good matchups.  I just picked him up myself as I hope to slip by the Slippery Squirrels in my RCL playoffs.  Need more points and only up one in steals.  Go JB HUMAN!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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Oh man, was last night fun!  So much to hit on including a certain player going against his former team, but I want to start with two career-first triple doubles.  On the same night!  And on a night with only five games no less… First stop is Isaiah Thomas, who, and I mean this without sounding like I’m succumbing to a cliche about his size or anything, looked like the only dude who cared for the whole game on either the Wiz or the Kings.  I loved me some IT2 with the rankings before free agency, and really pimped him hard when Greivis Vasquez got sent off – as many sources did.  Regardless, everyone was right, he’s been a beast and went 24/11/10 with 10-10 FT and two treys.  And to top off the abuse of John Wall, Wall was 2-6 at the stripe missing pivotal freebies late.  My Wizards friend stopped texting me at the end.  I’m guessing he threw his phone through a Wall.  I capitalize that because he has a John Wall fathead on his wall.  Anyway, Paul Millsap also hopped in the trip-dub booze cruise for a 19/13/10 line.  Hopefully your fantasy teams own one or both of these guys and faced neither.  Nothing would be more annoying than marginally losing Rebs to an IT2 owner!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action (and don’t forget to fill out a bracket in our Razzball March Madness pool!):

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- – do this anymore!!!!  And that’s appropriate too because when you run out of the Air Canada Centre, it turns from solid ground to ice!  Both Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross won’t be frantically chasing down kids any time soon with ankle injuries last night.  Lowry still finished out the OTs, but coach Casey said it was a bad booboo.  He’s had a ton of injury problems through his career, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses at least a couple.  We’ll see after it gets re-evaluated today.  Then Ross’ sounds worse, happening in the 2nd quarter and he wasn’t able to get back in.  Ross can’t!  Stepped on a foot and it rolled.  Those are never fun.  Did shoot his freebies and walk off under his own power, so there’s that.  In shallow leagues, if Ross was giving you some points you sorely needed you can hold out maybe a game, but he’s probably streamable.  The main takeaway is Greivis Vasquez chose the perfect game to get hot, scoring a season-high 26 for a 26/2/8/2/0 line with 4 treys which is muy bueno.  Did have 6 TOs which is muy mal.  With the Raptors possibly missing both Lowry and Ross Sunday against Golden State, un opporunidad is there for Vasquez to have a major stream-tastic outing.  You can sneak in Pts/3s/Asts/Stls and when you win, you’re opponent is gonna be like, “clever girl!”  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA hoops:

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I might be making this up, but doesn’t Denver play the Flavor Flav “Yeah Boy!” when Randy Foye hits a three?  Well I hope they do!  After a brutal Super Bowl for the Broncos (and America), the Denver populous got some slight redemption with Foye hitting this buzzer-beater last night.  Sportscenter!  But even with that game-winner, Foye had a rainbow flirt of 14/7/4/1/2.  That’s not ThrAGNOF!  Even with Ty Lawson back, Foye is rackin’ up multi-cat!?  I haven’t been a big Foye fan for shallower leagues this year – I thought he was constantly overvalued – but getting 16 dimes in his previous game then a nice all-around line last night with Ty-Ty back; I think I’m a little more a believer.  Sure it’s only one game against a fast-paced Clippers team, but 40+ minutes yet again last night and now in three straight games and Foye is looking pretty locked in for good value right now.  Owned in 57% of Yahoo leagues seems a little thin.  Show ya Foye a little Flavor of Love.  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

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Man, that title seems all sorts of wrong… But what is right is Nikola Vucevic returned to action last night For a solid 16/10 dub-dub in only 20 minutes.  Efficiency!  Shot 6-12, 4-4 from the stripe and added a few steals.  Very encouraging return for a guy people were dismissing since he had no timetable from the concussion.  Concussions can really jack ya up, but hopefully you stayed true on your course to the playoffs and have a dynamic top-20ish big man.  Of course the Magic now have lost value in other places, with Big Baby going 5/4/4 in 32 minutes, Arron Afflalo looking like the scrub I’ve said he was all year (still think his 20+ PPG is one of the most preposterous stats this year) and Tobias Harris temporarily moving to the bench.  Although T Dawg isn’t Walking Dead (going 9/11/3/1/1 in 37 minutes), he shot like a stiff going 2-8.  Afflalo is still a sell as soon as you can, Davis a drop, and hope you bought low on Vuc while there was a window open.    Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Waa-Wuuuuh… That is the written version of the sad trombone. This week’s title is a flop, just like Lance Stephenson‘s excuse for flopping, amirite? He essentially said that the floor was slippery, so he embellished the contact. I love you, Lance, but c’mon son! Just say you were trying to draw the charge, no shame in that, and let that be the end of it! Lance has been flopping into our fantasy hearts this year, though, so we can’t stay mad at him. We are at the halfway point in the NBA season, and like mid-winter for us northerners, if you’re not careful, you could catch a case of the fantasy basketball doldrums. It’s harder to find the waiver wire break outs, because most of them have broken out already. You could just pack it if you let the blahs take hold. But don’t brave reader, you’re better than that! Is there still some gold to be mined out there? I submit there is. But adjust your expectations accordingly. You ain’t finding a mountain full of gold, Smaug done got got his, you’ve left picking up what’s left. So what did my pick axe knock loose this week? Have a gander:

Please, blog, may I have some more?