My lead yesterday was about a weekend of injuries, and as much as I wanted to stay away from injuries in today’s open, there’s just way too many.  Like that pilot in the Return of the Jedi when they attack the new Death Star.  “There’s too many of them!”  Sorry in advance Jake VZ – but I think the lead is Bradley Beal reportedly aggravating his leg injury and at the time of this post in the wee hours of the morning, the Wizards fear a prolonged absence.  Beal hurt the same leg with a broken fibula last year that ended his season prematurely.  In both my longer blurb in my top 100 and in my top 200 I tried to say I was worried, and only ended up with him on my autodrafted team.  By now, news has hit his little news icon on Yahoo and ESPN, so it’s going to be a little tough to sell at full price or even a slight discount if you’re hitting the panic button.  I’m worried myself.  I’m running in with Jodie Foster and a weird, gothy, tween Kristen Stewart into my Panic Room.  More precise news should come out today, but if for some reason you were about to cut Martell Webster, hold the phone and keep my boy.  I have been told I have too many “boys”.  But I like Webster a lot!  And called him a must add a few weeks back.  Trevor Ariza is also back and starting tonight, and the mere fact they’re not easing him in off the bench has me thinking his hammy must be doing pretty well.  Both Ariza and Webster are looking at big minutes for a stretch, and John Wall will continue to have this big offensive upside he’s shown in the past two games.  Here’s what else went down in the wide world of fantasy hoops last night:

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Ohhhh, Blake Griffin.  Well maybe stud is a reach… I don’t want to change the title!  With your powerful dunks and lifeless expression when you try to make the other team hit you…  Sigh.  I think Griffin was on some of the most overrated/bust/avoid lists on draft sheets heading into the season, and rightfully so.  But maybe I’m just in my own head with a false narrative… The scoring and rebounding in 2012-13 went down for the third consecutive season (as did his minutes), and he just didn’t do enough multi-cat for you to pay the premium over your moron little brother’s friend who only knows NBA players from Sportscenter top 10.  Gerald Green, first pick!  That said, it was still a solid 2012-13 campaign.  I ended up having him at 42, 7 higher than Yahoo and 10 below ESPN, so I was right in the middle.  His ADPs on both sites were 6-7 picks ahead of their respective rankings, but I think the hardcore fantasy players were probably avoiding at the ADPs.  He’s looked fantastic so far this season, averaging a career-high Pts, shooting his best FG% and stealing at a career pace.  I really liked what he did last night, as Serge Ibaka was letting him have his shot from outside, and BGriff was draining em.  Ended his night with a sultry 12-13 27/10/5/2 line.  It’s like he went back in time, and told his 2011 self to get better at racking up fantasy stats.  Championships? Pshhhh, we want fantasy goodness!  I know I won two fantasy leagues last year, but I have no idea who won the Finals!  I’m not exactly going to unload my roster to try and get Griffin, but I wouldn’t be selling high either if I ended up with him.  Sit back, and enjoy your highlight dunks.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Now, I never went to a boarding school… I was stuck in the public schooling circuit, and just could never rebound.  I was like Andrea Bargnani or Brook Lopez down there.  Domineering over some little men, but the boards just never came my way… Enter J.J. Hickson, who despite being a tad undersized has always been a solid boarder, and racked up 19 last night for an 18/19 night.  Near Goromotaro!  Just one putback slammah-jammah and he’s seeing 20/20.  A little laser eye surgery.  I liked Hickson a lot when JaVale McGee went down, and he’s proved he needs to be owned virtually everywhere like I said 8 days ago.  In the five games since, Hickson has at least 8 boards, double-figures in four of five, and a block every night.   Even if Shaqtin-a-McGee is able to get back within his original time frame, McGee just isn’t able to play the big starter’s minutes and Hickson is going to maintain this value either starting at the 5 or playing out his minutes as an early sub.  If you’re hurtin’ for boards, be sure the recent grad from the boarding school isn’t sitting on your wire.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Sooooo… Last night just happened.  It was the wildest night of fantasy hoops that I could ever remember.  Sure my memory isn’t exactly like Ken Jennings, but yea… Definitely going to break the “what the hey?!” record!  The Fantasy Basketball world just stood still.  It was just like the remake of The Day The Earth Stood Still.  Is that Keanu Reeves?  What is Jaden Smith doing here?  Wait, is this an actual plot?  There’s just too much crazy to care about these special effects!  There were like, a million three pointers last night.  Tony Wroten had a triple double.  Ok, who had Wroten in the triple-double pool?  I think if you had bet on that in Vegas you coulda turned a dollar into owning the state of Nevada.  18/10/11 while shooting 7-18.  A lot of Philly stats got boosted by the Rockets pace, and if you hadn’t heard yet, Michael Carter-Williams was a very late scratch with a sore foot.  What are they feeding these guards in Philly?  I think it’s obvious that to be a good NBA PG you must diet solely on cheesesteaks.  But enough meandering, let’s go straight into the nitty gritty, the CGI effects if you will, for the reason why you’re here:

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Well… Larry Sanders hasn’t had the best few weeks…  The Colonel held his injuries from the field surgeon just long enough to keep hope alive in his troops, but had to undergo the knife to repair his thumb and will be out 6 weeks.  Was it from a punch, the champagne bottle, or just getting too close in the delivery room?  No one will ever know.  Talk about easily the biggest fantasy bust this season thus far.  With no IR spot, drop this dude.  Zaza Pachulia is now a big pickup for anyone needing big man stats.  Za/Za is such a good Scrabble play!  Definitely a go-to for 60+ point moves on the triples.  If you have the cajones to challenge me in Words With Friends, hit me up (user ID: Jbronze).  But if I smell any Word Gen, I’ma publicly smite you!  Oh yeah, hoops, John Henson gets a big boost as well looking at consistent run.  But beware Henson’s terrible FT shooting and prepare thusly.  Speaking of thusly, herebe the NBA beings-all I saw last fortnight (wait, doesn’t that mean like 20 days ago?  Eh you know what I meant):

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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I don’t need to get into why the Portland Trailblazers might be unlucky. Or maybe snake bitten. Or maybe even – gasp! – cursed.

I don’t need to mention the long line of giants with legs more fragile than the sexy lamp in “A Christmas Story.” I don’t need to mention the Draft Day Disaster where they went with a sure thing no one questioned at the time and ended up missing out on the greatest player of all time. And I don’t need to mention the crushing injury to a guy whose last name is the acronym to a certain award given to rookies, which all but crushed any chances of building something out of those early LaMarcus Aldridge teams in the late ’00s.

But in casting away one J.J. Hickson, I believe Portland has made its own bad luck heading into the 2013-2014 NBA season.

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