When the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl in 2009, it was a great example of how the Sports Karma Gods can sometimes rush in after tragedy strikes to lift a city up and help it rebuild.

But then that was it. No more, said the Sports Karma Gods. Because since 2009, Big Easy sports fans have endured the Sean Payton scandal, the Chris Paul trade, the Hornets changing their name to the Pelicans, the freaking horrible uniforms for this year’s NBA All-Star game and a rash of injuries not unlike the rash Candy Flanders gave me in my sophomore year of high school. Er, ah, moving on.

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In case you missed it (and let’s face it, who’s watching Bobcats games?), Kemba Walker had a scary ankle roll Saturday night and will miss 10-14 days.  He’s gonna need a walker for a while after that!  Cricket cricket, cricket cricket.  “That’s not funny JB, it’s just cruel…”  So what if I have Cruel Intentions?!  Now I wanna make out with Selma Blair…  So what if I’m not Sarah MG (I didn’t even want to bother Googling that be sure I had it spelled right…)?!  This is way off the rails…  Back to Walker, he’s a guy that relies on speed and explosiveness, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the full two weeks and even more.  Cue the Ramon Sessions puns!  As a North Carolinian, I guess I am more a Hornets Bobcats fan than any other team, so I may be biased, but I like Sessions and think he can be a decent stream the next two weeks in 12-teamers that need a desperate solid starter.   He’s an emergency Sessions!  Hey that’s the title!  In 38 minutes against the Heat, Ramon went 16/3/5 shooting 6-10 and 4-4 from the stripe.  The 5 TOs are no fun, he does turn the ball over a tad too much, but I think the underrated aspect of his game is he constantly gets to the stripe and shoots good FT%.  He’s at 3.4 makes a game at 79% this year, after being at 83% the previous two seasons.  And last year when he was at 27 minutes a game (22 per thus far in 13-14), he hit 4.8 FTs a game.  He’ll easily get low-to-mid 30 minutes per contest while Walker, Texas Ranger is out, so if you need some scoring, dimes, and that sweet boost of FT shooting in a tough matchup this week or next, or to pad those stats in roto, Sessions is in sess… Eh, well you get it… Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy basketball:

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Leandro Barbosa had a really good run in the 2000′s, captaining the Black Pearl, slashing to the basket with some great drives – just like the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was all-around fun to watch in his prime.  After a decline in Leandro’s play, he was shipped to Toronto for some turkey named Hedo Turkoglu.  Barbosa averaged nearly 13 Pts a game north of the border in two seasons, but then he was constantly asea with stints with the Pacers and Celtics before tearing his ACL in February last year.  And man, did that injury make him look attractive to the Wizards, who traded for him in a salary move.  Never playing for the Wizards and not getting any deals in the offseason, Barbosa looked stranded on the Isla de Muerta.  But some rum runners and/or braiding human hair from his back to lash together sea turtles got him back to civilization and re-signed by his former Suns a week ago.  After three meh games, Barbosa broke out with a 21/3/2 game last night.  Commodore Barbosa!  Bootstraps’ bootstraps!  He stayed on the court just over 30 minutes, and was infinitely better scoring the ball than Gerald Green, who shot 2-16.  Labradoodle alert!  No need to Geoffrey Rush to the wire in 10-teamers or 12-teamers, unless you’ve got a banged up squad in 12-team and only need points.  He’s a little interesting in deeper leagues though.  Mainly because he’ll get minutes, get shots, and will breakout on cold Green nights.  Here’s what else I saw last night across the Caribbean:

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There’s gotta be a hardcore Spurs fan in your league, or someone who appreciates the classics, or someone who doesn’t realize that Tim Duncan is 37 years old, or someone who doesn’t care, or, best of all, someone who has been hit hard by injuries and is in dire need of a big man.

Because if you find that dude, you want to offer Timmy D. to him right now.

Duncan has once again defied the odds with near-All-Star numbers. Yeah, he’s scoring a few points less, but his rebounds (9.8 per) and his blocks (around 2 bpg) are right where they have been the past few years.

While these numbers are all fine and dandy, the best power forward of all time is great trade bait because of what he’s been up to lately. Just last week he had a vintage, turn-back-the-clock game with a 24-17-2 at Memphis. After a bit of a rebounding slump, he posted three-straight games with double-digit boards, and just last night he snuffed four shots against the T-Wolves.

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Man… It just hasn’t been the best few years for Kris Humphries…  The divorce.  The loss of a starting job.  Traded as a dump to Boston.  But he’s actually been a pretty decent fantasy player lately, including getting a surprise starting nod last night, fairly under-the-radar.  Unfortunately, none-a-dat-matters when watching last night’s game!  Man, talk about lucking out with the games I got this week, as I had Yahoo highlights for the Celtics at Clippers, and the now-infamous “Welcome to my Poster” dunk.  Just dirty from Blake Griffin.  If you didn’t see where I cut the highlight, right after Ralph Lawler says “over, and over, and over…” it cuts back to Humphries who gives the easiest to lip read F bomb you could imagine.  Hilarious!  I lost my cookies all over the office.  I shoulda put “And-one” on the highlight too, but my face melted.  Getting back to fantasy, Blake can have his own poster this year, producing at a great rate and a great pick even for the unknowledgable NBA fan in your league who reached for him for the highlights.  As I mentioned a month or so back, Griffin has been really good this year capped off with a 29/6/8/2/0/highlight of the year line last night.  He showed us why fantasy hoops is underrated in the fantasy community.  It beats football by actually requiring skill and not small-sample luck, and gives us the best highlights to shove it in the face of baseball.  “Oh look, I had Ryan Howard on my team and he actually hit a homer, look at this moon shot!”  “Pssshhhh, I had Blake in today and look at him murder Kris Humphries!”  (full disclaimer I love fantasy baseball).  Enjoy the ride if you nabbed Blake.  Here’s what else happened last night in the NBA:

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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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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:

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There comes a time in every man’s life when he must admit defeat.  Like when your girlfriend demands to know why you can’t just remember to put the toilet seat down.  You can try to explain to her that the house is haunted and you would never be so inconsiderate.  From experience I must say its not as convincing as it sounds in your head.  The only correct response is to hang your head in shame and say, “I’m sorry”.  Older bench players like Mo Williams and Nate Robinson are my toilet seats.  I can’t seem to put them down and I will undoubtedly hang my head in shame when I do finally drop them.  Why not skip that uncomfortable feeling all together?  Why not take an unknown player who may blossom into a fantasy star?  Here are a couple of bigs that I believe will outperform players like Omer Asik (63% owned), Samuel Dalembert (52% owned), and Luis Scola (42% owned).

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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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Despite the two nationally telecast Opening Night games (with the Heat/Bulls starting at 8:00 PM EST), the season really started at 7:00 with the Magic against the Pacers.  Non-fantasy players probably didn’t know this game ever happened.  All the sudden in the second quarter, Andrew Nicholson just went off, going 8-9 in the first half with 18 points.  Next thing you know, ESPN Fantasy Basketball is down.  Why RCL is on Yahoo!  But despite the Magic losing the lead and the offense going stagnant early in the third, Nicholson only played another few minutes in the second half and got stuck at 18 points in 19 minutes, only taking one additional shot and going 8-10 on the night.  Womp womp.  I never thought too much of Nicholson and don’t think he’s a guy to go rush to the wire for (unlike ESPN fantasy players!), and don’t forget Tobias Harris sat out with the ailing ankle.  19 minutes sounds about right for Nicholson, and he’s obviously not going to be a 48 PPG scorer per 48.  But I hope the kid enjoyed the moment in the sun during that first half shooting spree.  You temporarily broke Fantasy!  He was like the Fantasy Basketball Kevin Ogletree.  Here’s what else went down last night in the NBA:

Please, blog, may I have some more?