Man!  I was loving that game!  Through three contests (the inaugural one in the comments then when adopted into the piece), I didn’t get a single win!  For shame… At least now with Kobe Bryant missing 6 weeks, we’ll be brimming with excitement to relaunch the game!  I never ended up with Kobe anywhere, so I’m downplaying the real fantasy impact here… Kobe owners are asking should I hold or should I let go?  I think he is probably a hold in almost all leagues if you can, but man, these top-end injuries are killin’ out there!  Plus we have to remember it’s a fractured knee and a re-sewn up Achilles.  And he wasn’t setting the world on fire anyway.  Kobe is turning into Jeter from last year!  Bryant is a medical marvel though, he can jump over cars going 40 MPH and come back after bone spurs a game later.  So he’s worth the stash unless it’s a very shallow 10-teamer or smaller, or you’re just a triage of injuries.  Here’s what else went down last night across fantasy hoops:

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What if Roy Halladay changed his mind about retiring and switched to pitching left-handed as a means to extend his career? He’d look like someone trying to do the stereotypical “girl throw” and the ball would end up killing a bat boy.

What if Robert Griffin III started throwing left-handed because Kyle Shanahan’s offense stinks and because RGIII just does things differently? Mike Shanahan would turn redder than well, you know, and become permanently frozen with the Anthony Perkins face.

This is why people were sort of baffled when Tristan Thompson decided to switch shooting hands from left to right during the 2013 offseason in an effort to avoid getting his shot blocked.

Is it working? Not really. His FG percentage is down six points from last year.

Do we care? In a word, no.

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Welcome back from Thanksgiving!  After a week of indulgent eating, I’m back with an extra 20 lbs of writing weight.  Those drumsticks went right into my index fingers.  So I didn’t learn the typical QWERTY typing method, sue me!  I taught myself how to type in “Olsen Twins Turn 18 Countdown” chat rooms when I was in middle school…  Fantasy hoops had a ton go down through the Turkey Day holiday, although Omer Asik wasn’t traded to the Magic for Hedo Turkoglu.  Now that would’ve been a Turkey Day!  Of all the things that went down, I am positively giddy for the run Patrick Beverley is about to give us with Jeremy Lin set to miss two weeks with a knee strain.  Thanks in part to Slim’s water torture, I’m a big Beverley believer for some real mulit-cat upside.  Early returns started slow, with PBev going 7/2/2/2/0 the game Lin got hurt during the first quarter, then only 5/4/1/0/0 in 24 minutes on the Friday night.  But on Saturday against the Spurs, 11/6/5/3/1 no turnovers and three treys.  “Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about!”  Thanks Maury Ballstein.  Even though PBev isn’t a focal point of the offense, I buy the peripheral stats, and a must-have addition to your own “Balls Models” squads.  Steals, boards a-plenty, with some dimes and out-of-position blocks will floweth like a river.  Or Slim’s water torture device.  You said you weren’t into S&M!  This is my fantasy update writing of shame… Here’s what else I saw since we last checked in:

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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:

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The preseason is upon us!  And just like how you don’t put too much stock in Spring Training or the NFL Preseason – there isn’t anything to go too crazy about with what happens in the box scores.  However, some guys do get hurt, hurt guys can show they’re back, and there’s additional news to spruce up everyone’s rankings (my updated top 200 is below and broken down by position in the menu).  But before you scroll down! We really need some RCL commissioners to start up new leagues to show me just how bad my rankings are.  The winner gets their name shaved in my head for god’s sake!  Please don’t make it anything too profane… I don’t want to tell the barber he has to put @$%#% somewhere in my scalp!  Rather than belaboring current events and more RCL pandering, let’s just hop right in:

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Razzball Nation!  You’ve been clamoring for some updated rankings, and here they come!  I’m going to release them slowly, teasing them out, just like how we did the offseason rankings 5 months ago.  These top guys haven’t changed too much, but the rankings will expand to the top 200, culminating in an easy-to-use and frequently updated cheat sheet you can use during all your drafts as they commence in the next few months.  Fantasy NBA is coming and we’re ready to win you titles (or titties – depending on your league’s prize pool).  Previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank:

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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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This team led the league in blocked shots per game in three of the last four seasons, and was second in the one that it didn’t.

This team also finished in the Top 6 in rebounding in the last four years.

Who is this team? Without cheating and looking at a stats site you’d have to guess the Lakers, with Dwight Howard, or a defensively minded team like the Spurs, with Tim Duncan leading the block-n-board bash, or Da Bulls, with high-end Crafty Breuer Joakim Noah, his pony tail and the other dudes swatting shots and grabbing clankers.

Nope, nope and nope. It’s the Oklahoma City Thunder, a team that – despite having blocks leader Serge Ibaka (3.0 bpg) in the hizzouse – just doesn’t pop into your mind as a team that would pile up a mound of boards and blocks. We see Kevin Durant blowing guys away on the break and rising up for those improbable three-ball makes, and we see Russell Westbrook somehow getting to the cup and somehow getting it to go.

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Ah the fantasy basketball offseason.  It’s a magical time where the weather gets nicer, people get out of the arenas (unless their team is still in the playoffs) and start playing outdoor sports.  Pshhh playing outside.  Overrated.

While the NBA Playoffs enter their second round, there are still the huge events of free agency and the NBA Draft to shake things up, but let’s take an early look, nay, a way too early look, into where I am going to start ranking players for the 2013-2014 season:

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The Razzball Community, like a single barrel scotch, is bold and strong. And like a single barrel scotch in the bloodstream of a Las Vegas stripper, we like to spread our butt cheeks and then drive while intoxicated. Wait, what? Anyway, the Razz-comm (<- term that won’t catch on) enjoy nothing more than to match wits and skills with each other in the fantasy arena (there may be things we enjoy more, but we’ll leave that to the philosophers). The season has come to a close, those of you who weren’t sure if J.R. Smith was for real can finally put that question to rest, and our RCL winners have emerged, basking in the glow of victory. “I remember when I was alive, I lived for the taste of success! So says I, the ghost of Dolph Schayes!” Damn you, Dolph, you aren’t dead yet! “Mayhaps, but your career is!” Moving on…

Please, blog, may I have some more?