Merry Christmas Razzball Nation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday. What have you asked for for Christmas? A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight? A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles? Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates. Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date. October 2014. Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot. Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May. Foot injury and big trade limits #s.” That’s me quoting me! Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners. BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea. Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt. I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside. Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Yea yea I know… Of all the “Knight” puns, that’s the best ya got?! Man did Brandon Knight have a huge game last night, notching a career-high 36 points for a 36/9/3/0/1 line shooting 13-25 and 6-12 from deep. As you all know, I was a huge Knight fan heading into the year, stuck with him, and think this is what he averages here on out. Wiggity what?! Haha, just kidding to see if you were paying attention. I’ve always liked his ability to board, he’s probably the best pure scorer on that team, and can shoot treys and drive. But I’m a little tired of the “but he doesn’t assist!” from the hate Mafia. Who gives a flip man?! Of course because he’s a PG, he gets dogged for bad Ast:TO, and listen I get it – 8 TOs last night bums hard – but if Ryan Anderson had that line last night, people would be sacrificing live chickens just to meet him. Pedro Cerrano doesn’t like when his PG doesn’t dish! ”If Brandon Knight doesn’t average 8 dimes a game, I say forget you Jobu! I do it myself!” Knight will never be an elite fantasy PG, sure, but a very useful one, definitely. He just has to navigate Larry Drew’s mood swings. Get the coach some Midol! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
It was a mere two weeks ago that we were here, in this very space, talking about the living embodiment of a game of “Q*bert,” Nene Hilario.
We knew it was coming. Nene’s gone all screwy on us again, deciding that his foot hurt and that he would need to “step away.” Wouldn’t it be great to be able to do that at work whenever crap went bad? Eh, hey, sorry I messed up that TPS report boss, I think I’m just gonna “step away.”
The chief beneficiary to this mess is Trevor Booker. Prior to Nene’s latest hiatus, which began three games ago, Booker wasn’t even listed on the Wizards depth chart.
Yet when Nene did his Nene thing coach Randy Wittman reached to the end of his bench and grabbed the beefy Booker. One of the geekiest-looking players in NBA history was rewarded: In the three games that Nene’s been out, Booker has averaged 16-11-1, including a monstrous 24-12-1 in a near-win against the Atlanta Hawks.Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
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):Please, blog, may I have some more?
For some reason, the hype coming into this year was all about Andre Drummond and how he was gonna punk Greg Monroe and take all his boards and blocks and the such. These same people drafted Drummond in the same round as Monroe and in some cases even higher. They were Monroe haters, just like Mr. Rush on “Too Close For Comfort” and the Federalists.
But now those same peeps who slept on the big guy are flipping out in classic Ted Knight style.
Monroe has been a stud for Mo Cheeks, racking up almost 12 boards and 2 blocks per contest. He’s also scoring 16.3 ppg and hitting 54 percent of his shots. In his most recent game, against Oklahoma City on Friday, he compiled 15 boards and 3 blocks to go along with 20 points – a vintage big man stat line.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Things were looking oh so good for the Colonel’s original recipe heading into the season. I bought the whole bucket, the two sides and a giant big gulp of tea. But Larry Sanders could very well be one of fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2013-14, for reasons on and off the court.
Sanders signed a 4-year deal in the offseason worth a cool $44 million bucks (worth, about, a million buckets of chicken!), and the Bucks regime had big plans for their center. GM John Hammond, while trying to keep his Jurassic Park island under control, said Sanders was the key to the team. Hammond, you lost your keys! Bucks are locked out… Then the season started with Sanders nearly fouling out in 12 minutes, and in three games hasn’t played more than 22 minutes, hit 2 FGs, or grabbed more than 4 boards. I was on the buy low bandwagon faster than a short sell in Trading Places. But after complaining about playing time, Sanders reportedly got into a bar fight Saturday night and effed up his thumb. Stop giving him roids, Braun, we don’t need more roid rage in Milwaukee! I wonder if he was getting hazed by Ersan Ilyasova like Richie Incognito. ”You must play better, now!” yells Ersan in a thick Turkish accident. Hey, Ilyasova was a scratch last night too, Gus Ayonin’! Anyway, Sanders is accused of breaking champagne bottles over peoples’ heads, and to top if off he then missed Monday’s game because his wife went into labor. Sorry Larry Sanders Jr… I’m just sorry… Hopefully this version of The Larry Sanders Show ends anti-climatically with Sanders getting back on the court and giving fantasy owners something. If you’ve got him, you have to be holding and hoping Sanders can settle down and have this blow over, before he’s looking back at his life and he’s Robert Swift. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops: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?
Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50. Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots. Have fun grilling these!
(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause. Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury. He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again. He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3′s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter. Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.
(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big. The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Welcome to my second round. The second round is on me! That way I can buy all cheaper/low-shelf swill and not look like a cheapskate [underutilized word]. Seriously, try that next time you’re out. Well, to be honest it only really works on the 8th or 9th round. ”What is in this snake juice?!” “It’s basically rat poison!” ”Baba Booey!”
So these guys are all still elite talents, just have those lingering question marks that would have me passing on them. I know you’re all gonna yell at Paul George being a second rounder for me, I have comment ESP! Here’s how I see the remainder of the top 20 with off-season adjustments (previous ranks from my Off-Season Rankings are in parentheses before this re-rank):Please, blog, may I have some more?