Playoff basketball – yes spelled “basketball” – is underway, got some great games to kick it off, including from our boy PBev!  While I’m coming around and trying to watch more playoff hoops (baseball is still fresh and new, sue me!), I’m still more excited for the hopes and dreams of 2017-18 fantasy titles.

In case you’re still catching up, here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 ranks, which hopefully mostly hold up (they mostly come out at night…) for the 2017-18 season.  Of course my boldest call of Rudy #10 gets greeted by a first quarter knee injury in game 1 of the playoffs, hooray!  C’mon Rudy, just stay healthy, no one in fantasy cares how you play in the playoffs!  Hah!  So let’s all hope none of these guys in my 11-25 get injuries their next postseason game…  Here’s my Way Too Early Top 25 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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As I begin to write this recap, the Portland – Poppycock game has yet to begin, but frankly, NBA basketball was quite bad tonight/tomorrow… The March Madness games were fantastic, but most of the NBA teams have either locked up their spots, or cashed it in for the season.  Given that, I’ll point out that DeMar DeRozan had 40 tonight, but the game wasn’t particularly great, and the Raptors won 101-84. That being said, let’s dive into the mediocre slate:

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The Bulls came into Toronto having beat the Raptors in 11 straight games. It took overtime, but the Raptors snapped the losing streak behind DeMar DeRozan’s 42 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds. Double D shot 17-38 and helped erase a 16-point deficit in the 4th quarter to secure the win.

DeRozan battled all game against Jimmy Butler, who also went off for 37/10/6. Despite these two all-stars’ phenomenal performances, the game was overshadowed by the fight between Serge Ibaka (16 and 6) and Robin Lopez (12 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 blocks):

Usually Lopez only fights mascots, but took exception to Ibaka’s shove in the back. Fortunately the guys were separated rather quickly, but the league will obviously review the fight and make a decision later on whether either player will be suspended any games. Personally, I’d expect both guys to miss at least one game, but hopefully it’s just a fine and they return for their teams’ next game.

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I hate Daylight Savings Time. I mean, I’m really not a fan. However, my love for this archaic nuance of our calendar shifted during seasons of my life. Growing up through college and early married years? Loved Fall Back and loathed Spring Forward. Now? Well, my three little kids that run on a body clock and not a real one don’t care that you just gained an hour. Wake the eff up and play with me! Don’t worry…I say that to my wife sometimes in the mornings, just with less aggressive language. It’s much more enticing. And you don’t care.

So, my point is…now that Spring Forward is here the responsible professional in me is still loathing losing an hour of sleep. But the parent in me…haha, oh the parent. They sleep an extra hour now?!? Done. Give me this thing all day long. I look forward to ‘losing an hour.’

And now that I’m ~200 words in to something that no one cares about, let’s just call that a test to see if you’re with me. Many have dropped out to this point, and only the truly great still remain. It’s officially playoff time in fantasy basketball (at least for the RCL’s), so we trim the fat and only discuss that which matters. As a result, this week is a little thinner in depth. So, let’s Spring Forward not just into a warmer season (and baseball!), but into the playoffs!

Oh, and into the 7 Ahead!

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How could you be so Dr. Evil? You’re bringing out of a side of that I don’t know. Maybe this was the beginning of the end for legit Kanye, when we started to see the side of him that we (he) didn’t know? Sorry Yeezy fans, but his last great album was Graduation. But maybe that’s what we all need to do…graduate. Onto better seasons. Onto changes perceptions. Onto the playoffs.

As we move into (or closer to) the playoff part of the season, strategies change. For your squad, perhaps you’ve sat middling in the standings when it comes to certain categories. What if you punted 3 cats for the sake of bolstering the other 6? In a head-to-head format that’s all you need (me personally, I’m not the biggest proponent of this move). Or, if it’s not a roster building strategy, perhaps what changes is just the way you assess the value of certain players. At this point in the season injuries, losses and trades have adjusted the mindset of so many teams that a few names seemingly so awful just a month ago may now be the key to your playoff push. Can you change your mind on them before the others in your league? Can you find their value in spite of their potential pitfalls?

When they have 5 games in a week where basically everyone else has 4…yep. (Pour one out for all the Russy owners. Worst possible timing for a short week. Good luck to ya!)

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Not a Shia LaBeouf, fan so I’ve never even heard about this movie ’til now.  Well, what a difference a week makes.  We were analyzing trade impacts last week.  This week, we’ll be looking at a few major injuries that has hit some top tier fantasy players.  Kyle Lowry, Kevin Durant, & Joel Embiid.  And due to Embiid being gone for the season, no more EmBIIIIID for him.

Let’s start with the easy ones.  Lowry and Embiid.

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With the season winding down, we’re going to stick to this shorter format.  Frankly, the waiver wire is fairly dry at the moment, and most players available are known quantities at this point.

  • Richaun Holmes – PF/C – 16% – He’s suddenly relevant after the trade of Nerlens Noel, and the injury to Joel Embiid.  Over the past 3 games, he’s racked up 10 blocks along with decent contributions in points, boards, and steals.  Definitely worth a grab while Embiid is out.
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…comin’ for to carry me OUT of my fantasy playoffs!  Brutal news yesterday that Kyle Lowry has to undergo surgery on his right wrist – his shooting wrist – to remove some loose bodies.  Should’ve kept those bodies in a well, like Buffalo Bill!  “It puts the lotion on the skin!”  Without an IL spot, you’re cutting him in your redraft leagues, even with the prospect he gets a couple games in right before the playoffs.  The timeline is “hopeful to return in 4-5 weeks”, which would put us in early April.  Plus he’s a shooter, and gonna have a rusty wrist.  Hah, that sounds like a sex thing…  Moving on!

In his place, it’s time for the Cojo mojo!  11/1/6/3/0 then 14/1/6/1/0 over the weekend for Cory Joseph, with only 2 combined TO, showing what kind of sexy roto-asset he could be.  But thennnnn, struggled last night – as did the Raps as a while – to knock off the Poppycockers in a 1-point win, going 6/3/4/2/0 with 2 TO.  Still got 33:30 minutes, but he’s more in the fringy starting PG class (your Brogdon, McConnell, et ceteras) than in the most-own zone.  You could say he’s in the friendzone.  Although dudes don’t really have a friendzone, it’s only chicks that apply that logic.  The friendzone is a very sexist area!  After this dunk in the 2014 Western Conference Finals (back when he was on my REL team), Cojo could have his way with me any time he wanted!

Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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I don’t typically do this, but I’m going completely off-script for the open today, after we got the awful news Bill Paxton passed away in his early 60s due to complications from heart surgery.  Isn’t it weird how attached we get to actors we obviously don’t know in person?!  Especially more a character guy like Bill, but this one hit me hard for some reason!  Who doesn’t love True Lies?  Aliens?  The GOOD James Cameron movies?!

And for this to happen on Oscar weekend too, just a real shame.  Alas, it’s been a busy-as-hell weekend across the association plus I finally wrapped up my Pitcher Rankings over on baseball that’ll be out this afternoon or tomorrow.  Weekend of writing!  That’s what really pulls me through man, getting to write about sports for all you wondrous people in Razzball Nation.  The game will never be over, there will always be basketball and baseball!  Tackle football…?  Eh, maybe not-sa-much…  Here’s what went down over the busy weekend – the first after the break with a lot of fresh faces in new places – in fantasy basketball action:

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Y’all think he got out of it? I mean, c’mon…it’s Razor offing Ramon! I bet he walked over, grabbed his toothpick and flicked it straight at Scott Steiner’s eye. The glory of that gif. The mullet. Sorry, the sweaty mullet. The stubble chest hair. The shaking hamstrings. The black leather leotard. The metal print banner of WCW Monday Nitro. Goodness, take me back to 6th grade already!

No, don’t do that. I don’t want to be 12 again. However, that was the first time I ever played fantasy basketball. But I’ll quit reminiscing and focus on what’s really happening in that gif: the full nelson. Change the faces around, time travel to today and make that a basketball court in Denver and you’d see the story of Jameer Nelson and Emmanuel Mudiay: the young’n with the death grip on the PG position to start the year, but, wait for it…the wily veteran shaking free of his bonds on the bench to reclaim his rightful place running the team! Is it a stretch? Sure, but look at that extension through his obliques. Clearly, this is a great move to increase flexibility.

Ok, are we talking about wrasslin’ or fantasy basketball? I’m all befuddled now. Must be the mullet.

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