Happy draft lottery, Cleveland-ites!  Is having another 1st overall pick enough to lure LeBron back?!  I think chances of that are as good as Anthony Bennett turning out to be a good player…

And now to the fun stuff… Figuring out where to rank the volatile middle-tier guys.  As Paris Hilton once said, “Studs are studs!  Except for when they’re busts!”  Wow, awful.  Needed to get some shock value in here – that was my proverbial watermelon mallet.

After the top 20, things get pretty tricky this early in the offseason.  And until a good bit after the NBA Draft, 50 is as high as we’re gonna go.  The draft class is loaded, and several should proliferate into the top 100, with a few even top 50 guys in the right situation.  Then free agency, old guys retiring, all that hooblah.  But if you’re thinking ahead to some dynasties or formulating some early fantasy draft strategies, here’s my way too early Top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: still no Jonas Valanciunas):

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…And we’re here!  Finally wrapping up a recap of the top 100 and how much I hated Andre Drummond coming into the year.  It’s not my fault!  He still can’t hit free throws!  Aherm, cough, I think I’m going to miss today’s class with the flu.

So far, and I’m not just saying this for my ego, I think I did the Nation better than I expected.  Sure there were swing-and-misses – I’m not Biff from Back to the Future Part II!  But it’s been a great learning experience recapping my ranks, and our loyal, bearded Slim comes in with his grades.  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200, comparing them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues on the season.  Slim then recaps JB’s best ranks in the 101-200 range and worst.  Giannis Antetokounmpo for MVP!  To keep it unbiased, Slim picked the best 4 and worst 4, so we’ll have to see who he goes with… Here’s a look back at the Top 100 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Can I has Triple Doublez? Man watching Kevin Love is fun.  I think he should enter the NFL draft.  Deep outlets like these, plus he’s almost 7 feet and would never get a pass deflected at the line!  I can just picture Kevin Costner and Denis Leary debating over it with the Browns first round pick.  “I’m not taking some bearded seven foot douchebag when I’ve got Johnny Football and a bottle of Johnnie Walker Green!”  Eh, was going for a Leary-ism there, it’s hard to type it…  Huge night for Love, going 24/16/10/1/1 with two treys and continually adding millions to his next contract.  All after a report a few days ago that he was “exhausted” after a couple of non-Love-ish games.  Unloved games?  Something like that.  He’ll be one of the biggest stories to follow in the offseason, but he’s pretty much a shoe-in top-5 pick.  In Basketball Monster, he’s #3 in overall value and #4 per game.  He’s stayed durable and has been beastly.  Godly.  I kinda wanna get a Love bobblehead and put it in my locker and serve him rum.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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Oh man, was last night fun!  So much to hit on including a certain player going against his former team, but I want to start with two career-first triple doubles.  On the same night!  And on a night with only five games no less… First stop is Isaiah Thomas, who, and I mean this without sounding like I’m succumbing to a cliche about his size or anything, looked like the only dude who cared for the whole game on either the Wiz or the Kings.  I loved me some IT2 with the rankings before free agency, and really pimped him hard when Greivis Vasquez got sent off – as many sources did.  Regardless, everyone was right, he’s been a beast and went 24/11/10 with 10-10 FT and two treys.  And to top off the abuse of John Wall, Wall was 2-6 at the stripe missing pivotal freebies late.  My Wizards friend stopped texting me at the end.  I’m guessing he threw his phone through a Wall.  I capitalize that because he has a John Wall fathead on his wall.  Anyway, Paul Millsap also hopped in the trip-dub booze cruise for a 19/13/10 line.  Hopefully your fantasy teams own one or both of these guys and faced neither.  Nothing would be more annoying than marginally losing Rebs to an IT2 owner!  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action (and don’t forget to fill out a bracket in our Razzball March Madness pool!):

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Wait, what?!  Kobe Bryant is back?!  I mean, the Lakers beat the Thunder, and someone dropped 42 for purple and gold… I can think of no other scenario.  But as the verse goes, “Blessed are the Meeks!” Dropping 42 on OKC, Jodie Meeks hit a career-high with his typical Meeks game of treys and steals.  “He was hittin’ em from downtown like a mad scientist!”  I dunno, I was trying to come up with a good segway into Cosmos from last night, but got nothing.  “Went all deGrasse Tyson on the Thundah!”  “Gettin’ all cosmic on dem mfers!” The Lakers beating OKC definitely broke Vegas’ space time continuum.  Plus winning with 36 boards to 59?  Crazy town.  We’ve liked Meeks a lot over here in Razzball Nation, and somehow he’s still at only 58% owned in Yahoo.  I demand an Inquisition on this matter!  Even though he’s close to a ThrAGNOF, the 1.3 Stls a game, fairly high-volume 84% FT shooting, and just overall upside on such a crappy team make him an obvious must own.  Here’s what else I saw over the weekend in fantasy action:

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The playoffs are a-comin’, and around this time of year I like to go shopping for streamers.

Now I’m not going to grab any of these guys just yet. I’m just going to identify them for easy plucking when I’m in the heat of the battle in a couple weeks. My all-time playoff streamer is Reggie Evans, who won me more than a few leagues in the early-to-mid 2000s with his beastly and improbable rebounding runs.

Elton Brand could be the Reggie Evans of this year’s playoffs. Only he’ll be an über-streamer in the blocks category with some rebounds thrown in. He’s averaging 2.8 bpg over his last five games.

It’s also possible that Reggie Evans could be the Reggie Evans of the 2014 Fantasy Playoffs, but to a lesser degree. The only Amish black man on the planet is averaging almost 8 rpg since joining the Nets, including 9 boards in each of his last two games.

But my secret weapon streamer for this year could very well be Jeff Adrien, who is averaging 9 rpg since arriving in Milwaukee, including three 10-plus rebound games out of the four he’s played. That’s kind of sick, right?

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- – do this anymore!!!!  And that’s appropriate too because when you run out of the Air Canada Centre, it turns from solid ground to ice!  Both Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross won’t be frantically chasing down kids any time soon with ankle injuries last night.  Lowry still finished out the OTs, but coach Casey said it was a bad booboo.  He’s had a ton of injury problems through his career, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he misses at least a couple.  We’ll see after it gets re-evaluated today.  Then Ross’ sounds worse, happening in the 2nd quarter and he wasn’t able to get back in.  Ross can’t!  Stepped on a foot and it rolled.  Those are never fun.  Did shoot his freebies and walk off under his own power, so there’s that.  In shallow leagues, if Ross was giving you some points you sorely needed you can hold out maybe a game, but he’s probably streamable.  The main takeaway is Greivis Vasquez chose the perfect game to get hot, scoring a season-high 26 for a 26/2/8/2/0 line with 4 treys which is muy bueno.  Did have 6 TOs which is muy mal.  With the Raptors possibly missing both Lowry and Ross Sunday against Golden State, un opporunidad is there for Vasquez to have a major stream-tastic outing.  You can sneak in Pts/3s/Asts/Stls and when you win, you’re opponent is gonna be like, “clever girl!”  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA hoops:

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Probably because he’s, well, Elton Brand, I haven’t paid much attention to him.  It’s like telling me, “Hey JB, Robert Parrish is on the wire, what’da think?!”  Brand is getting tons of run lately with Gustavo Ayon and Pero Antic still hurt decimating the Hawks 5s (and Paul Millsap out as well), to the tune of 40+ minutes the past two games and 30+ in 4 of 5.  And grandpa Elton topped off his big run with a rainbow line last night, 7/13/3/2/2 in 42 minutes.  That’s like an Andrew Bogut line!  Had a comment last night asking if Brand is a flash in the pan.  More like flash in the bedpan!  Yeah, I don’t see any sustainability here with none of the aforementioned hurt guys really out that long.  But hey, maybe a one-game stream?  The Hawks are going at Boston tonight who lack any sort of consistency up front as well and Brand could get ya another multi-cat gem.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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“Deer in the headlights”.  Makes sense for this team!  And it starts with the pack leader Mr. Larry Drew, who we’ve slammed on ad nauseam here on Razzball hoops.  But to rub salt on the wound, or in Milwaukee’s case I guess it would be to leave out a salt lick, both fantasy relevant Bucks bigs are hurt.  Larry Sanders – who was first reported to just having blurry vision after being poked in the eye – actually has a fractured orbital bone.  Could this have actually happened later that night at a Milwaukee nightclub receiving a right hook from a bouncer?  Maybe!  I’m just excited to see Sanders in rec specs.  All he’ll need to do now is grow a goatee and dye it white and he really will be Colonel Sanders!  Then to top it off, John Henson rolled his ankle last night landing on Zaza Pachulia‘s foot.  Zaza was like, “Henson, is this your ankle?  It struck my foot!”  No updates on the severity, but we saw how long they waited to bring him back from that wrist injury so I’m a little sceered.  For Sanders, I’d try and wait until he sees the specialist today to tell him how jacked up his eye socket is.  It’s been suggested it could be 1-6 weeks, so if indeed closer to the full 6 weeks and you’re barely hangin’ by a thread I think you have to cut him loose.   Tough to take a 0 the last weeks before the playoffs. Henson is another wait and see, but I doubt it will be nearly that long.  But in both cases, if you’re in H2H and really needing a win this week, I couldn’t fault losing either in a All-Star Weekend shortened matchup.  An extra start means even that much more in a week like this one.  Sure someone will probably scoop up your Bucks roadkill to cook into their Chinese Food, but hey, at least it’s not in your dinner.  Zaza is worth a look himself as a streamer in the interim.  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Sometimes there’s not much you can do to affect your situation. If you’re reading this, digging this deep into the murky ether of the worldwide inter-webs for fantasy basketball advice, I’m sure you’ve had a daydream or two about being an NBA baller. We both know, however, for you and I, it wasn’t about not getting enough shots up after practice that held us out of the Association, we didn’t have the talent, pure and simple. But, if you’re petty like me, you might take some ironic comfort in knowing that even some of the Ballers in the NBA get shafted as well. Take Kyle Lowry, for example. He gets snubbed for the All Star game, then snubbed for the replacement players, THEN gets named Eastern conference player of the week, and then receives the worst call of the year, just to burst his bubble. That is a travesty of injustice, and while I’m not shedding any tears for Kyle inherently, it just goes to show that even the elite get effed with. There is a karmic balance going on, people, stop pretending there isn’t, and start paying it forward, eat your vegetables, and help old ladies across the street.

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