L-Tryptophan. It is the amino acid that is reported to make you tired when you eat it, as this is the amino acid that is the basis for a lot of the brain chemicals that make a person tired. You hear about it around this time of year, when millions of Americans are preparing to gorge themselves on the plump bird over Thanksgiving. L-Tryptophan induced naps are actually is a myth, I recently have been informed. Turkey contains less Tryptophan than chicken, or milk, so if the coma-by-turkey hypothesis was true, the same would apply when you eat ice cream, or have a chicken breast. But Dan, you legions of readers are saying, while this is fascinating stuff, why are you writing about Turkey and amino acids in a fantasy BUY/SELL article? Simple. I want you to be able to recognize the difference in players who are off to a L-Tryp-esque start, and whether their start is truly a slump, or a mirage they will pull out of in due course. I don’t know how my analogy could have been more obvious, but whatever, great art is never recognized in it’s time. In the meantime, take a look at these turkeys:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So as numerous comments have suggested over the years, I sometimes act as your fantasy therapist. “WHY ARE ALL MY GUYS HURT?!” But this morning, I’m using Razzball Hoops to therap-ize. You guys are going to help therap-ize me… Usually weekends are either “good”, “bad”, or “relaxing”. That’s 99% of weekends. Good = fun things happened, yay! Relaxing = you didn’t do much, and you’re recharged for another work week. Bad = things cut into the relaxing… But for me, it ran the gamut! I’ve mentioned a few times that the wife and I moved (yay!), we love the house (yay!), but ran into a bajillion little things and aren’t nearly as unpacked as we want (boo!) and missing a box that still hasn’t been found ($%&%!). Then we have to rush Saturday night to get to Charlotte to be ready to tailgate for the Panthers game. Tailgating was sick, but then I started to feel a little iffy during the game… At least we were true fans and didn’t leave early to beat traffic in the 2nd half of that bludgeoning! And I was able to snap the best picture I’ve ever seen of the Charlotte skyline:
There’s your pinnacle! Then I feel atrocious in a few hours of stop and go traffic, finally start feeling better, then get a tire blowout on the interstate and barely made it back last night… What a range of emotions! Anyway, long story short, I’m whiny, not feeling great, and the worst of all – didn’t watch as much hoops as I wanted to this weekend. #RealLifeProblems! So I apologize to the weekend commenters, getting to you guys now, and for a slightly shorter Monday Daily Notes that’s out later than usual. But we’ve got a shortened Thanksgiving week to preview anyway! Oh yeah, I guess I’ll stick with the usual daily notes format and tie this into fantasy – this article title could work for Nikola Jokic too! Went nuts on the Spurs last Wednesday for a breakout, but then played 18 starting minutes worth of feeling sick, getting a flat tire, and losing an important box when moving Friday against the Suns. Mike Malone even called out his guys! “Lunch will not be served today due to lack of hustle!” But then Jock Itch looked like a different player against the Warriors, going 11/11/2/2/1 in 27 minutes, while also helping us as a realtor and finding our house, helping the Panthers get to 10-0, and saving several stranded puppies in a well. He’s a 20 year old on a young team, he’s going to go through a lot of ups and downs, but I say he’s worth a look even in 12ers. If you don’t have anyone good to drop, I wouldn’t do anything rash though. He’s at 19% owned in Yahoo and snatched up in all my RCLs, but might be worth a look on your leagues’ wires. Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, plus The 7 Ahead for Week 5:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Wow, how good is Russell Westbrook? Two nights after dropping 40 points and 14 assists against the Grizzlies, Westbrook scored 43 points, 8 assists, and 9 rebounds on Wednesday. The Thunder controlled the game, but never really put the game out of reach for the injury-riddled Pelicans. Whenever the Thunder needed a basket, Westbrook had no problem getting to the hoop or finding the open man. My only knock on Westbrook’s game is the turnovers, but when you’re posting near triple doubles every night, you’re allowed to turn the ball over as much as he does.
Now his stats are inflated a little because Kevin Durant has been sitting with a hamstring injury, but Westbrook is still a top 10 talent even with Durant in the lineup. Should Durant leave the Thunder next season (to go to, say, the Wizards!!!), Westbrook would enter my top three, along with Steph Curry and Anthony Davis.
Now onto the other notables from Wednesday night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Maybe he didn’t call glass on his clutch three with 1:05 left in the 4th, but when you’re Dirk Nowitzki, a future hall of famer, who cares? I know fantasy owners don’t care whether it was a swish or a banked in three. All we care about are the final stats. And, boy, did Dirk deliver.
Down one going into the second half, Dirk took over for the Mavericks, leading them to a 10-point win against the Clippers. Dirk finished the game with 31 points and 11 rebounds on 11-14 shooting, including 5-6 from downtown. It was vintage Dirk.
Midway through the 3rd quarter he caught a Zaza Pachulia pass off of an offensive rebound and without squaring up, knocked down an one foot fade away jumper without hesitation. He knocked down threes with DeAndre Jordan in his grill. It was truly a great game.
As a fan of the game, it’s amazing to watch games like this, but as a fantasy owner, you have to realize that these games aren’t as common for the 37 year-old as they used to be. It was Dirk’s first 30-point game since December 28, 2014. In his 18th year in the NBA, Dirk is still a top 50 player when he plays, but just be aware his minutes are monitored more closely and he sits on back to backs, hurting his total overall value.
Now onto the other nightly notables:Please, blog, may I have some more?
A little over a week has gone by since the beginning of the season, and a lot of rotations still haven’t taken on a definitive shape yet. The good/bad thing is, a few injuries have already occurred, making room for a new set of players to gain some minutes. For those of you that enjoy streaming blocks, Festus Ezeli has become a solid play with the injury to Andrew Bogut (concussion). Bogut injured??? Who woulda thunk it! Bogut will remain a major injury risk the rest of the year, so Ezeli should be rosterable in deeper leagues, and possibly even a blocks deficient 12er or two.
For those of you that didn’t see last week’s edition of RazzWired, here it is. Most of the guys from last week are still relevant pick-ups, and I’ll do my best not to repeat myself.Please, blog, may I have some more?
The list of superlatives that can be applied to Andre Drummond is a long one. The Pistons big man went berserk on Tuesday night with his second straight 20/20 game. To be precise, he went for 25 & 29 – the second 25/25 of his career. For perspective on just how good he’s been so far this season:
- Only player since NBA/ABA merger to have 75 points and 75 rebounds through his first four games
- First player since Kareem with multiple 20/20 games in his first four games
- No other Piston has had a single 25/25 game in the last 30 years
Drummond had 11 offensive rebounds tonight which was more than any other player had in this game…combined. If the points and boards weren’t enough, he also tossed in three steals and a block for good measure.
The one knock on AD has always been (and will continue to be) his poor free throw shooting. At .403 FT% for his career, it’s quite the albatross. But this season – early as it may be – Drummond is up to .576 (19-33), making owners who thought they were punting the category feel pretty darn good about their chances across the board.
The stars seem to have aligned for Andre to post a truly special season. Lane-clogging Greg Monroe is gone. Stan Van Gundy isn’t afraid to play his starters heavy minutes and the team is winning (i.e. rewarding this approach). A summer of work with a shooting coach is paying immediate dividends at the foul line. At this point, the only thing that could conceivably derail this train is injury…and Drummond has only missed one game in the last two years, so there are no concerns about chronic or lingering ailments.
Now on to the rest of the happenings from an eventful Tuesday night of round ball…Please, blog, may I have some more?
Flashy player. Ridiculous opportunity. Buzzy preseason. A lot of times it ends up fizzling out, sometimes it works out OK, and one time it’s C.J. McCollum.
C.J. went absolutely bonkers in his 15-16 debut, hitting 14-22 from the field including 6-9 3PTM for 37/6/1/1/0 and no TO. Video game numbers! So he’s a shooter, and he does what NBA shooters do – keeps draining em when they hot! But I think we need to take a step back and consider a few things: Other than massive Pts and treys it was fairly empty. This was against the Pelicans, who without Brow, might look worse than the Sixers; they look horrific. And the third thing that no one seemed to mention while anointing McCollum the next big thing in combo guards this preseason – he’s got a pretty extensive injury history. He’s at the pinnacle of a sell high for me. Do I think he’ll be hot garbage all the sudden? Of course not. But do I think he scores 37 again this year? I don’t. Well, unless they faced the Pelicans every night… I’d shop around in the 40-50 range of ADP and see if you can get lucky. As with all fantasy takeaways off one game, it’s always good to keep from overreacting. Compared to fantasy football, we’re at the same point as about 9 minutes into the first quarter of week 1. Still a long way to go. Here’s what else went down during the first full slate of fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Ah, the late-round fliers! Which I think is “fliers”. A lot of the time, I almost write it “flyers”. Zach LaVine is a late round flyer! Eesh, being a married man makes you start getting reallllll corny with the jokes.
So as I’ve mentioned a few times getting through the top 100 (Rank 1-10 | Rank 11-20 | Rank 21-50 | Rank 51-75 | Rank 76-100), there just isn’t many warm bodies out there to call “JB’s late sleepers”. And, well, a lot of that is because I have guys that are ranked in the 100s on Yahoo and ESPN in my mid-rounds (cough, Jordan Clarkson – ESPN 99 Yahoo 144, what the hey?! aherm, cough cough – I’ve caught the plague!), while just as much is the lack of sexy rookies in good situations. Jahlil Okafor is awful for fantasy. D’Angelo Russell loves talking 401ks with Josh Smith by the turnovers at the breakfast buffet. Stanley Johnson looks awesome, but Detroit has a bigger wing mix than Bdubs. Asian zing – that one my jam!
With these final rounds of players, it’s also important to factor in league size. These ranks are [hoping to tailor] for a 12-team league, so I’ll reach for a tad more upside the later we go than go for stability. Tristan Thompson is going to be mad consistent for some points and boards for the very deep leagues, but lordy he’ll be unownable in a 12er. You’re fired! Can’t believe this Trump stuff is still going on… Anyway, here’s the Top 150 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season:Please, blog, may I have some more?
“Dude, you can’t make a title caps to make the pun work, or else it’s a stupid lazy joke!” Well, ya know I’m pretty effin’ rusty out here catching back up with Summer Ball and this final batch of free agency moves! I’m as old and as rusty as Deron Williams, who completed his buyout with the Nets, turned it into piles of gold he buried in his backyard, and will be eating Mulligan’s steak with Mark Cuban. The rich stay rich, just with the richer! Wait, did that make any sense? While D-Will has just as much risk as an active Claymore mine sitting on your desk (and giving it a fourth grade girl), I think I might actually buy in a bit. He’s in a steady decline, but when looking at his numbers last year, it’s easy to forget he came off the bench for a bit – and his bench numbers were horrific. As a starter he was 14.3/3.6/7.1 with a steal per and only 2.4 TO. And interestingly enough – nearly 33 minutes a game while staying [mostly] healthy! Must be the new bacon and eggs diet. He shot pretty horrible – sub 40% as a starter – but it was 39.6% vs. 32.3% as a sub. Couldn’t figure out how to get it done off the pine! Sounds like a merit badge the Pawnee Rangers would give out. Moving to Dallas, he’s surrounded by SO MUCH better talent that he should have no problem falling into comparable numbers as his starting days in Brooklyn, maybe even with a few more dimes, a few less TO, and playing as the starter all year (if he stays glued together). This is likely D-Will’s final chance to be on a winner, and after a very sub-par 14-15 I think he could be a draft day value. Either that or he’ll be a hot spinning cone of meat! Here’s what else has gone on in the past week of fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Let’s be honest… We were all watching March Madness! Ugh, I knew going with my heart over my gut for UNC was wrong… They were so close!
But in the NBA’s only game last night, both of the Pacers’ C.J.s went nuts against the Bucks! C.J. Miles at the starting 2 went 26/3/1/1/0 on 7-14 FG (4-8 3PTM 8-10 FT) and C.J. Watson as the combo G 6th man went for 23/7/7/2/0 with a crazy 13-15 FT. Watson’s best game ever! Was even better than that IBM supercomputer on Jeopardy. When it missed one I knew, I was like, “Maybe I’m like Deckard and unknowingly a Replicant!” Rodney Stuckey missed his third straight with a calf strain, and while C.J. Miles has gotten a slight uptick in shots taken, he’s 100% ThrAGNOF and reliant on those treys. So if Stuckey keeps being stucky on the bench, I’m actually pretty interested in Watson as a stream. 23, 11, 23 are his points the last three games with 5, 2, 7 dimes. The Pacers are off until Sunday, but if you need a decent grab to round out your semi-final week, I’d certainly pull a Sherlock Holmes and rely on Watson. Here’s what else went down in last night’s game:Please, blog, may I have some more?