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Philadelphia has #TTP. Orlando has #??? Since they blew up the operation when they traded Dwight Howard in 2012, the Magic have drafted Andrew Nicholson, Kyle O’Quinn, Victor Oladipo, Romero Osby, Aaron Gordon, Dario Saric, Mario Hezonja, Tyler Harvey, Domantas Sabonis, Stephen Zimmerman, Jake Layman, Jonathan Isaac, Anzejs Pasecniks, Wesley Iwundu, and Ivan Rabb. They traded away O’Quinn, Oladipo, Saric, and Sabonis. So, they basically have Gordon and Hezonja and haven’t had enough time to trade away this year’s crop of rookies. The player they traded Oladipo and Sabonis for was Serge Ibaka, who they traded away to the Raptors. They just gave Evan Fournier a five-year, $85 million contract. What’s the vision here guys? I believe that languishing in mediocrity is the worst place to be in sports. You either have to tank to try and acquire a franchise player through the draft or go for it if you’re in the position to do so. What’s the point of trying to win 30 games?

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Final week for most leagues.  It’s that one time of the fantasy season when it doesn’t matter who you’d drop (unless it’s a keeper/dynasty), ‘coz if you’re still managing your team, then it must be playing for something.

In my opinion, the moves available this week is very limited unless one of your top guys encounter an injury or team setup is where you have 2+ guys playing for the teams not playing on Friday and/or Sunday.  This is because there are 11 games that will be played on those days.  So really if you haven’t streamed on Thurs, you really probably want to load up for Saturday’s slate especially if the players’ last game for the week is Friday or Saturday (MIN, LAC, DET, ORL, POR, SAC).

So for today, I’ll only focus on Saturday’s games.  Tad anti climactic being the final edition of this series for this fantasy season.

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We’re about 2/3 the way into the fantasy basketball regular season, but in the midst of the holidays and breaking down the per position opportunities, I wasn’t able to present the overall opposing ease rankings.  Hopefully, most of you reading this are doing alright, or at least within striking distance of the few remaining playoff spots in your leagues.  There’s still plenty of games to be played, for coaches (ahem, Earl Watson and Vogel to name a few) to mess up, and injuries to pop up (Chris Paul).  For those who are clinging onto some borderline standard league players due to their name, this is usually the time of the year when you have to make decisions on whether holding such players become an obstacle for your team to make the playoffs or end up being anchor(s) to your team that could have your team lose a playoff spot you’ve held for most of the season.  By looking at the matchup rankings, you can look to increase the number of slots to stream if your team needs some help in the standings.

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Well, it’s New York, and it’s Derrick Rose. Mo’ drama! After attending shootaround and everything seeming about status quo, Rose just flat out didn’t show up for last night’s game against the Pelicans. Didn’t tell anyone, didn’t shoot someone a text… He had no problem sending all sorts of horrible texts to that ex-girlfriend… The AWOL was so abrupt, that apparently the Knicks sent team representatives to his apartment and his teammates were praying for him! Yikes. According to reports, he’s fine and it was a “family issue” in Chicago, but this is redonk! I can’t remember a starting player just “not showing up” for a game, much less a former MVP! Things have gotten super sour in NY… Then the actual game last night happened! …which was an absolute shitshow. At least Brandon Jennings played well, as he’s been given a golden opportunity to start and show what he can do again (20/5/4/2/0 with 4 treys and 2 TO in 29 minutes – I would probably give him a spec add in 12ers based on this drama). But nothing but downhill from there. Carmelo Anthony got ejected for arguing, probably because the Knicks were down 20 and his knees hurt. “My fingers hurt!” “Well now your back is gonna hurt, because you just pulled landscaping duty!” Then our favorite Irishman Kyle O’Quinn apparently hit the Jameson too hard on the bench watching the Knicks implode, and fouled the crap outta Anthony Davis, causing the brittle 7 footer to fly into the stands and exit with a hip injury.

I’m sure that’s exactly what all Brow owners wanted to see, in a game with NO up 22 in the late 3rd… See, calling him KOQ makes all sorts of sense now! We call that defensive play a “KOQ block”. The Knicks ended up losing at home to the Pelicans, have lost 8 of 9, and have fallen to 17-21 (I erroneously on the Podcast thought there were still .500, man this fell apart quick!). Yup. The Poppycockers ladies and gents! Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Who wants to go on a road trip?!? You know, the kind that lasts forever. The kind you start the new year with. The kind filled with adventure. The kind that freaking wears you out.

Well, for Week 11 of our NBA fantasy season that’s exactly what the Utah Jazz are receiving to kick off 2017. But this no ordinary road slate of five games. No…it’s 5 games in 7 days. In other words, that’s death. Will they be tired by the end of it? Most certainly, but while they’re on the ride I’ll be riding their hot hands and bringing death to my opponents in the fantasy realm as much as possible. So, let’s Go-bert on a road trip, because if you own Rudy Gobert you’re in for a wonderful week. Listen to the ridiculousness that he’s producing this year: 18 straight double digit rebound games, and only two games under that mark since November 9.

12.5 PPG
12.0 RPG
2.6 BPG

All on 70.1% shooting. See, it’s not just the boards and blocks, his efficiency has been gold for owners this year. And it’s showing in the box score as only seven times since that November 9 mark has he failed to score in double digits, either. He’s a poor man’s Hassan Whiteside offensively, with all the defensive stats on par. Enjoy these five games! Oh, and for the teams facing the Jazz this week: good luck to you, too. Utah’s now 21-13, leading the Northwest division and allowing the fewest PPG in the NBA. Sheesh.

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Happy 2017, Razzball Nation!

After immense pressure from the DA’s office to flip on Tommy DeVito and Paulie Cicero, [redacted] needed protection to secure his testimony in putting those good fellas away. It didn’t start on the best foot either, as the WitSec guys asked [redacted] if he had any distinguishing marks and he lied about his tattoos… But the man formerly known as [redacted] changed his name to the very inconspicuous James Johnson, and moved his family to Miami. After being a humbling under-the-radar role player, Johnson was supposed to continue as merely a minutes-filler, amongst an uninteresting mix of PF to get through the tough void of losing Chris Bosh. He’s supposed to just shy away from dunk attempts and stand around on offense…

Well, way to ruin that, Johnson! We can’t protect you no more! An absolute monster weekend from Johnson, going 22/3/6/2/2 against the Celtics on Friday night with 4 treys, then followed it up with 20/7/3/1/1 against the Pistons. After a rough stretch of FT last week, he made 6-7 in these games too. With the added onus on O (no Goran Dragic or Justise Winslow OR Hassan Whiteside last night), he is turning it over a little too much (8 total in these two games), but with all the injuries and a void in playmaking on the Heat right now, Johnson is as erect as ever. He’s playing SF, PF, and even some C right now, so while we shouldn’t expect the 34 minutes like he got against the Pistons, he should be pretty solidified in his 25ish MPG role even when everyone is healthy. He’s gotta be a must-own in all leagues while this hot, as he has brazenly blown his cover. Hopefully no one recognizes him as [redacted]! Here’s what else went down over New Year’s weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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First off, Merry Christmas! Hopefully you enjoyed the smorgasbord of NBA basketball on Sunday, the first Christmas basketball with the Lakers playing but not this guy. And they’re better of for it. But with Christmas now a full calendar year away, let’s ring forth towards the new year!

And along with the new year comes a new look to The 7 Ahead! You know, New Year New You. All that nonsense. Well, I’m the same, still ballin’ out of control like Deion, but this series gets a facelift for 2017. And, of course, a little #millennial touch. Welcome to the new 7 Ahead! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Oh man, no rest for the wicked! Speaking of wicked, oh man quick shout out to the Wicked Weed Funkatorium, that brewery rocked! But yeah, an absolutely amazing slate to catch me back up on the daily notes, with 4 overtimes last night. Including a super size me doubler in Miami! Most of the other games stayed close too, and 20 of the 22 teams in action last night topped 100 points. Fantasy orgasm! And leading the charge on such a big-and-tall NBA night was of course Isaiah Thomas! Career-high 44 points for IT2/3, putting up a 4/3rd’s of a full line of 44/3/6/1/1 on 10-16 FG (7-10 3PTM, 17-17 FT) including a big three in extra time in the OT win.

I’m just glad this groin thing got worked out! …That sounded wrong… If you have a smaller groin muscle, does it heal faster?! I’m not saying he doesn’t have a kick stand down there with a line like this, but just wondering! After semi-breaking out last year (well he was only 2/3 better than his career year in 13-14 for the Kings), IT2/3 has taken an even further step up – scoring 26.6 PPPG, upping the FT volume to 8.8/per at 90% (remember when he was like 70% the first few weeks, that changed quick!), and even though the steals are only at 0.9, he’s drastically cut his TO rate to only 2.2 despite all the added USG. After a slow start due to injuries, the Celtics look like a pretty tough team at full strength right now, and maybe IT2/3 can lead this squad into a deep run. I’ll be cheering for them! (cough, REL bias, cough…) Here’s what else happened on an action-packed Tuesday night of Holiday Season basketball:

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Man, hell of a weekend!  Injuries, DNPs, I got a credit card hacked, went to a wedding, saw the sorry Panthers beat Jay’s sorrier Chargers… Out of control out there!  Thankfully we’re nearing Christmas, time to see some family, gets some time off work, and hopefully get our fantasy teams healthy…  But noooooooooooooo!  The fantasy gods gave us a bah humbug last night, with Nerlens Noel finally debuting off knee surgery, only to go down with a kankle.  He was looking pretty good too, especially with a little dunk on his first basket!

The hair on the other hand…  I dunno…  Shot 3-5 FG, hit his 2 FT, for 8 points and a steal in his first 10 minutes of the season.  Sucks it ended prematurely with another injury, and especially on the Sixers, who are treating everyone with kid’s gloves and have too many centers anyway.  Also sucks we don’t have any idea what his role will be, as Joel Embiid sat this one out to further maintain his EMBIIIIIID minutes.  As long as it’s under 4 hours, we’re good!  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in Fantasy Basketball action:

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Hope everyone’s week is going well.  No grid this week and instead I want to focus on the opposing bench players.

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Let’s face it, in a standard league, most of the available players in the FA pool are unlikely to be starters.  For fantasy purposes, that doesn’t mean they can’t contribute to categories that your team need to defend or categories that your team can unexpectedly win.

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