After making history this weekend with arguably the best Halloween costume from an NBA player of all time, LeBron James made his way into the NBA record books becoming the youngest player to score 25,000 career points. Despite the record-breaking basket coming against the hapless Philadelphia 76ers, the feat nonetheless is one of the most impressive in recent memory. With all the scrutiny surrounding the potential decline of the Artist Formerly Known as King James, tonight’s performance was an instant reminder of how effectively he can impact the game not only on the hardwood, but the fantasy box score as well.

Registering 22 points, 11 assists, 9 rebounds, 4 steals, and 2 blocks on 9-19 shooting, James had his most well-rounded performance of the season. Moving forward, James should begin to impact other areas of the box score (assists, rebounds, steals, and FG percentage) as the Cavs offense clicks.

As the Cavs begin to realize the full potential of their All-Pro floor spacer in Kevin Love, James ability to facilitate and control the pace of the game will open up his true fantasy potential. Pencil him in for at least 20 points, 8 boards, and 6 assists on .500+ shooting. All hail the King.

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Man, off an emotional win beating the Gizz (I hope that catches on), the Pistons go back-to-back and lose in Philly.  Seems like that kind of emotional high/low happens all the time!  Shoulda bet some money on Philly with probably a good betting line against em.

And it was pretty easy to see how Detroit lost with Reggie Jackson (4-17), Jodie Meeks (2-12), and Spencer Dinwiddie (2-11) combining for 7-40 from the field!  That FG% isn’t even legal at 17.5%!  That shooting percentage is statutory rape!  But swooning in all cool and ready to rob the cradle was the 44% from my boy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the only shooter who could hit anything going 7-16.  Normally the lead for this game would be R-Jax’s trip-dub (11/11/10/0/0), but with 5 TO and that shooting %, he was pretty poopy.  KCP isn’t going to suddenly be a multi-cat stud, but it’s back-to-back 20 point games with a 20/8/2/1/0 line last night and a trey.  What I really like was his aggressiveness driving to the hole, netting 5-6 FT and he’s 7-9 from the stripe the past two games after a stretch with virtually no freebies.  He’s taken 14+ shots in 6 of 7 games and at least 10 shots in 13 of 15 taking a bigger role in the O with R-Jax able to probe (I can only think of South Park every time I hear a broadcast say that…).  Of course the FG% will be a struggle, but if your team build can handle it/if it’s a punt, the low TO and decent steals make him a solid add in the stretch run.  Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball:

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The all-star break has come and gone.  For DFS purposes it seemed like an eternity.  For me it was a nice break to step away and recharge batteries.  Thursday was the NBA trade deadline and we seen a ton of movement. 39 players were traded.  Now I’m not going to sit here and tell you who the winners and losers were cause I could care less.  I will tell you it opens up opportunity for a lot of players for DFS and also takes the value away from a few players.  When you are building your lineups make sure these players that were involved in a trade are playing for their new teams.  This process can take a few days because of the amount of trades at one time and the players have to pass physicals.  On Saturday we a small 5-game slate so let’s get on with it:

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[We’ve got the Trade Deadline Podcast up!  Slim and I react to all this hooblah as this post continues to be updated – you can find the Pod the post below this one as well as that link.]

Razzball Nation!

The Trade Deadline is nigh, which is to say, soon.  Can I trade the start of this open with a different one…?  “Did you hear the one about how the Hawks got nothing for the broke ass of Josh Smith last trade deadline?!”  Imagine the Hawks with a lottery pick as well…  I guess as fortune-tellers, they knew they didn’t need anything for Smoove!

The 2015 NBA Trade Deadline will pass at 3:00 PM EST, and up until the closing moments, I’ll be updating this post as each trade moves across my virtual news desk.  Fantasy spins galore!  That’s the younger sister of Pussy Galore…  So be sure to constantly ping that refresh like Goldfinger on Kitco!  Here’s what’s gone down so far:

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It’s always nice to see the deep league guys you love turn into Mr. Planters and go nuts!

After 22 minutes, many of which trying to play through it, Jimmy Butler finally waved the white flag and checked out with a shoulder injury.  He first hurt it last Sunday, and that black tape stuff (that I still don’t completely understand how it works) didn’t keep Buckets’ shoulder together.  Maybe the black tape is more a statement.  Like, “Yeah brah, I got a jacked up shoulder but I’m still gonna go ham!”  Either way, it opened up some huge run for Tony Snell, playing 41 minutes.  And they were 41 heat check minutes!  Made his first 6 from the field including 4 treys, ending up with a career-high 24 points in a 9-11 FG (4-6 3PTM 2-2 FT) 24/2/2/1/0 line with no TO.  Snell going full Mr. Planters!  Even with Mike Dunleavy returning after nearly a month-and-a-half off, you can’t suppress the sense of Snell!  I keed of course, this is an anomaly type of game, but Butler could easily get tomorrow night off against the Cavs to rest that shoulder through the ASB making Snell a very interesting end-of-the-short-week streamer (only the one game Thursday night).  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy NBA action:

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As we gear up for the All-Star break next week, owners should pay extra attention to their daily lineups. Guys that are typically playing through minor injuries could miss a game or two, as teams try to give them some extra rest before heading into the second half of the season.

There are already quite a few guys who have played their last game prior to the All-Star break. Sidelined for the last five games, Rockets’ center Dwight Howard is expected to miss about a month after undergoing a bone marrow injection in is right knee. The Rockets plan to reevaluate him in four weeks, in hopes that his knee responds well to this treatment. Howard just can’t catch a break. He’s only played in 32 of the Rockets’ 49 games this season.

The Rockets frontcourt is very crowded, but Howard’s injury should help alleviate some of the playing time issues. Joey Dorsey and Donatas Motiejunas should continue to start, while Terrence Jones and Josh Smith will see plenty of time off the bench.

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Right now, Kings games from here on out can be perfectly embodied by a The Ben Stiller Show skit.  Such an underrated show (couldn’t find the clip on Youtube, it’s too old!).  Andy Dick is on the bomb squad, gets to the bomb, then starts doing ridiculous things while the 10 seconds counts down that take a lot longer than 10 seconds…  Cooks lunch, changes a baby, shizz like that.  All the while the countdown clicks down unfathomably slow, until it’s at 1 and blows him up.  Man, it’s hard to describe things when there’s not a video for it!  3rd Century problems…

Well, losing a quality PG like Darren Collison in the second quarter never helps (abdominal strain – getting an MRI today.  Good thing he’s not a baseball player, he’d be out two months!), but the Kings are a bigger failed experiment than that prison Stanford thing after getting bludgeoned by the Dirk-less, Rondo-less Mavs.  Too many good players to be this bad!  Boogie turns it over too much, Gay isn’t working next to him, and the abyss that is the starting PF can’t be all to blame.  At 17-31, that’s NOT how the West was won…  Gay and Cuz make a lot of dough, but Colly playing this well on a 3-year $15 mil deal is starting to look mighty tasty to potential suitors.  If he gets through this ab MRI with nothing worse than a “nice six pack” prognosis, I think it’s about time to sell.  Of course Derrick Williams would be nice to dump, and, well, anyone else not named Ben McLemore (who is taking a nice step forward) would be awesome for SAC to kick out.  A nice kick in the SAC is what the Kings need!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

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I’ve never been a huge fan of his, but at least Mo Williams makes it really easy to have a punny title…

I would’ve said you’re as high as Busta Rhymes if you told me Mo Will was about to drop 50 last night.  What a crazy, crazy world we live in where the T’Wolves finally break out of their 15-game losing streak behind a franchise record 52-point game.  Some really weird biguns for the Wolves, remember when Corey Brewer put up 51 last year?  So both of those guys stay in the franchise record books as better scorers than Kevin Love or Kevin Garnett.  Go figure.  Makes me wanna headbutt something!  Mo with an unbelievable line of 52/4/7 hitting 19-33 FG (6-11 3PTM 8-9 FT).  Where to even start with the crazy?!  Mo hadn’t scored 30 since MARCH 2012 (!!) according to our friends at Rotoworld.  I would look at his game-logs to fact check, but we don’t fact check!  And as good as this game is, he’s not even a good pickup!  I think that’s the craziest thing…  Ricky Rubio is almost back to retake the PG minutes, and even if Flip wanted to run some combo guard lineups out there, Kevin Martin (so many Kevins in Timberwolves history!) is almost back.  Plus this game should make him easier to sell in the NBA.  Might get the Wolves a first rounder.  So while Mo is maybe worth an add for the very short-term (only 32% owned on Yahoo late last night), I’m certainly not losing anyone of value for him.  Here’s what else went down on a crazy and injury-riddled night of NBA action:

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Replace “Heat” with “Jay Cutler” and that’s what I have on in the background…

So a rough couple of days for Miami fans as both Chris Bosh and Josh McRoberts suffered seemingly minor injuries over the weekend, with some really bleak news coming out on Monday.  McBob’s knee injury that came out of nowhere in last Wednesday’s shootaround was diagnosed as a torn meniscus and needs to go under the knife.  Yikes.  Probably out for the season, and right when he was turning it on.  Then to Bosh, who has reports swirling his bum calf might cost him a few weeks.  It’s murky waters for the Brontosaurus, but for the long-term, you’re just sitting and praying to the Fantasy God of Injury.  I mean, dude was already so busy over the weekend!  Bosh is still staying involved with practice on a limited basis, but then again we all know what happens when “we talkin’ bout practice.”  In the interim, Shawne Williams probably gets the biggest uptick in minutes.  But he was pretty low-ceiling in big minutes to start the year… He had a couple nice games early on, very blah though.  Justin Hamilton is looking at a big role as well, off 10/3/1/2/0 in 33 minutes last Sunday.  A low-yield big role…  A little bit lost in the shuffle is Da Birdman!  Chris Andersen returned for Sunday, playing 18 minutes for 2/3/1/0/1.  He’s not going to get a ton of run given his age, but should offer a little blocking upside in a slight uptick of minutes.  Really none of these guys move the needle for me much, as it’s just an Abyss out there on the front line, with no aliens to save you by raising the ocean floor on some platform thingy.  I’m still in Lovington with Robert Covington and want it in the booty for Rudy.  They’re way above any of these Heat fill-in schlubs.  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops:

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It’s been a bad couple weeks for big men. A lot of top producing forwards and centers seem to have been bitten by the injury bug around Thanksgiving.

Initially, DeMarcus Cousins was only considered day-to-day with viral meningitis. After missing his 8th straight game, coach Mike Malone was unsure when he would get his big man back. He’s been ruled out for the rest of the weekend, with his playing status in jeopardy for next week.

While Cousins has been out, Reggie Evans has grabbed almost every available rebound. Well not really, but he has had games of 13, 14, and 20 rebounds, while starting for Cousins. Jason Thompson has offered a more balanced increase in production (11 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 2.4 apg in last 5 games), but the biggest beneficiary has been Rudy Gay.

With Cousins declared out for at least the weekend, now is the best time to sell high on Gay. He has a usage rate (total number of possessions per 48 minutes) of 30.2 when Cousins is out, but a 25.3 usage rate when Cousins is playing alongside him. As a result, Gay has increased his scoring, rebounds, and assists with Cousins off the floor. Try to trade him this weekend for a top 20/30 player, before Cousins gets back and steals touches away from him.

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