After re-ranking the top 10top 20, and top 50, it’s easy to see there’s been big changes since last May.  Below are the Razzball Updated Rankings with the previous May rankings in parentheses before the adjusted rank:

(68) ↑ 51. Derrick Favors – Utah declining to bring back either Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap gives you a slight inclination on their thoughts on Favors, and they’re already talking contract extension with their emerging big as well.  I love his athleticism, and if I miss out on Serge Ibaka who I’m high on early, I’m gonna want to reach on Favors to win blocks. I think he’ll be a top-5 NBA swatter.

(51) 52. Kemba Walker – Kemba has been higher on virtually every rankings I’ve seen, and I’m just not top-50 high on him.  He had a really solid season last year, but the terrible FG% still worries me as I feel like he forces some offense.  The acquisition of Big Al is going to give the Bobcats/soon-to-be Hornets an actual scorer down, and I don’t think that translates into helping Kemba all that much.  I like Gerald Henderson a lot too to take a bigger scoring role.  The 2.0 steals a game last year was elite, but I see those going down along with the scoring, and a comparable 5.7:2.4 Ast:TO ratio.  All that spells a slightly down ranking for me.  Although to be fair, he’s played in every single Bobcats game in his career, so there’s that reliability that can’t be ignored.

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Continuing on with updated rankings after the top 10 and top 20, below rounds out my to 50.  Previous rankings are in parentheses next to these updated ranks, with up and down designations only for guys hopping up or down significant spots.  Have fun grilling these!

(22) 21. Nicolas Batum – A lot of commenters have wondered why he’s not in the top-20, and as I said in my previous 20-50 rankings, the declining FG% (45.1% to 42.3%) and 3PT% (39.1% to 37.2%) from 2011-12 to 12-13 gives me pause.  Despite playing over 8 more minutes a game in 11-12 to 12-13, his scoring average only went up 0.4 Pts a game and he only averaged 12 a game after the All-Star Break with his wrist injury.  He’s said the wrist is completely healed, and despite not needing surgery I would be worried with Batum as my second-rounder as the wrist could plague him again.  He’ll still be a multi-cat workhorse, but I see no way he chucks up 6.1 3′s a night with new acquisitions Mo Williams and C.J. McCollum also manning the perimeter.  Yeah their PT may not overlap too consistently, but I just don’t see the three point output mimicking last year.

(23) 22. LaMarcus Aldridge – Another big fantasy asset I’m slightly down on, the Blazers could very easily have another rough first half and look to trade their franchise big.  The rumors have been swirling for quite some time, and there’s virtually no destination where I think he would be a better fantasy player than in Portland.

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The period of free agency continues to shape the fantasy basketball-scape with fresh meat on terrible teams and players signing with contenders to be relegated to bench duty.  With baseball in full swing and the NFL getting half of the ESPN air time no matter what time of year it is, a lot of NBA moves have been made under the radar.  Look for every division to get a team-by-team breakdown and some early fantasy thoughts on the new faces in new places:

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So who drives the hype-train?  Is it ESPN?  Is it Yahoo?  Is it Buster Keaton?  So what if you have to be 90-years old or a film school grad to get that!  I tend to think it’s a combination of all media outlets that all have similar, independent views.  Before touching any research on the draft, I immediately slotted Trey Burke as my #1 rookie for the 2013-2014 fantasy season, and it’s looking more and more like that’s going to be the consensus opinion.  Damn you, Keaton!

That said, I still think Burke is going to provide tremendous value to owners who spend a high pick on him.  The price may become steeper and steeper to a point too high for even me, but looking at it right now, he’s a guy that would slot in with Kemba Walker and George Hill in that tier of PGs and be ranked in the 50s in our rankings.  Hows that for some hype train?

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I’ve got to say, growing up a huge Charlotte Hornets fan, I am going to finally have a favorite team again next year.  I mean, the Bobcats is such a horrific name for a professional sports team that it actually made me not cheer for them.  If they follow my logic – citizens of New Orleans, I’m sorry, you’re no longer cheering for your NBA team.

If you missed it the other night, the 2013 NBA Draft Lottery was selected (coincidentally right when a huge Powerball was built up and won – conspiracy?!) with the Cleveland Cavaliers winning another #1 pick.  Nerlens Noel, or Captain N as I’m going to call him, looks like he’s heading to one of basketball’s friendliest cities.  Just don’t leave for another team in a televised special.  Honestly, my first thought was, “great, another talented player I have to navigate through injury estimates with.”

Anyway, I doubt any NBA rookies will crack the top 100 for fantasy this year, it’s a pretty weak draft class, but that’s why these way too early rankings will be capped at 100 before readdressed closer to the season when they’ll expand to 200.  As always with rankings this early, it’s May, the Finals haven’t even started yet, and there will be a lot of revisions.  But here’s how I see things shaking out as of right now:

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If you’ve gotten started with fantasy baseball, you know it’s been yet another season of horrendous closing across the MLB.  I bet Kobe Bryant could close effectively in the MLB.

Just think about it.  He has such a will to win that it made Shaq hate him, he’s got consistent mechanics, never gets hurt and would be a tall presence on the mound.  OK, so I have no idea if he can throw a fastball, but right now I’d take him in my Brewers bullpen that looks more like a joke than Joaquin Phoenix’s career as a rapper.

Kobe just went bonkers against the Hornets in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 of his 30 in the last 12 minutes.  He just couldn’t miss, hitting a couple threes, jumpers in people’s faces, and was diming when there was openings.  With the Jazz losing, the Lakers might actually get the 8th seed.  Huzzah!  Kobe has been tremendous since the whole ankle injury soap opera, not missing a beat with a bone spur in his foot actually playing more minutes to keep it loose.  He’s not only closing games for the Lakers, he’s closing the season for fantasy owners.

Here’s what else happened yesterday:

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Fantasy Championship!  Some leagues have just wrapped up their finals and hopefully you’ve got a nice Shiva for your mantleplace.  But in other leagues the championship has just begun or it’s the last week-and-a-half for roto.

With a lot of big name players (ahem! Dwyane Wade ahem!) not getting on the court, there’s going to be a ton of new fringe guys getting minutes.  It’s been since Saturday since we’ve had a round-up, so let’s look at the weekend’s action (no games yesterday with the NCAA final):

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Razzball Nation!  If you have made it this far, you are either in the championship of your league or semi-finals.  Or you play roto, which, let’s face it, almost everyone saves for baseball.  However, the end of the season is more like the end of fantasy football than baseball with teams benching their stars with the playoffs a mere few weeks out.  It’s the perils of owning great players on the elite teams.  Just ask my buddy who I knocked off in my fantasy football championship years ago when the Eagles benched McNabb and Westbrook on Monday Night Football.  Then the Eagles lost to my Panthers in the NFC Championship (I think it was that year, might be wrong – can I have another fact checker? I’m too lazy for Google).  But I digress.

The Heat benched both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade with “injuries” on Sunday, and both are listed as questionable for tonight’s game against the Knicks.  What, are they the new Patriots?  Actually it’s a lot closer than you’d think.  You have Brady/Bron who get booed everywhere, Wade/…  Eh, doesn’t really work does it.  If you’re a Chris Bosh owner, you’re loving this.  Especially if you’re up against LeBron in your championship, like I am in one league.  But in another I have LeBron.  Conflicted feelings!  Just like my reaction to Prometheus.  Man does it look awesome, but the script got fewer revisions than White Chicks (originally Black Chicks).

Let’s get down and dirty with what went down across the NBA last night:

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If you’re looking for fantasy basketball salvation this Easter weekend, Andre Drummond may be the closest your team gets playoff savior. He’s the missing link, drop everything and go pick him up! After missing two months with a back injury, rookie Andre Drummond returned to the court last night to start at center and scored 17 points (80 FG%) with 4 rebounds, 2 blocks and 2 steals. Drums has massive rebounding upside that we didn’t even see last night. In 13 January games before the injury, Dre averaged 8.8 points, 9.2 rebounds and 2.1 blocks. Translation: dude is an absolute beast on the boards. You can ask Greg Monroe (11 pts, 13 reb), Andre’s words-with-friend and personal mentor. With Drums figuring to be a huge part of the future of the Pistons, it’s hard to imagine they won’t give him every opportunity to play in the few games there is left. Drummond’s free throw percentage is rough, but the defensive stats are there and his upside alone makes him a great add in all leagues, especially for those in need of rebounds and blocks.  With the waiver wire scraps getting thinner by the day, Andre Drummond could definitely warrant a spot on your fantasy playoff roster.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy basketball Friday night:

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Razzball Nation!  So if you’re reading this you’re probably in the playoffs of your fantasy league, but if not and you read for my mere musings and devilishly witty forays into the intricacies of the English language (and obtuse adjective overuse), then huzzah!  And huzzah for a site like DraftKings.com where you can draft a new line-up every day and play the matchups that you decide for the players you pick on a nightly basis.  Maybe you squeaked into your playoffs with all your hopes and dreams that Derrick Rose would be playing by now, only to get crushed by the 3 seed.  Either way, if you lost your fantasy league buy-in or it seems to be as useless as a Bernie Madoff investment, why not play in daily tournaments where your winnings can be much higher!  Today DraftKings is running their SUPERQualifier for their $150k Bank Shot, where 25 people will win a ticket into their huge $150k contest.  First place will win $50k for picking the best lineup tonight in only one day of fantasy goodness.  It’d be like winning your NCAA bracket in a single night.  Would be a rush.  More a rush than going to see Rush.  Ok, so they were before my time, but I like their music when it’s on.  Here’s who I like tonight to give you a rush of cash:

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