This is the best time of the year. Baseball is going to get real soon, pigskins are being thrown around, it’s the eye of the WNBA season, and my rankings start flowing out. I also forgot that my kids go back to school soon. I love my kids and all, but they need to start getting edumacated again. You scoff at the WNBA mention? I admit, I was not a fan in the early days, but those ladies got skills. In addition, they play beautiful basketball and the offensive sets that they run are poetry.
Since August 1st happened to be on a Tuesday, I’ll release rankings every Tuesday from here on out. Can one be semi-OCD? That’s an oxymoron right? Maybe I’m just a moron. Anyways, I get a little particular about things, like it would’ve bothered me if I started this whole endeavor on Monday the 31st. I know. I know. I’ve got issues, but lucky for you, the subscription is free!
Ok, before I begin, shit happens. As a result, I’ll put out a Top 200 list in early October that will highlight any player movement that happens over the next few months.
A big shout-out to Slim, who provided projections and his thoughts and opinions on many players.
Playoff basketball – yes spelled “basketball” – is underway, got some great games to kick it off, including from our boy PBev! While I’m coming around and trying to watch more playoff hoops (baseball is still fresh and new, sue me!), I’m still more excited for the hopes and dreams of 2017-18 fantasy titles.
In case you’re still catching up, here’s my Way Too Early Top 10 ranks, which hopefully mostly hold up (they mostly come out at night…) for the 2017-18 season. Of course my boldest call of Rudy #10 gets greeted by a first quarter knee injury in game 1 of the playoffs, hooray! C’mon Rudy, just stay healthy, no one in fantasy cares how you play in the playoffs! Hah! So let’s all hope none of these guys in my 11-25 get injuries their next postseason game… Here’s my Way Too Early Top 25 for the 2017-18 Fantasy Basketball Season:
The H2H season is in the books! Well, at least if you did a standard format, ain’t no reason to play out games the final week-and-a-half! People getting sat with hangnails! Even James Harden missed a game… Say it ain’t so!
Quick scheduling note for this week. Tomorrow we’ll announce the RCL winner, then Wednesday unveil the REL champ with their gold jersey. We’ll catch up with the Pod either Wednesday or Thursday and some daily notes by the end of the week for you Roto-ers still trucking through to the finish line, and then start up the Way Too Early Ranks for 2017-18! That’s what I’m excited about. Mostly just to never see Chandler Parsons in my ranks ever again…
So who were some unlikely heroes over the championship week? How about stupid, no good, can’t-take-a-shower-without-breaking-his-wrist Rajon Rondo just running game, and knocking me out of my one title-contending RCL. What a joke…. 10/9/9/3/0 last night against the Pels, giving him a 42/29/30/8/1 line over the Thur/Sat/Sun 3-games-in-4 nights stream if you used him in the Finals. Who woulda thought my death knell would’ve been made by Rondo… Eh well, baseball is here at least! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:
In a battle for real life playoff implications, Hassan Whiteside tipped in Goran Dragic’s missed putback to give the Heat a 97-96 win:
It was just the tip, but sometimes that’s all you need, as the Heat went up a game on the Bulls and 2.5 games ahead of the Pistons for the final playoff spot in the east. Whiteside finished with 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Dragic added 28/4/4 on 9-16 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was the Heat’s first game-winning buzzer-beater since 2013, when a little known player by the name of LeBron James beat the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals.
With the playoffs in full swing, every game matters, so here are the rest of your nightly notables:
Ah, the fountain of youth. Something Arizona certainly doesn’t have! The retirement haven of America – just ask Tyson Chandler – oddly boasts the most ridiculously young team. Last Thursday, they had a younger starting 5 than all but 1 of the 8 college teams playing in the Sweet Sixteen that night, and not surprisingly, the youngest starting 5 in NBA history. The retirees in Phoenix love to watch em young!
Despite being a god awful team, there still is a lot of promise with the draft picks they made, highlighted by the absolute insanity that Devin Booker dropped 70 points on the Celtics last Friday night. Insanity that he was the youngest player to break 70, that he set a franchise record, OR THAT THE SUNS STILL LOST?! Hah, take your pick.
On that layup there to kick off the GIF, Marcus Smart is like, “meh, whatever, we up 20.” 21-40 FG (4-11 3PTM 24-26 FT) for 70/8/6/3/1 in the craziest line of the year. I mentioned on our last Pod that the Suns are kinda like random number generators right now, so who knows what you’ll get next?! Well, next was 23/4/5/0/1 with 4 TO in a blah encore for Dbook. His shooting arm was tired! He did get another 7-7 FT yesterday though against the Hornets (nice to see the volume staying high), but they yet again lost, and he’s doing this without Eric Bledsoe, instead with a group of similarly young pups. It might vault him to be drafted a little too high for my liking for next year, but maybe he can turn into DeMar DeRozan with 3s. Which hurts the FG%, but I’m all optimism right now! “Never Seen So Many Guys Happy After An L!” huh?! Well, Jae Crowder – aka Party Pooper – it’s the end of March and I’m in super depressed mode after I had 3 of my 4 alive teams lose in semis this week! Why you gotta harsh my buzz! Here’s what else went down in fantasy basketball action over the weekend:
Rusell Westbrook continued his dominating ways against the Raptors, and the Thunder steamrolled them tonight. 123-102 was the final score, and the Thunder outscored the Raps by 17 in the third quarter. OKC has moved into 6th place in the west, and there’s a decent possibility that they could lock up home court, since they’re only 3.5 games back of the 4th seeded Jazz squad. At any rate, let’s get back to Westy. He finished with 24/10/16/1/0, and oh yeah, he only had 2 TOs. Plus, he hit 4-8 from deep! Did I mention that he did it in only 28 minutes? Oklahoma City had 7 players in double digits, and they seem primed for a solid playoff push.
No, it’s not the title of some campy 1970’s Sci-Fi movie – Zubac really IS the savior of the world!
I don’t need to keep tooting my own horn – if I was a dog I would – but Ivica Zubac continues to impress, and I’m happy to have the big fellah leading the charge in my RCL playoff efforts! Getting his second consecutive start, the Zubes tore up the Nuggets for a career-high 25 points on a 25/11/1/0/1 line. Now, now, I know Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets in general have putrid interior defense, but I don’t care!
Post move O face! Look at how smooth he is! Well, despite the fact Jokic has no interest in playing defense, I concede that haha… Zubac is going to promote World Peace (not the Metta kind though!), figure out how everyone is going to get water, and we’ll be building statues of him by the 2050s. He shot 12-15 from the field, but weirdly only 1-4 FT as that is a little bit of an issue lately, despite profiling as more of an 80% FT shooter… So don’t let that bugga-ya-boo, I think that’ll improve. Just let our future defeater of invading aliens and our inventor of light-speed travel take you to the promised land. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:
Fantasy playoff time is just a mere few days away. Whether it’s playing for that final playoff spot, playoff positioning or just like me in one of my leagues—playing spoiler, the next few days could end up being very pivotal. I will not show the opponent ranking grid for this article as it hasn’t really changed much for the last few weeks. If you’ve been reading the posts here, it’s basically a big fantasy opportunity to face teams like the LAL and BKN. If you’re looking for PG stats, ATL, DEN and CHA are teams to target. PHO, PHI and ORL are the teams to face if you’re looking for big man stats although you’d have to be specific as to which big man stat you’re looking for for each of those teams’ opponent.
JB be California dreamin’! Sorry for the later notes today, as I wrap up my West Coast trip and head for sunny Florida tomorrow. I’m so discombobulated with my jet lag and California culture, I thought the Jamal version of Crawford got traded to the Pelicans or something! But nooooooo, Jordan Crawford is back in the NBA ladies and germs!
In a game where the Pelicans were unsurprisingly stagnated by the Jazz D, Jordan of the Crawfords kept it close with a bench spark, going 19/1/3/2/0 with 3 treys on 8-15 shooting. All that in 20 minutes too! Did the Pelicans expect the ridiculous offensive prowess of E’Twuan Moore and Solomon Hill would provide some bench wing scoring?! It isn’t shocking that a 28-year-old Crawford was slaying the D-League with nearly 24 points a game, and isn’t surprising to see him be a good bench scorer on the right squad. Maybe you give him a look in the Michael Beasley/Derrick Williams sort of way as a deep league scorer, but this is likely one of his best lines on the season. Not like he can gel with the twin tower USG-whores in the starting 5 – he’s gonna be the bench scorer like we’ve always seen from Jamal Crawford. Wait, I mean Jordan Crawford! Ahhhhhhhhhh! Here’s what else went down last night in NBA action:
Man, big weekends all around! And only fitting one of the breakout weekends of the NBA would be someone from the Suns! I was in Phoenix all weekend! …sadly not to see the Suns, but I don’t think anyone was… Grey and I were scouting some Spring Training, and us goofballs had a good ol’ desert time… Speaking of goofballs, check out this jump ball for the Suns/Celtics game on Sunday night!
It’s all fun and games for the Celtics until the Suns actually beat ya! And who better to drive home the dagger than who faced off in the short-man jump ball!
NBA getting taken over by shorties! Grey might have a shot to make the NBA at this rate! 20/2/5/1/0 for Tyler Ulis with no TO on 8-12 shooting, following 8/1/8 then 14/4/7 lines the two games prior. Of course Earl Watson would love this guy and start giving him minutes, the short guy love going all around! 23, 21, then 33 minutes in that big win yesterday. While he’s certainly worth a look in 12ers, minutes would absolutely have to come at the expense of Eric Bledsoe or Devin Booker, and I don’t see the Suns being able to give Ulis a 30+ MPG role. So that keeps him behind the Cojo’s of the world, and I’m not really fretting that I didn’t add him anywhere while I was in baseball scouting mode. Although I will say the NBA definitely has it down with being an indoor sport, my feet got sunburnt to a crisp wearing my flip flops in Phoenix! Stupid pale skin… I’m not built for the desert, even in early March! Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action: