Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.  This week’s article will be short because I’m traveling back home.  As far as last week goes, it was just ok and I need to start taking some of my own advice.  Anyway let’s get on with this 7 game slate:

Point Guards

Damian Lillard (9,100) has a usage rate of 31.5% and that is good for 6th overall in the league.  Also, the Lakers give up the 2nd most fantasy points to PG’s.  Lillard put a 65 spot on them last Sunday.

Ish Smith (6,600) has been over 40 fantasy points 3 out of his last 4 games with Jrue Holliday on the court.  The matchup vs Utah isn’t the greatest, but Holiday is sitting out.

Fire up Patty Mills (3,600) if Tony Parker takes the night off.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it.

(Yep, I just dropped a Chinese proverb, so y’all know this article is about to go next level…)

I’ve always found it fun to read – and write – some of the more unconventional or against-the-grain prognostications for the upcoming fantasy basketball season, and it can be a gas to revisit them at various points throughout the year to see if they’re gaining any traction or skidding wildly off the road. It probably goes without saying, but the bolder (see: nuttier) the prediction, the less likely it is to bear fruit. So the intent here is to provide an unpopular – but not unrealistic – take on a player that may actually help you during your fantasy draft. You’re likely to disagree with most (they’d be the consensus if you didn’t) but if I can hit on one akin to last year’s “take a late-round swing at Rudy Gobert and hold him until starter minutes come available,” it can be a season defining gamble. So pick your favorite(s) and let’s go diving for pearls together! (Man, that is without a doubt the least cool analogy I’ve ever come up with. But it’s a call-back to the opening line which I thought was kinda clever, so I’m gonna own it.)

Prepare the hot takes cannon as we fire off 30 bold fantasy basketball predictions (one for each NBA team) for the 2015/2016 season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Time for the undraftables!

It’s an absolute barren wasteland trying to sift through the 151-200 ranks, akin to that 60-year-old retiree scanning a remote beach with his metal detector.  Bleep!  Bleep!  Eureka I found a dime!  But none of these guys are good enough to get dimebags!

We’re finally wrapping up the top 200 (Rank 1-10 | Rank 11-20 | Rank 21-50 | Rank 51-75 | Rank 76-100 | Rank 101-150), with most of these guys untouchable in 12ers.  However, there is some upside to be had with your last-pick fliers and hopefully help out with the deeper leagues.  The deep ballers.  “I’m balls deep in sleepers!”  If only that were the case – a lot of these guys are likely duds or rooks that won’t see enough PT.  “I’m balls deep in DNPs!”  So remember upside is a big factor when you get this late, as no one wants to be balls deep in O.J. Mayo‘s 20 minutes off the bench…

If you disagree with these ranks, be sure to put your fantasy acumen to the test in the Razzball Commenter Leagues!  We need more commissioners and leagues, so sign up a league today, it takes literally a minute – I stop-watched myself – and face off against the best fantasy basketball community around!  Prizes and me shaming myself on YouTube abound!

Back to it, here’s the Top 200 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Brandon Jennings is terrible.

I pretty much wanted to kill the open right there, but “journalistic integrity” or whatever…  In a horrific shooting display, BJ flat out sucked for 5-18 shooting and it was equally as painful to watch as Josh Smith at shootaround.  A few fadeaway treys, bricked layups… You name it.  I honestly think a big part of the Pistons game plan right now is have BJ shoot like a hot dog, and rely on the O-boards from Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe.  Drummo’s OREB gave me an O-face last night, that’s for sure!  Racked up 7 OREB and Monroe had 5, and I’m guessing almost all of those came on BJ’s bricks.  If terrible shots leading to OREB and putbacks counted as assists, Jennings would be John Stockton.  Of course, sometimes there’s some Flubber on the ball and it goes in, but this is an immense sell-high window.  Probably a Sportscenter Top-10 layup, and has been playing fairly well lately.  Even D.J. Augustin at 8-18 FG 19/0/5 couldn’t get Stan Van to flip-flop PG down the stretch.  We’re used to seeing flip-flops!  Stan Van coaching like Laguna Beach.  Jennings is a big name on the trading block as well, and the Pistons aren’t hesitant to give players away, as in cutting J Smoove.  One rumor I read was Houston…  They would be the worst shooting team in NBA history!  Success for Houston would obviously be bringing in two guys from a former 5-23 team… Then again, the Pistons just won on the road in San Antonio for their 6th straight, and they are – you won’t believe this – now 3.5 games out of a playoff spot in the East.  Hah!  Trade or no trade, labradoodle-city Jennings could probably fetch an interesting ransom in the fantasy market as this current run is unsustainable.  Here’s what else went down in last night’s two games:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The new year brings us the glorious 2nd coming of the Durantula, again.  Kevin Durant looked better than expected going 44/10/7/0/1 with 6 3s and 12-12 FTs.  Sure you could argue the stat line was OT aided but just that Durant played 40 minutes after missing 6 games tells me there is nothing wrong with his ankle.  I imagine any buy low window is long gone after this game but he might be worth one last attempt to trade for.  If you thought this is why I watched this game though you would be wrong.  I wanted to see the Steven Adams vs Alex Len match-up.  Lurch with 9/7/1/1/0 in 27 minutes and Len with 2/6/0/0/1 in 22 minutes.  There is no question Adams is the guy to own.  Neither are part of the offense but at times Len looked bored and unsure of what he was supposed to be doing on both ends of the court.  That is a sentence I will never write about Steven Adams.  His aggression does one of two things.  The foul trouble associated will give him a few duds but it will also lead to big games which I don’t think Len has in him this year.  There were a ton of huge stat lines in this 137-134 overtime thriller but perhaps the stat that tells the biggest story was the 6 technical fouls.  Including two and an ejection for…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

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With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the final 50.  Sean Connery.  Kevin Costner.  Tons of Great Depression-esque costumes.  I’d imagine if you’re in a deep league and looking at the field below with your last pick or two, you’re feeling something like this:

It’s pretty hopeless, as in 12-teamers these are all likely guys you’re merely starring on your watch list post draft.  There’s some questionable talent, some questionable roles, maybe even someone that’ll give you The Grapes of Wrath, but some untapped upside!  Here’s my top 200 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“Whoa JB, two straight titles with ‘Triple Double’ in em.  You get an F for creativity, ya wank!”  Well, I have an F for you troll commenter!  Hard not to talk about trip dubs, especially when you have only two games and with under ten seconds left the dude hurts himself again.  Monster line from Blake Griffin in the loss to the Mavs, putting up 25/10/11/1/1 on 9-23 shooting, with 7-7 FT.  After missing a game with back spasms, Blake was able to suit up and was no worse for the wear.  For 47:51 that is.  Well, except maybe getting posterized by Brandan Wright.  Bias alert!  TNT didn’t show A SINGLE replay of that dunk.  Say whaaaa?!  Anyway, with under 10 seconds left, Blake took an inbounds pass and rolled his ankle on the court with no contact.  They were down six anyway!  Reminds me of Rob Gronkowski on the special teams and breaking his arm on a PAT up like 30 points.  Eh, maybe not the best comparison, but the game was over!  He said his back is ok and his ankle is fine, he’s just clumsy.  “Clumsy Clara!”  We’ll get more updates throughout the day, but if he has some swelling in that ankle or his back is still jacked when he gets up this morning, we might get a DNP.  Which spells terror for title bids coming into the final weekend for standard leagues.  Spells apocalypse.  Which ironically I found hard to spell for the longest while… The horror.  The horror…  Here’s what else I saw last night in NBA action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Oh man.  Am I sorry if anyone had to watch Battle: Los Angeles last night.  I hated that movie and actually would rather have watched that again than the atrocity in Staples.  Reggie Miller was having so much fun dogging that game.  I was saying that it was like watching an All-Star game at the office, then either Miller or Kerr then said the same thing!  Followed by, “well, except all the All-Stars are on one team!”  Lakers burn!  El Burro, I hope you’re around, because I’d love a rant from this game from a true Lakers fan.  Sure there have been worse NBA blowouts, but man, that was straight up Cornell going on the road to Wichita State.  Even that would be a lot better to watch!  I’m not taking much to heart fantasy-wise in the 48-point romp of blue/red over yellow/purple, but my main takeaway was that Kendall Marshall still got a 7/4/7 line in 24 minutes and Jordan Farmar was awful in his 21 minutes.  I’m a big Farmar hater, and think Marshall is actually a little underrated right now.  Marshall as we all know was playing well in big minutes earlier in the year, and I think can get back to the 30ish range.  And even if he falls short of that, the dimebags will afloweth like a Denver dispensary.  Cash cow business for the Girl Scout cookie industry as well!  Probably should’ve had a few Girl Scouts paroling the Staples Center last night.  “Eat your pities away, Lakers fans!”  “A peanut butter delight won’t disappoint you at all!”  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:

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Oh man, a busy day yesterday in hoops!  The obvious first mention is GO HEELS!  Oh man, I feel like storming the court today.  I think Chapel Hill fans everywhere this morning should storm their office/classroom/crowded area in a flash mob at some point.  Then we have LeBron James getting his nose broken by Serge A Broke-a!  The mayor of Cleveland has already issued Serge Ibaka a key to the city.  Fine LeBron $5,000 for flopping!  Man, the next round of internet videos of “LeBroning” are going to be a lot more like “The Knockout Game”.  Seriously, even LeBron haters have to love he got it broke a step or two out before throwing it down.  Word still to come if the nose is indeed broken, but my money is on yes.  Regardless, we’ve seen a few players come back from a broken nose in the same game donning the Hannibal mask, so I doubt he misses any time after passing concussion tests last night.  MaskBron!  And then we had the trade deadline come and go, with nothing too major albeit a few surprises.  I’m starting a bit off the reservation with a guy I’m going to pump hard and is a pickup now in 12-teamers.  Lord Byron Mullens!  After trading their former starting 5 which we’ll get in below, it’s Mullens and Arnett Moultrie manning down the C fort in the abandon ship Sixers front line, with Mullens picked up for draft picks.  I know Mullens is boring, but he was usable while with the Bobcats posting a 10.6/6.4/1.5/0.6/0.6 line with 1.2 treys in 27 minutes a game in 12-13.  His sub-40 FG% blew, sure, but he’s a perimeter shooter who can play decent D so I think he will get run.  He’s a lot better than Moultire in my opinion and I think will get big minutes.  And I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he looks so goofy or maybe because he’s been in the league 5 years, but Mullens is actually only 25 when I thought he might be 30.  For a team tanking, he’s a perfect acquisition to help rack up points to try and fill maybe 2 more seats a night in Philly.  “Thanks for coming Mr. and Mrs. Mullens!”  Here’s what else went down yesterday, starting with NBA deadline deals:

Please, blog, may I have some more?