Ah, the almost-studlies.  The “still can’t quite miss, but you can start reaching round.”  …Almost sounds like I said reach around…

This is where the sommeliers really can knock their drafts out of the park – it’s all about the pairings.  You don’t serve red wine with fish, you cro-magnon!  But what’s great about fantasy hoops as opposed to a pretentious French restaurant is there’s very few pairings that can go wrong.  I mean your first rounder is awesome and your second rounder awesome with it!  I know a lot of people like the FT punt builds, but really the only pairing I can’t see doing is going big-big.  There’s a ton of FT-punt bigs littered through the first 4-5 rounds, so I think you can still punt, but start with a LeBron James/Draymond Green pair, then PG/C in 3/4.  I’m sure Slim and I will work on more culinary pairings as we go through the ranks and do some mocks on the Podcast, as we attempt to put together the best fine dining experience…  I just wanna avoid the friggin’ snails!  Here’s the Top 20 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season.

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The NBA really is Jordan Belfort.  The Wolf of Fantasy Sports!  It’s tantric and never slows down, from the Finals ending less than two weeks before the draft, free agency hitting a week later and we’re already starting summer ball.  And the NBA will soon revel in the excess that is the 16-17 salary cap boost with a TV deal that put Seinfeld reruns to shame.  I need my ludes to get me through!

Even the Spurs couldn’t avoid the world of excess and massive free agency signings, bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge for a cool $80 million.  Loosening up the purse strings!  My first thought was, “dammit, Kawhi is never gonna be the guy!”  Then again, he got over $90 mil with his extension, so there’s that!  But Kawhi Leonard sometimes struggles with the mid-range and long-distance shooting, so L.A. should help Kawhi by opening up some lanes and keeping him in his game.  This is going to be a crazy offense, with Tim Duncan moving to center and likely being his solid old self.  Which leaves us with what to expect from Aldridge…  And, me no likey for fantasy.  After being really durable early in his career, he’s had a few bumps and bruises (I know, I know, playing through a torn thumb tendon gets mad props) and the Spurs – as we all know – love to limit the minutes.  I also don’t think he quite gets to 20 shots a game like we’ve seen the past few years.  I had him 20 in my way too early rankings, but the move drops him a few spots at the least.  L.A. in S.A. is not OK!  Here’s what else has gone on through the first few days of free agency and rookie ball:

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There’s some sort of postseason going on, Stephen Curry is flying through the air, Klay Thompson is luckily OK after a Vincent Van Gough scare, there’s only two teams left…  but all of that is less exciting to us than the new blood to enter the 2015-16 Fantasy player pool!  As we’ve done for the second straight year (is two years considered a tradition yet?!), Slim and I mocked the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft by alternating picks for their respective teams with a fantasy outlook for each rook.  2014 didn’t… um…  go quite to plan.  But hey!  We got a couple right and this year doesn’t quite offer the top-to-bottom talent as 2014.  With a little bit more of an even playing field, I have a feeling this Draft will feature even more trades and more surprising risers and fallers…  Hopefully we get a good portion of the lottery right!  The optimist in me is ready ta go!  Here’s our 2015 Mock NBA Draft:

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Yikes, after the top 10 things become a hodgepodge of nitpickery!  I think I made that word up, but I’m not going to let my creativity wane during the offseason!

After putting out my Way Too Early Top 10 last week, I fought some procrastination and internal debates to get 11-20 down.  Fought some ranker’s block!  It’s like writer’s block, except I’m a lot less cool than Hank Moody in Californication.  Ranker’s block doesn’t score me the Hollywood A-listers!  But with a bottle of booze and in a plain black T, I truck forward thanks to the insistence of Runkle.  Here’s my Way Too Early Top 20 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Well, remember about a month ago when the Paul George news seemed more optimistic than the Knicks season outlook?!  OK, maybe that’s not too optimistic, but ya know…

Slim and I both maintained you can leave George on your wire in H2H leagues as a stash, and it took until the final Sunday of the H2H championship to get back on the court.  So maybe we were wrong!  Hah, I doubt anybody in a H2H final was able to stash him that long…  PG13 returned from that horrific injury last summer for 13/2/2/2/0 on 5-12 FG (3-6 3PTM).  Did have the 3 TO, but man, even the most die-hard Pacers-hater has to be happy to see George back on the court.  Obviously in Roto, he’s a must add for this final week plus.  That said, played 15 minutes off the bench and I doubt he gets to 30 in the remaining week in a half.  Oh yeah, assballs and a bump of coke!  Needed to be sure this was legit rated PG-13 for “some language and drug use”.  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

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H2H Playoffs are here!  But geez, the amount of DNPs for minor injuries and general soreness (General Soreness!) over the weekend was infuriating!  Unless they hit your oppo harder than you, then they were infatuating!  I certainly almost lost a playoff spot to the former…

I guess our main stop on the DNP bandwagon would be the Atlanta Hawks and that darned Coach Butthole.  I imagine we’ll be using that nickname for Budenholzer a ton down the stretch!  The Hawks sat Jeff Teague, DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap (who had a nasty 23/9/3/3/3 rainbow Friday) last night, then had Kyle Korver break his nose and have to leave early on top of it.  Korver was already set for a DNP tonight, so there’s that, and Al Horford owners will have to start the week with a DNP-rest.  What a shizz-show!  Which kinda sounds like Szechuan.  Which makes me hungry…  About as hungry as Dennis Schroder looks when he gets starts, ripping apart the Lakers in a 24/3/10 line hitting 7-16 FG (1-5 3PTM 9-11 FT).  Even if you’re not a Teague owner, I think it’s impossible to leave the German on the wire.  It would just improve The Lives of Others!  And Coach Butthole has learned from Pop himself to sit everyone any chance he gets, with that line of thinking infecting the entire league this weekend.  It already feels like the last week of the season, doesn’t it?!  Maybe the playoffs need to start in week 10…  Sheesh…  Here’s what else went down on DNP Weekend in fantasy basketball:

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Well Ello there, Poppet!  Bootstraps Bill Turner pulled a scoop and squat shot with under a second left to pull off the upset of the century…. It’s only been 15 years this century, it could be true!

Evan Turner put together a solid 12/7/9/1/0 line hitting 4-11 from the field and all 4 freebies with only 2 TO.  Ending the first half on a high note!  The move back to his more natural SF spot is finally paying off, as he’s averaging at least 6/6/6 (THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST!) the past 4 games.  The FG% is terrible, but I guess I have to believe a little in the out-of-position dimes.  The greatest trick Miss Turner ever played was convincing me he wasn’t fantasy usable!  Well, he still isn’t ever going to be a stalwart on 10 or 12 team squads due to the low %s, TOs, and absence of 3s, but a lot of teams could use his popcorn stats for their build.  He’s like Lance Stephenson, but actually worth owning!  At least for now, if he sticks with Boston until the end of the year… Here’s what else went down in our last busy slate of NBA games before the All-Star Break:

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Uncle DrewI imagine Kyrie Irving at tip did something similar to that right there!  Off 38 points Tuesday night, Uncle Drew went bonkers against the Blazers for a season-high 55 yesterday, with LeBron James in street clothes.  Klay who?  55/4/5/2/0 on 17-36 FG (11-19 3PTM 10-10 FT).  That’s 17 treys and 16-16 FT the past two games, for a ho-hum 93 points.  That’s a H2H matchup winner right there!  As I mentioned in early December, I was fully buying in.  Sure there was the horrifc Cavs playoff sched to consider, but that was mad early in the year.  Now it’s time to reconsider.  At that point I was saying second round value was legit to pay, but I think you might be able to take a sucker for first round value, especially if they’re a points whore.  Most metrics have Kyrie at around 7-8 in overall value, and if you can swing that into something that fits the playoff schedule a little bit better, now is the time when the proverbial iron is hot.  So while Kyrie is calling out Lillard, he’s also calling out top-seeded fantasy teams to sell him off like the hot bubble stock he is.  Investing jokes!  We’re an ecletic mix of references here at Razzball Nation…  Here’s what else went down last night on a busy Wednesday of fantasy basketball action:

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Ugh.  I’ve said numerous times I hate when injuries prove any calls right or wrong, but my BJ tooting horn, ya know – the one that says sell high – isn’t looking bad anymore.

If you missed it over the weekend, Brandon Jennings tore his Achilles and is out for the season.  And this isn’t one of those LaMarcus Aldridge thingies where he can just decide not to have surgery and keep playing.  Let’s hope Aldridge didn’t inject some sort of juice in that thumb!  ADHD alert, JB!  More on L.A. later…  So with BJ done, the Pistons only have to change one letter and put in the D.J.!  D.J. Augustin is an obvious must-own in all leagues, and while I’ve been one of the hardest “Wahhhhhhhh!  I’m Jarrett Jack!” pushers, Augustin vaulted him right away, even before last night.  Tore up the Craptors for 18 points in the first half in a redonkulous 35/4/8 line with 5 treys.  D.J.s no longer welcome in Canada!  Wedding costs are going to be out of hand…  No more Jazzy Jeff!  “Who got maple syrup all over the turntable, eh?!”  If you’re reading this and there’s still a D.J. on your wire, as The Crystal Method would say, “NOW IS THE TIME!”  Here’s what else went down over the crazy weekend of fantasy basketball:

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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:

Please, blog, may I have some more?