Merry Christmas Razzball Nation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday. What have you asked for for Christmas? A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight? A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles? Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates. Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date. October 2014. Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot. Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May. Foot injury and big trade limits #s.” That’s me quoting me! Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners. BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea. Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt. I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside. Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Pretty much anyone involved in the big Rudy Gay trade has gotten nothing but positive return except Greivis Vasquez. Poor Vasquez… And easily the biggest winner right now is Isaiah Thomas just going off with the backcourt to himself, going 29/6/2 on Friday night and 19/2/8 last night. With both PGs there in Shaq-ramento to start the year, it was like the first Terminator, then IT2 got flipped into the main good guy and it’s movie magic in the sequel. Coach Mike Malone even came out and said Thomas is gonna lead the NBA in minutes. Iron man! Well I guess it would be hyperalloy combat chassis covered by living human tissue man… I wish Vasquez had never gone to Sacramento, because as I mentioned last week, I aggressively ranked Thomas early in the summer. I love this kid. He’s going to be extremely tough to go out and trade for right now, and I certainly would not be selling. He’s got both Gay and DeMarcus Cousins to dish to, plus he’s a fantastic scorer. I have all sorts of IT2 regret now since he’s not on any of my teams… Womp womp… Here’s what else went down over the weekend:Please, blog, may I have some more?
I hate you Larry Drew. First you go and make your son Larry Drew II feel like he’s some sort of special talent and have him quit UNC, then you take over a Bucks team that all want to leave too. Why do I have so much invested in the Bucks?! I hate the Bucks! In a game where the Spurs doubled Milwaukee’s points in the first quarter (32 to 16), then went up by 23 at halftime, then after 3 were up 38, Drew decided to kill fantasy teams by playing their F-team virtually the whole second half. As in, a D-League team could beat those guys. Brandon Knight got 18 minutes after an impressive game two nights ago. John Henson got 21 after the huge breakout. O.J. Mayo, yes that terrible, horrible, not gelling on this awful team O.J. Mayo led the starters with 22 minutes on a 3/0/0/0/0 line with a TO. Ok, ok, so Drew let his scrubs play in the blowout, good to see Giannis Antetokounmpo get some development time at just over 33 minutes, but the icing on the cake was Drew gave Ersan Ilyasova, a guy that looks like a humanoid Turkey, 39 minutes?! How is that developing young talent?! Ersan goes out and shoots 3-16 for an 8/6/2 game. The Bucks are the worst. You’re holding Henson obviously and Knight I think you stick with, but I don’t want any of these other guys on a 12-teamer. I know I like Khris Middleton, but he was part of the starting mess and I just dropped Mayo in some sort of RCL travesty I should probably take my name off of. I still think Knight, Mayo, Middleton and Henson are locked in as starters for now, but man, I really hope they look good facing the even worse Bulls again on Friday. Enough ranting from me! Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy hoops:Please, blog, may I have some more?
All hail Trey Burke! May all the inhabitants of the great Salt Lake City and all their respective wives rejoice! And… the Jazz are still atrocious. Poor Tyrone Corbin. He’s got to fiddle with Burke, Alec Burks, John Lucas III and now Diante Garrett at the point. Jerry Sloan got John Stockton. Then Deron Williams. It just ain’t fair! In yet another Jazz loss moving them down to 1-12, Burke got 12 minutes even, going 11/1/1 with a steal and hitting a trey shooting 5-8. Trey with the trey! If only Deuce McAllister was an NBA player. Deuce with the deuce! Or if McAllister was a dunker, “Deuce with the upper decker!” I had the unfortunate pleasure of doing highlights for my second Jazz game now, but it was cool to see Burke’s debut and I thought he looked pretty good. His first NBA points were off a long rebound then coast-to-coast for a controlled, attacking floater. Obviously he’s getting eased in and he’ll get more minutes – hippity-skippity to a few months back and I was bigger on Burke than anyone – but I’m not ready to go nuts and drop quality guys for him. Of course it’s a case-by-case scenario, but I really wanted Burke to get tons of preseason work; instead he broke his finger and missed some really crucial development time. For example, I think I’m still holding Patrick Beverley over him. PBev is the Razzball “why can’t I quit you?!” fantasy asset. Lucas III is obviously not a long-term solution, and while he’s in the mix, he didn’t look good last night but was the only guy that could hit any long balls. Alec Burks looked awful, sure his line 8/1/1/1/2 is fine, shot 3-6 – fine – but racked up 4 TOs in 16 minutes. Just looked bad. Which brings me to Diante G, who I thought looked really good. Garrett actually led the Jazz in PG minutes with 20, and racked up a 4/1/6 line with three steals and only 2 TOs (one late one was pretty bad, but the game was over) and played down the stretch. Garrett was the only point who could create opportunities. So it’s a little crowded with Burks’ potential wilting away and Garrett looking decent as a D-League gamble and could get run through the season. I think Lucas III gets cut at some point and Burks plays strictly backup 2 minutes, but that’s just me. It’s a mess. Shocker, considering it’s the Jazz! Here’s what else I saw last night:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Well… Larry Sanders hasn’t had the best few weeks… The Colonel held his injuries from the field surgeon just long enough to keep hope alive in his troops, but had to undergo the knife to repair his thumb and will be out 6 weeks. Was it from a punch, the champagne bottle, or just getting too close in the delivery room? No one will ever know. Talk about easily the biggest fantasy bust this season thus far. With no IR spot, drop this dude. Zaza Pachulia is now a big pickup for anyone needing big man stats. Za/Za is such a good Scrabble play! Definitely a go-to for 60+ point moves on the triples. If you have the cajones to challenge me in Words With Friends, hit me up (user ID: Jbronze). But if I smell any Word Gen, I’ma publicly smite you! Oh yeah, hoops, John Henson gets a big boost as well looking at consistent run. But beware Henson’s terrible FT shooting and prepare thusly. Speaking of thusly, herebe the NBA beings-all I saw last fortnight (wait, doesn’t that mean like 20 days ago? Eh you know what I meant):Please, blog, may I have some more?
I’ve got a little story to tell you today. I think I’ll call it a parable. Here it goes… A few days ago I was at the gas station and I was approached by a guy who claimed he couldn’t afford gas to get home. If you have ever seen a meth addict in their 20’s it isn’t a pretty sight. He was packing something into his cigarette and I didn’t stop to question what it was. Was I a little disgusted, sure. Would I be enabling him if I helped him with a couple of bucks for gas? Probably. In the end I walked inside and payed $5 for him to have some gas. He was incredibly grateful and I felt pretty good that I could help. In the end sure I lost a couple of bucks but I was able to offer assistance and for me that was more important at that time. This is how I see most fantasy teams. Most managers see how many points a player is scoring and feel like they can’t be without it. Meanwhile they regularly lose the assist category. If we could all be a little less of a meth addict, I mean a points addict, and gain a few assists we usually find that we will win more categories, more frequently.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Whewwww-eeee! What a fun draft. A good four-and-a-half hours after the draft start time I had picked my 17th player, and I think I really like my team. But with a lot of picks, I did feel a bit like Jerry Lundegaard in Fargo trying to defend them; “it’s a real good deal this one, real good!” Thanks again for filling out the league loyal Razzball Nation, and again thanks to our friends at RotoGold.com and the TDBSportsNetwork (which you can catch me on their “The Double Bonus” Show throughout the season and from last Wednesday) for helping class up the joint.
So if you missed the post launching the league, the Razzball Elite Dynasty League had our inaugural draft last night, an all-out brawl of an Auction draft with some really interesting bidding wars. Looking at you Ben from RotoGold and you pumping up Giannis Antetokounmpo for $15 late! The league is 20 teams, 12 starters (two of every position and two UTIL) and five bench spots. Using my abacus over here, that’s 340 players owned. Neeedless to say, things got really interesting once we were in the bottom end of starters. There is no inflation, we voted on a true Dynasty application, with lifetime contracts. Free agent pickups all must be done with your $100 yearly FAAB, and those players can be kept on a $1 lifetime contract. So FAAB bidding will be a critical element through the season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
After re-ranking the top 10, top 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.Please, blog, may I have some more?
As we continue to navigate through the NBA Playoffs, it’s been a fun challenge to rank for the 2013-2014 season. There’s still free agency. There’s still a draft. Hey, at least we know there will be a season unlike 2011!
If you missed it, my top 10 then top 20 came out last week. Hey, it’s early, you might say “way too early” (see what I did there, it’s in the title!) so these rankings are subject to change. And I want no accusations of flip-flopping! It’s not my fault if all the sudden Dwight Howard goes to the Bobcats and becomes a first-rounder! OK, so that is as likely as Rony Seikaly… returning. You gotta stop on the word that rhymes Jean-Ralphio! Man I’m liking that show. Also, random side note, Googling Rony Seikaly to spell his name correctly broke Google. I searched it and it would freeze, despite everything else working. Weird.
As I battle my ADHD to get into the rankings, let’s just dive into it:Please, blog, may I have some more?
As I mentioned earlier this week, there is still a ton of things to cover, let’s just dive right in:
It’s obviously a good ways down the road, but a lot of people are optimistic for a return for the opener next year for Rajon Rondo. As we saw from Derrick Rose this past year, that has me horrified. Rondo tore his ACL on January 25th and Rose on April 28th and we didn’t see the latter now for a full year. Even if Rondo can beat the timetable Rose has had by a two months (returning in only 10 months), that will still have him returning in late November, missing a month of the season. Rose and Rondo both rely on slashing and agility for their games, and while the clear caveat that their injuries and bodies are different, I’m probably avoiding a 3rd or 4th round pick on Rondo.
Sticking with the Celtics, Jeff Green had some mammoth games while Kevin Garnett missed some time with injuries. While he won himself a starting gig, we saw some inconsistency when Green was in there with both Paul Pierce and Garnett. If Garnett returns, I won’t buy into Green’s price tag (even though there will be a built in amount of time with no Garnett with definite injuries), but if Garnett retires or for some reason isn’t in Boston green, I’ll probably be a big Jeff Green buyer.Please, blog, may I have some more?