I gotta say, last night might have been one of the most exhilarating early season nights of NBA action that I can remember for some time.  Career-highs, two buzzer beaters, a triple double, upset Ws… It was awesome.

Before we get into how the city of Cleveland can just give up hope… again… if you haven’t noticed on the main page of the site, Slim is in need of a new didgeridoo!  When my awful Hornets somehow beat the Heat, he took his frustration out on his favorite instrument, banging the wood in fervent frustration.  Wow, that sounded wrong!  But Razzball Nation can help!  Click on his donate button there to help him buy a new didgeridoo, for any value you wish, especially as a thanks for helping with the comments in the wee hours of the morning whilst I beauty sleep snuggled up with my Brandon Knight blow up doll.

But before that mental image is indefinitely burnt into your subconscious, let’s get back to action on the court where the big game was obviously the Jazz knocking off the Cavs on a Gordon Hayward buzzer beating fader.  “Look Butler fans, I can hit big buzzer beater shots!”  Awwwww, low blow… The Cavs had all sorts of terrible sluiced through their stats, like six, count em, SIX assists in the entire game.  Four were from LeBron too.  I guess the other Cavs want to prove to LeBron they all can be ball hogs.  In contrast, the Spurs had six assists on their first six field goals in their win last night…  But not like they’re a model franchise or anything!

As NBA fans, which all of us are even if we care more about fantasy than anything else, last night was a winner.  I guess unless you’re a David Lee owner, or Cleveland fan… There’s always Green, or the Browns tonight!  Colors to the rescue!  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t listen to country music…  I don’t listen to that emo we talked about last Friday anymore either… This is quickly turning into JB’s music blog (I’ll always shoot anyone some recommendations if you want rock/shoegaze/ambient stuff!  Flip side to Grey’s rapcoin!)…

Anyway, I googled The Band Perry, because well, I know that they’re something popular, and the first image looks like some hot chick standing in front of two of the Stark ninnies from Game of Thrones.  Which would be a pretty apt way to think about the Thunder a mere month ago.  Kevin Durant & Russell Westbrook standing in front of some ninnies.  Don’t get me wrong, RJax and Lurch are some exciting young talent, but I preach da truff!  Then the injury bug swept the Thunder locker room more aggressively than Ebola media coverage (I would say just Ebola, but even THAT isn’t spreading as fast…), and everyone is hurt.  With all that offense recovering and enjoying painkiller prescriptions, somebody was bound to step up.  And why not the talented Perry Jones, who I compared in his first mention last year to James Johnson – multi-cat with 3s.  I knew the tags would help me!  Click on a player name on the bottom of the article there and you get every article that dude was mentioned…  Focus!  After that huge 32/7/3 breakout last Thursday night, encored it with 23/4/2/2/0 Saturday shooting 9-18 with three treys in a whopping 41 minutes.  While his rest of season outlook remains a little murky when the rest of Perry’s cast of Friends return, he’s an obvious must-add for the short term.  Another big week, and you can sell him faster than a Courtney Cox sitcom about boning cougars.  Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy basketball action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Uh oh…  Brandon Knight had a good game…  JB’s gonna talk about his Brandon Knight infatuation all year now!  Great…

One of my big sleeper calls last year (which was, only, kindasorta right), I again came into this season with Knight well ahead of the consensus (six spots ahead of the next highest among 25 experts – the only one in green!).  And while his knight (womp womp) was still redonkulous, there was more to like than only the stat line.  Went 22/8/13/0/1 with 2 treys and 10-10 FT. But what’s to salivate over is he led the Bucks in minutes, clearly started the game as the PG, and both Kendall Marshall and Nate Wolters didn’t get off the bench.  Jerryd Bayless was the only backup PG to get off the pine for a measly 14 minutes.  I think a big hesitation for fantasy owners was if Knight was going to play more SG like he did down the stretch last year, having his dimes eaten away like Raymond Felton at a CiCis.  Certainly looks like that won’t be the case, and when I face opposing fantasy teams, Knight is going to be my Public Enemy #1.  Here’s what else went down in our first big slate of games for the 2014-15 season:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Slim and I dressed up in suits and bow ties, Slim gelled his beard, I flossed for the first time since 2011, and we went in and crashed the Yahoo Friends & Family League!  What fantasy basketball draft isn’t improved with an early Latrell Spreewell joke in the draft chat?

So with the updated Yahoo player ranks eerily mimicking a lot of our sleeper calls, Slim and I had to really pull A Beautiful Mind to get our draft strategy in order.  On top of drafting with some experts, league settings were a major factor in our strategy.  The league is a 12 team H2H, but instead of RCL/default week 21-23 playoff schedule, the Y! F&F is weeks 22-24.  Right away, all Cavaliers were absolutely off-limits.  Looking at Slim’s ridiculously awesome breakdown of playoff schedules, the Cavs have 3 games week 22, 2 in week 23, then week 24 is the final 10 days of the season.  I’m not even going to look at their schedule, since there’s a good chance the Cavs rest their starters for several games in that final 10 days.  The experts knew this too, as Kevin Love fell to 15th overall, with us passing on him with pick 14.

The other main settings differences were roster composition and the league is weekly with only 2 moves allowed a week.  The roster breakdown is PG, SG, SF, PF, C, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, UTIL, BN, BN, BN.  Slim and I unanimously agreed to go PG and C heavy, filling out SG/SF with ThrAGNOFs.  Limited moves also made us want to hoard PG since fewer will break out off the wire.  Here’s how team Razzball (will be co-managed by both of us) panned out:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

One of me and JB’s favorite forms of philanthropy is the celebrity car wash.  Obviously we aren’t going to fool anyone into thinking we’re famous without a bit of a makeover.  To achieve that ‘celebrity look’ all you have to do is rent a minivan old enough to still have a tape deck, hire a dozen or so hourly day laborers, and borrow your parents/grandparents circa 1980s shoulder mounted video camera.  Now just find a Walmart parking lot with access to water and you have almost everything you need.  I say almost because you still need to stick out from your newly created entourage.  A pair of henna sleeves representing as many religions as possible and as much costume jewelry as weight you can squat is all you will need to complete the look.  Once you’re set up with everything you need to start the car wash borrow a cassette tape from one of your laborers, swing those double rear doors open, and crank it up to 11.  Just don’t forget to make sure your documentarian is recording it all.

We don’t do it for charity per se but I’m sure what we do is still called philanthropy.  You see we don’t charge money either.  We do it for the sheer pleasure our performances gives others.  Although, we still don’t do it just for them.  I know it’s the same for JB even though he doesn’t really talk about it, but I can surely say for me that once the soaps are sudsin’, the water gets flowing, and I’m dancing to the plucking of guitar strings in nothing but my pink string bikini – I feel alive!  So what if my skin turns red from the sun, green from the ‘gold’, and brown from the ‘ink’, the joy, at least I think that’s joy, we see on the faces of an entire car load of Smiths can’t be washed off in a week either.

In fantasy basketball this amount of joy can only be achieved by guessing right on a rookie and being rewarded with an all-star.  The two top rookies this year are unquestionably Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker.  Both are as talented as they come and both should receive plenty of fantasy relevant playing time immediately.  You want one, I want one, everyone else we’re drafting with wants one.  Before I decide if that’s going to be me I need to figure out what kind of player they are, or in a dynasty what kind of player they could become.  So I give to you Wiggins v Parker, in all its hip-shaking, beard-drenched glory:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 50.  Through the top 20, we’ve already had 6 PGs taken off the board, but your third round is going to be more littered with 1s than Neo’s kung-fu program!  If you don’t have a PG through your first three rounds, you may as well turn into Brendan Fraser and live for 30 years with your dad Christopher Walken.  Or just scream in your draft lobby chat “WILLLLSSSOONNNNNN!”  …because you’ve been left behind, not because you’re drafting Wilson Chandler… “It’s not funny if you have to explain your joke, JB!”  Fine!  Probably the biggest change from the Way too Early Ranks is the catastrophic Isaiah Thomas falloff moving to Phoenix.  While he’s not in the top 50, I still think he’ll be a value.  More on that later!  Here’s my top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re here!  We’ve got ranks!  With the full 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Rankings now complete, let’s take a look at the top 10.  2014-15 is quickly approaching, and we’re jumping the gun on ranks, projections, anticipating trades… Seriously, one of the biggest trades of the decade is all predicated on a handshake agreement.  “My fingers were crossed Saunders, hah!”  It’s the proverbial dogs playing poker, except the game is the fantasy basketball landscape and the GMs look even uglier than the deformed pug.  “Heel David Griffin, heel!”  Then to top off that soap opera, we have a first rounder from last year (but not in my ranks!) out for the year with a horrific injury in Team USA play.  For all the Paul George banter we had last year, Razzball Nation wishes him a speedy recovery.  Back to happy thoughts!  Anyone see that one of my boyfriends last year, Archie Goodwin, was drunk and resisting arrest at a skating rink?!  He was gonna make my top 10 too!  What a comical situation… He should have his own Archie Comics!  Oh wait… Well despite the innumerable implications of Tony Hawk’s arrest, let’s start ranking!  And as we go through the top 200 in long form, we’ll be updating our master ranks/easy-to-use post linked up there in the rankings menu.  Razzball is so easy!  One crown & coke and I’m out of my Knickerbockers faster than John Starks at a flat top convention!  Here’s my top 10 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (based on 9-cat H2H):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

I shouldn’t have waited.  I should have stepped up and said, “Yes JB, I’ve waited 30-some-odd years of my life to get on an airplane because I’m afraid that there really could be a gray furry monster who destroys it while we’re 30 thousand feet in the air”.  Looking back I fear perhaps I may not have been too logical in my thinking and now I have to carry that regret with me for the rest of my life.  Like when I didn’t go to Mexico with JB for spring break.  Even though I never really heard any stories because he claimed he  ‘couldn’t remember anything’, he came back with obvious aversions to Tequila, guacamole, the word ‘labradoodle‘, and giant black dildos.  Don’t ask how I know, I wish I didn’t.  Or when he did that semester abroad.  He told me about going hostel to hostel, meeting new people and learning new things everyday.  If I would have gone with him then I probably would have learned why he gets so strange whenever he hears someone speaking Dutch.  He gets this big smile on his face and his eyes gloss over like he’s catatonic.  If you want to break him out all you have to do is say ‘labradoodle’ and you can tell from the look on his face that whatever day dream he was having immediately turned into a nightmare.

I assume by now you’ve read the title and are asking yourself, ‘Self, why am I reading about Paul George for fantasy?’ Pretty simple really… because I wrote it before his injury.  Doh!  I shouldn’t have waited but I wanted to make sure Melo was going back to New York and then I had to wait on Lance to sign and then…  So what do I do with it?  Throw it away?  Well it’s just a bunch of 0’s and 1’s in a computer somewhere and I don’t know where so that wasn’t an option.  I figure I’ll post it, face the furry monster, and catch the next flight anywhere.  So here it is, Paul George v Carmelo Anthony unaltered and I hereby challenge you to find a more pointless post for fantasy basketball the rest of the year:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we head into August, now is a perfect time to take a look back at the free agency period for the upcoming 2014-15 NBA season.

While there is one big name yet to sign (Eric Bledsoe), a few less-intriguing options still on the market (Michael Beasley, Andray Blatche, Kent Bazemore, Jordan Crawford), and another who’s unsure whether he’ll play or retire (Ray Allen), most of the fantasy basketball world knows where guys will be playing this season.  Of course, that still doesn’t include the possibility of Kevin Love finding a new home by the end of the summer, but that could be the subject of an entirely different article.

There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Love will land in Cleveland, which will make them a huge force in the Eastern Conference — and in the entire NBA.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Happy draft lottery, Cleveland-ites!  Is having another 1st overall pick enough to lure LeBron back?!  I think chances of that are as good as Anthony Bennett turning out to be a good player…

And now to the fun stuff… Figuring out where to rank the volatile middle-tier guys.  As Paris Hilton once said, “Studs are studs!  Except for when they’re busts!”  Wow, awful.  Needed to get some shock value in here – that was my proverbial watermelon mallet.

After the top 20, things get pretty tricky this early in the offseason.  And until a good bit after the NBA Draft, 50 is as high as we’re gonna go.  The draft class is loaded, and several should proliferate into the top 100, with a few even top 50 guys in the right situation.  Then free agency, old guys retiring, all that hooblah.  But if you’re thinking ahead to some dynasties or formulating some early fantasy draft strategies, here’s my way too early Top 50 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: still no Jonas Valanciunas):

Please, blog, may I have some more?