It’s been a bad couple weeks for big men. A lot of top producing forwards and centers seem to have been bitten by the injury bug around Thanksgiving.

Initially, DeMarcus Cousins was only considered day-to-day with viral meningitis. After missing his 8th straight game, coach Mike Malone was unsure when he would get his big man back. He’s been ruled out for the rest of the weekend, with his playing status in jeopardy for next week.

While Cousins has been out, Reggie Evans has grabbed almost every available rebound. Well not really, but he has had games of 13, 14, and 20 rebounds, while starting for Cousins. Jason Thompson has offered a more balanced increase in production (11 ppg, 10.2 rpg, and 2.4 apg in last 5 games), but the biggest beneficiary has been Rudy Gay.

With Cousins declared out for at least the weekend, now is the best time to sell high on Gay. He has a usage rate (total number of possessions per 48 minutes) of 30.2 when Cousins is out, but a 25.3 usage rate when Cousins is playing alongside him. As a result, Gay has increased his scoring, rebounds, and assists with Cousins off the floor. Try to trade him this weekend for a top 20/30 player, before Cousins gets back and steals touches away from him.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Well, so much for the prime time matchup last night!  Yesterday afternoon LeBron James‘ knee flared up, and after a mid-afternoon report that the Cavs weren’t worried but would be cautious, they ended up holding him out.  I think LeBron was mostly worried about another Serge Ibaka wrister.

How you can finish that play after breaking your nose…?!  Legit.  Anyway, for the Cavs it didn’t mean much to the Big Two, but somehow Tristan Thompson is playing his way into relevance again.  Yes, Slim and I’s oft-discussed, Pts/Reb only Tristan Thompson – except these days he’s hitting some other cats!  14/13/1/0/2 last night, shooting 4-8 FG and 6-8 FT in 30 minutes.  He’s finally making shots at an acceptable rate this year, with his FG% at 53.6% before last night and got the blocks back up to nearly 1 a game after being at 0.4 last year in almost 6 more minutes per.  The big catalyst here is getting back that big run with the second unit.  After only topping 30 minutes one time through the first 14 games, is over 30 four of the past seven culminating in dubdubs three of the past four.  I’m frankly surprised he’s owned in 38% of Yahoo leagues already, but for the streamers/DraftKings players out there, LeBron might sit one more and assure another big workload for TT.  I don’t think he plays this much long-term, but you can get some big man stats on the cheap.  It’s no conundrum!  Here’s what else went down in the two games last night:

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I was off last week because of the holiday.  Hope you all had a safe and profitable Thanksgiving in DFS.  As you know I try to pass along some news if there is any and advice.  The best advice I can give to any new or veteran player in DFS is bankroll management.  Can’t stress enough how important it is.  50/50’s are the best way to build your bankroll.  It doesn’t matter if you finish 1st in these contests.  All you have to do is beat half the field to double your money.  Yeah GPP (Guaranteed Prize Pool) money is nice but it’s hard to cash in these contests consistently.  What I do for example is if I was going to play $100 for the night, $85 of that is going to be in 50/50’s.  Now if I am just starting out I’m probably playing all my money in 50/50’s to build that bankroll up.  Hope this advice is helpful.  Now let’s get on with some picks for a smallish 6 game slate on Saturday night.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This was a very big week for the Thunder. They got both of their superstars back in a matter of days.

Russell Westbrook returned on Friday night, putting up 32 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists in only 24 minutes of clock. Now owners may be concerned with the lack of minutes, but know that Westbrook wasn’t on a minutes’ restriction. Instead, Westbrook, along with the rest of the starters, were pulled early since the Thunder were up 32 late in the game. They were playing the New York Knicks after all.

A few days later, Kevin Durant returned to score 27 points on Tuesday night. He showed little rust on the court, shooting 9-18 from twos, 3-8 from downtown, and 6-7 from the line. Durant didn’t do much else outside of the scoring, but those numbers will happen in due time. The important thing is that Westbrook and Durant are both back and healthy.

Westbrook and Durant immediately regain their statuses as two of the top ten fantasy producers. At the same time, their return also hurts the guys filling in for them. Reggie Jackson’s statistics will take a hit, as he won’t be needed as much as an offensive producer. In the two games since Westbrook returned, Jackson had his two lowest usage rates of the season and saw his field goal attempts decrease to 11 FGA per game (down from 17.9 without Durant and Westbrook). Now there is still value to be had with Jackson, since he’ll be getting around 30 minutes a night, but don’t expect the same numbers he was providing early in the season.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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Happy Thanksgiving Razzball Nation!  This is my last daily recap for the week, so wishing everyone a happy Turkey Day where we can take a day off hoops, watch football, then shame eat pounds of leftovers while watching Goran Dragic standing idly by as he gets no usage for the Suns this weekend…

But what better way to sendoff into the Holiday weekend with the Six-Foot-Turkey himself, Dr. Ersan Ilyasova.  While he’s averaging under 21 minutes a game in the past five games (That doesn’t look very scary!), the consistency is kinda preposterous right now.  Is exactly in 20-21 minutes in five straight as Kidd apparently knows Ersan’s optimal usage, and has scored 13+ points in all of them.  Multi-3PTM in three of those five, grabbing a few boards, and actually a semi-usable player right now off 13/9/0/1/0 and two treys last night.  It’s bottom-end 12er worthy, but in limited-move RCLs, I grabbed him Monday to use for a four-game week and like him for matchups play.  A low-end ThrAGNOF with some boards!  What the wire is for, and even though he’s owned in 44% of Yahoo leagues, it’s a little inflated by dead/auto-draft teams given his silly pre-draft ranks by a lot of experts.  I’m keeping that Turkey fresh and might even hold on through next week as well, and then gobbling down the rest of my leftovers before week 7 and the Bucks’ two-game week.  Threes ain’t got no face!  And I’d be just plain sick of all the Turkey leftovers at that point… Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy hoops action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

When I see stuff about the DFS industry I always try to pass it along.  This is a nice read if you have the time.   With the holiday coming up I hope everyone has a safe and nice Thanksgiving.

On Saturday night we have a decent 9 game slate:

Point Guards

I don’t think you have to pay the John Wall ($9,600) price tag tonight at PG.  Kyle Lowry ($7,800) is going up against Kyrie Irving ($8,800) who doesn’t really like to play defense.  I think Lowry is a bit under priced and with a O/U around 211,  it’s nice to get a stud PG in a game like this.

Mario Chalmers ($5,800) has been really good the last four games with Dwyane Wade out.  Averaging 35.5 mins, 19 ppg, and 32.56 Draft Kings points over that span.   The match up against Orlando is just OK on paper but for a PG under 6k getting those kind of minutes sign me up. 

Tony Wroten ($5,600) started at SG on Friday night.  If he keeps starting then you can’t pass up the price here.

Flip Saunders finally wised up and decided to start Mo Williams ($4,700).  He faces a Kings team that isn’t good at stopping the PG.  Even though his price as risen he is still a nice value.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Wrong calls, right calls, as long as I’m always closing!  I have that same Baldwin-demeanor when I prep my DraftKings line-up.  I rally my players with a speech like that!  The RAZZBALL ONLY CONTEST is back tonight(!); get your entries in now, and the DraftKings only post will be up later in the day.  I don’t ask from much from you loyal readers in Razzball Nation, but let’s get this contest filled out this week!  Click that link there, it’s only $10, and they take no profit, just Razzball v. Razzball, mano y mano.

It was a light night for news with only the two games, so I figured it was a good day for patting my back!  The Ramon Sessions signing clouded an otherwise already dreamy outlook, but I didn’t let it deter me from my Darren Collison love!  Brought in for serious skrilla, the Kings just happened to land a quality guy in Sessions for peanuts, and even though it hasn’t worked out, they don’t have much tied into him.  With two fantastic scorers in Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins, I knew passing on Colly would be folly, and had him green light go!  Obviously I didn’t think he’d be this good, but the joints keep rollin’ with dimebag after dimebag!  17/6/12/1/1 last night, second game in a row with 10+ dimes, and 23:1 AST:TO in that span.  We all knew he could slash, but with the dimes this high and the low TO, he’s turning into a premiere PG.  After last night and owning Kirk Hinrich, Collison was like, “That’s who Tom Thibodeau praises for defense?!  Must be why he praises Krispy Kreme burgers – for the health benefits!”  Here’s what else went down last night in NBA hoops:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As most of you don’t know, I’m actually Will Smith’s illegitimate first son.  If you don’t believe me, well you more or less have to click on that link and read it, or else the following will be too esoteric… Too ephemeral…

After Mo Williams was moved back into the starting line-up last night, he showed his Rubio-esqueness going 14/3/13 in a fantastic dimebag performance.  The chosen player for the open this morning, I asked Mo to interview me and my method for compartmentalizing everything fantasy basketball into a daily recap:

Mo: What have you been reading lately?

JB: Ya know, totem pole haikus, Ke$ha’s twitter profile, because ya know… Because living.

Mo: I feel ya.  So what’d you think about my facilitating last night?  Pretty sick line back in the starting 5.

JB: Well, I don’t really watch the NBA.  There’s no sports I like to watch, so I make them up myself and watch them again, and it’s the best thing…  But even in my self-created NBA, it was pretty impressive.  The way you can distribute while making time go slow… Or fast… As you please… And how you know it doesn’t exist.

Mo: I have been turning back the clock, that’s for sure!  That baby Zach LaVine is way behind me for fantasy these days, right?

JB: He’s the feeling of like, a fragment of a holographic reality…

Mo: You’re right, pretty easy call there.  So are you dropping say… Tony Wroten for me?

JB: There’s a duality to it.  So when one thought goes into your mind, it’s not just one thought, it has to bounce off both hemispheres of the brain.  When you’re thinking “yes”, you’re thinking “no”.  It’s a tool for understanding.  It comes from a place of oneness.

Mo: I have no idea what the F you’re saying.  Just tell me, am I a good medium-term value until Ricky Rubio gets his ankle all healed up?!

JB: If he wants his muscles to grow, he has to shock them.  If you want society to change, you have to shock them.  That’s what art is, shocking people.

Mo: Fine.  Whatever.  I know I’m legit, LaVine shoulda stayed in school longer…

JB: You never learn anything in school. Think about how many people die in hospitals every day.  Med school?  What’s up with that!?  I still haven’t been to med school and I haven’t died in a hospital, I can’t see how med school is really helping anyone out…  Same with LaVine, in whatever universal form he occupies…

Mo: Occupy?  #OccupyDraymondGreen?!

JB: Forever, ‘til the day that we’re in our bed!

 

Here’s what else went down in NBA action last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

After getting down as much as 23 points, I was going to pose the question – is Nicolas Batum the glue for the Blazers?

But then the Charlotte Hornets looked like the Kelly Tripucka Charlotte Hornets, hiked up their shorts, and got run out of Portland in the second half.  This is Damian Lillard‘s show!  29/4/7/2/0 hitting 5 treys and 12 of 21 shots for The Omen.

With Batum out last night (and is hopeful to miss only two more and returning next Monday – he likes the weekly league fantasy players!), a lot of minutes opened up for Blazers SF.  And of all the options, I don’t think anyone would’ve projected Allen Crabbe as the starter!  Play Chris Kaman at the 3!  I actually remember watching a few of Crabbe’s games at Cal when they were in the NCAA tourney and thought he was a good little player.  But dude had 4 combined minutes on the season!  And even the starting role did nothing for him, going 2/2/2/0/0 in 22 minutes shooting 1-4.  Allen Crabby, want more rock!  Crabbe has virtually no value, and Batum’s injury just means a few stats will trickle down through the Blazers starters and role players.

The under-the-radar winner is Steve Blake, who nearly rainbowed for 5/4/2/2/1.  Season-high 25 minutes and he’s averaging over 3 dimes a game this year.  Your line-up is probably filled out tomorrow and Saturday for the next two Blazers games, but hey, if you have one streaming spot open and need a little PG love, don’t be afraid to turn to grown-up Dewey for help.  Here’s what else went down in fantasy hoops last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

This NBA DFS season has been kind of a roller coaster ride.  The ownership of players is higher than normal.  Seems like everyone is on the same value players night after night.  If your high priced players you spend on don’t tank and reach value then you’re going to do well.  So be smart and don’t take too many risky players.  Also with the NFL, NHL and College Football going on too, be smart with your bankroll.

On Saturday we have a 7 game slate:

Please, blog, may I have some more?