With the season just a few days away, I’ll be covering the latest injury news for all those last minute drafters. Guys will be held out of preseason games for various ailments, so don’t overreact to every DNP in the preseason box scores. I can’t cover every NBA injury, but will try to cover the biggest injuries to start the season.

Unless you have been living under a rock over the summer, you have seen Paul George’s gruesome injury. He broke his leg in an US Olympic Team scrimmage. The leg injury has a 12-18 month timetable so George will be out for the entire regular season. He may play in the playoffs, but that doesn’t affect us fantasy players.

In redraft leagues, you don’t draft George. He won’t be playing this season, but should return to form the following year. In dynasty leagues, it gets a little trickier. If your team isn’t competing this year, then definitely invest a mid-round pick on him and stash him for the next season. If you think you can compete this year, get someone else who will play this year.

With George’s injury and Lance Stephenson’s trade to the Charlotte Hornets, there will be a lot of playing time and statistics up for grabs. Larry Bird says that the offense will rely more on George Hill. He’s never been the focal point of the offense so there may be some growing pains, but he’s a solid career shooter (44.8 FG%, 80.8 FT%, and 37.1 3FP%) and with increases in the counting stats, should be a solid mid-round value. He’s suffered a knee contusion, but should be ready to go for the start of the season.

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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:

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1) I’m sure I’ve mentioned this numerable times but JB and I are well known members in the swingers community. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to give away our anonymity but I feel like I can trust you. I go by the Hairless Wonder, don’t ask, and JB goes by the alias… If you would like JB’s alias to be ‘Big Country’ go to paragraph 5. If you think JB’s alias should be ‘The Diesel’ go to paragraph 3.

2) … Twister. I’m sure you’ve been there before, you’ve got your left foot on green, your left hand on red and if someone says right hand blue you know you’re going to be the unfortunate soul who’s going to have the sad face when you’re given your parting gift of a half of a gallon of Purell and sent on your way home. Since JB never breaks character I have no idea if he’s giving me a good spin or he wants to see me end up … For the epic conclusion go to paragraph 6.

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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:

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What a night, what a night!  While we didn’t see the fireworks of say, a QB drafted by San Diego saying he’d only play for the Giants, but we had some interesting reaches, some surprising fallers, and one very happy/newly re-acquainted Hornets fan!

The crew and I had a blast tweeting through the draft, so I have a few other thoughts sprinkled in the first round recap below.  It didn’t go quite (read: at all) like Slim and I’s mock draft, but here’s how the draft went down, with a fantasy outlook for these rookies for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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Razzball Nation!  You’ve seen a dime a dozen… And no I’m not talking about lady parts or buttcheeks on Game of Thrones…. But mock 2014 NBA Drafts!  And since Game of Thrones is the hottest thing on TV, Slim and I decided to join the fray.  Let’s pretend he’s built like Drogo, the facial hair is fa rizz folks,  and I back-and-forth with him like whatever the hell that giant was north of the wall.  But not like that!  Wait, this just got way off track…

What we did differently is alternate picks to adjust our thoughts and expectations accordingly.  Slim thinks Embiid to the Cavs, I think it’s Wiggins, many others think Parker… We then have to make new thoughts as we go, and track players falling to get them to their upcoming destinations.  We both go into why we made that pick for the team, and a quick blurb on their fantasy impact on said destination should it come to fruition.  Here’s how we see the 2014 NBA Draft’s First Round going down:

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Razzball Hoops Nation!  Wow, typing 2014-15 already just feels weird…  I’m not ready to quit you 2013-14!  Although, the disappointing image of the face of the Luminescent Lithuanian makes it easy.  We’re done, ya ho!  I’m just not that into you…

As I do every season during the NBA Playoffs, I think it’s a fun way to kick off the year with some way too early rankings through the top 50.  “Wait a minute, isn’t there free agency and a draft, moron!?”  Shut it, noob commenter!  There will obviously be numerous changes to these early ranks, possibly even some rookies trickling into the bottom end of the top 50, and all sorts of free agency moves to make this a really fun offseason.  Here’s my way too early Top 20 for the 2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Season (spoiler alert: no Jonas Valanciunas):

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Razzball Hoops Nation!  It’s officially the offseason!  Well for fantasy…  And for the Knicks and the Lakers.  And the Pacers!  Haha, sorry matt, just joshin’…

And what better way to look back on the 2013-14 season than to reflect on the rankings.  Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it!  Dammit, that means I can’t ever rank Ricky Rubio highly again even though I know I’ll want to!

So I reflected back on my ranks, and patted myself on the back or immolated myself on what I was thinking so long ago.  Rankings are based on my final updated top 200 and eesh!  Looking back on these some are rough!  I then compared them to the FantasyPros aggregate Draft Day Rankings along with Basketball Monster’s Total Value for 9-cat leagues for the season.  I had Slim come in and grade each of my picks, and man, he’s a harsh grader!  And unfortunately he doesn’t take too kindly to giant pasty men flashing their teetans at him either, so I got no extra help. Here’s a look back at the Top 20 for the 2013-14 Fantasy Basketball Season:

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I don’t know today’s title has a Boston accent, just sorta happened!  Tyreke Evans absolutely tore up the Thunder last night, slashing-n-gashing his way to a 41/9/8/3/0 line with only one turnover.  I don’t know what’s crazier, that line or a Pelicans win!  That starting NO line-up other than Evans was scrub city.  If you followed the news leading up to this game, it went from Evans being unlikely to play a mere hour-and-a-half before tip, to getting the start right before the game started.  The emotional toil on fantasy owners was bigger than in Silver Linings Playbook!  Since the All-Star Break, right around when the Pels finally decided to start this guy, Evans has been a monster averaging 17.1/5.4/6.1.  He’s also boosted his FG% and actually made a three or two, despite a 3PT% even Josh Smith thinks is poopy.  But despite a big second half, the Pelicans owner isn’t too impressed.  Haha, that was hilarious – I made highlights for this game if you couldn’t tell.  Been a lucky run for my games the past two, getting this one and the Corey Brewer one Friday!  Almost 100 points from those two!  Hopefully the Pelicans realize they need Evans as a starter in 14-15, but it’s tough to see another stretch with 6+ dimes next year with a healthy Jrue Holiday.  If the price is right, I’ll be a buyer next season, however Evans seems to always have a little more hype than substance ever since his rookie year.  If this second half inflates some big buzz next year, I’ll be about as deadpan as the Pelicans owner!  Here’s what else I saw last night in fantasy basketball action:

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