If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you’re in the wrong place.  Gave me a punny title!  All you’re good for, Rowling…  Some friends tried to get me into that noise and there’s like these whore-cruxes hidden around the world or some crap?!  Made no sense at all.  Get enough whore-cruxes in half the reality shows out there…

Through a few comments over the last couple weeks, I feel like I’ve had to fight for Donald Sloan as a guy to hold onto and not give up for a peanut shell and ABC gum.  The sell-high label still applies, but sometimes you gotta just ride the broom like a whore-crux!  No idea what that means.  Huge night from Sloan in a shocking win at Dallas going 10-14 FG (3-5 3PTM 6-9 FT) 29/2/5/1/0 all with only one turnover.  It’s been a little under the radar since he’s not a huge dimer, but has 2 TO or fewer in 9 straight games.  Somebody get Michael Carter-Williams some Sloan tape for the film room!  Despite a little bit of a struggle at the stripe last night, is well over 80% on freebies this year.  Really his only knocks are low steals and FG%, but if I’m getting mad at MCW (which is tough to do after last night!), all the sudden Sloan’s numbers are looking mighty tasty.  I still think whatever you get in a trade won’t be worth just riding Sloan another month, as George Hill‘s knee is rumored to keep him out until the latter part of December now.  And Sloan’s big play should have him above C.J. Watson, who is also lingering into December with trench foot.  Who knows, maybe the Pacers go crazy and start Hill and Sloan when Hill is back anyway, and play Stuckey as a 6th man.  Sloan’s been a big part of any success the Pacers have had, so he’ll certainly remain in the rotation.  I’ve written Sloan’s name enough for the open here, let’s start gushing over some more of JB’s favs who did well last night:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Young players Michael Carter-Williams and Victor Oladipo returned to their respective teams last week, after missing the first few weeks due to injury. This week, the Washington Wizards welcomed back shooting guard Bradley Beal. He came off the bench to a standing ovation (or rather, the 25 fans in attendance stood up and cheered), but impressed in his first game of the season. In 26 minutes, Beal scored 20 points, with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 3PTM. It was only one game, but expect Beal to put up similar lines all season. He averaged 17.1 ppg, 3.7 rpg, and 3.3 apg last season and I expect those numbers to rise slightly this year.

Now that Beal is back, owners should move on from Garrett Temple and Otto Porter. Garrett Temple started off hot, but has since cooled off and will go back to being a reserve and defensive replacement. In Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks, Temple threw a 3-pointer off the side of the basket and then air balled another three on the same possession! Porter is more offensively gifted than Temple and will have a good game off the bench here and there, but look elsewhere for more consistent production.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

A popular sleeper on draft day (well, made more popular by us!), Markieff Morris had been driving fantasy owners crazier than Joaquin Phoenix in The Master.

Through the first 10 games, Markieff had numbers eerily identical to what he did last year despite four more MPG.  His engine is on hybrid!  But for as atrocious as his previous 4 games were, broke out in a big way against the Celtics for 30/7/5/4/0 hitting 14-21 shots including a trey.  And only 1 TO!  Career-high scoring for Kieff, after four games in a row under 12 and three of those scoring single-digits.  “I found the beef, it’s Jeff Green‘s terrible D!”  While my Kieff teams are loaded with swagger after this big Monday, there is something slightly concerning with his stats.  Only 1-1 FT last night, and now is under half as many FT makes a game compared to last year, in nearly 5 more minutes a game (playing 39 bumped up his minutes finally!).  In 13-14, Kieff-er Sutherland was at 3.2-4.0 at the charity stripe, but is suddenly more like Donald Sutherland and not attacking the cup.  Less driving means fewer OREB (down from last year sinking his REB per-36), and his dimes have fallen a smidge as well.  None of these stats are major, but it seems he’s not creating and the Suns G-rotation is handling all the rock.  Another week of big stats with weak FT numbers and low-ish dimes – on top of Hornacek’s tendency to roll the hot hand, even the starters – and I’d actually sell high.  The steals and handful of blocks are nice, but not loving the lack of aggression and new role as more a spot-shooter, which could make him benchable to Horny a lot of games if he’s cold, something we’ve already seen a little of with the waffley minutes.  Where’s the beef?!  Let’s hope not in the waffles, but ya never know, that could be good!  Fried chicken n waffles is out of this world.  Here’s what else happened on an unusually busy Monday night of action:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Howdy Cool Cats, great news! Due to a combination of all my hard work and Martha from accounting going on maternity leave, I’ve been awarded an actual office, and given the primetime spot of Wednesday, up from that smelly old Friday! Ok, the office is virtual, but the slot is real. By that I’m referring to Wednesday, not Martha. The virtual office comes with more responsibility (I have to drive into the Razzball building and make sure the recycling is sorted, and restock the coffee creamers in the kitchen), but it’s nice to finally get some recognition! I asked for a parking space and a vacation package, and they told me, fine, you are now on permanent vacation. How cool is that?? I gather that means I can work when I want, we artists can be a finicky bunch, it’s prudent of them to recognize that. Well, never fear, good reader, I won’t let my success go to my head, I still have plenty of nuggets to share with the little people. I strive to be humble, and keep doing what got me to the big show. Speaking of getting to the show, here are a few guys on the way up to that corner office, and a few who are heading to the mail room:

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?

It feels like each time I have to submit the weekly injury report, someone big gets a last minute injury. The first week it was Victor Oladipo and his facial fracture. Last week, it was Russell Westbrook. Let’s hope that this week no one gets hurt after I hit submit.

Speaking of Russell Westbrook, he will be out 4+ weeks after surgery to repair his broken right hand. This is a huge blow to the Thunder who are already hurting with injuries. They are so desperate for a living, breathing player that they signed Ish Smith as part of their hardship exception. He is definitely not the Ish and should not be anywhere close to fantasy rosters.

Fortunately for the Thunder, and fantasy owners, Reggie Jackson is back from his ankle injury. He already has 36 points and 19 assists in just two games back. Jackson should continue to be a fantasy beast, but expect his field goal percentage to dip with the added pressure as the lead scorer.

Since Jackson is definitely already owned, Perry Jones is the next best Thunder option to pick up. Averaging 15 points and 4 rebounds, Jones should continue to see playing time, while knocking down threes. He’s day-to-day with a bruised knee, but shouldn’t be out for long.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

We’re only but a few games into the 2014-2015 NBA season and we’ve already had a lot injuries to promising young players. Here’s the Week 1 injury update:

After getting an inadvertent elbow to the face in practice, Victor Oladipo is out for the first month of the season with a facial fracture. No injury is a blessing, but the time off will give Oladipo ample time to rest his MCL. He had previously missed games in the preseason due to the sprained MCL in his right knee.

Elfrid Payton will continue to start at point guard, with or without Oladipo in the lineup. There will be some growing pains, but he’s a star in the making. To replace Oladipo at shooting guard, the Magic will rely on Ben Gordon and Evan Fournier. Ben Gordon is coming off of a horrible season, where he averaged 5.2 ppg in 14.7 mpg. His minutes, scoring, and field goal percentages have all declined in the last three years. Now he could have a game or two where he explodes for some threes, like he did against the Wizards on Thursday (22 points on 7-12 shooting), but I wouldn’t count on it and waste a roster spot waiting for those games. He scored only 5 points on 1-8 shooting in the first game. Gone are the days where he is worthy of a fantasy spot.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

It’s finally here!  “The lockout is over!”  You’re like, “wtf, a lockout?!”  I’m quoting a Dave Cowens commercial!  And after the 98-99 Lockout at that!  Anything vintage Hornets is nostalgic gold right now.  Ridiculous amounts of bonus points to readers who are Hornets fans and remember that commercial and/or can find the video.  Because I couldn’t!

The return of the Hornets is one of the many things I’m looking forward to this year.  Getting past my horrific Jonas Valanciunas love, finally changing the page to a new season, is another.  But one of the biggest is a healthy (for now) Kobe Bryant and the return of the “Guess Kobe Bryant’s Stat Line”!  Even if you’re a long-time reader, you might not know this one!  It’s like the NBA scheduled the Lakers on a light opening night just for this momentous Razzball event, not because the Lakers are a widely popular team or anything…

I don’t remember exactly what spawned this prestigious contest, but as with everything that is oddly conversational in Razzball, traditions can start any time!  Like how we all guessed what Kobe would do, the like, 5 games he played last year.  So in order to carry this tradition, and to accurately-ish credit the winner, guess the Kobe line will be limited to the PTS/REB/AST projection to determine the victor.  Feel free to guess more stats than that, but when we did it last year with steals and blocks and turnovers, it was hard to say which commenter was closer than another.  The winner gets a shout out in the recap the next day, along with the jealous ire of all other Razzballers… I think Kobe has a big one in the opener vs. Houston… I’m going 31/5/6.  Shoot your guesses below, and happy return to Fantasy Basketball!  We’re pumped for our biggest season to date here at Razzball, and thanks to everyone for checking us out through the offseason!

Here’s some other news and notes since the last wrap-up, and what I’ll be focusing on for opening night (and we’re daily every weekday with the wrap-ups here on out!):

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Preseason is here!  Preseason is here!  I’m as giddy as N64 kid on Christmas Day.

But before we got into any action, Nick Young had a rough end of to his week last week, jacking up his thumb on his shooting hand requiring surgery.  He’ll be out 8 weeks, which puts him back in Purp-n-Gold mid-to-late November, optimistically.  You can drop him off your fantasy teams now!  He’s got a plenty big cast to hitchhike his way somewhere else.  I would say to “Scrubtown” but if you say that three times fast it starts to sound kinda like Scranton and I don’t want to offend Scrantonites or fans of The Office.

I wasn’t big on Swaggy P anyway, but no reason to touch him except in the very deepest of leagues.  Pretty empty scoring.  Wesley Johnson gets a minor bump up, and that’s the extent of the impact.  Now back to preseason!  Of course every performance must be taken with a grain of salt, and this early it’s a friggin’ pillar of salt, but it’s never too early to see how players are doing – especially this year’s ridiculous class of rooks.  Here’s what’s gone on across the league:

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?