Woooo, here we go Razzball Nation!

The 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season is nearly upon us, well, kindasorta, in the same way that I “kindasorta” liked Michael Carter-Williams last year!  OK, that might be 100% false, DON’T LOOK AT LAST YEAR’S FINAL PRE-RANKS!  Dammit, who linked that?!  MCW’s agent hacked Razzball…

So here’s to hoping I can avoid the pitfalls of last year, avoid the bone density issues, avoid good players moving to Cleveland, and avoid falling for adorable Latin Lovers!  You just can’t help from having your balls near his face!  Why couldn’t you have avoided getting a kankle, whyyyyy?!

As we did last season, we’ll have a master rankings post (which I… I mean, aherm, MCW’s agent will link when it’s live) which will be updated all through the preseason, along with Slim’s 9-cat and MPG projections.  Let’s get this shizz started!  Here’s the Top 10 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season.

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The NBA really is Jordan Belfort.  The Wolf of Fantasy Sports!  It’s tantric and never slows down, from the Finals ending less than two weeks before the draft, free agency hitting a week later and we’re already starting summer ball.  And the NBA will soon revel in the excess that is the 16-17 salary cap boost with a TV deal that put Seinfeld reruns to shame.  I need my ludes to get me through!

Even the Spurs couldn’t avoid the world of excess and massive free agency signings, bringing in LaMarcus Aldridge for a cool $80 million.  Loosening up the purse strings!  My first thought was, “dammit, Kawhi is never gonna be the guy!”  Then again, he got over $90 mil with his extension, so there’s that!  But Kawhi Leonard sometimes struggles with the mid-range and long-distance shooting, so L.A. should help Kawhi by opening up some lanes and keeping him in his game.  This is going to be a crazy offense, with Tim Duncan moving to center and likely being his solid old self.  Which leaves us with what to expect from Aldridge…  And, me no likey for fantasy.  After being really durable early in his career, he’s had a few bumps and bruises (I know, I know, playing through a torn thumb tendon gets mad props) and the Spurs – as we all know – love to limit the minutes.  I also don’t think he quite gets to 20 shots a game like we’ve seen the past few years.  I had him 20 in my way too early rankings, but the move drops him a few spots at the least.  L.A. in S.A. is not OK!  Here’s what else has gone on through the first few days of free agency and rookie ball:

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If you take the time out of your busy day to read my weekly articles here at Razzball, I am thankful. And to that end, I hoped to give back by informing you in my last week’s piece of the impending trade deadline in fantasy basketball. Armed with this information, I hope you made all the necessary adjustments to your squad, as unless your league has custom settings, the trade winds have blown by. But I give and I give, because you deserve it, beautiful! So if you have a Wesley Mathews, or some such setback, fear not, gentle reader, you have options. I just hope you didn’t blow your waiver on the Javale McGee rumour that he was signing on again. We still can peruse the waiver wire, and hopefully find some waiver wire gold out there in the fantasy panhandle. I had a gander, and this is what I came up with:

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First thing I want to talk about is site player pricing.  I get aggravated when sites tighten player salaries and then they loosen them up.  Just pick one way or the other. I think being consistent is important and that goes for all the sports that the site offers.  If a site wants to be the next Draft Street and have sharp player salaries, that’s fine.  For example, if the guy doing or looking over the player salaries might be a basketball guy and the salaries are sharper for basketball than other sports.  That’s not the way it should be.  Sites that have consistent player salaries will only help grow the DFS industry moving forward.

We have a 7 game slate on tap for Saturday night.  Couple things I want to bring to your attention.  Atlanta plays Philly after a tough game against Cleveland on Friday night.  Wouldn’t surprise me to see Mike Budenholzer sit some players.  The Heat have some major injury issues.  Be sure to check if Dragic, Chalmers, Deng and Wade are playing.  If any of them sit it could really open up some value.

Disclaimer: James Harden, Anthony Davis, LeBron James, and Demarcus Cousins should always be considered.

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For one week this season, it feels like there are more stars returning from injury than ones getting hurt. However, that won’t console those who saw their players were added to the injury list. So we’ll start with the bad news first.

All-Star Jimmy Butler suffered an elbow sprain in Sunday’s game and will miss the next 3-6 weeks. Fortunately the injury will not require surgery, but that still puts him out for most, if not all of March.

Joining Derrick Rose and Butler on the sideline, Taj Gibson is out with another ankle injury. Out since suffering the injury in Friday’s game, he’s no longer wearing a walking boot. Gibson has a history of ankle injuries so the Bulls’ may want to be extra cautious with him, but Gibson should be considered day-to-day going forward.

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Ugh.

Three letters to sum it up right there (and I wrote the beginning of this open before seeing Rotoworld’s update!  Groupthink.)

In only a light slate of two games last night, we had a very solid and steady fantasy contributor in Wesley Matthews go down with a torn Achilles and will miss the rest of the season.  I haven’t been this mad at Achilleses (multiple Achilles?) since Brad Pitt in Troy!  Man was Orlando Bloom a pansy too…  Rough, rough injury and owners will have to scramble to find replacements for his 2.9 3PTM and 16.1 points a game with only 1.3 TO.  Tagline of Taken baby!  “Good luck.”  And well, probably the guy filling in for Matthews is as good as any replacement, as Arron Afflalo should immediately step in the role and be Afflalo of old.  I was shocked that late last night he was already owned in 66% of leagues, but that was probably spiking harder than a Charlie Sheen punchbowl with the devastating news last night.  While Matthews was great for what he did, threes are a-plenty on the wire, and veterans of ThrAGNOF should be able to get their stream gloves dirty!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Well, one outta three of the letters in MCW is in efficient…  That makes sense seeing as he usually shoots 33%!

In his debut for the Bucks, Michael Carter-Williams looked solid against his former Sixers for 7/0/8/2/0 in only 17 and a half minutes.  All with only one TO!  Shot 3-5 from the field, did split his two FT, but a mad efficient game in his new colors.  Off the toe sprain, I’m not surprised his minutes were kept in check as the Bucks unsurprisingly took it to the Sixers.  Full tank!  Yesterday on the Podcast, Slim said even a great game wouldn’t have him change his MCW valuation too much, and he’s the logical one.  But I’m antsy and loved what I saw!  I don’t think he’s suddenly the top-50 guy I thought he’d be, but I think he’ll keep the %s in check with that decent MIL supporting cast, and he won’t make you want to kill yourself.  And if that isn’t a ringing endorsement, I don’t know what is…. Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball:

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I know, I know.  Much bigger headlines on the injury front, but it’s Injury Friday with Pete’s Fantasy Basketball Infirmary coming out in a few hours, so I’m not gonna steal his spotlight!

With LaMarcus Aldridge out 6-8 weeks with a hitchhiking injury, on top of Robin Lopez still a few weeks out, there’s a ton of PF/C minutes to fill your Blazing hole.  After Dorell Wright had a very solid 15/3/5/2/0 line with three treys on Wednesday, it kinda felt like Wright could’ve run away with the gig.  But Stotts was like “I want someone else with Ciroc!” and put Thomas Robinson in the PF spot for 28 minutes last night.  Almost rainbowed too!  I’ve always thought T-Rob could turn into something, and 9/12/1/2/2 was mighty solid.  Can’t hit a FT, but who can these days?!  By tomorrow night, Stotts could pound a few more Jamesons and be like “F it, we’ve lost two in a row, it’s Meyers Leonard time!”  All that said, Nicolas Batum also hopped into the Fantasy Basketball Infirmary leaving early with a wrist injury, so maybe Wright will HAVE to play some starting F.  Stotts will take another 5-6 shots of, I dunno, something so low shelf it’s ridiculous – let’s go Popov – to get over last night’s crushing loss and start Steve Blake at PF tomorrow night.  At pressers tomorrow he’s going to be lit like Drunk Uncle!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy basketball action:

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Tank city b##ch, tank tank city b##ch!  And that word edited is “beach”, because when I go to the city beach I like to see tank tops!

Ummmm, last night happened.  We’ve seen B units play big runs multiple times through the years, but I don’t know if there’s ever been a dichotomy of a team’s starters all being utterly unusable, and everyone on the second unit having fantasy-worthy games.  The world is upside down!  Then again, this is The Poppycockers we’re talking about, and they were down more points than the Dow Jones on Black Thursday.  The biggest beneficiary was Langston Hughes, I mean, Langston Galloway, who in his second NBA game after a D-League promotion went 19/4/3/1/0 hitting 6-10 FG and 3-4 3PTM.  Easy nickname bequeathed!  Galloway is now “The Harlem Renaissance”.  We gettin’ classy with these history references lately, yo!  With Jose Calderon a steaming pile of hot garbage (0/4/4/0/0 on 0-5 FG and 2 TO in 21 minutes – been saying he’s untouchable for weeks!), there’s no reason for the tankers to wreck their ship and straight Exxon-Valdez and pollute the waters.  “I can’t fly if my wings are melted off!”, Derek Fisher complained to Phil Jackson.  “Suck it up!”  Calderon is an easy asset to trade in real-life terms given a short contract shelf-life and the vet leadership (I’d hope) to be a backup.  If desperate for points, treys and steals, I could even see nabbing Galloway as a spec 14er add.  Plus you get style points like this!  Here’s what else went down last night in fantasy action:

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We had the first big name get traded this year with Rajon Rondo getting dealt to the Mavs.  It’s a perfect “Shark Tank” deal for Mark Cuban.  It sends a message that the Mavs are going for it this year.  I don’t blame them since Dirk isn’t getting any younger.  I really like this deal for Dallas.  It brings stability to the PG position for Dallas and we seen in the past what Rondo can do with skilled talent surrounding him.  Dallas sure has that.  Plus, Rondo isn’t under contract next year. If it doesn’t work out in Dallas the Mavs aren’t on the hook for any money after this year.  I was surprised they got him so cheap.  Yeah, Dallas sent 3 players in the deal but it’s not like those players were really heavily involved in the rotation for the Mavs.  Also, rumors are the Celtics are already shopping Brandan Wright.  The only thing the Celtics really wanted was the two picks they got in the deal and the $12.9 million trade exception .  The Celtics now have eight first round picks in the next four years.  I’m also curious to see if what Jae Crowder can do if he gets some time.  I really liked his game at Marquette and never felt like he was given a great opportunity in Dallas.  Now the the player to keep your eye is first round pick Marcus Smart with Rodo out of town.  This kid can flat out score but the biggest hurdle is if he can stay healthy.  With all that said, how about we get on with this small 6 game slate: 

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