Merry Christmas Razzball Nation! I hope everyone is looking forward to a great holiday. What have you asked for for Christmas? A ridiculous stroke of luck to get you a Fantasy Football championship tonight? A Christmas Day where three of your guys have triple doubles? Mine is hoping that no more injuries roll through the NBA, at least with questionable return dates. Hey, at least Brook Lopez has a certain return date. October 2014. Huge loss (I was going to say break, but um, yea) for fantasy owners with a broken foot. Here’s what I said in my ranks with him at 50, lower than most other places: “Love his game, had him top-20 in May. Foot injury and big trade limits #s.” That’s me quoting me! Ok, ok, so I get a ton wrong and you can’t project injuries (which I didn’t really, gotta love vagueness!), but I avoided Lopez everywhere so I am not suffering a stocking full of coal like BroLo owners. BroLo’s stocking is actually full of a swollen foot, but you get the idea. Andray Blatche becomes a must-own with the boost in minutes, and was already at double-digits and 19:40 plus of playing time in 15 of 17 games before Friday night’s dud when BroLo got hurt. I see him grabbing 7 to 8 boards with decent %s – along with his scoring – for a bottom end guy on rosters with a tad of upside. Here’s what else/who else got hurt over the weekend:
Jeffery Taylor - Done for the year with an Achilles tear. Brutal stretch for Bobcats’ 3s. Unravel the red carpet for Anthony Tolliver! Championship! I jest of course… Played over 25 minutes the past two games and didn’t top 3 points in either. I bid on him in REL for a deep 20-teamer upside grab, but man, tough to be optimistic.
Kenneth Faried - The Manimal got his hoof stuck in the ground and twisted his ankle. X-Rays were negative, but sounds like he could miss at least a game this week. Timofey Mozgov got a little extra run on Saturday night going 15/9, so you could do worse in deeper leagues streaming a big man play.
Terrence Ross - Struggled again last night. He was about as bad as when Ross got hot in his leather pants and couldn’t get them back on in that chick’s bathroom… Or maybe when he was in the Armadillo suit, I dunno, either way was baaaad. 2-10 for 6 points, logging under 23 minutes for the first time in the last 7 games since the Rudy Gay trade. I still have hopes, but 10-teamers or solid 12-teamers should probably ride a hotter hand.
Patrick Beverley - Welllll, there goes the Razzball PBev love. Punched a wall after getting hate tweets from fantasy owners and broke his hand. Out 4-6 weeks. While we saw Anthony Davis with a similar injury beat the identical timetable, PBev needs to handle the ball and is a scrappy defender. I think it’ll be closer to the 6 weeks. Jeremy Lin has come out and said he’ll play with his back spasms tonight, but very deep leaguers should keep Aaron Brooks on the radar with a brittle Lin ahead of him and increasing playing time regardless.
Marc Gasol - Reported he’ll be back in 10 to 20 days. About a fortnight until he’s on the court. Old school English, yo! Be sure he’s owned in your league.
John Henson - Got scratched late on Saturday night for a DNP with a bad knee. Considering he has no muscle to support those joints, not surprised… Doesn’t sound like anything serious, but man, if you’re a big in Milwaukee it’s like the second half of Final Destination is after ya… I mean, they had to start Miroslav Raduljica one game! Rony Seikaly Broke Google! Miroslav was decent on Saturday, albeit off the bench this time with Ekpe Udoh starting, for 14/4/1/2/0 in 22 minutes, and I’m just talking myself into liking Raduljica in the deepest of leagues plays because I had to add a C in one…
Brandan Wright - It’s an all UNC lanky Cs special! 19/6/1 with another 4 blocks in 29 minutes on Saturday night. Multi blocks now in three straight and over 26 minutes the past two games. No C in the Mavericks mix is really established, so Wright should continue to see nice minutes.
Jason Smith - The king of labradoodles got a bone bruise in his knee and had to stay in the kennel. New Orleans signed some dude named Alexis Ajinca from the French Quarter, err, I mean from France to play some backup center. In 17 minutes, went 4/11/1 with a block on Saturday night. Smith shouldn’t miss much time, but with the Brow back, plus Greg Stiemsma still set to return at some point, all non-Brows, non-Ryan Andersons look to be non-factors on the Pelicans front line.
Raymond Felton - With Pablo Prigioni out for a long time, plus Beno Udrih in Woodson’s doghouse and getting benched Saturday, Felton is going to try and play tonight and is primed to get his role back, doughboy body willing. I’m upping my pickup range to 14-teamers and deeper, but no way going bigger than that.
Lance Stephenson - Who had Lance in their most triple-doubles in the NBA pool? I wonder if Vegas had odds on that… 12/10/10 last night. Just like Alpa Chino in Tropic Thunder, I sit around camp fires dreaming of Lance too… “I said Nance!”
Danny Granger - Stranger Granger! 12/5 with a block scoring all his points on 4 treys. Nothing more than a ThrAGNOF!
Amir Johnson - Just keeps playing fantastic since the Gay trade. 17/13 on 7-11 shooting for another dub-dub. There’s no reason he should be, but if he’s unowned, for shame… Obviously a must-have right now.
John Salmons - I’ve never been a fan of Salmon, I usually cheer for the bear, but 14/3/2/3/0 in 31 minutes. Now 30+ minutes in two straight and eating into Ross. Kinda like Ross’ “faded-salmon color” shirt. “No, I haven’t seen your pink shirt!” But I have seen too much of Friends…
Kyle Lowry - Still playing great ball despite the arrival of Greivis Vasquez. 22/7/9/4/0 last night and is a great sell high for the Raptors. Hence, a sell-high for fantasy owners, as I doubt he’ll land into a better situation if he gets exported to a US team. Plus all that injury history…
Kevin Love - My reaction to him is like James Earl Jones and the old version of the guy from A Clockwork Orange in that phone commercial. “Love is totes amaze balls!” 45/19/6 in one of the best lines on the year.
Nikola Pekovic - Might be my favorite 4/5 combo in the NBA. 34/14 shooting 16-28 and his second 30+ point game in the past 3.
Rajon Rondo - News came out he might be out until February. A big womp womp for Rondo stashers. I didn’t pay the premium for another PG with a torn ACL after seeing the Derrick Rose debacle, so hopefully if you paid the price you’ve built around the busted pick…
James Harden - Said he wants his ankle to heal fully before getting back on the court after Saturday’s game. I actually think this is a nice buy low window after a DNP or two.
Tony Snell - I’ve been saying for a while I was impressed with the rookie, and with no Luol Deng for a while longer with his Achilles issues, Snell racked up 40+ minutes for the second straight game for a 17/5/3 line with 5 treys. Worth a look in deep leagues while the Bulls’ humpy dumpties get put back together again.
D.J. Augustin - Definitely in the 12-team consideration mix with another great game, going 18/5/10 and I think has won the starting PG gig even when Kirk Hinrich comes back. Man, what a find for the Bulls… I bet the Lakers are lamenting they didn’t grab him first.
Tyreke Evans - I was wronggggg on Evans… After what looked like another bad ankle sprain, Evans got a triple double then followed it up with a 21/6/6 line on Saturday night. Some jumpy owners probably dropped him at some point, hell I might have… A guy I could see out there in a lot of 10-teamers that should be scooped up.
Caron Butler - I still don’t like him all that much, but came back and didn’t skip a beat for 22/11/4. Did shoot only 8-21 including a ridiculous 2-10 from downtown. Dem Gordon Hayward-like numbers! I’m not touching Butler in most leagues.
Khris Middleton - A love/hate guy for me. Tough to buy any consistency, but a 27/5/4/2/1 near-rainbow on Saturday shooting 11-15 is a tough line to ignore from a guy who is gonna log big minutes and can hit threes. Just is a debbie downer half the time too..
Brandon Knight – My boy! Told you guys! After that huge 36/9/3 game, 17/14/8 then 21/4/6 and not a single, repeat, not one turnover in those two. Huge huge stuff. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. “Totes McGotes!”
Have a wonderful Holiday and enjoy all the Christmas games! I’m back Friday, then I’ll be back for daily recaps starting Thursday January 2nd. I’m sure there are a million other players and news items out there, but as always, I’ll be around for comments on anyone else and so will our awesome team. Happy Holidays from the Razzball team!