“Although we’ve come, to the end of the road

Still, I can’t let go.

It’s unnatural, you belong to me

I belong to you.”

Yes, friends, the end is upon us. What marks the beginning of some teams (my Raptors not included) playoff run towards a championship also spells the end of another fantasy basketball season. What did we learn this year? Well, we learned that a contingency plan is always required and you need to have your neck on a swivel when it comes to keeping your squad relevant and competitive. We witnessed the rise of the NY Knicks which absolutely no one saw coming led by Julius Randle and his top 25 finish on the season. WOW! It will be of no coincidence that he is on many championship teams when the dust settles. On the other hand, we were also witnesses to the defending champions free-falling down in the standings as they cobbled together a lineup without LeBron James and Anthony Davis for significant portions of the season. It will be interesting to see what a play-in matchup between the Lakers and the Warriors looks like, the prospect has me more than just a little intrigued. Many storylines created and possibly, we will take a more thorough look at some in the coming weeks but for now, let us end off on one final underperformer before we close out this column for the season.

For the final time this season, I bring to you…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

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There is a reason the last week of the NBA schedule is usually avoided by many fantasy leagues, as it has been called the “Silly” season. Many teams are all out of objectives to chase and are flat out tanking or have already clinched their playoff spots and are resting their stars and even rotational players. This results in many funky boxscores that are not to be expected at any other point of the season. Corey Brewer anyone?

But don’t be afraid, I am here for you to squeeze fantasy value even in this trying part of the fantasy schedule. If your H2H league is still running though, may I suggest an alteration for next year in order to finish it one week earlier, but for you fine folks that play Roto this is the most important week of the year as you chase the categories that can give you that one extra point to win it all. As a result, I don’t see a reason to include a Sell column at this time, as anyone can be safely dropped at this point of the season with so few games left.

Regarding last week’s suggestions, Kent Bazemore and R.J. Hampton continued their solid finish to the season, while Frank Jackson unfortunately got injured. Special mention to Mo Bamba who also got injured but this finish to the season suggests that he will be a major draft target for next year and can be a true breakout star if he can get the starting spot from Wendel Carter Jr.

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I’m the big, fat loser this year in our 9-cat league’s championship game. Am I happy I made it this far in a totally insane season? Yep. Am I upset I lost? It always stings, but one week can make or break you and I don’t feel bad losing to a team I lost to the only time I faced them in the regular season. It feels like the right team won.

All that said, this season was completely wackadoodle and probably the most benefit you’ll get from reading these words is this introduction where I’m going to attempt to break down my thinking on the season and how we all got here.

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Bledsoe has scored in single digits 25 times this season. He’s outside the top 200 on a per-game basis. There was a time when he was a perennial top 40 player. Life comes at us fast. On what was championship Sunday for many, Eric Bledsoe turned back the clock and produced his best performance of the season.

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
24 4 11 2 0 1 3/9 8/17 5/10

Now, Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram did not play in this one but whatever. A chip is a chip. If Bledsoe led any of you to a chip, you are obligated to buy a jersey of his. And you better wear that bad boy proudly. If anyone starts clowning you, just punch them in the face and say that your face Bledsoe that I could wear this jersey proudly around town.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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The 2021 NBA Regular Season is coming to a close and the NBA Playoff picture is slowly starting to shape up. When looking at the MVP race, it seems pretty obvious that consensus top candidates are Nikola Jokic in the West and Joel Embiid in the East. These guys have been jockeying for the top spot and most have argued that Jokic has separated himself as the guy due to his availability and his play without Jamal Murray on the floor. Nonetheless, these guys have dominated the headlines, but what about the other guys in their conferences who have been carrying their respective teams in a similar way? As of late, there has been buzz for guys like Stephen Curry, Chris Paul, and even dare I say, Julius Randle. But instead, I want to highlight two guys who have not captured the same kind of late-season hype who really deserve some love. That is why this week, I happy to say that my Hoopers of the Week are Giannis Antetokounmpo and Damian Lillard! Let’s get into it!

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An overtime thriller last night saw Russ tie the Big O, Oscar Robertson, for the all-time triple-double list, but also had the Wizards pick up their 32nd win and tiebreaker over the Indiana Pacers which allowed them to leapfrog the Hoosiers and find themselves in the ninth seed of the Eastern Conference. 

Starting with that man Russell Westbrook of course, who posted yet again another triple-double of 33 points, 19 rebounds, and 15 assists. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the biggest Westbrook fan, but I’ll also admit that what this man is doing right now is absolutely historic and legendary. At some point down the line, after Russ is long retired, we will all look back and realize how truly underappreciated he is and what he does on the court each night. Like Russ himself says, if it were easy, anyone would do it. Bradley Beal had a phenomenal performance with a 50 piece on 19-for-31 shooting which included only three triples. Russ and Beal seem to be picking it up at the right time. The Wizards also got solid minutes from Alex Len who flirted with a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds. 

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The NBA regular season is quickly coming to a close with only a week left of games. The urgency across the league is truly starting to show as teams make their late-season postseason push. Every single game matters and every outcome influences a different storyline. Some teams are trying to control their playoff destiny by fighting to maintain their Top-6 seed. Other teams are jockeying for position within the Play-In tournament picture. At the end of the day, the fight for a spot in the postseason is underway and every night could have a serious impact on the Eastern and Western Conference standings.

On the second to last slate of Friday Night NBA regular-season games, we got some premiere matchups along with some interesting Playoff/Play-In implications. So, with that being said here are our top performers from last night’s matchups!

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Daniel Theis still got the start even with Nikola Vucevic back in the lineup. The former Celtic contributed across the board in his 26 minutes, with 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting along with 7 rebounds, two assists, two steals, two blocks, and a three. Theis (46 percent owned in Yahoo!) has averaged 12.5 PPG over his past six, while also amassing some defensive stats and making close to one triple a game. He’s a great streaming option if he’s still out there in your league.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week 19!  I assume that if you’re reading this, you’re playing for a championship or the chance to get to the final round.  It’s time for some….

The focus of this post is to help you find players to win your H2H categories matchup, whether it’s an eight or nine-category format.  If you’ve made it this far, you’ve likely had to make some tough decisions for your roster already.  This week, a guy like Christian Wood – as surprising as it may sound – might be a drop.  Especially if you’re in the championship round, consider the cost/benefit equation of keeping a high-quality player who may only play one game this week, versus streaming his spot using some of the players listed below.  In aggregate, the streaming option will likely yield more counting stats than hanging onto Wood for a maximum of two games.

That being said, the name of the game is adding players who will sustain you in the categories you’re already leading and help you overtake your opponent where it’s close.  The following players have two or more games remaining this week and are rostered in 50% or less in ESPN and/or Yahoo leagues.  Unless I indicate otherwise, it should be assumed that these players do not pose a significant turnover risk.

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