The NBA is officially back! This means it’s the return of the Hoopers of the Week series.

For those who are not familiar with the series, the rules are simple. Each week, I select one player from each conference who balled out and put their team on their back. Some weeks they could be All-Stars and MVPs. Other weeks it could be role players and rookies on the rise. Every week is another chance for players across the NBA to put the rest of the league on notice. But enough with the introductions, let’s get into these standout players from Week 1 of the 2021-22 of the 75th Anniversary NBA season. 

My first picks of the season for Hoopers of the Week are Chicago Bulls shooting guard Zach LaVine and Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry. Let’s recap the clinic these two guys have put on so far!

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Speed kills, kids. Unless you’re playing fantasy basketball. Then you want plenty of it.

Playing the pace game in fantasy hoops will help us gain extra possessions and stats for our box scores. Whether you’re playing head-to-head, roto, or points, those extra opportunities pile up over the course of a week and can give us an added edge in our matchups.

This weekly piece will look at interesting pace trends and preview the teams with the best pace schedules in the upcoming NBA week.

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The bloom has been coming off the Kristaps Porzingis rose in recent seasons. Thursday’s opener didn’t do anything to dissuade the critics, as the oft-maligned big man tallied just 11 points on 13 field goal attempts, with just five rebounds, zero assists, and four turnovers. A steal and two blocks kept it from being a completely lost night, but he didn’t exactly look like an integrated part of the offense, often forcing bad shots out of rhythm. Managers investing in the artist formerly known as The Unicorn are hoping it was just a case of the game getting out of hand early.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week one!  For those of you who are new to the site, the aim of this weekly post is to identify players who can help you win a weekly matchup in head-to-head category leagues.  The methodology is simple:  I find fantasy-relevant players who are rostered in 50% or less in Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues, analyze their schedules, and determine where they provide value in category formats.

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Welcome to Thursday Night DFS Dunks with me, Cousin Timmy.  I will break down the NBA slate and give you my starting 5 for both FanDuel and Draftkings.  These will be my core plays (guys I’ll be playing in my lineups with my money) for hitting the cash line in 50/50s and double-up contests.  If you’re looking for GPP winning plays you’ll have to follow me on Twitter (@TimmySperos) and then we can talk. At the end of the article I’ll have a pool of 3-5 players I like that you can use to fill-in the rest of your lineups. Since this is the first article of the season I’d like to give you some general strategies you should be thinking about before we get to my favorite plays. Here we go.

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A few weeks back, before the RazzJam drafts started, Son and I were talking about strategies for the upcoming year. “Talking about strategies” is a generous way of describing my contributions to the discussion. Mostly I was bellyaching about the mistakes I made last year (double guard to start, no real center…ever) and committing to not doing that again. Son, who I’m sure was saying something brilliant and valuable and actionable, was mostly there as a witness to me turning over new leaves. 

Draft season kicked off with the RazzJam (slow draft, four-hour timer. Mine took 13 days to complete), and I was enjoying it so much that I kept finding myself in more draft rooms. By the time my RCL draft wrapped up on Monday night, I had seven rosters to manage — a medley of H2H and roto, 10- and 12- teamers, weekly and daily — which is significantly more than I normally play.  

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As an homage to Son, the fearless leader of Razzball Hoops, we’re kicking the 2021-22 season off by celebrating the traditional way. Play the music, DJ!

Hell yeah. It feels official now. The NBA and our fantasy hoop dreams are back, baby! It was a light schedule last night — the defending champion Bucks hosted the Nets to start, followed by a Warriors/Lakers nightcap — but even dipping a toe in felt good. I’ll say that it was an especially nice night for yours truly, as tickets for the hometown Bucks and the ring ceremony that prefaced the start of the season fell into ole Mr. Hooper’s hands. Not a bad way to get the season rolling. Speaking of good beginnings, this Giannis fellow doesn’t seem to have slowed down at all from the last time he’s been around…

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That girl you have a crush on. That job you’ve been dreaming about. That glory you receive from hitting the game-winner. None can become reality until you shoot your shot. Well, I decided to shoot my shot by entering the NFBKC Main Event for the first time. It’s a 12-team, 8-cat league with an overall component. Entry fee is $1,000 with the top three getting paid and a $10,000 overall prize with the glory that comes with it. Here’s a look at Son taking his shot.

I did the research and labored over making projections in the offseason. I feel like I’m at a certain level so I need to see where I’m at. Will I be paying tuition to get educated or will I have a chance at glory? Time will tell but even if I bomb, the experience and knowledge will be beneficial going forward. You cannot learn without failing. So, here’s a recap of the draft and my thoughts behind each pick. The draft room was filled with sharks like Hall of Famer Eric Wong, Curtis Gazdewich, who has won everything that NFBKC has had to offer, and Dalton Del Don, who writes for Yahoo and is a high-stakes player. 

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Hope and confidence are high for the Atlanta Hawks heading into the 2021-22 NBA season after their surprise run to the Eastern Conference Finals in last year’s playoffs. After this offseason, the Hawks have maybe the best mix of veteran reliability and youthful upside in the entire NBA. Delon Wright and Lou Williams can comfortably back up Trae Young as well as play alongside him in the right matchups. Sharife Cooper will be there to soak up all the veteran know-how whenever he’s not testing the limits of his creativity for the College Park Skyhawks, the Hawks G League affiliate. Ditto for Jalen Johnson. It’s unreasonable to expect the Hawks to make it back to the Conference Finals, but it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. Barring a long-term injury to Trae Young, this team should be even better than they were in the regular season last year. For those who “couldn’t watch Trae Young” because of his mastery of the dark arts of foul drawing—you’re in luck! The rules changes should see Young and every other crafty on-ball creator playing more “honest” basketball this season. Combine that with the wealth of talent on the roster and the Hawks should be a popular league pass team. They came in at #7 in Zach Lowe’s annual League Pass Rankings.

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