REL Basketball1What would I rather win…  My 5th Super Bowl or the REL…? Yeah, that’s not close at all, I want a Gold Jersey dammit!

Big jostle at the top of the standings, as the #2 and #3 seeds both took losses, opening the door for the bye week push.  It looks like we have 8 teams now competing for a playoff spot, that is, unless someone goes all Packers and can win out for a while.  C’mon Olivia Munn black magic, work for us!

We had a few interesting buys on the wire this week, as a few new situations bubbled up.  Still awaitin’ the big Trade Deadline splash though!  Here’s how week fifteen in the 2016-17 REL went down, and how we’re looking heading into week sixteen:

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1 JB Gilpin – Razzball 96-37-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $34 n/a
 Well, the Civil War has arrived!  It’s time for Slim vs. JB’s annual REL matchup, which last ended with Slim winning in the semis in 15-16 by .001 FG%.  True story.  To say I’m not still bitter and frothing at the mouth for a big win, would be the biggest lie since Tom Brady said he had no knowledge the balls were deflated…

Not only do I have this “yuuuuuge” matchup, but things got a little wild over the weekend…  I got the gut-wrenching news one of my cheap emerging stars, Zach LaVine, tore his ACL…  Within mere hours, I had two different offers for him.  He wasn’t even cold yet!  Vultures.  Hah, I keed of course, but through a long set of negotiating with Niko-Cola, finally arrived on a big deal.  I sent over LaVine ($6 – wahhhhhh that great value will be missed), Luminscent Lithuanian ($29 – thanks for your, like, 3 weeks of service) and Michael Beasley ($1, my last guy/woulda been drop pretty much) for Love ($37), Zbo ($11), and Allen Crabbe ($3).  Starting from the bottom up, I really like this Crabbe value.  He’s a low-TO ThrAGNOF with great %s, who is on a long contract.  Mmmmmmm, daddy like.  Zbo is kinda Zbo.  Meh, it was nice to bolster my bigs.  Then of course the main get, Kevin Love at a maybe-keeper/maybe-rental $37.  He’ll help bolster the lost 3s, I think I’m dominant in rebounding now, and also helps FT to entrench that as a win.  The only hesitation I have from calling this a win-now slam dunk, is Love getting rested in the playoffs.  If I only get 1-2 DNPs from him, I think it’ll be a win.

Awesome week as well in the standings, as I beat #3 seed Scurry 6-3, and with a shocking upset, The Chosen Ones were able to beat #2 seed Yappers 5-4, giving me a nice little lead for that #1 spot.  It sucks to give up a budding superstar (well, hopefully) in LaVine to keep my run going, but like a vampire, I just need the life blood of anyone still breathing!  Good luck to everyone this week (everyone except Slim that is)!

2 Yappers 92-42-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $19 Salah Mejri Dal – C $7
Well my 5-4 loss last week taught me three things. First, that while rebounds and blocks were never a strength of Yappers, with Pau Gasol going down they have turned into a liability. Second, I now hate Roy Hibbert with even more of an eternal hatred. While I do not necessarily believe trading Patrick Patterson for a more traditional center was necessarily a bad idea, Roy Hibbert was absolutely the wrong target. Mistake, but not a fatal one. Third, injuries still play a crucial role in deciding matchups.

Anyway, since Hibbert is now the third or fourth center on the bucks behind Monroe and Henson, my choices were (1) be patient and see how this plays out or (2) there are two centers (Salah Mejri and Miles Plumlee) right now on the WW who are at worst Hibberts equal but trending up. Since I can not assume I would have a similar opportunity like this later on this season. I went with the second option. I actually had my bids set up so that if the stars were aligned properly, I could get both of them, but being outbid on Plumlee (who was plan A on being a little more predictable) I got plan B in Mejri (who has maybe a little more upside).

So where does this leave us now. Well the only player on Yappers who currently is an issue is Chris McCullough (who seems to be tearing up the D league). My assumption with him has always been that the Nets would give him a chance to develop in the D league for most of the season, but then to give him minutes in the show near the end (replacing say useless Luis Scola). But if this is not the case, he will be available maybe a week before trade deadline unless say Marc Gasol comes down with a season ending injury (see last year).

3 Scurry to the Left 90-44-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $93 n/a
4 Slim – Razzball 87-44-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $42 Lavoy Allen Ind – PF,C $5, Jason Terry Mil – PG,SG $0
It’s been a frustrating season for the ‘ol REL. I just can not seem to get healthy. Now adays I’m missing Richardson (at least another week), Zeller (who knows, but I’m sure at least another week), and Thabo (probably closer than the other 2). While it’s true this is a 200% improvement from 2 weeks ago it still feels like I’m playing at below half strength. Maybe it’s time to check out what I’ve got and how far it can really take me.

PGs are a little slim these days with Lillard, Reggie, Rubio, and the newly acquired Jason Terry for just this week. Lillard is doing his thing, as is Rubio. Reggie on the other hand had a week to forget. Overall I guess it’s OK, but I could use another one if I’m going to contend in March.

Wings are a strength with Gary Harris, Gordon, Fournier, Marcus Morris, Thabo, and Richardson. That is when healthy it’s a strength… The top 4 are solid 12er types so I’m not looking to do anything here but get healthy.

Bigs tend to fluctuate heavily in production but Goose, Adams, Chriss, Taj, JaMychal, Zeller, Dwight Powell, and the newly signed LaVoy means I’m trying to win boards and blocks by sheer volume alone. If I could lose a big for a PG I’d probably be a much more rounded team.

Sure there’s plenty of top 100 types in there but the real fun lately has come from Chriss. He is going to be such a beast one day (March). Last time out against MIL Chriss went 27/6/0/0/2 with 3 3s and not a single TO, in all of 24 minutes! The steals have been massive, the TOs are way down, the 3s and blocks are consistent even when the minutes are not. JB kind of scoffed at my analysis but I believe one day soon we will be asking the question, “Who would you rather own, Goose or Chriss?”

5 Hard-N-Tha-Paint 86-46-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $5 n/a
6 Martyball – IFBL 80-52-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 n/a
7 High as Greg Kite 77-55-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $9 n/a
8 HateUsCauseTheyAnus 75-57-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $0 n/a
9 Niko-Cola 73-61-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $61 Fred VanVleet Tor – PG $27, Miles Plumlee Cha – PF,C $13
Sunday February 5th was an interesting day. There was a football game that I’m guessing most people missed. Literally nothing big happened besides Lady Gaga jumping off the roof… just kidding you guys all know we watched one of the greatest football games ever played. I hate the Patriots, but Brady and Belichick are the GOATs and that sucks. As one Alison Haislip pointed out on twitter last night “The Cubs winning the World Series flipped us into the Upside Down and the good guys haven’t won since.” Speaking of the Upside Down holy Stranger Things trailer Batman! We really have to waiting until Halloween though? What torture. All of this to say that the good guys lost and we are throwing in the towel on the season.

So what happened? We aren’t entirely sure maybe poor roster construction, maybe bad injury timing, maybe we were wrong in a few guys Monta cough cough. Who knows it’s probably a combination of a lot of things. Once we knew it was over we acting quickly to try and make trades for next year. To tell that story we have to start with a trade we made earlier in the year.

On November 17th we traded KJ McDaniels($1), Tristan Thompson($7), and Buddy Hield($32) to HateUs for Dwayne Wade($20), LaMarcus Aldridge($36), and Ed Davis($1) who we ended up dropping for Nik Stauskas($1). The first trade we made yesterday was with HateUs and we sent Dwayne Wade($20), LaMarcus Aldridge($36), and Nik Stauskas($1) for Demar Derozan($20), Bjelica, and Ron Baker. Alright so that’s a lot of moving parts we we traded things back and forth. Here is essentially what netted out of that deal…

Tristan Thompson ($7)
Buddy Hield ($32)
Nik Stauskas ($1)


Demar Derozan ($20)

Needless to say we love the result; Demar at that price will be a bargain over the next 5+ years even as his production begins to drop. This will give us a fair amount of wiggle room to buy nice players going forward. We also made a second deal which may be more noteworthy. We traded JB Kevin Love ($37), Zach Randolph ($11), and Allen Crabbe ($3) for Zach Lavine ($6), Jonas Valanciunas ($29), and Michael Beasley (it doesn’t matter). This one was tougher to come to terms with as all 3 players we sent to JB will go for more in next years draft if thrown back making them reasonable keepers in our opinion. However we got a lot younger in this deal and gained considerable upside which was lacking on our roster.

We also WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY over spent on Fred Vanvleet and one of the Plumlee brother in fab to fill out our roster. Vanvleet I don’t understand why there was not more action. He was a four year guy at a mid major who is getting playing time currently and proving himself capable (sound familiar). Lowry is opting out and CoJo’s contract is up at the end of this year. Friday night against Orlando the Raps were actually playing Vanvleet at point with Lowry at the 2. If the Raps cannot sign Lowery or CoJo then Vanvleet will be primed for a huge role. He likely won’t start as they would go find a veteran to play, but he would have the opportunity to win that spot. Even if Lowry does resign we expect Vanvleet to assume back up duty next year as the first guard off the bench. It won’t take much to earn his $1 keeper value and I am pretty confident he can do it.

Everyone else we are still dealing a lot of our good steady cost controlled guys are producing this year and we are willing to move them for better contracts/production. Good luck to all of those chasing down the final playoff spots!

10 No Glove No Love 69-58-8 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 Brandon Rush Min – SG,SF $2
11 Heat Apologist 63-72-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $43 n/a
12 The Chosen Ones 59-71-5 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
13 Hoopus Alleyoopus 58-77-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $65 n/a
14 I Ain’t No Jok(ic) 57-77-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $41 n/a
It’s a shame my team was sooooo incredibly bad in the first half of the season. If you take away the first 6 weeks of 14-40 basketball my team is actually 43-37-1 since then. That’s good enough to put me in……11th place. Hmmm. Okay, no matter what I do my teams season is in the tank. Injuries have absolutely crushed this team. Under-performance from a handful of guys hasn’t helped either.

But! This week I hear that Khris Middleton is coming back. Hallelujah! If he’s not owned in your league for some reason, pounce quickly! Rodney Hood’s injury last week sounds somewhat minor, no not that injury, the one after that other one. So it’s entirely possible that he comes back at the end of next week as well. If he’s not owned in your league, it’s because nobody trusts him to stay healthy, and for good reason it seems. IF, and it’s a big capital I capital F if, nobody else gets injured between now and the end of next week, I could have my first healthy day of the season by next weekend. The only guys missing would be Omri Casspi who I just grabbed to stash as he was already injured, and Guerschon Yabusele who’s in China (tearing it up I might add). Cross your fingers and say a prayer for me as I think I’ve been punished enough for winning the REL title last season. End the curse already! Let me be healthy for a day at least!

Last week was another solid performance by my guys, though not quite as good as the prior couple weeks. Either way, these are huge improvements on what this team was doing up until recently.

Week 15: .480/.815/46/582/178/104/37/28/79
Week 14: .485/.824/50/684/216/162/38/28/80
Week 13: .500/.835/52/645/206/120/45/18/83

Probably the best part of all of this relates to my situation going into next season. Those stats above come from a group of guys that take up 53% of my teams salary. Right now my keepers next year are looking like P.George ($31), A.Gordon ($15), I.Thomas ($14), T.Evans ($13), N.Jokic ($12), N.Noel ($12), R.Hood ($4), D.Schroder ($3), K.Middleton ($1), L.Nogueira ($1), and T.Hardaway ($1). That’s 11 solid guys for $107, leaving $93 for the other 6 roster spots. I’ve also got a few other potential guys in Henson ($12), and a few $1 rookies that I can choose from if anyone looks like they might break out. The future is bright!

15 Kap’s Team 56-76-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $89 n/a
16 Foreign Affairs 46-88-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 Edy Tavares Atl – C $0
17 Hardenoutherr4apimp 43-88-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
18 Pete Nice – Razzball 40-92-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $80 Briante Weber GS – PG $10
19 The Nature Boy 40-93-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
20 Cigar Smoking Monkey 39-96-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a

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