REL Basketball1Through the break, through the prolonged week 18, and only two regular season weeks left to go!  Damn this season has flown by…  I know, I know, cliche award of the year right there for JB…  Wait, what’s that?!  Cliche award of the year actually went to Moonlight!

Sorry to write about myself again, but I officially clinched a playoff spot.  Woohoo!  With a 4 game lead over the field, just need to keep cruising for that #1 spot and a bye week.  The top-3 looked locked in, with Yappers and Scurry jostling for the other bye week, 4/5 remain close, but the big battle will be amongst the 3 teams vying for that 6th and final playoff spot.

Here’s how week seventeen in the 2016-17 REL went down, and how we’re looking heading into week eighteen:

Razzball Basketball

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1 JB Gilpin – Razzball 108-43-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $7 Shaun Livingston GS – PG,SG $1
 Wow…  What an unbelievable last 2 weeks.  I don’t even know if I recognize my roster any more!  The dominoes started to fall once Love got the (semi-expected) timeline of 6 weeks out with a knee scope.  Then came the trade deadline, which directly and indirectly ravaged a lot of my value.  The Kings completely punting – trading away their superstar – made Matt Barnes go from a 10.8/9.0/3.4/0.7/0.5 1.8 3PTM contributor to nothing after getting cut.  Not like I “liked” Barnes anyway, but it was a big hit.  Then coming out of the break, the Suns decided to completely cut Tyson Chandler out of the rotation.  Jfc, there goes like 20 rebounds a game!  So to keep the gravy train going, it was the craziest couple weeks of trades I’ve made in this league.  Thanks to everyone who offered/negotiated on deals so promptly, really makes this league a lot of fun.

Trade 1 (2/16):

Send: Allen Crabbe ($3), Evan Turner ($4), Luol Deng ($12)

Receive: Nikola Mirotic ($5), Michael Beasley ($1), Derrick Jones ($1)

Looks really good right now!  I took a big chance here on Miro, as he was dealing with back issues, and the day I got him he didn’t play at all the night heading into the ASB.  Then some great fortune came my way with Taj and McDermott traded, and Miro has looked fantastic his first two games out of the break.  Beasley is just a scorer, but he’s playing well, and both will add rebounds that I’ve lost.  Kinda sucks to lose two keepers as well from those Blazers, but I really wanted to devest from those guys.

Trade 2 (2/25):

Send: Davis Bertans ($1)

Receive: Cristiano Felicio ($1)

Pretty low hanging fruit, but add more boards again, and while I love Bertans’ upside, I want to be a little myopic and go all out.  Plus Felicio is willing to nab boards for me, rather than give Wade tripdubs!

Trade 3 (2/25):

Send: Tyson Chandler ($9), $25 FAAB

Receive: Patrick Patterson ($4)

Continuing to deal with the gents at Stranger LaVines, after getting the sudden DNP outta the break, I sold off Tyson as soon as I could.  Thankfully he got another DNP and looks to be completely out, making this not look like a panicky move.  Patterson is pretty blah too with Ibaka now there, but if he plays 15-20 minutes like he’s done so far post-ASB, he’ll add more rebounds and chip in treys to keep that a dominant stat for me.

Trade 4 (2/26):

Send: Kevin Love ($37), Matt Barnes ($2)

Receive: Willie Cauley-Stein ($20)

The biggie.  Even though Love would fit my build beautifully as a keeper for next year, like I said, time to get myopic.  I’m likely not competing with the big boys in blocks, but I yet again add boards, add more steals to keep that dominant, and WCS is making his freebies now.  $20 is a little pricey, but hopefully he remains their starter heading into a rebuild 2017-18.  I know he’s off a rough game, but I’m really excited for his second half.

Aight, this is getting long, let’s wrap it up.  Nice 6-3 win last week, mayyyyyybe could’ve been a little more aggressive in benching guys to chase TO which I lost by 13 (Westbrook had 9 in the last Sunday games), but obviously still happy with the result.  Going up against a mostly dead team in The Nature Boy this week (might be looking for some REL applicants if anyone is interested for next year!) then a big matchup against Yappers to close it out.  Good luck this week to everyone, and may your dynasty leagues end the reg. season strong!

2 Yappers 104-47-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $11 Toney Douglas Mem – PG,SG $8
With last weeks 7-2 victory, we are now concluding the regular season with two tough matchups, the first one being against the defending champions and the second against the current leader.

We are in second place, 4 games behind the first place team, and 1/2 game ahead of the third place team. While I would not rate us as strong as team JB, we are close enough that I think it is possible we can win this with just a little luck in in performance and injuries.

Regarding injuries, the only current one is Kyle Lowry, the #1 rated player on Yappers. Fortunately, he is only day-to-day and will probably return this week or next. When that happens, I will have a decision to make on whom to drop. Unfortunately, unless I have indication that he is in the Wizard’s rotation or unless another injury pops up, it will be Chris McCullough. Now I still really like him long term, but as a serious contender, I just can not keep a player who is not contributing now.

Regarding performance, this week another casualty unfortunately was James Ennis, who was my first pickup after week one. Now every year so far I have made substantial week one investments (starting with $60 Xavier Henry in season one), and so far none of them have lasted the entire season. Maybe next year I will learn from experience, but probably not. Anyway, with the Grizzlies becoming healthy, I have observed his minutes drying up to DNP-CD land. And looking at the available players list, I observed that Toney Douglas seemed to have more assured minutes as the new Memphis PG2, so he became my primary FAAB target this week. Now I only had $19 FAAB left, but most of the other contenders had even less, so I felt good about my winning $8 bid. So now with only $11 left of FAAB, I am thinking that might be good for another two or three moves should the opportunity arise (remembering Henry Sims and Maikel Brown of previous years wherever they may be).

3 Scurry to the Left 104-48-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $93 n/a
4 Hard-N-Tha-Paint 97-53-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $5 n/a
5 Slim – Razzball 96-53-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $1 Noah Vonleh Por – PF $4
I’m sick and effin tired of all these injuries… No Goose, no Zeller means there’s no winning blocks. With 2 weeks still to play until the playoffs I guess I have a chance to be fully healthy when it counts, but I’m certainly not betting on it. Obviously moving these guys isn’t an option as they are cornerstones of my big man rotation, so I wait. It hasn’t been only guys going down though, this week I got JRich and Thabo back. They did very little so I’m just kind of hoping and praying they can get back to full speed in time for the playoffs.

The real life trade deadline did me zero favors. The only trade that seems to have effected me was Taj going to OKC and losing a couple minutes per game. He should still be playable with 24ish minutes though so it isn’t a total loss. With our trade deadline looming I need to once again see where I can improve, either for now or later.

PGs – Lillard, Rubio, Reggie, and Delon Wright. Other than Reggie’s recent struggles the top 3 are as good as anyone’s. Delon continues to get minutes with Lowry down but there’s no guarantee that continues once he returns. I may have a tough decision to make if he goes DNP-CD but for now the upside alone justifies the hold.

Wings – GHarris, Hayward, Marcus Morris, Parsons, and the aforementioned JRich and Thabo. This group isn’t as strong as it was earlier in the season but the top 3 are still playing well. Parsons is more for next year than this year but I will need more out of him if I’m to win in the playoffs. He’s a tough guy to trade but at 28 years old he still has plenty of good years left once he’s fully back from all his injuries.

Bigs – Goose, Zeller, Adams, Willy Hernangomez, Chriss, JaMychal, Taj, and the newly added Vonleh. When healthy this group is dominant, but without the top 2 it drops down to average at best. In the long run though there’s nothing to worry about, the ages alone for these guys makes my drawers wet. In the above order the ages are – 21, 24, 23, 22, 19, 26, 31, 21. Can anyone else boast 6 starting PF or Cs under the age of 25, with JaMychal making it 7 total starters? Granted maybe Willy is just a temporary starter but he’s so much better than Noah, and maybe Vonleh shouldn’t be a starter, but ya know, besides that.

There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of places to improve, the only guys I’d even consider trading are Rubio and Delon but I would need a very good PG back, Parsons and Thabo, and JaMychal, Taj, and Vonleh – not exactly the cream of the crop but as I see it there’s something there for everyone. I guess in my ideal world I would lose a big for a PG, unfortunately I can’t seem to find a decent PG to rent.

6 High as Greg Kite 89-61-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $9 n/a
Sitting in sixth place with two weeks remaining in the regular season, and one game up on Hate Us Cause They Anus for the last playoff spot, I’ve decided to give it a go for this year at the expense of the future. Traded long-term assets Cameron Payne and Bobby Portis for Serge Ibaka and Derrick Rose. A couple of considerations here:
– My core of Curry-Harden-Whiteside are all healthy and playing well. Can’t take that for granted, especially with Whiteside and Curry perhaps on the beginning of their downward career trajectory and Harden at his peak.- I’m one game up on Hate Us for the last playoff spot- while I believe they’re the better team (maybe the second-best team in the league right now IMO), a week 12 victory over Hate Us gives me the tie-breaker if we end up trying for sixth. Gives me a little breathing room and an edge for the 6-seed.- LOVE Payne and Portis and very sad to see them go after drafting them a few years back and holding them since. That being said, as my Warren Buffett-branded water bong tells me to do, you buy low, sell high. This could look like a dumb-ass trade a year or two from now, but their value more than doubled overnight at the deadline and felt like I needed to leverage that in a play-now trade. Always play for the victory in fantasy if you have a shot (especially in a free league).- Ibaka looks to be getting minutes in Toronto, and I love the pairing with Whiteside. Good ratios, chips in for 3s, rebounds, and is a big plus in points and blocks. Raptors are making a strong push for the 2 seed in the East, so I don’t see Ibaka getting much rest down the stretch.- I can’t stand Derrick Rose in real life, but you have to separate fantasy from reality. In fantasy, he’s a starting PG on a shtty team and is trying to play his way to a big contract. Big FG% improvement over Payne, and definitely an upgrade in points and assists. For what its worth, I have his (terrible) handcuff Brandon Jennings too, just in case Rose gets another case of the crazies.

– Okafor didn’t get traded, but between the Noel trade and the Simmons news, I don’t see the Sixers playing Embiid much if there’s an inkling he’s hurt. Giving Okafor minutes makes a lot of sense to accomplish the Sixers near-term goals: namely secure a higher draft pick while re-establishing Okafor’s market value. Posted 28/10 on Saturday night and had nights of 6-6 and 10-11 from the stripe over the last few weeks, so there’s some optimism for this season. C’mon Jahlil- let’s show the world why I prioritized you over Embiid!

– My wings, TJ Warren and RoCo, both seem to have taken it up a level post-deadline. Both getting close to 40 minutes in each of their games this weekend. RoCo posting an incredible 7-45-21-5-7-2-4 combined, while Warren gave 1-40-13-3-3-0-2.

– Bogdanovic’s situation got worse with the trade to Washington, but he posted 15 pts last night over 30 minutes, so it might not be as bad a situation as I assumed.

Jarrett Jack finally got on the court, and is hoping to stick around ROS with New Orleans—25 minutes in his first game, DNP in his second. At least its not an empty roster spot anymore.

– The SA backups (Lee and Simmons) are unspectacular, but they could get serious PT for games here and there down the stretch as Pop rests his starters for the playoffs.

While the runaway frontrunner JB continues to assemble his dream team, I feel like the trade for Ibaka and Rose at least puts me in the conversation. First goal is to just make it to the friggin’ playoffs, and then let luck take-over from there. After all…

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”
Wayne Gretzky Michael Scott High as Greg Kite

7 HateUsCauseTheyAnus 88-62-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $0 Leandro Barbosa Pho – PG,SG $0
8 Martyball – IFBL 87-63-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $33 Shabazz Napier Por – PG $12
9 Stranger LaVines 82-70-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $55 K.J. McDaniels Bkn – SF $21, Andrew Nicholson Bkn – PF $10
10 No Glove No Love 78-67-8 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 n/a
11 Heat Apologist 73-80-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $40 n/a
12 I Ain’t No Jok(ic) 68-84-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $40 Alex Abrines OKC – SG $0, Briante Weber GS – PG $0
Some big news going down since our last update, and no it’s not that my team just won 7-2 this past week. The Kings finally traded DeMarcus Cousins, causing my very own $20 Willie Cauley-Stein to actually be usable. So of course I did the only sensible thing at that point which, in keeping with the Kangz way of thinking, means I immediately traded him away. Though it could be argued I got more for Willie than the Kings got for Cousins.

While I think WCS has Nerlens Noel like upside, I’m just really worried that for some reason or another he’s not going to reach it. If he does then $20 is a solid deal. If he doesn’t though that money will be a bit of an anchor around my team, and since he’s young and full of upside he’d be tough for me to let go of. So despite telling myself I wasn’t going to spend more than $31 on anyone (Paul George is my cut-off point), I dealt him away for a $37 Kevin Love. At least with Love I can feel pretty confident that he will be a top 30 player, so it won’t be completely sunk money. I will miss the blocks, or at least the potential blocks, but it will be good to finally have someone who is a good rebounder after trading Jonas away earlier this season (Jokic aside). I grabbed Matt Barnes in the deal as well, though if anyone wants his surprisingly good stats (top 90 player in the past month) and thinks he’ll land in a decent spot with a new team I’m open to dealing him.

While I was shaking things up I also grabbed rookie Alex Abrines who’s looked good over the last couple weeks for the Thunder, as well as picking up Briante Weber since he just signed a 10-day deal with the guard depleted Hornets. Someone needs to give this kid a real shot since his d-league numbers are gaudy (.455/.778/1.2/16.5/7.5/7.3/3.3/0.1/3.1). Just look at those steals! Maybe he will be lightning in a bottle, and at the very least he should get a bigger shot here than he did for the Warriors.

Obviously I’m playing for next year, so I’ve got lots of guys I’m open to moving like Love, Tyreke, Henson, Barnes, Weber, Luwawu, Yabusele, and Abrines. I’d prefer to consolidate and do a 2 for 1 to open up another roster spot, but I’m open to other ideas too. This week I get #2 Yappers, so I’m preparing myself to have my first lopsided loss since week 12. It may shock you (it did me) that last week my guys would have made him work for it and I’d have only lost 4-5, losing turnovers as the deciding category oddly enough. Not only did I lose turnovers, but my team shockingly set the all time single week turnover record with an epic 118 TO!!! In the record book again! Imagine how many turnovers I can put up when I have a full group of guys in the rotation, haha!

13 The Chosen Ones 66-82-5 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
14 Hoopus Alleyoopus 63-89-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $65 n/a
15 Kap’s Team 61-89-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $77 n/a
16 Foreign Affairs 51-101-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
Oh boy has the trade deadline been good for both my fantasy team and real life team this year, Go Raptors, maybe we have a chance against the Cav’s now, probably going to get killed by the Warriors or Spurs but there’s a chance and nothing major was given up, sorry Terrance.

I’m up against Slim this week and while I was hoping at the start of the year I would be a tough matchup thanks to what I am getting from the guys I’m going to talk about this week, solid Gorgui and MKG years and Wiggins turning into a scoring machine without Lavine 34.5 on 54% it hasn’t quite worked out as planned for the other guys. Bender sounds shutdown instead of getting the Chandler minutes like I hoped, Mudiay has been a massive disaster that’s getting hard to watch and team Captain EMBIIIID has gone from half mast to full flaccid for the rest of this season. Still think the door is a bit open for me against Slim though since the Goose is hurt, Parsons is more Instagram model then basketball player at this point, Reggie is still in his long funk and Richardson is getting eased in so in the words Rocky 4 “he’s cut”.

For my team Ghostface Ily getting dumped along with Noel getting shipped out for peanuts and operation tank commencing in full force with Simmons and likely EmbiiD ☹ shut down is going to do wonders for Saric. He’s been 16.6/8/2.5 with 1.5 threes and a stl in February on 29 minutes and should be close to 36 min a game the rest of the way. I have to say I was glad to have Saric on the team as a $2 euro stash when I took over the team last year because I figured he could turn into a solid role player but this is way beyond my expectations and projections for him, amusingly he really is looking like he could be the kind of player Bucks fans hoped for all those years ago that Ily would turn into and I can see him being a 15-7-3 guy still with everyone healthy on Sixers, hah.

My biggest relief has been my team being freed from the tyranny of sweet Lou now so Walton has no excuse but to finally run Russell and Clarkson like I had been expecting when the season started and what do you know there producing the kind of numbers people were projecting them to have before the season started, 17 weeks late but it’s happening. Wish Zubac was starting but he’s already finished off health care.Mozgov (enjoying that contract Laker fans?) so he’s one step closer now and new el Presidante Magic likes him.

The last trade affecting my team is the DeMarcus trade, D-mo now is close to done for me with this move but, just as I started to smell the burning faab again Cousins goes and gets a silly tech and is suspended again so I’m he might still hold some value as long as Cousins keeps being Sheed 2.0 with those techs. And after stashing him all year after drafting him for $5 the way is clear for Skal to get into the rotation and boy is he starting to show his potential. His skill set fits well as the PF right next to Willie or Papa and looking at the rotation his only competition is Tolliver at PF going forward. He was in the same category as Simmons and Ingram entering college last year, by all accounts has been working hard and cares and Calipari has even said that they played him the wrong way last year. From what I’ve seen his ceiling looks to me like it can be Chris Bosh, not sure if he can get there but watching him reminds me a lot of Bosh’s rookie year were you see the jumper and the effort, just the frame and experience are not quite there yet.

17 Hardenoutherr4apimp 49-100-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
18 Pete Nice – Razzball 49-101-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $50 n/a
19 The Nature Boy 47-104-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
20 Cigar Smoking Monkey 45-108-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a

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  1. Cole says:

    Congrats on clinching the playoff spot! No congrats are in order for me though. I’m in a points league. Second in points, clinging to a playoff spot. As I always say: Eff H2H. I face the two teams that I am battling for the last spot in the last two weeks so I control my own destiny at least. The trading deadline sent me for a loop, I have Ersan and Jusuf. Who would you start? I also have Willie Cauley-Stein so I guess the argument could be made that he’d do better since he’s not in a new system. The scoring favors shooting efficiency from the field and rebounding if that helps. Thanks for any help!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Cole: Thanks man! Hah well points leagues H2H is kinda an annoying animal, 9-cat H2H I still find by far my fav for hoops. So much nuance with punting, streaming for cats, etc. Sorry if I missed ya before lineups locked, I would prob go Nurk, they have 4 games right? I know SAC only had 3.

      • Cole says:

        @JB Gilpin: Yeah I do get the nuance of the H2H cats. I’m doing that format in a $200 league for baseball this year because it really is interesting strategy wise. I haven’t played that format in 10 years, heh (looking forward to your top 100 SP). I’ve never played fantasy bball before and points was the only thing I could get 12 guys for. Noob question but what are the standard 9 cats for bball? I did go with Jamba Jus before lineups locked. Por has 3 games but Atl has 4 which had me held up

        • JB Gilpin

          JB Gilpin says:

          @Cole: Top 100 are out!

          So standard 9 cats are FG%/FT%/3s/Pts/Reb/Ast/Stl/Blk/TO. I’m not as much a H2H guy for baseball, just because randomness is so much worse. In basketball, your starting guys are pretty locked into what they do, so it’s easier to tinker for your team. In baseball, you could go all power, and all your sluggers hit like 0-1 HR that week and you lose because some turd like Ryan Schimpf hit 5 homers for the other team haha

  2. Michael says:

    Looking for applicants? Sign me up, already in the commenter rel and would like to compete on a whole nother level haha.

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @Michael: Hell yeah man, sounds good! Ill save this comment for when we launch next year, prob replacing two

  3. SheriffMcRawDawg says:

    What up JB? Would you trade P Bev for Kyle Lowry in a h2h redraft (20 team). Weekly lineup locks, haven’t needed to start P Bev with McConnel and others playing well. Playoffs start march 20th. Do I roll the dis here? Thanks man!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:

      @SheriffMcRawDawg: Whats good man?! Mehhhh, nah I think I would just hold of, I don’t see any way Lowry helps this year anymore. Maybe plays a game or two kinda like rehab, and I bet his shot is off…

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