REL Basketball1Only one regular season week left to go – one last week to jostle for the playoffs!  And oh man, do we have some sublime drama in the REL!  Am I using sublime right?!  I feel like it’s an adjective thrown around a little willy-nilly….  Anywho, #2 seed Scurry and #3 seed Yappers took on big losses last week, opening the door for a 4-way battle for that coveted 2nd bye week.  Although with the trade deadline last week, we saw some massive moves, mainly from High as Greg Kite solidifying their hold on the 6th playoff spot and going for a deep playoff run.  It’s going to be a great postseason, and I’m excited to see how the seeding will work out!

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

Razzball Basketball

RAZZBALL ELITE LEAGUE STANDINGS
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1 JB Gilpin – Razzball 116-44-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $7 n/a
 Things keep going swimmingly, and after a rough week up top for the #2 and #3 seeds, the first-round bye and #1 overall seed is locked up.  I still feel like this isn’t real, pinch me!  Pinch me!  I never thought I’d be able to have this kind of success in the REL, but a nice mix of luck and trades have kept me afloat.  Winning a lot of close cats have helped as well, as I nabbed a late-breaking .798-.776 FT win and won by a single block against The Nature Boy this past week.  That said, I did a lot of benching to assure my %s…  With the bye week in tow, I now have two weeks to get my last guys healthy.  Seems like Evan Turner should be able to hit that benchmark, and hopefully Oladipo’s back is fine by then.  Not having to stress to need them back a week earlier is a nice position to be in.

While I didn’t quite make the win-now deals Greg Kite made, I did make one last deadline deal, and one that hurt.  I dealt Jae Crowder ($1) and Anthony Tolliver away ($1).  Absolutely love Crowder, although his best attributes really don’t fit on a Westbrook team – he’s a wing that hits good 3s while maintaining a good FG%, and never turns it over.  FG% and TO drains are Westy’s calling card!  So decided to embrace my strengths, and brought back Will Barton ($1), Evan Turner ($5) and Nemanja Bjelica ($8) in the deal.  Crowder is the best in the deal, but I added great depth and a few more dimes, while fully punting TO.  Plus Bjelica has looked great the past week, and helps add that mix of rebounding and 3s to play to my strengths.  Hopefully it’ll lead to a dominant playoff run in the semis and finals.

Can’t wait for the playoffs and to see how the #2-#5 seeds unfold this week.  Good luck to everyone, and this is the most joyous time of the year…  REL playoffs, baby!

2 Scurry to the Left 107-54-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $86 Timofey Mozgov LAL – C $7
3 Yappers 106-54-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 Luc Richard Mbah a Moute LAC – SF,PF $7
 It was either Monday or Tuesday evening that I checked my team and was surprised three trade offers were on the table. Totally unrelated to this of course, but that was the night I also learned this last year’s Marc Gasol tragedy has come back from the dead. Kyle Lowrie was out for the fantasy season. Sh*!

Now the one difference between the two cases was that the $17 price tag of Kyle Lowrie made him an extremely valuable keeper target, should I decide to go for it. This I needed to sleep on.

Now my two criteria for making any type of “go for it now” trade is “Will I eternally regret this if it does not work out” and “Will this really make a difference”. After having slept on this, I decided that one trade offer met both trade criteria. Thus the trade with Kap of Kyle Lowrie for George Hill and Andre Iguadola was made. The inclusion of $1 Andre Iguadola is what made the difference in my mind.

On a side note, accepting this trade meant I finally had to say good bye to two players, one of them sadly being Chris McCullough (whom i had planned on floating a few offers for this week). I expected that at least one person smelling the opportunity for a good $1 keeper would be all over this, and that in fact was the case. Oh and I also had to part with one more player, and my debate was between Salah Mejri and Joe Harris. Since I decided it would be Salah Mejri on the basis of minutes, of course it would be Joe Harris coming up injured this week. Since the 17th player on our depth chart is perfectly replaceable, our, target replacement was that dude with 5 parts to his name (Luc Richard Mbah a Moute) on the basis of steals being an important category for us.

So of course we went on to get our butts kicked by Jokic 2-7. Truth be told, I have not had the time or energy to go back and figure out whether this butt kicking was a bad omen or just something fluky like a schedule difference. And at this point I am not sure it is worth the bother. I do know that the schedule has me playing #1 JB this week, and a similar butt kicking could mean we slide as low as fifth place. Not the way we want to end the regular season for sure.

4 Slim – Razzball 104-54-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $1 n/a

Well ok then, go 18 weeks without a healthy squad and on week 19 everyone appears to be good to go.  I can’t quite say they are all 100% since a few are still trying to come back but at least I’m not running out a single guy getting DNPs anymore.  The most recent returns are Goose and Zeller which means I can once again compete in boards and blocks.  Willy had an issue this week but it seems like he’ll be fine and back to a nightly double-double in no time.  Thabo has come back particularly strong with 3 straight games with 30+ minutes.  Even JRich is starting to contribute again with 3 straight games of 24+ minutes.  Sure Parsons has been terrible but at least he’s playing in back-to-backs now, small steps.

As for guys not performing up to par, well Parsons obviously, but Taj is getting kind of annoying too.  He’s definitely no keeper at $13-31 yo so if he doesn’t start performing he’s an easy drop, one I don’t really care about turning into $1 for life either.  Delon Wright had a great game, 22 min of 9/1/1/1/4 with a 3, but he followed it up with an 11 minute dud.  I’m going to do everything in my power to hold him but if I don’t get consistent production from him come playoff time I might not have a choice but to move on.

Finally I guess I should talk a little about attempting to abuse the Y! IL slot.  At the beginning of the week I had both Zeller and Goose as IL eligible with both soon to return and no one else to take over the IL slot.  So I went through my lineups day by day and set them all through the 1st week of the playoffs, swapping out Goose or Zeller depending on which was playing that night.  The way Y! works as long as you set your roster ahead of time then it is a legal roster even if everyone is healthy.  In the 1st week of the playoffs Goose and Zeller don’t ever play on the same day so I will get each day they play plus I don’t have to drop my 18th guy (Vonleh).  The disadvantage is that I can’t make a move, but I don’t have a 2nd drop after Vonleh anyway, and I can’t play Goose and Zeller on the same day, but they don’t anyway until Monday of the 2nd round of the playoffs.  I guess we can say I ‘Trumped’ the IL system, not illegal per se, but it feels kind of immoral.

5 Metamucil 103-56-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $5 n/a
6 High as Greg Kite 97-62-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $6 Salah Mejri Dal – C $3
They used to make this basketball encyclopedia-type book when I was growing up.  It would have player profiles for every player in the league, organized by team, with draft results, countless stats, etc.  Basically nirvana for a stats-nerd like me.  My favorite part of these annual editions would be the player summaries- and I always found myself drawn to the bios for the 12th guys/end of the bench types.  Guys like Paul Mokeski (end of career) . Guys like Greg Kite.  Guys like…Salah Mejri.

Mejri replaces the roster spot that Jarrett Jack occupied for the last 14 months- Jack contributed a total of six points, five assists and two steals over that time period before spectacularly tearing his meniscus.  So hopefully Mejri can improve upon that stellar line.  While his minutes are speculative, he’s gotten 10 per in each of the last three and contributed a block and some boards per contest.  And he’s only a month removed from a 16 pt/17 rebound outing, so there is upside if he gets PT.  The real value here of course is the morale factor, though.  I’ve landed my 12th man (or 17th man I guess), and now I’m poised to make a run.

Oh, and in other news, I also traded for LeBron.

Save for some epic collapse during this last week of the season, it looks as though I’m going to secure the six seed for the REL playoffs.  Made it to the dance baby!  Feeling good about my chances if guys stay healthy, but it would be a tough road to get to the finals.  The #3 slot appears to be a toss-up between Scurry, Yappers and Slim.  Any of those three would be a really tough win- and even if I am able to make it past the first round, I would have a matchup with clear #1 JB in the semis.

As for my trade deadline moves:

– Traded TJ Warren ($1) for LeBron.  Obviously a game changer, and gives me an added top-10 guy for the playoff run.  Hate losing Warren, who I drafted for $1 as a rookie, and is a very solid play rest of season. However, the opportunity to bag LeBron was there and I felt I needed to take it.  The DNPs will be frustrating.  Has a four-game week in the first playoff week, three-game week in the second round and a four-game week in the finals.  Assuming he sits every back-to-back, that gives me 3-2-3 games/week in the playoffs.  Still a big upgrade over full time TJ Warren.

– Traded Joe Johnson for Mike Muscala.  Muscala fell out of the rotation, so it was either drop him or find a non-keeper/veteran type to trade for, which I found in Johnson.  Of course Johnson pulled his groin and has sat the first two games I’ve owned him, but that’s as valuable as DNPs from Muscala would have been.  Maybe he gets healthy and gives me some 3s/pts.

Couple these trades with the trade for Ibaka and Rose last week, and I’m liking the squad moving forward:

PG:  Steph Curry, Rose

SG:  Harden, Bogdanovic

SF:  LBJ, Covington

PF:  Ibaka, R Anderson

C:  Whiteside, Okafor

B:  J Johnson, B Jennings, D Lee, M Harrell, T Daniels, S Mejri, J Simmons

I think my top 10 guys are as good as anyone’s- for a 20-team league not too shabby.  The elite core of Durant-less Curry, Harden, LBJ, Whiteside and Ibaka should give me a solid start in all categories (save TOs).  Covington has been playing like a top-30 guy over the last few weeks, and Bobo’s moving the needle in Washington, averaging almost 20 with over four 3’s in his last four games.  I’ve said my piece on Okafor plenty of times- he looks absolutely horrible out there in real life, but the Sixers are trying to boost his value so I think he gets the minutes.  Unless of course they think he’s playing so poorly that rolling him out there will hurt his value even further (in which case this “sore knee” will turn into a season-ender).

7 HateUsCauseTheyAnus 94-65-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $0 Norris Cole OKC – PG,SG $0
8 Martyball – IFBL 88-71-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $0 Chris McCullough Was – PF $33
9 Stranger LaVines 86-75-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $55 Furkan Korkmaz Phi – SG $0
 What a great victory for us! Dominating the league is always fun, and winning was so sweet… of course, I’m talking about FML. Oh, this is a REL Recap? That is much less exciting for us… Well, we have made a couple of trades since the last recap, so here it goes.

We traded a $5 Joe Johnson for $1 Mike Muscala – Nothing major, but we weren’t keeping JJ, so Muscala could be a cheap source of blocks next year.

We traded $4 Evan Turner, $8 Nemanja Bjelica, and $1 Will Barton for $1 Jae Crowder and $1 Anthony Tolliver – This one hurt a bit, as Barton has been our boy since he broke out a couple of years ago. He and Crowder are basically the same age, so the main question is, Who is better? Crowder is more consistent, and could be great if moved next summer. Barton may get a chance at some point, but who knows when Denver will move their other wings. We like getting Crowder back (we traded him in a win-now move when we placed 2nd a couple of years ago), so it was worth Turner and Bjelica, as we have enough cheap “meh” guys.

So heading into next season, our core is $1 Crowder, $9 Otto Porter, $1 Tyler Johnson, $6 Zach LaVine, $20 Demar DeRozan, $29 Jonas Valanciunas, $3 Allen Crabbe, $29 Elfrid Payton for a grand total of $98. Then we have several $1-5 flyers, of which we will probably keep 3-5. So around $100 for 4-6 roster spots going into next years draft, with a very strong core, and hopefully we are back in contention after missing the playoffs 2 years in a row.

Good luck to the JB Gilpin-Cola’s (since he now has like half of our team), make us proud!

10 No Glove No Love 81-73-8 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $45 n/a
11 Heat Apologist 78-84-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $40 n/a
12 I Ain’t No Jok(ic) 75-86-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $35 Tyler Ennis LAL – PG $5
 One week left, and here’s hoping I can finish a disastrous 2016/2017 season strong!

Last week may have been the most satisfying victory of the season so far. It’s not often a team outside the top 10 beats the #2 team 7-2. The only downer was that Bebe played a total of 1 minute as he fell out of the rotation post-Ibaka trade. That one hurts as he was really providing some good per 36 stats, and that front-court in Toronto is just so crowded now. I wonder if the Raptors finally realise they aren’t using JV to his potential and deal him in the off-season in order to open some cap space for all their free agents? If they do, Bebe could fill in as the 25 MPG starting center if they need it.

My general goals on a week-to-week basis for my team are to put up somewhere close to a .475/.800/60/600/225/140/50/30/70 line. I’m a well rounded team and that seems like a pretty well rounded line. I think if I can do close to those numbers in this league then I’m in pretty good shape. This week I hit on the first four, and was somewhat close on a few of the others. The only losses were in assists (against the #1 assist team by a mile), and turnovers (again). That said, my team obviously needs more assists, steals, and blocks. Those are the biggest weaknesses, and that’s where some of my draft budget will go next year. I’ll need to find myself a third point guard to go with IT2/3 and Schroder. I’ve got some options for blocks depending on how the NBA off-season shakes out with Bebe and Henson, but I imagine I’ll need a slight boost there as well.

Going into next year this is what the foundation of my team looks like.

PGs: I.Thomas ($14), Schroder ($3)

Wings: George ($31), Middleton ($1), A.Gordon ($15), Hood ($4), Hardaway ($1), T.Evans ($13)

Bigs: Jokic ($12), Love ($37), Noel ($12), Bebe ($1)

In addition to these guys that are a lock, I’ve got a bunch of wait and see guys too like Henson, Barnes, Yabusele, and Luwawu. After the WCS/Love trade I’m looking at around $50 leftover for the draft, which is less than I’d like but probably more than enough in the end. While I’m a firm believer in depth in a league like this, it’ll be pretty nice to roll out a starting 5 of IT/Middleton/George/Love/Jokic. Depending on how Middleton finishes the year, could they all be ranked top 30 next year? They’ve certainly got a shot to all be top 40. My next 5 has the potential to be pretty good for a 20 team league too, with Schroder/Hardaway/Hood/Gordon/Noel. Though all of them are pretty risky.

13 The Chosen Ones 72-85-5 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $4 n/a
14 Hoopus Alleyoopus 69-92-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $65 n/a
15 Kap’s Team 64-95-3 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $75 Lavoy Allen Ind – PF,C $2
16 Pete Nice – Razzball 55-103-4 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $50 n/a
17 Hardenoutherr4apimp 51-106-5 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
18 Foreign Affairs 52-109-1 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $3 Derrick Jones Jr. Pho – SF $1, Larry Sanders Mil – PF,C $0
Well I could write a little eulogy to Embiid this week but I’m sure everyone has already read enough on him being out for the season. The only bit I can add is, as a long time Raptors fan all the stuff Colangelo has been doing from a PR/terrible trade perspective doesn’t surprise me in the least this is the guy who’s big moves to make the Raptors a playoff team were trading for a broken down Jermaine O’Neal and outbidding Portland for Hedo Pizza and “Ball” Turkoglu (your still welcome Blazers fans). Really wish I didn’t have to deal with him again but Embiids numbers in limited time, fantastic per36 and cheap price $11 is too good to not hold onto and suffer on The Process Train, though that $11 price is looking less like a deal if you only get 31 bubble wrap games in a season.

I couldn’t come to a point were I felt comfortable finalizing any trades at the deadline this year and some poor play since new years or not enough play out of some of my players definitely hurt their market value, its going to leave me with a tough few choices come next years draft, im not in too much of a bind though because Mudiay is definitely getting cut before the draft so his $31 will put me at $64 in space which is very tempting to just dump almost all on that on the best rookie or best veteran available and run it back with the rest of my young squad.

The major developments for my team over the past week have been the continued upwards swing of Russell and Clarkson, there’s rumors now that Clarkson might be moved into the starting lineup at sg which is exciting because if he succeeds there it takes his long term value to a whole other level, while Russell giving me that 20-4-6 with threes and stls an looking a real NBA pg really helps after the Mudiay disaster this year, glad I bought low on him when he was in Byron’s doghouse last year. Skal got a start against the Nets which is a pretty big deal since he looked good offensively even if Lopez bullied him pretty bad on defense, all the reporting i’ve read is that Skal is working really hard and was upset at being to weak to hold position on Lopez so fingers crossed this stash works out, helps that Joerger doesn’t like Willie at PF, for good reason and the more I see of Skal the more he reminds me of string bean Chris Bosh back in 03-04.

I finally got some free agents added to my roster this week, one of whom in Larry Sanders I went to add a few weeks ago when he was still not on Yahoo but forgot about checking back lol. Luckily the wire priority was in my favor, and dumping D-Mo and his massive waste of FAAB contract was an easy choice after the Pelicans got Cousins. I was burned in fantasy by both Sanders broken hand/broken face season and I’m quiting basketball season but he was a fantastic shotblocker and offensive rebounder when things were going well and if he has sorted things out for himself personally he could be a Whiteside like pickup for me which is worth the gamble when the best thing anyone can say about my center crew right now is that Zubac, “may” start at “some” point this year.

I’m also glad I was willing to toss $1 of my little $4  FAAB budget to outbid for Derrick Jones Jr. Let go of Edy which is fine with Larry replacing his spot on the depth chart. The Suns look like there finally starting to go with a youth movement there’s a spot as a backup wing open for him and while his shooting isn’t very good and his offensive skills are lacking his speed and athleticism are fantastic and he just turned 20 last month. It’s a gamble but on a team that needs to prioritize development with Chriss, Bender, Booker and Ulis if they want to be good at some point, it feels like the right kind of environment to take a gamble on the athletic wing lacking basketball skills.

Im hoping I catch the Chosen ones on a bad week so with a little luck I can jump up to be King of the bottom 5 to end the year but at worst i’ll just take not being in the bottom 2.

19 The Nature Boy 48-112-2 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a
20 Cigar Smoking Monkey 48-114-0 Waiver Adds Past Week:
FAAB Remaining: $100 n/a

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  1. Mr. Green says:
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    I feel like Heat Apologist took the words right out of my mouth JB. Granted, I think I had better spacing between the paragraphs then he did, but still…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Mr. Green: My bad, on an old computer and doing an expert auction draft with CBS and not able to fix these up right haha. Stupid traveling! Will try and fix later, I did get you to the right team tho

        • Mr. Green says:
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          @JB Gilpin: Nice. I didn’t notice until I finished reading my update and the next team was me, haha. Hope the draft went well for you!

          • JB Gilpin

            JB Gilpin says:
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            @Mr. Green: Hah thanks man, yeah I think I did pretty well, I’ll prob put a recap up this week. Auctions are just always so long and need your undivided attention haha

  2. Mr. Green says:
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    Foreign Affairs: I had a $5 bid on Jones as I really like the kid, but, I like point guards more and I am hoping to see Ennis get a solid chance to play now so I had him at the top of my list. Those D stats on Jones could be real nice though! Nice grab.

    Slim: WTF??!!?? Sneaky, haha…

    Yappers: Since I have this already, by my count actual games played excluding injuries and DNP-CD (so only guys that got in a game) was 45 for me and 52 for you, which surprised me a bit.

    Also, it’s nice to see all 6 playoff teams really going for it this year. I know in the past the lower seeded teams almost seemed to be backing in some times, trading the present away for the future at the deadline even though they were still in it. This should be a good hard fought postseason this year from all 6 teams!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Mr. Green: Yeah man, I’m excited for the playoffs, every matchup should be a good battle

    • Slim

      Slim says:
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      @Mr. Green: Yeah I know… I’m not hiding it at least… I mostly just wanted to say it so people know how it works. I’m not sure we can stop it either since it’s a Yahoo thing.

      I’m kicking myself a bit for adding Vonleh instead Jones last week. Vonleh is garbage but his minutes seemed a little more secure at the time. Either way if I make a run at the title I’d have to drop one of them along the way.

      I had a few opportunities to sell for more win now types but I couldn’t do it and no one seems to want Parsons or Delon so fine. Hopefully what I have is enough.

      • JB Gilpin

        JB Gilpin says:
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        @Mr. Green: @Slim: If Parsons can be half of what he was the second half last year for 17-18, he’ll def be a great value

        • Foreign Affairs says:
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          @Mr. Green: @Slim: @JB Gilpin: Yeah I’m happy to could add Jones to the roster still, the Lou Will trade has really helped out my pg spot and I think I have enough project bigs for the offseason so Jones and his defensive stats potential help build on what little I have on the wing already in MKG.

          I thought about sending an offer for Parsons but he’s been so bad this year and spends so much time partying with teenagers, I mean 18 year olds. He did admit that he sucks right now though and “Look, I signed a four-year deal. I didn’t sign a one-year deal. The team expectations for me are to go very slow. It’s going to be a long process.”

          Just got to Trust the Process Slim, its a fun train to be with a free vague medical reports buffet and lots of social media.

  3. Lasandro says:
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    May as well mention here that Lou Will, MoHark and Baze are up for grabs.. me needs a good assists mam!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Lasandro: Well you gotta sell em after the year now, trade deadline passed 🙁

  4. Pavel says:
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    Do you drop any of these:
    Ulis/HollisJefferson/WilliCauliflowerStein/Ish

    for any of these:
    Justin Anderson/Kosta/Kilpatrick?

    whatchu really think tho?

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @Pavel: Ehhhhhh, maybe considering Ish for Kilpatrick, but I hate the Mess. Not a big fan of the others, and Ish still got some dimes yesterday. Actually, yeah I would just hold

  5. miles proudfoot says:
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    Hey! Nice work on the #1 spot!

    After the Lowry injury, I’m chasing assists a bit. Focusing on assists and d-stats, Dont care about %s, points or 3s. picked up Broggy and Ish, in a moment of panic I dropped Big Sauce. Can hopefully get him back for boards, steals and blocks!

    What do you think of Broggy going forward in terms of assists? With Giannis and other ball handlers, seems like he’s not getting much even as a starter. Would Nelson, Yogi, Delly, DWilliams, Lin, Lawson ot even Iggy be better plays than Broggy and Ish?

    Thanks!

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @miles proudfoot: Thanks man! Hopefully it translates to the title! Oh damn, well those PG should be good band aids, but Big Sauce is so Big! Haha. I might nab Yogi over Broggy or Ish just because the trust in minutes, even though he’s super low upside. Although he helps in treys which isn’t a help… Meh, might just hold

  6. BILL BLAST says:
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    That Portland Vs Minnesota game better not get rescheduled for next week!

    I’m tee’d up for round 1, the team I’m going against has Lillard, Harkless & Wiggins!

    I’d rather them not have the extra game within 03/13-03/19

    Just a random thought. Nobody is talking about how BIG that make up game could be…

    • JB Gilpin

      JB Gilpin says:
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      @BILL BLAST: Yeah I followed that silliness yesterday, but you’re totally right, prob shoulda put it in the notes I just wrote and it could have a big impact. They need to get bigger mops there in minesota! Haha

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