I’ve always thought that Tyler, the Creator, was an interesting dude. Successful for reasons we may not understand. Funky styles, outlandish videos that only make sense while inebriated, using words and facial expressions that would get us all slapped by our mothers. The Tyler you should be picking up for you fantasy team is a little different, or a lot different, but the same in more ways than you may think… Actually, the more I think about it, the two of them really have nothing in common other than the fact that we don’t understand their monetary successes, but Tyler Johnson is missing a ton of teeth and refuses to get them replaced, something Tyler, the Creator, would probably endorse.

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There will come a time when you  look back and regret not taking the plunge and picking up a player, who at this point in time, is averaging just 10 minutes a game. That time spent on the court has amassed stats of four points and three rebounds on under three shots per outing. The thing is, if we dig a little deeper, over the last seven days, a span of merely three games, this same player is averaging 13 minutes per contest, with 7.5 points, 3.3 boards, 1 steal, and 1.3 blocks on 78% shooting. Come again…. 78% shooting? Yes sirs and small group of ladies.

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My spidey senses be tingling, mingling, and straight up singling. Injuries are among us and we must act… fast. Like BOOM! Fast Actin’ Tinactin on a fungus toenail preparing for battle. John Madden would be proud. Nothing gets Madden going more than some popcorn, turducken, Brett Favre, and toe fungus. Injuries have come and will come Ray, they most definitely will come, and when they do, you best be ready to hit the wire harder than Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. ALL PUNS INTENDED BABY!!!!

 

Let’s get to it.

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Am I a few months too early on my title? Yup! Do I know Thanksgiving is on the mend? Yup! Am I talking about Denzel Valentine? Yup! Did we all just become best friends? Hell ya we did. Like Denzel Washington, Denzel Valentine is efficient, reliable to perform when called upon, and a jack of all trades. Some of the best movies of Washington’s era have won slews of awards. He has won 39 total awards in his career, including three Golden Globes and two Academy Awards. Denzel Valentine? He was the Lansing State Journal Player of the Year as a senior in High School, George Alderton Male Athlete of the Year (Michigan State award), The AP National Player of the Year, The Big 10 Player of the year, and a 1st Team All-American all in his senior year of college. Between these two Denzel’s we have a ton of awards to talk about, both on and off the court. Today, we talk about Denzel of the Bulls from House Chicago. Yes, I am re watching Game of Thrones for the 3rd time and that’s just the way I speak now.

He sure got game

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Back when I was a youngun and not lazy as hell, I used to play in a pickup basketball game, mostly of men 10+ years older than me. There was an older guy, Lou, who came to play in full gear. Wrist bands, knee braces, slicked back silver hair. He would bring up the ball, run the point, fake passes that fooled nobody, wave his finger around like he was running a play, the whole kit and caboodle. The only thing he lacked were rec-specs. He even hit the occasional flat footer from the top of the key. When Lou scored, the whole place sighed, making the defender feel like shit. At the end of the game, Lou would take off his shirt, wipe down his sweat, make you feel like you’re in a public pool locker room, zip up his nylon jacket, and wish everyone a good evening. He also cursed like a trucker and set the most illegal picks known to man.

Kind of like this guy

Something about Lou Williams reminds me of good ol’ Lou. When Williams comes off the bench, you know he’s shooting, but you can’t stop it. He takes some shots that make you close your eyes, yet, he’s draining them. He plays every game like it’s a revenge game, and his stat line somehow never disappoints. Williams is 17 points, 2.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 2.2 3PM per game, shooting 45% from the field and over 90% from the line. Those are useful numbers. It makes no sense to me whatsoever that he’s available in leagues across America. We’re talking about a guy with multi-positional eligibility, who’s been unconscious from all over the floor, especially the last week or so, and he’s not virtually owned. Now, maybe, just maybe, the only reason why I have him as my man pots and pans this week is because I wanted to write about my boy Lou from back in the day, but, please, go out and pick up Lou Will asap, because dude is going Jon H-A-M every, single, night.

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One of my preseason infatuations was Bogdan Bogdanovic. I still believe that, as the season continues, the Euro-Vet will carve out a tremendous role for the Kings and secure his place on fantasy rosters. His teammates are amazed by his poise and demeanor, as if he is a 10-year veteran. On the other hand, I admittedly didn’t think I would be rostering his namesake Bojan Bogdanovic on my rosters everywhere. So yes, they may not be brothers by blood, but how similar of a name does it take to make them say, step brothers. I mean, not only do they have the same surname, they kind of look alike.

Brennan Huff and Dale Doback were officially “step brothers”, but the only thing they had in common was their love for karate and Good Housekeeping magazine. Bojan and Bogdan both play basketball, are from some foreign country or another, and currently play in the NBA for small market teams.

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Everyone has their favorite game when they were a child. You know, back in the good old days when we didn’t have iPads or on-demand. I had a palm-pilot once, but not until I was in 8th grade. We used to go outside and play ball or play those random games that ended in you ripping your school pants and getting yelled at by Mom. We used to play capture the flag, red light-green light, red-rover. I always liked hide and seek. High pressure to find a safe and secure hiding spot in under a minute. Usually having home-field advantage was essential, because no one knows your laundry room better than you. That shady closet in your basement that leads to nowhere? Ya, you’re the only one brave enough to step foot. There was no better feeling than hearing your friends give up on finding you and then deciding whether to give up your place or wait for them to leave, so you can use it again down the road. This may not bring back memories for all of you, but I’m getting goosebumps just wishing I was 7 years old again. 

 

There’s a player hiding on your waiver wire that not only will make you feel old but will also likely get hurt jumping off the monkey bars. Tyreke Evans and his brittle bones is once again fantasy relevant. Some people may even wonder where Evans now plays. Is he back in Sacramento, is he supporting the Boogie & Brow in New Orleans? Boogie & Brow… my next restaurant idea name. Constant blues music and southern comfort food, but the catch is, only people with unibrows are allowed to enter.

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Mike James. Talk about a blast from the past. This guy was the ultimate backup PG with some random, formative, fantasy friendly seasons. From 1998-2015, James played for 10 different franchises including two stints with the Bulls and Mavericks. 12 teams in 17 years. If I had a poster child for steroids in the NBA, Mike James would be my man. He never averaged over 11.8 PPG and 4.2 AST. He literally was the perfect backup. Come in for 20 minutes a game, play off the ball at times, start 10+ times per year due to injury or rest. Scratch that, only the pansies of this decade take games off for rest. But for one single season in 2005, playing across the border for the Raptors of Toronto, Mike James not only started 79 games, he averaged 20.3 points with 5.8 assists at the ripe old age of 30. If that’s not the Barry Bonds of basketball, I don’t know what is. This wasn’t in the era where everyone was hitting 20 homers, or rather averaging 20 points a game, but rather during a time where defense was still being played, a ton of draft picks were at least 2 year college players, or Lebron James, and Dwight Howard was the next big thing, besides Lebron James. So Mike James, take a bow, because no one has uttered your name since that blurb about you playing in Turkey in 2011… until now.

Take a bow, Mike

When you google Mike James NBA, two wikipedia pages pop up. Mike James (basketball, born 1975) and Mike James (basketball, born 1990). The Mike James I want to discuss is the 27 year old PG for the Phoenix Suns. This Mike James was one of the best high school players in Oregon his senior year yet found himself stuck at DIII East Arizona College. He then found his way to Lamar University. No relation to Lamar Odom, or any of the Ball brothers, although I would not be shocked if Lavar had something do with Lamar Odom and his University. He actually had a fantastic senior year, but from the years 2012 until now, James, Mike James, has played in Croatia, Israel, Italy, Greece, and Spain. Five countries in three years. Now, who has two thumbs and finds himself on the verge of being on your fantasy team?

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I swear, I performed all the searches I possibly could. I looked through thesauruses. Or is it therausrus’s? Thesaurasites? San Diegons? I looked at all the dictionaries, even the urban ones, and nothing, I mean nothing, rhymes with Kuzma. Try it. We’re talking about the rise of Kyle Kuzma. Everyone is all over the Kuz-train. Will he start? Will he be the sixth-man? Will he stop dominating? Well, he finally had an off game as the preseason concluded, but some of the moves he was pulling for the Staples Center crowd were magnificent. The problem with Kuzma is that the hype train has left the station. ESPN has moved him up in their rankings to 88th overall. That’s a major jump from being undrafted merely weeks ago. Do we trust this second round pick to be a stud for the entirety of the season? That’s the biggest question. Bigger surprises have happened. Draymond Green and Malcolm Brogdon are two recent rookies to outshine their draft day position, so it’s not crazy to think Kuzma could be in for a big rookie campaign. With that all said, Kuzma is too far “on the radar” to slip beyond the glory. So today we talk about two Lakers I have targeted all over. Two Lakers who’s hype train has stalled and taken a backseat to that of Kuzma’s. And no, neither of them have a father who will haunt your fantasy team if you don’t play his son.

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There’s a famous song for people who have clear cases of either “no-first-name” or “no-last-name” disorder. You may know it.  Let’s take Paul George for example. Paul George, Paul George… no last name, no last name… you can call him Paul, you can call him George… no last name, no last name. Well the lyrics are entirely true, because, in fact, he has no last name. For those who don’t know what the hell I’m spewing, it works really well to the tune of Frère Jacques. If you don’t know what that is, you had a deprived childhood and should let your parents know about it… in disgust. There have been some other star-studded players in the NBA with no last name. Chris Paul, Ray Allen, Bill Russell… oh did I forget Michael Jordan? There is something in the water with these surnames, it’s called basketball-jones, or Michael’s secret stuff.

There is one player’s name that I just can’t seem to figure out. Not God Shammgod, Fennis Dembo, or Pooh Richardson. Not Yinka Dare, Uwe Blab, or Fat Lever. (All of those are real names). I am talking about my next candidate for your Beyond the Glory viewing. Bogdan Bogdanovic. A name that sounds like a mix between your neighbor’s schnitzer-poodle and my grandmother’s bunyan medication. The thing is, Bogdan is a damn good basketball player and could be coming to a fantasy team near you, very soon. This name sounds familiar, you may be saying to yourself. Was this the name of the dish I ate at the local Turkish eatery last night? Is that the sound a horse makes while on it’s death bed? Is that the native tongue of Borat? All valid questions. It sounds familiar because there has already been a Bogdanovic in the NBA for some time. Bojan Bogdanovic broke into the league in 2014 with the Nets and now finds himself on the Pacers roster after a brief playoff run with the Wizards last year. He’s been a nice player, only useful for fantasy purposes when he goes on 3PM binges. But today we focus on his 25 year old brother, and recent signing of the Sacramento Kings.

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