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I’m going to warn you all ahead of time; this article will be filled with cliches about winning… Fortunately, many of them apply to fantasy, particularly dynasty leagues. That being said, let’s dive into the keys to success!

  • Winning is all that matters.

Yes, I know this seems obvious, however, a surprising amount of dynasty owners in all sports get carried away with upside and forget about winning. This is particularly the case in baseball, but basketball owners are not immune to this lackadaisical approach. At the end of the day, nobody cares how much upside your team is going to have a couple years from now.

I’m not advising against young players, but you have to keep things in perspective. I’m not advising against drafting rookies, but you have to make sure to keep a balance between upside and actual production. Yes, you want that underrated guy that could be a superstar someday, but you also want to have those boring veterans that put up stats. Consistency is key.

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Feb 8, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) smiles on the court in the game against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Oklahoma City won 122- 106. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports

I apologize for the click-bait title right away. However, the sentiment is correct, since Westbrook will go too high to be drafted by the savvy fantasy owner.

“Why is this??” You ask incredulously. Good question! I’ll tell you!

I absolutely love Westbrook in real life. He plays with a passion that rivals the likes of Bryant, Iverson, the original Isaiah Thomas, and many other greats. However, he will kill your fantasy team. I’m sure you can already guess why, but hear me out.

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Ellenson

Last week for my debut piece for Razzball, I bought you my dynasty rookie rankings part 1. And what better way to follow up than bringing part 2, in which I cover my rankings from 21-40, delving deeper into the nitty gritty of those players likely to come at more of a bargain price.

If you read last week’s article, you will know the reasons why I will be reaching for Wade Baldwin and Deyonta Davis and in this article you will find more targets that I will be looking to aggressively draft come season start.

In traditional fashion (or following up from last week) I will bring you my favorite target, my top stash, my safe pick and the player I will be avoiding from each multiple of 10, but remember opinions are like assholes, we all have one (and any opinion shared here is that of my own, and not representative of Razzball in its entirety).

Let’s quit the jibber-jabber and get straight to the beef with the rookies I have ranked 21-40:

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ben simmons

The basketball season may still be 2 months away, but it is never too early to start the research for your fantasy dynasty rookie rankings. We have already seen a wild off-season, what with the crazy free agency period, a period in which Kevin Durant found a new home; the NBA draft – a draft which was one of the most unpredictable in years; and Olympic basketball, in which we saw a spirited Serbian team pick up a silver medal against the odds.

In this article I will be looking at the long term value of those rookies selected in this year’s NBA draft, and how I rank their long-term future in the NBA for all of you in dynasty leagues. This year’s draft class is not as top heavy as previous seasons, but still brings a lot of intrigue nonetheless. This article will feature my top 20 picks, be sure to check out next week’s edition where I dive into my 21-40 picks.

Remember that these are dynasty league rankings, so are focused on the future from a talent/upside perspective for fantasy, rather than that of immediate impact in the NBA.

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Finally, we’ve got some action to break down on the court! And what better venue than the Summer League, where raw NBA rooks and sophs go to strut their stuff and get fantasy basketballers needlessly excited. Remember all the Mario Hezonja hype last Summer League?! Hopefully I did pretty well to quash that! Wow, surprised I was right that “quash” was a word… I thought people were just saying squash too fast!

But one guy I definitely don’t want to squash/quash is second-year PG Cameron Payne. We were pretty big on this guy coming out of the draft last year, and he really surprised as a rookie overtaking D.J. Augustin as the backup to Russell Westbrook by going 14.6/4.4/5.6/1.9/0.3 in per-36 during 2015-16, with only 2.3 TO. He didn’t shoot particularly well (41%), but a lot of that was due to nearly 40% of his shots being treys. In his one start of 2015-16, he went 17/3/7 against the Spurs who shockingly weren’t resting anyone.

In the Orlando Summer League which wrapped a couple days ago, Payne led the league in scoring at 18.8 Pts a game, averaging 4 AST to only 2.5 TO. Not huge in the AST total, but that’s a ton of usage for a very few giveaways. The deep ball was still a little meh only going 4-14 from the perimeter, but he did have a 14-14 FT game in there. The Thunder squad (or quad, maybe?) went 4-0 in the games he played, and Payne looks primed for a bigger role with OKC.

With all the talk on Russell Westbrook being shopped (and even if he isn’t traded pre-season, a deadline deal would be very likely), a lot of focus has been on what newly acquired Victor Oladipo could do. No Westbrook and no other big-time creators would obviously be big for RainbOladipo. But lost in that noise is what it would mean for Cameron Payne. I think he’d all but certainly shift into the starting line-up (or at least near-starting minutes, if they still wanted to start Andre Roberson), and give a nice low-TO line with a handful of dimes and steals. The FG% might be lacking, but he would become a top-80ish asset in my mind. So while visions of sugarplums and rainbow lines for Oladipo might cloud your Christmas Eve dreams if Westy is traded, don’t forget about the huge opportunity it would give Major Payne. Here’s what else has caught my eye thus far during 2016’s Summer Ball:

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Man, crazypants Thursday night!  I know what you’re all thinking…  “A live reaction to the madness would be better!”  Well, hopefully you downloaded and listened to our Draft Day Live Podcast!  If not, listen to it while reading this if you have a fluky-good, multi-tasking mind.  It’s tough for me to read while listening to a Podcast, it’s like that feeling when someone just starts shouting random numbers at you when you’re trying to count.  1-2-3-4-5 “17!” 6-7-8 “22!” 8… 8…  ugh, I lost my spot!  Assholes…

The first 9 picks went fairly unsurprisingly, although we did miss on virtually everything in our Mock Draft.  Pretty sure I beat Slim 2-1 overall (edit – ugghhhh Slim’s right he got Zizic, we tied, ahhhhh!)!  Then when the Bucks made their 10th pick…  All hell broke loose!  Dudes I joked around about as 2nd round sleepers getting picked in the lottery, Suns making baller trades, someone’s twitter getting hacked…  Oh wait, that was the NFL draft.  I guess it wasn’t quite THAT crazy!  Here’s my analysis for each rookie’s fantasy impact, along with my grade for each team’s pick in a real-life context and my guess at where each rookie will rank in my 2016-17 redraft rankings to come out this summer:

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The drought is over, the drought is over! Cleveland has finally won a sports championship after 50 some odd years, including the world of fiction where the Indians couldn’t even win in Major League. Remember when CLE fans were burning their LeBron jerseys? Ah, how things have changed… And a good excuse for me to show my graphic representation of when LeBron was re-signed and his introduction press conference!

LeBron Gets New Cavs Jersey

Wow, things change in 2+ years, including my eye at graphic design! At least I hope! I remember that was pretty hard to put together too…

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As we prep for the 2016 NBA Draft in a mere week, I’ve noticed that some of the buzziest guys we didn’t draft in Slim and I’s (grammar police!) 2016 NBA Mock Draft have some absolutely awesome names.  And what do you think of when you hear absolutely awesome male names?  Porn stars of course!  So I dedicated a little mini-series to the under-the-radar draft day names that could sneak their way into the first round and have some deep league 2016-17 fantasy impact.

In our results for Diamond Stone: Better Porn Star or NBA Career – we had an overwhelming 91.7% of voters say better porn star!

Ok, ok, ok, this one probablyyyyyy shouldn’t count.  I know like 10% of you are like, “why is Chevy Chase’s son from Vegas Vacation in the draft?!”, but no, we’re taking a look at Papa Georgio from Greece, Georgios Papagiannis.  Who’s hungry for a Greek pizza?!

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As we prep for the 2016 NBA Draft in a mere two weeks, I’ve noticed that some of the buzziest guys we didn’t draft in Slim and I’s (grammar police!) 2016 NBA Mock Draft have some absolutely awesome names.  And what do you think of when you hear absolutely awesome male names?  Porn stars of course!  So I dedicated a little mini-series to the under-the-radar draft day names that could sneak their way into the first round and have some deep league 2016-17 fantasy impact.

In our results for Thon Maker: Better Porn Star or NBA Career – we’re at 75.9% better Porn Star!

So I typo-ed his name in the title “Diamond Stones”, and almost left it due to how it fits the series…

But in all seriousness, we’re here to talk about Diamond Stone!  Singular!  But if he did have two kids, he could say he has two little Stones…  This is too fun!

Please, blog, may I have some more?

As we prep for the 2016 NBA Draft in a mere two weeks, I’ve noticed that some of the buzziest guys we didn’t draft in Slim and I’s (grammar police!) 2016 NBA Mock Draft have some absolutely awesome names. And what do you think of when you hear absolutely awesome male names? Porn stars of course! So I dedicated a little mini-series to the under-the-radar draft day names that could sneak their way into the first round and have some deep league 2016-17 fantasy impact.

To kick this series off – have you ever done the thing where you figure out what “your” porn star name would be? It’s your middle name as your first name, and the street you grew up on as your last name. Mine is “Brock Eastway”. How baller is that?! Share your own names below!

Consistently ranked just outside the first round (yeah, there’s no smooth transition here!), 7’1 Thon Maker has been making some noise recently as a draft day riser. The most recent buzz is the Pistons are apparently raving about the guy, and might consider nabbing him at 18th. Pretty big news for a guy that wasn’t even sure he would get declared eligible by the NBA when he announced he wanted to enter the draft on April 3rd. He’s 19, but didn’t play in the NCAA, instead staying at his high school as a “post-graduate” student. Yeah, it’s called failing high school… I dunno how anyone bought that!

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