Happy 2017, Razzball Nation!
After immense pressure from the DA’s office to flip on Tommy DeVito and Paulie Cicero, [redacted] needed protection to secure his testimony in putting those good fellas away. It didn’t start on the best foot either, as the WitSec guys asked [redacted] if he had any distinguishing marks and he lied about his tattoos… But the man formerly known as [redacted] changed his name to the very inconspicuous James Johnson, and moved his family to Miami. After being a humbling under-the-radar role player, Johnson was supposed to continue as merely a minutes-filler, amongst an uninteresting mix of PF to get through the tough void of losing Chris Bosh. He’s supposed to just shy away from dunk attempts and stand around on offense…
Well, way to ruin that, Johnson! We can’t protect you no more! An absolute monster weekend from Johnson, going 22/3/6/2/2 against the Celtics on Friday night with 4 treys, then followed it up with 20/7/3/1/1 against the Pistons. After a rough stretch of FT last week, he made 6-7 in these games too. With the added onus on O (no Goran Dragic or Justise Winslow OR Hassan Whiteside last night), he is turning it over a little too much (8 total in these two games), but with all the injuries and a void in playmaking on the Heat right now, Johnson is as erect as ever. He’s playing SF, PF, and even some C right now, so while we shouldn’t expect the 34 minutes like he got against the Pistons, he should be pretty solidified in his 25ish MPG role even when everyone is healthy. He’s gotta be a must-own in all leagues while this hot, as he has brazenly blown his cover. Hopefully no one recognizes him as [redacted]! Here’s what else went down over New Year’s weekend in fantasy basketball action:
Michael Carter-Williams – Whoaaaaaa, starting off daily notes in 2017 with a bang! In the battle of who sucks worse, Hoiberg is now starting MCW over Rajon Rondo (who Hoiberg said “looked slow”). On Friday, Rondo had his last start and only got 11 minutes, with MCW going 12/8/1/0/1 in 27 minutes off the pine; then Saturday Hoiberg gave Rondo a DNP-CD, and MCW went a blistering 4/1/4/3/1 in 25 starting minutes. 2 TO each in both games, and while Rondo is refuting any injuries and MCW isn’t very good, I might take a stab at MCW in 12er 8-cat leagues or deeper.
Jeff Teague – Was huge on Friday despite 2-12 shooting, going 7/6/17/2/0 then survived a kankle scare last night going 12/3/9/1/1. Lots of surviving for JT!
Trey Burke – In the existential absurdity that is life – and more specifically sports – we get anomalies like Trey Burke going scoreless in back-to-back games then going 27/2/2/2/0 on 10-12 shooting with 5-5 treys Friday night. Brooklyn Mess defense! …and no Bradley Beal (kankle). It might be a few more for Beal, but there’s a million ThrAGNOFs I would rather stream…
Justise Winslow – After a dreadful few games, got back on track with a 11/9/6/0/1 line on Friday, then derailed again with a shoulder injury last night… He apparently tweaked it on the last play against the C’s on Friday; while it’s not a long-term injury, man he’s tough to hold.
Josh Richardson – For as cold as Miami and J-Rich’s shot has been this year, it’s time to heat things up! Absolute monster game Friday for 19/6/8/4/2 with 2 treys, then usable-enough 14/1/8/2/0 with 2 more treys last night. Not a must-own in 10ers I don’t think, but I’d make strides to try. If you nabbed him in RCLs though, you’re giddy with joy!
Isaiah Thomas – Speaking of giddy, my REL superstar put up my lucky number on Friday night! What a way to end 2016! 15-26 FG with 9 treys and 13-13 FT for 52/2/0/1/0. Hey, when you’re that efficient, you can be a ball hog and not get any dimes as the PG!
Jon Leuer – Marcus Morris got a DNP Friday, helping Leuer go 22/6/1/2/0 with 2 treys and no TO for one of the best lines in his career. Then Morris was back, and ish like that James Johnson block happened to poor Leuer… 2/3/3/0/0 yesterday. Both Leuer and Morris are annoying and not must-owns in 12ers.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – KCP addiction in full force! If my New Year’s resolution was to kick my KCP habit (which it wasn’t!), I wouldn’t have been able to lay off after last night! 23/6/5/2/0 on 9-15 shooting, and played with this air of assertiveness that has me thinking there’s still more and more upside to his game. If the dyno price is right, I would make some offers.
Kristaps Porzingis – Well, if the dyno price was right for The Goose, I would make offers here too! Hah, Goose is prolly untouchable, he’s a monster. PorzinGod for 21/12/3/2/2 with no TO Friday night, but did have to sit with a sore Achilles Saturday. He said it’s no big…
Brandon Jennings – With Courtney Lee (wrist) also sitting Saturday, New Year’s eve got a super BJ! And I don’t mean that kind of BJ, although nothing blew on New Year’s Eve as hard as Mariah Carey! 32/5/7/0/1 in the uptempo loss to the Rockets, with 3 treys. Mannnnn, I’m lucky I streamed him in a few leagues. I just circle the Rockets for streaming and let er ride!
Carmelo Anthony – Also helped BJ that Melo had knee soreness going into that game, and had to leave early. It’s the same knee that cost over half of 14-15’s game… Gulp.
Justin Holiday – Had a pretty sneaky weekend, going 8/7/4/0/1 Friday then 15/6/0/4/0 Saturday. Hit 5 total treys, and if the minutes can stay 25+, can be an under-the-radar 3-n-d stream option.
James Harden – Whoa. Putting the Knicks back into their place as The Poppycockers! After his typical brand of awesome of 30/13/10/5/1 on a mad efficient 10-15 shooting against the Clippers, went for a historic 53/16/17 with 9 treys against the PoppyC’s. First player in NBA history to go 50/15/15 and tied Wilt for the most points in a tripdub. Shoulda been my #1, but #2 ain’t bad!
Montrezl Harrell – Fits with Harden way better than Nene, getting a huge 29/3/3/1/1 line Friday with no TO, then 13/4/4 Saturday. Shot a combined 16-21. I was never that big on his game when he hit the NBA last year, but he’s big and quick, and fits the pick-n-roll with Harden exceedingly well. Easy to be a FG% monster when almost all your shots are easy layups and dunks served on a platter to you.
Tyreke Evans – Followed up a nice Wednesday showing by going 16/5/4 with 2 treys Friday against the PoppyC’s with only 1 TO. That was in only 18 minutes too. I still worry about re-injury and how many minutes he can handle, but needs to be owned in most leagues now.
Raymond Felton – Well, someone had to benefit (with so many Clips hurt) with the matchup against the Houston Rockets… “Did someone say Betty Crockers?!” No, Raymond, stop thinking about baked goods! 26/5/8/1/0 with 4 treys on 10-20 shooting, then a semi-usable 9/2/4/1/0 with a trey on Saturday. I mentioned sometime recently he’s been sneakily efficient, which is ironic given his full frame stature.
Marreese Speights – The ace of Speights! 15/7 with 2 blocks Friday then 18/4 Saturday with 6 total treys in the 2 games. It’s pretty empty, big man ThrAGNOF ala Mirza Teletovic (when he got minutes), but that’s usable to some teams!
Brandon Bass – Deep league special (and now REL bias for JB!), off a 18/6/0/0/1 line in some garbage minutes against the Thunder. That said, Wesley Johnson‘s ankle flared up again (only 2 minutes Saturday), leaving all the other PF minutes for Paul Pierce (give him CPR!) and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute (can I buy a vowel?!). Interesting option while Blake Griffin is out for the deepers.
Andrew Wiggins – Chipping in a few extra stats! 31/6/5/1/0 Friday, then 24/5/1/1/0 yesterday. Had 5 TO yesterday though, after a really efficient streak…
Shabazz Muhammad – 22 points Friday in the blowout win, then 12/6/0/1/0 last night, with 6 total treys. Hot ThrAGNOF! Although he’s more of only a POINTSnof…
Kris Dunn – Something tells me they don’t teach you this move at basketball camp…
I don’t blame Shabazz Napier for his reaction of “what the f was that?!”
Kawhi Leonard – Had to sit a few games this past week after eating a questionable burrito, giving Jonathon Simmons added run and USG on Friday for 19/3/2/0/2. Kawhi promptly returned last night and Simmons promptly returned to a marginal bench role. Kawhi was rusty for only 13/4/2/1/1 on 3-12 shooting, but he hit a key 3 to keep it close in the final minute, had a game-winner spin off the rim twice at the end of regulation, then was clearly fouled on a drive at the end of OT. He’ll be fine this week.
Tony Parker – Will only be fine this week if he slept last night in an ice bath! 32 minutes for 22/3/6 for the elderly Frenchman, who has 18+ points the last 3 games. He’s appropriately available on a lot of wires, but I could see giving him a few games on your RCL roster.
T.J. McConnell – Got a start sans-Sergio Rodriguez (kankle, but doesn’t sound too serious for White Chocolate), going 17/2/8 against the Nugs in a win. Dapper Dan isn’t worth owning when Sergio is around though…
Dwight Powell – So this makes sense, has his most prototypical C game with all the Cs healthy! 10/13 with 2 blocks against the Warriors, although that actually does make sense… Warriors love their small-ball C play. And Andrew Bogut actually didn’t play to rest. Meh no way you can trust Powell – or any big for that matter – on this squad.
JaMychal Green – This is the J-Mike we like! After a great game on Thursday, 18/7/4/1/0 with no TO Saturday, with 4 treys and shooting 7-9 FG. Worth an add in virtually all leagues if he was left out there.
Chandler Parsons – Bouncing back?!?!?! 7/1/2/1/0 with a trey in a pretty epic line for Chandler Parsons in 2016-17… Hey, at least we ended 2016 on an upswing! Marc Gasol…? Did not. 0-6 for Marcy Marc in 21 minutes against the Kings for only 2/2/2/0/0 before leaving with an ankle sprain. Apparently he could’ve come back if it were dire, so we might not see any DNPs, or maybe only 1-2 at most.
Matt Barnes – Bleh. 20/8/3/0/0 in that Grizzlies loss, and had 5 treys. Too many other guys worth owning to have him anything more than a streamer…
Darren Collison – …for example, get Colly back on your rosters if you can! Ty Lawson was held to under 10 minutes on Saturday night after sustaining an injury to “face”, Rotoworld said… Hah. Suffered a “stable, non-displaced maxillary sinus fracture” so a cheek fracture near his nose I think… Slim, where’s our Razzball Basketball doctor?!?! Maybe Doctor G can help here more too… But it might not be a long absence and Lawson could wear a mask… Anywho, Colly went 16/4/2/0/0 on 8-16 shooting in 39 minutes that game. At the very least, Colly should have big minutes the next few games.
Malcolm Brogdon – One of the stories of the weekend! Matthew Dellavedova picked a bad time to pull a hammy! DellaV missed the whole weekend, with Brogdon going 11/4/4/1/0 with a trey Friday then tripdub alert! 15/11/12/0/0 with a trey Saturday. That said, 3 TO, no D stats, no FT that game… Of course add Brogdon where you can based off this game, but I still think this will be an annoying time share when DellaV is back.
Jabari Parker – The breakout continueth! 20/6/3/2/0 then 27/5/3/1/1 over the weekend. Wish I bought in more this year…
Giannis Antetokounmpo – I bought in plenty here! I didn’t do any redraft auction leagues, or else I think I would’ve bought a lot of Giannis… 35/9/7/2/7 on an absolutely epic night dismantling the rival Bulls on Saturday, hitting 13-19 FG, a trey, and 8-11 FT. Wow.
Jordan McRae – Interesting, I had a backup bid of only $1 on McRae in the REL expecting him to go for more given the upside we’ve seen in the D-League, and coming off a 20/4/1 line on 8-12 shooting with 3 treys Saturday. Sure, Kyrie Irving is hurt with a hammy, but McRae had that line as a starter next to LeBron James and Kevin Love, and it’s not like SG isn’t there for the taking on this team. If anything, McRae is a dynamite stash if you’re in an uber-deep league for the fantasy playoffs, as he easily could be a starter when everyone is DNP-Rested and have some big games.
Victor Oladipo – Welcome back Dipo!
Finally returned off his sprained wrist Saturday night, going 15/4/2/0/0 with 2 treys. Not the best line given his draft day price, but it was off an injury, and dat pass doe!
T.J. Warren – Dude, ya fa real?! Moves into the starting line-up (wooooo!) only to play 19 minutes vs. 35 for P.J. Tucker off the bench (booooo!). Super annoying! Bad one on Saturday for Warren, but this was against the Jazz, so hopefully he gets the 30+ min role back.
George Hill – Sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Picked up a concussion in only his second game back after a long absence due to the toe, preceded by an absence due to a thumb. In between absences, he’s been redonk! Such a tease… Jazz can’t keep their starting 5 together! And PG is a mess, Dante Exum missed Saturday with knee soreness, Shelvin Mack is committing way too many TO… Can we get Alec Burks back yet?! He’s almost back, likely will return this week, but no way he can play much…. Raul Neto time! Or maybe we can just bring Stockton back!
Tim Hardaway – Confucius say, “When a ThrAGNOF is hot, you ride the ThrAGNOF!” 29/5/1/0/0 in the huge win over the Spurs, including the pivotal 3PTM to tie the game with 3 seconds left right before overtime. 11-13 FG with 6 treys for Timmay J. While watching Tiny Tim get hot, I noticed Kent Bazemore sulking on the bench… He used to be the bench energy guy! Not too happy ceding minutes in this one. Even in RCLs, owning Hawks wings is a fool’s errand.
Paul Millsap – So Trillsap! 32/13/3/0/1 with 3 treys on 11-23 shooting. Hawks are apparently “listening” to offers, but hopefully that means only for elite returns!
C.J. McCollum – Speaking of elite returns, C the J is being the J! 43/5/3/3/1 in an epic line, taking over the true alpha role with Damian Lillard still out with a kankle. CJ shot 16-25 with 3 treys and improving across the board from last year. Yup, I was way wrong to doubt this kid’s game back in the day.
Kyle Lowry – I never doubted Lowry’s game! Just the health wayyyyy back in the day. Lately I’ve been Lowry’s champion, especially vs. Slim’s hate! 41/9/7 on 12-16 shooting with 6 treys and 11-11 FT last night; other than steals falling from 2.1 to 1.5, his numbers are way up across the board as well from his 15-16 career season. Sure, sure last night was against the Lakers, but they all count!
Nick Young – Gawd I hate having to write about Swaggy P in a non-joking manner in the daily notes… 26/2/0/2/0 last night with 7 treys, giving him 12 treys the past two games on 14-22 shooting. Hot ThrAGNOF, remember what Confucius said about them!
Julius Randle – Rainbow alert! 15/9/6/3/2 and a great-to-see 9-10 FT. Still struggling with overall consistency though – that said, he’s been a late-round steal.
Thomas Robinson – Another deep league special! The big REL buy of the week ended on a 12/9/2/1/0 line last night, and is playing pretty consistent 15-20 minutes with a high FG% and rebounding rate. Will chip in about a block a game as well. Worth a look in 14+ and deeper if those are stats ya need.
Whew, first daily notes of 2017 in the books! This weekend was a doozy! Lots going on to kick off the new year. Thanks again to everyone making 2016 a huge calendar year for us, and here’s to an even bigger 2017. Catch you again tomorrow morning, Razzball Nation!