Career night for Joe Ingles, who stepped in as a starter for the resting Mike Conley. Ingles went off for a career-high 34 points on just 17 shots, including eight connections from long distance. With so much scoring he only distributed two dimes, but chipped in with a pair of steals as well. Conley’s return will cap Ingles’ value, but he’s still a borderline top-100 player off the bench contributing threes, assists and good percentages.

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Welcome to your midweek guidance for week 12!  The trajectory of your matchup should be starting to take shape in terms of your team’s category strengths and weaknesses.  It’s time to grab the win!  To help get you over the top, I’ve identified some players who are excelling in common punt strategies.

If you see a player listed across multiple formats below, he’s worth a closer look.  Keep in mind that these suggestions are primarily for streaming towards the end of close matchups.  If there is a player that I believe is a long-term option for 12-team leagues, I will specify that in the write up.  Otherwise, I only recommend adding these players if you have an obvious drop candidate.

The players listed below have two or more games remaining in the current week and are rostered in 50% or less of Yahoo and/or ESPN leagues.

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Rundown of tonight’s dynamic slate of 10 Games with five Triple-Doubles on this Hump Day.

RAPTORS -VS- (W) PISTONS
Fred Van Vleet: Blessings to my dude for battling Covid-19 this month and making a full recovery.
First game back and understandably rusty.  The three steals and the 7-of-8 from the charity make it much more palatable.  Yum.  
FVV is actually 3rd on the planet in steals rate at 1.7 SPG.

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As I approach this, my blackjack plus legal voting age’th year on the earth, a few TV shows stick in my brain. My all-time favorite is Star Trek: The Next Generation, and who can forget the time that Captain Jean-Luc Picard was stranded on a planet with an alien who spoke in metaphors. “Shaka, when the walls fell!” And Picard had to understand not just the language, but the context and the syntax with which it was spoken. Isn’t that situation just the metaphor for all of our lives? We may share the same experiences, but not everybody gets the context right away. And isn’t that just a hop-skip-travel away from describing being a rookie in the NBA? 

Isaac Okoro was drafted fifth overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2020 NBA draft. Yay potential! But potential means very little when there’s Covid floating around and the season is a mess and players are frustrated. As we come off the all-star break, more than a few players vented their frustration about the state of the league, yet here we go, planting one foot in front of the other and still traipsing on. We may understand the experience, but the context is novel, and it takes some time to adapt. That’s where Okoro comes into play: he’s figuring out the NBA context, and it’s starting to click. Let’s check the details! 

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Welcome back Razzballers. After a brief hiatus due to the All-Star break, we are “back in effect, snapping’ necks and cashing large cheques”.

I hope you were able to remain active in your league and possibly catch a GM or two sleeping while you executed a trade to improve your situation as we move forward and onward (or is it upward and onward?) into the second half of the season.

This is a critical stage where time is of the essence. We are coming to a place whereby the games remaining plays a significant factor and therefore you want to ensure you are getting the most bang for your buck in any transaction, as you do not have the luxury of time on your side. We want players who can start producing immediately and I think this week we have identified not only one, but two true ballers that fit the bill.

Let us begin with….

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The NBA trade deadline is one week away and with the addition of the playoff play-in tournament, more teams are expected to be buyers than before. This makes the roster spot and fantasy value of many veterans in rebuilding teams quite precarious and I would expect a number of them to be moved to less ideal fantasy situations before the deadline. This could also provide more opportunities for younger guys to generate fantasy value, so it would be wise to stay especially active during the next week in an attempt to try and capitalize quickly on trades, by adding the correct players from the waiver wire. Fantasy goodness is about opportunity after all so all these potential roster changes can shake up the rotation of many teams. Finally, this year we have seen a record number of cases of teams flat out sitting veterans when they don’t fit in their timeline, so that could be interesting to watch in the future, with names like Andre Drummond, LaMarcus Aldridge and Blake Griffin already on that list.

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It’s been many thousands of years since Moses climbed Mr. Sinai, received the Ten Commandments, then delivered them to the people below. It must’ve been an exhausting one for Moses because we hadn’t heard from him since. Last night, though, Moses Brown delivered the fantasy goodies to the believers who rostered him for DFS or season-long leagues, making all lift their heads to the sky and yell, Hallelujah! 

PTS REB AST STL BLK TOV 3PT FG FT
20 16 0 0 5 1 0 9/16 2/3

Brown received the start and played 30 minutes. He’s now started the last two games. Now, both Al Horford and Darius Bazley were out so this may not be the New World Order. With that said, OKC is going to play and develop their young cats and Horford could be traded by the deadline. Moses has been a top 55 player over the last four games, providing 12.5 points, 10.3 boards, and two blocks while shooting 60% from the field and 80% from the free-throw line. Like manna from the heavens.

Here’s what else I saw last night:

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Last Friday I participated in my first fantasy baseball draft, which is the informal cue that we’re beginning to come down the home stretch for this fantasy basketball season. Depending on your league settings, we’re roughly a month out before the fantasy playoffs and the silly season of DNPs, phantom injuries, and more overt tanking tactics. 

To combat the non-competitive play that plagues spring basketball, the NBA has expanded the playoff format this year to incorporate the 9- and 10-place teams in each conference, making the line between buyers and sellers ahead of the March 25 trade deadline harder to see than in seasons past. Trade targets both IRL and fantasy will be hot topics in the coming days, so I decided to see if I could parse what the future holds for the Chicago Bulls, who are currently in 9th place out East and have held my fascination for the last few weeks. 

Currently sitting at 17-20, Chicago will have to hold off the 17-21 Pacers and the 17-22 Raptors if they’re going to return to postseason play for the first time since the Jimmy Butler era. Without a 2021 first round pick and contract decisions to make, I find the Bulls intriguing and genuinely don’t have much of a clue about how they’ll proceed. I’ll give away the game early and say that I don’t have any answers and my crystal ball is on the fritz. What follows is simply a consideration of the pieces that could be in play in the coming weeks. 

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Here we are, down to the nitty gritty portion of the fantasy NBA basketball season where some fantasy managers are getting desperate while others are looking to position themselves for a nice postseason run. If your team is one of those on the bubble, you’re probably looking for some easy w’s in your quest to make the playoffs.

Some leagues have a bit over a month to go while others will extend until the end of the season, but either way if you want to compete you need to start winning NOW. The good news is that I’ve got your back, and we can do this together. So let’s do it.

One of my favorite strategies if I ever find myself on the bubble in a league is to look at my competition and where they can be exploited. Take a look at whoever you are playing this week right now and take a look at their win-loss record in each category. Are they 9-1 in one category? If you happen to have a similar record in that category, you can still beat them with some proper planning. Are they 5-5 in a category? Even if you are weak there, you can easily turn the tides by being smart.

Please, blog, may I have some more?