This is the part in your fantasy run where, if you were in Independence Day, Bill Pullman would give you that inspiring speech about not going quietly into the night, that we will fight to the last man, etc, etc. In fantasy terms, simply put, it’s The Final Countdown, which ironically as it relates to Independence Day, was performed by a band called Europe. Perhaps you are inspired by Rocky, maybe you like Rudy. Whatever floats your boat. You are in the win or go home stage, I would gather, if you’re reading this article, and very likely not going swimmingly, if you’re looking to add a desperation piece. So clearly my advice is not really possible in the traditional sense, as trades are no longer possible in leagues. This is more of a Add/Drop waiver kinda thing; we’re trying to polish a turd, essentially. So, before I don my Randy Quaid hat and fly my jet up an alien’s exhaust pipe, let’s try to glean some usable quality off the waiver for streaming or injury replacement, shall we?Please, blog, may I have some more?
While a large swath of America headed to the voting booth, your friendly neighbor to the north spent last night kickin’ back, feet up, drink in hand (technically it was multiple drinks), with the channel tuned to NBA basketball. I traded in polls for points, delegates for dimes, and rhetoric for rebounds.
You see, the beauty of basketball is that it’s pure. It’s honest. It’s 48 minutes of team competition, largely devoid of self interest. Positive results have a direct correlation to superior effort and ability – things that you just can’t fake. It’s refreshing. The best fantasy assets are those who are well-rounded and who contribute more than just the basic “popcorn” numbers that appeal to the casual observer. Fantasy studs have depth and consistency…as they should. So when you juxtapose a random Tuesday evening of professional basketball with one of the biggest nights in American politics, you really gain an appreciation for just how lucky we are to live in the time of NBA LeaguePass. It’s super duper. (Sorry, CNN.)
In a departure from the normal “good/bad/noteworthy” format, I’ve decided to simply take a “studs & duds” approach to breaking down the evening. Winners and losers is what it’s all about on Super Tuesday, so let’s roll with it. Without further adieu, here are your best lines from a six-game slate, along with some that left fantasy owners as angry and confused as a registered Republican…Please, blog, may I have some more?
PPPPPAAAANNNNTTTHHHHEEERRRRSSSS!!!!! Aight, aight, this is fantasy hoops, we’ll just leave it at that.
On Friday morning, the Clippers shed one of their % drain players, giving the DNP-king [another] fresh start in Houston. And what does Josh Smith do in his debut?! Goes all J Smoove like you’d expect! Goes 1-10 FG, 0-2 FT, for some reason took 4 treys and missed them all (what did you expect after bricking the first 3, Smoove?!), but still gets a rainbow line for 2/5/6/2/3. Oh yeah, 2 TO in there too. Smoove did bounce back last night after almost single-handedly costing the Rox a W in his debut, going 16/3/2/2/2 yesterday afternoon for back-to-back rainbows. He apparently stole someone else’s talent ala Space Jam alien, because he shot 6-14 FG, 2-2 FT, and had only 1 TO. “Talkin’ bout the Dream Team, we’re the Mean Team!” Josh Smith is not a good 9-cat fantasy asset in any league, and even in 8-cat, he’s probably not ownable in 12ers for me. That mean enough?! But the real criminal aspect of the acquisition is of course their absolute hatred for Terrence Jones. HE’S getting the full Mean Girls treatment – they’re feeding him Swedish weight gaining bars, JB Bickerstaff made out with his boyfriend, they’re turning his best friends against him… That organization is an institutional bully – culminating in a whopping 10 minutes of action last night with Dwight Howard (kankle) still out. I didn’t understand the McHale firing, I don’t understand this trade, I don’t understand the Ty Lawson signing… They’re taking this off the rails faster than Lindsay Lohan’s Prius! Or, well, Lawson’s Prius… Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, plus The 7 Ahead for Week 14:Please, blog, may I have some more?
So I know what you’re thinking – where is Matty this morning?! He’s been awesome! Well, I’m here today to fill in while Matty takes a Canadian spa day. What happens is you go to this facility and everything is made of poutines. All you can eat is poutines, all the liquid you intake is gravy, the spa pillows are made of cheese curd… Wait, why am I making fun of this, that sounds like the best day of my life! Matty – true Canadian hero.
But back here in The Colonies, Klay Thompson has become MY true AMERICAN hero! Going 13-21 from the field including 10-16 from deep, Thompson had a monster breakout going 39/7/6/0/1 against the Pacers, leading the Warriors to 23-0. And speaking of “and-0s”, look at JB taking the 1-0 lead on the 30-point challenge board! Looking like another season where I’m going to trounce Slim in the 30-pt challenge. It’s not official yet, but I’ve heard mumblings that the IQ test will soon be phased out for the 30-pt challenge as the most accurate test for intelligence… Anyway, it’s funny how perception and time can change a player’s analysis. I went from slamming Thompson for being a ThrAGNOF, to finally buying in, and then defending his cold start suggesting making buy low offers. All the sudden after last night, all he’s missing is 3.5 Pts and half a steal from having nearly identical stats from 14-15. Of course as all of this unfolded last night, it ended with a monster cliffhanger after Klay got a kankle and looked like he was in some serious pain on the bench. X-rays were negative, and luckily Klay says it’s not too bad and should be back in a few days. Whew! Let’s hope this doesn’t slow down his reacharound! I mean turnaround! Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
You aren’t going to find too many elite fantasy basketball assets sitting on an NBA bench. You’re going to find them on a 50’ wide by 94’ long stretch of hardwood, running their shoes tread-bare.
Fantasy production or “numbers” – essentially the only thing you’re mining for as you prepare for your drafts – is what results from the beautiful union between talent and opportunity.
Talent with limited opportunity (think: Jonas Valanciunas) leaves you with little choice but to sit back and wonder what could have been. Conversely, all the opportunity in the world afforded to players short on talent (I’m looking at you, Courtney Lee) has you questioning why you’re tending to vines that bear no fruit.
Unfortunately, in the world of the National Basketball Association, opportunity is usually held to a finite number each night – and that number is 240. Two hundred and forty minutes is all a given team can distribute amongst its roster during a regulation game. (For our purposes here today we’ll refrain from delving into the impact of overtime/multi-overtime games adding to the pool of minutes, though it does obviously impact the calculus.)
With NBA coaches now regularly employing rotations of nine and 10 men, there are very few players (regardless of talent, youth and good health) who are asked to play more than 75% of a game. In point of fact, during the 2014/2015 NBA season a grand total of six players averaged over 36 minutes of court time. Go just one year farther back and that number jumps to 16. The 12-13 campaign? 22 such players eclipsed the 36 MPG mark and seven ran for over 38 minutes a night. And to really put things into perspective – less than a decade ago we saw nine players average 40 minutes, with the kicker being that none of them missed more than 10 games.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Time for the undraftables!
It’s an absolute barren wasteland trying to sift through the 151-200 ranks, akin to that 60-year-old retiree scanning a remote beach with his metal detector. Bleep! Bleep! Eureka I found a dime! But none of these guys are good enough to get dimebags!
We’re finally wrapping up the top 200 (Rank 1-10 | Rank 11-20 | Rank 21-50 | Rank 51-75 | Rank 76-100 | Rank 101-150), with most of these guys untouchable in 12ers. However, there is some upside to be had with your last-pick fliers and hopefully help out with the deeper leagues. The deep ballers. “I’m balls deep in sleepers!” If only that were the case – a lot of these guys are likely duds or rooks that won’t see enough PT. “I’m balls deep in DNPs!” So remember upside is a big factor when you get this late, as no one wants to be balls deep in O.J. Mayo‘s 20 minutes off the bench…
If you disagree with these ranks, be sure to put your fantasy acumen to the test in the Razzball Commenter Leagues! We need more commissioners and leagues, so sign up a league today, it takes literally a minute – I stop-watched myself – and face off against the best fantasy basketball community around! Prizes and me shaming myself on YouTube abound!
Back to it, here’s the Top 200 for the 2015-16 Fantasy Basketball Season:Please, blog, may I have some more?
…Well I dunno what he woulda snitched about, but ya know…
The injuries and tanking DNPs continue in one of the most utterly annoying final months to the NBA in recent memory. There will always be guys getting hurt, but we’ve lost yet another with Hassan Whiteside tearing up his hand and needing 10 stitches last night after jamming it up against the rim. Right in the webbing! Between the fingers! Youchie. After the game he said he couldn’t feel it. I’m no doctor, but none of that sounds good for his status tonight! I mean, sometimes losing all feeling in a hand can be good like in The Stranger… Certainly sounds like he’ll take at least a game off, unless they can fit him with one of those oven mitts they give guys in the NFL when they play with broken hands. It might end up being a good thing, because if Kelly Olynyk says something about Whiteside’s mama, we could see an even longer suspension! Here’s what else went down last night in another “dropping like flies” night of fantasy basketball action:Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Thunder just can’t catch a break this season. Kevin Durant is still out with a foot injury and now Serge Ibaka will join him on the sidelines.
Ibaka underwent surgery this week to help address discomfort in his knee. Apparently, Ibaka had been experiencing soreness since February. Despite setting up a management plan to help alleviate the pain, the Thunder ultimately decided that surgery was the best option.
Ibaka is expected to be out between four and six weeks. If all goes well in his recovery, Ibaka should be able to return for the Thunder’s first round series, should they hold off the Pelicans for the eighth playoff spot.
As a result of the timeline, Ibaka’s regular season is over. He’s safe to drop in redraft leagues. Ibaka’s MRI prior to the surgery revealed no structural or long-term issues so Ibaka is a great keeper for next season.Please, blog, may I have some more?
Man, off an emotional win beating the Gizz (I hope that catches on), the Pistons go back-to-back and lose in Philly. Seems like that kind of emotional high/low happens all the time! Shoulda bet some money on Philly with probably a good betting line against em.
And it was pretty easy to see how Detroit lost with Reggie Jackson (4-17), Jodie Meeks (2-12), and Spencer Dinwiddie (2-11) combining for 7-40 from the field! That FG% isn’t even legal at 17.5%! That shooting percentage is statutory rape! But swooning in all cool and ready to rob the cradle was the 44% from my boy Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, the only shooter who could hit anything going 7-16. Normally the lead for this game would be R-Jax’s trip-dub (11/11/10/0/0), but with 5 TO and that shooting %, he was pretty poopy. KCP isn’t going to suddenly be a multi-cat stud, but it’s back-to-back 20 point games with a 20/8/2/1/0 line last night and a trey. What I really like was his aggressiveness driving to the hole, netting 5-6 FT and he’s 7-9 from the stripe the past two games after a stretch with virtually no freebies. He’s taken 14+ shots in 6 of 7 games and at least 10 shots in 13 of 15 taking a bigger role in the O with R-Jax able to probe (I can only think of South Park every time I hear a broadcast say that…). Of course the FG% will be a struggle, but if your team build can handle it/if it’s a punt, the low TO and decent steals make him a solid add in the stretch run. Here’s what else happened last night in fantasy basketball:Please, blog, may I have some more?
Tracking Rudy Gobert‘s path to the NBA has been movie worthy. After an accident at his former job at the local steel mill, Rudy had Jon Favreau (he really could be French!) keep his grades up in exchange for Rudy helping Jonny out with the ladies. Gobert almost gave up on his dream for basketball, but Charles S. Dutton gave a heartfelt speech on BEING REAL! Utah fans tried carrying Gobert off the court chanting “Rudy! Rudy!” after that win against the Spurs last Tuesday, but it was a big hazard to the overhead lights.
Derrick Favors‘ ankle turned into a kankle over the weekend, but luckily X-rays were negative and he’s day-to-day. No reason for the lowly Jazz to throw him out there gimpy. Monsieur Elbow time! Filling in for Favors on Friday night, Rudy had one of the best games of his young career for 9/11/4/1/5 shooting 2-2 FG and 5-6 FT. Followed it up with a start last night next to Enes Kanter for 7/9/0/2/3 in 31 minutes. Playing with the big boys! A wingspan that would make a pterodactyl jealous, Gobert should murder blocks for you if you’re able to stream him through the couple starts he’s likely to get this week. No timetable for Favors, but big men + kankles = John Goodman. I mean, not good for a speedy return.
Boy did the Fantasy God of Injuries not get enough human sacrifices over the weekend! This might turn out to be the most depressing NBA recap I’ve ever written. Stay positive JB! Stay positive JB! Thanks inner monologue… Any other advice to help me get through today’s news? Well, remember when in Interstellar it looked like there was no hope due to another Dust Bowl, then he just finds the newly incarnated NASA – – Wait, how does any of that make sense, they didn’t know he was alive yet he was their best hope!? And then there’s that giant plot hole with the planet with the – – it just makes no – – uhughuhguhguhguhgug – – – – F, now my inner monologue is injured… Here’s how the weekend of death went down in NBA action:Please, blog, may I have some more?