Light the beam! Despite being on the opposing team’s home floor, “Light the beam!” chants erupted in the Crypto.com Arena for almost the entire final three minutes of the game. The Kings came out and dominated with all five of their starters finishing in double figures, along with Malik Monk and Chimezie Metu who combine for 23 points off the bench.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

You can’t win a championship at the beginning of a season, but you can lose one. Much as it pains me to say, I think I’ve already lost.

After a successful Writer’s League last year that ended against Kostas in the semifinal and a pretty intensive offseason of thinking about hoops, I came into this year’s draft feeling like I was in decent shape to post a good showing again. But this year ain’t last year. Stats and success don’t carry over, and if you’re resting on laurels rather than applying lessons learned, there’s no way to bank Ws on account of “experience.” If you’ve been following Kelder’s weekly recaps, you might have noticed that my team isn’t anywhere in the mix. Indeed, you’ve got to scroll almost the way to the bottom of the table to see my name. A record of 19-34-1 is good enough for 11th and I feel all but certain the hole that I’ve put myself in is going to be too deep to recover from. I’m not quite ready to quit on some other struggling squads, but I think it’s safe to let go of preseason expectations at this point and set a different goal for the remaining three-quarters of the season here in the Writer’s League.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Buy Low. Sell High. 

It’s a simple concept, projected every week of every season in fantasy sports. And for good reason. It’s the foundational strategy to get the most out of in-season trades and improve your roster. The only problem is that it’s all based on general consensus of which players are performing below ADP and should improve, and who’s overplaying their hand and is due for regression. There’s always variable opinions on what the best moves are in the buy low / sell market. But, for the most part, there’s agreement of what players fit in that box on any given week.

So – if for nothing else other than a matter of practice – let’s think outside the box for a moment, using as an example the biggest sell high candidate of the moment. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Rookie forward AJ Griffin finished the night with 17 points, but his biggest bucket came in the closing moments of overtime when he knocked down a wide-open layup to steal the victory over the Toronto Raptors.
De’Andre Hunter was second on the Hawks in scoring with 22 points; Dejounte Murray finished with 17 points, seven rebounds, and four assists; Clint Capela had a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds along with three blocks.
Scottie Barnes had an amazing night with a near triple-double but missed the potential game-winner in regulation
OG Anunoby finished with 27 points, three rebounds, and five assists; he missed the go-ahead basket before Barnes and could have won the game.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Darius Garland returned to the Cavaliers, putting up 29 points and 12 assists in a close victory over the Boston Celtics. In both games where Garland and Donovan Mitchell have played the Cavs bigs have struggled to score. Jarrett Allen had 15 points last night while Evan Mobley had 14, both were below regular season averages. As for the Celtics, it’s hard to win games when Jayson Tatum shoots 8-21 from the field. On a positive note his defensive numbers were quite solid last night: nine defensive rebounds and four blocks. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Hello Razzball Nation! I am here to provide you with my picks and insights for this monster of a 10-game slate on Wednesday. I am hoping to do this every Wednesday for this season, so if you like these picks keep tuning in.

My number one piece of advice for NBA DFS is to be on top of injury updates. Contests are won and lost on backups becoming starters and starters getting increased usage from injuries. Especially in the NBA, random injuries happen every night, players get rested for no reason, and the tanking is rampant (looking at you Thunder and Spurs). You need to be on top of your lineups up until lock, and on some nights with questionable guys with later start times after lock. On a 10-game slate like we have here, value will open up throughout the day and early evening based on injury reports.

That being said, with our current knowledge of injury news (Tuesday night) let’s get down to it. Pricing is always (Fanduel/ Draftkings). I mostly play tournaments and my picks will always bias towards volatility and upside.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Son had a nice moment of self-reflection on the latest podcast, recognizing how he – and we all – tend to get easily sucked into preseason storylines that make us overhype or dismiss certain players without questioning the herd mentality around said player. 

Case in point: Myles Turner, who was discussed more for his potential to be traded than for his promising fantasy game. After sitting out a couple games and taking one to ease back to form, Turner put up 27 points, 10 rebounds, 5 blocks and 2 assists while shooting 3-4 from three, 7-14 from the field and 10-10 from the line as the Pacers beat the Wizards 127-117. The trade talk will eventually reemerge, but in the meantime, Turner owners may get to feast on a steady diet of blocks with quality numbers across the board. It’s worth remembering he’s just 26, when big guys usually enter their prime. If that age and experience turns into consistency for Turner, there’s Top 15 value to be had here. 

More notes from a busy Friday night in the Association:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Jaden Ivey was impressive enough in his sophomore season at Purdue that myriad draft writeups questioned whether he deserved the No. 1 spot. He ended as the 5th to Detroit, which was perfect, not only because his family has a history there, but it’s also pretty easy to compare his game to one of Detroit’s finest: the Dodge Viper. His performance is highlighted by explosive speed; his game can be a lot to handle and, if steered with a lack of direction, a harsh spin out is possible.

So far, Ivey shareholders are feeling pretty good. In four games he’s averaging 16 points, 5.5 ast., 4.3 boards and 1.5 steals in 31 minutes of play while shooting 43% from deep.

However, I’m pumping the breaks on Ivey and holding up the caution sign.

Please, blog, may I have some more?

“A River Runs Through It” is a 1992 American drama film directed by Robert Redford and starring Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt that focuses on a coming of age story between two brothers; one studious, the other rebellious. “The West Runs Through It” is a 2022 National Basketball drama directed by Adam Silver and starring the Trail Blazers, Spurs and Jazz that focuses on a coming of age story between three teams who refuse the temptation of drafting Victor Wembanyama, rather focusing on reaching the playoffs. Just like we all expected… You have Damian Lillard and Anfernee Simons going a combined 60/9/13 on 21-33 shooting and 11-19 from beyond the arc in a blowout against the Nuggets, yet another Spurs win fueled by Devin Vassell’s 23/9/7 and of course the powerhouse Jazz team where you can’t tell the starters from their bench, netting their first loss may have slowed them down, but still, at 3-1, who else was I going to put here in the lede? The Lakers? (ROFL.)

Here’s what else I saw during last night’s games…

Please, blog, may I have some more?

The Portland Trail Blazers missed the playoffs last season for the first time since Damian Lillard’s rookie year, and finished with their worst record (27-55) since the fall of the Jail Blazers era.  After GM Neil Olshey was fired midseason for being a total a-hole fostering a toxic work environment, his successor, Joe Cronin, called in the tanks and began reshaping the roster to meet the needs of first year head coach Chauncey Billlups. The Blazers were stripped down to a G League team for the final two months, losing 21 of their last 23 games – who out there had Drew Eubanks power them to a league title?

Some fans said “Tanks For Nothing!” for the lost season that saw a beloved borderline all-star player traded for role players and financial flexibility; the lottery balls left them at No. 7; and Lillard’s Primetime clock ticked through another year. But now Dame is back, the hype machine is rolling – “Not sure how good they’ll be, but they’ll be fun to watch!” – and Portland looks primed to return to its normal status as playoff team but not a contender. 

Please, blog, may I have some more?

Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 21!  The playoffs are in full swing across the fantasy hoops landscape, meaning it’s time to cut injured players who are acting as proverbial millstones around your team’s neck and go streaming!  This post will help you do just that, with recommendations for widely available players who can backfill those injured drops and contribute to your victory.  If you’re in the enviable position of having a fully-healthy team, two things: 1) I hate you 2) You can still benefit from these suggestions, because you should be using at least one roster spot to cycle through players and maximize your games played for the week.

Please, blog, may I have some more?